Tag: beach days

The Happy List #38

It’s the Monday of a long weekend here in WA. That alone deserves a spot on the happy list! I love the feeling that we’re counting down to Easter and then the school holidays. Yay!

So, sometimes I really suck at the whole pre-amble thing. Let’s just get right to the good stuff.

Here are some of the things that have made me happy in the last week…

Having an extra long weekend

It’s been fantastic. We haven’t done much (funds are a little low and we’ve all been a bit tired), but Mr Unprepared took Friday off work and the Little Mister doesn’t have kindy again until mid week! I’ve been relishing in the fact that I have had a sweet, sweet break from school drop offs and pick ups.

It’s also been nice to slow down and finally beat some of the ridiculously persistent exhaustion that has been plaguing me for the past 6 weeks or so. By no means will this weekend be a miracle that will stop me from being tired forever, but it’s nice to refresh a little while I can!

I figure that by the time he does get back to kindy, I will be ready for a break, so it works out for all of us!

Ross Noble

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the UK comedian Ross Noble, but the guy is super funny (as comedians should be). His improv skills are just unreal. I was lucky enough to see him with a bunch of friends last week. It was a bit full on for a mid week night time outing and I was really tired (the day had been the most intense emotional roller coaster let me tell you), but I was so happy that I pushed through it and went for the therapeutic laughs. Laughter really is the best medicine.

A bonus of it all was that my fitbit even recorded an hour’s worth of my laughter as a legit fat burning work out!! Nice! I think I need to see more comedy haha.

Beach time

I am a beach person. I don’t get there as much as I’d like, but I am the kind of person who needs to feel the comfort of not being far from the ocean at all times. I need my fix of fresh, salty ocean air and cool blues and greens. The sound of the water.

I was glad to get much needed time at our local this weekend. I took a dog and ran/walked/struggled there, meeting Mr Unprepared, the Little Mister and our other dog (they went in the car). Here’s the proof haha…

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We made sandcastles (which the Little Mister took a lot of delight in smashing) and paddled in the white wash and laughed as our dog swam for a stick, learning the hard way how to surf her way in without getting dumped.

There was nothing like watching the ear to ear grin on the Little Mister’s face, the entire time we were there. He just exuded pure joy. I think he loves the beach as much (if not more) as I do!

Taking my time painting my nails

I am usually in a rush when I do my own nails. There’s usually an event I have to do them for, with limited time and I’m usually so bone weary I can’t enjoy the ritual. I usually just want to get straight to bed (but not before botching my left hand). This week, I was able to take my time and enjoy it.

I now have the fingernails of a 5 year old girl haha. Sure, I didn’t quite nail (pun unintended) the application of the nail wrap this time (a popular brand that shall remain nameless) and I always flood my cuticles, but it was fun to do anyway (and saves the moolah on expensive manicure appointments)!

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I always feel more polished (pun intended) when my nails are done.

Random compliments from the Little Mister

This morning, while sitting at the kitchen table, wearing my hair in a daggy ponytail, my muu muu nightie and (obviously) no make up, I got told, “Mummy. I think you are very beautiful.”

Now tell me that doesn’t feel good!

He then drew me a picture of a love heart because “You love me and I love you.”

Even though he screamed for me about 1000 times when I tried to go to the toilet alone earlier, I think I’ll keep him.

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • When people tell me that they appreciate me ‘keeping it real’. I think that’s a big compliment.
  • Bonding with my big boof head dog while out running/walking/struggling.
  • Being able to wake up in the morning after a tough time and remember that life is good and people are good.
  • Wine. Bacardi. Cider. Not all at once haha. But it’s nice to enjoy a quiet drink. Especially when you’ve been so good.
  • Being able to watch movies past 8:30pm because old.
  • Drinking more water.
  • When timing is everything.
  • Cooler nights.
  • Feeling like autumn is coming – my favourite season.

So what has been making you happy lately? 

Kez Gets Physical: Swimsuit Edition.

I have a confession to make. While I’ve been working really hard on loving and accepting my body (especially after having the Little Mister in late 2011), the one area I have struggled with immensely has been how my body looks on the beach.

In bathers (otherwise known as togs or swimmers or whatever you like to call them).

While I would love to say with confidence that all I need to do to have a beach body for summer is to have a body and take it to the beach in summer, I know that I haven’t been able to get myself to truly believe it for myself or put it into practice.

The Little Mister was pretty much born a summer baby, so I felt a bit intimidated by the idea of wearing my bathers right away. In our climate, the need to cool down and wear light clothes and get in a pool or swim at the beach is quite a common thing to deal with! While I was far more concerned with getting the hang of having a tiny person to care for and love (priorities of course), the issue did kind of hang around in the background. I remember back to when we had friends over for Australia Day 2012 (the Little Mister was 3 months old). We had big paddle pools set up for everyone – it was a stinker. I eventually got in with my friends. I had a big, floaty t-shirt on and daggy board shorts, while my friends all sat around in their bikinis looking pretty happy and comfy (even the new mums and pregnant ones too). I saw photos later and felt embarrassed. I felt like everyone knew I was hiding. It kind of just doubles the embarrassment factor.

I had stretch marks, some lingering scars from my PUPPP rash (that from a short distance looked like angry chest acne). A paunchy belly. In hindsight, I looked pretty damn good for what I’d been through and the breastfeeding had done wonders for me losing ‘baby’ weight (until I put it back on and then some later on). I really should have thrown caution to the wind and felt comfortable in my bathers, in my own home, around friends who were the last people who would judge me.

But that insecurity is not always rational and we judge ourselves so harshly sometimes, no?

Fast forward to 4 years later, and my scars have faded. My stretch marks are still there, but they have faded a lot too (you’d probably only see them if you were perving reeeeeally hard or you’re in my family/close friends circle). I still have a paunch that wobbles (the Little Mister likes to ever so tactfully jiggle it and laugh). I am a size 12 short arse. I’m not skinny, slim or perfectly toned. If I eat anything at all (which I do because starvation or crash dieting is not an option), I can look like I’m housing a 4-5 month food baby.

But it has been at least 4 long years since I wore nothing but my bathers on the beach or in the pool.

At the start of summer 2015/16, I realised I want to change that. I’ve been working so hard on my Kez Gets Physical self improvement project, that this has felt like a really important hurdle to conquer. I’ve become more comfortable in my skin. More comfortable in my active wear. More comfortable in my every day clothes. But I haven’t yet beaten my fear of being seen on the beach without a thousand cover up items on my body!

Obviously, I believe so much in being sun safe, but I have also been a bit ridiculous because of my worry about my body’s appearance. I want to feel comfortable and I don’t want to freak out about what it will mean if I choose to get in the water (like what do I do with all my clothes and my cover ups and what do I look like and am I being totally awkward right now?). It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I’m keeping it as real as I can!

I don’t want to swan around like I think I’m Kate Upton or anything. I don’t want to punish myself with ridiculous fad diets and extreme work outs, so I can achieve some kind of ‘ideal’ bikini body. I just want to feel comfortable in myself and be able to do the things I enjoy (especially with the Little Mister) without hinderance from too much extra fabric or crippling self consciousness, thank you!

For Christmas, Mr Unprepared gave me (among other nice things) a voucher for a beautiful local swimwear store. I was so happy that I would have an excuse to remember how to feel good in my bathers again. I hadn’t shopped – joyfully – for swimwear in SO long. It had always been a rushed purchase – “This will do – it will all be covered up by my extra tops and shorts anyway”.

I did a little online browsing for ideas and decided that I should look for a tankini that is quite fitted around the torso (the looser ones look like they’ll be flattering but tend to float up around your chest when you enter the water – learnt that the hard way a while back). I wanted padding in the cups, not so much because I want to look like I have big breastesses (ha!), but because I am weird about flaunting my nips (what a prude – don’t get me started on my fear of camel toe haha). I wanted it to have some built in flattering features, like a little ruching (gathering) in the right spots and wide straps (probably a halter) and a pattern that didn’t make me look like a house. Because I’m not picky or anything!!!

I headed into town (on a really rainy morning strangely enough) and did my best to find that perfect tankini. I told the lady I had forgotten what looks good on me, so I was trying lots of things. I really had forgotten. I feel like swimwear design has come a long way since I last made an effort. Either that or I wasn’t paying attention. Could totally be the latter reason.

I picked out four contenders (pictured above) and got to work in the change room. I took photos of each top as I tried it on. I do this a lot as it helps me to quickly reference something and compare items. It also doesn’t hurt to know how this stuff photographs (let’s be honest).

I found a winner right away. The first top I tried on. It had the perfect small print (in gorgeous colours) to distract from too many lumps or bumps, a halter neck, padded cups and ruching. I didn’t hate myself in it. I actually felt a rush of excitement. Like if I wore this on the beach, I’d feel like a NORMAL PERSON wearing NORMAL bathers. I’d also feel good about the fact that I was wearing something I bought with actual intention and pride in myself. Not just something to hide in or to hide underneath other stuff.

In the name of ‘keeping it real’, here is what it looks like on (with the skirt I wore into the store).

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The side view impressed me too! Everything looked smoother and was tucked in nice and tight. Yay! I mean, I may be mistaken for a pregnant person if I’ve eaten too much on any given day, but I am quickly entering a new level of not-giving-a-fuckness about what nosy people might think/say. Yes. Kez is making progress!

I’ve got a way to go in toning and weight loss, of course, but I think that I should love my body for what it is (and what it can do) now too. Life’s too short to hide or sit on the sidelines!

Do you have any body/fitness fears to conquer in 2016? 

 

If you like my bathers, you can visit the Sunseeker website where they have some similar stuff (mine is the Verona singlet) and you can find a list of their stockists.
Note: this isn’t a sponsored post (unless you count it as being sponsored by Mr Unprepared who got me a voucher)!

The Happy List #18

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While this past week included some disappointments (a long story about a 5km run I have had to pull out of) and some frustrations (a very curious and permanently hangry little ‘scientist’ who has been driving me bonkers with his unauthorised ‘experiments’ around the house – any other parents of almost 4 year olds who are feeling me??) there were definitely some things that brought a smile to my face.

Here’s my happy list!

Taking the Little Mister to the ‘show’

We took the Little Mister to the (fairly) local agricultural show. It’s not quite the Royal Show, but it’s a smaller version, making it quite kid friendly and easy to get to. We went for the first time in 2014 and it was great seeing the difference in the Little Mister’s experiences between last year and this year. This time he was very enthusiastic. He wanted to go on every single ride (even the ones that scare the crap out of me). He wanted to look at every single colourful stall he saw. He wanted a pony ride. He had a ball! He was so well behaved 90% of the time (the other 10% was as we were leaving when we sensed it was time to call it a day haha). He held our hands and he had really listened to me about staying together. I was so proud – sometimes you don’t know if that stuff sinks in! By the end of the day he was frazzled! It was a warm day and I can only imagine how overwhelming it was on his senses – it can be a lot for an adult! The crowds, the sounds, the smells, the sights! He got a show bag and on our way home before he fell into an exhausted sleep, he took the time to thank us. Nothing warms my heart like fantastic manners and a grateful heart. Also quite heartwarming is seeing my kid asleep haha.

Beach time with some besties

I met a couple of great mates at the beach for a little picnic. It was so relaxing and perfect in this gorgeous weather we’re having. We waded into the water as far as we could manage (the water was a little cold but quite nice once you’d been in it for a while) and we sat in the wet sand entertaining my friend’s gorgeous toddler. I was child free (let’s just say the Little Mister was a bit wrecked after his big day at the ag show) and it was just so chilled. The only thing that could have made it better were a couple of ciders haha.

The drive home was enjoyable. I had my music on, I was sitting on my beach towel and my car window was open. I actually almost felt like the young, carefree Kez I was once upon a time haha.

I had a sand-in-the-crack situation to fix with a nice shower when I got home, but it was so worth it!

Time in the backyard

Our backyard is looking better and better with each passing week. I am so happy that we have more time to work on our place at the moment. It’s so nice to sit in the nice outdoor chairs, under the patio, enjoying a meal or listening to music. I can’t wait for summer to get into full swing.

New stationery

I bought myself a paper journal, a to-do list journal and a weekly planner sticky pad thingy this past week. So awesome. I’m trying to achieve two things: better organisation, and a more simplified, slightly more screen free life. Funny for a blogger (and Netflix addict) to say, but I think it’s helped me to become a little more mindful. When I’ve got my journal open, that’s it. No distractions popping up. I’ve ticked some things off my to do lists that I would normally have procrastinated about if I hadn’t written them down. I hope I can keep this up.

Also, I LOVE STATIONERY.

My toes look kind of like human toes again

It had been months since I last had a pedicure and you could totally tell. Yuck. I gave up around the time I lost a few nails from some rigorous dance floor antics in heels, plus taking up running (I didn’t start with the best shoes). The other night, I took the time to shape them and paint them and now they’re a pretty pink. I am slightly less embarrassed when I wear open toed shoes now! I figured I had to do something with the summer weather taking hold!!

Other stuff that’s made me happy:

  • Celebrating 13 years with Mr Unprepared. Key word celebrating. We have a date day planned and everything!
  • Those quiet moments when the Little Mister has just eaten and isn’t screaming for a snack or the next meal. Do I sense another growth spurt? ANOTHER ONE?!
  • Hawaii Five-O (a guilty pleasure)
  • Having the self control to walk past my biggest naughty food temptations at the supermarket all week. I’ve even managed to lose a few *ahem* grams because of this! It’s a miracle. Turns out it’s easier to force your legs to walk past those things than it is to resist them once they’re in your house.
  • A weird dream that I was hired to write a speech for Michael Jordan and I was all like ‘I’ve made it’! Haha.
  • My online friendships x

What would you put on your happy list this week?

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?

Camping 2015: On the water. And why can’t I be more like this at home?

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Yep. That’s me on my dad’s SUP (that’s Stand Up Paddle-board to those of you who haven’t been swallowed up by the craze – yet). That’s also me pretending that I’m in Hawaii (don’t ask about the fact that I couldn’t be at my amazing friend’s Honolulu wedding this past weekend – seriously).

Something really weird happens to me when we go camping. I suddenly become fairly ‘sporty’. Almost by accident. I know. It’s weird. All the things I can’t be bothered (*gasp*) doing at home, suddenly become fun and exciting while we’re away! I suppose it’s the fact that I don’t have the same responsibilities and routines on holiday. My time feels nicely freed up and the excuses about being too time poor to exercise or get out on the water melt away. Also, despite living on some stunning waterways, I guess it can sometimes be easy to take them for granted at home, but the novelty of being away makes it so much more appealing. Which I realise is kind of nuts, because we have an almost identical looking estuary system and sickeningly gorgeous beaches literally a few minutes’ walk from our place. Yeah. I know.

*slaps self*

While we were away, I thought nothing of paddle-boarding and kayaking. All in one morning. The conditions were beautiful and I didn’t hesitate to paddle far and wide (go little arms go!). I realised that I really need to embrace that spirit more at home. Not only is the exercise obviously great for me, but so is the water.

It brought me so much joy to see how much the Little Mister loves his beach time too! He would beg to go each morning and to see him splashing around in the shallows, clutching his beloved plastic green watering can and helping Mr Unprepared to build sandcastles (or more like mud castles) was so awesome.

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I don’t know how he saw anything from under that cute hat of his, but he had a ball! I’ve always dreamed of having a child who would love the water as much as I do. It was so different from last year’s trip, because he’s become old enough to hold his own in the shallows, more confident in the water and he just understands so much more how to play in it.

We spent several mornings soaking ourselves, because it was uncharacteristically hot. Last year we had spent ages escaping the biting breeze and the showers, but this time it was all about avoiding heat stroke!

After a while, it became second nature to practically bathe in sunscreen (as opposed to casually slapping it on like we are used to doing – please always do it – I beg you). I bought the Little Mister some polarised sunnies that were on sale in the charming little sports shop (he’s always had UV proof approved ones but polarised seemed great for him to avoid the glare of the water), and some green zinc to add to the experience. He loved drawing it on himself and each day he looked like The Hulk but it was worth it for my peace of mind that his little nose was safe from sunburn!

My parents bought a little life jacket for him last year and we’ve got some good wear out of it, as it takes a child of up to 25kg. It was great when we paddled out further with him in a kayak or on the paddle board. We knew he’d be OK for a moment if he took a little tumble.

Something I’ve really taken from this year’s holiday is that I need to keep the exercise momentum up. It helped to break a really unmotivated phase I was going through before we went away. I need to remember how to holiday at home and how good it feels to get active. Being on the water never feels like hard exercise to me (even when the conditions are challenging I enjoy the work). It’s definitely something I should embrace more.

What holiday behaviours would you love to embrace more in your every day life?

Sporadic “Newsletter”: January 2015 edition.

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OK, so this isn’t really a newsletter, it’s more of a “newsletter” because it’s not really a proper one. I am far too lazy and unfocused to actually send them regularly. Hence, the fact that it is a sporadic “newsletter”. Basically, this series will just be some random stuff I’ve been doing/thinking about/reading/watching…or whatever. Gee, I’m really selling this. 

Now that we’ve recovered from Christmas and New Year (trust me – a dear friend referred to it as an ’emotional hangover’ which described it perfectly), it’s been great diving into January with great excitement for all of the possibilities that 2015 might bring. I love that whole ‘fresh new year full of potential’ feeling.

So what have we been up to lately?

Losing actual sleep over toilet training. 

Yeah. I’m not proud. The night before last, I woke at 3am and started irrationally panicking about the Little Mister’s toilet training progress. I have no idea what possessed me as I lay in bed googling the shit out of the situation (or should I say ‘shit-uation’). Maybe the fact that he seemed to keep waking in the night (but not needing my help) because he’d held in his number 2s for a couple of days and was clearly not too comfortable. He has had a phobia of doing them on the toilet, you see. He’d get really anxious and freak out a bit, despite trying to please me. I was starting to worry about how backed up he might be getting and I didn’t want to pressure him and like scar him for life or anything.

So instead of learning that worrying in the middle of the night is not good for you, I came to the conclusion that an incentives chart was what he needed (revolutionary I know). So yesterday we gathered everything we needed. A hanging whiteboard, some dry erase markers and some cool little toy cars from K-mart that cost hardly anything, but would be FANTASTIC bribes to dangle in front of him. He has to get a certain number of ‘ticks’ on his chart to get a reward for various things, like doing wees without us having to ask him to go, wees when we ask him (he has to work harder for this because he’s already fairly good at it), and just one big tick for a poo on the toilet. When he gets all the ticks for a certain task, he gets a little car/truck/helicopter (one of whatever’s in the multi-packs I bought). As he progresses, I will up the ante – wearing jocks all day, standing up to wee, using the toilets at the shops (hey – I’d want a reward for that too) etc.

So on our way home from the shops with all these toilet training incentive supplies, he told me “I need to do wees.” He then held on until we got to our house 5 minutes later (I had offered that we could go to the shops if it was urgent). This never happens. Usually he has to be prompted or he wets his training pull ups because he doesn’t think to tell anyone ahead of time. Then we were home and right before his day sleep, he told me he needed to poo and blow me away with a feather, he did it. On the toilet. No accidents. No hiding anywhere, no crying, no fussing. Yes!

I have heard that sometimes the novelty wears off quite quickly, but I shall remain hopeful and try to keep things interesting and motivational (but still realistically achievable) for him. I don’t think he’d understood the concept fully before, so that’s probably why we didn’t introduce it earlier. The moral of the story? Insomnia pays off. Sigh. I am not nailing this whole ‘functioning as a grown person’ thing haha.

Planning our camping trip.

We’re really excited because we’re going camping soon. I’ve been excited about it since last year! I am looking forward to beach days, fish and chips from the front shop (the best ever) and watching the Little Mister run around. Mr Unprepared has done some stuff to make sure our camper van is ready for another year (it was made in the 80s – the type with the pull out ends) and I have been making some lists. Because I’m good at lists. It should be so much easier to pack this year, because we set so much of it up last time. Such a relief, because I HATE PACKING.

There’s been plenty of beach time at home too.  1743670_10152726859693218_2598099152522802652_n Yep. That’s my fam and that’s our local. A beauty, isn’t it? We’ve also been enjoying my parents’ pool (I recommend that everybody’s parents have a pool haha). The weather has finally started to heat up and while we’ve had some stinkers, it’s still worth it (and I know I only say that as a spoilt person with aircon in my house and parents with a pool). I love the summer.

I’ve been watching a lot of teevs.

Yep. I am loving the fact that now summer has come (and brought with it a lot of lame TV reruns and sports), I can finally start watching everything I’ve recorded on my DVR for the last year or so (I’m not kidding)! I’ve had a massive Parks and Recreation marathon (best time of my life) and now I’m obsessed with the MTV show Catfish. Like the episode where a dude sent a chick money and she bought an engagement ring and sent it to herself without him knowing (rendering them engaged for all intents and purposes) and it got all creepy, or the time a chick was a catfish but then came clean with the dude she was chatting with, but it turned out he was a (transgender) catfish too, but they fell in love anyway. Yeah, I know. Weird and wonderful stuff. If you don’t know what a catfish is, this doesn’t make much sense. Basically, it’s when you lure someone into an online relationship, by pretending you’re somebody else (usually a fictional person you’ve created by using stolen profile pictures and stuff). You’re welcome.

Hey, I’ve had to fill the hole in my life that has been left after I finished listening to the Serial podcast!

Catch up on Awesomely Unprepared here!

Here are some of the blog posts I’ve written lately (and some updates on those situations)…

Happiness starts with us. I’ve been reflecting on what happiness means. The whole toilet training insomnia thing shows me that I need to work on the ‘not stressing excessively’ part, but we’ll get there 🙂

Reading list. I listed the books I am keen to devour. I am making good progress with Mindy Kaling’s book because I’ve sacrificed some stupid time wasting I was doing before bed (playing a rather addictive word game on my phone). I am really enjoying it, thanks for asking 😉

My thoughts on spiders…and how to kill them. So I confessed to my ridiculous arachnophobia and how to kill a red back spider the Aussie way (hint: it involves footwear). Just last night, Mr Unprepared saw a huntsman spider jump out of nowhere. He emptied his lunchbox (for work the next day) and threw it at the spider, in the hopes of trapping it…but accidentally killed it in the process. It was equally horrifying and hilarious and terrifying. I mean, killing a spider with a lunchbox? Who does that? My husband does. The lunchbox was re-packed (well – a clean replacement one was) and I sat there for the rest of the night, wondering where the spider had come from and how many times I had walked past it. Also, THEY JUMP. Spiders should NOT be allowed to jump. Oh holy sh*t.

What have you been up to lately? Tell me everything! x

Broken…the rules.

This post was supposed to be inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge, but I kind of failed today – oops! x1760_10152061051973218_1871294180_n

OK, so this isn’t a new photo. It’s a photo from a while ago that was taken on a nice beach day with Mr Unprepared and the Little Mister. Just think the opposite of today’s weather over here. At least there’s a broken shell in it? Because the prompt for today was ‘broken’? Gosh, I tried really hard to think of creative photos I could take. Due to the pretty crazy wind/rain storm overnight, I thought maybe there’d be something to take a photo of (although thankfully nothing around our home broke overnight – for once)! I did at one point consider taking a photo of my exhausted face (that storm was NOISY all night) and title it ‘A Broken Woman’. My most creative friend suggested that I crack an egg…but I had no reason to waste an egg. I have a dripping bath tap with a broken seal but it would not have been too easy to photograph. I was sh*t outta luck. Or creativity at least.

So I’ve cheated. I’ve BROKEN the rules. How convenient. I put my lack of creativity down to my BROKEN sleep last night. Sounds like we’re in for another rough one tonight too! This is why I never get too excited about spring on the 1st of September each year!

Anyway, I hope you all had a good weekend and that your Monday wasn’t too horrid. Back at it tomorrow! x

 

Busan: The city I was born in.

So I have already blogged about all of my mixed up feelings about visiting the place I was born (before being adopted and becoming the superstar that I am today 😛 ), but now I will show you what it is like from more of a tourism point of view.

Honestly, I loved where we were staying – right on the beach. It’s a really popular destination within Korea (and even for people from the US and other parts of the world). We were there right before the peak summer season and it seemed like the perfect time. When I’d heard that Busan was known for its beach, seafood and shopping, I was stoked. I felt really excited because I got a kick out of the fact that I was born in a place that has all the stuff I love. I really wanted to enjoy the place I was born. I may have had a whole lot of crazy emotions kicking about inside my head, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying so much about it.

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On the top right is the Sea Cloud Hotel where we stayed. We were somehow upgraded to a suite and it was reeeeeally nice! It looked out onto the beach and had big windows that made us feel so alive after staying in a few little shoeboxes! One highlight was visiting the Busan Aquarium (the Little Mister LOVED IT). It wasn’t much different from all the aquariums at home, but it was a great experience and to see the Little Mister running from display to display with such joy was worth it. On the bottom right is the Little Mister doing his favourite activity – smashing Mr Unprepared’s sandcastles. It was great. You could buy a little beach bucket and spades etc really cheap at a convenience store under the hotel and we had a beautiful, relaxed day playing on the beach (that was the day I was a leeeetle hungover so it worked out well).

Why was I hungover? Um…so one night, my parents generously offered to look after the Little Mister so that we could head out and see what the night life of Busan had to offer. My brother, Mr Unprepared and I were so ready to let off a little steam.

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In my defence, I did not plan on getting so tipsy that night. But a few factors didn’t help.

1. Street drinking is legal. Like, you can walk down the street sipping a beer and no-one will arrest you or make you pour it out. Yet, we only ever saw one person on the streets who was really drunk in a sad way. We knew street drinking was legal because we totes did our research. Aren’t we good? If we hadn’t known this, we might not have enjoyed cocktails that were made at a street stall and poured into convenient plastic bags with straws in them (bottom right).

2. Alcohol was CHEAP AS. On the bottom right you can see my Busan BFF making those cocktails in plastic bags. He’d shake up a good quality cocktail and it only cost about $3.50 Australian!!! Of course, this made it easier to indulge in cocktails throughout the night. I may have overindulged as a result. I do not generally condone binge drinking and it’s certainly not something to brag about, but as a lover of cocktails it really was so easy to *ahem* sample all that was on offer. Although I do regret trying this thing called ‘Hooch’ (bottom left). It was made somewhere in the Netherlands and tasted like weird orange lolly water and I had no idea what liquor was even in it, but it was gross and it was cheap and it was something we found in the convenience store and bought for the name alone.

We stopped off at the Fuzzy Navel, a small bar where the cocktails were great and there was a DJ upstairs who played awesome remixes of American R&B songs. I think we were having the most fun of anyone there, because we were a bit early (us parents had to make sure we started early in order to finish early – glam life). We then headed to Thursday Party (it was a Friday night but that wasn’t stopping us) – a chain bar that had an American influence. It was playing all our favourite songs from around the time I was 18 and partying (so please don’t do the maths) and it had a fun atmosphere. That’s probably where the most damage was done, as my brother and *darling* husband decided it would be fun to keep buying me random things off the cocktail menu every time I looked away. Then I decided I’d like to drink them. I couldn’t resist being a bit greedy because at home I’d buy two good cocktails and be broke for the rest of the evening. In Busan, I felt like I was living the high life.

We watched some girls play a beer pong game and tried miserably to be my brother’s wingpeople, but they liked us better than him at first because he was a stickler for the rules. Great fun. Sadly, our carriage was going to turn into a pumpkin soon (and we didn’t want to get too nuts on account of the whole ‘being parents’ thing) and we reluctantly left my brother to head off to a nearby university precinct for more shenanigans with our new friends.

The next day I felt a feeling I hadn’t felt since BC (Before Child). That really really seedy feeling. Not sick, just bleeeergh. Thankfully we had planned ahead on having a quiet and relaxed day. I had a great pedicure by a slightly adorably awkward guy from the hotel across the road and we sat on the beach, even enjoying fish and chips (not something you find easily there) for lunch. It felt like we were at home, which is not the point of travelling, I know, but it was nice when we didn’t have the energy to expend on anything crazy and new. It was comforting! I also remembered why I hardly ever drink more than a couple of cocktails at a time…

It was a fantastic way to end our experience in Korea (apart from an overnight hotel stay near the airport) and we were growing more and more excited to see Japan. I was so glad that by the time we left, I had made peace with the place that I had been born.

Gyeongpo: a nice surprise.

For many years, when I thought of South Korea, I didn’t think of beautiful beaches. I thought of cold winters with snow and an ‘inland’ kind of feel. I wasn’t very educated on my birth country, mostly by stubborn choice (such a rebel), because I wanted to just get on with being an Aussie and no-one was gonna stop me! How wrong I was (well there is snow and every country has an ‘inland’ bit but I had no idea how much more the place has to offer).

While we were away, we visited Gyeongpo. It is a place known for its beach and a beautiful lake (the water looks like glass). It looked like it was undergoing a lot of changes to make it look really fresh and modern, as it is not far from where the Winter Olympics will be held in 2018. We visited in June (the very beginning of summer – felt like an Aussie spring day when we were there), so people were sitting on the beach (some even braving the cold water in floating tubes) and spending a day in the sunshine. 

It was lunch time when we got there and the Little Mister was getting over tired and frustrated. He had also been refusing a lot of Korean food and not drinking enough, so wasn’t feeling 100%, we suspected. We were feeling a little worried about this as we tried to find somewhere to eat lunch. There were mostly seafood places and to be honest, they were a little out of our comfort zones as we couldn’t tell which places might be safer than others to eat. Eventually, with no choices left, we went to a place that looked popular and just took the chance. We were seated in a little room, with a low table and cushions to sit on – very traditional. We had to all take our shoes off and as we sat down we wondered if there was any chance in hell that the Little Mister would sit still and not get onto the table or start grabbing things that he shouldn’t grab!! We weren’t even sure what he would eat!

We ordered some sashimi, some sushi and who knows what else, thinking that we weren’t too hungry or sure of the food. Considering Mr Unprepared is not a huge seafood fan (outside of the usual fish and chips), this was a big deal haha. Of course we were fed several side dishes that were very new to us. Omelettes, tempura octopus, pickled onions, and a massive feast of other things I can’t remember right now! It was surprisingly enjoyable, although the raw fish was quite the adventure! Watching my brother and Mr Unprepared chewing (and chewing and chewing) on some of it was quite amusing. There was SO MUCH of it that our minds boggled because at home, it would cost a FORTUNE to eat that much food, especially seafood. I think we felt a little bad when we couldn’t finish it on account of all the side dishes filling us up!

The beach scenery:

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We walked a fair distance around one side of the Gyeongpo Lake. It was beautiful and people were riding bikes – tandem bikes, pedal powered wagons and all sorts of other creative bicycle typed vehicles. We did witness a little crash that left a couple of young girls in tears, but all in all it looked like great fun. It would be a great place to exercise every day. The pathways even had a harder surface on one side for bikes etc and a spongier, more forgiving side for runners and walkers. So clever. 

Check out the scenery (and my brother doing his photography thing while I just stalked him and took a photo of him taking photos because that’s not weird or anything). There are some Olympic rings taking pride of place on a round-a-bout by the lake. It will be so fun watching the Winter Olympics in a few years time, knowing that I have visited some of the places that are sure to be showcased. I’ll probably just ignore that pesky sports stuff, though. Haha.

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Have you ever been (pleasantly or unpleasantly) surprised by a place?

Camping 2014 – Daily photos: Beach time.

When we go camping, we have learnt to expect the weather to do almost anything. It’s the kind of place where you can experience a few seasons in just one day. On this trip, the weather was a bit windy, cool and cloudy on and off for a majority of the time, but we got a couple of really wonderful clear days. On these days we did all we could to make sure we had fun on the water. It was fun to watch the Little Mister running free along the sand of the safe little beaches. So much joy! So many happy dances!

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The water was so clear and in some spots it was shallow a long way out, which made it great for the Little Mister to have a splash around. We spent a good deal of time sitting with him in the shallows, getting sand in *ahem* places as we played with the muddy sand and made gloopy sand castles. On one of our beach days, Mr Unprepared asked me if I wanted to get out of the water or go and do something else and for the first time in what felt like months, I completely honestly said, “You know what? I’m all good. I am just content being right here in the moment.”

I wasn’t craving extra stimulation or new activities. I had nowhere else to be. There was no time limit. Nothing dragging me away. It felt so good and it was then that I knew I was starting to relax well into holiday mode.

Besides sitting on our bums in cold water, we also tried our hands at kayaking and paddle boarding.

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Above is a photo of my parents taking the Little Mister kayaking (he’s at the front on my mum’s lap). He would “help” to paddle and he really loved being out on the water in his cute little life jacket. They came back after a short trip and we asked him if he’d like to climb out and go do something else in the water, but he said no quite emphatically and so my parents had no choice but to take him out for another whirl haha. Toddlers are the boss.

Mr Unprepared and I also had fun taking the Little Mister out for a kayaking session and while there was one iffy moment when he said he’d like to get up and proceeded to make an attempt, we had a great time. I couldn’t really help with the paddling and the Little Mister didn’t really understand the concept of paddling in time with your partner, but we made it back to land eventually 😛

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Mr Unprepared and I tried our hands at stand up paddle boarding (we’d had a taste of it the previous year) and as there was quite a stiff breeze blowing the opposite way to where I wanted to go, I may have accidentally (but totally on purpose if anybody asks) ended up on that strip of land you see across the water. My centre of gravity when standing (due to the wind) made paddling difficult so I was on my knees mostly. You wait. When they invent ‘on your knees’ paddle boarding, I will be the champion and you won’t be laughing then. Luckily for me, my mum has any photo evidence of this and I currently do not. However, I did get a photo of my husband showing off.

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Let me add that he is bigger and stronger than I am so he had a totally unfair advantage. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!! Also, I almost paddled over a sting ray at one point so I had some challenges. But that is a separate moment to the time when I almost stood on one in the shallows and my family yelled a lot of nonsense at me that I didn’t understand, which was kind of scary. Mostly because of the yelling and not as much because of the sting ray. Sting rays are lovely except for the whole deadly barbed tail thing.

Anyway, that concludes my photographic record of 2014’s camping experience! You can see my other photos here, here and here!

Now it’s back to real life and routine. Routine that doesn’t involve daily afternoon cheese blow outs and lack of any serious decision making (being an adult is hard y’all). Now it’s time to make the house look nice, save like crazy and prepare for our mid year trip to Korea and Japan! I like 2014 so far 🙂

If you have any questions about what it’s like camping with a toddler, where we actually went or about anything you’ve seen in my photos, feel free to ask! You can find me on Facebook too x