January 2015Life Love and Hiccups: January 2015

Friday, 30 January 2015

Weekend Rewind - And All Together Now... BREATHE

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So, I think I may have been a little too enthusiastic about the kids going back to school today.

I'm not sure if they noticed or not, as I tried to contain myself... although the fact that I basically ran to the school gates this morning and practically threw their bags over their fence may have given it away just a wee bit.

After school drop off I met up with my hubby and some girlfriends at a coffee shop and the cafe we chose is located close to our school. I swear - today it did not resemble a suburban cafe. Instead it could have been mistaken for some kind of happy club on Ibiza where everyone is ridiculously happy... if you know what I mean.

It was packed to the rafters with mums and dads who were all laughing and hugging and totally beaming, stopping just short of dancing on the tables. It was fair to say there was a general air of celebratory joy in that cafe this morning and I was happy to be a part of it.

At least two Mums I spoke to started the conversation with "are you sad the holidays are over?" and when I said "Hell NO" you could see the relief on their faces as they realised they too could stop feeling like they needed to pretend they were sad and instead rejoice in the relief completely guilt free.

However, if you were to ask my kids if they were excited about returning to school today - they would have rolled their eyes at you before launching themselves into a woe is me the world is ending kind of production. Such was their level of enthusiasm.




In other exciting news, the new Mother and Baby Magazine came out today and smack me silly and call me Billy, there I was pictured alongside a load of gorgeous blog pals.

Together we make up the new Mother and Baby blogger team and the article was to introduce us to the Mother and Baby readers - a total pinch me is this really happening moment.

L-R: Me, Vegie Smugglers, Mumabulous, The Young Mummy, Be a Fun Mum, Sydney Kids, Food + Travel

L-R: Floyd-Henry Morley, The Imperfect Mum, Operation Move, Raising Master Max, Mama Stylista
I have to be honest and tell you though, when my hubby arrived home from the shops with a copy of the magazine, I opened it with shaking hands. 

You may recall me telling you a few months ago about how utterly awkward I felt at the photo shoot and how I had no idea what to do with my hands? 

Yes? 

No? 

Anyway... the point is I have been kind of freaking out ever since about how the photos were going to turn out. I hate having my photo taken at the best of times, let alone with lights and fancy cameras and hands and arms that have no idea what they are doing.

So I quickly flipped through the pages until I found us and when I did...  well I honestly don't know if I was more excited by the fact that there I was featured alongside such a fabulous team, or that they made me look SO TALL in the picture. 

I mean seriously, in real life I stand about as tall as most of those gorgeous woman's belly buttons and yet there I am looking kind of tallisherish than I really am.

But then... then I couldn't take my eyes of the size of my hips so followed a good 10 minutes of staring at the picture and hating on myself.

Why do we women do that? 

I mean, OK I know not everyone does that, but surely I am not the only one who goes and ruins an exciting moment by being so self critical? 

Am I?

Either way, I have decided that the house is not the only thing getting an overhaul this year. My hips and butt are on the block...  like a see ya later time for you to go kind of chopping block.

Anyhoo, butts and hips aside... 

How has your week been?
Did you have any squids starting little school or high school? 
How did they go? How are YOU?
Did you wave goodbye a little too enthusiastically too?





This week our gorgeous guest host is the absolutely divine Babs from Patchwork Cactus. I adore this gal and her bright and friendly and bubbly blog. Make sure you pop on over and say hello to Babs, and I challenge you not to fall in love with her too!

Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella Loves)Sonia's blog (Sonia Styling) or Kelly's at A Life Less Frantic.  It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.


Thursday, 29 January 2015

When a Fellow Blogger Achieves Something Pretty Darn Special

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***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKYOU FOR ENTERING***
Congratulations and much love to the winners Leigh has chosen;

Charlie Hughes

This book sounds just what I need to read. I lost my Mum in Sept 2011 to cancer and can so relate to the transformation that takes place. It's a tough journey but one you do survive. I'm not sure if this competition giveaway is open worldwide as I'm in the UK, however my fondest memories of my Mum have probably got to be our shopping trips together. We would go off for the day and shop, lunch, laugh, cry, and just absorb ourselves in the moment together. We'd return armed with bags of bits she'd treated me to. I have this vivid memory of us arm in arm, smiling and happy. Brings a tear to my eyes just thinking about it xx Huge Congratulations on the book Leigh. I'm sure it will be an important support to many and I'm hoping we will be able to get hold of it in the UK xx


Mel Jenkinson


I have no memories of my mum but in my mind she is the answer to all the things I have ever missed, the filler of all the gaps in my life and the keeper of answers I will never know. My mum ,as I envisage is brave, smart and loving. She is kind, she loves me for who I am. My 'imaginary' mum probably would never live up to any real mother but that's one benefit of being able to daydream.

 Don't you just love it when a fellow blogger smacks a goal and achieves a dream of theirs?

I do.

It's one of those things that makes me go all "Yes! YES!!" and start fist pumping the air like no mans business and that's exactly how I felt when I heard about Leigh's book being released today.



‘Perhaps the only thing that can impact and shape a woman’s life with the same power as her mother’s love and guidance is her mother’s death.'

In her book Without My Mum, Leigh Van Der Horst shares her own honest, heartfelt story of losing her beloved mother to cancer in 2008. 

She invites us on a journey that is at times heartbreaking and others heartwarming, yet is ultimately comforting and inspiring. With genuine warmth and candor, Leigh tells of her transformative passage through devastating grief to rediscover and redefine her own identity.

Without My Mum reveals the sisterhood amongst motherless mothers. Featuring stories from mothers around the world, Without My Mum offers resounding reassurance that no motherless mother is ever alone. Leigh Van Der Horst further reaches out to her motherless ‘sisters’ supported by contributions of motherly wisdom from a collection of encouraging mothers world wide together with a host of inspiring popular personalities such as Jools Oliver, Lisa Wilkinson, Megan Gale, Amanda de Cadenet and Natalie Bassingthwaighte.



The motherless mother’s heart needs to know that she can and will move through grief to reclaim a fulfilling, grateful and loving life. Without My Mum addresses this need by providing a definitive source of emotional and practical resources specifically for women dealing with the loss of their mum.’

Here is what Jool's Oliver had to say about Leigh's book.



You can purchase Leigh's book Without My Mum from here and to celebrate her book being published today, Leigh would like two of you guys to win a copy for yourselves. 

To enter simply tell me your favourite memory you have of your own Mum. Leigh will choose two winners on Sunday 8th Feb after 7pm AEST

Congratulations Leigh - Man I love seeing bloggers doing such awesome things!


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Let The Makeovers Begin - Update 1

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I popped the cherry on my 2015 makeover mission on Sunday and there is no turning back now.

No sir.

Better yet, I picked probably the most humid day this century to start painting cause I'm real smart like that.

I'll admit - I hadn't planned it out very well... although if you weren't actually you and I was talking to my husband then I would be saying "Of course I planned this" (with a big fat NOT under my breath).

It's not like I haven't given this redecorating project of mine enough thought. I have actually been talking about doing it for like eleventy years and I had already decided that this is the year.

It's just that I hadn't actually picked a day when I would start and so I can understand why Carl was a bit shocked that one minute I was lying by the pool reading Real Living Magazine and then the next I was in my cossie and a towel lifting the lid on a tin of undercoat.

"When did you decide you were going to start this?" asked my startled husband.

"Just then" I said as I came out of the garage with an arm full of paint.

"It's Sunday, we are supposed to be relaxing" the husband declared.

"I am relaxed" I responded calmly as I stuck his screwdriver into the tin of under coat and gave it a good stir.

"It's too humid to paint today" he tried.

"Pfffft" I sniffed as I dipped my paint brush into the tin and slapped a big stripe of undercoat on the wall.

"You haven't prepped the wall properly" he accused me.

"YES I HAVE" I replied (OK shouted) indignantly as I eyeballed him and grabbed the closest dishcloth and started slapping at the wall in a defiant show of "I KNOW what I'm doing".

And I do.

Kinda.

I have watched enough episodes of The Block to sort of know what I am doing.

It's painting.... just painting right?

So the first room I had randomly chosen to attack is the entry and stairwell.

You can see in the very old photo above that it had boring taupe walls. In fact nearly ALL the main rooms in our house are that blah boring taupe, except for two that were red ... or burnt capsicum to be precise... a throwback to my love of red and chocolate colours in 2007.

I have since re painted one of those walls white and the other Jade green, but the rest of the taupe walls are taunting me and quite frankly it is time for them to go.

The taupe is a nice enough colour on it's own, I really don't have anything personal against taupe... much... it's just that it is so dull and blah in this house.

You see our house faces west so the back rooms get the bright morning sun and then after that there is not much sun action until the afternoon when once again it comes blaring in through the front rooms.

The house just needs to be brighter and clearly the answer to this predicament... is to paint everything white.

And so I started with the painting and about 30 minutes into my mission I started having second thoughts.

It was hot, and humid and did I mention SO . FLIPPING . HOT?

I had stripped down to nothing but a cossie (such a good look - NOT) and still I was sweating like a pig at a BBQ.

"I CAN do this" I said in a lame attempt to motivate myself, "I can".

Annnnd once I convinced the hubby to go to Bunnings for another tin of Primer - I did do it. For five whole hours straight I DID IT.

I undercoated two doors and all the walls in the entry and the stair well like a pro people.

Oh OK maybe a pro would have spent *ahem* a little more time prepping the walls... whatever. With the undercoat on I was ready to finish the job with the top coats.

And then the rain started.

And the rain continued.

AND it has rain ever since.

THREE whole frigging days and 8 frogs in the pool kind of rain and now my walls are sitting there all undercoated and stuff and annoying the crap out of me. And what can I do about it?

NOTHING.

I cannot do a single thing because EVERYONE knows you can't paint on a rainy day....

can you?

Just asking!

So I don't really have much to show for my first progress update... except for these really bad iPhone photos of undercoated walls and carpet that I think may need replacing too.

I'll just add that to the list for another stinking hot day.

Have you attempted a DIY home makeover?
Any tips you can give me? 
Just don't tell me you can't paint on a humid day because... 
I KNOW OK, I KNOW!






Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Family that Feasts Together... Ummmm Eats Good Food Together???

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Sorry, I know that was a really lame post title. I had all the best intentions of coming up with something really catchy... but then I couldn't think of anything.

So...

Whatever.


We spent Australia Day yesterday with my brother's family at my Mum and Dad's house yesterday.

In our usual style - we ate, we drank, we exchanged really bad puns and compared crooked toes and all that. Just the typical agenda when out family get together.

Australia day is kind of like the last big hurrah of the holidays, a timely celebration just before school goes back and so knowing this, we whoop it up in the knowledge that freedom is just around the corner it is business as usual later this week.

My Dad baked fish - BIG mothers with ugly teeth and mean eyes that followed you as you worked your way around the table.

It was dead set like this fish was snarling at me and I almost felt bad for a minute eating him... until I tasted how damn good he was and then I was so over the guilt in a mere flash.

The wine flowed freely, as did the G&Ts and despite the rain meaning we were confined to under cover, and my mum had to drive us home as it was too wet to ride our bikes, it was the perfect kind of Australia Day in my books - relaxed, easy and a little bit pissy.


There was pav - of course. I mean what is Australia Day without a pav? My sister in law was assigned the dessert because she does desserts like no man's business. I mean, would you look at it... JUST LOOK!

We did the old 'everyone brings  plate' thingy as that just makes everything so much easier don't you think.

I was on salad duty, which was dan diddily dandy as I had a serious craving for this Cous Cous, Goats cheese and Beetroot salad I learnt from a master class with Karen Martini. Sorry the name dropping just never gets old and truthfully I probably only just make this so when people say "Oh yum, where is this from" I can be all "Oh just something Karen showed me".

What can I say?

Just call me a banker!



I took the teenagers ( my son and my niece) to the movies last night to see Unbroken and holy smokes that is on helluva good movie.

Admittedly there was a part of me that wanted the movie to be really bad because, you know... Angelina Jolie can't look that good AND be a good director and all that.

Alas.. she is, and so I consoled myself with a bucket of popcorn as big as my head.

Speaking of movies.. can I just go on a little griping run for just one minute... WHY is it that when you go to the movies and the theatre is pretty much empty, people come in and insist on sitting in the seats right in front of you?

There are like 300 or more other flipping seats they can choose from but NOOOOOO they have to sit right in front of you so that you can hear them munching on their snacks and you can smell what they ate for lunch.

Twice this has happened to us in the past two weeks. TWICE.

I even made a joke about it to the kids yesterday when we sat down. I literally said "What is the bet that because the cinema is pretty much empty, someone will come in and sit right in front of us.

First of all a lady came in and sat on her own in the seat directly behind me.

That was OK, maybe she just craved a little company and hey I have never been brave enough to go to the movies on my own so kudos to her. But then 9 teenagers came in when their king size Pepsi, popcorn and choc tops and sat in the nine seats RIGHT in front of us.

I mean really? REALLY?

Is there some kind of rule that states if there is an empty theatre, you must all sit on top of each other?

Sheesh.

On another note - I love it when you download your photos to your computer and you find random snaps that your hubby has taken. Like this one below... of him and a spoon.

Strange things people.. STRANGE things.

So what did you get up to on Australia Day?
Have you experienced the empty movie phenomenon for yourself?
Seen Unbroken yet and cursed that Angelina for being so good at everything as well as being married to Brad?



Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia Day Vodka Popsicles. You KNOW You Want To!

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Hello and Happy Straylia Day me maties!

I'm here but I am not really here if you know what I mean. Actually I'm planning on spending today feasting on a Snapper as big as my head with my family and kicking back with a bevvie or two to toast to my fellow Australians.

Is there any better way to spend this day?

Not in my books.

But before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I have been busy concocting the perfect treat for Australia Day for us adults... Vodka Popsicles. I know right! Vodka and dessert in one!

I must admit I patted myself pretty hard on the back over this recipe and yeah... OK, I made an alcohol free version for the kids too because hey, we can't be seen to be hogging all the fun now can we? *cue the eye roll*

Sheeesh!

Pop on over to Mother and Baby and grab my recipe for the Australia Day Vodka Popsicles.

I promise they are all THAT and then some!

Later kids!


Friday, 23 January 2015

Weekend Rewind - When Did I Become So Needy?

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I kind of feel like I am sedated today... like someone quietly snuck up and stabbed me in the butt with a sedative or something. Although, I know that I'm not sick and nor am I run down or anything of the sorts.

I think it is probably relief to be honest, relief that my boy is home from his holiday and all is as it should be... everyone back under the one roof driving each other nuts.

I thought I was OK about him being away.

In fact I think I may have even boasted to my husband that I thought it was easier this time around. But it wasn't until now that he is safe and home and I got to squeeze him and hug him harder than a castaway hugs a coconut, that I realised just how tense I have actually been this past week whilst he was away.

As much as I rant and rave about how messy, noisy, demanding and dirty those three boys of mine can be, there is nothing, and I mean Nothing I love more than having us all together, sleeping under the same roof safe and sound.

I pity the poor little buggers when the day comes that they tell me they are moving out because God knows I will most likely throw myself around their ankles and beg them not to go.

Or maybe I wont.

Time will tell I guess.

I do know that I have baggsed Christmas day for like the rest of their lives and I tell them that when they ask a girl to marry them, they need to state right up front that Mum has already booked every Christmas day and that anything else is a deal breaker.

They agree on that, for now. Although I think I may have to have it written into the will or something in the future just to be sure.

Do you ever look at your kids and think to yourself - wow. Just wow?

Those walking talking human beings have gone from being small enough to hold in your arms and completely reliant upon you to feed them and bathe them and scare the crap out of them when you blow big fat raspberries on their tummies... to these confident not so little but bigger people who have opinions of their own and want to do things for themselves without your help.

It makes me so proud of them to see them grow up and yet in a single breath it rips at my heart to think that they don't need me as much as they used to.

I remember when they were little toddlers and they were so needy and wanted something or to just touch me like all the time. I used to think how good it will be when they are a little more independent and can do more for themselves and let me actually have a shower on my own and poo in peace.

I'm so sorry I ever felt that way.

If only I knew how soon that time would actually come and how much I would miss them needing me so much and that I would become the needy one always asking them to hug me and if they miss me.

When did I become so needy?

*sigh* they are growing up and for that I should be grateful...

I am.

I'd just like it to slow down a little... or a lot.

Do you ever feel like this? Is this a normal way to feel?
Are you at the wanting them to be more independent stage or wishing they needed you more?


This week our gorgeous guest host is Kim-Marie from Kimba Likes. Make sure you pop on over and say hello, she is one crazy fun and fabulous chick.

Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella Loves)Sonia's blog (Sonia Styling) or Kelly's at A Life Less Frantic.  It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.




Thursday, 22 January 2015

10 Tips for Starting School

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So many of you guys have little ones starting school this year. How are you feeling?

Although it has been two years now since my youngest started school, I can still remember his first day like it was yesterday and how the butterflies and anxiety knotted in my stomach and wreaked havoc on my emotions in the week before hand.

Granted, I am a major sook and I tend to get over emotional at pretty much anything, but my boy's first day at school and even my oldest's first day at high school last year was probably one of the more emotional experiences in my life to date.

It's not just the thought of sending our babies out into the care of someone else for the day that has the power to tie your stomach in knots, the thought of your little one missing you, or feeling alone is totally enough to send you into a jittery blubbering heap.

And then there's the nerves many of us feel ourselves at the prospect of meeting so many new parents ourselves and figuring out how to juggle it all and adjust to new routines.

Its a big thing you guys,

HUGE.

But I promise you, you and them will have this down pat in no time at all.

Whilst personally I am sooo ready for my boys to go back to school this year, I thought I would put together a list  of 10 tips to help our newbies find their feet with this whole starting school thing.

1. Get plenty of sleep in the week before. Nothing exacerbates tears and emotions quite like being tired does, so make sure your little one gets plenty of rest ... and you too for that matter.

2. Have a practise run with the lunch box for the few days leading up to school. Guide your child as to what they should eat at fruit break, recess and lunch. And don't forget to use child friendly packaging that your little one can open by themselves without any troubles.

3. The day before school starts, test run the morning routine. There is so much to think about on the first day and even little things like seeing your child with the uniform is enough to send you into floods of tears -  so get it over with the day before the big day .

4. If possible, visit the school before the first day. You will probably have already done this on orientation day, but go again together so that you can wander around, point out the bathroom and talk about how the first day may pan out.

5. Be enthusiastic about your child starting school, but don't build it up too much. There is a point that talking about it too much could actually cause it to become overwhelming. Most importantly try not to show your nerves to your little one, as they feed off how we are feeling and acting.

6. Consider a buddy bangle or a little crystal each - one for you and one for your child to wear or keep in their pocket or school bag. It is just a little something to help them feel like you are still with them until pick up time.

7. On the actual day, be kind to yourself. If possible plan to take the morning off so that you can stay with your child until the bell goes and then take yourself off for a coffee with a friend or treat yourself to something special. Most importantly - let the tears flow if they want to, it's a big thing you are going through and it is totally OK to cry.

8. Say hello to the other Mums and Dads. This can be a tough one for the shy ones among us, but some of those hellos on your child's first morning at school, could end up being the beginning of life long friendships. If you are really nervous, maybe look for another Mum or Dad standing on their own and reach out to them. Not only will you be a welcome friendly face for them, it will have the added bonus of distracting yourself from your own nerves.

9. Say your goodbyes quickly and go. Yep hard as it is, when the time comes for you to go, give your child a confident hug and walk away... do not look back. There is nothing to be gained from your child seeing you reluctant to leave or even worse - you seeing your child become upset.
It is hard, I know, but the less fuss the better for you both.

10. Celebrate the first day with a special dinner that night. Encourage your child to talk about all the good things from the day and the things they are most looking forward to when they go back again tomorrow.

Some kids (including one of mine) was all "what do you mean I have to go back tomorrow? I've done school! I went like you asked me to .. moving on now".

Focusing on all the exciting fun parts will help to get through the rest of the first week and from there, I promise you... it does get easier.

Do you have any other tips you can share for our school newbies?
Do you have a little one starting this year? How are you feeling?



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

How Did You Know He / She Was The One?

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Carl and I celebrated our 19 year wedding anniversary yesterday.

19 years - holy jolly Christmas nuts that makes me feel so old.

I was a child bride... OK not really, but I was 22 when we got married which by today's standards is pretty young.

It makes me feel less old when I look at it that way, so let's just go with it alright!

The kids asked me yesterday about how I knew Dad was the one I wanted to spend my whole life with? It got me reminiscing about pivotal moments in our relationship and I have to say it is hard to pick just one 'aha' moment because I think there was a part of me that just always knew I had found my soul mate in Carl.

Ironically when I first laid eyes on Carl, I was 16 and he was your typical bronzed surfy dude. I pulled up at the beach in my girlfriends car and Carl was standing on the bonnet of his panel van looking at the surf... predictable much?

I was all "pwhoarrr" and I turned to my girlfriend and said "that there is my future husband".

We started out as great friends and eventually got together a year later when we were both (kinda) single or at the end of other relationships. We dated for about 10 months before I had a massive brain fart and decided I was too young to get serious and broke it off with him.

On the day of what would have been our 1st anniversary as a couple, I was at work at an animal hospital where I was a vet nurse. I had been thinking about Carl a lot and regretting my decision, but I was also far too proud to tell him that.

My pride has always been a big issue with me.

Damn pride.

I was called to reception to find a huge bunch of flowers had been delivered to me... from Carl, and a card about how he wished things were different with us and that we were celebrating a year of being together rather than being apart.

I think it was that moment, that precise moment in time that I knew I had made possibly the biggest mistake of my life and I needed to tell him how I felt.

What played out from here was like something from a soap opera.

I left work and drove straight to his flat down at the beach. I practiced what I was going to say the whole way there and in my mind I had this image of how he would sweep me into his arms and all would be good with us.

However, when I got to his place, his flatmate told me he had left only an hour earlier to go away to QLD for a couple of weeks with friends... friends that included a girl who I and everyone else knew was keen to take things further with Carl.

We didn't have mobile phones then and the wait for him to return home was nothing short of agonising.

But he did return, and I had my chance to explain just how wrong I was and how he WAS the one, the ONLY one I wanted to be with.

Fortunately, he still felt the same and from that moment forward, we were inseparable,

We took ourselves off to Fiji where we talked about our dreams for the future and we agreed that "if" we ever got married, we would return to that island for our honeymoon.

When we got home, we moved in together and the rest my friends - is history.

We did go back to that island for our honeymoon, and despite all the people who told us we were silly for getting married so young... we just knew in our hearts that we had found each other for a reason.

He was my one and I was his and we didn't want to waste single day of the rest of our lives without each other.

And so last night we toasted to each other, to our love, to the family we have created together and to finding that one special person who totally completes you.

Ok you lovers, tell me your story 
Have you found 'the one'?
How did you know, that he / she was 'the one'? 
Make my ears leak with your stories as I am an absolute sucker for all things love.




Tuesday, 20 January 2015

School Shoe Shopping Where YOU Can Win!

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**THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR ENTERING**
CONGRATULATIONS TO:


Hi Sonia. Apart from all the labelling, shoe shopping, book covering and general sorting, I like to chat to my kids about the fabulous times we have had during the summer break. From experience, when my kids are asked to write a journal entry about their holidays, it sounds like we watched TV for 6 weeks or sat around picking our noses! Funny, but a few reminders of the fun we have had together is not only a nice reflection, but makes for more interesting and entertaining reading for the lovely teachers too. My closest Williams store is West Lakes (SA).

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Williams & Mathers

You know how they say moving house and divorce are two of the most stressful things life can throw at you? Well I kinda think they should add shoe shopping with kids to that list because MAN I could have boiled a bunny with my blood pressure this weekend just gone.

It started with the waking of the teenager…. At 10.30 am.

“Kai, time to get up” the husband called out gently … to no response.

“KAI, TIME TO GET UP” he tried again with a little more force.

Nothing. Nada. Crickets.

“KAIIIIIIIGETUPRIGHTNOWORYOULOSEYOURPHONEFORAWEEK” I screamed.

“Whaaaaaaaaaat, whyyyyyyyyyyy?” came the grunting from upstairs as he appeared at the landing “Geeezzzz Youdon’tneedtoyellatmeya’know ”.

I didn’t know what to bang my head on the wall over first; the fact that my sweet precious boy has turned into this alien type of life form that sleeps all day and grunts instead of speaks or the fact that the only way we can convince him to spend a morning with us shopping is by threatening to confiscate his beloved phone.

After 10 minutes we finally coaxed him downstairs, but once we told him we were going school shoe shopping we were met with over exaggerated eye rolls and a whole lot of “errrrr! Ohhhhh! SHOE shopping???? Trek!”.

See what I mean? It’s a whole new language I am learning here people.

Clearly we were not off to a good start.

The other two weren’t much better. In between bloodcurdling screams from the sting of the mutual horse slapping they were engaged in, they too let out a few disgruntled moans.

Now school shoe shopping for my kids is not high on the list of things I want to do on a Saturday morning. In fact, it doesn’t rate at all. But come on… it’s not THAT bad!

It is a necessity and luckily I have learned a few lessons along the way;

DO NOT take kids shoe shopping later in the day when their feet are hot and smelly and pungent enough to wipe out a whole shop with a single whiff.

DO NOT take kids shoe shopping later in the day when they are tired and cranky enough to inflict irreparable damage to your sanity.

DO choose a shoe store with professional fitters that can get the job done fast and efficiently. In and out wins in this game.

DO NOT leave this job to the last minute and attempt to take three kids shoe shopping in the last few days of the holidays when everyone else is taking tired cranky smelly feet shoe shopping too.

DO use bribes if you have to.


DO NOT under any circumstances let them sit next to each other when the poor staff is trying to fit their shoes or you end up with this.

Ahhh yep, this happened when I was distracted and before I remembered the separation rule and promptly sent them to 3 separate benches.

Thankfully the school shoe Gods took pity on us that day as they bestowed upon us a gorgeous angel in the form of Alison – a trained fitter at Williams Shoes.

Alison had those boys eating out of her hand.

I kid you not.

After a quick chat with me about our shoe requirements, she had their full attention and they were following her around the store like a trio of doe-eyed puppies as she showed them their options.

The boys quickly made their choice; Clarks’ lace ups for the older two and Velcro Rocs for the youngest. Alison measured and laced them up and all without a single moan, eye roll or change of mind from any of them.

There was not a single sideways swipe, horse slap or Chinese burn.

There were even smiles!

It was nothing short of miraculous.

All three pairs of feet correctly measured and fitted and we were done and dusted in under 20 minutes - an all time record folks!

Alison set the boys up with a back to school kit and a promise from them that THEY will clean their shoes regularly (could I love her any more) before giving them a smile and wave and a couple of light up bouncy Lynx balls (free with every Lynx purchase in-store until 3rd of Feb, 2015).

They smiled like the cherubs that they so were not only and hour earlier and bolted off happily to another store to check out video games.

Cheeky buggers!

Who owns them apples?

With the kids now occupied elsewhere, it gave me a chance to chat to Alison about some of the special Back to School deals available for you guys when you have your kids’ shoes fitted by the professional fitters at any of the 150 Williams and Mathers shoe stores around Australia.

From now until the 3rd February (2015) Williams and Mathers are offering 20% Off All Clarks School Shoes in-store and online. That’s a whole lotta savings when you have a whole lotta feet to fit.

But the deals aren’t just limited to Clark’s shoes.

No siree, you can also score a second pair Half Price on all Lynx, Colorado and ROC School Shoes in-store and online and nab a free flashing Lynx ball with every Lynx purchase (in-store only).

Mathers and Williams stock a HUGE range of school shoes so you are sure to find a pair that both you and the little people can agree on.
Download this voucher to redeem a freeWaproo School Shoe Polish Kit valued at $14.99 when you purchase shoes in store - valid until 28th Feb, 2015


But wait, there’s more and no we are not talking about steak knives ‘cause steak knives and kids in a shoe shop?

Yeah, just wrong. 
The fabulous folk at Williams and Mathers have given me a $250 voucher for one of you guys to win so that you can fit the little feet in your household in some very comfy shoes… or squirrel it away for yourself as a special shopping treat when they head back to school.

Whatever, we won’t judge you ;)

All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment and tell me two things;

Where is your closest Williams or Mathers store?
And, tell me what is your number one tip for getting the kids ready to head back to school? 

The competition is open now to Australian residents and will close at 5pm February 3rd 2015 AEDST. The winner will be notified via email and announced here on the blog.


GOOD LUCK!