Category: Kez Recommends

The last 5 shows I’ve binge watched #2

Gosh, I love a good TV binge. I honestly cannot remember life before Netflix and various other catch up apps. Not to mention, I still have an ongoing love affair with my precious DVR!

Here are the latest things I’ve been devouring!

The Wrong Girl

source: Channel 10

Last year, I was unable to ever watch the show while it was airing on TV. I didn’t want to come in half way and have the magic ruined, so I waited until I could binge watch season 1 before season 2 began (it’s still playing weekly on Ten). In the mean time, I read the book and I felt ready.

It’s not my favourite show ever, but there’s a lot of good stuff. It’s Aussie, it’s based on Zoe Foster Blake’s book, the cast is pretty cool. The writers are good. It’s got enough drama but it’s a good light watch.

It basically follows the lead character Lily (Jessica Marais) as she navigates her career in breakfast television and her not-always-nailing-it love life.

Doctor Doctor

I’m not sure if I’ve confessed to this in writing before, but I have this weird crush on Rodger Corser. Like I don’t always like his characters and he’s older (oh gosh I sound awful saying that haha) and definitely not what I expected in a celebrity crush, but there ya go. I think he’s weirdly attractive. Not that he isn’t attractive. He is very conventionally attractive. Just not my usual celebrity crush type, I guess?

Anyway, now that I’ve embarrassed myself…

I will admit that I had no interest in this show whatsoever during its first run on TV, but one day I was flicking through the channels while trying to rest my pregnant arse, when I noticed a re-run. I got a little sucked in. And Rodger Corser. Hello.

So I found season 1 on the catch up app and watched the crap out of it. It’s kind of charming in a cheesy way, but it’s basically about a big time city surgeon who has partied too hard and been sent to his little country home town to repent for a year. It’s basically the kind of thing I’ll probably only enjoy while pregnant and then when I have no brain cells after having the baby. This happened to me when I first had the Little Mister – I actually thought that morning TV was intelligent for a while. WHAT WAS I THINKING.

Z Nation

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Netflix has the first two seasons of this zombie show on it (I believe there are at least 4). Mr Unprepared loves a good zombie film or series and I admit I get right into it (even though I can’t watch it alone because I really think I do believe that zombies could be real).

Anyway, our first impressions were OMG this is the worst. It was almost Sharknado bad. But then we kept watching because who doesn’t love things that are Sharknado bad? We were taking the piss, but eventually we got sucked right in.

Gotta love how the show begins with some great accidentally hilarious quotes about a zombie baby eating a dude (trying to avoid spoilers in case you’re considering watching this masterpiece).

I felt like the Zombie-nado (no joke – it literally was Sharknado bad), the nuclear disaster (which was soon forgotten about in subsequent episodes) and the weird ‘themed’ episodes that felt like they were ripped off from other movies or shows (like the alien X files vibed one) were quite naff but it grows on you. I mean, a lot of the laws of zombie culture were broken in this show and some of the extras that played hordes of zombies were not convincing at all. But it just kind of became something we looked forward to each evening!

Stranger Things

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OMG. So good. The hype was justified! This show was creepy, it nailed the whole 80s vibe, and while season 1 wrapped up very well, it definitely left things open for a great season 2 which I am very much looking forward to.

And can I say that the girl who plays Eleven is absolutely captivating?! And what can possibly happen next?! Holy crap.

I honestly cannot say much because I don’t want to spoil it, but just give it a go and hope that your lights don’t flicker while you’re watching!

Dark Net

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It’s a documentary series about the darker side of the internet and associated technology. The child sex trade, the weird ways in which people can conduct relationships (both for love or for kink reasons), how much people can find out about you, the power of being able to broadcast to masses of people at once, hackers etc.


So, what have you been watching lately? Suggestions? Got any unexpected celebrity crushes?

The last 5 shows I’ve binge watched.

…and by binge watched, I mean the last 5 shows I’ve probably watched about half an episode at a time because I had to wait for Mr Unprepared or because I fell asleep too early or because he fell asleep too early or because the Tour de France is currently happening and a certain *cough* cycling enthusiast is annoyingly preoccupied…

In saying that, I also get to watch some stuff alone that I know I could never convince him about so it’s temporarily a win/win situation…I guess!

Anyway, I am not going to defend all of my choices. Sometimes I’m a little left of centre or even a bit dorky or simply just not that into the same stuff everyone else is (WTF is Game of Thrones even about, peeps). But surely I’m not the only one who enjoys that shit!

Orange is the New Black (OITNB)

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I cannot even begin to rant enough about how good this show is. I love everything. The confronting stuff. The outright sick shit. The back stories of each character – the stuff that led them to the place they are today (Litchfield Penitentiary). The attention brought to real social justice issues we face in current times. The diversity of the cast. The writing. Sharp wit. Dark humour. Amazing. I won’t go deep into the premise of the show because we all have google, but it’s so worth a watch. Problem is they only release new seasons June of each year. Now I know I have to wait another year to see what happens next damn it! But can I just say – avoiding all spoilers – that very last scene of season 5 – POWERFUL SHIT. OMG. I can’t even.

I was a little late to the party on this show (it was about 2 seasons in when I decided to start watching) and it was one of those things where the hype is actually justified. It took me by surprise and I was actually stoked that I was ‘behind’ because I could binge for longer!

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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OK, so the premise of this show is that Kimmy was basically abducted by a loony (played by Jon Hamm) with three other women. They were convinced by him that the apocalypse had come and everyone else in the world was dead. They had to live in a bunker underground for 15 years. The show picks up when the women have escaped and Kimmy decides to move to New York City to start a new life.

It’s actually a really cool idea for a show as Kimmy is so naive to how the world has changed in the time she was underground (but has also experienced crazy and probably awful things) and her eternal optimism is quite ‘adorkable’ and is obviously what got her through the tough times.

The show is quite kooky and light and full of other oddball characters. If you have a weird sense of humour like me, then you’ll love it. I have a feeling it’s the kind of show you either love or hate.

Designated Survivor

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I think this show has been quite underrated (i.e. I haven’t heard much buzz about it). It stars Kiefer Sutherland – a ‘designated survivor’ – someone who is picked to sit sequestered in a safe room somewhere during a State of the Union address – in case some kind of tragedy should wipe out the government. Basically, by default he becomes the President of the United States when a terrorist attack takes out the president and most of the cabinet.

He’s just a lower level cabinet member and a genuine and very likeable guy (i.e. not your stereotypical politician) who has to suddenly save the world and make people feel safe again.

It’s the kind of show that has you wondering who he can trust and who is behind the attack. It’s kind of scary how things like that could happen one day. I was hooked on this one – it was good for the suspense. I don’t know if I’m good at predicting things or not, but it had me guessing a few times.

I am so not into political TV dramas but this one sucked me in – I think I liked the premise. He was a much better (albeit fictional) president than the current offering the US has to deal with! Just sayin’!

Party of Five (yes – that show from the 90s)

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Holy shit. I was so excited when this popped up on Netflix one day! When it first aired on TV, I was a bit young to be watching religiously each week (I probably thought I had better things to do like listening to Silverchair and trying to get my hands on all the Hole albums and writing emo poetry), but I had definitely watched. It was all tucked away in my memory banks (the memory banks that should probably be saved for important world history or philosophy or something).

From the second the opening song kicked in, I was transported back to amazing 90s nostalgia in all its glory. The fashion. The hair. The music. The teen brooding. AH-MAZE-ING.

It was a bit full on for a show to binge on episode after episode – the drama was intense and seemed never-ending. Like couldn’t any of them figure their shit out, even just a little bit? And why was everything always happening in the dark? Even the day time scenes? But it was cool to see it again through adult eyes. I felt like some of the issues they dealt with were a bit ahead of their times – progressive. Like how characters dealt with abortion, infertility and IVF, the treatment of openly gay characters etc.

After watching, I may have started stalking the actors online and I am now convinced I want to be friends with Neve Campbell in real life. She seems so NICE. Her hair is so much nicer now too 😂

Filthy Rich and Homeless

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OK, so this isn’t your typical Netflix type binge and there were only 3 parts (plus a live talk show style follow up) but I watched it all at once recently and it had quite an impact on me.

It was aired on SBS and you can catch up on it via their On Demand app.

Basically, 5 well off Aussies were challenged to live on the streets of Melbourne (and in crisis accommodation and boarding houses) for 10 days to see what it was REALLY like for those who are homeless.

While the show did draw some criticism for being applauded for rich people slumming it for 10 days, while actual homeless people get no positive attention most of the time, I still thought it was a valuable social experiment – provided the participants and people who watched it DO SOMETHING afterwards.

I consider myself to be a pretty compassionate person who has a bit of awareness of how the ‘system’ works for a lot of people who do it tough. I have a passion for social justice and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know before watching.

It was an eye opener and very powerful. I highly recommend it.

Edit: Damn it – I’ve been informed that this show is no longer on the SBS On Demand app. That really sucks! Hopefully it will be released on DVD or digitally later in the piece because it’s really worth a watch x

What have you been bingeing on lately? Suggestions?

Mood boosting music.

I know I probably sound like a broken record, but END OF SCHOOL HOLIDAYS – AM I RIGHT? I am trying to find anything I can to keep myself limping to the finish line! I love love love my kid and for the most part we’ve had a lot of fun together since school broke up, but I am tired, I can’t remember when I last had any decent time alone in the quiet and I’ve started to fantasise about doing impossible things like getting my nails done, having a hair appointment (something I rarely do even during the school term), going to the toilet without anyone panicking that I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, time to work out alone, a sleep in, watching TV shows/movies that are rated higher than ‘G’ (yes I have night time to binge but you see I fall asleep so early ?) … you know, ridiculously lofty ideas like that.

I know I’m probably the biggest first world problems whinger right now. I know my life is objectively quite good. So many people have it worse/harder. But I’m betting I’m not alone!! The struggle is real!

Anyhow, one thing that doesn’t cost anything (and may or may not even temporarily drown out the sounds of whining child/ren) is music. I don’t have to be alone to listen to most of it (hastily skips over the cuss heavy songs before my child realises). It motivates me. It lifts my mood. Gives me an energy boost. Hey, sometimes I even get a mini (not really anything close to a real) work out from dancing around the kitchen like a dickhead. My kid doesn’t mind it. YES.

I have thought about which songs never fail to make me feel better when I’m feeling flat or frustrated.

Here are the ones I can remember off the top of my head:

Bliss and Eso – Addicted (language warning)

Macklemore – Can’t Hold Us

The Little Mister calls this song the “Can Holders” song. He thought it was about can holders! What are can holders anyway? Things that hold cans, I guess?

Lion Babe – Impossible

Wombats – Let’s Dance to Joy Division

The line “Let’s dance to Joy Division, and celebrate the irony, everything is going wrong, but we’re so happy…” always makes me grin. Because if everything’s going to shit, you can still dance and take the piss out of yourself and hopefully one day laugh about it.

Sia – Cheap Thrills

Not only is Sia a freakin’ genius, playing this song when I’m feeling a bit strapped for cash makes me feel better LOL.

Drapht – Dancin’ John Doe

Illy – Catch 22


A while ago, I asked my friggin’ amazing Facebook followers for their fail-proof mood boosters and here were their suggestions:

  • The Darkness – I believe in a thing called love
  • Justin Timberlake – Can’t stop the feeling
  • Pharrell Williams – Happy
  • Seth Sentry – Vacation
  • Katrina and the Waves – Walking on sunshine

So there you have it. A ready to go playlist! Hope some of these songs boost your mood too!

Anything you’d like to add? 

Books I really want to read.

I don’t read enough books. Which is a travesty, because I quite like a good book and I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty good at reading. Even better at it than I am at writing (OMG I KNOW). I read take-out menus, blogs, really bad clickbait articles about the Kardashians and week old newspapers I find on my parents’ dining table when I visit, but I suck at treating myself to a good book.

I only seem to think about books just before I travel somewhere. I find I get my best reading done on a camping trip or a (child free) plane ride. After everyone climbs into bed, I get stuck into a good read. It’s a quiet, non disruptive, not-too-much-data-used way to wind down (as much as I love a hard copy of a book I find my phone is handy because it’s small and has its own light – provided I have some way to keep it charged). It’s also a fantastic way to kill time when I inevitably wake before everyone else.

I’m headed away for a little bit soon, so I thought I’d make myself a list. Sure, I’ll never get to every title here on one trip, but I find that once I get the ball rolling, it motivates me further.

Here we go!

Me Before You & After You by Jojo Moyes

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I am always wary of books that were made into movies. I can never decide whether to watch the movie first or read the book first. Because, we all know the movie can never capture every detail that a book can. I remember the agony of deciding to read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult before seeing the movie. I felt like I’d made the right choice in the end.

This time I watched Me Before You before reading. I am hoping the book will fill in all the extra details in the relationship between the characters Lou and Will that I was craving while viewing the movie. I love that there’s a sequel and can’t wait to see what comes next.

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

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I love Amy Schumer. Not only is she really hilarious, but she has this knack of using her comedy to skewer the sexism that exists in both real life and in showbiz. She highlights the ridiculousness in the most fucking funny way and she’s not afraid to be rude and brutally honest! Inside Amy Schumer is my favourite sketch comedy show. In fact, it might be the only one I like! I’m not usually a fan of that format (sorry).

Anyhow, I’m expecting her book to be all that and more. I want to read about all the things that have made her who she is today.

The Wrong Girl by Zoë Foster

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I admit that I do not read anywhere near as much fiction as I do biographies and other non fiction works, but this book has got my interest, simply because of the author! I have crushed on Zoë via social media and her relationship with Hamish Blake (I really hope they’re the hilarious and cute couple I picture them as) for aaaaages. I have heard great things about her writing and it might be nice to lose myself in a fictional story for the first time in a while.

Without You, There is No Us by Suki Kim

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I have always been fascinated/horrified by stories of North Korea. As I was born in South Korea, I guess it also seems weirdly close to home (even though I haven’t actually lived there since I was 5 months old). In 2014, we actually visited a site where the North had tried to infiltrate the South in Gangneung. To this day, they have machine gun wielding guards in a tower ready to shoot at anyone who gets too close…we might have almost found out the hard way when my rather laid-back dad wanted to take a ‘short cut’ to the top of a hill – OMG! They aren’t kidding around! It’s terrifying! I was way too scared to visit the border between North and South (even though people safely visit all the time).

Anyway, I heard about this amazingly brave author on Triple J radio. She was a guest on Matt Okine and Alex Dyson’s breakfast slot. I was glued to the interview all the way to the Little Mister’s school drop off. Suki Kim is a journo who went into North Korea as an English teacher. She risked her life to write her book about what she learned while deep undercover for 6 months. Amazing.

Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford

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I consider myself a feminist and I must say that the older I get and the more I think about my son being out in this world, I get more and more passionate about equality. Someone who has really opened my eyes to some of the inequalities that we often miss and walk past, has been Clementine Ford. She maintains the rage like nobody else and is not afraid to call out sexism as she sees it (or receives it on social media). She always makes me think. I expect her book to be no different. I take no responsibility for how feisty I might be once I’ve finished it haha.

Have you read any of these books? Got anything else to recommend? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little Mix – Salute

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

David Guetta – Play Hard

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

Fifth Harmony – Worth It

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

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang

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

AronChupa – I’m an Albatraoz

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

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

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

Dettol giveaway!

Sponsored post

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Oh my goodness. I have never been so excited about household cleaning products as I have since I became a parent. I am no domestic goddess, but oh, the things I have seen. It can scare even the less-than-prudent (understatement in my case much?) house keeper straight. Just the fear of the whole family coming down with a group illness is enough for me! Sometimes sharing is just not caring!!! All those missed days of work and day care. We’re already racking up the absences and winter hasn’t even kicked in properly yet! Eek.

I’m definitely not a germ-o-phobe. I’ve got no problem with a bit of dirt or some toughening of the immune system (I like to keep it real), but there’s definitely a line when it comes to toilet training or raw meat juice on the kitchen counter. Not to mention coughing and snot and…you get the idea. Ew. Scary.

Also? When the primary stay at home parent gets sick, that’s just another nightmare. I get cold sweats just thinking about it…no wait, maybe that’s cold sweats from the fact that I recently got sick for the first time in years and it SUCKS. No-one gives the stay at homer a day off! WHAT? WHERE’S MY CONTRACT? I NEED TO REVIEW IT.

So right now I am all about prevention and damage control! I can’t tell you how well timed it was that I received a great range of Dettol products at my front door when I did. Let’s just say I was starting to lose my mind a little…

Dettol Healthy Touch instant hand sanitiser.

Oh, this is so good. It comes in a handy travel sized 50ml bottle, so it fits in your handbag/nappy bag and you can take it on the plane with you if you’re travelling. I love it. I’ve used it in many different situations. Before eating in a public place (for example if you’re on the go and you’ve had to touch dubious hand rails and other such things prior to your meal). When you’ve been coughing and you’ve used your hands to cover your mouth (although they say the crook of your elbow is better I keep forgetting so the sanitiser is important!). When you’ve had to run to the loo with your toilet training child and you’ve washed your hands afterwards, but you want some extra reassurance you’re not spreading germs around.

I am sure you can think of many other instances (I have too many to list), where this is so useful.

Dettol Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleanser.

These are THE BEST. Did I mention that they come in the form of 40 wipes per container? Wipes are the best – so convenient. Anti bacterial wipes are even better! It makes a quick spot clean so easy. I was concerned they might be too strong, but they don’t contain bleach which put my mind at ease. You can use them on SO MANY THINGS:

  • high chairs
  • changing mats
  • potties
  • toys
  • bench tops
  • chopping boards
  • fridges
  • bins
  • sinks
  • microwaves
  • toilet seats
  • baths
  • taps
  • wash basins
  • door handles
  • tables
  • desks
  • telephone
  • keyboards

You get the idea. I just love how quick it is to use these wipes. Time is everything when I have an active, sometimes grotty, demanding small human around!! I’ll admit it also appeals to the anti 50s house keeper in me. It doesn’t even feel like cleaning. Hot tip, though. Don’t absentmindedly leave the lid open. All your wipes will dry out and you’ll be very sad. Devastated.

Pro Fresh Citrus Splash pH-Balanced Shower Gel.

Until I received this product, I had NO idea that Dettol made shower gel. To wash your whole body with. It claims to protect against BO and can I tell you, this is a good thing. Especially after I just spent a few days in Sydney, in big crowds. Trust me. No-one wants to be THAT person in the airport either.

I wondered if it would make me smell like a walking spray bottle of chemicals or a hospital, but it is surprisingly innocuous. Kind of smells like a mild shampoo or conditioner, only it’s for your body. I can handle that! I don’t know for sure how great it is at eliminating body odour, because I am blessed with less smelly genes (literally – apparently it’s a Korean thing), but it certainly provides some extra reassurance!

Look at all that non-germy goodness!!! Want to know something else that’s exciting?? You can win these very products because I am hosting my first ever giveaway! How lucky are we?!

The winner will receive a package including…

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Dettol Healthy Touch instant hand sanitiser.

2 x Dettol Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleanser.

Pro Fresh Citrus Splash pH-Balanced Shower Gel.

All you have to do is follow Awesomely Unprepared in some way, on my Facebook pageTwitter account or by subscribing to my blog, then answer the following question right here in the comment section (your email address will not be published):

Describe the ickiest mess you’ve had to clean up recently?

Good luck!

Giveaway terms and conditions

The contest ends at 12:00 (midnight) Thursday the 7th of May, 2015, Perth time and is only open to Australian residents (sorry overseas buddies) who are over 18 years of age.

This is a game of skill…so my favourite answer will win! My decision will be final. Entrants will have to meet requirements outlined above.

The prize will be sent out by a third party and will not be replaced in the event that it is stolen, damaged or lost.

The winner will be notified privately and announced on Facebook and on the Awesomely Unprepared blog. The winner will have 3 days to reply in order to claim the prize.

These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time.

No mo’ lady mo’.

Products by Veet provided for my honest review

I have to preface this by saying that I am not a beauty blogger. If I was, I might actually know what I’m talking about. But I’m not. I am an every day 30 year old (for two more weeks so it totally counts) mama who worries about my family’s future…and whether or not I will grow a moustache and sideburns as I get older.

Yep. That’s right. Look, I’m not the hairiest person on the planet. Maybe it’s my Asian genes. Maybe it’s just luck. I can grow my leg hair forever before anyone would notice it. I like to think that I’m fairly well groomed in all other *ahem* areas. But the one thing that I can’t seem to get over is those tiny, fine, dark hairs on my upper lip and the ones that look suspiciously like sideburns. Of course (I hope!), this is not so visible to other people. But when I look in the mirror, it screams at me. We’re always our own worst critics.

I see this:

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Probably complete with receding hair line. Because I moult worse than a white cat before summer.

Gosh, I’m pretty.

Look. I’ve never really done anything about it (except for one disastrous and pointless attempt many years ago). Partly because I know that what I see isn’t necessarily what others see, but also because I’m a bit clueless. I’ve always been a bit intimidated by at home waxing products. I walk past them at the supermarket, seriously consider buying something and then I chicken out. So brave. Not.

So when I was given the opportunity to review some Veet hair removal products, I was all like – HERE’S MY CHANCE. Maybe this was the push I needed! I had nothing to lose! Except for my mo’ of course.

I decided to road test the Veet Face, Bikini & Underarm Wax Strips with Shea Butter from their Natural Inspirations range.

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They don’t look too intimidating and the instructions seemed fairly simple. When you’re a dummy like me, you need good instructions that are easy to follow and have pictures just to make sure you’re doing it right.

I nervously rubbed those strips between my hands (for warmth to separate them and for good luck).

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They didn’t smell offensive, which is always nice, although they were obviously perfumed. I placed the strips in the hairy area above my lip and below my nose, smoothed it down and then followed the instructions and pulled quickly against the direction the hair grows. I inspected the wax and YIPPEE – there was hair in it! I know that grosses some people out, but that kind of stuff thrills me. You can only imagine my joy when I use pore strips on my nose. Yeah. I’m that person.

You can use the same strip for as long as it’s remaining quite sticky and is still removing your facial hair effectively, which is quite economical, I think (you get 20 strips in a pack). I managed to use just the one strip for my whole wispy moustache (following the instructions like a pro). Look, some people call it ‘peach fuzz’, but mine looked more like ‘bum fluff’, let’s be honest. Yep. Just me, painting an attractive picture of myself with words for you all as usual.

Afterwards, my upper lip was a bit red and bumpy and sticky (my husband was quite bemused by this). Which is where the Perfect Finish Wipes they supply come in handy. They moisturise your skin splendidly and they remove the residue left by the wax (my only concern is that the pack comes with just 4 of these wipes to the 20 strips). The wipe made my skin feel quite oily at first, but it didn’t cause any break outs or greasiness later. I wouldn’t recommend ever waxing your facial hair right before an event or going out in public. I’d give it overnight just to be sure, but my skin settled within a couple of hours and the redness disappeared.

The next morning, I noticed how smooth my upper lip has become! I can’t stop touching it (hahaha I am an embarrassment). I am excited to put make up on, without worrying about the foundation or powder getting caught in the fine hairs and giving me a fuzzy appearance.

I think I’ll definitely use these again! I reckon if I can use them, anyone can. Yay! This is a big development in my maintenance routine! I recommend them for a subtle, easy to do, way to deal with the fuzz. I am so excited that the hairs won’t come back for up to 28 days! That’s almost a month of smooth skin – yay!

You can check out Veet’s whole range of hair removal products here if you’re interested!

Next step? Side burns be gone! 😛

Do you have any great hair removal tips? Any horror stories? I love horror stories!

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

I need…this cake to work out.

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

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You are getting a look inside my mixing bowl, everybody. I took this shot just before I was going to mix it. I was holding my breath and hoping like crazy that it might still work out OK, even though the Little Mister had poured some water into it, before I could measure the right amount. I only looked away for a second, I SWEAR!

But back to the beginning…

I was attempting to make a beautiful cake called Anne, a  famous creation by Baby Mac (Aussie blogging royalty)! I had been seeing this gorgeous cake everywhere. Instagram and Facebook were raving about it (#anne). It looked so great in all its forms. It looked majestic and…TALL. Do you know how bad I am at making beautiful cakes that don’t look flat and a bit sad? I was convinced that this cake must be magical and googled the recipe. IT LOOKED SO EASY. All the ingredients could be found in my cupboard! And guess what? Father’s Day is tomorrow and Mr Unprepared and I are hosting it and I hadn’t been able to decide on what to have for dessert! Shock horror, I’d considered buying it (that’s mock shock horror – I have no issue with buying everything – you should see the pre-cut and peeled veggies I’ve bought for the roast haha). Now, with such a foolproof recipe, I knew I wouldn’t need to. I could brag about cooking this stunner of a cake from scratch. It would surely be easier than the cake fail I created for the non-the-wiser-ever-so-easy-to-please Little Mister’s 2nd birthday!

That was until the recipe called for a cup of cold water, with half a teaspoon of bi carb soda. I’d put some water in a cup and took a lightning quick moment to measure out the bi carb, when…the Little Mister grabbed the water and poured a mystery amount in, the remainder spilling down the kitchen bench, onto the floor.

I cried out, “Noooooo!”

And then felt guilty…didn’t want to make him feel bad, because he was trying to help and I try to make it my mission not to scar him for life, especially not over stuff like cake.

I then guessed (and I’m sh*t at guessing measurements) how much water was missing from the bowl, pouring it in with the bi carb. The Little Mister was put on dish washing duty (his favourite activity where he feels helpful and gets to splash around in the sink without actually washing a single thing) and I prayed for the best.

An hour later, my oven timer went off and I went to pull the cake out a bit so I could give it the old skewer test. It wobbled. Like a water bed (weird comparison but all I’ve got). Uh oh. I chucked it back in, shut the door and desperately set the timer for another 20 minutes. Perhaps I had added a little too much water. I decided this cake was a write off. It could be divided into pieces and taken by Mr Unprepared to work, where he could snack on it next week. I’ll just make a second cake, I thought. Only, without the Little Mister in the kitchen (who I love so much and usually enjoy baking with…when there’s no pressure to impress people who don’t live in our house).

I don’t know what happened and maybe it’s the magic of Anne, but I appear to have been worried about nothing! She came out tall, perfectly shaped, in one piece and as she cooled, I started to realise this might just still work out (OK so my husband was the voice of reason). Besides, there was a whole lot of buttery frosting to slather on (with some crushed Cadbury Flake chocolate on top to make it fancy as hell).

I can’t wait to show her off tomorrow and I hope the dads of my family will love her.

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I’m sure she’ll look more amazing when she’s sitting all pretty on a nice white plate, but for now, she’s in my cake container, awaiting her debut.

The Little Mister might have freaked me out, but he was full of enthusiasm and love for baking, so he was quickly forgiven and blessed with many samples of the frosting. In case you were worried about him 🙂

Have you made Anne before? Do you think you’d give her a go? Had any cake fails? x

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