Sunday, 20 December 2015

BEHR & CO. // a stylish giveaway for YOU (not the kids) this time!

I see you there, Mama, rushing around this December. Buying gifts for kids and partners and others, planning Christmas lunch, what to put in the Christmas stockings and all the rest....

Well, I feel like you deserve a little something, so I'm running a special giveaway just for YOU! Yep, a chance to win something truly gorgeous for your home. I am also thrilled to feature an amazing company run by a fabulously creative work-at-home-Mum - always nice to suport those, huh? She is offering an awesome giveaway to all my lovely readers and a discount code for anyone who can't wait to get shopping :)

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?? Do you have time for a little tale in the midst of Christmas present wrapping?? :)

Well, the lovely Breanne was one of the first non-family-and-friends person to start reading my little ol' blog, way back when I started back in 2012. Honestly, I couldn't believe anyone was reading it, haha. I'm not sure how she found me, but her comments were always so sweet and supportive :) Since then, it has been just fantastic to see Breanne begin her own journey of motherhood - she now has a sweet little boy! Aaaaand then just a year ago, in all her non-existent spare time, she put her incredible creativity to work and started up the homewares company BEHR&CO. It has thrilled me no end to see her products quickly gain popularity, as well they should because JUST LOOK. I've seen her wares featured everywhere from The Block to InStyle magazine... and now here, heehee! :) No surprise, because they are simply stunning products made from marble, brass and fabric, the kind of pieces you would display in your home foreveerrrrrrr, right? I love how everything is so contemporary yet classic in style. Breanne designs and sources the products from master artisans both here and in Italy....all while being a devoted mama. Just love that!

Breanne kindly sent me a stunning hexagon trivet cut from Italian Carrera marble (so lush, huh?) and a beautifully designed perfectly-slouchy little hexagon fabric pouch. I had fun pretending to be a stylist (ha!)... but really, with gorgeous homewares like these, you can't go too wrong, huh?? ;) But seriously... I will let these pieces speak for themselves, they don't need much dressing up!

What can't you put on a marble trivet?? Everything from a cheese spread to your favourite vase. Even mangoes look nice ;) Use the trivet in the kitchen or around the home for decor, it all works!
These pouches are so cute, sturdy and handy! Pop in a pot plant, or your scarves, or kid's toys - anything!
Three spunky little pouches, ready for the kids to store all kinds of treasures. LOVE all the fresh designs (by Breanne herself!!).... Lily is planning to use hers to store her many hair ties and head bands (easy to tote all over the house)!
I think I found a new home for our lovely treasures!

So, have a drool over some of the gorgeous products along with me and then, be sure to enter our giveaway to win a $100 voucher at BEHR & CO., so you can treat yourself to a special something this Christmas.... the hardest thing to do will be deciding what to get! The pouches? The marble coasters? The brass bookends!? So many lovely things, all made with the highest of standards and oodles of love.

Thanks Breanne for always so kindly supporting me, and I am just thrilled to be featuring YOU today! It makes me so happy to see you achieving such huge success, which will no doubt continue...

Ohhhhh, and if you want to do a little Christmas shopping for your loved ones (or yourself!), Breanne has generously offered a 15% discount code on ALL products, so take that up too! Just use the code LLL15OFF at checkout. Beautiful gifts that will be treasured (and last!) for always....


Want to WIN a $100 gift voucher to spend on whatever you love at BEHR&CO?

You have two chances to win! Enter both here and on my Facebook page to double your chances!!

To enter, just answer this simple question....

'What would you love to find under the Christmas tree this year?'

Just comment below with your answer!

Then click over to my Facebook page to enter there too... two entries means twice as likely to win!! :)

xx Kate

Terms and Conditions:
Giveaway is for one $100 voucher to BEHR&CO online store.
Entries welcome worldwide! 
Must leave a name and email address if using "anonymous" or a profile not linked to a way to contact you if you've won.
Winners will be deemed most creative/interesting response as chosen by me. This is a game of skill, not chance.
Entries open 7.30pm Sunday 20th December 2015 and close Wednesday 23rd December 2015 at 9pm AEST. 
Judges decision is final. Winners must respond within 24 hours or prize will be awarded to the runner up. Good luck!

These items were gifted to me for review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

sibling kindness: a simple activity to foster positive relationships!

While I'm sure all parents would like their children to co-exist in never ending peaceful harmony, the reality is that the home is the stomping ground of learning to negotiate ever-complex and often challenging human relationships. And with that comes.... yes, conflict! If even we as adults struggle to always peacefully exist alongside other people, it should be no surprise that our little humans may take time, encouragement, example and proactive teaching to learn to do the same. So yes, kids tend to squabble as they learn these skills and work out how to work things out. But I believe we can do more than simply leave them their own devices all throughout childhood, we can come alongside to encourage and 'skill them up' to find a better way to sort things out  - both with their siblings and other relationships now and in the future!

Lately, the sibling squabbles between my kiddos (in particular the two who are still at home!) had been slowly rising to the point where I decided we needed a circuit breaker. Something to remind the kids how precious their relationship is and how much nicer it is for everyone (including Mama's ears, haha) when we choose words of kindness instead of words (and attitudes) of entitlement! So, I sat the little guys down and we had a chat. About respect and the power of kindness. About the blessing it is to have siblings who can also be best friends - and how best friends should treat each other! We love each other but we don't always remember to show it, right?? But things can change if we change our focus.

I realised that as well as working through 'conflict resolution' techniques with the kids (once again... yeah, it is never a one time thing!), that it would help them to have a more visual reminder of the cumulative effect of their words and actions. It was pretty early one morning when it was looking like 'one of those days', so I decided to grab a bunch of pom poms from the craft cupboard and a glass and a vase... I just grabbed whatever was close at hand! I told the kids that whenever they chose to show love and kindness to each other, we would transfer a pom pom from the little glass to the big vase. They loved the idea of course! It's not a ground breakingly original technique (I've seen variations floating around the net!) but at that moment, it felt like just what we needed.

It worked so effectively! There was no reward or prize needed at the end when the vase was filled. It was more about creating a visual example and reminder of the effects of kindness, a way to acknowledge kindness in a simple but concrete way.  It highlighted the acts of sibling kindness between them and reminded them how good it feels to be kind and to think of others first. All of a sudden, they were looking for ways to be kind instead of looking for ways to drive their sibling crazy, haha. All of a sudden, they were remembering how much they loved each other and seeking ways to serve and bless. Woohoo!

It was really effective as a 'circuit breaker'! The boys were super keen to go OTT with acts of kindness and love to each other, haha!! I felt like this was really healing to their relationship, (as well as my ears and heart!). I have to be honest, it also felt refreshing and like a circuit breaker to me, to focus on the good, and be looking for all the moments of sweetness and kindness instead of just focusing on the negative and how the bickering was driving me rather batty. It changed the whole tone of our day! :) It helped us all as a family focus on seeking and acknowledging positive interactions!

And you know what? Kindness begets kindness, so since that little circuit breaker, there has been a lot more kindness (focusing on others) and a lot less squabbling (usually focusing on self!). Of course, issues still arise and we are still working on working through them (that's another post on how we approach that?!) but it's sure nice for all involved to be dealing with quite a few less. It's been helpful and refreshing to focus on spotting (and being!) the good rather than feeling so overwhelmed by the negative.

Since that day last week, we have left the containers out and while we don't always remember to transfer those pom poms for every single act of kindness, the kindness continues even when the pompoms are forgotten... though the kids remember more than me to gleefully exclaim that they spotted a kindness and so we transfer another pom pom!

You know what? Life isn't all pom poms, but when you focus on them a little more, it's amazing how many more there suddenly are :)