Category: What We’ve Been Up To

100 Happy Days wrap up.

Yep. It’s me again. Talking about happy stuff. As usual. Geez. Give the corny gratitude shit a rest, you psychopath! Is what I imagine people think when they see yet another “happy” blog post title from me.

The thing is, I am not always happy. I get anxious, flat, sad and angry. And I don’t think it’s realistic to make yourself believe you can be happy 100% of the time. That’s a lot of pressure and a lot of inevitable disappointment, right? But I look for the ‘happy’ I can find, whenever I can. I work really hard at focusing on the positives – sometimes I succeed and other times I suck at it and figure tomorrow’s a new day. And that’s OK.

After 2016, I wasn’t sure what kind of year 2017 would be. I still don’t know – it’s only April! All I knew was that I was tired and that 2016 SUCKED. It had a very heavy, anxious, not-getting-anywhere energy about it. It was full of setbacks and disappointments. Insecurity.

Even though I know that we do not always have control over some of the shit that gets thrown our way, I really really really did not want 2017 to be more of the same. The one thing I could control was my attitude and my actions/reactions (well mostly haha).

When I heard about the #100happydays project, I was inspired. This would be how I’d start the new year. I would take a photo every day for 100 days of something that had made me happy.

An excerpt from the website…

People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:
– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;
– Fall in love during the challenge.

Sounds awesome, right? I figured it would also help to keep me inspired and improve my story telling ability on Instagram.

So how did it turn out?

Pretty well! Sure, I took over 100 days to actually get there. But 100 photos were taken and lots of memories and cool stuff were recorded! I found myself looking each day for something great to photograph on my iPhone. Posting on Insta had gone from feeling like a sporadic chore to a fun part of my daily life. I found myself saying ‘yes’ to weird and wonderful things (a pumpkin festival anyone?) in order to experience the joy of something new and different! It was fun to capture those moments in photos.

While I admit that this challenge did nothing to quell my social media addiction, it did make me addicted to looking for beauty in each day. Even though I have officially finished the challenge now, I think I will keep doing more of the same. It really did make me feel good.

It’s so great to look back on the amount of life you can fit into 100 days!

I have only included some of the highlights here, but if you want to scroll back through all 100 days, you can visit my Instagram account: @awesomelyunpreparedblog 😊

Would you consider doing this challenge? Have you done this challenge before? How did you go? 

 

Stuff to do in Kalbarri, Western Australia.

Have you ever been to Kalbarri? It’s just over 500 km north of Perth. It’s a bit of a drive, but it was just the thing we needed after a long, cold and ridiculous winter. It was quite the family affair: my brother in law, sister in law, a couple of nephews and my parents in law were all in attendance.

I was excited for sunshine and a bit of camping. Well, when I say camping, it was all rather civilised. Powered sites, our cosy camper trailer, roast dinners (not joking – Weber BBQs can do amazing things), those super comfy camp chairs that I got on sale at an outdoorsy warehouse place.

I thought I’d share some stuff you can enjoy there (because we did):

Be thrashed at Play mini golf at the Pirate Theme Park

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Look, I am not that good at mini golf. Unless the wind is in my favour or I play against small children (who may still beat me). But I love a good putt. It brings out the silliness in people of all ages and the Little Mister somehow got a hole in one (this has happened both times he’s played in his very young life – what the hell)!

We played as a fairly big group and it made for a really fun morning.

Get out on the water

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We got a couple of great beach days in. Sandcastles were built. Water fights between cousins were had. At one point, the Little Mister just cut out the middle man and poured buckets of water on himself, he was having so much fun!

The town is situated where the Murchison River meets the ocean and it’s just stunning – perfect calm, shallow water for kids to play in and for everyone to get on the water with every kind of apparatus imaginable!

We hired a pedal boat (they look really relaxing and fun but OMG it’s a good leg work out) and a stand up paddle board (SUP) and had SO much fun! The family shared them so the cost of the rental wasn’t exorbitant. I am not a typically sporty person as such, but if you get me on the water, I’ll try most things! Well, except for kite surfing, because I don’t want to die!

Feed the pelicans

Turns out this is a big deal! Every day at 8:45am, local volunteers will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about pelicans, and then with any luck they’ll fly in like clockwork and peeps can feed them some fish!

It’s so funny, because even though I’m so used to pelicans (my hometown being quite a popular place for them to steal people’s take away food and terrorise small dogs on the foreshore), there was something quite fun about everyone getting together and making it into an event! Some things are just more awesome on holidays!

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Visit the gorges and walk along the cliffs

You cannot visit without checking out the god damn beautiful scenery. Holy shit. My eyes were just hungry for it. I just wanted to take in all that natural beauty and the wide open spaces!

We visited the gorges first. It’s probably not for anyone with a massive phobia of heights, but wow it’s worth a little bit of a wobbly kneed peek over the nice solid look out barriers at the very least!

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From the gorges to the cliffs over the ocean, I was blown away…not literally, because that would be fucking scary. But you know what I mean, right?

Again, not for those with a debilitating phobia of heights, but amazing all the same. I was so scared I’d lose my phone or camera over the edge but the adrenaline rush from fearing a permanent loss of your technology really is like participating in an extreme sport for some (ahem me) haha.

I wish we’d had more time (and a more cooperative child – his new nickname is Sacka – short for Sacka Potatoes) to walk the amazing trails along the coast, but there’s always next time (I really want there to be a next time)!

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Eat fish and chips

I really feel like you can’t go on a coastal holiday in Australia without sampling the local fish and chips. We went nuts for it on the last night of our stay. It was perfect because nobody had to cook and we (the middle generation) also got to shout the parents in law because they’d been really generous throughout the trip and they needed some payback!

Kalbarri has a few fish and chips spots, but we chose The Jetty Seafood Shack. May I add that it was a really good choice? Because it was. YUM.


So there you have it. The highlights of our recent holiday getaway. And as I sit here listening to my husband trying not to throw his guts up after eating a dodgy chicken servo pie on the way home (WHY?!), with the wind and rain howling outside, I am grateful we got a proper taste of spring before our crash landing back to reality!

Have you been to Kalbarri? Anything you’d add to the list? Where do you like to escape to when winter gets too long (I may just take notes)? 

When the universe laughs at your plans.

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I was on a high today. Everything felt smooth and easy. My internet was still here when I woke up in the morning. I slept through Mr Unprepared leaving for work really early (usually a difficult thing for me). The Little Mister was being positively angelic (despite weirdly not going to sleep until 10pm the night before). We had plenty of time to play and be together. We sat outside and the sun was shining. A nice little trip to the new corner store first thing. I got some baking done – healthy stuff you can be smug about. I had the slow cooker going and dinner was going to be right on time, instead of some horrific rushed thing during witching hour. I even enjoyed playing around with my blog a little. I felt like I was making up for the past week, where I’d felt distracted and rushed and stressed and guilty for not being able to be as present with the Little Mister as I’d have liked.

Let’s face it. I was feeling like I was nailing life.

So when Mr Unprepared called to tell me his bike had a flat tyre, I wasn’t fussed. I’d have just enough time to drive down the road and get him – save him an extra half hour of walking along the road with his bike. Why not. It would be a little adventure for the Little Mister and we’d be back in time for our slow cooked meal. I’d feel like the best wife ever. Still nailing it. Go Kez.

That was until I drove past the point where I thought I’d see my husband waiting for me and he wasn’t there. So I went a bit further. Might as well save him a little more walking distance. If I didn’t see him then, it would be easy and quick to double back again. Do a quick u-turn and all would be well.

So…I went to do that u-turn down a little residential street.

BANG. WTF WAS THAT???

My car was not coping. I pulled up quickly and got out of the car with a sinking feeling. I knew I’d done something. And there it was. A flat tyre. I’d done a good job of it too. Turned out that as I was turning, that simple little kerb I thought I was gently nudging over was not so simple. There was a big concrete guard for a drain. A sharp, evil looking thing. I hadn’t seen it. It was in just the wrong spot. I thought about how much tyres cost and I wanted to roll my eyes so hard. Bloody hell.

I called Mr Unprepared and broke the news to him. He’d have to walk his bike (with the annoying flat tyre) back to where I was. The rescuee would have to become the rescuer! I had a pretty well equipped car with a brand new spare tyre and a jack in the back. I just needed a hand.

My mind flashed back to leaving the house with the Little Mister. I had said, “Don’t worry about shoes – we will just be making a quick trip to get Daddy. We won’t even be getting out of the car.” I never say that. I always get the shoes anyway, because my mind says, “What if…”

Not today! HA HA HA.

At this point, I realised I had two choices. I could be mad that a stressful few weeks wasn’t letting up and indulge in the drama, or I could laugh my arse off. I mean, what are the odds? My husband calls me about a flat tyre on his bike and I get a flat tyre trying to rescue him. I mean, come on! It was kind of hilarious how ridiculous it was.

All was well in the end. My parents did need to come out (they live close) because the tools that came with the car’s emergency kit were quite crap and the wheel nuts were on super tight, but Mr Unprepared was able to change the tyre fairly easily and get us home eventually. My slow cooking meal was not wrecked (despite my belief that surely it would be). We had a pleasant evening. Everyone was OK, despite it all.

Tomorrow I will have to call the tyre place and it’s going to sting having to replace the two front tyres (especially when one of them is still just fine), but thankfully it’s a day when the Little Mister is in childcare. Sure, I’m supposed to start work for my parents, but at least they are very understanding. I’m sure I can work the afternoon instead or something. Everyone will pitch in where possible to somehow make it all work. I’d say having support like that is a win.

I can’t help but find my sense of humour. The universe will always laugh at our best laid plans. May as laugh with it!! We joked that I was so excited to have the internet back that I needed to do something drastic, so I’d have something new to blog about. I can’t help but see these kinds of mishaps as blogging material! There’s a positive!

I also can’t help but feel that we still had a really good day. Because we laughed about it and looked after each other. And because shit happens, but it’s all about how we react to it. Today I chose happiness. We did good. I’m grateful.

As a friend said on twitter, we aren’t called the Unprepareds for nothing! x

Camping 2015: Hot days.

This year we went camping in the first week of February. The best time if you have some leave from work and kids who aren’t school age yet. The massive crowds have gone home to get back to real life after the school holidays and it’s nice and quiet. A lot of retired folk (as evidenced by the sheer amount of older ladies wandering about in their big floral nighties) and young families.

This year was uncharacteristically hot! We weren’t used to this – we’re usually more likely to experience a stiff, cool breeze and a bit of rain. A couple of really bright sunny, calm days if we’re lucky! A majority of the time we were away, the weather was in the mid 30s (Celsius) at least. It got quite warm in our camper van (canvas topped) and we had to leave all of our windows unzipped so the air could get through. It became clear that we would need a strategy to keep cool through the day, because it was just too hot to sit around our campsite in the hot sun – even if we were outside.

We figured out a system where we spent the mornings in the water.

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We would then come back to the caravan park, have cool showers, and get dressed. We could then get into the air conditioned car and drive somewhere for lunch (preferably somewhere with more of a breeze…and maybe some beer) over the heat of the day.

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By the time we would find our way back to the campsite, the weather would be a bit cooler and we’d sit around eating waaaaay too many nibbles (or dinner if we even had any room left in our stomachs). After that, it’d be bed time for the Little Mister and then we would sit around looking at the stars. My mum has this ridiculous app that tells her when every single satellite is going to go over, so everyone nerded it up until we were too tired or it got too cloudy.

Of course, there was also ice cream…

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The Little Mister loved that part almost as much as he loved the beach, of course! Here he is seated outside the local supermarket, next to the ice we had purchased for our eskies (coolers). I kind of love this photo because it kind of sums up how we were all feeling that day – what a sweaty stinker! I wanted to hug that ice!

Basically, we made the most of the fact that we got more time in the water than we had in previous years and we made the hot weather work for us. It was a really amazing trip. We were so relaxed and everything just went well. It was the break I had been looking forward to for weeks (maybe even months). Next year we will have to join the throngs before school goes back (the Little Mister will begin 4 year old kindy – eek), so I am sure it will be a whole new experience to blog about for 2016!

What’s your favourite way to stay cool on a hot day?

Leaving him at day care and finding myself.

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Oh hey, here I am trying to pretend that taking selfies comes naturally…oh the awkwardness!

 

This week marked the Little Mister’s second time at day care.The first time (last week) I put him in for just a half day to ease him in gently. He was so excited when we got there. He wanted to run off and play and he remembered it from the time we’d come to suss it out and sign him up (he’d been allowed to mingle while I talked to the staff and filled out paperwork). He was asking the carers (he calls them his teachers) if he could go play in the cars outside and I had to get him to focus so I could show him where to hang his little backpack and how to put his fruit, for sharing, in the basket. I was so nervous, but relieved he was happy. I knew that saying goodbye would be a little hard for me, but it was great seeing that it wasn’t difficult for him. I gave him a really quick hug and kiss (like they advise), then it felt really odd to walk out of the gate without him! He was taken to the little window that faces the car park and he waved goodbye to me. He said, “Bye bye Mummy!” and he looked so little and cute. As he climbed down from the step at the window, with the help of his favourite staff member (he told me she’s his favourite yesterday haha), I heard him proudly say to her, “That’s my mummy!”

Then I sat in my car for about 30 seconds and I wanted to cry!! Not so much because I was leaving him in someone else’s care. Not so much because I’d miss him (I have had time without him before). Just the sentimentality of him growing up and reaching this big milestone. It almost got to me, man!

I took a breath, started the car and drove home. Five minutes later, I was wandering around my house in a daze. I had spent the previous couple of weeks fantasising about all the things I’d do at home alone once he was in day care (housework and blogging and bad TV watching and home admin and baking and maybe a nap – yeah right – like I had that much time haha). I had decided that his first (half) day would be a quiet day. I’d take it easy. Celebrate getting him to this point in his little life. But there I was. Wandering around feeling a little giddy, but mostly confused. My house was no different to when he’s there, but it felt different and it threw me off! I think it took over half an hour for me to even decide what to do! Apparently my brain doesn’t work when he’s not around? I was overwhelmed with the freedom!

I vacuumed under the couch and felt so excited and smug (but traumatised – OMG). I baked. I sat on the couch and had a bite of lunch, while surfing the internet and watching my DVR. Soon enough, my time was up. I felt excited to pick him up, but secretly wished I could have had a bit longer on my own.

When I picked him up, he was still running around trying to play! It took a while to get him out of there! I saw this as a sign that he’d be ready for a full day the next week and we left. He had a massive sleep after we got home and the next morning he wanted to sleep in FOREVER!

He talked about ‘school’ on and off all week and it made me happy that it makes him happy. He did get a cold he’d picked up from there, but it wasn’t too bad and he recovered in time for round 2!

I was nervous for this week’s full day. I noticed a few positive changes in him this time. He was more focused when we walked in the door. He helped to put his bag on the hook, took his banana to the fruit basket and gave his lunchbox to a staff member to put in the fridge. He was a bit too excited to say hello to them properly and I had to remind him to say goodbye to me, but we can work on that! He waved at the window again and I felt good about leaving him. Knowing he’s happy there really brings me great relief. I have been warned that a few sessions in, kids who started off happy to be left at day care, can suddenly realise what that means and can start to fret and cry, so it will probably take a few more weeks before I feel complete ease!

I had originally planned on running some pesky errands that have been haunting me, but circumstances conspired and they suddenly went away (for that day anyway)! I was meeting my mum at 10:30am to buy my Gran a birthday present and the rest of the day was mine! I headed to Target (not sponsored but wish I was) and wandered around in the same daze I’d been in the previous week at home. It is so ODD. I am used to having to be on a MISSION. An efficient, well organised mission. I must have done about 3 laps of the store before I managed to get my brain working again. I felt so self conscious being on my own! More than when I have a chatterbox toddler in a trolley, pointing out anything and everything he sees at the top of his voice. Go figure!

I spent a whole $29 on two skirts and a top for myself (bargain!). It was pretty awesome trying on clothes alone, I must say.

Long story short, I realised that it was quickly becoming a day of self care. I’d had an emotionally stressful week and I needed to look after myself. I was feeling fragile and drained. I booked a last minute hair appointment and I bought myself a gorgeous blue necklace, enjoyed an uninterrupted chat with my mum and slowly became more comfortable with the wandering alone in the shops thing.

I realised that in recent weeks at home (camping trip notwithstanding – that was awesome) I had kind of lost myself. I’d stopped styling my hair, putting on some pretty make up (a simple little pleasure for me), or doing my nails. I wasn’t even trying to dress nicely. Just chucking on the nearest thing that didn’t smell (yeah I’m a delight). I’d lost inspiration and I felt crappy.

So, this day became ‘the day Kez found herself again’. It was so needed.

My hair appointment ran late, so my mum collected the Little Mister from day care. I felt a tiny bit guilty that it wasn’t me, two sessions in, but I knew he’d love the surprise and he’d be really comfortable with it (what matters most). When I called the day care to let them know, they told me he’d had a great day and had even had some rest time (something he’d struggled to do the week before). Yay! He was stoked to see his nanna and when I picked him up from her house, he didn’t want to stop partying haha.

Sure, I’ll be back to spending my day care days running errands and doing housework soon enough (until I start doing a little casual work here and there that is), but I remembered how to care for myself too this week and I am so glad.

Welcome back, me.