November 2013Life Love and Hiccups: November 2013
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Friday, 29 November 2013

Let The Christmas Giveaway Begin - Winner Takes All

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***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
CONGRATULATIONS TO BRIGETTE SPICER***

So I'm a little bit excited as I write this because I know that one lucky winner is going to win over $800 worth of awesome prizes from this giveaway.

But wait folk's that's not all!

Ahhh no I am not going to whisk out any steak knifes or bonus sham wow thingies, but I am going to tell you that I also have some other giveaways lined up for throughout the month of December so go crazy and enter them all OK?

OK!

I'm kind of chomping at the bit now so let's just dive on in shall we.

Blue Illusion


Blue Illusion is one of those stores that has it all - stunning outfits, gorgeous accessories, shoes AND home wares.

Fashion is their Passion and their extensive range is inspired by Parisian Chic.

There are 107 Blue Illusion Boutiques scattered throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as an online store.

Apart from the massive range of beautiful clothing, my other fave bit about these guys, is that they are a business with one mighty big conscience and it is estimated that they donate around $500 thousand dollars annually to a number of different charities including World Vision, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Dress for Success, Bali Life, Red Cross Australia and Smith Family.

You can follow their Blog L'Edition here to stay up to date on the latest and greatest from Blue Illusion and make sure you hook up with their Facebook Page here too.

The very VERY generous team at Blue Illusion would like to give this month's lucky winner a $500 to spend online with them. 

Holy Smokes Batman - that is a lot of loot to go shopping with. But ummm - good luck choosing what you would like to get as you are gonna be SPOILED for choice. Trust me as I had a hell of a time trying to narrow down my picks for the picture above.





Arkadia

Now you KNOW I have a weakness for cute kids clothing and as for the adorably funky shirts from Arkadia - OMG I Die!!

Arkadia was given life by Ammber and Justin, a couple of cool cats who believe that life is an adventure and that Arkadians, both big and small, should embrace their individuality and not be afraid to go against the grain.

Oh I do like that philosophy very much.

Their unique prints are all designed and made in Australia and woven into the fabric of every piece is the wonderment of childhood, the joy of adventure and the magic of nature. They draw their inspiration from their own childhood memories, film and music, quotes, simple pleasures and vintage treasures.

How cool are they! No really - HOW COOL ARE THEY!!!!

You can check out the full range of uber cool kids clothes at the Arkadia Emporium here and follow them on Facebook here.

The lucky winner will receive a $50 gift voucher to spend on their insanely fabulous kids clothes. Lucky Duck!


Dinosaur District
OK have you stopped drooling at all the gorgeousness in the picture above. It's alright, you can have longer if you need it and I will completely understand ;)

Dinosaur District's website is TOTALLY drool worthy and if you plan on having a peek around their site, set yourself aside some extra time as you won't be able to click away.

Amy and Cat - the two sisters who founded Dinosaur District have a dream to make every child's bedroom a and play area a place of magic, mystique and charm. 

They scour all over Australia AND Internationally to find the most fabulous original products that are functional, affordable and most importantly, fun.

My kids have already added a few goodies from Dinosaur District to their Christmas Wishlist and there are quite a few things on there that I wouldn't mind for myself too.

Follow the girls on Facebook here, instagram here or go and check out their gorgeous website here. But you've been warned OK!


Amy and Cat have chosen THIS gorgeous Lamb cushion valued at $66.00 to give to this Giveaway's lucky winner. Heads up - I'm gonna go all green eyed on you.



Method

Once again Method have come up with the good stuff this Christmas - a limited edition Frosted Fir dish pump and hand gel pack.

It looks like Christmas in a bottle and it SMELLS like Christmas with it's frosty evergreen scent.

Come on - your kitchen sink deserves to get a little festive this season too doesn't it? Yes. It does!

Follow Method Australia on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest news.

You can order the limited edition Christmas pack here, but the lucky winner of this giveaway will get to try it out for themselves for free.



Ollipop
In my humble opinion, a home can never have too much wall candy - especially when it comes to kid's bedrooms!

Hayley, the clever clogs behind Ollipop has a background in the design industry but has spread her wings to spend time doing something she loves to do, which is create totally cool poster prints.

In her words "My designs are inspired by children's imagination, whimsical places, abstract, shape, colour, typography, vintage… in fact anything that my magpie-like curiosity thinks would make an inspiring piece of art."

The majority of the prints are personalised with your name of choice and there are designs for kids, pet lovers and home lovers too. They would make the CUTEST Christmas present for someone special.

You can view the full gallery of designs here and follow Hayley and Ollipop on Facebook here.


The winner of this giveaway will receive a personalised print of their choice values at $49.99.



Rapee
I'll admit it - I am a cushion Junkie. I have literally dozens of them around the house and I am forever introducing new ones to the mix. Partly because I really REALLY love cushions although I change my mind a lot when it comes to colour palettes, and partly because one of my dogs also loves cushions .... maybe a little too much because when he has finished making out with them, he eats them. Too much info right?

So I have a number of Rapee designs in my cushion collection and I love how spoilt you are for choice when it comes to designs, colours and styles. Seriously - check out their online catalogue here and I challenge you to come away without lusting after a boot load of them.

Their Summer collection has just been released and is full of all the gorgeous colours you would want in your own home this season and it is not just limited to cushions. There are throws and linens, tea towels and bedding - yup they've go it all there to tempt you. Follow the Rapee I Love Cushions Page on Facebook to stay up to date with all the latest trends.

The fabulous gang at Rapee are giving the lucky winner a cushion and throw rug pack valued at $100 buckeroos.



Stone Inspired
Last but not least, I am showcasing these gorgeous and I mean GORGEOUS hand made marble coasters and wall art from Stone Inspired.

Besides from cushions, pineapples, washi tape, the colour yellow, vodka and ampersands - I also have a thing for coasters. You think I'm kidding don't you. Laugh if you will but I have 3 boys - Coaster are mine and my furniture's best friends!

Leonie is the creative talent behind these gorgeous designs and her marble art is handcrafted from natural
tumbled marble and artfully distressed to create an old world appearance. 

There are a number of unique designs to choose from or you can create your own with photos, quotes and 
even corporate logos. Check out the full range here.

I had to choose a set for a prize for this giveaway and I may have been a little biased towards a particular 
design. No prizes for guessing I went for the Palm Trees, Pineapples and coastal designs. 

Yup the lucky winner of the Giveaway will receive a set of four coasters from the Sail away collection valued at $44.95



Alright - so that little Santa sack adds up to over $800 worth of fabulous prizes that ONE lucky winner will collect.

Entering is easy, just leave me a comment telling me in 25 words or less  -

What's something that you have a habit of Collecting in your home? Is it cushions, coasters and ampersands like me or is it something a little more unique?

Once you have done that, just follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget below and Bob's your Uncle - you are in with a chance of winning all this loot.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Competition is open now and closes Friday the 13th December at 7pm AEST. It is open to Australian residents only sorry.

The winner will be announced right here on this blog post and will also be contacted by email. For full terms and conditions, please see the Rafflecopter widget.

Good Luck and don't forget to keep you eye out for all the other great giveaways I have coming throughout December.

And So It Begins... Christmas That Is!

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So this weekend in our house, officially marks the beginning of Christmas and all the fun and shenanigans that comes with it.

The tree and the decorations will go up along with the 50 metre tree lights I over enthusiastically ordered last year. The hubby will go all Griswald on the exterior of the house, the kids will go ridiculously hyper with all the buzz and I'll be sipping on something or other whilst grooving to Michael Buble whom will be pumping from the speakers. No that Michael Buble is much of a pumper but you know what I mean.

Alfie is expected to arrive on Sunday and I know the kids are going to be besides themselves when they are reunited with their cheeky elf.

No doubt you will see his antics on instagram and I'm also thinking a bit of a welcome back party is in order... you know me, any excuse to celebrate.



I also need to pull my finger out and finish the advent calender I have started making for the kids which I will share with you next week.

And I need to seriously think about hitting those shops and finally cross Christmas shopping off the to do list.

Geez Louise - how did Christmas get here so flipping fast?

How's your Christmas planning going?
Is your tree up yet?

If you are like me and a little slow of the mark this year, here's some Christmas pics I found on Pinterest to get you in the mood. Actually the gorgeous pictures below are really just my lame arse excuse for sitting far too long on Pinterest last night. I had to justify it somehow...... or not



Don't forget to check back this weekend for my Christmas Giveaway ;)



Thursday, 28 November 2013

Let The Sun Shine In However You Need To...

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A few weeks ago I wrote this post about how I was attempting to walk on my own again... not literally, been there done that. It was more about me trying to close a particularly painful chapter in my life and hopefully come off the medication I have been on for a number of years now.

I was so touched when so many of you emailed me with your own very special stories and experiences of walking this path and so I wanted to give you an update with where I am at with it.

I'm not.... with it I mean.

7 weeks into it I have come to the conclusion that I'm not really coping and that I need to rethink the whole situation.

I've argued with myself for 2 weeks over it, telling myself that things will get better or at least easier and that this is just normal par for the course.

But a little voice inside my head refuses to shut up. I'll be driving somewhere, anywhere, nowhere in particular and sadness will just wash over me for no reason. And there's this little voice telling me "This isn't right Sonia."

I've been lying in bed at night until the wee hours unable to turn my brain off and the whole time that little voice is saying to me "I'm telling you, this isn't how it should be".

I have thrown myself into work. Long looooong hours, just like the hours I left behind me when I walked away from the Corporate world earlier this year, using it as a distraction to take my mind off the bigger issues. And I'm all "I know I KNOW" to the voice.

Last week when all THAT drama went down, I knew I was taking it much harder than I should and days later when I was still so upset about it all, the voice shook it's head at me and impatiently tapped it's foot. I think I stuck my finger up at it and dived back into work.

But then as I stood on the shoreline last week and watched the ocean doing it's thing I realised that this isn't living. This sad mopey tired existence isn't life and that voice inside that won't shut up isn't just some random voice .... it's me, just me and at that moment I admitted to myself that things aren't really so OK after all.

As a mother I asked myself what would I say to my children if they ever came to me with this dilemma?

I didn't have to think for long as I already knew the answer.

I would tell them to let the sun shine in how ever they need to.

And so we change direction again and I go back onto the meds for a while ... or forever. Whatever.

You only get one life and I want to live it, like really REALLY live it. Every . single . precious . moment.

Last night my husband and I sat there laughing at a video of those moronic mutts of ours (it's on my Facebook page if you want a good giggle) and we laughed and laughed and watched it again and laughed some more, until we were both crying and I was crossing my legs to prevent any other part of me crying too.

OMG it felt SO good.

In future I am not going to let pride or ego or fear block that sunshine from filling me up and feeding my soul.

That's what life is about isn't it? Feeding the Soul.

I know you are not supposed to go there but can I just say I am so so sorry I haven't been responding to comments lately or doing much blog visiting these past few weeks. But I just want  you to know that I read every single message and they truly make me smile and I am looking forward to catching up on what you have all been up to this weekend.





Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Full of Crap is a Legitimate Medical Condition

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I had so much planned for today, including catching up on some work from yesterday, responding to all the blog comments I haven't done for over a week now (so so sorry) and stuffing turkeys with some mates at the Williams Sonoma Christmas party.

Instead I am sitting here wondering if I have had one pulled over me ... yet again.

I am such a sucker for sick kids. I used to be much tougher when it came to the old "I'm too sick for school" routine, but after a couple of occasions where I have insisted on sending them to school only to have to make a mad dash for a quick pick up after getting a phone call from the school saying one of my boys have puked everywhere, I'm now a little more relaxed ... kinda.

I have my ways of sussing them out, like telling them that if they are really sick then they will have to stay in bed ALL day and just sleep. No books or TV or anything entertaining in anyway, just rest. Oh and no solid foods, just water and soup.

That usually makes the fakies rethink the situation.

Last night was fun, and when I say fun I mean it in the banging your head repeatedly against a brick wall kind of way. One kid was down and out with what I can only assume was some sort of weird migraine thingy that was making him vomit and I was nursing a killer jaw after being worked over by the dentist.

The headachey kid sort of came good by about 11.30 last night so we took him off to bed only to find another one in his room screaming and writhing in agony.

When we were unable to settle him and becoming more than a bit concerned about where the pain was coming from in his lower tummy, the hubby scooted him off to hospital.

I could tell that any kid that was that distressed was not 'full of crap'..... although it turns out he was, 'full of crap' I mean. Well in a constipated kind of way anyway.

So today the one that was medically diagnosed as 'full of crap' has gone off school and the one who had the awful headache and nausea but had come good, woke up this morning claiming to be not so good anymore.

Far too tired from a sleepless night to argue, I cancelled all plans and kept him home from school. Only now he is miraculously feeling oh so much better and I am wondering if they gave the wrong kid the 'full of crap' diagnosis.

So how are you doing today?

Do you need a laugh?

Well here's one I prepared earlier. It's a video of me making a total arse of myself after my visit to the dentist yesterday. I truly wasn't joking when I told you my whole head was pretty much numb and my darling kids took great delight in laughing at me when I tried to sip on a coffee and had it literally run all over my chin and down the front of me.

I'd like to call them assholes... but that wouldn't be very nice would it?

Is little turds more appropriate?



Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Deck the Halls with Homemade Presents

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You know I love people that make me laugh and this hilarious chick is NO exception. She has caused me to clean many a keyboard because I have snorted coffee all over it.

There is nothing I don't adore about this gorgeous blogger.... except maybe the fact that she cooks way better than me.

For anyone who has not yet had the pleasure, let me formally introduce to Danielle from Keeping Up With The Holsbys. Over to you chick!

*****************************************

Can you believe I got dumped two years in a row at Christmas time?
Not by the same dude.

Two different dudes.

Perhaps they got cold feet because they were unsure what to get me for Christmas, or maybe they just thought I was a freak.

My mama was worried that I would start to dread Christmas but it never actually dampened my spirits. I’m a massive fan of Christmas.

I like getting together with my friends and family and eating great food and drinking booze, and of course, I’m a big fan of presents.

Some people like to receive big expensive presents, and others like to receive small expensive presents and whilst I’m a huge fan of all kinds of presents there is something to be said for the home made present.

I’ve made some crackers over time. Partly due to being broke, partly due to being a tight-arse, but largely due to being creative and actually enjoying the art of making a gift.

I once carved my mother a dolphin out of black coral. He got the nickname ‘Concord’ because he was rather beaky and lacked pectoral fins. I slaved for weeks whilst whiling away time on my Dad’s boat somewhere on the North East Coast of the US.

That was actually one of my better efforts to be honest. She still has it.

He still looks like an aeroplane.

I find it hard to decide what to give people. I’m not an awesome present picker. Some people have the knack but I don’t. Often when it comes to Christmas presents I’ll often put food hampers together.

It doesn’t have to be hard, and people simply love it, or at least they pretend they do and I’m ok with that.

I’ve popped together a few of my favorite easy hamper ideas for inspiration.

Toasted Muesli 


Ingredients 
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed corn (health section of supermarket)
1 cup puffed brown rice (health section of supermarket)
¼ cup of apple or apple and blackcurrant juice
1 cup chopped mixed dried fruit (I used cranberries, apricots, sultanas and dates)
1 cup chopped raw nuts (I used hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds)
½ cup mixed seeds (pepitas, sunflowers and linseeds)
½ cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted in dry fry pan

Throw the juice over your oats and mix to combine and then lightly toast them either in a dry pan or under the grill, ensuring you turn regularly.  Do not burn.
Toss them into a large bowl.

Next lightly toast your nuts in the pan, and then your shredded coconut. I don’t do it all together as they toast at slightly different speeds.

Toss everything together, combine it well and you can either put it into jars or clear cellophane bags fastened with festive stickers.


My World Famous (in Small Circles) Rocky Road 


Ingredients 
320g milk or dark chocolate (I prefer dark for my palate, but as a gift I make milk)
1 cup almonds, lightly toasted in dry fry pan
1 cup jelly raspberries
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted in dry fry pan
200g pink and white marshmallows

Line a 30x30cm tray with baking paper.

Melt your chocolate in a bowl sitting on a saucepan of boiling water. Toss all of your other ingredients into a big bowl and pour your melted chocolate over.
Stir well to combine and chuck it into your lined tray and spread out evenly. Cover and place in the fridge. Cut when hard.


Marinated Fetta



There are two ways you can do this. If you have more time and inclination you can infuse your oil.
You do this by popping 500 ml good quality olive oil onto the stove on a medium heat. Into that you add 10 peppercorns, 4 cloves garlic, a 3cm piece of lemon peel and a few sprigs of thyme.

You gently bring it up so that it’s getting some movement, and then you switch it off and leave to cool. For best affect you do this twice.
Remove lemon zest before bottling. Everything else can stay.

If you can’t be bothered, you can just add the peppercorns, garlic and thyme to your oil, but then you really need to leave it for a good week or so.

Place layers of cubed feta, and olives into your jars and fill with the oil.
You will need to sterilise your jars.
To sterilise your jars you put your oven on about 80C.
Place your clean jars into a large pot of boiling water and boil them for 5 minutes. Then carefully empty them and place them on a tray that you put in the oven until they’re dry.
Voila!


Here's some other ideas for some home made with love gifts.


  
I am launching my new book on the 28th November. The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by Danielle’s often funny and charming story telling.
 Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’
For your chance to win Cook Once, Feed All today pop over and like the Keeping Up With The Holsbys Facebook page, and leave me a message about your most loved family meal. Winners will be announced tonight and will receive the ebook before it is launched.
If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list now you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.
To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th.
You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.


Planning Christmas Gifts and Other Useless Info

Monday, 25 November 2013

Planning Christmas Gifts and Other Useless Information

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So this post can probably be filed in the 'Thanks for this info but a little bloody late don't you think?' file but read on if you want to have a shake your head and thanks for nothing moment.

Christmas shopping is the bane of every woman's life. Ok that may be a little melodramatic on behalf of ALL women, but I make no apology for leaving men out of that statement because if the average Joe is anything like my husband, then he leaves all the Christmas shopping up to the wife.

The control freak in me is very happy with this arrangement, but the disgruntled hard done by over worked female in me kind of sniffs her nose and says "Typical" before walking off in a huff.

I'm getting distracted. Back to my point...

This morning I had  30 minutes or so to spare before my meeting with the accountant, so I decided to try and make a bit of a dent in the Christmas shopping. And so I found myself standing in Bed Bath and Table staring blankly at the rows of stuff that was on display before me. Every now and then I would get a light bulb moment and I would make a dash for a particular area, before stopping in my tracks, shaking my head and going back to staring blankly.

The shop assistant who was clearly getting nervous about the strange woman standing in her shop, gently approached me and asked the usual "Can I help you with anything?". I looked at her hopefully and replied with "How long have you got?" before shoving my crumpled list of names in the poor woman's face and practically weeping "I have to buy presents for all these people and I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to get them".

I was noting the expression on her face which clearly said "Oh MY God, why do I get all the nutjobs?" when an older lady behind us politely offered up "You need to make yourself a list darling."

"I HAVE a freaking list" is what I wanted to say... but I didn't because I am not quite THAT much of a nutjob. Instead I showed her the long list of names for whom I need to buy for.

Shaking her head she was all "No No No Dear. You need to keep a list throughout the year of all the things you think of as gift ideas for people. Include things they have mentioned they would like or new interests they have and it will make Christmas and Birthday shopping so much easier. Don't forget to write down it down if you buy something, along with the place you have hidden it as you always forget months later about the presents you have already bought and have safely tucked away somewhere at home."

Holly Jolly Christmas Nuts, did Santa send me this angel camouflaged as a nice old lady? Was this woman a Christmas Ninja or some other kind of Christmas genius?

Why did I not think of this like 12 flipping months ago?

How many times have I seen or thought of the perfect gift for someone and then forgotten about it minutes later. If I had written it down in one of the many notebooks I have flapping around in my bag, I wouldn't have been standing there making shop assistants and fellow shoppers nervous.

Yeah see I told you! Useless info that is a 'fat lot of good' to anyone this close to Christmas. And now you are probably sitting there reading this and thinking "Good one Sonia, fabulous timing NOT! because;

A: like me, you have left it a bit late to try and generate a list that would normally be a year in the making and you are hating on me for sharing this wisdom after your Christmas shopping meltdown has already gained too much momentum and can't be stopped.

B: you already knew abut this gem of an idea and are shaking your head at what a loser I am for not thinking of this myself.

C: you are one laid back cool cat who refuses to get stressed about Christmas shopping and therefore are thinking this was the biggest waste of 2 minutes reading this drivel

or D: you are done and dusted and have all your gifts wrapped and ready to go, in which case we are not really on speaking terms now so whatever!

What's your Christmas Shopping Method?
Do you have one or do you just wing it at the eleventh hour?



Friday, 22 November 2013

Take Me Back to the Sea

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This old English Proverb has always been a favourite of mine and I try to remind myself of it when things are not running as smooth as I would like them to be, like this week. 

I was booked in today to do a photography course with Robyn from Please Don't Say Cheese and to be honest when I looked outside this morning and saw that the sky was a dark as my moods have been this week, I really didn't want to go anywhere. 

But I did and the moment I stepped out of my car and swallowed that familiar salty air and felt the wind slap at my cheeks, I realised that there was no better place for me to be.

The sea heals me, there is no doubt about it and it is a place where I feel so gloriously insignificant. 

I like that, feeling insignificant.... it puts any troubles, or any worries I have into perspective.

I never tire of doing photography workshops because I learn something new from every single one. Each teacher sees the world a little differently to the last and I find their enthusiasm and utter respect for photography a heady combination that inspires me and makes me fall in love with my own camera all over again.

That's exactly what happened today, and I suspect I will be carrying that camera with me everywhere again for a while.


If you are Sydney based and would love to attend a fabulous photography workshop with the totally down to earth Robyn from Please Don't say Cheese photography, you can find all the details you need on her website here or her Facebook page here.

What's your special place that never fails to heal you?

* I was a guest at Robyn's photography workshop.



Thursday, 21 November 2013

Crawling Out of My Hole

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And so she crawls out of the hole under the rock she has been hiding in...

Ok so I haven't EXACTLY been under a rock, actually flitting between my bed and the couch to be precise. Besides I wouldn't of had the energy to lift a rock to crawl under it without dropping it accidentally on purpose onto my head or something equally as gruesome ... and painful.

Beating yourself up is exhausting, mostly useless, completely demoralizing and did I mention exhausting? There is only so long you can curl up in a little ball and lick your wounds before you realise that Man, that really tastes like shit.

And so hello here I am.

A little bruised, somewhat nervous but a bucket load wiser.

As much as I hate to admit it, what happened was sort of a good thing in a way as it made me more conscious of the power that words on the Internet can have. How sometimes words can be interpreted in a way they were so not meant to be and you need to be aware of that. And I learnt that navigating the school yard as a mum sure can be tricky at times, but you just need to be open and honest, listen and speak from the heart and at the end of the day know that we are all just winging it.

Yesterday I had the very humbling experience of picking up the phone and making phone call after phone call to personally apologise to anyone whom I feared had been hurt by the post where I wrote about what happened with one of my kids and his sports team.

No one forced me to do it, but Holy Shitballs that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do as a grown woman.

Although I knew in my heart that I hadn't done anything malicious or nasty and that all I did was write about something I was going through as a mother, it hurt me to know that I could have caused other mums whose kids were in a team with mine, to lie awake at night worrying if their child had been involved in what happened, was their child having this done to them or were they doing it to someone else?

THAT was the part I regret as a mother, knowing full well that all of us already have an overflowing bucket of worries that keep up awake at night, and to know that I may have added to the bucket.... THAT made me feel like the biggest turd alive.

But as hard as it was making those phone calls, it was an enlightening experience for me as both a school mum, a friend, a writer and an individual. Every call I made I was expecting to get my backside smacked, but surprisingly, nearly every parent I spoke to actually thanked me for writing it and for provoking them to have a discussion with their own children that they may not of had, had they not heard about 'The thing that Sonia woman wrote' or read it for themselves. Yes, some of them understandably felt I could have given a little more thought to how some of the mum's might have been feeling like everyone was looking at each others kids and wondering ... was HE the one that did it and passing judgement? But on the large it was something most of them had worried about themselves with their own children at some point or another.

Obviously that made me cry even more ... but for so many reasons.

I cried for the kindness and understanding these women showed me.

I cried in relief that I wasn't going to be tied to a stake and burnt next time I showed my face at a game.

I cried with remorse for anyone who was hurt but didn't want to hurt me more by telling me so.

And I cried with joy that for some my words did have a positive impact, that those discussions did take place between parent and child and that because of those discussion there will be a whole bunch of kids playing sport together who will be making a conscious effort to positively encourage their team mates or on the flipside, be more forgiving and understanding if someone loses their cool with them in the heat of the moment.

That's why I write the way that I do - straight from the heart, dripping in emotion. That's why I say what I am feeling or thinking - not to cause trouble or make anyone feel bad ... God No! I just want to voice the feelings and thoughts that someone out there may not at that moment have the courage to say outloud for themselves.

And so that brings me to YOU, you gorgeous amazing souls. YOU have no idea how much strength you gave me. How much I truly appreciate every single comment, email, tweet and text message. You reminded me yet again why I am sooooooo damn lucky to be part of something so incredible - YOUR village.

And so that chapter closes and we move on to the next thing to worry about and the next thing for me to stuff up ... like how the hell I am going to cope with learning the ropes as a School Mum all over again when my son starts high school next year.....

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The One Where I Doubt Myself as a Blogger, a Writer and a Person

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If I had the opportunity to start over again with my blog there are a few things I would do differently, one being I would perhaps consider more seriously the concept of anonymity. 

What started out as a blog that was created accidentally out of one too many vodkas, fast became a place that I came to to talk about the things that go through my mind. I never entertained for a moment that someone may actually read this blog, and so I blogged as me, about me and about my family and the thoughts and things that make me who I am.


Sometime those things are simple and uncomplicated like home wares and crafts and other fluffy happy stuff. And then sometimes they are far more complex like worries and fears and stuff I am dealing with as a wife, a mother or as a friend or school mum. 


I talk frankly and openly here about my emotions. I write about things with the same passion that I am feeling them at that exact moment that I write them, and that is totally intentional as my aim is to always be open and honest about both the good and the bad that life puts on your plate. 


I don't generally air my dirty laundry here. I don't come here to rant about my husband.... Except for the fact that he once brought me a meat slicer for Christmas because let's face it, who the frig buys their spouse a flipping meat slicer? 


That one was fair game and he knew it. 

I don't use this blog as a weapon to cause harm, I don't talk specifically about people that I have issues with as that wouldn't be fair, this is my backyard and not somewhere that they can freely defend themselves.  Although I do however make exception for the woman who stole my self service checkout at Woolies, because well quite frankly she was an obnoxious twat and I have no empathy for her. 


My blog is not a place where malice or vindictiveness is welcome, it is not a base where I hide behind a wall and throw stones at people who have pissed me off. It is purely and simply a place where I talk about the things in my life that have a profound effect on me, things that I love, things that I am passionate about and things that I often lose sleep over and that consume my every breath.


What I didn't realise is that so many people I actually know in real life read this and what I didn't really spend long enough considering is that when I write about something that has happened to me or my family that it may lead to speculation or cause people to wonder could it be them that I am talking about. 


Recently I wrote a post that was not so much about any children or parents involved, but more about an unexpected pit stop in my journey as a mother in dealing with something that was new to me and how I handled it differently to how I always thought I would. 


It was about me looking at the situation from both sides of the fence, as a mother of a child who clearly inherited my anxious genes and a mother of other children who have not yet learned how to harness raw passion. 

The post was simply a raw recount of how all those mixed emotions came bubbling to the surface and never EVER was it intended to be anything more.

Unfortunately I didn't think it through enough or consider the speculation or worry it could cause from those who know me and were left wondering if I had an issue with them or their child and oh my God that Guts me and I am so so sorry for that.


That is my mistake, I own that one and it is a lesson well learned. Oh and just in case you decide to look for the post I am referring to, it's gone. I took it down before it could cause any more pain to anyone.

I am so not someone who would ever intentionally causes drama or hurt. That is so not who I am or what I am about and I am gutted to think that anyone ANYONE could ever feel the need to question that about me. 


I avoid drama and politics like it's gonna give me leprosy and I don't feel I could be any more honest or open in my thoughts and emotions than I am on here or if I am speaking to you in person. 

To me a spade is not a fork, it's a freaking spade and you and I both know it so let's just call it exactly what it is. I apply that to everything in my life and to every situation. I believe that life is too short, too precious to be afraid to speak from your heart and if there is something I need to talk to someone about I do that. I talk.


It is one of the very simple principles I live by and something that my husband and I as parents work very hard to teach our own kids. We also teach them to live openly, and live whole heartedly, be kind and be gentle and if they choose to wear their heart on their sleeve, then they need to wear it proud. 

The type of blogger that I am - a personal blogger, comes with a double edged sword. You commit to talking about things as openly and honestly as you possibly can, knowing full well that not everyone is going to agree with what you say, share your opinion or that people just simply may not like what you have to say. 


But despite knowing all this, I chose to open my heart for the world to see, doing so because as a compulsive worrier myself, it helps me to read about those types of things and to know that thank heavens someone else worries or wastes thoughts on the same ridiculous stuff that I do. I want other women to have that aha moment where they realise it is normal to feel that way or worry about something or other and I stand by my intention with every ounce of conviction I have in my short and some what stocky little body.


So that brings me to the cross road I find myself standing at today. I am like a kid with stage fright now I know that more people than I ever expected actually are reading what I say. Both people that know me and who I am as well as people who don't really know me and could doubt what I am about.


Do I continue to be open and honest and talk about the stuff that someone would talk about if they thought no one was reading, or do I stick to safe subjects about pretty felt balls and colourful cushions?


Do I shut this whole freaking side show down and turn up somewhere else under a pseudonym where I can safely go to town on any subject my heart desires?


Or do I continue to speak about the things I need to speak about at that particular moment, things that I feel are important to me as a writer who has committed to sharing openly with my readers, but be more aware and more cautious and careful in future. 


Do I ask that those who know me in real life and who choose to read my blog, to accept it for what it is - someone you just happen to know who also happens to be just an ordinary woman, a mother, a daughter, a wife, a friend and a writer who sometimes writes far too honestly about the things she is feeling? Someone who is so ridiculously far from perfect that there will be times she will inevitably Fuck it up, but has no problem with putting her hand on her heart and saying I'm sorry. 

How does a non anonymous writer find the balance between being open and the fear of causing any hurt to anyone?


It is 2:25 am as I write this and sleep is absolutely nowhere in sight. By the time this post is actually published I would have read it and re-read it at least a dozen times, questioned myself, chickened out, grown some balls and then chickened out again before finally hitting publish. And as you read this, I will be sitting somewhere still questioning whether I have done the right thing in even writing this at all.

But this IS life, and this is the sort of stuff I am referring to when I promised to keep it real and honest here and I welcome your feedback as a reader or as another blogger / writer who may have dealt with this yourself. 


And so I hand it over to you - what are your thoughts?





Monday, 18 November 2013

Little Paper Heaven

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Ever since I was a wee little squidgen I have been obsessed with cute little stationery and paper supplies.

I used to have a massive collection of little smelly rubbers, pretty note paper, stickers and wrapping paper and boxes of cute smelly pens.  I didn't really use any of them. Hell no! They were for looking and smelling and looking really cool in my matchy matchy pencil case and God help anyone who dared to use one of them when I wasn't looking.

Clearly I haven't grown out of that obsession because if you take one look at my office these days you can't help but notice it is full of bright, colourful, cute stuff like note books, stickers, wrapping paper, pens and washi tape.

I found my boys using lashings of my washi tape the other day to tape up cardboard boxes like it was regular old sticky tape and I'm a little ashamed to say that I went completely berserko and pulled the old "Can't I have ANYTHING special just for ME?" out of the bucket.

They thought I had lost the plot getting so upset over sticky tape.

Clearly they DO NOT get it.

So anyways there really is no point to today's post other than me trying to justify why I still collect all that gorgeous girly stuff, and sharing some pics from my visit last week to one of my absolute FAVE paper and stationery stores - Little Paper Lane.

This place is THE bomb. Jayde and Steve, the lucky buggers who created this place are so insanely cool and man I am envious that they are living my childhood dream with this place.

If you are ever in Mona Vale and you are as fanatical about washi tape and gorgeous paper goods as I am, do yourself a favour and pop into the store.

If you aren't local, fear not my friends - they have an online store too. Just remember to warn the kids - DON'T TOUCH THE WASHI!

Ok Enough said. Drool away lovelies :)













Did you collect smelly rubbers and pens wen you were a kid ... or do you still collect them?

Thursday, 14 November 2013

A Good Old Case of The F**K Its!

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Those disastrous mornings where you sleep through the alarm, the dog pooped on the lounge room floor during the night, the kids are arguing within minutes of opening their eyes, you don't have enough bread left for lunches and you miss your mouth entirely and pour coffee all over your new top moments before you need to be out the door.....

Yep those!

I've had a few of those mornings these past few weeks, more than I can count actually.

But I have finally come to the realisation that sometimes, the only thing to do is shrug your shoulders, laugh at yourself and say "F**K It!

When you are standing in a looooong queue at Lowes along with dozens of other families trying to take advantage of the one day only discount on school uniforms for their kids starting high school next year and you suddenly realise that you have precisely 7 minutes to get one of your other children onto the basketball court a whole block away AND you've left your phone on the counter of another store.... yep you guessed it, you've just got to say "F**k It!"

When life gets so frickin crazy and you feel that everyone needs or wants something from you and your To Do List is longer than the hairs on your legs that haven't been waxed since no idea... then you really REALLY need to sit down, just breathe and say "F**k It!".

Will someone die because your kids are 10 minutes late to school?

Will the sky turn black if the family eats cheese toasties for dinner for the 2nd night in a row because you forgot to defrost anything again?

Will the universe spontaneously combust because you don't get around to emailing this person, calling that person or replying to some comments on your blog for just another day?

Perspective People.

It's simple when you really think about it, you've just got to put it all into perspective.

In case you are wondering, I'm no expert on this matter. In fact I only just came to this realisation myself yesterday morning as I was busy stressing out about sending my kids to school in some half arsed Book Week costumes.

To be fair, I actually offered to make a Tashi outfit complete with a yellow electrical taped jacket, but the kids were keen on dressing normally and calling themselves Big Nate or some Kid called Greg from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

If they were OK with it, I kind of came to the conclusion "F**k It!" I'm gonna be OK with it too.

There is too much pressure in the world as there is without placing unnecessary and often unrealistic expectations upon yourself too.

I don't mean to sound demeaning to anyone else who feels differently to this, but when did any of us become so damn important that the world will end if we don't do something that we THINK we should?

Seriously,  I don't give a rats ass if you send your daughter to school with a tin of tuna, a can opener and a fork. Would you care if mine took a box of cruskets and a jar of Vegemite?

I don't give two hoots if you forget to call me back because you chose to watch a Real Housewives Marathon instead, and I imagine you wouldn't really care if I chose to nick off and participate in a belly flop comp with the kids and replied to your emails tomorrow instead of today.

Life is short and time is far too precious to spend it rushing around all the time, trying to do everything, worrying about things that haven't been done or self imposed deadlines.

Sometimes we just need to stop, chill out for a while, quit with the stressing and just say "FUCK It!"

Try it ..... it actually feels pretty darn liberating!

Did that even make sense?
Do you have any idea what I am rambling on about?
How often do you just stop and say "Fuck It!"?