Category: Inspiration

Thursday thoughts.

Whenever I am feeling a bit “off”, be that anxious, a bit down or really frustrated, I like to find great quotes to fill my mind with and get myself headed in a better direction. I really think that our thoughts are powerful. They determine the energy we put out to other people and they can affect our health. Here are the things that are soothing me today…

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I’ve decided that whenever I am feeling conflicted or I find myself thinking negatively about people or circumstances, I am going to ask myself this question. Is this worrying/resentment etc good for my soul? Maybe not. I must remember to look after myself, rather than expend my energy on being annoyed or worried about other things or people that I ultimately have no control over.

I must do what is good for my soul and keep it healthy.

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I tend to be an over thinker. Which can be a good thing (it’s great for blogging and for having a greater understanding of myself and the people I meet) but sometimes I don’t know how to switch off. I can find myself worrying about the future or over thinking the past. I need to take a deep breath and be here in the ‘now’. Right now is good. Right now I am sitting at my dining table while my Little Mister plays, the sun is out and right here in my bubble of ‘now-ness’ everything is good. What a relief. I must remember to take life moment by moment when it starts getting away from me in my head.

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I must remember that those frustrating little hiccups in life do indeed pass eventually. That dreaded task you have to do will eventually be done with. That stressful deadline for whatever it is will come. And go. That miserable weather that’s getting you down will eventually make way for sunny days. That phase your toddler is going through will pass and that will probably be bittersweet so just go with it. It won’t last forever. Some things pass us by quicker than others, but most of those ‘every day’ type stresses will make way for better things. This quote really helps to put most things in perspective. I feel very fortunate that it applies to my life.

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Oh yes. Our brains can really play tricks on us. Sometimes we can let our inner voice be really mean. I am choosing to not believe every single thing my brain tells me. My brain can be a lying liar with its pants on f*cking fire sometimes. Especially when I’m anxious or angry. I need to always stop and ask myself – what evidence is there that the worst case scenario is actually happening or going to happen? Am I really as awful as my mind is telling me right now? Let’s be honest, probably not. Being able to recognise when this is occurring can be the difference between sanity and…the alternative! It can make the difference between positive and negative thinking.

I need to discriminate between true intuition and false thoughts that are destructive (and not good for my soul – see above).

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Unfortunately, there are people in this world who would rather squash your spirit so that they can feel better about themselves, rather than be inspired to raise themselves up and become better. It can be really helpful to recognise when this is happening. I have made a vow to myself to never lower myself to a level of behaviour that I am not OK with. It’s not worth it just to fit in, make your point or to make peace. The price your soul pays each time this happens is just too great. I am all for compromise, but it must go both ways for the betterment of a situation. NOT because someone wants to put me in my place or make themselves feel taller by standing on my shoulders. Those sorts of people get rather heavy after a while, don’t you think?

I will happily give somebody a hand up or support them as they make great changes, but it won’t come at the cost of my ability to live with who I am.

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Here’s a lovely one. As I look forward to Christmas (sorry to mention it before December haha), this is really important to me. I hope that I can show a generous spirit to those around me. The benefits of being generous of spirit are just too good to ignore! Putting all that positive energy and love out there is a beautiful thing. It’s not all about money or material things either. It’s about sharing your abundance, whatever that might be, with others. It could be a donation to charity or a thoughtful Christmas gift. But it can be as simple as a smile, a listening ear or great thought put into what we do for others. These things cost nothing to give.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

I support you: It’s your baby. Feed them however you need to.

Support

I am participating in the I Support You campaign (1st to 7th November) run by Mama By the Bay. This blog post is in aid of supporting all loving mothers NO MATTER HOW they feed their babies or what parenting choices they make. 

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Look, I’m just going to get straight to the point on the issue of feeding our babies. Despite how we feel when we have our first babies (I can’t speak for subsequent babies so I’ll stick to my own experiences – please feel free to add to the conversation if you have more than one), the way we feed them is not how we should define ourselves. Neither is the method by which your child is delivered. They are just facts on a timeline. Things that happened in our journey. A path we had to take (even if we chose it we did so because it was best for us and our babies). It does not define our child’s life. As I look at my almost 3 year old (how time flies!) I don’t fuss that he was mixed fed from day 1. I don’t care that he came to us via C-section. It’s just a memory now. It hasn’t determined the rest of his life. He sits at the dinner table with us, munching on whatever I make him (well mostly – he is a toddler after all). I have a scar, but I only notice it when it tingles after a couple of cocktails (true story – it’s weird). My Little Mister is funny, charming (most of the time), he is healthy and he is bright. Medically, all is quite well too. He has the immune system of …whatever only gets sick once a year (touch wood) and he is developing quite normally. While it took me time (about a year) to feel this way, I have NO regrets. None. Oh, except that I wish I didn’t worry so much what other people thought about my choices. THAT was the one thing I wasted time on. The one thing that kept me awake at night (even when my baby was sleeping).

Please allow me to do some very blunt myth busting in the name of supporting anyone who has ever had to feed a baby (it’s kind of a necessary task – you know, for keeping them alive and stuff)…

*ahem*

Brace yourselves.

Myth: “If you stop breastfeeding, you’re going to miss out on a special bonding experience with your baby.”

Um, no. No you’re not. While breastfeeding is a beautiful way to bond with your baby (I can attest to that), it is certainly not the only way. It is one of many gorgeous ways we connect with our children. If you cannot (or choose not to) breastfeed, you are not to buy into that BS, OK? You’re a loving mother who has many tricks up her sleeve. Cuddles while bottle feeding – lovely. Talking to your baby. Singing with them. Eye contact. Smiles. The gentle way you tend to them. Quality time getting to know each other. The love you have for them is pretty powerful stuff in itself. You really think your baby can’t feel that bond? How do we expect adopted babies to flourish in the loving arms of their new parents (a heads up: I’m proof)? How do we expect awesome new dads to connect so beautifully? They can’t breastfeed and that does not diminish the love. Have faith in yourself. If the love is there, you’re going to be just fine. Sorry to be a little feisty, but FFS. I hate that people perpetuate this kind of judgement.

Myth: “Feeding your baby formula is the easy way out. New mums give up too easily on breastfeeding.”

Look, I have not met one new mother who has found the decision easy. I know that for me, to give up breastfeeding was a huge decision. I tortured myself over it for a long time before I went through with it. I weighed up the pros, the cons. I was educated on the subject. I had a great support network. I could argue that for a lot of new mums it’s harder to give it up. We have to change our expectations of ourselves that we may have had since before we were even pregnant. We have to admit to ourselves that whatever the circumstances, our bodies may not understand what we’re asking (this can mean working through feelings that we’re failing – we’re not FYI). We have to face the judgement of others. We have to fight our inner critics (the worst ones of all). We have to do so much more work (sterilising/prepping/warming bottles), spend more money on formula and the extra bits and bobs that come with the job. You call that easier?? We are f*cking warriors too – don’t you forget that. All new mothers are.

Myth: “Formula babies are fatter than breastfed babies. It’s like you’re feeding your baby fast food.”

Some babies just need some extra help to thrive. I’m sorry, but a thriving baby is better than the alternative. Also? Some of the cutest, chubbiest babies I have EVER seen were breastfed. And they were gorgeous. And healthy. And they grew out of their Michelin Man features quickly enough. And that’s saying something, because the Little Mister was a chubby bub indeed! Was it the formula? Probably. But only because he was able to thrive, just like the other babies, despite my body’s challenges. He, just like the breastfed babies his age, has suddenly grown into a boy shape (eek – when did that happen?) and wouldn’t you know it? You look at him, then look at his little friends and *shock horror* you would not be able to tell the difference. I know some people argue about the long term effects, but formula has been fed to human babies for generations now and I would not be able to tell the difference when I look at my friends or even my friends’ parents. So many more environmental or genetic factors determine our health and our body shapes as we grow. Formula is the least of our worries!!

Myth: “Pick a side and stick to it. Breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Which one are you?”

Firstly, it’s nobody’s damn business. You don’t owe any nosey parker an answer. Secondly, why can’t you have the best of both worlds when necessary? The Little Mister’s life began with mixed feeding. For the first 3 days he was exclusively on formula by default as I had no supply and he was in a hospital an hour’s drive away from me. The next 3 days I was stressed, on a heavy course of antibiotics (which no-one told me might interfere with my supply – this would have been so much more comforting for me to know) and getting stir crazy in the hospital. No milk! After a terrible first night with the Little Mister when he returned to me (he cried because he was essentially starving), a kindly midwife suggested formula top ups. She made it OK. There was no point starving him and distressing everybody involved. The first days of parenthood are hard enough! After I got home, with the help of some medication, I had some supply. It wasn’t awesome but it was enough for him to reap the benefits. I fed mostly on demand during the day but he had some top ups at night (I would breastfeed first and then offer him a little formula if he needed it). If we went out, I would pack some formula, because my boobs were super messy and unpredictable. I couldn’t rely on them as well as I might have liked to.

In my mind, he got the benefits of breast milk, but his diet was also supplemented to give him the amount that would help him grow and thrive. It was hard work to do both, but it was worth it. It was the right thing for us. And there was nothing wrong with that. There is no need to pick a side. What side? How about we all stay on the side of keeping our babies happy and healthy? However we need to in our unique circumstances? Yes please.

If you have a super hungry baby cluster feeding and crying for more when you have no more to give, what is the harm in supplementing his intake with formula? Gives your boobs a little more time to restock and helps your baby to feel satisfied and to keep the weight on in those important early days.

I know that we were lucky and there was no nipple confusion with the Little Mister – he was stoked to have anything and I am grateful. But seriously, if you’re struggling – like really struggling – anyway, what is the big effing deal? The worst that could happen? Your child wants a bottle over anything else? Read all of the above. It’s gonna be OK. I promise. Give yourself a break. You’re awesome. You care about your kid. A WHOLE LOT. You’re not failing. A lot of factors have to come together just right for exclusive breastfeeding to occur (your body has to come to the party, the baby has to learn how, and a whole lot of other things can affect your experience). Some women are lucky and others, not so much. It is NOT a reflection on your ability to parent. YOU ARE AMAZING no matter how you feed your child.

Newsflash: No-one is better than another person just because of how they feed.

I am making my stance clear here. I support you no matter how you feed your baby. Not in some kind of passive aggressive BS kind of way, where I say it because it’s the right thing to say, but then make little judgey comments here and there. I actually really mean it. I really really do.

We are all doing our best.

If you could write a message of support to new mothers, what would it be (doesn’t necessarily have to be about feeding)? Leave a comment – it might make all the difference to someone x

You might choose to spread the word via blog or social media yourself. Share my blog post, write your own (you can find ideas here), utilise Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Use the hashtag #ISupportYou or #ISYWeek

x

Some inspiration for decision making.

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Making change in our lives can be scary and intimidating. It can mean jumping into the unknown (or the relatively unknown). We often have to take some kind of risk in order to reach our goals. Moving to a new town/city, taking a new job, changing your lifestyle, making that big investment. Turning up at those events where we do not know anyone. Sometimes when we know that it’s the ‘right’ thing to do for us, we just have to let go and jump right in. The worst thing we can do is never take any risks at all, because of fear. Sometimes getting out of that rut or that well worn comfort zone can be exhilarating and open us up to new experiences which will enrich our lives. Sometimes we really truly know deep down that we need to do something a bit scary in order to grow and strengthen our character. It can be something huge or it can just be as simple as talking yourself into driving somewhere you’ve never been on your own (instead of making an excuse not to go) or striking up a conversation with someone you’ve never met before. Gotta find that courage!

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I think that sometimes we live life on auto-pilot and the result we want is not reflected in our actions. I try to stay really conscious of whether my actions and thoughts reflect the changes I want to make in my life. You’d be surprised how often we can catch ourselves doing the same thing we’ve always done, but just praying it will all miraculously turn out differently somehow! Remember that little saying about the definition of insanity…?

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People will always have an opinion. Some people speak from direct experience, but sometimes people are quick to tell you that the decisions you make go against THEIR principles. They might even go as far as worrying loudly about you, because you haven’t chosen the same way they would have (even though you’re really happy with what you’ve decided). Unless they are the ones who live with the results, should they really have a say? You know best what your desires, passions, dreams, and aspirations are. You also know better than anyone how your decisions will affect those closest to you. YOU will have to live with the outcomes of your decisions, so YOU need to be comfortable with them. There’s no point being uncomfortable because you’re scared of what somebody else (who is removed from it) thinks.

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Sometimes we are asked to decide things. Tough things. But when we ask ourselves what we value more – what we’ll look back on our life and be glad about – it becomes really clear what we need to do. Do you value family, relationships, career, money, happiness etc etc? What is more important when some of these things are at odds with each other? Hey presto – there’s your answer. I am not saying that executing those decisions is simple and easy, but knowing what you need to do can be if you stay true to yourself and maintain your integrity.

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I hope that whatever decisions you face today, you are able to do what is best for you 🙂

Thanks for reading! x

Beginning.

This post has been inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day challenge.

Here are some inspirational bits and pieces I’ve found online with the theme of ‘beginning’, and some of my accompanying thoughts x

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How I feel about the Little Mister. His joy for life is so contagious.

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 Something I wish everyone (including myself) could realise. It can take a crapload of courage but often it can be quite rewarding at best and character building at worst!

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Oh yeah. For me, right now it’s how I feel about beginning a new, healthier life routine. It doesn’t come completely naturally just yet, but I’m going to get there. Just gotta keep on learning and doing. Which brings me to this…

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This is one of my favourite little personal mantras. It’s never too late to do better. The worst thing I can do is derail my progress at something because of one bad day (or even week or month). Just gotta keep on believing that every thing I do each new day makes a difference. This is especially true when I skip a day of exercise or eating right. Gotta jump back on that wagon tomorrow – not next week or never. Hey, it’s even been true of this photo a day challenge for September! I’ve skipped some days, I’ve forgotten some days, I’ve been too tired or unmotivated some days, but I’ve been determined to not give it up completely. Ultimately, it’s been so great for getting my creativity flowing and it has even introduced me to wonderful new readers and bloggers I might not have known about otherwise.

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Whatever they might be.

Do you have any new beginnings (big or small) to celebrate? x

How I feel today.

This post was inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge, but also by R U OK Day.

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About the photo: Yep. That’s one dodgy selfie right there. It would be so embarrassing if I actually admitted to you how much effort went into that one mediocre – and heavily edited due to no make up or hair styling, my insecurity and a frumpy hoodie outfit – shot. Do you like my sexy light switch? Anyway, today’s prompt was ‘How I feel today’. And I am so glad to be able to say that I feel OK. In a good way. I’m very lucky. I held up that sign to let you know that if you’re not lucky enough to feel OK right now, there is help out there and that I care. R U OK day (which is today) is about getting people to check in with those they care about and starting conversations that keep us connected with the aim of preventing suicide. If you’re worried about somebody or want to raise awareness, visit the R U OK site for some great resources. If you’re worried about yourself, please do seek help. You can call Lifeline on 131114 or reach out to someone who will listen. I hope somebody asks you this question, so you’ll feel safe enough to speak up. I promise you that SOMEBODY cares. I care.

So, I just want to ask…are YOU OK?

I’ve decided to look after myself. 

I’ve been feeling rather frumpy, overweight and just plain bloated and tired lately. There’s nothing like trying to look after a toddler when you aren’t even looking after yourself – hint, it’s hell. I was eating so much crap and even my latest attempt at exercising regularly wasn’t making me feel much better. So I’ve had to tackle my diet. Get back to basics. Not so much junk. More fresh food. I have to get serious. I don’t want to feel grumpy and lethargic. I don’t want to lose my motivation to leave home because nothing fits or flatters me. While my weight is important – to be in a healthy range and at my best I need to lose almost 10kg (ouch it hurts to admit it publicly) – I do not want to focus just on what I’ll look like. It’s all about health. I’ll always celebrate special events with food and family. I don’t mind indulging in a little fast food treat on a Friday. I just want my good food deeds to outnumber my not so good food decisions by a million percent. I am not a mathematician, but you know what I mean.

So today, for the first time in almost a week, I feel normal. I had a healthy little pita pizza with avocado and an egg on it last night (YUM) instead of something heavy. A big side salad of spinach and tomato. And I feel NORMAL. I feel OK! My tummy doesn’t feel like it’s bursting at the seams. I have a little energy. My mood is better. If that’s what ONE meal can do, then imagine my whole lifestyle being better. IMAGINE!

I have always struggled with food and (since the Little Mister) exercise. I’ve always used food as a reward or a comfort. I’ll be the first to admit that once we got back from Korea and Japan, I really let myself go! It’s time to take charge yet again.

I can’t make excuses…oh, if my life was different, I’d go to the gym ALL the time or I’d have a treadmill at home which would solve all my problems and because I don’t have a treadmill that’s a legitimate reason I’m not doing better for myself. I can’t say that it’s because of this or because of that. It’s all up to me and while there will be challenges along the way (sometimes it truly is hard to exercise the way I’d like or to find the energy to try new healthier recipes), I have no reason I can’t still TRY.

I know my mental health is so much better when I exercise and eat food that is good for me. That’s enough motivation above all else. I’ve got to stop putting myself so far down the list. I give the Little Mister all the healthy things I can, I keep him active. I would go to the moon and back to make sure he’s happy and thriving.

I need to tell someone I need time to go clothes shopping, so I can feel good when I walk out of the house (I have been wearing the one worn out dress over and over and over lately – it’s that or hoodies with jeans). I need to take time to exercise, even when I don’t feel like it. I need to eat healthier, even when the Little Mister isn’t with me (my worst overindulgent moments).

I accept that my body has changed and that it will never look like it did (or bounce back like it did) before I had the Little Mister, but I can work with what I’ve got and look after it. Working towards a far away weight goal is just overwhelming, so I’m going to work on feeling good every day. Making choices that make me feel healthier each day. It’s a start.

My bikini body may not be ready for summer (or ever), but I can make sure I’m in good shape (fitness and health wise) and living a full life. I’m lucky to have all that I have and I don’t want to waste it.

So, help me out. What’s your favourite healthy recipe? Something that makes you feel satisfied without that deprived feeling? Do you find yourself in a similar place to me? Have you been here before? Any tips on getting back into it? x

In my cup: Some gratitude.

I’ve decided to take part in Fat Mum Slim’s Photo a Day challenge (click the link for all the information you might need if you’d like to take part too) for the month of September. I’m also going to use the daily prompts to inspire me to blog more! I’ll let you know each time I write a new post, by updating my Facebook page (as I do any time I update my blog – great way to not miss a thing) and you might see the pics on my Instagram too (#fmsphotoaday). 

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About the photo: OK, so it’s not a cup. It’s a glass. It’s how I start my day. I know it sounds really wanky, but I don’t drink coffee to wake up in the morning. I drink water! I’d say, ‘trust me – it works’, but all the coffee drinkers I know would very strongly disagree! I’m really lucky these days, because the Little Mister plays more independently throughout the day now and it’s great for both of us. I get to spend a bit of time blogging (usually first thing in the morning – after snuggles) and not feel guilty about it!

Stuff I’m grateful for this Monday…

So, you know that saying about when someone’s cup runneth over? And the one about seeing the world as a glass half full kind of person? Well, I thought I’d go with that whole theme today and start my Monday on a positive note! Here’s the stuff that’s making me feel grateful and happy…

The first day of spring. Sure, spring never really truly kicks in on the 1st of September like clockwork, but I like what it symbolises and as I write this the sun is shining. One thing that wakes me up even better than a glass of water has to be sunshine. My moods are really easily affected by the weather. When the sun shines, I feel brighter, more alert (even when exhausted), motivated and generally happier as a person. Spring means more of that is coming! I love my Vitamin D and I love to see my world in colour.

A quiet weekend just been. After spending most of our time running around like crazy people since we got back from Korea and Japan, it was so lovely to realise that we had absolutely nothing planned for this past weekend. We got lots of time outside, ticked some stuff off our at-home to-do lists and watched the Little Mister play. We even tested out the new BBQ rotisserie thingie my uncle gifted Mr Unprepared for his birthday (and probably our Christmas come early too because damn it’s flash)! It should work a treat when we host Father’s Day next weekend! Oh, and Mr Unprepared visited Bunnings TWICE so he was pretty happy.

Fun plans for the Little Mister. I am so excited (and I’m sure he will be too when it actually sinks in) because this week, the Little Mister and I are meeting a couple of friends (one my age and one his age haha) to attend a Play School live show. I’ve been waiting his whole life for him to be old enough to enjoy these kinds of experiences. I hope he has an awesome time (although I’m sure he’ll run the both of us ragged)!

The Little Mister’s imagination. Life has become so much more heartwarming, entertaining and hilarious. The Little Mister runs an imaginary shop out of his playroom (where he chooses what you buy and changes the rules whenever he feels like it), pretends he’s going to work (because that’s where Daddy goes), wears a tea towel around his neck so he can be Superman and understands so many more things about the world around him. He’s always been pretty creative but recently he’s had a massive development spurt and it’s so much fun (most of the time). Mr Unprepared and I get so many laughs each day, when we get to see what his latest imaginary play involves.

Also, this:

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Electricity. I love electricity. It’s not until it goes out (as it did halfway through me writing this blog post) that you realise just how much you appreciate it. It allows us to have internet in our home (although it is pretty cool that you can use data on your phone so you can tweet about how annoying that power outage is), it is used so that you can do so much around your home: vacuum, washing your clothes, see stuff, watch television, stay warm or cool, bake stuff. SO MANY THINGS. I know there are some old school ways to get around a lot of these things, but I am a modern lady. Hello.

Power outages. Yes. I am grateful that the power went out. At least today, I am. Because then my mum came around for a visit. I made her a very ordinary coffee (you can all hate me even more now coffee drinkers!), which was boiled on the gas stove in a little saucepan, and in return she brought the Little Mister a cute caterpillar shaped meringue from the bakery and we had jam drop biscuits (yum). I got to show Mum the Little Mister’s almost finished big boy room makeover and it was nice to chat. There’s always a silver lining. Thanks, Nanna Unprepared!

What are you grateful for this Monday? Are you taking part in the Photo a Day challenge? x

Words are the new sticks and stones.

Everyone’s heard that saying:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

I’m sure the expression was created with the best of intentions many years ago, with the message that it’s important to be resilient and have a tougher skin when people say mean things (which is fair enough on some levels and that’s for a whole other blog post), but in all reality, words are so important and shouldn’t be given less significance than physical hurts. It is our responsibility to use our words wisely. I know that as the Little Mister grows up, that is one very important thing (of many) that I want him to know.

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While we’re always drilling home the important idea that we must be strong and choose the way we react to a challenging situation or person, we need to remember that we also need to be considerate of what words we put out into the world for others to react to. Should we be hurting them in the first place? Of course not. Will everyone in the world be nice to us and use kind words? Of course not. But should we try to do/be better than that? F*ck yeah.

Even though, we are supposed to all be ‘tough’ and ‘strong’, some of the worst hurts we look back on in our lives can be very emotional or involve something horrible someone has said that has made you feel a certain way. While in my mind, physical violence is abhorrent and should never ever be tolerated, we need to also remember to never use our words violently – even in the heat of the moment.

Words can constitute emotional violence and abuse. Yes. It’s a thing. A very real, awful, damaging thing. People don’t realise it, but physical violence is actually a tool that abusers use to reinforce their verbal and psychological bullying. It can make or break a person’s self esteem, whether it is a child or a partner. You can only put a person down or use controlling language and threats for so long before they start to believe what you are saying, too afraid to escape a situation. According to the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics), one in four women report to having experienced emotional abuse, and one in seven men. We need to teach our children not only to not accept this behaviour from others, but also to never be the perpetrators. It starts now. While they’re young. We need to teach them that words matter.

“Whatever. It’s just words. It’s not like I hit anyone…” should never be uttered as an excuse. Ever.

Personally, my worst memories involve the words that people have used. They are the hardest to shake. Sometimes people don’t mean to use their words hurtfully, but can be careless. Once something is said, it cannot be completely unsaid. We need to think before we speak (or type). Especially in this modern age of social media and internet anonymity. Of trolling and cyber bullying.

Think words aren’t that powerful? That words should just be ignored? That people should just ‘get over it’? Maybe consider these things:

Words can make or break a politician’s career. How many times have we judged them on what they’ve said and whether they’ve meant it or not? How many times have we seen a pollie crash and burn because they’ve said something completely intolerable or ridiculous (I can think of several very recent examples)? Or remembered the politicians who said such powerful things that they are forever immortalised by their inspiring speeches?

Without words, blogs (and bloggers like myself) would not exist (nor would lively debates in the comments sections). Books wouldn’t be so powerful. When’s the last time you read a book and thought, ‘Wow. That was so amazing that I couldn’t put it down. That writer really brought the story to life. I shall never read another book again because no book could ever be as good as the book I just read!’
Unless it was a picture book…I’m pretty sure the words mattered the most. With the exception of 50 Shades of Grey of course – I’ve heard it’s terribly written, but somehow it’s sold about a bajillion copies. Still, it consists of words. Words that make people feel things *shudders*.

Same goes for the scripts of TV shows or movies. We fall in love with, or loathe, characters because of the words they use. The way they speak. The stories they tell. We quote them and they become iconic. Sure, there are a lot of things we can like about movies without even hearing the dialogue (hello Channing Tatum!), but it’s the things characters say that tell us the most about them (um…every word ever in The Notebook)!

Without words, we wouldn’t be sucked into clicking everything on the internet ever. Have you ever heard of click bait? Those few words designed to lure you into clicking a link to a blog about something that’s ‘sure to go viral’? You know the type. If it wasn’t for those ‘You’ll never believe what happened next…” thingies, you wouldn’t waste hours of your life in a rabbit hole of crazy internet stories that may or may not be true.

*ahem* not talking about myself here of course *cough cough*

Words are how we sell something. Sure, people would argue that sex sells, but work with me here. If you walk into a store, who is going to convince you to buy that thing? The person who mumbles, accidentally offends you, doesn’t know what they’re talking about and sounds like they’re lying? Or the person who is confident, well spoken, whose words seem honest and genuine? Communication skills are important.

If we’re worried about a loved one, perhaps they’ve gained a little weight or we’re worried about some of their habits, do our words matter then? Um, hell yes. What do you think makes things better?

“Honey, you’re so fat now. Go to the gym. You’re hurting my eyes.”

or…”Honey, I’ve noticed you are not feeling like yourself lately and you’ve lost a bit of confidence because you seem self conscious about your weight. Is there anything I can do to help? Wanna work out together?”

I know what I’d rather hear!! Even for selfish reasons, we need to consider what our words can do. If the result we want is for someone to do something for us, will insults and put downs really work or will kindness and sensitivity get us the results? The way we speak to someone we care about truly matters. It can definitely make or break a relationship. Tact can go a long way.

Why do people go to therapy? Because talking is important.

I can only imagine how many family feuds began because somebody said something that hurt somebody else. Hello, Dr Phil would be out of business if that wasn’t the case!

If words were not a thing, we wouldn’t be able to sue each other for saying nasty, untrue things about each other in the public eye. If words are not that important, we wouldn’t be outraged when somebody writes offensive things on picket signs at funerals or abortion clinics.

We can’t just stand there, quoting our ‘sticks and stones’ crap while living a life that says we do actually really really care what people say. It would be hypocritical. Language and words exist for a reason.

We care if someone is telling us the truth or lying. We care about those text messages that come without emoji to tell us whether it’s a nice one or a mean one (and we won’t admit that we sometimes lose sleep over it). We care about the passive aggressive tactics someone uses to make us feel bad about ourselves (have you ever seen the mother in law on Everybody Loves Raymond?). Entire social movements and campaigns have been created, based on some careless words somebody has said somewhere in the world. For better or worse.

I want my Little Mister to know that words matter. That he can be strong when somebody uses them badly, but that he shouldn’t tolerate it either. I want him to know that if he speaks ill of somebody it will come back to bite him. I want him to know that he can enrich his relationships by using his words lovingly. That if he speaks out of line, he should be quick to mend it with an apology and a heartfelt, “I’m sorry, what I meant to say was…”

That what he writes on the internet can stay there forever.

I want him to be clever. Not to resort to physical blows over some horrible words that have been thrown around. It’s not enough to tell boys and young men to just punch someone to fix a problem. Even if the other person is in the wrong.

Words are used to convey our emotions. To clarify something. To present ourselves in resumes and job interviews. To tell people who we are. To show we care.

I want to use my words to encourage, inspire and uplift my child. I don’t ever want to squash his spirit or hurt his confidence. My words will matter too. There is a best way to use your voice or to say anything important that you feel (even if it’s a touchy subject or it’s not what someone wants to hear). I hope I can lead by example and that person by person, we might make a difference in this world where people seem to have forgotten that words have so much power.

Let’s think before we add more meaningless noise to the world (and even the internet)! Who’s in? x

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Stuff to love this spring.

I don’t know about where you are in the world, but over here I have been thoroughly enjoying amazing bursts of winter sunshine. Gosh, I love that Vitamin D. I actually wake up giddy when I see the sun out. I don’t know if this is all one big tease before the rains come back or if it’s truly the beginning of an early spring, but it is beautiful. It has got me so excited and inspired. I don’t want to see grey and black anymore!

Here are some of the things I am excited about for this spring/summer:

Neon coloured nails:

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I used to think that neon was kind of tacky, but when applied on well shaped nails in block colours? Divine! I can have a bit of youth on my fingernails without looking ridiculous (can anyone say mutton dressed as lamb?) and I can’t wait to buy ALL THE COLOURS.

Bright lips:

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I always love a good red lip, but I’m really into the idea of trying some pink and orange hues. A bold lip is really in right now and I love that everyone is getting adventurous. While the models pictured above are blonde and well…modelly and I am not, I would love to find the right  shades of pink and orange for my warm skin tone. I love the way a bright lip always makes me feel confident and polished. Like I’ve finished my look. It dresses you up instantly. Also, lipstick doesn’t care how big you are (and let’s face it I am carrying a few extra kilos – oops). It will always fit and make you feel great!

Gorgeous sandals/flats:

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Galibelle

I am in love with the Galibelle brand right now and I just ordered the sandals above! The cool thing? Those straps with the beautiful butterfly like design are all detachable and swappable! I am so stoked because I am going to be wearing all three colours (plus a black one) this coming summer! I love that I can swap the straps to match my outfits. Also? The straps come in small, medium and large which is amazing news for my broad feet (I’m a medium FYI). Some dear friends have brought the brand (which is Brazilian) to Australia and you can find out more on their Facebook page. These are seriously heaven sent because I can never find summer sandals that are both attractive and fit my short, broad feet (because of the designs I imagine they would be just as heavenly for a slim footed person too – magic). I am not being paid or sponsored in any way to promote this (and have not been approached), but I genuinely am in love. Usually I hate when friends try to sell me stuff but this is not one of those times. You do not know how long I have been wearing ugly sandals because that was all I could get. We’re talking YEARS. YEARS! It shouldn’t be that hard, shoe makers. It really shouldn’t. I am beyond excited.

Not wearing stockings/tights/sleeves/jackets if I don’t want to: 

Seriously. I want to go out and not feel like a freak because my legs are bare (in clothing of an appropriate and tasteful length of course haha) or I don’t have a jacket on. If there’s anything that annoys me, it’s winter clothing. I’m not a winter person. I do not do winter clothing. I feel frumpy in too many layers (I think my height and my current weight do not help my cause). I feel like jackets/blazers etc never fit me quite right (I have narrow shoulders but I’m bigger everywhere else and sleeves are always too voluminous or long). I hate trousers, because of muffin top (and yes I have tried every kind of style and taken every piece of anti-muffin top advice and it still doesn’t seem right – except for ONE pair of pants from Target that I daren’t ever wreck). I wreck stockings and tights constantly, despite having worn them successfully all throughout high school. Oh, and most of my shoes are peep toes and while I know that they sell tights with no toes just for that reason, I am never convinced I can pull them off.

I also loathe the passive aggressive comment, “Aren’t you cold in that outfit?”

I’m always, “What? What are you saying? Are you saying I’m slutty because I’m not cold? Are you saying I’ve made a very bad decision?”

*head explodes thus keeping me warm*

So I do look forward to leaving home in nothing but the one layer of clothing. Legs out, just doing the whole walking around thing.

Play time:

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I just love the fun that can be had in the sunshine. I look forward to beach time, playground adventures around the neighbourhood, long family walks, and checking out the local markets on the foreshore on a Sunday. Sitting out in the backyard having a quiet beer/cider, listening to music and watching the Little Mister play. I can’t wait until it becomes more of a regular thing 🙂

What are you looking forward to this spring? x

Tuesday thoughts.

I’ve decided I need a hit of inspiration to keep me going this week. Here are the things I am going to focus on…

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Sometimes in life we are forced to wait for the things we’d like and just like anything else in life we have a choice to handle it with positivity and grace or we can just be miserable about it and throw our hands up in the air and be shitty about it (making those around us miserable too)! It is what it is, so we might as well find a way to enjoy life in the meantime, see the bright side or even just learn something from it. We are only wasting our own lives if we choose to spend the time waiting being negative, angry or increasingly agitated. If you think about it, we spend a lot of time waiting in lines, waiting on public transport, waiting in peak hour traffic, waiting for someone to call back, waiting for that next great purchase, waiting on someone else, waiting, waiting, waiting! It’s a part of life, because the world doesn’t revolve around me, and I choose to spend it being happy (or at least not an a**hole).

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There’s a saying that ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat’ and while that’s a horrendous saying (am I right?), it basically means that there is always more than one way to do something or to solve a problem. Our way is not the only way and we needn’t despair if something we try doesn’t work out right away. Perhaps someone else might have a great solution we’ve never thought of before. Sometimes being open minded and having a little bit of respect, tact and sensitivity with others can go a long way in achieving what we want to achieve. You never know just how refreshing another person’s approach might be. It’s good to remember where another person is coming from in a situation. It can prove very helpful when dealing with others. Don’t be too quick to write off somebody else’s perspective. You never know what they might be able to bring to the table.

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It’s so important to look for the good in the people we care about. It can be easy to get bogged down in our own concerns and feelings, but sometimes it can really make another person’s day if we pay them a compliment and really notice and appreciate their strengths. It can really enrich any kind of relationship.

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Sometimes we focus so much on the superficial that we forget about what’s really important. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others who appear to have it all and start appreciating what we have. It’s not about always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Maybe the grass on the other side has just been spray painted green – we’ll never be able to get close enough to see the truth, because it’s not our grass and it’s aaaalll the way over there. That’s someone else’s grass, man. Maybe it’s time to make your own grass as green as you can. For real. Water that shit and make it grow into something you can appreciate for yourself, not just for how it looks to everyone else. All that stuff about not comparing your life to someone’s highlight reel yada yada.

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To me, a person isn’t just who they think they are. Who I am is what I do and what I say to people. My actions. Just because I appreciate someone or love someone inside my head, does not mean I am showing it to them or making them feel appreciated or loved. Over time, it’s those actions that really prove who the real person is. Gotta make those things work together so they translate to those around me.It’s so important to be as authentic as we can be. To say what we mean and SHOW how we feel. To use our words wisely and sincerely.

Hope you have a great week, full of positive inspiration xx

All images sourced from Pinterest. I have posted them (with links to pins) in good faith that they have not been doctored or stolen from others x 

Thought sorting.

I’ve had a lot on my mind recently. Sorting out thoughts. Figuring stuff out. Here are some quotes that are inspiring me or making me think.

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I need to remember that I am not responsible for these people’s storms. I do not need to be their umbrella all of the time (even if they want me to be or even if I feel compassion for them).

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Sometimes I get overwhelmed when there’s a big life milestone or some dream I’m trying to turn into reality. For me, at the moment, it is definitely the trip to Korea and Japan that is getting all too real! I have found myself with seemingly never ending to-do lists, the scary task of packing (why is it scary? I just have this irrational fear of not taking the perfect items with me) and the emotions that may come with visiting the country I was born in (but have never been to). I need to remember to calm the f*ck down and remember it’s all a ridiculous adventure – something that is once in a lifetime. Just do it.

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Yes. Yes. Yes. I don’t want to stand outside of my own life constantly trying to figure out how I fit in or whether I am worthy. That’s no way to live your life. I want to be the star of my own life. Secure and rooted (haha ‘rooted’ – someone’s been watching too many Puberty Blues episodes) in my own story. Too many of us spend our lives reacting off our own insecurities and fears, instead of owning our destinies. Walking this world with confidence – living our truth.

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We can’t control the behaviour of others, but we can control how we conduct ourselves. I hope I can live a life where I take responsibility for my choices and even if nothing goes to plan or other people/circumstances try to thwart me or make me feel bad for doing what’s best for me, I will be able to sleep at night knowing I did the right things for me and those I care about.

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I never want to lose my sense of fun and adventure. I want to find joy in life, wherever it is to be found. There are positives to be discovered in even the most seemingly mundane parts of our every day lives. Sometimes joy can be found just trying something new. Eating something you’ve never tasted before or seeing a movie you didn’t think you would like. Some things work out better than others, but I want to keep surprising myself. I would rather say I gave something a go and embraced the experience, than to wonder what would have happened if I’d done it…or to set myself up for disappointment with a negative attitude going in.

So what’s inspiring you today? x