Sisters Keeping Love Alive

Friday, 14 June 2013

Learn how to train the people in your life to do what you want!

Does your husband leave his socks on the floor no matter how many times you have asked him not to? Or does you current boyfriend not buy you flowers as much as you would like?

This semester I took at behavioural learning class and we learnt a lot of useful things, a few of which I am going to share with you!

We learnt about different ways to condition or train people such as using punishment, negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement etc. I am going to tell you a little about positive reinforcement because it is the most effective at getting the behaviours you want. People respond well to it and love receiving it!

Positive reinforcement is when you reinforce a behaviour (with some sort of reward) that increases the likelihood of the behaviour being performed again. So what we want to do is get our husbands to help us with some house work, or buy more flowers, or be more loving etc. Here are a few tips to get the behaviours you want from people.

Sheldon uses positive reinforcement on Penny.

Firstly, the golden rule - what you reinforce, is what you get!
If you are always picking at your partners faults, or picking up on what they didn't do, you are likely to see more of this. When you say 'you forgot to hang up the washing, again!', or 'will you ever help me with the housework' you are reinforcing the behaviour you don't want. The trick to positive reinforcement is to STOP. Stop nitpicking, fault finding and addressing the behaviour you didn't want to see.

So, step two is to reinforce the behaviours you want to see. This takes ignoring behaviours you didn't want to see and focussing wholely on what your partner or child etc did do that you liked. For example, rewarding or praising your child or husband for the behaviours you liked; 'Honey, thank you so much for _____. I am so grateful I have a husband who is so caring'. Or if they have left their socks on the floor again; 'Honey, thank you for putting most of you clothes in the basket, I am so appreciative when you do this'  because the behaviour you are reinforcing is putting clothes in the basket.

You will find that when you start to notice and reinforce the behaviours you want to see you and your partner will be much happier, become closer and it will allow love to flow between you.

Positive reinforcement also is extremely effective with children! It allows them to know what you expect but also gives them the freedom and confidence to try other similar behaviours (this is called generalisation).

For me and Jacob it was really fun and it made us really happy when we began practising positive reinforcement. We were clear on the behaviours we liked and it helped us get closer as we were always being positive reinforcement. I found that Jacob started doing behaviours I reinforced, for example, the dishes more often, and clothes in the laundry etc.
Sometimes Jacob says to me 'you're trying to use positive reinforcement on me again, aren't you??', but honestly, even if they notice its still works... and everyone loves a bit of positive reinforcement in their life. Believe me, it works!

For more information and insight read 'Don't shoot the dog by Karen Pryor.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Make-Up Tips - HAC yourself flawless

Okay, so you're going somewhere that is guaranteed to be swarming with potential dates and you have just GOT to look your best.

Here is what you need to know.

Highlight and Contour your face. They're calling it 'HAC' in Pinterest land. If you aren't on Pinterest, get on there. Stat.

Anyway, so the idea is that you use your ordinary makeup items (you can use the specific products she suggests or just use what you have) to contour your face so that you have a much more flattering look. And it's simple! I can do it, therefore, simple :) It's perfect for dates, photo shoots, or just going to work when you want to look hotter. And who doesn't want to spend five minutes making themselves look hotter.

This girl is already gorgeous on the left, but look how with a few simple make up tips her face looks so much better:
Click the picture above to follow the link to her website where you can see a few pictures and at the bottom there is a video where you can do it step by step with her. Get ready to change your life :)

The Romance of an Old Style Dance

I play in a band and one of the regular performances that we do is an old style dance. 

Features of the night are swing and rock and roll music and dances such as the Pride of Erin and the Progressive Barn Dance. Now I must admit, the average age of the people who attend is what may be described as ‘mature’. Despite this, I love sitting on the stage watching the couples, some of who have obviously been married for many years and the way the spend time together. Things I have noticed about the couples who seem happy and content with each other are
1.     They spend the night at each other’s sides. They walk in together, they dance together, they sit next to each other, usually side by side holding hands with the other person. Then at the end of the night together they bid farewell and arm in arm they walk out together.
2.     When they dance they focus on each other. They have little moves they have worked out together that they add to make their style individual. They are unconcerned about how the other couples dance. They are there to dance with the other person and that is enough.

3.     They are thoughtful of each other. Though out the night one person may get a drink for the other or lead them to the bathroom and wait outside for them. They make sure the other person is feeling well and having a good time.
4.     The obviously enjoy each other’s company and are happy to be spending the night together.
How nice to be able to spend your retirement years with a person that you love, respect and adore. I have a few years yet but I look forward to it. J

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Love in every sense of the word!

I thought I would change the pace a little and talk about another kind of LOVE.  We talk about loving and doing special things for our kids our marriage and our husband/partners but what about SELF-LOVE!  Self-love, self-worth, self-esteem to me it is all combined.  As mothers and as women we naturally think of others more than ourselves.

Over the last 6 months I have gone on my own 'journey' I have always been a fit person involved in sports from a young age competing in swimming and running at a national level.  When I had the girls I must be honest, I 'let myself go a bit'.  It was more of a time factor and care factor.  I enjoyed spending time with the girls, between work and running my business the time just didn't permit me to do exercise.

One day I decided its time to get back into shape, its time to put some ME time aside.  So I set out on a 'journey'.  I enrolled myself in a 12 week body transformation program and right from the get go I was determined to shed some of the weight I was carrying.  Over the 12 weeks I shed 10.5kg (23lbs) and over 45cm and my entire outlook on myself changed.  I was back to my confident self, I LOVED how fit I felt, I LOVED how healthy I was eating, I LOVED how my body looked, I LOVED my little girl telling me my bum was little like hers (hehehehe) and I LOVED how hubby LOVED my new/old (pre-baby) body again.

My tips are:
  • Do it for you!!! Not hubby but for you, you deserve to feel sexy, fit and healthy
  • PLAN - organisation is the key, if your not organised you will be your own worst enemy
  • MAKE TIME - either you have to get up at 5am to go to the gym or a run or whatever your fitness of choice is, just make the time and stick with it.
  • Set goals and WRITE them down - as a kid my mum would sing me this song - 
    • Set a goal and you will never fail, you can always do what you want to d;
    •  Set a goal be sure to write it down and you'll see what it can do for you.
  • Teach your children - my oldest is 3.5yrs and she would see me doing sprints or lunges, squats, push ups and want to be involved, so I showed her how to do them and she would exercise along side me. One day she asked me if I would take her for a run, so I did and she ran 1km!!!! She's only 3.5yrs old but she saw Mummy staying fit and wanted to do the same.
You CAN do it!!  My Personal Trainers motto is "NO EXCUSES"

You can do it Ladies, your never too old, never too fat, never too unfit.  You have to start somewhere and sometime and that can be today!  Something as small as starting with a walk around the block, take your kids, let them ride their bikes or push them in the stroller.  YOU CAN DO IT.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Those Moments that Change Everything

I watched a movie the other day called Eat, Pray, Love with Julia Roberts and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was a story where she is on a search to find herself and balance in life. In the end, just as she finds her balance she ends up finding the man of her dreams. But to really be with him, her new found balance had to be completely thrown off with a spur of the moment decision. There is a guru that predicts events on her path and gives her amazing advice throughout the movie. I wrote down something he said. This isn't a direct quote because I modified it but I give full credit to the movie. What I wrote I down was “You lose your balance in life, you lose power but sometimes you need to lose your balance for love.”

It’s interesting how love works. People always say that you will find the right person when you least expect it and I think it is usually when you finally are ok with yourself as you are. If that time doesn't come when you are younger, sometimes we get more and more withdrawn and nervous about love, like the risk gets bigger (or so it seems). But if you allow yourself to do something different, even for a moment, who knows the happiness or even just the learning experience it could bring. It is easy to stay safe but it makes the day so much more worthwhile if you smile at that person whose eyes you have been avoiding, say a quick hello to people as you walk by, ask that guy to dance you have been eyeing off all night, wink at the cute guy in the car next to you and maybe even drop a hint to the one who has been chatting to you for weeks.

If you keep guarding your life’s path then no one will have to chance to cross over it. I think we all need to get out of balance sometimes because you can only progress by learning to juggle new things. If you have already found that special someone maybe there is something you can do to alter it for the better, perhaps all you need to do is take an extra moment to make them feel special. 

What are some moments that you took which completely altered your life? 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

He stole your heart? Arrest him!

So, I wouldn't usually direct you to someone else's blog... BUT! I loved this.

It's a fun date where you arrest your partner or date because he Stole Your Heart.

Click on this link and check it out. Comes with printables and everything you need to pull this date off! Might take a little prep, but what good things don't!


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Dating is just as easy at home!

I love a good dinner at home. I say it all the time, but I think a vase of flowers and a nice tablecloth change the whole feel of dinner. Or set up a cute picnic blanket in the living room and use your picnic and create some casual romance in your 'date at home'. Plastic wine glasses are still wine glasses.

But what should you cook that's delicious, simple and not going to give you a heart attack?

Your choice, but use wine glasses for whatever it is!
Non-alcoholic wine is usually my go to. Or Sparkling Apple Juice.

Cheese, grapes and crackers.
I just can't go past it. It's easy, delicious, and you can get whatever type of cheeses you like. Mmm. Why grapes work so well in there, I have no idea.
Chicken Enchiladas
Maybe it doesn't sound that exciting, but these are really yum and easy to prepare ahead of time. You can even freeze the whole thing, defrost when ready and then put in the oven for 20 mins for a perfect, easy and delicious meal sure to satisfy.
To make it look cute, serve it on top of sliced lettuce and tomato pieces. Makes it look cute, rather than having a salad beside it. You'll find the recipe at the bottom of this post.
Lemon Brownies
These are amazing. I'm doing a chocolate free year so I am always looking for something delicious and rich without it being chocolate. This is it. Add ice cream or cream if you like. I also realllly like mini pavlovas for their cute factor on a date night. So you can choose. The recipe for the lemon brownies is also at the bottom of the post.

Enjoy your date night!!



Meat of ½ BBQ chicken, shredded.
1 x taco seasoning sachets
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 jar passata
1 small tub sour cream
1 small tub cottage cheese
Spray oil (or small amount of oil)
Grated cheese
Optional grated vegetables

Directions1.     Preheat oven to 180 degrees.2.     Fry chicken in oil with taco seasoning. Add diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, sour cream and cottage cheese and cook until combined.3.     Pour a large scoop of the mix into a tortilla and roll up. Place in a large baking dish. Repeat until you have a layer of rolled up tortillas. 4.     Scoop some mixture and pour on top of the layer of rolled tortillas.5.     Begin a second layer, with the tortillas facing the opposite direction. Continue until layer is complete. 6.     Scoop some more mixture and pour on top of the rolled tortillas.7.     Top with grated cheese.8.     Bake til cheese is melted and tortillas look slightly crispy.9.     Best served with salad and sour cream.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs, large
2 tbsps lemon zest
2 tbsps lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the tart lemon glaze:
4 tbsps lemon juice
8 tsps lemon zest
1 cup icing sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
3. Zest and juice two lemons and set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined.
6. Pour it into the flour mixture and beat for 2 mins at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
7. Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 mins, should turn golden around the edges.
8. Allow to cool completely before glazing. Do not overbake, or the bars will dry.
9. Filter the powdered sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice.
10. Spread the glaze over the brownies with a rubber spatula and let glaze set.
11. Cut into bars and serve.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


I have been married 1 and a half months now and last week was my birthday. My new husband decided that he would do a survival class this semester and therefore, also had a compulsory camp to go to … on my birthday. Now I don’t mean to be a big whinger, it was a little sad that I also away from my family for the first time, but what Jacob did to make up for it was really a smart idea I think.

At first he had asked me if I wanted to go out on Saturday (when he got back from camp) and I thought it was a good idea. Then later in the week he asked me if I wanted to come for lunch on Thursday (the day before the camp) and I had a lot of school work and so, a little reluctantly, I accepted. Little did I know that he was planning a surprise lunch for me and at the time we agreed to meet he rode up to me on his bicycle with a large picnic basket and soft blanket to lay on. We went to a pretty park and had a fun lunch that he had taken time to plan out. This totally took my mind off the fact that he would be away for my birthday as he had surprised me before the fact and took the time to plan something fun.

I think the moral of the story is that surprises are the best. Everyone loves to feel special! And I think if there is something important your missing, it’s best to make it up before the fact. Maybe you feel like some spark is lacking from your relationship and that your partner ‘should’ (I hate that word) surprise you!! Well, who knows? Maybe your surprise and special treatment will inspire them to do something special for you too. A few hints in the right direction don’t hurt either.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Love is in the air!

So when you first get married you are generally under this impression that your new bride or husband are perfect. They are flawless and amazing in every way. Every moment you spend together is magical and you glide along on a magic carpet powered by a special mixture of love and naivety.  However, somewhere in the first year the ride starts to get a little bumpy. 

The towel is on the floor in the bathroom again, the cupboard door keeps being left open and why on earth are those socks sitting there? You find yourself looking at this perfect being and feeling confused. How can this be? Surely they must understand how these frustrating these things are? Then an awakening dawns…  They are human too!! And the things they find annoying are different from the things that annoy you. Hence the age of compromise is ushered in.  Yes perhaps occasionally the discussion may get a little heated but that’s the great thing about being married, its just so much fun to kiss and make up.  Together you create your new routines and expectations. The best part is you come to see your partner for who they really are and love and accept them. You learn to appreciate their strengths and learn from each other.  Before you know it that fart in bed will smell like love.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Things I love about being courted...

When I was younger I always imagined myself being picked up by a goodlooking and gentlemanly American, in his 'truck', to take me out on a date. We would drive around from fun place to fun place and enjoy every minute. He would treat me well and open doors for me and make me feel really special. In my mind it was the perfect idea of a date.

We all love it when a guy does those sweet things and goes out of his way to make us feel loved and adored. I think the Americans (compared to the Aussie boys, no offence guys) as a general rule, have this down (or maybe this is only stereotypical?).  Anyway, I think Jacob (my husband) was one example of how to court a lady really well. I love him for that! I don't mean that your men don't do a great job either, but I think he did key things really well!

These are some of the things he did:
- went out of his way to track me down and ask me out
- invited me out to do something fun - go hiking!
- always opened the car door and other doors for me - he still does!
- observed how the evening went, suggested a new fun idea for a date and asked me out again
-  offered to pay for things, but let me pay every now and again too!
- when we went on a group date he would spend time with me and look out for me but also give me space to come back to him

When we had been dating for a while he continued to be sweet and kind and would:
- always gives me the bigger half of anything
- always think of new fun date ideas to take me on
- listen to my concerns and talk to me about everything
- encouraged me to do scary things, I normally wouldn't do - like bridge jumping!

Maybe I am biased but I loved being courted, and especially by Jacob :) I love it when a guy goes out of their way to make you feel special. I am sure you all have ways you loved to be treated by guys or things you love that they do for you. You know, it doesn't hurt to tell them! They may be wondering :)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Love at first sight

When I first saw my husband, I knew there was something special about him. I knew I wanted to get to know him, I knew I wanted to see more of him, I knew those little flutters in my tummy were not from something I had eaten earlier. It was love at first sight.

I didn't know then that it was love. But I soon learned that it was.

First meetings are important. Every one. We learn something about who we're meeting and we learn about what we think and feel for them. This is no matter who we are meeting, but particularly in the 'dating prime of life' when we meet a member of the opposite sex.

What makes this funny is that my husband remembers a completely different first meeting than I do. He remembers being accosted by a crazy choir director inviting people to come to choir. He remembers thinking I was forward, confident and maybe just a little kooky. Perhaps not the best first impression, but at least he remembers it. I, on the other hand, have no recollection of this encounter. I was probably just doing the rounds of the room inviting everyone I saw.

My first memory is seeing him from across the room and instantly wanting to know him. I remember saying to my sister Anna, 'I'm going to go meet that guy'. I walked up, sparked up a conversation, and ended the conversation by putting my number in his phone under the title 'Katrina is hot'. Yeah, I was awesome. I wanted him to remember me.

I remember all the feelings, all the flutterings, all the thoughts. This was our beginning. The point the sparked a year of friendship, a year of dating, and a marriage for eternity.

Never ignore those flutterings. They're there remind you to go for what is in the end, yours. True love.

Just for fun

Just thought I'd share this super cute picture of Kristen, Katrina and Natalie. Playing dress ups in our teens. Who wouldn't want to hang out with us?

Friday, 26 April 2013

I bet you all wish you had sisters like mine!

I have been thinking a lot about what to write today and all that I keep coming back to is how much I love my sisters. They are five of the strongest, boldest, most courageous and inspiring women that I know. I have learned so much from each of them and here are just a few of the things that I have learned:

Lenora:  Life is so much better when you find humor in every situation and remember it so you can tell others later and enjoy it again! And if you are on a date and the guy is boring, poke the waiter in the bum with a chop stick!

Katrina: Take care of your family first and somehow you find time in life to finish everything and be there for people when they really need it.

Rachel: You really can be good at everything and by just being confident with who you are, you unconsciously lift the people around you. I am so glad that my brother chose to be around you permanently!

Anna: Be the author of your own life story! Life is what you make it and when you shine, you really shine.
Kristen: She is a living example of blooming where you are planted. Go where life takes you and love it!

There are so many other lessons that they have taught me and I am really glad that they have been in my life. They are all such strengths within their families, as I am sure that you have read but ultimately they love and strive to always be able to show their love to the people around them better! They are people that want their families, and particularly their husband’s lives to rock!

I have recently started a new relationship which I am really excited about. I used to have the tendency to get nervous in relationships but I think seeing them, how they come up with cute date ideas, how they keep going and look for the good even when times are tough and even seeing my little sister get married, made this time seem so much less daunting. They are pretty much the greatest people that I know!

I am sorry they aren't your sisters too but I am glad I get to share them with you through this blog!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Diary Entry #2

So the other night my husband and I planned a nice romantic evening. We hired a babysitter and ordered Thai food. With blanket in hand we headed for the beach. 

 With the stars twinkling above and the melodic sounds of the waves gently crashing we picked a secluded part of the beach.  Stretched out on the sand we chatted and ate dinner together. It was a really lovely evening. It was so nice to take some time to just be together and enjoy each other’s company. As the evening air cooled down we snuggled in enjoying the romance of the evening. 

At that moment a bright light suddenly broke the ambiance of the evening and about 2 meters away we could now see a lone man hiding in the shadows with his mobile phone pointed our direction… I’m assuming he must have received a text or call? 

Now perhaps this is all a misunderstanding and he also enjoyed spending time in that particular spot, but I fear we may have ended up the stars of some sort of post on Youtube. While generally I do enjoy the spotlight, this is not the type of debut I had in mind. So my advice to all the budding romantics out there…maybe do a quick 360 with a torch of your own!!

Friday, 19 April 2013

My Happily Ever After

I got hitched!

Last saturday I was married to the sweetest, kindest, most loving man, Mr Jacob Hill.
There are alot of things I love about the way Jacob courted me that I would like to share but I thought I would start by telling our story today.  I love it!

It all started back in Brisbane when I decided I wanted to go on exchange with university. I was applying to go to University of California and was really hoping that would work out. When I applied I had to put down 3 preferences and even though I was sure I would get into California I decided to put down University of Calgary (as my sister, Natalie, had recently been on a world tour and stopped there) and Toronto, I think, although I couldn't remember the order I had placed them.

Turns out, my university wasn't taking applications to California that semester, and I got into University of Calgary and everything started to work out for me to go. I was very afraid to go and also afraid of freezing my butt off but soon after, discovered Lake Louise and that inspired me to get there!
I felt very good about going on exchange and when I flew in to Vancouver I felt very strongly that I needed to get to church in Calgary. I booked a cheap flight that night but when I got to the house I was staying at they told me that everyone had already been to Lake Louise as it was the end of summer. I was shattered. I really wanted to get there before the university semester started and it got too snowy!
The next day at church I met Jacob and a few other people and was just happy to be meeting everyone. After the first part of church Jacob came to set next to me and began to commence small talk. In my head I was thinking, "so these are the American guys I imagined" who are forward and flirty. Then after a few seconds I felt very strongly that Jacob was going to ask me to Banff/Lake Louise the next day (to me they were both the same).
So after class I waited, but no invitation. After church finished I waited and no invitation came. I thought that was odd but I didnt think too much of it. But that night, I received my first canadian phone call as Jacob knew where I was staying, and I also received my invitation to Banff for the next day. Jacob started off with some smooth talk and I was shocked that I already knew he would ask me. I didn't tell him that for a while, so as to not freak him out!!
So anyway, the next day we had our first date in Banff and hiking around Lake Louise. Then we spent every night that week together. We have had to do a bit of long distance as I have discusssed, but we have also had alot of cool experiences together that have brought us closer. One example, was Jacob having the opportunity to work in Australia for 6 months.
Anyway I basically knew I liked him from the start and from the way he treated me. There have been bumps in the road but we are learning to trust each other and trust the Lord and His counsel.
I am grateful I met Jacob and for the experienes we have had, I am so grateful I can now call him my husband. We were married in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I'm already learning that marriage is hard, but also rewarding and am grateful to know that I get to say how our relationship is and that together we can create happiness and love everyday! Til next time. K xoxo

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Getting through the dull patches

Every relationship has them. Spots where the grass isn’t growing as lush as it should, waterfalls where the wall has ceased flowing, dull patches where the fire is more comfortable warmth than a burning fire. I’m not suggesting these relationships are bad or in a downward spiral, with fighting, depression or difficulties. I’m just talking about times when things are a little ‘flat’.

So I have a few suggestions of little things I’ve done to ensure dull patches last a day, not a lifetime.

1.       Be excited. When you see your man at the end of a day, be excited. Go to him, hug him, kiss him. Gross your kids out with affection. He will love it.

 2.       Dress up. As sexy as you look in track pants with your hair matted up into a bun, it is really fun and surprising occasionally dress up for dinner (or any other day's event). If you’re married, put flowers on the table. I’m not talking massive effort. Just a little vase, flowers, and drink your water out of wine glasses instead of plastic baby cups. If you’re not, dress up for your date to McDonalds and make it fun.
3.       Laugh. Watch a comedy together. Tease each other. Play a board game. Do an exercise video together (I must tell you, this was a crack up. Especially yoga/pilates. Try it!)

4.       Hold hands. I’m such a holding hands advocate. A fun idea is to hold hands together and not let go while you cook dinner. So you’ll have to share the jobs together. He’ll have to hold the carrot while you cut it, you’ll have to hold the pot while he stirs etc. It’s bound to be fun! We actually progressed from holding to hands to putting a hand in each other’s back pocket. Butt grab. Woo!
5.       Say I love you. All the time. In fun ways. Flirty text messages are always fun. Just do it!

Dull patches don’t have to stay dull for long. Maybe you’re busy and not seeing much of each other, maybe you are just bored, maybe children are getting in the way of the two of you. It’s ok. Little simple acts will really make a difference to your day.