2017Life Love and Hiccups: 2017
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Monday, 22 May 2017

FETCH Me The Remote

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Brought to you by Nuffnang & Fetch

Fetch me the remote people because I am officially the Queen Bee of the Box… at least I am in Chateau Le Hiccups!

OK so technically I am kind of a self declared Queen Bee… but excuse me, I truly believe that I have earned this position.

You see, for years I have clung by my shellac to the very bottom of the hierarchy that determined who gets to control the tv remote. Once upon a time, I was top dog and I was right there at the top of that hierarchy and I could flick to and fro and change stations whenever I felt like it.

I watched whatever sparked my interest, the hubby was happy for me to choose the Friday night movie (I was generally uncontested given he usually fell asleep before the first ad break), and if I wanted to watch Big Brother… well I darn well did and there were no questions asked.

And then we had kids.

For a while it appeared that I was maintaining my control of that remote. Thanks to a baby that slept like clockwork, I was totally up to date on who was doing who on the Bold and The Beautiful… but then slowly, that control began to waver and eventually… it just kind of slipped away.

Neighbours was replaced by Night Garden, The Bold and The Beautiful was replaced by Bear In The Big Blue House and the only TV I had time to watch was a snatch of the late night news as I sat in the dark feeding a baby.

For a looooong long time it seemed that I was destined to live a life of G rated viewing and the only reality TV that featured on my G rated diet was a show that involved celebrities being dunked in green slime.

The years passed and then one day a small glimmer of light shown through and it seemed that; perhaps, our children were losing interest in TV and bumped it in favour of homework and bedtimes. 

Bahaha, oh alright, that’s not exactly how it played out. I may have conveniently tweaked the homework and bedtime schedules to conflict very nicely with the Rose Ceremonies and other important episodes.

Hallelujah Marge, the rains came and once again I was reunited with my beloved remote control.

My children and hubby were fed an introductory diet of Masterchef and The X Factor and they even kind of enthusiastically (with some encouragement) learned to love a good rose ceremony or two…  but try as I did (and oh I did try) they just never understood my connection with The Kardashian Family.

As our own little family grew, I found myself out numbered by males in our house, four to one to be precise. It was inevitable that my reign over the remote would be challenged, and challenged it was. I fought hard… oh I fought very hard, but alas the footy and surfing and Bondi Rescue were the victors and me and my reality mates were the big old losers.

Now hold on… don’t go getting all sad on me, this is not a sad story. You didn’t really think I was just going to give up did you? 

If you think back to a couple of paragraphs ago, I started this post with the announcement that I am the Queen Bee of the remote right? There’s nothing sad about that. It fact it clearly indicates a happy ending so let’s get to the happy ever after part shall we?!

A happy ending it is indeed, because you see last week a little box arrived on our doorstep and was my husband’s or my children’s names on that box? 

Nooooo. it had MY NAME on it! 

I know, I know… you are dying to know what was Inside that box right? 

Well here’s the bit where you’ll probably need to hold me… 

Wait…nope, I’m good… for now.

You see - in that box was another very special box and a shiny new remote control also with MY name on it. 

Oh yeah, Christmas came early for mama you guys -  because I am an official #motherfetcher reviewer and one very proud owner of Fetch.









Yup, yup, yup… I am now the chuffed up owner of Fetch Mighty and it sits proudly on the Parker in our lounge room like it #motherfetching owns the place… which it kind of does because when we attached that mighty little box to the TV and internet… it does all kinds of awesome things and I am in charge.

They can watch Footy and surfing if they like… heck they can watch Disney, MTV, National Geographic and all the Nikelodeon slime fests and episodes Bondi Rescue that they can possibly stomach… but all at a time that suits everyone… me included.

Now I am only just scratching the surface here you guys, because it hasn’t been plugged in for long with us yet and I’ll share more as we discover more about this mighty little box, but so far we can tell you that Fetch is quite possibly one of the greatest inventions ever… at least in my humble opinion.

I mean, get this… it gives us access to over 6000 of the latest and greatest movies that we can rent or buy on demand. We watched Lion on our Friday Night Family movie night. LION people! The seats are still warm from the bums of people watching LION in cinemas and we could watch it from the comfort of our own couch.

That is quite possibly worthy enough on its own to swoop in and claim the title of ‘the best ever invention ever’.

We can watch all our regular free to air TV programs and rather than argue over who gets to watch what and when… we all get to watch because our mate Fletch the Fetch can record up to 6 shows at once whilst we are watching another.

We can purchase individual or entire seasons of all of those tv shows I’ve been wanting to watch but have yet to see - HELLO Game of Thrones - and we can even play catchup on our regular TV as we can access Catch up TV apps like Plus7, 9Now and Tenplay and more on our fancy new friend. 

Wanna know my favourite thing about Fetch?

My absolute knee slapping favourite thing is that you can watch Netflix and Stan via Fetch which means that the winter hibernation /series binge festival has officially begun.

OK, let’s get to the cost of all this awesomeness because I know that’s probably what is going through your head right now.,, right? 




So, you can buy Fetch Mighty outright for just $399 RRP and pay a $1.00 activation fee for the starter pack. The starter pack includes TV Recording, Catch up TV Apps, Netflix and Stan Apps (you just use your own subscription to watch these), Fetch Mobile, and access to the TV and Movie Store and it’s 6000 titles where you can rent or buy the movies as you like. 

You can subscribe to the TV packages that include E!, HGTV Home and Garden, Style and ESPN and they start from just $6.00 per month or $20 per month for the lot.

Alternatively, a number of providers offer Fetch bundles (including the Starter Pack) in their internet packages with prices from with plans from $10 - $15 depending on the provider. You can check out the who and hows of those providers and packages here.

There you have it - that is the official lowdown of how I managed to snatch back my title of Queen of The Box. I’m happy, the hubby is happy and the kids are happily earning points in my genius reward system - a marvellously devious set up of mine where they can earn points for good behaviour and then buy ‘Fetch Time’ with their points. 

You guys so need some Fetch in your life, you truly do.

Now if you will excuse me, I have Season 2 of Orange is The New Black to devour.

Do you need a little Fetch in your life?
What is your absolute must not miss tv show at the moment?





Thursday, 18 May 2017

Four Years After A Little Insane Courage

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A memory popped up in my Facebook feed yesterday from 4 years ago...

It was a reminder that it is 4 years since my fabulous midlife meltdown that resulted in me doing the craziest thing I have ever done - quit my job, bringing to an end my 20 year career in order to make those dreams of mine I had... a reality.

FOUR YEARS you guys!!!

Sweet Baby Cheeses, I can remember it as clearly as if it were only last month...  maybe because it was single handedly one of the most scary and yet at the same time, most exhilarating things I have ever done in my entire life to date.

That phone call I made to my boss that day literally slammed the brakes on my life and brought everything to a stand still.

I had no idea what I was going to do with myself.

I had no idea how I was going to be able to afford such a frivolous act of spontaneity.

I had no idea where I would even begin to start with those dreams I had, let alone where I would be with them four years on.

I had no idea who this crazy person was that I had become and what possessed me to do such a thing.

What I did know was that when I arrived back from Bali only the day before, I was desperately miserable. Miserable enough that I was willing to walk away from the past twenty years of my working life, away from the security and the stability of the company I worked for and away from my career and possibly the best income I could ever hope to earn again.

I knew I didn't want a job that required travel and for me to be away from my husband and my kids so much.

I knew that I wanted to be the one to drive my kids to school and be there when they came home.

I knew in my heart that what I was doing each day.... wasn't what I was born to do.

And so I quit and vowed to at the very least pretend to be brave and chase those dreams from that moment on.

Do I regret it?

That is one of the most frequent questions I have been asked since then and that's an easy one for me to answer...

HELL NO!

NO, not for one freaking moment do I regret it!

Look, I am not going to lie to you. There have been panic inducing times in the past four years when money has been so tight that I wondered how we were going to pay the school fees or the car rego and I have no doubt there will probably be more times like that.

We have had to make some mighty big changes in our family life to afford me to not have to go back to the corporate world.

We haven't been on holidays since I quit my job, we can't afford to buy all the latest and greatest technology or toys. Rarely do we go out to fancy places for dinner or splash money around on expensive gifts or days out.

But we are happy.

Like really happy.

Like living my dream kind of happy.

Four years ago, I thought money equalled happiness. Ha... how wrong I was.

Don't get me wrong... we all know that money can buy you things or allow you to do things that can make you feel happy, but that kind of happiness doesn't generally last all that long, nor does it dull that miserable feeling in the pit of your stomach when you open your eyes in the morning to face another day of doing something that doesn't make you happy.

Do you know that feeling?

I hope you don't, but if you do then I have this to say to you...

Had I not had that one moment of insane courage that allowed me to leap without overthinking it all.... well then my dream would be nothing more than that today - still just a dream.

Apart from marrying my hubby and having our children... that one moment of insane courage was the best darn thing that has happened to me.

I'm not saying that taking a blind leap of faith is the right thing for everyone to do, but I will say this; there is always going to be a reason why it's not the 'right time' to do something big and brave and scary... our fear alone will somehow manage to FIND us a reason.

But maybe whilst we are waiting for the 'perfect time'... the 'perfect opportunity' might just sail right on past us, and what an awful shame that would be.

Don't ever discredit what a big impact just a little bit of courage can have on your life.

If you ever find yourself standing on the edge of something so scary but potentially so great but you are too afraid to move forward... my advice to you would be this; close your eyes, take a big breath and just leap because it might just take only one brief moment of insane courage to bring those dreams of yours to life too.



Thursday, 11 May 2017

What's Been Going Down In Da Hood

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Vespa
My Dream Ride - From The Happy Bloom

Damn I've been feeling so gansta this week.

It's like I fell asleep on the weekend and woke up all renewed and ready to roll again.

That being said, I should probably make a little more of an effort to dress the part and wear something more fitting to my fresh 'gansta' mood than the 3 year old cardie and Uggs I've currently got on as I lie here on the couch with my poodle on my feet and my tea and chunk of home brand chocolate coated honeycomb.

I feel like I maybe I should be dressed like some bike riding leather clad badass or something... although I am under no illusions that I would be able to squeeze my current excuse of an ass into any kind of leather and I'm pretty sure the pastel coloured ride that I dream of does not exactly qualify as Badass or Gansta.

I do know this - there would be some atomic eye rolling going on if my kids read this as they would be mortified at the idea of me - a forty something year old mum - using the word Gansta.

Whatever MOFOS.

Yep kids, I just called you MOFOS.

Your mama is SO down with the lingo.

So it's no secret that I've not exactly been feeling myself lately... well not for the past 7 months or so for whatever and no particular reason, but then this week, it's like the fog lifted and the spring has returned to my limp.

I think I might have been held captive by that renegade Mercury in Uranus or whatever it's called.

That renegade retrograde or whatever planet has been supposedly causing some chaos on us humans for quite some time now, but the good news is it is cutting us loose and we are free to be like our old selves again.

Don't quote me on that - after all I did read all that at midnight on Sunday night after binging the entire series of Girl Boss on Netflix and the website I happened to read it on had loads of pictures of aliens and weird looking mummified things... so I am not exactly sure how legit it was.

But I do like the idea of being free of the Debbie downer mood I've been wearing for the past few months.

I certainly had more of a swing in my hips when I arrived at my local cafe for my coffee after the school run this morning and I wasn't afraid to flex some of my fresh new mood with the young guy at the coffee counter either.

He dropped one of my $2 coins down the side of the coffee machine when I handed him my money for my coffee. He didn't even try to stick a skinny arm or a broom down there and get it out or anything... he just stood there and looked at me as if I was going to hand him another coin from my wallet.

I of course laughed as I shoved my wallet in my bag and then as karma would have it (probably for me laughing at a minor), I gagged on the free sample of the fancy gluten free, dairy free bland as a mouthful of bleached toilet paper Paleo granola bar that I helped myself to out of spite.

I don't even like granola bars... and it made me gag.

Like proper gag.

And because I didn't yet have any COFFEE to wash it down with, I could have like properly died or something right there in the coffee shop in my 3 year old cardie and uggs, surrounded by yummy mummys in their active wear and parked bugaboos.

All the while that dude was still standing there waiting with his 'whatever weird lady' stare on, expecting me to cough up another $2 bucks.

So I did... I gave him a $2 coin from the tip jar and said "It's OK... Your day will get better because Mercury is coming out of Your Anus".

Yep... I'm SOOOOO gangsta.

Out of interest... would you have handed over another $2 bucks?
Also, has Mercury been messing with you lately?



Wednesday, 3 May 2017

13 Reasons is Way MORE Than Enough

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I finished watching that Netflix series 13 Reasons Why last night.

YES I know, I know, I'm probably a bit of an idiot for even admitting that because no show has caused a greater divide among us people since that Moses dude did that thing with the red sea... not that that was a tv show or anything... um yeah moot point.

But I get the divide, I see the merit in the arguments both the experts and the spectators have put forth from either side of the fence and rest assured I'm not here to poke at anyone who sits on either side or pass judgement on their decision.

Oh hell no, because you see; it's an insanely personal decision whether you choose to watch it or not, and it also happens to be a subject that has ignited many flaming exchanges both online and off.

Heck, even my hubby and I were on complete opposite sides of the table when I first told him that I was going to watch it. He felt very strongly against it, but he respected my reasons why I was choosing to and that's the way it should be...  we each respect each other's choices and that's why I sure as hell won't be judging your reasons to watch it or not.

None of us should.

Initially, I wasn't going to, watch it that is... given it the storyline is around suicide - a subject that I have spoken of before here and here... a subject that evokes all kinds of distressing emotions within me.

But a couple of weekends back, I picked my son and two of his friends up from a gathering with their high school friends and they were discussing 'the show' in the car on the way home.

Admittedly, I completely freaked out when they told me they had been watching it and that most of their friends had too, suicide contagion is something that absolutely terrifies me... but, I made the personal choice right there and then that I needed to watch it myself so that I was in a position to talk it through with my teenage son when inevitably the questions would come.

I watched all 13 episodes in two days and whilst I have to admit I was plagued with nightmares last night and have found myself haunted by scenes from the show all day, I don't regret my decision.

In fact, I am glad I have watched it as it flicked the switch on a lightbulb moment for me.

You see, whilst the show centres around so many different topics - all unquestionably awful and terrifying topics - it was the constant theme of them all that bothered me the most - the constant head turning.

You know what I am talking about right?

The putting on of blinkers and turning away when one sees someone else being bullied, victimised or treated badly.

I hate to think of how many times I have turned away in my lifetime, intentionally or not, and I also know myself how completely gutted I have felt when I have been the subject under attack and no one spoke up in my defence.

I cannot bear to think of that happening to anyone I care - my husband, my family, my friends or God forbid my children.

I cannot bear to think of it happening to anyone.

But it does, and it happens EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I see it on FB and instagram and in various closed online groups and communities I belong to ALL THE TIME, groups and communities that are supposed to be nurturing and supportive and yet right there within that 'safe environment' there is always someone that takes it upon themselves to throw some nasty at someone else. And whilst we all may see it happen, most of us will simply click away (the keyboard equivalent of turning our heads) and very few will be brave enough to speak up and call out the bad behaviour in fear of provoking an attack on themselves.

I understand why.

I mean it's not like we actually want to go looking for trouble right? Hell, most of us do everything we can to avoid it at all costs.

But what is that cost?

It's the same in the offline world.

We hear someone say something mean, sarcastic, maybe even quite vicious to (or about) someone else, and suddenly a cat swoops in and swipes our tongue. Yet again we think we are avoiding conflict or even doing the right thing by not getting involved.

But right there in that moment, we have a choice.

We can engage in it, ignore it or we can call it out and put a stop to it.

I like to think I have been pretty good at calling it out... but I also know that there are so many times I haven't, and that realisation was the lightbulb moment I had after watching the series and I am now more than ever resolved to pulling up my big girl panties and calling that behaviour out - whether it is against me or someone else.

None of us really need or want any additional drama in our lives... but what about the person who is standing there in front of us either in person or as a profile avatar online? They are exposed and vulnerable, shocked and hurting, and what is that doing to them?

It does all kinds of unimaginable damage.

That's what it does.

So I urge everyone, PLEASE, let's be brave enough to speak up and speak out when we see it happening. Let's speak up for ourselves when someone is doing wrong by us. Let's speak up for our friends and for strangers who need us, the fellow mum or woman in a FB group, the instagrammer we follow, the person someone is speaking so badly about behind their back.

Speak up for anyone who needs SOMEONE to stand next to them, even if it only provides comfort and support for a mere moment. It all counts in the bigger picture and hopefully our bravado will inspire someone else to be brave etc etc, maybe even our own kids...

13 Reasons Why is a sickening number of reasons anyone would feel the need to end it. Please for the love of God let's try and prevent wherever possible anyone having even one reason to begin with, because just one reason alone is one too many.

How brave are you when it comes to speaking up?
Have you watched 'that series'?


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Less and More

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I remember reading this Less and More post over at the gorgeous With Grace & Eve a couple of weeks back, and it has kind of stuck with me.

At the time I recall thinking - HELL YES, I'm gonna do that right now... but then I must have gotten distracted by squirrels or something because it just hasn't happened... yet.

But the fact that it kept popping into my head made me promise myself that as soon as I should find myself with a spare 15 minutes or so, I would make myself a cuppa and sit down and write my own less and more list.

So, ahhh, this is kinda happening now ok?!

Less and More -  two very simple words that if we somehow manage to apply them to the things we do in our everyday life - BOOM what a difference we could make.

Instead of just dreaming about something we want to do or achieve, we can actually snatch it by the big old hairy toes, give it a yank and say "COME 'ERE BIG FELLA!"

Ummm

That sounded all kinds of wrong huh?

*cough cough* It wasn't really the visual I was meaning to conjure up.

Let's try again.

So the idea is that you choose some things you wish to do less of or give less effort to, and replace them with things you want more of.

Simple Pimple right?

OK, Let's do this.

Less routine, more spontaneity

Less gin, more mineral water... SNORE****

Less manic, more mindful

Less stuff, more memories

Less choice, more simplicity

Less rushing, more sitting

Less noise, more silence

Less screens and technology, more books

Less work at night, more romance

Less worry about stuff I can't control, more being thankful for what I can

Less overthinking, more doing

Just thinking about those changes makes me feel calmer. 

Thanks Elisa... I needed to do that.

Ok, your turn. Want to have a go?

It's ok, I will sit here and practice my silence wait whilst you make yourself a cuppa and write your list. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Oh The Irony...

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So we are head first into week two of the school holidays here and whilst I'd love to be able to tell you that my absence from this blog was because we've been busy working on our tans in Bali... but that would be a big fat lie.

A rather delicious sounding lie at that.

But alas, nup... I've just been doing the school holiday juggle like squillions of other parents around the world do at the end of every term. I've been trying to keep up a seamless appearance on the work front, whilst bribing older siblings to babysit and gratefully accepting generous friend's offers of 'playdates' to occupy the kids whilst I catch up on work... all the while battling the relentless guilt.

Oh screw me - THE GUILT!

I haven't spent enough time with the kids, I'm not on top of the washing, I haven't yet shopped for Winter Uniforms and now I have practically Buckley's chance of get a midget size school blazer made in time for first day back... insert at least 136 other valid reasons to feel guilty and...

GAH!!!!

That good old useless good for nothin guilt - Rack off!

Pfft!

Easter was pretty quiet around these parts. We lunched with family on Good Friday, caught up for dinner with friends on Saturday night and Sunday we ate our way through a couple of kilos of chicken that we had prepared for another family get together we were supposed to be hosting that was called off at the eleventh hour when ALL of our family couldn't make it after all thanks to a bucket full of reasons including and not limited to; head colds, work travel, and an old dog having dizzy spells.

No, I mean like a proper furry dog having dizzy spells (my parent's dog), I wasn't rudely referring to any human members of our family.

Despite the party that no one came to (sorry, I have to milk it at least a LITTLE) we ended up having an awesome Easter Sunday.

It was just the hubby, the kids and I and we cooked lots of food, sat around the fire, played guitars, sang far too loud and gorged ourselves stupid on wickedly rich chocolate / marshmallow / hot cross bun shmores (recipe from here).

It was pretty darn perfect and although I don't have a single damn photo to show for it - I couldn't be happier about that.

I didn't feel like taking any photos because Ive been going through a bit of a 'private' phase lately.

AHEM

Yes, it's OK, I'll wait whilst you snort wine out of your nostrils at the irony of a 'private blogger'.

But it's true though, I've just not felt like being 'out there' quite as much as I normally would.

I can't help but feel like the world has been crazy as batshit lately what with the threat of war, all the atrocities against children and families and innocent people that have taken place, and whole families wiped out under tragic circumstances. That has to have an effect on us all right?

I mean, how can it not affect you when you see it or hear about it on the news and through others?

It makes me feel like that photo I took of us in the city or at the beach or anything I was going to write about nice new linen sheets, a day in the city, a new recipe for lemon caper chicken I've recently discovered and ... well pretty much anything... sound kinda petty really.

Do you know what I mean?

And so I just say nothing for a little while and that's what I mean by 'feeling private'.

I just quietly press pause on the online world, edge back from the crowds, gather my tribe close and we bunker down under our rock and keep to ourselves for a little while.

It doesn't fix anything in the world.

It doesn't change anything or prevent any of the bad stuff from happening or any of it from affecting us, but sometimes it just feels like what I need for a little while.

Does that make sense?

Do you ever feel like 'switching off' for a while and keeping to yourself?

Anyways, how was your Easter? Have you had some time off? Are you mid juggle too?




Monday, 3 April 2017

Who Gave Him Permission To Go And Grow Up On Us?

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The days seem to be getting shorter and the months passing by quicker lately.

I remember my grandmother once saying that to me and at the time I recall looking at softy wrinkly face and wondering when exactly it was that she lost her marbles. 

How can time ever go fast or slow? Isn't time just time?

I think that's because when you are a kid, time seems to stretch on endlessly.

A birthday party or a sleepover that you are looking forward to in a week or two seems to take a lifetime to come around.

School Holidays last foreeeeeeever but the time in between lasts even longer.

Now, any holidays are over as quick as a fart.

Why is that?

Why does time move so much faster the older that we get?

Is it because we try to fill every hour of the day with something from our never-ending to-do-lists and because often as adults we are so focused on timelines and deadlines that we have lost the ability to to do nothing for a while and to ever allow ourselves to get… you know, like bored?

I sat on the couch the other night having a bit of a snuggle with my nearly 16 year old boy. 

I’m so grateful he is still wants to sit and snuggle (OK... lean on me) for a chat and allow me to ask him the million and one questions about all the things that as a mother I both want and need to know about what is going on in his teenage world.

“Do you still love your Mummy?” I asked him, already knowing the answer but wanting to hear it anyway.

He responded with a smile and then kissed my forehead.

WTF?????

My BABY kissed MY forehead.

My 6 foot tall size 12 hoofer with hairy bits man child kissed MY freaking forehead.

I swear only last week I was wiping his bum and chopping up his eggy soldiers into bit size pieces…. SO WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED???

Who gave him permission to go and get all grown up and man like on us?

Time is what happened. Age put a good old boot in there too.

Next thing you know he’ll be buying MY adult diapers, running me to bingo and booking me in for denture fittings whilst I sit there and tell him about how the years are going by faster and all the while he will be staring at my soft wrinkly face and wondering who the feck stole MY marbles.

Kind of dramatic, but not really right?

Ahhhhh slow down!!!

I'm so not ready to be all old and stuff yet.

Have you ever driven somewhere and then suddenly realised you cant actually recall the driving part of getting there... 
you're just kind of there?!

Do you ever looked at your kids and felt the same way? Like how did you get from being so little to.... THIS???


Monday, 27 March 2017

A Bit Of Insight Into Why I'll Never Be a Renowned Beauty Blogger

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I am never going to be a renowned beauty blogger - partly because I really suck when it comes to figuring out makeup and what to do and not do etc and, mostly because... well I really suck at figuring out makeup and what to do and not do etc.

My makeup case is an abysmal site to behold.

I have maybe two lipsticks, a blush that is fifty three years old, a concealer, a mascara (that probably should have been chucked yonks ago), an eyebrow pencil, some eye lift in a tube thingy, a pile of brushes I have no idea what to do with and a broken up palette of eyeshadows.

Yup abysmal.

I do however have fancy new foundation that has been blended to perfection by a lovely friend of mine to suit my exact skin colour and condition and I also have a new bag of brushes that actually says on them what they are for.

I haven't always been this bad with makeup.

Oh who am I kidding... I once swore that mousse foundation was the best invention since Donkey Kong (I know right... BIG call) and every time I go to the beauticians for a facial (generally once a year when the hubby gives me a voucher from the boys for Mother's Day) I get busted for using St Ives Apricot exfoliating scrub... on my face.

What???

In my defence, it makes my skin feels super tingly and nice after I use it and I guess I just figured that the red rawness is kind of a budget alternative to the expensive derma blasting thingy that the RHOS pay the equivalent of a 3 bedroom holiday house for.

I told you... a beauty blogger I am not.

So anyway, my gorgeous friend Sandra, who just so happens to be the make up artist on The Bachelor, also happens to be holding a pop up Custom Blend Foundation event at my studio soon and so when she popped in to see me recently, she mixed up some gorgeous goop for my face.

Sorry Sandra - 'gorgeous goop' is probably not the correct terminology right? ;)


What Sandra actually does is mixes foundation formula that is perfectly matched to your individual skin tone with all kinds of specific elements added to make your skin look freaking amazing. 

She can make your blend a full coverage kind of deal, or a lighter coverage like I prefer, it can have a matte finish or a dewy glow and she can add SPF,  extra hydration and retexturizers that fill and plump out lines.

That's my favourite bit of it - the filling out my lines part!

The Custom Blend Foundation has been tested by dermatologists, is vegan and won’t clog your pores. It's also paraben, fragrance and talc free.

Yay!

You don't even need to remember what colour your foundation is because Sandra keeps your unique recipe card on file so that when you come to reordering over the phone or email - it's super easy.





As I mentioned, Sandra is holding a Custom Blend Foundation Pop Up at Little Lane Workshops on April the 28th. The cost for an individual appointment is $95 and takes approximately 30 minutes and includes a bottle of custom blend foundation and a mini makeover.

You can book your appointment here and come and say hello to us at the Studio.

I'll be the one wearing the fabulously blended foundation and probably nothing else because you know... I'm possibly the crappiest beauty blogger in Australia.

*** This is not a sponsored post, just a plug for a friend who rocks!



Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Thursday Throw Back of the Most Mortifying Kind

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Clearly this is not me - I think I'm about to embarrass myself enough without photos!

I was driving home from doing a whole bunch of errands this morning, when out of the blue at a round-a-bout in the pouring rain - I had a flash back to being 13 and in high school and probably one of the most socially awkward crime scenes I have experienced... at my own hands.

I have no idea what prompted this memory, it literally just flew at me out of no where and there I was grimacing and knuckle clenching the steering wheel as I drove home via memory lane.

I'm going to share this memory with you because... well let's face it, all good embarrassing memories deserve to be shared right? Besides, I figure we all have dorky skeletons in our closets and so you may as well cringe with me and fully understand the level of dorkiness you are dealing with here.

Righty oh, as I mentioned, I was 12 or 13 and in high school, it was year seven from memory although I'm not positive about that but I am just assuming that it HAD to be year seven because surely I would have had more social pride by the time I got to year eight.

I was best friends with this girl who was on the brink of popularity. By that I mean that she had been 'noticed' by the cool crowd but hadn't yet been invited to join them.

She had a really unusual name, exotic I guess you could call it and she was a fabulous dancer... I thought so anyway but given I have always been about as graceful as sack of potatoes falling off the back of wagon I'm probably not the best one to judge grace... but anyway.

My friend had this most amazing long mane of dark blond hair that she would flick around in one of those true to eighties style dance moves and she and I would get around by day in our 'uniform' of sparkly spandex dance tights, an over sized white men's business shirt and a tie.

WHAT???

We were SO on trend back then *ahem*. Think about that 'Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun' movie and what they wore and you are picturing us ladies... at least that's what we were aiming for anyway.

Our 'Uniform' back then


I'm kinda rabbiting now aren't I?

I hear you - "Get to the point of the story Sonia... the really embarrassing bit you promised us".

Alright, alright... I'm getting there, I'm just setting the scene for you.

One night we were in her bedroom and making up dances in front of her mirrored wardrobe as was our usual sleepover ritual, when my friend announced that she was going to enter the talent quest at school.

"Yes! that's such a cool idea" I declared assuming that I would of course be a part of this dance extravaganza.

She eyeballed me with a look that clearly said... "you and I both know that you can't dance for shit Sonia, please don't do this". Trust me, she was right and of course I agreed with her about my dancing ability, I mean I had to because let's face it - I sucked, but I so badly wanted to be a part of this and I was sure that with some coaching she could get me up to speed.

Kudos to her, my friend tried to get me there... but alas, just like you can't make an onion taste like a strawberry, you can't make a Klutz like me into a dancer.

Ahhhhh, if only someone took me by the shoulders and slapped some reality into me back then.

So we signed up for the talent quest at school.

Oh gawd, you can see where this is going right?

Maybe there is a really GOOD reason I blocked this from my memory for all these years.

As the day of the talent quest drew closer I struggled with learning the moves of the dance. Heck I just struggled with the dancing full stop. My friend was all liquidy and stealth and could do those slinky hip movements with ease... me on the other hand was about as liquidy and stealth as the tin man pre lube job.

The night before the show we came to the conclusion that our current format was just not going to cut it, we both couldn't do the dancing part of the ummm 'dance' and so upon my insistence I was designated another very important role in the performance.

Yeah... wait for it!

Morning broke on the day of the talent quest and I excitedly (and in hindsight completely moronically) packed my uniform of shiny spandex and my dad's best white business shirt into my school bag.

We stood outside the hall where the talent quest was taking place and man we were amped. Our fringes were teased to perfection and we were sure that this was our moment, and after this everyone was going to want to hang out with us.

Well I was sure... admittedly my friend repeatedly asked me if I really wanted to go through with this.

Pfft... der yeah!

Our music cued and we jogged into the room, my friend moving perfectly in time with the music and wowing everyone with her grace and style... and me...?

Uhhhhh well let's just say I wowed everyone but not for the same reason as my friend.

Whilst she danced I performed my part of the act (KILL ME NOW) which entailed me lumbering around in the background attempting cartwheels and headstands and waving my arms at my friend like some coked up Price is Right model presenting a free washing machine.

I should probably tell you at this point that my cartwheels skills were NO better than my dancing skills and as for my head stands?

Well the few times that I managed to get my feet in the air I drew gasps from the crowd... but I'm pretty sure they were gasping at the sight of my ass in my sparkly spandex being shoved in their faces and nothing else.

It was social suicide.

WHAT THE FUCK was I thinking?

I don't actually know how I slept that night... or ever again.

After our disastrous debut, my best friend and her cool moves and mane of hair was embraced by the cool crowd. I of course was delegated to social pariah courtesy of my humiliating performance and I was forced to abandon my sparkly spandex for good... at least until the next talent quest rolled around and fresh new blood arrived to humiliate themselves and I was forgotten about.

I have NO idea why this memory chose today to surface some twenty *cough cough* years later. i have NO idea why I chose to put myself through all that either but the good news is - I can now laugh at it... all be it with a red face and toes curling in humiliation at the replaying footage in my head.

Thankfully my kids have shown no interest in taking part in talent quests as I don't know if I could cope with them laughing at me if I was forced to retell this story to them out of 'duty of care'.

Have you ever done anything like this to humiliate yourself?
Got any cringe worthy memories that you might care to share with us for our entertainment?



Monday, 13 March 2017

So THAT'S What's Wrong With Me...

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For ages now I have been feeling like an old flogged donkey trekking the path and getting nowhere.

I've been a cranky and impatient moll (crankier and more impatient than usual).

My brain has been foggy,  I've lacked my usual enthusiasm, my anxiety has been off the charts and I've been so irrationally emotional... like ridiculously teary.

Then there's the tiredness... oh my lord the overwhelming tiredness that no amount of sleep or caffeine or Married at First Site marathon was capable of curing.

I assumed it was because I've sorta been pushing it hard on the work front for quite some time now, generally working 7 days a week and then staying up till all hours after work trying to you know 'wind down' (catch up on recorded trash tv).

Admittedly though, in the back of my mind - I was starting to get a little anxious about how I was feeling, but I figured it would all sort itself out and I'd begin to feel more human and less donkey's ass again... eventually.

When I had to visit the Drs last week for a script, the hubby who has been badgering me for some time about getting checked out, insisted that I raise my 'tiredness' with the Dr.

So I did.

Indeed, true to my word I rattled off all the other symptoms I'd been experiencing on top of the tiredness and crankiness, things like... my hair falling out and blocking the drains (like LOTS of it), the headaches that was making me moody as fudge, people commenting on how pale I looked and yada yada.

I knew he was sitting there waiting for me to say 'and in conclusion' and then offer up some kind of Google self diagnosis like I usually would, but when he realised I couldn't even be assed with doing that, he promptly sent me off for some blood tests.

Turns out I am iron deficient, really iron deficient.

Like so super dooper low LOW iron levels that even the most starving of vampires wouldn't bother sniffing me as a pre dinner snack.

Well I'll be damned right?!

Some high doses of iron and possibly an infusion or two and I should be good as gold and feeling back to my old self again. Of course I will get the other check ups done to make sure the deficiency isn't being caused by something worrying other than the fact that I don't eat red meat.... but WHY did I wait so long?

Seriously, why did I let myself feel like crap for so many months when a quick visit to the Doctor could have put a stop to the crappiness?

Well I know why.

Because I am a wuss - that's why.

Yup, a dead set WUSS.

I'll happily drag my family and friends off to the Doctors for peace of mind, but I totally stick my head in the sand when it comes to myself, but I am the first to admit that my theory of "what I don't know, won't hurt me" really is a lame cop out.

How are you with going to the Doctors?
Are you on top off it or do you put it off hoping things will get better by themselves like I do?
Have you been low in Iron?



Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Magic Of The Parking Lot

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I'm in planning mode around here at the moment you guys. I've spent a good part of today with my notebook, my computer and a king size cup of coffee.

Ok maybe two or three kins sized cups of coffee because I stayed up late last night watching trash TV... but that's a whole 'nother post in itself.

There's always a zillion thoughts and ideas I have bubbling around in my head at any given time and with all that action going on up there - my head is at risk of exploding or something if I don't get those ideas out by writing them down.

So this week I am planning on knuckling down and focusing on that little gold book of mine in that photo up there. That book is very very special because that book could potentially be - my very own mine full of gold in the form of ideas I have had and I plan on serving up each one of those ideas and smashing them out of the Parking Lot.

Well that's the plan anyway.

I was chatting about this Parking Lot strategy I have with a friend of mine this morning.

He was telling me about how he frequently feels overwhelmed with all the ideas he has every day, and how he just doesn't know where to begin with them and which one to begin with.

I can totally relate with that kind of idea overwhelm... I mean, can't we all?

I shared my Parking Lot strategy with him, which is something that I adopted for myself many years ago when I used to make my living out of business development in the corporate world, and it's a strategy that I still use today as my make my way in my own businesses.

I thought I would share the Parking Lot with you guys too, as it's something you can use for pretty much any area of your life, blogging, family, hobbies, health and fitness whatever... and of course for business.

It's called the Parking Lot for good reason - it's somewhere that you corral and park all those million and one brilliant ideas you may have on any given day, until such a time that you are ready to give them a good look over and the energy you need to bring them to life.

Think about how many awesome and potentially even lucrative ideas you have when you wake up in the morning, or the ones that may come to you as you go about your day or as you drift off to sleep at night.

Now think about how many of those ideas are lost because much like a squirrel who gets distracted by nuts, your thoughts and ideas get distracted by kids and life and random thoughts and *POOOOFFF* just like that... those ideas are gone, maybe they've floated off to someone else who has more time for them and you will never have the chance to realise their potential.

What if you have somewhere safe to park all those ideas until you have the time and energy and you're in the right head space to think about them more and give them a plan on how you will bring them to life?

You could be sitting on a gold mine of ideas right there people and you need yourself one of these...


So the way the Parking Lot works is this...

1. You get yourself a drop dead gorgeous notebook or diary. One that makes you go all mushy when you look at it. You want this book to be like SUPER special because this book is going to be the home of your dreams and it's going to go EVERYWHERE WITH YOU... it will even rest beside your bed whilst you sleep.

2. Every time you have an idea, whether it be whilst you are in the shower, waking from a dream or cooking dinner, you need to write that idea into your Parking Lot as soon as possible. Include as much detail as you can at the time but don't be afraid to go back and add to an idea at any stage.

3. Now here's where the magic happens... set yourself a goal of actioning maybe just one or possibly two ideas a week if you have the time.

For each of those ideas - you are going to need to write out a bullet point step by step strategy or plan on what you need to do to bring those one or two ideas to life.

Break your plan down into bite size pieces of what needs to be done and give yourself set timelines for each step and a deadline for when you will have it finished... then get to work.

NOTE: If an idea doesn't go anywhere, that's ok... it may be a lemon and every Parking Lot has a few lemons in them right?

Right!

It may not be a lemon though... it may just not have been the right time to bring that particular idea out of the lot, so simply put it back and leave it parked there for another time.

4. Once you have actioned an idea - celebrate your win by treating yourself to something, even if it is just a coffee with yourself and your notebook in your fave cafe and use that time to dive into your Parking Lot and decide on the next brilliant idea you are going to put into play.

Keep on diving into your Parking Lot for ideas whenever you need some inspiration and add more ideas to it as regularly as you can.

With a little love, focus and energy, that gorgeous book of yours that you are carrying everywhere with you - could just be the key to all the success and the most amazing life you could ever have imagined.

So what do you think -  is this something that might work for you? 
Are you going to give it a go?