Kez Gets Physical: A weighty topic.

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I don’t really like the idea of talking too much about weight loss anymore (ironic I know when you consider the topic of this blog post). I think it’s because everyone focuses on it so much. It really isn’t everything when it comes to being healthier. Am I excited when I see a loss on the scales? Of course. But my reasons for wanting to see that decrease has changed drastically over time.

It used to be all about my looks. I would be so ashamed of my appearance that I would cry before leaving the house (how embarrassment). I’d be so worried that everyone would think I couldn’t pull off an outfit because I was too overweight. Or that they might mistakenly think I was pregnant (a big ridiculous phobia which has sadly been proven to be valid on occasion because people can’t shut their mouths and mind their own business).

Now it’s about much more than my looks. Do I want to see the numbers drop on the scale? Absolutely. Am I going to end up talking about it? Yeah. But this time it’s about being healthy and feeling better physically.

This body was not built to be chubby. I have a small, Asian frame and when I carry too much weight I really feel it. My thighs chafe. My feet hurt more when I walk. I physically feel like shit when I’ve been filling my body with the wrong things (weight gain being the obvious side effect). And for reasons that are entirely practical, if I don’t keep my weight down, my clothes (currently size 12) don’t fit and I know that I cannot go up any more sizes because those sizes are made for taller people and I wouldn’t be able to find anything in the shops (I’m only 5 foot tall yo).

I want to be a healthy BMI to avoid type 2 diabetes in the future (as well as decrease my chances of complications with gestational diabetes in any future pregnancy). I want to feel agile and not heavy when I move.

Yeah, I do look forward to the side effects of weight loss when it comes to the superficial side of things, but I am very careful not to let it be my focus. Since working on my health, I haven’t worried anywhere near as much about whether people think I’m pregnant when my stomach bloats up or sticks out. I know I’m working on my fitness and it makes me feel like anyone who accuses me, or subtly implies, that they think I am ‘with child’ (without a shred of evidence because duh I’m not) can go jump off a bridge, while I smile and wave to them because I have the comfort of knowing I’m making healthy choices, regardless of what they think it looks like.

I’m not going to preach to anyone else how to lose weight (that’s up to the experts and it’s not up to me to tell you that you need to do anything – you do you boo). I just know that I am not going to let my self image be defined by what numbers are on the scales.

My weight is just a part of my journey to better health. There is so much more I am working on too.

So when you hear me talk about my weight loss goals and celebrating little weight loss milestones, I am only talking about a part of my experience. I am enjoying the mental health benefits of exercising more. I love when I can rush about during the day without feeling like I’m going to collapse from exhaustion. I am so glad when I feel good after eating foods that aren’t filled with the junk that makes you feel sluggish or nauseous (I am not by ANY stretch of the imagination saying I do not indulge regularly haha). I get excited, the closer I get to having a BMI within the healthy range (as opposed to currently being in the overweight category). I love when there’s evidence (guys I’m talking about regular poops hahaha) that my metabolism is remembering what to do.

I am sick of seeing the media and pop culture so singularly focused on what a (usually female) celebrity weighs. On what a woman looks like after giving birth. We are so much more than that. It’s insulting that women feel compelled to show their post-pregnancy-bodies off. To prove how great they are at shedding the baby weight, or conversely to prove what ‘normal’ looks like. Why do we even care at all? We are so much more than that. We are warrior women, no matter what any of us looks like.

Shouldn’t we be talking about the important things? Yes, reclaiming our bodies is a journey after birth (even almost 4 years on as is my case), and it can be so great to celebrate that, but it should be for the right reasons. For us as individuals – not to match some stupid, superficial standard that society seemingly has for us.

That is why I scroll past the ‘such and such flaunts her post baby body’ headlines. Um…that famous chick just went to the supermarket a relatively short time after having a baby. WHAT? That’s why I don’t buy the magazines. I am not even slightly tempted. That is why I won’t be joining any ‘movement’ to post photos of my ‘real’ belly any time soon (or ever). I simply do not care and I wish that more people would join me in my ‘not caring’. It’s liberating.

The feminist in me says, let’s stop oppressing ourselves and each other in such a demeaning way. Let’s say no to those who try to do it to us. Women are so much more than their appearance or what they weigh. How are we allowing ourselves to be defined in such a limited way?!

Sure, we’re humans and we like looking at pretty, shiny things. Sometimes we even like to become pretty, shiny things. There is nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t everything. It’s not even the most important thing. Not even close.

Let’s focus on who we are and how we feel mentally, physically and spiritually. We have so much more to offer than an obsession with the bathroom scales or how fast we lose weight. Let’s not forget that weight loss can be unhealthy and disordered too. It’s why we do it, how we do it and the way we choose to talk about it that really matters.

 How do you feel about the way the media portrays women? Have you struggled with your body image?

The Happy List #7

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Yay! It’s time for another list of the things that have made me happy! And that makes me happy! The week has kind of gone by in a weird blur. I’m always jinxing it, but we finally had a little breather from the constant winter illness. I thought I was learning to love winter, but I am kind of getting over the whole ‘always being cold’ and/or sick thing. Let’s hope this ‘healthy’ streak continues!

Here’s my little list…

Family time

It’s been great having Mr Unprepared back from his recent little getaway to Melbourne. We’ve been really busy lately and it was getting difficult to find time to connect as a whole little family. On Saturday, our original plans fell through and we decided to make the most of it. We went for a walk down to our local waterfront, with the Little Mister practicing his bike pedalling/braking skills. We had a naughty ‘front shop’ lunch ( sausage rolls and the like), the Little Mister dazzled us with his play equipment climbing skills, and then we made our way back home. Fun was had and it was nice to get outside and be active together. I’d really missed that time as a little group of three.

Crazy evening dance breaks with the Little Mister

Lately, I’ve been putting on some music to get me through the end of what is usually a long day. It gets me motivated to do annoying tasks like cooking dinner, tidying up, doing the dishes etc. Often this turns into an all out epic dance session with the Little Mister and his moves really impress me (or make me crack up). It often stops me from sighing a lot and counting down to his bed time, which is nice.

Time to paint my nails

For me, a sign that self care is happening is when I am able to sit down and do my nails. If my nails aren’t done, I know I haven’t been taking care of myself. It’s my way of reminding myself to stop and do something for me. I like making my nails pretty, but the ritual is important for me too. It’s a selfish activity – you can’t touch anything or anyone (haha) while you’re doing it. It takes time and concentration, so you have to be in the moment. It makes your hands look nice, which is a good feeling and something to take pride in.

I started this little self care habit in 2010 after a really rough year of trying to take care of everyone else. I was completely drained, emotionally raw, grieving and running on empty by the year’s end. Any kind of self care felt really difficult but I knew I had to get back to me again. I had forgotten how to give myself permission to find the little pleasures in life and it was really overwhelming, so I decided to take baby steps. The first activity I did was take the time to paint my nails. It was really healing. I guess that’s stuck with me ever since. It’s become my thing. If my nails aren’t painted for a while, I know it’s time to stop and ask myself if I’m OK. I know that out of context, my last sentence sounds like something a vapid reality TV celebrity would say, but I hope you get what I mean haha.

I got to do my nails a couple of nights ago and it felt great as my fingernails had been bare for weeks – which is rare for me.

Online shopping

I love it. I have really embraced it lately. I ordered my groceries (AND WINE!!!!) this past week. I got myself a little bluetooth speaker, so I can play my music nice and loud from my various electronic devices (you know – for epic aforementioned dance breaks). I ordered some new PJ pants (best ever). I got myself some comfy hoodies to lounge about in (they were on sale of course). It’s quite convenient. And addictive. I have really had to hold myself back, because I keep thinking of new things I can buy. Oops.

The Little Mister’s new improved bed time routine

The Little Mister has really been leaping forward in his independence lately. It’s fantastic (even if at times it takes a lot of patience – mine). The part I’m loving the most has been that he has started putting himself to bed! Of course, we are there emotionally (we read stories and kiss him and all of his comfort items goodnight), but now he is turning off his own light and shutting his bedroom door behind us! Like he actually stands by his open door and bids us goodnight. He closes the door like he’s just had us over for a dinner party and now it’s time for us to leave haha.

This is awesome because up until very recently, he insisted that he couldn’t fall asleep without his bedside lamp on and the door ajar. This meant that we had to wait until he was asleep, then tiptoe into his room to turn off the light and close the door properly. This was annoying because we had to watch him on the video monitor for the first half hour to determine that it was safe to go in. It also meant that if we were dead tired, we couldn’t go to bed yet because we had to wait him out.

Now, once he’s in bed, that’s it for the night! Of course, this could all change again at some point, because kids are kids and they change their moods and preferences just to keep us on our toes, but for now it’s lovely!!

Other stuff that’s made me happy:

  • Adult conversations with people who I am not related to – as much as I love the people who I am related to, this mama needs to get out more.
  • Watching my AFL team (West Coast Eagles) win. I love attending games. For the record, I did not participate in any booing. I am also happy to say that those West Coast supporters who are disrespectful are not representative of me. Even our coach thinks we can be better than that and that makes me happy. Maybe this could be a topic for another blog post, but I just had to slip it in there! Don’t mind me…
  • Watching aeroplanes as they made beautiful vapour trails in the sky yesterday.
  • Mr Unprepared cleaned the toilet so I didn’t have to. It was taking some hits thanks to the Little Mister getting some target practice in. Glad I dodged that job (this time) haha.
  • Comments on my blog posts – you guys are so awesome and I love hearing what you have to say!
  • Falling down a YouTube rabbit hole, which resulted in me finding a whole bunch of songs (from 1996) that I loved when I was 11/12. Those were some formative musical years for me and I still get shivers when I listen to 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins. And that video? It’s EVERYTHING.

What’s been making you happy this week? x

Kez Gets Physical: 5 more songs to work out to.

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Oh my goodness. I haven’t worked out in maybe two or three weeks? To be honest, I have kind of lost track it feels like so long. First, I was already experiencing a bit of a slump and then illness entered my house. Again. Ugh. First Mr Unprepared came down with the dreaded gastro bug (during which he was strictly quarantined while I sanitised/disinfected to within an inch of all our lives), while the Little Mister came down with a cold. I probably shouldn’t have smugly celebrated surviving that weekend illness free. Because it seems my body had a case of the FOMO and wanted to try a bit of each, so I ended up with some kind of weird upset stomach/cold combo – a weird mild version of each – that somehow combined in the perfect storm to make me feel so nauseous that I ended up stuck in bed. While I love a good, dizzy Netflix binge session, it wasn’t exactly my idea of fun.

I’ve been feeling a lot better lately, but I am getting a little bit restless (I kind of gave up while my husband was away on a boys’ trip this past few days because it was a lot harder to find alone time for the treadmill)! I actually *shock horror* miss working out, when only a few weeks ago I was starting to dread it!

Something that has got me wanting to move (and feeling frustrated) has been hearing my favourite work out music. I swear certain songs have created some kind of Pavlovian response in me. When I hear them, my body immediately wants to exercise! Instant motivation!

Sometimes I hear these songs on the radio or the TV or while I’m shopping and I immediately feel all antsy, like I want to start busting out cardio dance moves right then and there (crazy lady in lonely spontaneous public flash mob anyone?). It’s also been  happening at home when I put some music on while I do a little housework (and I mean a little housework – not moving mountains here folks).

I let you know 5 of my favourite songs to work out to a few weeks ago, but here’s another instalment to add to your playlists! I must note, that some of these songs or their videos are not suitable for kids – I am thinking maybe I should create a list that is all safe for kids’ ears/eyes at some point (let me know if you’re interested).

But here’s what I’ve got for you this time…

Little Mix – Salute

I love the kick arse girl power thing they’ve got going on here. I love the feeling that I’m marching into battle, when really I’m just struggling on the treadmill 😉

David Guetta – Play Hard

This one took a little time for me to warm up to it, but now I love it. The chorus is repetitive but I like chanting it in my head while I put one foot in front of the other. I’m not in love with the video but it works alright!

Fifth Harmony – Worth It

I actually fell in love with this song when I tried The Fitness Marshall’s hip hop cardio routine to it. Now I love it on the treadmill too.

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang

This one feels a bit obvious but it’s fun.

AronChupa – I’m an Albatraoz

Sometimes when I need to mix things up a bit or discover something different, I’ll let YouTube create me a playlist (it’s called ‘My Mix’ and it plays non stop music videos based on what it thinks you’ll like). This one came out of the blue while I was on the treadmill and while it is such a bizarre song, it works! I still don’t know what it’s about. But give it a go anyway haha.

Anyway, I’m super excited because if all goes well, I’ll be back on my treadmill tonight! I just got a cute little bluetooth speaker delivered to go with my iPad so those tunes are going to be BLASTING (as opposed to me hardly hearing them over the sound of my footsteps). Bring it on!!! :)

What is your favourite song to work out to? Does music motivate you to get stuff done? How do you get yourself out of a slump? 

The Happy List #6

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It’s been a slightly unusual week here at the Unprepared household. Mr Unprepared somehow got away for much of it for a boys’ trip to Melbourne (slippery sucker). I’m not jealous. Much. Whenever he goes away, I know I’ll miss him, but I do this thing where I remind myself of all the perks you can temporarily have while your partner is gone. It flips the script from negativity and sadness to make it something to look forward to – hey, it’s only a few days and you have to get through them anyway. May as well find things to enjoy about it!

Here’s what’s made me happy this week…

The temporary bachelorette life

Hogging the bed, watching Netflix in bed as late as I like (within reason because I have to parent), eating weird meals, more time to blog, quieter evenings, the ability to do weird beauty related things without him looking at me like I’m losing my mind, no sports on TV. I also kind of like that no-one snores on me and the bathroom floor is always dry. Sorry, hon. You know I love you. Haha.

A little shopping for myself

Being able to buy myself some new make up and stuff was great this week. I had let things slip in the self care department and it felt really nice to get some stuff to pamper myself with and help me get back out into the world after a few illness ridden weeks in our household. I am so excited to have a couple of comfy hoodies and some awesome sauce PJ pants on the way too!

That one time the Little Mister ate his dinner without any weird complaints

You might know what it’s like trying to eat dinner with a small person. The food can be too hot, too cold, too hard to eat with cutlery. There can be demands that it be cut into smaller pieces, then tears because you cut it into smaller pieces. Yesterday’s favourite food can become today’s most hated.

Well, one night this week, I made macaroni cheese with corn and shredded chicken. Seems like a no brainer when it comes to kid friendly, right? Not always. Nothing is guaranteed. I have served similar dishes before, to just be left broken by his zero star reviews. Like the times he randomly decides he does not like chicken. You know, just for that night because that’s the night you cooked it.

Not this week! I watched in disbelief as he used his fork (as opposed to his fingers), peacefully eating the whole meal. No complaints. No sudden disliking of the ingredients. No weird, drawn out delay tactics between mouthfuls.

“I love corn! I love chicken! Thank you for dinner, Mummy!”

AMAZING. I felt like something magical had happened. Some mystical science fiction shit. I may never witness this again, but gosh it was wonderful. A once in a lifetime experience. No, really. Probably was.

Getting my blogging mojo back

I’m probably jinxing it right now, but something clicked in me after feeling writer’s block for a bit too long. I realised that I was caring too much about doing everything ‘right’ and about the fact that my traffic had been down since I became self hosted and moved my blog to its own site. I had forgotten what I was doing this for. Me. For me. Because I love to write. And because I know I would still do it even if no-one was reading. Once I got back to basics, the words started to flow. I love when my creative side is just busting out. It’s a thrill.

The Little Mister being BFFs with our dog

The other night, Mr Unprepared took pity on our little heeler Heidi and let her in the house for a while. She’s getting older and she feels the cold. She was allowed to sit in the Little Mister’s play room by the door. Of course she crept closer and closer to him as time went on. He made her a little ‘home’. He showed her his favourite toys. He said sweet things to her and gave her loving pats. He talked to her like she was one of his human friends. It was the sweetest thing EVER.

EVER.

 

So, that’s my list! What would be on your happy list this week? x

When you’re in your PJs by midday. Winning.

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Have you ever had a sudden revelation that changes your life forever?

*smug face*

I have. I had a revelation late last night. I’d turned everything off, was ready to go to bed and then I remembered my earlier intention to buy some cheap hoodies online, so I don’t have to wash the same two over and over to the point of ridiculous. Out came the laptop and I managed to grab a couple that were on sale. While this was going to make my life easier (and comfier), this was not the revelation. The revelation came when the website told me that if I just spent $20 more I would get free postage. Everyone loves free postage, right?

So I thought I’d have a look at some PJs. I had been wearing the same long sleeved nightie to death, because it was the only thing I felt comfy in. I have winter PJs but the pants kept annoying me. They were a bit loose so when I was sleeping, they bunched up at my knees or into my crotch (TMI?). I’d resorted to my trusty nightie, but my legs did get a bit cold and Mr Unprepared isn’t always stoked when I use his legs to warm mine at night (“Get off! Your feet are FREEZING!”). I admit I do it on purpose just for a bit of a shit stir sometimes – never gets old. For me, anyhow.

I did see a lot of ‘loungewear’ that confused me. Are they clothes specifically for lounging about in? Can you wear them in public? How does it work? What is ‘loungewear’? It kind of seems like when pyjamas and real clothes have a baby and they name it loungewear. Does anyone ever wear it? Tell me how/where/when, please. It seems kind of like a fancy thing to do.

Anyhow, back to the pyjama situation. I saw these PJ pants that spoke to me. I must point out that while they are an absolute revelation to me, they are not at all a new concept. They’re basically long johns (but not thermal – not the ones I bought anyway). Leggings that you wear to bed, if you want to nitpick. They’re made in the softest fabric, they stretch with you and because they are very fitted, they don’t ride up. They’re kind of like the bottom half of a good pair of onesies. Without the butt flap.

Only the day before, I had got into my bed in a fit of wishful thinking (I have a kid and it was not night time yet). I thought, “I wish I could wear leggings to bed”. And then I got straight out of my bed, because I have a kid and I didn’t want to make my leggings all fluffy and gross.

So you can imagine my excitement when I realised that all my life I had failed to realise the existence of these amazing pyjama pants.

Earth shattering, I know. You’re shocked too, and not at all rolling your eyes at how late I am to this glorious soft panted party, right?

So I ordered them. And then today I found some in Big W and I bought them, because they were cheap and colourful and I couldn’t wait any longer.

I got home and all I wanted to do was put them on and swan about my house in them for the rest of the day. I waited until I’d done all of my ‘need to go out the front of the house’ tasks, and then I could not resist for even a moment longer. So basically, this all happened before 1pm. The Little Mister thinks I’m bonkers, but DAMN I’m comfy.

My excuse was, that it’s Friday. Magical things happen on Friday. Friday is a beautiful unicorn riding on a rainbow.

But I later found out that there was actually an even better excuse! Today is National Pyjama Day! How’s that for the best ever accidental coincidence?

I decided that I couldn’t know that this wonderful day was happening without donating a little something to help the effort to raise awareness and funds for foster kids (through the Pyjama Foundation).

If you’d like to have the best excuse ever to chuck on your PJs in the middle of the day too, then just do it! You can donate here if you like :)

Happy Friday!

Are you wearing your PJs too? Do you have any silly Friday traditions? What are your pyjama preferences? 

The evolution of my relationship with make-up.

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I have spent most of the past two weeks make up free. Partly because I really didn’t get out much, partly laziness and also because towards the end of that period, I realised that my foundation had run out. I couldn’t tell because some of it was stuck up the insides of the bottle and I couldn’t see through it, to determine that I was running low. Damn, lying bottle of foundation.

My skin has been dry. Not flaky dry, but just parched. The pores on my nose have seen better days. God, I’m attractive.

Now, this has been a slightly dire situation, but I’ve found that the 31 year old me has handled it quite well. I got to thinking about how the teenaged/early 20s me would have dealt with this. And the answer is that she wouldn’t have. She would have been like, “Damn, Future Kez! You is cray cray! Never leave home again, you old woman! Your life is over! O.V.A.H.”

I realised that in the past couple of weeks, I have quite happily (probably) terrorised the local neighbourhood supermarket staff, one pharmacist, the Little Mister’s day care staff, and you know…all the people of Periscope (@KezUnprepared if you’re on there) with my bare faced antics. I have also lived in hoodies and slouchy pants (or worn gym stuff WITHOUT GOING ANYWHERE NEAR THE GYM). While, this does slightly concern me (especially the gym wear thing), I am kind of celebrating that at the age of 31 I have finally realised that I am OK no matter what is on my face/body (or isn’t)! Do I feel like a slob? Yeah…kinda. But is this new mindset still somehow a win? Definitely.

Gosh, the more I type, the more sexy I seem.

Of course, today I found an opportunity to get back to that all important self-care. I had a little post pay day spree. I bought new foundation, 2 kinds of BB cream (still looking for The One), some primer, pore strips, liquid eye liner (always waterproof) and some hydrating cream. Go me! I am excited to get back into the ritual of caring for my skin. I think that’s what’s so different from the teen/20s me. Now, it’s about maintenance and care. It’s about carving out those precious few moments each day to look after myself. It’s as much about the process of applying the stuff to my face as it is about what I might look like at the end of it.

20-something year old Kez (and earlier) was all about hiding. I had to hide all of my flaws. I had to make sure no-one found out what was underneath the make up! I would insist on applying it before I went for a swim, before I walked the dog down the street, and even…don’t judge…a subtle layer of foundation before a sporting activity. Definitely before a quick run to the local supermarket. If for some reason I could not wear make up one day, I would either stay in or walk very quickly with my head down, anxiety coursing through my veins until I was safely out of sight of the masses who would surely think I was a hideous beast.

“Oh, look at that creature! WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT IN PUBLIC? RUN!!!!!”

Ironically, my skin was beautiful throughout my 20s and I just didn’t appreciate it. It went to bed caked with make up ALL THE TIME. Yet it rarely dried out. It was flawless due to my religious use of the pill. Of course there were no wrinkles and very little sun damage (a topic for another time). I was also super skinny up until my late 20s and could wear ANYTHING. 20s me – what an ungrateful bitch!

31 year old me doesn’t have time for that shit. 31 year old me has too much other stuff to worry about. Like keeping my kid alive and worrying about whether I’m regular or not.

OLD.

Of course I do still have days when I scare myself as I look in the mirror. Days when I feel fat and frumpy. Times when I see what I’m wearing and think, “Geez. Get it together, woman!”

I am only human. Also, I do like to make myself pretty. I’m not about to ‘let myself go’ any time soon.

At some point, though, I must have finally come to the realisation that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t look completely polished all the time – the plain faced me is still kind of awesome.

What a relief!

And that new self confidence is thing #139374 that I like about getting older :)

What do you like about getting older? What is your relationship with make up like?

Trying new things: Periscope.

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You might have noticed, but I have suddenly become a little obsessed with the Periscope app. I had no idea what it was until a week or so ago, but I was intrigued when I found out that it’s an interactive live streaming app. I was curious about how a blogger might use it and basically, I’m a sucker for the next big social media ‘thing’. At least I’m pretty sure this is the next big thing. The app has only been around since March 2015 (that’s THIS year – only a few months ago), so it’s really kind of exciting. I thought about waiting to use it, to see if it might get more popular first, but then I remembered how long I took to get on board with Facebook (“Oh whatever – it’s never going to be as good as MySpace!”) and realised there’s no harm in jumping right on in!

Basically, you can use Periscope to broadcast your life live in video form on your smart phone. People can join your experience and they can comment as you go along. You can answer their questions or respond to their comments as you go. If you’re watching somebody else’s broadcast, you can also tap the screen at any point to send ‘hearts’, to show that you like what they’re showing you or what they’re saying about an issue.

If you miss someone’s broadcast, it will stay up for 24 hours before expiring and disappearing. Kind of like the snapchat experience.

I’ve seen some cool things from around the world and I really feel like I’m seeing things through other people’s eyes. Knowing it’s in real time is kind of exciting. It makes you feel like you’ve teleported into somebody’s holiday or their work day or their lounge room! It’s like having your own very very low budget reality show haha.

I’ve been using Periscope for a few days now and I think I’m getting a bit better at it each time. I talk about bloggy things or I let people ask me questions to get to know me better. I started off not knowing how to use it, blathering about like a total nitwit (it’s a bit embarrassing just being on the spot like that) and now I feel like I’m slowly gaining confidence.

I send a tweet out each time I am live on Periscope (the app is owned by Twitter), so that people know I’m ‘on’. You don’t have to have an account to click the link and watch, but if you’d like to add me on either app, my handle is @KezUnprepared :)

I like that I can just be me, warts and all. It’s a test of my confidence! I’ve been stealing little ‘alone’ moments to broadcast and I haven’t worn make up or nice clothes in a single broadcast yet (not necessarily an intentional thing)!! Brave, I know! I’m trying to learn to be more comfortable in my own skin and with the sound of my voice played back… and my chins (plural).

I have really tried to do my research, though. Because with any social media sharing, there are certain things to be aware of. I’ll share the things I’ve learnt or that I am careful about…

Sharing your location/private details

There is an option that allows you to share your location on the app. I turn this off before each broadcast. Turns out, if you don’t, people can see pretty much where you are, down to the street name by zooming in on the map (I experimented). If you don’t want people to turn up and crash your broadcast or stalk you at your home, perhaps you might not want to share this detail. It is slightly less fun when people don’t know where you are in the world (unless you tell them), but DEFINITELY more safe.

I also don’t show things people might recognise. Landmarks or signs that show exactly where I live or go about my daily life regularly (especially as I don’t live in a massive place). I don’t want to show too much of the stuff that’s in my home (usually just the white wall or a closed blind or something really generic). I don’t want people to know what they can steal or how to get into my home, should they somehow find it. I will never broadcast the Little Mister, because he cannot consent at this point in his life and to be honest, you don’t know who is watching if you choose to broadcast publicly (there is an option to broadcast only with your specific followers too if you prefer).

I have noticed people sharing away with great abandon and the mum in me has been shocked! Young people showing exactly where they are hanging out alone at night (like I could literally get in my car and go pick them up). Kids showing where they are at school or how they walk home. While I wish we could all feel safe to do so in this world, it’s not the ideal world and the thought of some perv using my broadcast to get an eyeful of my child (or worse) just seems too awful. Not. Going. To. Happen.

I know I’m a massive security nerd, but I think the main point is to make educated decisions that you can be comfortable with.

Physical safety

So many people broadcast while they’re driving!!! What the hell? They’re reading the comments their viewers are typing and moving their phones about the whole time! Not only is it illegal in certain places, but it’s scary and dangerous! Please don’t do it! I saw one guy do it with his KIDS in the car the other day. He only stopped the broadcast when his partner got on his case! OMFG. Just. Do. Not.

Since then, if I see someone is driving, I switch off. The less viewers they have, the less incentive they might have to do such dangerous stuff!

I do not want to witness some wally falling off a cliff while trying to show me the sunset or crashing their car!

Try to have a focus/title for your broadcast

I try to have a broad topic or title for my broadcasts. A direction that it can go. I think about it a little bit before I go live. What I might say and how I want to say it. Any broadcast can change direction depending on audience interaction, but I like when I see a broadcast that kind of has a point to it. You can give your broadcast a title so people will know what to expect if they choose to watch. Some broadcasters are awesome at having a really engaging chat about not much, when they’re hanging out after work or something, but some…not so much haha. I kind of like using a personal vlog kind of style. Others might want to show you the awesome sunset near their place or what they’re cooking or how they’re working out or where they’re travelling. They might talk to you about their passion or even play you some music. They might even open up a Q & A.

Be engaging

I am working on this. I am trying not to blather on pointlessly (key word trying) when I feel a little lost for words. I also try not to let too much dead air happen while I wait for someone to answer a question I’ve posed. I also try not to interrupt myself every two seconds to say hi to every single viewer that logs on (if you watch someone who does this you will find you get uninterested quickly and you lose track of the message the broadcaster was trying to get across to their audience). I like answering questions and seeing little hearts bubble up on my phone screen but I try to finish each sentence first before addressing them haha.

I also am learning when to end a broadcast. Sometimes you just know it’s got nowhere else to go. Nothing wrong with gracefully ending the session. End on a good note, not an awkward ‘is anyone out there’ one! 😉

I also don’t mind if not many people want to watch (if I’m talking about something a little niche). I’d rather quality interaction than just a quantity of people who aren’t ‘my’ audience.

I’m finding there seems to be an art to doing it well and I like the challenge! I’ve got a loooooooong way to go, but I’m having fun!

 

I am not a tech minded person, but I am a people person and I think that’s why social media always fascinates me.

Do you use Periscope? Would you consider trying it? Want to share your user name so I can follow you? Any recommendations on who I should be watching? Ideas for future broadcasts? x

How I cope with winter illness stir-craziness.

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I am not a winter person. I have learnt how to embrace it and try to enjoy it anyway, but it is a time fraught with danger. Germs flying about everywhere. No place is safe. No person is safe!

It’s just par for the course, really. Winter = cold and flu season.

As an adult, I’ve been getting a flu shot annually and while it doesn’t work for everyone, I feel thankful that it has seemed to work quite well for me. Mr Unprepared seems to have mixed results, but nothing too full on has hit him since he started having them, so that’s probably a positive sign.

But the Little Mister? Germ machine.

Since he started day care this year, he’s had a cold almost every second week. Some strains seem really mild and give him nothing more than a snotty nose for a couple of days, others seem to linger forever, along with an annoying cough. I am so lucky I work casually and can be flexible when he needs to stay home, but it’s starting to get a bit inconvenient! If I don’t work, I don’t get paid damn it!

BUT…

I am very passionate about not knowingly spreading germs around. I hate when I hear about work places that pressure their employees to turn up sick. I hate when someone turns up at the playground or social gathering, casually saying, “Oh man! I/my kids am/are so sick right now!” while their child is practically slobbering all over you/your child or you’ve just agreed to split a plate of finger food with them. A little warning might have been nice!

WHAT THE HELL? GO HOME. Is your FOMO really that bad that you’re willing to infect ALL the people??

I mean, sometimes it’s not a super big deal. Germs are everywhere, anyway. It’s just nice to know ahead of time so you can make an educated choice on how you choose to protect yourself or your child (we personally had to warn my family this past weekend about the Little Mister’s cold and blessings were given for him to turn up with a few extra precautions taken)! But generally? If you’re all germy, then don’t turn up! These things are unavoidable. People will get over it.

I even keep my errands to an absolute minimum. You’ll only ever see the Little Mister having a little cough at the shops if I have absolutely no other choice, but I promise he’ll be coughing into his sleeve, keeping his hands to himself and that pocket sized bottle of sanitiser I keep in my handbag will be making an appearance!!

But I get it when people say they’re stir crazy. It starts to feel like you’ll never leave home again. You can feel very isolated and it’s not great for anyone’s mental health. Not to mention, when your child is bored and unstimulated and it feels like the days are moving at snail’s pace. I was talking to a friend about this and she was saying they hadn’t been out in weeks, due to her son having a lingering cold. I myself had only just emerged from a loooooong week in myself. I remember the days when it would go on for months if you had a bad run of it!! I never feel comfortable asking for babysitting so I can get out either, because I don’t want the Little Mister to infect anyone else! So, everyone at home it is.

It messes with your head. Especially if you get a sick partner too (they always seem to go down first right?).

So I’ve decided to share some ways that I try to minimise the stir crazy factor…

Get some fresh air…somewhere we can be alone together.

If it’s a sunny day, I like to grab the Little Mister, rug him up in his coziest clothes and take him down to our local beach. It’s a great spot that is never highly populated (much less in winter) and we can go for a walk or build a sandcastle together. Obviously we have to avoid anyone getting wet and cold, but it’s totally doable. No-one else gets infected, we get a bit of Vitamin D and the Little Mister feels like he had a fun outing just for him. In turn, I feel like the best mum ever again.

Phone calls/internet time.

This can be a double edged sword. Sometimes these things can make you feel worse, with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) rearing its ugly head, but sometimes being able to chat online with your mates and feel connected can be a lifesaver. You can commiserate with your friends who are also stuck at home and keep each other company, virtually!

I also catch up on my favourite blogs and immerse myself in tales of the outside world when I get a bit of down time. Usually, when the Little Mister is snuggled up watching a movie. Gotta love movie time on sick days, right?

This week I joined Periscope (user name @KezUnprepared) just for the hell of it. Yet another new thing to eat up my down time and get me feeling creative. I feel like this should be its own little point too – try something new (read a new book or learn a new skill you can practice at home or research some stuff or plan a new project you could try during or after the current illness jag).

I like to have a good chinwag on the phone with my mum too. It’s nice to connect. Speak to an adult.

Clean EVERYTHING. 

Usually, I am no domestic goddess. But when everyone’s been cooped up for a while and the germs are so irritating, you swear you can see them having a party on every single surface of your home (living or otherwise), it’s cathartic to just start washing and cleaning and tidying ALL THE THINGS.

After the last outbreak of gastro, I went nuts washing bedding, towels and anything my husband had ever touched. Afterwards, the house looked and smelt nice and fresh. Psychologically, this really gave me a boost. I stopped seeing my house as a tiny, claustrophobic germ incubator and more as a sanctuary again.

I will be doing another vigorous cleaning session this week, after dealing with the Little Mister’s latest snotty, coughy situation. It’s gonna be great!

Obviously, it’s a good way to minimise the chances of reinfecting everyone over and over.

Have a secret stash of ‘sick day’ activity materials.

I have a craft box full of cheap stickers, pipe cleaners, cotton wool, kids’ craft glue, coloured card, felt animals hidden away for when the Little Mister gets really really bored and I start to feel like a crappy mum because we haven’t done anything but sit around for days. I also have colouring books and other activity books sitting around that he’s not really aware of. I pull something out when things are getting dire (I’m talking all out desperation) and it can keep him amused for ages! None of those things cost a lot and I just throw a little something in my shopping trolley when supplies are a bit low or I see something on sale.

Snuggle. 

Just give in. The Little Mister snuggles more when he’s not well. He gets so docile and cuddly. I just try to forget everything else and sit and snuggle with him when he needs it. It’s nice. I swear it is easier when I stop fighting it (‘it’ being my busy mum brain).

 

Kids are such troopers, aren’t they?

Look, my go-to strategies might seem a little obvious and might make you feel pretty stabby if you’re feeling at the end of your tether. Trust me, I get it. Sometimes I try all of these things and I will still feel like absolute shit. Hang in there! It won’t be forever. Summer will come again!

You got this! x

How do you survive lengthy winter sickness jags? Any advice you can add for other stir crazy parents?

The Happy List #5

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Here’s what’s been making me happy in the past week, as I look towards a brand new week filled with potential! x

Magic Mike XXL…well, mostly Channing Tatum

I know I am not alone in the fact that I find Channing Tatum to be verrrrry attractive. My crush is at the awfully embarrassing level and Mr Unprepared has had to come to terms with the fact that Mr Tatum is my bit on the side. I have not exactly NOT been enjoying the recent whirlwind of publicity interviews he has been doing. Or the fact that free to air TV has been capitalising on the recent release of the Magic Mike sequel by playing every movie with Channing Tatum in it ever. My DVR is now stocked up full to the brim with films to watch at any time the urge should strike!

On Friday night I had a leave pass to watch Magic Mike XXL with some girlfriends. We had gold class tickets and it was wonderful. WONDERFUL. Was the acting Oscar worthy? Was the plot intricate and sophisticated? *ahem* I think we know the answer. But the movie had a ‘feel good’ energy to it (so to speak ha ha ha) and hello, I was perving my little eye balls out from start to finish.

I am such a creep.

It was so nice to leave home after a week of being pretty much housebound. The company was fantastic and it was nice to do something somewhat quiet on a Friday night. Dance floors and yelling over music is totally awesome, but sometimes sitting in a really comfy chair and eating stupid desserts with your friends while watching a giant TV screen is even nicer.

Family birthdays

Today we celebrated my dad’s birthday, with a belated nod to my uncle’s birthday too. I love when the whole family gets together. There’s always good, hearty food and a nice feeling of togetherness. I made a baked cheesecake for the occasion and when Mr Unprepared carried it into my parents’ house, my dad said (rather innocently), “Oh you made us a quiche!”

Sigh. Look, it wasn’t shop-bought attractive. A little rustic. But it was pretty funny. I didn’t mind it becoming a running joke.

“Ooooh. Can’t wait to have our dessert quiche. It’s a good thing, because I’ve been cutting down on sugar lately! HA HA HA.”

Gotta love lame dad/uncle jokes.

Luckily it was delicious and I felt pretty proud. Phew.

It was also touching to see my grandfather (who is in his 90s) stand up, a little emotional, and toast my dad.

Hoodies and heaters

It’s been cold lately, hasn’t it? I think there’s nothing better than snuggling up in a hoodie. I am also so grateful for reverse cycle air conditioning. SO GRATEFUL. It’s bliss curling up on the couch under a comfy blanket. I’m not a lover of winter, but I do love a good snuggle – something that’s not always as pleasant in the heat of summer!

Binge watching HIMYM on Netflix

This is totally related to the cold weather. I have been rediscovering How I Met Your Mother. I don’t think I fully appreciated it when it was still on the TV. The characters, the running jokes. It’s fun and it’s light and I’m not even bored re-watching the episodes. Great to watch before I fall asleep at night. It’s not scary. It’s not hard to follow. The episodes aren’t too long. It’s funny.

Oh god I love Netflix. Probably as much as I love Channing Tatum. Maybe even more.

Other things that have made me happy…

  • winter sunshine.
  • when the Little Mister dances and sings – the words might be wrong and his moves might be a little crazy but it’s a beautiful thing, a child’s ability to just show their joy.
  • finding a spare phone charger for Mr Unprepared to use after he left his at a friend’s house over a week ago. Sharing my charger was getting so annoying!
  • laughing at myself while trying out the Periscope app for the first time. Probably more on that later!
  • my brother gifting me a beautiful Spanish cook book he found me in Melbourne. I shall be taking particular notice of the recipes at the back for Churros, drinking chocolate and sangria. Um, hello!
  • cuddles with my little family.

What is on your happy list this week? x

 

 

 

Stuff I wish I wrote (or that I just love).

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Guys, I am not kidding when I tell you I am getting stir crazy. Did you know that I have not left my home for a week?! If I didn’t have a Friday night date with my girlfriends to see Magic Mike XXL (we are all really interested in the plot of course), I think I’d go absolutely loco. Well, more than usual.

Everyone’s taken their turns being sick in our household and OMFG I want out!! I haven’t touched my make up in days and I have worn variations of really daggy PJs/track suit/leggings combos for an embarrassingly long streak. What’s going on in the real world, guys? Is everyone on hover boards yet? Are you all still out there? There hasn’t been some kind of crazy zombie apocalypse or anything, has there?

As you can tell, I cope really well with isolation…

I thought, hmm. I have all this time at home so maybe I can blog more. But could I think of a single thing to write about that wasn’t tired or boring (much like my week)?? Nope. Nothing. I stared at my blog for ages, nothing going on behind my eyes. One big derp. You know when you think you’re being really productive because you’re making your thinking face but then you realise that really, it’s all just a facade and you forgot to actually think? For like a few minutes you were just sitting there like a dumb arse? Because derp?

Turns out, to be inspired, you often need to get out of your little bubble and explore the world. You know, live a life you can blog about. At least that is what I would normally do when I have writer’s block. Damn it!

So today I gave up. I started catching up on all the blogs I subscribe to (and Netflix but let’s not go there). If I can’t write great stuff, then I can read it! Everyone is so gosh darn clever. I’ve read so many posts that I wish I’d written. Stuff that has made me laugh or made me think. Or made me hungry.

So I thought I’d share a little bit of link love. Here are some of the things I’ve really enjoyed…

Never Trust a Jellyfish – Tribute (to the Best Blog Post in the World)

Oh, the times I have thought up a wonderful blog post…and then subsequently forgotten when it came time to type it up. Or worse, when I’ve written a fantastic post and suddenly there’s a glitch and it goes missing!

This is not only a hilarious tribute to that frustrating experience, but a trip down memory lane – remember, Tenacious D, anyone?

A life less frantic – Managing the overwhelm caused by your inner ‘planner’

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Well, duh. You’re a person. Of course you have! Kelly, over at A Life Less Frantic has some really great tips for managing that frantic anxiety of trying to figure out the logistics of everything on your to do list.

Babble – Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week

I love when people round up great tweets that I would not otherwise find by myself. I giggle SO HARD. Trust me, these are worth it.

Ask Your Dad – Dear Crappy Parent

Around these parts, I am very clear about ridiculous judgement of other parents being an absolute no no. I always believe that when we see that person at the supermarket with their kids, we do not know the whole story. We don’t have the right to go off at people on the internet, based on one photo or post that we’ve seen. We should all focus on getting our own backyard in order before bossing other people around about theirs. Just because someone does something differently to us, does not immediately make that person inferior to us (I mean – who do we think we are?). That’s just how I roll.

Unless we see a clear incidence/evidence of abuse that cannot be explained in any other context (in which we should ALWAYS speak up), we need to reserve our judgements. We are all in this together.

This blog post from Ask Your Dad totally nails why we should be less nosey and judgey.

Culinary Storm – Chocolate Lava Cake for 2 

OK, so this just made me drool. It’s so easy and it is everything I crave on a winter’s evening. I’m not saying it’s good for you, but hello…just look at the pictures and tell me you don’t want it. Chocolate lava cake for 2? Yeah, right. I think we know it’s just for one hungry 31 year old woman with no self control…not that we’re talking about me or anything…

What have you been reading lately? Want to share your latest blog post with me? x