My Dreamboard Visionboard

Trust your Passion. Identify your Dreams then find the courage to share that with others, no matter how many times they call you a fool – Bill Strickland

We all have dreams and they do change at different times in our life for example when I was 5 I wanted to be a famous singer like Selena but as I grew older that grew dimmer as I realized I didn’t have naturally fabulous vocals and it required more time than I wanted to put in therefore I changed my mind about becoming a famous singer haha But today I wanted to share my dream board during this time of my life. I love visuals and this is perfect to get a quick overview. I did this activity with my husband when we first got married for a date night.

1. Protect The Family Unit 2. Live my Faith 3. Education is Ongoing 4.Serving continuously 5.Fill mind with Positive and Motivational messages 6.Strive for Financial Freedom 7. Own my own Ride 8. Live Comfortably 9.Mastering the basics Health Wellbeing 10.Teaching Sharing Building/Lifting Others 11. Perfect my Marriage 12. Create Adventurous Memories 13.Creating the home as a safe Haven for my family.

dreamboard

What does your dreamboard look like? Would love to see hear some of your ideas of that which you hope to accomplish in your lifetime!  We can do it and push aside negativity that may be holding us back from reachingthose dreams!


Dear Daddy

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Dad please remember these 10 things as we go through the first 18years of my life together..

1.You are my first love.

2. You are my first kiss and the first man I say “I LOVE YOU” to.

3.You are the one to show me what true and real love is.

4.You show me how a lady should be treated when you are with mum.

5. You teach me about selfless service when we watch endless princess movies with me when you would rather be watching a football game.

6.You teach me what security felt like every time you held me in your arms and give me those big hugs after work.

7.  You teach me true beauty is when you say I need no makeup and tell me to show less skin

8.You will teach me about hard work and diligence each day you kiss me goodbye to leave for work.

9. You teach  me what humility looks like when you mum starts unnecessary arguments

10. You are and will always be my HERO!

Fathers have such an important role in the family and is equally important to that of the mother. Never underestimate the ability of having a father in the home.

“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. The family proclamation

i-fTtTffv-L


9 tips Before Buying your First Home

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It’s been awhile since I have posted but it’s because we have had lots of house projects going on…But all that aside today I have decided to write about my learning experience while buying our first home. We officially moved in on valentine’s day so it’s nearly been 4 months.  Below is the time line of the whole process, a lot longer than most realtors would prefer, but was perfect for us!

Timeline 

Started House Shopping – August 2014

Found this house & Applied for Grant and Mortgage – November 2014

Put offer in – December 2014

Grant Accepted – January 2015

Closed – January 2015

Moved in – February 2015 YAY!!

Seeing it was our first time there were lots of unnecessary drama than I would have liked. Looking back to save us the hassle I would have preferred working with a realtor, but seeing the owner was going to just make us pay for the realtor by including it in the cost of the house   we decided to forfeit on that idea. Luckily we had a awesome mortgage lady who helped us out a tonne!!!

Here are my 9 tips for Before you buy your first home!

1. What can you afford? You decide what you canNot what the bank tells you you can afford!! Go over your expenses and your income. Seeing my husband is still a full time student and working full time, and assuming eventually I will become a stay home mum we only factored in one income. This was a safe option for us because we never wanted to be estimated on two incomes just incase one of us lost our jobs.  Good rule of thumb for us was to keep our house payment between 1/4  to 1/3 of our monthly income. So if I earn $4000 a month then house payment should be approx $1000. (I know I am being extreme with this staying on the safe safe safe side.)
2. Location. This comes in handy once you decide to sell your house. A key selling point is if there are good schools in the area many families look to this as one their top priorities when buying.
3. Duration of Stay. My husband and I decided that we were wanting this house to be ours between 5-7 years. If you don’t stay in a house long enough you end up losing more money with all the transaction costs that are involved. So ensure that you are in it for at least 3 years or rent until you are certain about your purchase.
4. Goals. We set a goal that if we were to buy a house we were going to rent out the basement. This was an important criteria to us because my husband was working and studying and I would eventually be staying at home with the kids so we needed some kind of replacement for my income. Researching the renting market in our area we figured that renting out the basement would cover our monthly mortgage payment and all we would have to pay for would be utilities. To be honest it was extremely hard finding a house that met this criteria and within our budget but we managed to compromise a little to find a house that we could rent out the basement.
5. Emergency account.  I cant stress this enough make sure you have some cushion in this area. We set aside at least 6 months of savings just in case something broke in the house a car or a emergency trip to NZ. haha  If you don’t have a good chunk of savings you could end up kissing that house goodbye before you know it.
6. Investment not a love affair. Use your head rather than your heart to buy a house. Yes it needs to feel right but at the end of the day your house is an investment asset. The colour of paint or carpet or location of the kitchen will not add to the bottom line.
7. Newer isn’t always better. There are many out there that flip houses don’t get me wrong I love them shows! But when a slab of paint and new carpet can justify them increasing the price $40,000 HECK NO!!! Let me do the work for $5000. We all love the feeling of walking in to our house already done ready for living but calculate how much you would be saving if you did the work yourself. And TBH who really wants to move into a fixer upper NO ONE! But if you are like me and have the time on your hands and have awesome family members who are kind enough to help out it may be worth saving you $35,000 or more!
8. Savings. You need to have a good chunk saved up for emergency money AND  your down payment. We calculated how much downpayment we needed by working out how much we wanted to spend each month.. Because we wanted our monthly payment to be lower we had to put in a higher down payment. So be prepared with your savings! Make sure not to put all your money in your down payment and then nothing for emergency try find a good amount for both.  Another thing we also did was we stayed for free at an elderly lady’s house and did work around the house for her for a year. If you don’t mind a situation like that, you may be able to rack your savings up faster or just live at home with the parentals!
9.Funding Programs. Last and final tip is do your research for FREE MONEY! We applied for a housing grant that gave us $5000 which was awesome, they do have some requirements as in you need to earn under a certain amount and the house needs to be your primary residence. But that helped us out significantly for our down payment.
Are you looking to buying or do you prefer renting? Have you recently just bought a house what would your tips be? Comment and share your thoughts below!

I heart Coconut Cream

pacific style coconut c 15-09-2009 2-35-25 a.m. 640x480Our good old trusted friend you may have seen him in meals like…


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Boiled Taro and Coconut cream or boiled green bananas and coconut cream or one of my favourite lu sipi!!!Growing up I always thought coconut cream was bad and fatty but I didn’t realize how many goodies it has in it till I started following this Coconut frenzy!!!

So if it’s so good lets try use it in more things .. here are some extra ideas for how we can use other than in those heavy sunday meals!!!!

1. SMOOTHIE!!! super easy 3 ingredient recipe found at wholeyum.com

2. MILKSHAKES! Another easy 3 ingredient recipe here on wearenotmartha.com

3. SOUPS  A favourite of mine are Thai Chicken Soups  just switch coconut milk for coconut cream! DELISH

4. PORRIDGE spice up your porridge recipe with some coconut cream. (p.s you don’t need to get this fancy!)

5.WHIP CREAM! Instead of normal cream use coconut cream for a healthier alternative! 

What are some of your favourite ways you use coconut cream?? Or do you prefer the normal old school way? Share, comment below! Would love to hear your ideas.


Dear High School Kids…

 

image1. You aren’t dumb because you suck at math and science! Embrace your other talents whether it be painting singing or selling your lunch to the other kids…

2. You are allowed and can question your teachers.. its a misconception that just because they are your teachers they are right all the time… stellar teachers will make that known to you!

3.You don’t need to fit into any group. Be yourself and you will attract friends who like you for you.

4. Build fun memories! Just have fun being a kid, grow up slowly! You have the rest of your life to do adult things. Be silly, be crazy do dumb silly stuff that won’t hurt or injure anybody physically, mentally or emotionally.

5. Failure is NOT bad or means you are dumb.Wow you failed a test.. at least you are closer to finding the right answers. Failure occurs once you stop trying!!!!

6. You don’t need lots of friends just real friends.

7. Dont freak if you don’t know what you are going to be when you grow up… just keep moving forward doing what you love and doors will open up.

What things did you wish you knew in high school?  SHARE, Comment below!


6 lessons my “FOB” Parents taught me

imageHow many of you were embarrassed by your parents growing up?… tell the truth… what your friends might think of them in their lavalava and jandals or hearing them talk in their fob accent.  Going to a predominantly white primary school this was always my fear, especially when it came to parent interviews.!  But now I can say I am loud and proud of their fobness. I’ve finally just learnt to embrace it after all these years! But just want to take a moment to share the wonderful lessons my fobby parents managed to teach a prideful self-centered teenager.

  1. EducationI learnt to value Education. My parents would say… “Ged a gud edugation” (in their accent) “If I went to school here I would already have a degree! See the kids on the island they all want to come here to go to university!” These phrases would be on repeat like a broken record. Education was always the topic when we had family meetings, dinner, or when we did something bad. Somehow everything was tied back to school  whether it was doing the dishes or watching tv  they would always manage to link it back to the topic of education.image
  2. God – I learnt to trust a higher being. How many of you get annoyed your parents “force” you to go to church? You had a late night and they still kicking you out of bed to go to church! This was mine, but it was during those hard times when I couldn’t talk to my parents or friends I knew I could trust God. I knew He would understand me when no one didn’t. I could talk to him through prayer and He would communicate to me through the scriptures.
  3. Sacrifice I learnt the importance of hard work. We all have stories of how our parents had to and  still work long hours, at several different jobs. Dad had been a taxi driver, worked at a supermarket, also studied part-time, while mum worked graveyard shift in a factory! If this isn’t sacrifice I don’t know what is?
  4. Take Risks I learnt to take calculated risks. Can you imagine leaving your family, friends, all that you knew to come to a country where you didn’t even speak the language, and you didn’t even feel welcomed. Moving from a kickback to a fast pace money driven economy. Talk about their worlds being flipped upside down. What if they never took this risk, where would I be? What are you doing to take it to the next level for your family and your future generations?
  5. Give Give Give  I learnt to give freely. So many times my parents gave away our clothes, money, time, our space to anyone and everybody who needed. I was always annoyed and frustrated because I was always being inconvenienced. I remember my 3bedroom house being occupied by 3different families. No matter how little they had they were always willing to give.
  6. Gratitude – Be grateful for whatever you have. There is always someone in the world who is worse off than you. We had so “little” in comparison to the kids in my school, we bought second hand clothes and only got new outfits for christmas. To my parents we were spoilt but to my friends I was poor. Gratitude is a perspective that you define. Choose to be grateful.
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My Amazing Parents!

I am loud and proud of my parents and their achievements in their lifetime. It may not be deemed like much in the eyes of society but their works speak volumes and have paved the path for many generations to come.

What are some lessons that your “FOB” parents have taught you? Share, comment like!

 


Spanking Ends with ME!

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(WARNING: long post)

Shoe, Belt, Wooden  Spoon, Broom, Electric Cord all of this has something in common, for me it was one of the few ways discipline was role modeled in my life.

Its one thirty in the am and I have had this pressing thought which is preventing me from sleeping right now. Especially with mothers day coming up I have been reflecting on what kind of mother I want to become and therefore I have decided to write about this topic. Warning this may be a extremely sensitive or controversial topic to some of you out there. I am by no means an expert or the perfect example but wish to share my personal experience as a New Zealand born Tongan on this topic of Spanking.

Some may say well those methods worked for my parents, it worked for me and it will work for my kids. This form fo discipline was used on me until I got to a ripe age of 21 then my parents decided I was old enough to make my own choices. But I CHOOSE to declare and end it with me. I also believe it DID NOT work for me. You may say but Tracy it did work for you, you finished school, got a degree from university, you didn’t add to the statistic of teen pregnancy, polynesian dropouts, and you have never tasted a drop of alcohol!

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My parents both role modeled the best and the worst form of discipline. The best discipline was during the times that they didn’t even realize they were teaching me… it was the times when we were calm,  sharing thoughts, stories, laughing together we would share our hopes, desires and wishes for the future. They would tell us stories of how hard it was back in their childhood, the little that they had. They would express how they wanted us to be happy, to be successful and be better than they were. We would  also see first hand their sacrifices working long nights, several shifts at different jobs to make ends meet.  Those were the times when they were really teaching us about love, about hard work, sacrifice, respect, perseverance, and dedication. Their daily mundane examples in their everyday life taught me that I wanted to make them happy, it motivated me to be obedient to them, it motivated me to stay out of trouble so I can accomplish that which they spoke of, and inspired me to try my best. Those lessons could NEVER be learnt during the times I was getting a “hiding” or “spanking” all this caused was resentment, bitterness, anger and frustration.

However I don’t blame my parents fully about the way they disciplined me, at that time they didn’t know any other form of discipline other than that which was remodeled to them.  Growing up in NZ I saw many kids who never got a spanking in their life and still ended up being successful in school and in careers. Envious of these kids and their lifestyle I thought to myself how is that possible? Is there really another way… and if there is I want that!  So for me I had to retrain my way of thinking and practice a new form of discipline I had never seen remodeled. I have had to start at the beginning and learn it on my own. It’s not easy because my old ways are so ingrained that I tend to fall back on them by default so I have to always catch myself.

Please hear me out… Give me a chance to explain my logic that goes against the grain of the traditional views of my culture… No im not fie palangi… I’m just trying to find a way I know would please my Heavenly Father. I know that I  could never see him hitting an innocent child as a teaching method. I also know that he loved the little children so much, and we are raising them so they know of His love and turn to him. Therefore I have compiled a few ideas that I have been learning and pondering about as a new parent.

Firstly know that everything is a cycle! What your child sees you do will just come around! E.G I always saw my mum make my grandma a full on dinner for her breakfast every mother’s day, she would wake up at 5am to cook everything and she would sew her a dress so she could wear to church that sunday. So when I grew up that’s exactly what I wanted to do the same for my mum. We would make her a full on breakfast in bed and I would buy her a new outfit for church. So if your kids see that you hit them to get your point across, they will do likewise. They will do the same to others around them whether it’s their younger siblings or peers at school.

Secondly, understanding your relationship with your child. I do believe in respecting your elders but not only elders we respect everyone. Everyone deserves to be treated respectfully irrespective of color age gender or race! To receive respect you give respect. My parents believed in the idea that because I am older than you I am the boss of you and you listen to everything I say. I am right all the time and what you have to say is inferior to my view. But that needs to stop! If you give your child respect you will receive respect. I remember one day I didn’t want to do Karate no more because my aunt had told me its not good because its based on the dragon and the dragon is the devil and so that was bad. I was about 9years old and I plucked up the courage to confront my parents not to take me to karate. They didn’t listen to me but because I was persistent I convinced my brother and sister that we all needed to go to our parents to tell them we all wanted to quit. Reluctantly my parents agreed as they saw how persistent we were on this choice and were bitter towards my aunt about her theory. But I am so grateful that they respected the wishes of a 9year old and listened to my concerns and accepted my decision although they had already paid for 10weeks of lessons.  Respect can not be forced it needs to earned. This principle applies to whether you are 1 or 101 years old. Treat your child as a equal, make them feel important and what they say matters because they will give that back to you.

Thirdly, Two Way Communication. This links in with the previous point. Because they are a child it doesn’t mean that you talk and they listen. It’s not your way or the highway.  Communicate that there are boundaries, there are consequences to their actions, also communicate of your love. Keep the communication lines open, help your child know they can come to you and you are never to busy when they need to talk. If you are there for them in the small things they will be able to trust you with the bigger things.

Lastly, We need to see the bigger picture.  These children are on loan to us from our Heavenly Father.  They are His children and our job is to nurture and love them as He would, so they can return back to Him. If we know our role and follow the Holy Spirit we will be guided to know their individual needs. The Spirit is the real teacher and the best teacher.  The Spirit will help us if we are open to it, therefore keep your home a place which will allow the Spirit to be present, without anger, yelling, or force.  So if ever you’re in doubt, think to yourself, “What would Jesus do?”

3.30am :) Feeling liberated… Changing for the better

Have you or somebody you know overcome this cycle? And how did they do it? Share comment below!


Be the change!

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Be the change you want to see in the world! – Ghandi

A favorite quote of mine and one that I wish to apply in my daily living.

Change for some is difficult and for others becomes a bad habit. The change I wish to delve into is that which makes a stronger, bolder, tougher and better!

In our personal life, family, school or work what do we know we need to change but just can’t scrummage up the courage to do so? Changing a habit requires effort mental toughness and perseverance. This blog is a record of all the many changes my family and I are applying into our lives. some may be small and take a few minutes while others may take years before results are evident.

Change is happening whether you are conscience of it or not…if you are not aware change it happening it usually means it’s slowly going downhill if you make yourself aware that change is always happening, this will enable you to channel it to benefit you and help you. E.g If I just continue to not exercise and eat as I did when I was a teenager, I think I am staying the same and nothing has changed, but what I don’t notice is my health is declining with the lack of exercise and nutrition that my body really needs. My body is getting changing for the worse without me even knowing because its so subtle. Therefore if I  recognize that change is occurring all the time I am able to start doing something about this like go for a walk or make healthier food choices. The same thing happens with finances, with relationships etc if we are not trying to improve they are usually going backwards!

Just start with something small to change, whether its a page of a book or say a prayer. You don’t have to change and save the world from hunger, or find a cure for aids. Just start with yourself and the ripple effect will begin!

What are some things you want to change or improve for the better? Share comment below would love to hear from you :)


DIY Baby Room

imageSince I can remember I have always been excited about being able to deck out the baby’s room than actually having a baby! (is that bad?) I guess I did to many babysitting to put me off wanting my own… but my fate was determined and I was to have my own!!

Upon our arrival at our newly carpeted and painted house the baby room is where I eagerly started on her room but then had to put it on hold… Unfortunately living room and kitchen had to take precedence. Slowly I had been working on little projects for the baby room. Everything was always on a budget so it took a little longer than I wanted it but yippee we are halfway there… Here is the progression of this DIY journey
Project 1. I love you alphabet. I saw it on Pinterest and fell in love with it so initially I looked for a free printable online but I couldn’t find one that i liked so I jumped on to word and whipped up this little baby. printed it off and popped it into this frame I had lying around. easypeasy Cost $0

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Project 2.seeing these little pompom things are popping up everywhere and I had lots of tissue paper from the baby shower gifts. I saved them all to make these pompom ball things. here’s the tutorial I followed. Cost $0

Project 3. Re-Upholstered Rocking chair! We got a steal with this rocking chair $10 from a yard sale and then I bought fabric to cover it for about $5. I quickly took off the old covers and traced around it on the new fabric. Looking back now I would have bought a different fabric fluff gets stuck to this one rooky mistake! Cost $15

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Project 4. Painting Baby’s crib. Blessed to get a hand me down from Conners sister so all I did was sand it, paint it and varnished it. all up cost for supplies $20.

 

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Project 5. Blessing dress in frame. (above) Found these frames on the side of the street they were initially mirrors but we popped them out gave them a coat of paint at the same time we painted the crib and voila! just hung her dress behind it. Cost $0

Project 6. Fabric Toy Box. I had a few extra boxes from the move lying around and I bought a couple of pieces of fabric I thought I was going to use for cushions but ended up making these instead. Simply cut enough fabric to cover around it and used spray glue which made it super easy peasy. Cost $2image

So this is the end result…. Stay tune for the other half of the room….

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Project Jumper

imageSo in our move we had to get rid of lots of things (I didn’t realize I could accumulate so much things in a year!) One thing I noticed we had lots of were hoodies and jumpers. We were going to donate them to the D.I but then the thought came to me to keep them and collect the jumpers for wintertime!!! WHY? There are so many homeless people on the side asking for money or donations especially during the winter. I always feel bad for them for just being in the cold, so what better thing to give them at this time than a warm jumper!

Lately I’ve noticed so many people that have done awesome service projects which have also motivated me to do this service project. I want to make it a tradition to do a service project with my family each year… Eventually the big goal is being able to go and do humanitarian work in a country for a few weeks but that’s further down the line once we are more established. But for this seemed like a manageable project we as a family could do to share the love!

If you have or would like to donate some of your old jumpers we would love to pick them up. Comment below with your info. We are picking up donations in the Weber and Davis county.

As of April we have – 12 jumpers our goal is to get to 100 jumpers by December.

Here I will keep you posted of the progress we are making with PROJECT JUMPER!



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