Studying tips and tricks

Being a full time mum with two kids and also being a partner, keeping up with uni work is so stressful, so here are some handy tips and tricks that get me through the weeks and hand in my assessments on time.


WRITE YOUR GOALS: Writing out your goals and what you are wanting to achieve that year or semester is a really awesome way on reminding yourself of why you started, the bigger picture and help you persevere. I usually write 2-3 short term goals for each paper (I do four papers every semester) and then 1-2 long terms goals (which usually is something I want to achieve in a year). Every year I re-new my “in 5 years” goals just to keep it current and tick of the ones I have already achieved. In the picture, I am currently writing new goals for the “in the next 5 years” goal.

IMG_5321[1]TIP: Buy a vision board so you can pin your goals up in front of you. If you ever doubt yourself, wanting to withdraw or quit uni, look up and remind yourself why you started. I would usually out a side note of why I actually started i.e: for my kids, decreasing inequalities, putting positive vibes into communities, families and youths lives etc.

WATER: I cannot stress out enough on how important drinking water is. One, it isn’t just healthy and good for you but two, it gives you energy and helps you function. I use to just drink coffee, which is awesome when you wanna stay up the whole night, but you’ve got to stay hydrated with water – cut the fizzies out (or soda), relax on the energy drinks and simply binge drink on water.

TIP: water can get boring so add a slice of lemon, lime or orange and chuck it into your water, some put cucumber or mint (I don’t like mint so I don’t put that in there). Also, I encourage you to buy your own water bottle to minimize plastic waste (looking after our Earth is important too!).IMG_5323[1] 

STATIONARY: A must is having things to write with and something to write on. Highlighters help you A LOT! You can highlight legit everything to remind you of a certain line, author or book. It can help you take notes to use in essays or your presentation etc. Have different colored pens (I usually have a pen for every use i.e: glossary, reminders, notes, readings to do, must do’s etc) and they help out a lot and they make your book look pretty and colorful lmao.

TIP: buy yourself a pencil case that is going to last you forever and that can hold many things in it. Personalize it with putting your favorite key chain on it or getting it in your favorite color.

SNACK: I am a Pacific Islander, like I need food all the time. But honestly, having snacks on standby is so handy! It will help you keep your energy levels up and if you are a stressed student, food will remind you that your body needs a break and needs to re-energize with food and water.

IMG_5322[1]TIP: swap chips for nuts and lollies for sweet fruit. The last thing you need is being on a sugar high and then crashing 5 minutes later – and who wants loads of sugar in them anyways (sometimes I do lol).

SELF_CARE: even though your work is due in like five hours, taking care of yourself is the most important thing. If you are not functioning right, it will show in your work and your attitude at uni. Taking a break and “doing you” can give your brain a break and calms you down too.

TIP: do things you love i.e: I love chilling with my kids, going for a short walk, getting my nails done, reading a book, a glass of wine or if I am having a stressed week I hit town with my girls hitting the drinks and dance floor.

IMG_5297[1]CALENDARS & ALARMS: I always used my calendar on my phone to remind me of due dates and group meetings. Setting multiple alarms helped me as well to remind me of when classes started or if I needed to be somewhere. It  is all about time management; you do not want to get marked down for being late with an assessment. IMG_5327[1].JPG




TIP: sometimes being “old skool” helps. Often you forget to check your phone calendar so having a physical one hanging on your vision board, fridge or even on your lap-top screen reminds you daily of what’s coming up, what’s due next and your “to do’s”.

MUSIC: MUSIC IS LIFE WHEN STUDYING! I kid you not, I listened to Mikey Mayz – Solid and Chris Brown ft Akon – Came to do when I really wanted to zone in and focus… Ain’t bragging but A’s and a few B’s were my grades thanks to the help of music, those songs in particular.

TIP: do up a playlist. Spotify is the music app I use or sometimes I just use YouTube and create a playlist on there too. Put in your favorite throw back songs, pumping songs, songs that remind you of a happy time in your life. Must have artists to have in your play list: Kanye West, Chris Brown, DJ Noiz, Usher, Ne-Yo, DJ Skullz, TLC, IMG_5326[1]TUPAC, Bone Thugs and many others.

SLEEP: when possible, SLEEP! You got to rest that brain of yours. It has been working all day detaining information, brainstorming, pitching  in ideas or simply telling your body what to do every single second, so giving your body at least eight hours rest is the best.

TIP: TURN YOUR WI-FI OFF!!! I know that scrolling through social media can be very time consuming. 9PM you are watching a kid doing back-flips then 12AM you are watching pimple removal videos. Turn your WI-FI off, meditate or simply close your eyes and you will legit sleep… within minutes. On Apple IPhones, their is a “Do Not Disturb” button you can enable and it will stop you from being notified from Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter etc until you disable it and can receive notifications.

These are just tips and tricks on how to survive uni and assessments. If you would like more, just comment in the bar below and I will post up another blog on this topic. I hope you enjoyed this blog. Have a nice week! Be nice and be kind.

Manauia le aso/po (have a good day/night).

Love, Dee x

Dallas’s Story – What it’s like to not hear him speak for three years

When you find out you are pregnant, find out your due date, attend all the scans and all your midwife appointments and then finally give birth to your beautiful baby, you would think that your baby has everything that we as humans should have naturally. Sight, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting… but for some, they don’t.


Dallas reached all his milestones except for talking. I remember everyone telling me, including Plunket nurses, girls reach their milestones faster than boys, he will talk… do not worry. But, have you ever heard the saying “Mothers know best, whether you have a degree or not”… Well, I knew something just wasn’t right with Dallas. Being a first time Mum, especially at such a young age, I didn’t advocate for Dallas as much as I wanted to and as much as I do now – I just thought that they knew what they were talking about.

One day, I was poking my tongue out to Dallas (he was 3 years old at the time) and his tongue was a funny shape. Me and Matt said straight away he had a tongue tie. After 3 years of telling doctors, we also changed his doctors and was getting to the bottom of it. We found out that we were right and his tongue ties was contributing to him not being able to move his tongue to say certain words, matter of fact, no words at all… not even “Mama” or “Dada”.


It killed me every day talking to Dallas and not getting any “verbal” responses back. I’d get a smile, a hug, a laugh or when he’s hurt, I’ll get a cry, a scream or a puppy face. Every day after preschool, Mums would pick up their kid and ask “how was preschool? What did you learn?” and they will tell a novel about their day. I’d pick Dallas up and ask him the same thing and all I got was a smile. I’d cry cos I thought I had no connection with my Son. I haven’t heard him say A word… in 3 years… I was giving up.

My sadness and being so upset turned to anger. I was angry cos I constantly asked myself, what did I do to deserve this? I never drank, smoked, never did illicit drugs during my pregnancy, I did everything right, so why me?!.


I hear other parents tell their kids to shut up – I would’ve killed to hear Dallas just say Mum or Dad… I advise every single parent that is reading this, never ever take your child speaking, hearing, listening, their annoyingness with constantly saying “Mum… Mum… Mum…” or asking the questions “why” 7346928 times for granted. Be blessed that your child has these abilities that other children will never have nor their parents will never experience with their babies.

I started to distance myself from Dallas. I did this because I felt that it was my fault for why he was like that. I have to admit, there were days I didn’t speak at all… I felt so sorry for my baby that I just didn’t want to talk… I became mute for a few days until…

I woke up and Dallas must’ve woken up early and came to my bed and slept some more. I got up and did my daily routine, washed up, got Dallas breakfast ready, did some washing, text Matt good morning etc. I turned around and Dallas was standing there with his blanket…

Me: Good morning Son, how was your sleep?

Dallas: (smiles)

Me: Are you hungry? I made you some eggs…

Dallas: I love you

… I just dropped to my knees and started crying so hard (as I’m typing this I’m crying too) and then all I felt was little arms wrap around me with aa small hand tapping my back. I cried into my Son’s arms for so long and kept repeating “I love you too”. As I have mentioned earlier about thinking I did not have a connection with my son, I did. I must’ve been doing something good in my son’s eyes for him to say those words to me. I knew we had a bond that no one could take away from me nor him… nothing could compare.That is one day I will never ever forget. That is when Super Mum kicked in.

I started doing some research, ticking the boxes or leaving them blank, analysing Dallas’s behaviours or the way he communicates, what he falls under etc and I did find that Dallas has a speech delay and in order to kick start the process, they needed to do something about the tongue tie. Dallas finally went into surgery on 19th May, 2013 and got it done. I thought he was going to talk in a few months, but we were far from that. He needed speech therapy.

New Zealand’s public health services are shocking with their waiting lists but we needed to be patient. It sucked cos we did not get any “while you wait for surgery, here are some exercises you can do before his surgery” tips or advice. When Dallas was 4 years and 9 months old (after a year and a half of waiting for speech therapy) we finally got one. Before anyone starts saying, why didn’t you just take him to classes; trust me, I did my research and found that speech therapists are so expensive for hour long sessions – we did not have the money.

Even though we finally got a speech therapist… Dallas started primary in 3-4 months and he could only say 10 words, could only count up to 3 and did not know any letters of the alphabet (even thought we’d sing it to him every single day). We had a lot of work to do. I decided to drop summer school at uni and focus and devote every single day on Dallas and his speech.

His therapy was intense and very hard core. Some days I got tired and some days I could legit rule the world… but most days it was draining. Dallas was progressing slowly but as his first day of school crept up, I was hella worried, I wasn’t worried about how he would do academically at school, I was more worried about Dallas being bullied at school because of his impairment, if he got hurt no one would understand him, what if he got lost, how would he tell an adult he is lost? What if he walks out the school gate and gets taken away, he would never be able to tell a police officer his name and where he lives etc. That is what I was worried about.


Each day, Dallas fell in love with school… He never got bullied (still doesn’t), matter of fact, kids were helpful and understood Dallas and what he was going through. Each day, Dallas will come home telling us he learned something new – “Mum… open mouth ‘C’” “Dad… kick ball” “Mum… D-a-l-l-a-s… Dallas”. He even started to write his own name. He graduated from his new entrant class into his permanent class.

6 months of being at primary school and I must say, Dallas had improved so much. He would tell us what he learned at school, he knows most letter of the alphabet, he can count to 20 (sometime making mistakes but that’s irrelevant), he can read small sentences and short books, he loves reading nursery rhymes and he loves being in the culture group – he has even been Pupil of the Week 3 times as well.


I still have my days but one look at Dallas and my days become so much happier. He has come such a long way and he has a long way to go but he is one step closer to his goals. I’m going to admit, I do get frustrated still and still get a bit agitated with him but I always remind myself, he is still learning and he is nearly there. I am proud of the little learner he has become and I look forward to watching him grow and achieve his goals. Dallas amazes me every day with his resilience and just his drive. I hope Dallas’s story lets other parents know, that are going through the same thing, to keep hope and to keep reminding yourself that they will get better, always praise them and let them know they are doing so well. To the parents whose child/ren did not have to have help to be able to speak, never ever take your child speaking for granted. Both Matt and I are so so proud of Dallas.


I hope Dallas inspires a lot of you and opens a lot of parent’s eyes. Thank you for reading – another blog will be posted up next Sunday.

Manauia le aso/po (have a good day/night)


Love Dee x


Talofa Lava, Bula Vanaka, Asalaamualaykum and welcome. My name is Adilah but I prefer to be called Dee. I am 22 years old and it is obvious by my introduction that I have plenty of ethnicities running through my blood. I wanted to start up a blog because I was inspired by other bloggers but also because I want a place where I can freely speak my mind and share my journey, goals, dreams, and experiences with people who have been or is going through similar events.
So, a little bit about me. I’d like to introduce my important job/role in my life; I am a Mum of two – Iyla (she is 4 weeks old) and Dallas (he is 5 years and 5 months old). I know, such a huge age gap! But I am simply blessed; even better, I have one of each (no more kids now… I think lol).
I have an amazing partner Matt, who I have been with for the past 6 years and forever to go (cliche… I know).We live in Aotearoa New Zealand; West Auckland to be exact. Family is very important me to… I consider close friends as family too and I don’t have many friends. “Blood doesn’t make you family, but loyalty does”.


I am currently a full-time student, studying at Unitec doing my degree in Bachelors of Social Practice. The field I am wanting to go into is working as a Mental Health Social Worker and working with adolescents who suffer from depression and use self-harm as a form of therapy and also work in the suicide prevention area as well. The specific group I want to work closely with are Teen Mums.
If you haven’t done the math by now, I was a Teen Mum (hence why my passion for working with Teen Mums is a dream for me). I fell pregnant at 16 and had Dallas when I was 17 years old. I had also suffered from depression, used self-harm as therapy and attempted suicide twice. I won’t get too much into my past, but I will share my life in my future blogs.
My life has very much changed from 2011/2012 til now and I am so ready to share it with everyone who may find some inspiration or find some common relations; letting you know that you are not alone and you weren’t the only one who went through that. Don’t get me wrong, my blogs will be jumbled up with funny, sad, realistic, humble, authentic, triggering, inspirational, Oh My Gosh and unfiltered/uncut blogs! I will also share moments about Mum life, food, music, study tips/vents, DMCs, human rights and social justice in NZ and many more!!!
I will post up a blog every week on every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday – I may even post little “get to know me” blogs too. It will either be from the past, now or about the future!! I hope you guys enjoy my blogs and I am looking forward to reading yours.
Manauia le aso/po (Have a good day/night).

Love Dee x