Category: Inspiration

2017.

A little while ago, I took some time to reflect on the year that was: Oh, 2016, you were a complicated beast.

Now, I would like to look forwards in time. What will 2017 have in store for me? What are my goals? What would I like to continue?

I feel like I’m going to leap into 2017 feeling awesomely unprepared (see what I did there?) and oh my goodness, if the last couple of years have taught me anything, it’s that life will never cease to surprise me.

Still, here are some things I would like to see! Whether life has other plans or not, remains to be seen!!

Goals:

Fertility

While I don’t really feel like writing about it anymore (it can be draining), it would be neglectful to not mention this: Some fertility success would be ideal! While I can’t control the outcome so I don’t feel like it’s an actual ‘goal’ so much as a dream, I do hope I can aim for being much more pro-active in the care I receive. More assertive when it comes to dealing with specialists. I spent a lot of 2016 finding my feet. I hope 2017 can be about Getting Shit Done and making sure the right people are helping me to GSD (Get Shit Done).

Finish the Lady Cave

This epic saga has dragged on for so long it’s embarrassing. I bought most of the furniture. I cleared out most of the junk from the room. I just had trouble directing the moolah towards getting new carpet (by ‘trouble’ I mean I always found other things to do/think about), and motivation towards moving the last of the heavy furniture from the room. It’s a bit crazy, how slow I’ve been at this. I’m sure you could analyse me and find some kind of deep seated emotional/psychological block that’s been holding me back! Either way, I am so ready to make this happen. A little bit of Christmas gift money and Mr Unprepared being a magical furniture removal fairy yesterday while I was out, has made me feel much more enthusiastic!

Now that I write a lot more and I work on my computer a lot, I am more than ready to have my very own blogging lair.

*evil laugh*

Support more small creative business

I know I practically live at Kmart or Cotton On or some of the bigger chain stores. Sometimes my wallet (and my time) can only stretch that far. But there’s something I really want to do. I want to spend 2017 thinking more locally too. There are so many unique things out there: clothing, gifts, etc. Stuff that would not only make my life at least 67% cooler (don’t fact check that statistic I just totally made up), but that would allow me to support those who are out there doing their small creative business thing. I have some special peeps on my wishlist. I’m going to stop talking about it and I’m going to start doing. Because some of that stuff doesn’t actually cost an arm and a leg like I used to believe! It might take a little extra planning but I think it will be well worth it!

Record my happiness more

I’ve written a lot of happy lists on this blog, but they have been quite sporadic lately. I’ve decided to participate in #100happydays to keep me creative and in a positive frame of mind. I start on January 1st, 2017. You should join me! Just register at the website and get started – you can choose your own start date too! I really hope I can stick this one out. Or at least get to 100 within the year haha.

Things I’d like to continue in 2017:

  • Living healthily and striving towards my goal weight. I did so well this year, losing 5kg. I can’t wait to smash the final 3-4 I have left to lose. It really worked well for me, using the school term as a timeline for being really disciplined. If it ain’t broke!
  • It took me until the end of the year to get my shit together, but I finally started using online calendars to organise my life. I feel so much more in control now, so there’s no way I’m going to give that up! Note to self: figure out how to stop getting reminders via email. SO ANNOYING.
  • I’ve made some social changes in 2016. I’ve really enjoyed developing friendships that make me feel good about myself (and hopefully feeling like I do the same for them). I’ve redefined some boundaries and I’ve found my tribe/s. It feels good. I feel much more secure and happy friendship wise than I have in years. I want to stay on that path.
  • Adventuring. I did so much of it this year and it saved the way I look back on 2016. We already have a trip planned for March and we’re working on an idea for July. SO EXCITING.

What do you want to see happen in 2017? Do you set goals or resolutions, or would you rather poke your eyes out with a blunt object? 

How to feel safer on social media.

If you’ve been anywhere on the internet lately, you probably haven’t been able to avoid the news of Kim Kardashian’s run in with some armed burglars. While my life is absolutely nothing like hers in many(!) aspects, it sends a shiver down my spine to imagine what that would feel like – the violation, the trauma and the fear that your children could lose their mother.

While she’s received a lot of hate and victim blaming comments online, I do feel for her – sure her case has been widely publicised and talked about, because she’s super duper famous – but it’s still something that can happen to anyone. Even if you don’t have millions of dollars’ worth of jewellery on your person.

I have read that the Kardashian/West/Jenner family have really locked down on their social media since the scary event and while I wish this was the ideal world in which it did not play a role in the exploitation of people, I think this is a smart idea for them in the circumstances.

Please be mindful that I am in no way victim blaming anyone. Just offering some advice that I try to live by.

When I say ‘try’ I mean I am not perfect in this oversharing culture we live in, but I do try to have a somewhat cautious approach and I’m hoping to improve.

While the Kardashians are not to blame for the awful decisions made by others to traumatise or stalk them (yes I know a lot of people are disagreeing with me right now but I stand by what I’m saying), I do think this raises a good discussion about how we can keep ourselves as safe as possible. We can’t control everything that might happen to us, but we can put some safety measures in place – even without access to giant burly bouncers and bodyguards!

Here are the ways we can try to keep ourselves/locations/valuables safe(r) when on social media/blogs…

Reveal your location after the fact (or not at all)

It’s probably unrealistic to expect people to never reveal where they’re going or where they’ve been. Social media empires have been built on being able to promote exactly this.

Social media is amazing for its sense of immediacy. We can live blog, live stream, we have apps like snapchat. But it can come with its risks.

People know exactly where we are, what valuables we’re wearing and can deduce many other things about us in that place and time. While I wish there weren’t people out there who would exploit this, there are.

Sometimes for privacy reasons, I will do things like ‘check in’ to a location as I’m leaving it. Or I will save snapchat posts straight to ‘memories’ and add them to my story later.

I will keep certain locations to myself, but promote others. I recently went on an awesome holiday, which I shared a lot of, but I did not reveal the exact place where I was staying with family. Until recently, nobody even knew the exact name of my hometown on this blog!

Sometimes it can help to be a little enigmatic. Don’t always be consistent. Makes it a little harder for people to determine if you’re alone, or who you’re with/not with etc. Check a lot of settings on your social media accounts, because some reveal your location automatically. Try to disable as many of those as you can! You should be in control, not the app!

Be selective about who you share certain details with

I keep both personal and public social media profiles. While nothing is completely foolproof, my personal/private profiles are much more locked down than my public profiles and information. I try to keep my private contacts as people I know personally and feel like I can trust (I could probably even stand to do a bit more culling). I don’t give access to those I do not know well and what I share more ‘privately’ is quite different to what I share publicly.

I think it’s really important to have your private/public online presence sorted. While the urge to overshare to a wider audience can be bloody tempting, I like having people I can message/snap privately without that audience. I just ask myself before posting: is this for a couple of select friends/family members only or is this for a wider audience? What am I willing to reveal about my life right now? I’m allowed to decide what’s best for myself and my family. Some things are just not for social media.

Do not openly say ‘I’m home alone’ or my home is empty.

I try not to ever openly say whether I’m home alone (especially at night time) or that my home is empty. I’m happy to publicly show off my rather annoyingly protective dogs too haha.

I once gasped when I saw an acquaintance publicly post that she was enjoying a bubble bath right that minute, with a check in location at her house. I knew she lived alone and it freaked me out. Please don’t do that! Please!

It’s all about timing and inclusion/exclusion of critical details.

Do not allow people to virtually case your joint 

I can be quite selective in which things I share images of around my house. I don’t show off valuables (not that there are many – if any – mind you haha). I do not think that I have ever given a virtual tour of sorts of my place – i.e. while my house is a pretty standard design, I don’t think I’ve ever revealed the layout in its entirety.

I might just show the pretty generic parts of my place that happen to be in the background of whatever I’m snapping that day. If it reveals too much, I send privately to people who I know and trust in real life, who have probably visited anyway!


I know I may sound a little over cautious to some (it’s not like I’m super rich or famous or a particularly desirable target – something I do not mind AT ALL), but in reality I am really not. I probably could stand to tighten up a lot more. In some ways I envy those who can share so much without fear/paranoia (sometimes it’s even inspiring), but in other ways I can feel concerned.

None of the tips I have written here can guarantee anything. Some awful people have a will and they find a way and there’s nothing much we can do about it (which is why victim blaming is absolute nonsense). This advice just makes me feel a little more empowered and maybe these things make a small difference in deterring some morally bankrupt individuals.

I definitely could learn a lot more about keeping myself and my family safe online, but I am trying to be more mindful of what I share – especially in light of this recent news story (yes I referred to it as a ‘news’ story,  Hatey McHaters!).

How do you manage your online identity/presence? Do you have personal safety online measures put in place? (please make sure your comments do not betray any personal details that could put you at risk) 

5 ways I currently don’t have my shit together.

Recently, I’ve been living with the frustration of feeling like I just don’t have my shit together. It’s just been one of those years (so far). It’s only May, but I’ve been sick twice with awful lingering colds, had surgery (currently recovering from that one), become a school mum (a test of any parent’s organisational/social skills) and have had to deal with endometriosis and secondary infertility throughout it all – all of which involves times where you’re physically and mentally stretched to your limits.

When I found Kelly Exeter’s post ‘5 ways I currently don’t have my shit together’ on her blog A Life Less Frantic, I felt really relieved. If someone who has all the inspiring advice on how to get your shit together, also has times when she feels like she doesn’t have her shit together, then maybe I’m not such a big fail after all! Nothing like the comfort of feeling less alone!

Here are the 5 ways I’ve been feeling less than on top of this life thing:

I am sick of being sick/less than at my optimum physical condition, sick of thinking about it and sick of talking about it

When I’m not at my best physically, it can be very tempting to do a lot of navel gazing. I mean, I have had a lot of time to myself having a pity party about the lack of a ‘life’ I feel like I have. I don’t want to bore everyone with the details all the time, but I also feel a responsibility to tell people what’s happening if it’s affected my ability to be present/on top of things. It’s so god damn tiresome. I’m sick of it. I feel like a big, boring wet blanket. It’s not who I am and these times do not define me, but I am well aware of the fact that if it’s all that seems to be going on with me, that perception may be out there.

I try to be positive and balance out my ‘sick/lame Kez’ stories with other stuff, but then I get annoyed that I don’t always have much else to talk about when someone asks me how I am or what I’ve been up to. Maybe I’ve been a little bit depressed (not using that term lightly) and haven’t realised.

Even writing about it still gives me the irrits. Even more than the word ‘irrits’ does!

I mean, I hate how people have way worse things going on with them and yet I feel consumed by this crap. I feel embarrassed about that and a bit pathetic.

I feel stupid at the school gate

I am a really involved, loving parent, but being a school mum does not come naturally to me (does anyone/everyone/no-one feel the same?) and I feel so awkward standing around before and after school with all the mums – even though they’re all so nice and I know they’re in the same position as me (i.e. they’re standing there too)! Sometimes I feel like I’m running late so I rush in a bit flustered. Other times, I don’t know how long to chat or when to just get the eff out of there. I’m in awe of the mums who look like they’ve got it together and are wearing actual proper ‘outfits’ and not just the first thing they found in their floordrobe that seemed OKish. It’s worse when I’ve been dealing with some physical stuff and it really challenges my ability to seem ‘all there’. I still feel like a school kid scared of breaking the rules – what am I doing there as a parent?! Who let this happen??

I am shit at committing to things

This seems to have been a big side effect of the physical stuff I’ve been dealing with (as outlined above). I seem to have lost faith in being able to say yes to something that is happening in a couple of weeks’ time and know that it’s going to actually happen. It’s like I’ve decided that I should be psychic, able to account for everything that might possibly happen between now and then. Or else just give up and say no.

So I end up not participating in my life as much as I could or flaking. I hate being a flake. I hated flaky people until I became one. Actually I still hate it. Now I just get mad at myself. I cannot apologise to people enough.

In turn, this affects my social confidence and the cycle goes round and round.

I am working on this.

I never feel like a ‘put together’ woman

Thanks to my endometriosis, I have had the skin of an awkward 14 year old for a while now. It’s a bit difficult trying to feel like a grown woman, when your skin is wildly fluctuating from dry and almost flaky to oily and filled with zits.

I feel like it’s rare that I turn up somewhere and my outfit is polished and well put together, my make up/skin looking nice/normal/age appropriate. I know that sounds really shallow, but the ritual of putting my outer self together is important to me these days. My confidence is tied up in it more than I’d like to admit. Maybe it’s a control thing. I feel like I can’t control what’s happening inside of me so I have started to become obsessed with cosmetics and nice manicures and properly styled outfits.

I did not even make the connection until I literally just typed this and it spilled out of me – Aha moment!! OMG. Note to self: revisit this!

I can’t ever exercise regularly for more than maybe a week or two at a time

I am always banging on about my Kez Gets Physical mission and while I am fairly accepting of the fact that life (and emotion haha) interrupts our best efforts at exercise and nutrition sometimes, my ability to do focused exercise is very important to me. My mental health relies on it and my physical health has so much potential that I am not able to tap into right now.

No matter how much my mind is willing to keep up a consistent lifestyle of fitness and exercise, my body has refused to cooperate. I am hoping this stuff will get easier now that I have had my surgery, but you can understand my frustration, I’m sure!

The thing is, I could dwell on how awful these things are. But I am not going to do that. I refuse. I am so ready to take life by the balls (what the hell saying is that??) and push on through. I’m a fighter and I am strong. Now that I’ve identified 5 key areas where I feel like I do not have my shit together, I can do something about them. I can’t fix it all overnight but I can take some steps that will make me feel empowered when I see progress. I have to celebrate the small wins.

I feel like recovering from last week’s surgery has been a pivotal moment for me. I’m taking this chance to start afresh. I will surely experience many more stumbling blocks moving forward (that’s life), but I feel hopeful about my future and my health for the first time in a long time and I am relieved to re-learn just how resilient my spirit is.

Here’s to always remembering that nobody ever has ALL their shit together ALL the time and not worrying so much. Here’s to not forgetting to notice what we’re getting right too! Here’s to always being able to find something we CAN do, when there are so many other things we can’t.

How are you? Do you have your shit together? What areas are you struggling with? 

When tragedy strikes.

Last week, some terrible things happened – notably in Paris and Beirut. Sadly, much like the constant news we hear about shootings in the US, I fear that we’re all falling into a routine in our reactions to such awful events. It’s not that we’re desensitised (at least I hope not) but it’s very sad that we can now predict exactly how the initial aftermath will play out.

Shock and adrenaline.

We’ve all sat by our Twitter accounts and watched the live feeds as terrible news breaks. We hear rumours of terrorism. We are transfixed – we want the latest updates. People are scared and horrified. Our hearts break. The news becomes a trending topic across social media. We make sure to mention that we’re thinking of all those affected, because now that the world is seemingly so connected via the internet, it feels wrong not to acknowledge that something terrible is happening. We can’t ignore it.

Outrage.

When we hear more and more about the disgusting things that ‘terrorists’ have done, we become outraged. We want to do something. We start to show our support for those who are attacked. We change our profile photos on Facebook. We sign petitions. We share what we feel are important messages on how to navigate such horrible news. If we’re in a position to, we donate to related charities or organise to show up at certain events.

Out come the haters. The ignorance runs rife. Newsfeeds are filled with weird propaganda of scumbags who preach hate against Islam. You start to realise the true colours of people who you used to think were a little smarter than that. You feel disappointment as you start clicking ‘hide’, ‘block posts from this page’, ‘unfollow’. People become competitive and start arguments about who is more caring. We’ve all seen it.

“Oh, look at you all supporting the people in Paris. You don’t even care about what’s happening in x, y, or z every day of the year.”

“Hashtag activism is pathetic and lazy. Why aren’t you actually doing something about it?”

Politicians whose views should never be given the air time come out of the woodwork. It all starts to feel like some sort of shitshow and you despair.

Horror stories break hearts. 

As time rolls on, horrific firsthand accounts emerge from survivors. Eventually we click on a couple. We want to know what these poor people have been through. Last night I finally read some and I found myself in tears. I had to stop. It was a luxury that I could. My heart truly does go out to the people who live through events like this. You wonder if your heart can take anymore and then you wonder how people actually living through it must be feeling, if this is how you’re feeling so far away from the situation.

Waleed makes so much sense. 

Then the thing comes that we’ve been waiting for with bated breath. The awesome Waleed Aly of The Project comes through with the goods. He is always the voice of reason. He nails everything I’ve been thinking but cannot express as eloquently. Waleed is not taking any bullshit. He will smash your ignorance into smithereens if you let him. He will use facts and intelligence and wit. No-one gets out dumber. A little hope is restored.

ISIL is WeakWaleed talks about how we can stop ISIL #TheProjectTVWritten by Waleed and Tom Whitty (@twhittyer)

Posted by The Project on Monday, 16 November 2015

What can we change?

Now this is just my opinion, but here’s what I think…

We can stop judging the way other people grieve, mourn or show solidarity with the victims of such attacks. Do you really think you’re a superior person because you trolled or insulted somebody who shows compassion for other people in this world? Do you really think you’re achieving anything by dismissing their love and empathy as empty nothingness? We can educate people about the lesser known social injustices occurring around the world without shitting all over other people who show their support and sadness about something more visible. We can stop buying into racist or xenophobic rhetoric. We can speak up for love and reject hate and anger (that is what fuels such evil people to do these things – why would we think it’s going to make us better?). We can raise children who are generous, tolerant, accepting, but who also know how to critically analyse what they’re seeing and hearing every day from the media, politicians and evil ‘organisations’ who are trying to divide us. We can talk about terrorism as basic, cowardly and an extreme act of stupidity. We can be proactive when we have the opportunity. We can choose our thoughts and our tweets. Like my homeboy Waleed says, we can choose to NOT give ‘terrorists’ what they want.

We can hug the people we love extra hard each day and never let them doubt how we feel about them. We can remember what’s really important. We can send and share that love and kindness everywhere we go. Because love is contagious and it really can start at home. Anger that is directed in all the wrong places is poisonous, but love is energising.

We are all better than a handful of deplorable, awful, violent people. I believe love can win if we choose it.

 

I beg you not to burn + Banana Boat Giveaway.

Products supplied by Banana Boat for review & giveaway

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While I wouldn’t exactly say that spring has completely sprung around these parts (it’s a still a bit cool for my liking), the sun has definitely been showing its face around here a lot more lately. I’m already planning so many more outdoor activities – beach time, more outdoor running, spending time in the garden, working on the outside of our house, trips to the playground, socialising and more. Yay! SUMMER IS COMING!

*stops happy dancing and puts on serious face*

Only thing is… with summer comes more risk of doing damage to our skin. While we can still do damage on cloudy days, it’s during the summer that I start to see disturbing images on social media of people with pretty bad sunburn. Usually captioned with silly emoji and a bit of a light hearted, “oh – whoops – burnt again – silly me – hahaha!”

Some people even seem proud of it. Sometimes there’s even talk of how they hope that after their skin burns, they’ll be brown and tanned.

I’d be lying if I said that I don’t worry about it. I’d also be lying if I said that sometimes it doesn’t frickin’ annoy me that they’d potentially mess with their lives just for a tan.

Look, I get it. Sometimes we can be forgetful. We can fall asleep in the sun after a couple of beverages, forgetting to find shade or reapply our sunscreen. We can be so absorbed in a rousing game of beach cricket or a productive day in the backyard and lose track of time. We can unexpectedly find ourselves outdoors for a prolonged period and realise we have nothing to protect us.

But I am appealing to you all to stop getting sunburnt. Make it your mission this summer (and all year round). My own family has experienced tragic loss to melanoma. It’s real and it’s happening to Aussies everywhere. Our lifestyle and our weather put us at more risk if we don’t take precautions. It doesn’t just happen to “other” people. Believe me when I say this.

Ever since our family’s very sad wake up call we try to keep up with our skin checks (you might be super scared to do it in case the results are bad but trust me – not knowing won’t change the reality of a situation – it will only steal away the time you could have been treating it). I have my house, handbag, and beach bag stocked up with sunscreen everywhere. I have it in roll on form, spray form, cream form, formulated for children, stuff for sports activities, water play. You name it, we’ve got it. Wherever we are. It has to be easy or we forget.

We cover up as much as we can. This spring/summer I’m on the hunt for the perfect wide brimmed hat. I am terrible with hats (so not a hat person), but I want to protect myself better and set a great example for the Little Mister. I urge all of my fellow non hat people to give it a go too. There’s gotta be something flattering out there for us!! We just have to commit to the search. Vanity just can’t be an excuse anymore.

Wear your sunglasses. Protect your eyes. I have been making a huge effort to remember my sunnies everywhere I go. See, during the Little Mister’s first year of life, I kept forgetting them. I was completely consumed by what to pack for the baby, that I put myself last. I don’t know why but sunglasses always went to the bottom of the list as I ran out of the door. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but by the time the Little Mister was about 18 months old, I realised the damage. In just that short amount of time (after years of being dedicated to wearing my sunnies for most of my life), I had sun spots around the corners of my eyes. They look a bit like I’ve made a mess of my eye make up. At first I thought that was what they were. I rubbed at them, thinking I’d stained my skin with eye liner or mascara. When the realisation dawned on me that it was the sun’s doing, I immediately changed my ways. I admit it started with vanity, but it showed me just how quickly you can do irreversible damage. It doesn’t take long. I promise you that. Wear them when you’re driving, walking around outdoors, any time your eyes are exposed to the sunlight.

I want my family and friends to take it seriously, because I want them around for a loooooong time. I’d rather they all be a little bit pale and perfect than burnt, leathery and flaky (and potentially sick). Tell me, which is the better look?

So that is my plea to you. Please don’t be weirdly proud of your sunburn. Do not increase your risk in the hopes that you’ll tan. Protect yourself when you’re out and about. Protect your precious children. Let’s teach them good habits now that will pay off later.

Let’s prevent the heartbreak of you or your family suffering from melanoma. Let’s not forget to look after ourselves (I know it can happen easily if we don’t put self care at the top of the list but it’s so important). Let’s stop laughing about sunburn like it’s a funny joke and start having meaningful conversations about preventing skin cancer.

This is an issue very close to my family’s heart and I want to help you to get your family’s sun protection routine in order, so I’ve arranged a little something to get a couple of my lucky readers started! I am a big fan of Banana Boat and I am so stoked to be able to run a Banana Boat giveaway right here on the blog!

You can win either a kid’s pack (4 items as below):

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…or an adult’s pack (2 items as below):

 

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How to enter…

Leave a comment right here on the blog, telling me which pack you want (kids or adults – if you don’t mind which one then let me know that either would be fine) and what you plan to do to make sun protection easier for you and/or your family this summer. Any great tips for my other readers? 

T & Cs

  • There will be two separate winners. One winner will receive the kids prize and one winner will receive the adults prize. While prize preferences of competition entrants will be taken into consideration, it is not guaranteed that they will receive the pack they preferred, should they be named a winner.
  • Giveaway ends at midnight WST on Sunday the 4th October, 2015.
  • The prizes will be sent out by a 3rd party. Products may vary slightly from what is pictured.
  • Winners will be chosen based on the quality of their entry comments. My choices will be final.
  • The winner will be notified privately via email and be announced on my Facebook page (click to follow).
  • Giveaway only open to Australian residents (so sorry my gorgeous foreigners).

GOOD LUCK!!! 🙂

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? 

Surprise! It’s Autumn!

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I know, right? How did that happen?? It was summer a second ago! Has it really been that long already? Where does time go? I’m not done frolicking at the beach. COME BACK, SUMMER.

This happens to me every year. It’s not that I don’t love autumn. I just wish it wouldn’t sneak up on me all the time. I guess that’s how famous people probably feel about Ellen Degeneres. If you do not understand this reference, shame on you…for probably having a life…that doesn’t involve a love affair with a DVR…and Ellen.

NO. I AM NOT HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH ELLEN. SPEAK TO MY PUBLICIST.

I don’t have a publicist.

Um…where was I?

Yes. Autumn. I love Autumn. My birthday is in Autumn. Easter is in Autumn. Some of my fondest memories come with the sounds, smells and weather of Autumn embedded in them.

My problem is that I am just never ready for it. Ever. You’d think I’d learn, right? Nope. Slow learner right here.

My biggest downfall is my inability to plan my autumn/winter wardrobe. See, the clothes appear in the shops at the hottest time of the year (which is coincidentally usually right before Autumn begins). So I look at that stuff and say, “Pffft. As if I can think of leggings and jackets and scarves right now. You’ve got to be joking!”

The weather in my corner of the world isn’t quite cold yet, but Autumn is in the air. We’ve had some rain, the days feel more mellow and they are getting shorter. So I’m feeling awkward as f*ck, because soon I am going to be that girl who is so obviously wearing her summer clothes for too long, because she doesn’t know what else to do. We’ve all seen that girl before. She’s the same girl who gets too excited for summer and wears shorts too early and everyone is all like, yo, settle down. Y’know? Yep. That’s me.

The only time I feel I nailed Autumn was when I was pregnant with the Little Mister in 2011. Because, hello, when you have a baby bump you can wear anything and no-one thinks you’re fat or falsely accuses you of being pregnant. It’s like the perfect accessory. So fashion tip: be pregnant.

Um…as that is not an option right now, I am SCREWED. I have not done a THING towards preparing a cooler weather wardrobe. NOT A THING. All i have is some worn out tights, some worn out boots and a couple of hoodies – the kind that say you’ve given up on yourself and have nothing else to wear. Oops.

Besides vowing to watch Rosie Rockets’ blog very closely for ideas (no pressure haha), I really haven’t made a plan. All I know is that I’d like to somehow incorporate these things that I thought of in my brain and then found on Pinterest for illustration…

Oversized flannel shirt/dress.

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This is my kinda thing. It’s easy. It can be worn with comfy leggings. It doesn’t involve 50 layers of clothing (layers make this 5 foot tall shortie feel like I’m drowning in fabric). It flatters a few extra curves if you’re carrying them (guilty!). It can be dressed up a little or kept really simple. It’s almost an outfit in itself so there’s no crazy decision making every single morning. Get me one in every kind of plaid! Stat!

Burgundy lips.

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Something about cooler, greyer weather just makes me want to bring out the darker hues. Strong, warm, matte colours. I love lipstick because it’s a quick way to make yourself look (and more importantly feel) polished, like you’ve made an effort. I kind of let my lipstick wearing slip through the summer and I think that I really need to bring it back. When I’ve got my lippie on I feel so much more sexy and confident. I wouldn’t be surprised if I even carry myself a bit differently (disclaimer: still a klutz forever though). Watch out, world!

Dark nails. 

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Gotta match my lips, of course! These hands look a bit over photo shopped, though. Kind of like they’re dead. Let’s ignore that. Gotta love Pinterest haha.

Boots.

I need boots. To be honest, I do not know where to start. I want black ones. But I’m short and I have short legs so I have to wear a lot of the shorter ankle styled ones over dark tights to keep things flattering. And while I like the ones with heels, I also need to be practical and have some flatter ones or wedges maybe. I don’t want old ‘mum’ boots. I want cool boots. Very ‘now’ ones. Maybe something with a bit of an edge. BUT WHAT IS ‘NOW’?! I feel a bit out of touch. How sad! Suggestions? Links? Pics? Maybe I can get some inspiration in Sydney next month…

Told you I’m crap at Autumn/Winter!!

Let’s just fantasise about these impractical beauties for a second, though…that’s just shoe porn right there.

*drools*

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Biker jacket.

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I have had incarnations of this before, but I’ve just never quite nailed it. I am looking for something that I can wear, but that doesn’t wear me! See? This model is wearing the jacket. When I put a jacket of any description on, I feel all bulky and lost in it. Like it never quite sits right. It wears me. I know The One is out there somewhere waiting for me. I must search harder this year!!

Are you ever ready for Autumn? What staples will you be wearing this season?

Lady cave.

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No, it’s not a euphemism (giggles immaturely). Just like men like to have man caves, I have decided that I need a lady cave. I have a place for it all picked out. Sure, it won’t be perfect, because we have to keep the ironing board and unsorted washing and the bills somewhere, but hey – Mr Unprepared won’t be getting a shed as big as he’d like for the time being so I guess it’s only fair 😉

Yep. I am going to be making over the study. It will be my little sanctuary, where I can blog and look at pretty things and pretend I belong on fancy websites and do very important ‘unspecified as yet’ creative ‘work’. It will be a light, bright space that makes me feel happy and serene and not at all stabby like it does now. It will have to be functional, but almost 31 years into my life I am finally realising that the home office is actually allowed to be ridiculously good looking just like the rest of the house (which admittedly needs a little work too but nothing is as bad as the study is right now haha). I always thought that a study needed to  be the soulless room in the house and have ugly, horrendously designed generic furniture. Bulky stuff. Fugly – to keep all the fugly paperwork in. That it’s just a place to be practical. The one room that doesn’t need any prettying up. Because it’s supposed to be all utilitarian. Like an actual office. Think of the ugliest accountant’s office you’ve ever been in. Like that. I don’t know why. Now that I think about it, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME? Why was I punishing myself?? WHO AM I??

But then Pinterest was invented. And I started reading some great blogs, with pretty pictures from people’s lives. Now I have myself believing that there’s no reason I can’t enjoy that space and feel productive in it at the same time. I want to make it inviting and peaceful. So beautiful that no-one would ever dare to chuck old paid bills and clutter all over the place out of fear of ruining the wonderful vibe of it all (Ha ha ha – shut up).

Here’s what I’ve been drooling over…

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All I want is a little white desk. I don’t need heaps of work space! Some space for my laptop and some artistically arranged stationery. Nothing crazy. Just something to replace the massive, inflexible corner desk that takes up so much more room than is needed! The space would look instantly bigger.

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Floating shelves. White of course. Storage is definitely a challenge in our study, so we can’t just ditch all the shelf space. However, I would happily ditch all of the bulky book cases that are lined up against one wall. Floating shelves would again offer the illusion of more space, but would happily accommodate our important books and photo albums. I think it would also force me to really think about what I really need vs what I keep thinking I might need one day (notebook hoarder over here – HOLLA!).

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I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t want some inspirational wall prints. A pop of colour. Sure, I’d have to get creative in how to display my degree, the wedding certificate and Mr Unprepared’s trade certificates, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

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And isn’t this desk chair divine? I want colour! And shape! Style. Comfort. I love that it’s not huge and foreboding like the big chair we have in there now. The one that looks like an evil movie villain will spin around in it at any moment, stroking a white, fluffy cat. The chair we have kind of dominates the room – drives me crazy. We bought it originally because it had a lot of back support and felt it was important because I would be studying for so long at a time in it. We figured, the higher the better. Except I am only five foot tall when I’m standing. Hilarious. I question my old decisions more and more!

Of course I’d need a simple filing cabinet and maybe a drawer or two near the desk for extra stationery, but I think it’s all quite doable.

I also dream of a gorgeous desk top computer – Apple of course (gotta add to my collection of matching devices) – but maybe that can wait a little while. In fact, all of it must wait a little while. But I can get started clearing the junk (it’s like an episode of Hoarders in there – you won’t believe that I found two CAR WING MIRRORS in there for WHO KNOWS WHAT KIND OF CAR… AND MORE – WTF Mr Unprepared?!), one piece of ugly office furniture at a time. It will be my ongoing project. Also, if anyone wants cables for anything. Anything that is not manufactured anymore or compatible with anything made this century, just give me a yell.

YAY FOR NO MORE UGLY HOME OFFICES…EVENTUALLY! 🙂

What would your lady (or your lady’s) cave be/look like? x

Inspiration: Living a more authentic life.

Sometimes I like to seek out inspirational quotes that make me feel like I can do this whole life thing. Stuff I can meditate on. And by meditate, I mean think about and reflect on. Not actually meditate. Because I am crap at actual meditation, even though I know I should do it more because it does work. Hmm…maybe I should find some inspirational quotes about meditation. That might help.

But today is not that day (sorry Mum).

Today I have put together a handful of quotes (found on Pinterest) around the theme of living more authentically. I think that living a life where we’re really honest with ourselves and others, is the best way to achieve inner peace and lessen the constant mental turmoil.

Here they are. I think I will let them speak for themselves (I won’t add my own personal notes this time because I think these kinds of things can be quite personal and I’d love for you to find your own meaning for them):

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Did any of these quotes resonate with you?

Feel good Christmas gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

Sponsored by GroupTogether

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When I think of Christmas, I think of the act of giving. I think of the ways in which we can show the people in our lives that we care about them and that we have appreciated them throughout the whole year. Christmas to me is about togetherness. In the ever increasingly commercialised world that we live in, we could almost be forgiven for thinking that it’s about ‘stuff’ and ‘money’ and ‘more is better’, but we don’t have to remortgage the house each year to please those we care about. Truly. A little imagination and a lot of love can go a long way (which is what really counts don’t you think)!

Here are some great ideas (if I do say so myself) that won’t break the bank. They are not only fantastic if your budget is a little tight, but for anyone who has a lot of people to share the love with. And? The coolest part? They aren’t tacky, generic crap. They mean something and they’ll bring a genuine smile!

Group gifts.

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I think if I was given the choice between several itty bitty gifts and one thing that I really wanted, it would be a no-brainer. Just think, if your family/friendship group/sporting team etc all put in just a few dollars (whatever they chose to give), it would add up pretty quickly! You could give a loved one a much needed spa appointment, an experience (hot laps in a race car or sky diving anyone?), or that thing they really want but have never been able to justify buying it for themselves, because they’re so wonderfully generous to everyone else in their lives.

There’s even this awesome website called GroupTogether.com which makes it ridiculously easy! It is pretty cool because the organiser doesn’t have to work so hard to make a group gift happen, which is nice because it can take up a lot of time we don’t have at this time of year. Basically, you set up a collection with GroupTogether, it sends around an email to the others in the group and if they want to contribute, they pay online and add to a gorgeous gift card (yes – you don’t even have to rush down to the shops for a massive card and then somehow arrange for everyone to physically sign it at the last minute)! Basically, this helpful website tracks payments and can even send reminders! When the time comes, it will transfer the money to the organiser who can purchase the gift! Yay! That is a lot of brain space saved for us to fill with other festive chaos 😉

I know that group presents aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I find that not pressuring people to spend more than they can give (or judging those who choose not to) and setting realistic targets makes it a really positive experience! GroupTogether is perfect for managing that!

Also? For added feel-goodedness (not a word but I don’t care for your rules), GroupTogether even lets you nominate a portion of the gift amount to be donated to charity! Yes!

Which brings me to my next idea…

Charity donations.

The perfect thing for the person who has everything or needs nothing. At this time of year, I realise just how lucky I am and I try to remember those who may be less fortunate. Every year my mum purchases gift cards from World Vision for the family (isn’t she awesome?). They aren’t just any old Christmas cards, though. Each one can help World Vision to provide anything from school pencils, to immunisations or school books for children in need around the world (you can pick what you want to give). Each time I receive one of these cards, I feel genuine happiness inside – especially since I’ve become a mum. It brings me a warm feeling to know that someone has donated on my behalf to give children the things my child will be lucky enough to take for granted. Other organisations such as Oxfam provide a similar service.

If causes closer to home are more your thing, there are often present drives for charities in the bigger department stores. You can select a gift for a child, wrap it and place it under a tree there. It is sure to brighten somebody’s Christmas day.

You can also simply choose a charity close to your heart and make a donation on behalf of your loved one/s.

Let’s share the love around these holidays.

Home made gifts.

I know. It sounds like too much effort. Or it sounds lame. But, hear me out. I am a fairly average crafter, with very little experience AND I have a toddler. I have managed to somehow fool people into believing that I am actually OK at this home made gift caper and if I can, you can too!

Here are some ideas you can find online (or on Pinterest where I found them)…

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‘Cookies’ that can be baked later 🙂

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A Sundae kit

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Rein-beer!

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A naughty hot chocolate in a jar 😉

You can also put together great little (affordable) ‘care’ packages – mini manicures/pedicures in a jar (let’s just make peace with the fact that everything’s in a jar these days haha), little survival kits for anything from a frazzled parent to someone who is scared of zombies! Perhaps a uni student, a parent-to-be, or …well, just about anyone! Just get creative!

Oh, and if you do have a toddler like I do, SLAVE LABOUR. They think they’re enjoying some awesome new pre-school activity, but really you are teaching them about Christmas and the spirit of giving and then everyone receives something adorable (because it’s made with love by their favourite little person/people)! Yes. It’s a win/win situation, right there haha.

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Salt dough ornaments

I could seriously go on and on and on and on. But I won’t. Although, you can contact me if you ever want more ideas. I’ll be all over that sh…tuff (I found out on Twitter that I swear too much and I’m on the naughty list – oops)…

As long as you put a little bit of love in it, people will enjoy it x

Something meaningful.

Sometimes something straight from the heart can be the most valuable thing of all. These are one of a kind, very personalised things that no-one else will ever give that person.

I’ve been known to make photo books filled with special memories, and when the Little Mister was a baby, we ordered special little brag books for the grandparents and great grandparents. You can either print the photos out yourself, go to a printing place (for just a few cents per print) and then buy cheap little albums to put them in. OR you can order them as pre-made books online. A lot of websites will run amazing bargain priced Christmas specials and you can get them made at a very low cost.

Here are a couple of other ideas:

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“Open when…” letters to a loved one

These are great for when you need to spend time apart from your partner – perhaps one of you travels for work. Or it would even be great for your kids if you have to be apart for whatever reason.

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Pre-planned/pre-paid (if required) date nights for every month of the year

Oh my goodness. I would love this! Sure, it does cost something some of the time, but the time you would get with your partner (kid free) would be priceless and you deserve to treat yourselves all year round if you are lucky enough to get the child care (this kind of gift would be great motivation)! Perhaps the envelopes could include movie passes, reservations for a restaurant, baby sitting funds, something for a concert etc etc. However, there are a LOT of things you can do for free together too (and not just the bow chicka wow wow if you know what I mean haha), with a little imagination!

Your time/presence.

Last but definitely not least, give your time. Just be there. Show your loved ones how much you care all year round. It is the most important gift of all. You are very special to some people in your life and you can never be replaced. Find a way to be there in spirit, even if/when you can’t be there in person. Turn up when you can 🙂

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I hope these ideas help a little. The thing I like about them is that you can tailor just about all of them to your budget or your particular situation.

What great gift ideas do you have? Have you tried these things before? x