Tag: blogging

The selfie struggle.

Oh, yes. It’s a real first world problem, this one!

Lately, I’ve been scrolling through my Instagram posts and asking myself what I can do to make my account look a bit more appealing. Am I showing a great variety of moments from my every day life? Am I getting better at telling the stories behind the photos (and not just posting something with very little captioning that doesn’t make sense to anyone but me)? Does my profile look colourful and is it something that would make me want to delve further if I wasn’t me?

I think I’m doing OK-ish, by my small fish standards, considering I started off with sometimes only 2 likes on my very first photos and now I can get dozen/s (I told you – small fish haha). There is definitely room for improvement and I know I am my own worst critic too.

One thing I noticed that my profile is missing is more photos of me! I know that when I scroll through someone’s Instagram account, I like to see the person behind the profile – it helps me to connect with their content. Makes me feel like I know them (even though I don’t – they could be serial killers for all I know – hahaha). As I am no longer a semi-anonymous blogger, I know that I need to start showing more of myself. Let the people who find me, get to know me better.

I don’t take many photos of my son (I made a decision early on in the piece to not fully reveal his face or identity publicly online) and my dogs only know a couple of poses: “THROW MY DAMN TOY” or “BLURRY AS F*CK”. My husband is a bit social media shy. I feel awkward asking to take pics of/with my friends for public consumption unless they are bloggers too. So that leaves me most of the time. I’ve got nobody else to fall back on ?

I also need to point out that I am concerned that I have a misshapen head and I do not have a reliable Instagram spouse (and admittedly I’m picky and I feel bad bossing someone around), nor fancy equipment to help me take consistently good selfies/photos of myself.

And even if I did, I would curl up and die of embarrassment if people saw me trying to get it right in fantastic public spaces, like all the really cool bloggers do. Because we all know it can take like 50 shots to get one good one (or at least that’s true for me and my misshapen head/face)!

*awkward too loud laugh*

Also, I hate the stigma attached to the ‘selfie’ phenomena. Sure, if you’re doing a Kim K and ignoring all of your life to get constant good shotz (yes I used the ‘z’ ironically) then you may deserve a little bit of an eye roll from everyone around you, but what if you just want a couple of nice shots to prove to yourself that you were actually out on a nice day or to capture your life because nobody else will? I get frightened of people laughing at me trying to get the right angle and making that embarrassing selfie face which usually doesn’t look anything like the person’s actual candid face.

It’s always a bloody relief when I find myself out with fellow iPhone photo obsessed peeps who don’t mind taking lots of pics of everything and understand when I want to as well!

Also, I know I’m getting a bit deep here, but I think I lack confidence and do not accept my face/head etc as they are. I want to get more body (‘face’?) positive.

Some of my favourite pics of my friends are the real ones. Where they haven’t given a shit and they’ve just gone for it and had fun. I want to be more like that.

Anyway, here’s a selfie I took at a wedding recently. I liked my make up that night and felt pretty – I’d put in a lot of effort and it was a big deal because I hadn’t been out in the real world for a little while. The lighting is bad because it was night time and the quality is bad because I used Snapchat, but I’m glad I took it.

I’m going to try to take more selfies and care less what other people think while I’m looking like a dickhead pointing a camera at myself.

Anyone got any great tips on iPhone camera settings/angles/best sides/tricking people into helping you??

The Happy List #8

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I think I need my happy list a bit more than ever, lately. Mentally and emotionally, I have not had the best week. I am stir crazy and some things have created a lot of unnecessary stress lately. I really need to dig deep and find those little blessings that will get me through – some inspiration to draw on – as I look towards a new week.

True friends

I haven’t got out a whole lot lately, but on the couple of occasions I have managed to make a break for it, I have been blessed with the company of genuine, gorgeous people who really make me feel like more than some kind of awkward shut in who wipes up a lot of snot. A lot. Last night was a lot of fun – so many laughs. I also felt really grateful that I have such good people to confide in and share with. It really does help with the isolation factor of being a stay at home mum. I hope I was good to them too.

Also a special shout out to the friends I don’t get to see in person as much as I’d like to. You’re awesome. Our online conversations are so good for the soul 🙂

A couple of great work outs

I have been really frustrated at my lack of time to exercise regularly but when I did get a chance this past week, I made the most of it. I needed those endorphins, y’all! I went from being able to run only half a kilometre without stopping, to 3 quarters of a kilometre on the treadmill. That doesn’t sound like much, but for a total no-runner like me, it was a very big deal. It was the first time I’d really truly tried running, rather than power walking. I was also able to do some extra cardio/ab stuff afterwards! A few weeks ago, I would never have dreamed that I’d have the fitness or ability to get off the treadmill and do MORE STUFF THAT WOULD HURT LIKE HELL afterwards! I feel the strain of trying new things the next day, but it’s nowhere near what it used to be. I feel excited about the fact that I recover so much quicker. Progress!!

Smart discussions about racism sparked by the Adam Goodes situation

Yep. There have been a lot of dumb discussions. We’ve all seen the comments on social media. It’s enough to depress any person who has even a little bit of intelligence, maturity or compassion.

But there have finally been some really good things said too. For that, I am thankful. Thankful and hopeful.

You might be sick of hearing about it so much, but here are some links to the articles/videos that brought me relief when the stupidity felt like too much to bear (if you don’t know what happened – you’ll get a pretty good idea from the stuff I’ve put together)…

Adam Goodes’ booing ordeal is a test of who we are

Ray Martin asks: Who Do You Think You Are, Goodesy?

The Weekly: Adam Goodes Controversy

Fact From Fiction

Waleed Aly on Adam Goodes

Finding moolah I forgot I had

Isn’t it the best ever when you find ‘surprise’ money you forgot you stashed away? That’s the very reason I leave a couple of gold coins or a $5 note in my rain jacket pockets whenever I wear it. I know it will save me later when I think I’ve got nothing left. It’s a nice little gift to my future self. Yeah, I’m a dag. Even though I usually know it’s in there, I still feel ridiculously happy when I find it the next time.

Well, I thought I was down to bare bones this week and that it would be quite the stretch to get out and about on a girls’ night out, but at the very last minute I found a few notes I’d withdrawn from the bank a week prior in my purse. It was a magnificent moment! How did I forget about that?? Let’s just say I got a couple of mojitos out of it with a little change to spare 😉

I must say I am a little bit impressed with how frugal I was willing to be that night on account of my amazing self control and budgeting skills!!

I am also grateful that I had that little bit of cash to spare in the first place. Life isn’t so easy when you have nothing to spare and I try not to take that for granted.

Fixing weird techy problems with my blog…at least I think I have…

I was having some issues with it since I became self hosted (long boring story). I felt out of my depth and a bit overwhelmed. But I emailed my support dude and while it took a little while to figure out, I am so relieved that my site doesn’t appear to be telling little porky pies to my readers that my blog has been deleted anymore. I’m finding that I’m getting the same traffic I had before the transition and I am really appreciating people stopping by – it’s like my blog has been born again! I’m settling in nicely 🙂

 

So, that’s my happy list! What would you put on yours? x

The Happy List #6

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It’s been a slightly unusual week here at the Unprepared household. Mr Unprepared somehow got away for much of it for a boys’ trip to Melbourne (slippery sucker). I’m not jealous. Much. Whenever he goes away, I know I’ll miss him, but I do this thing where I remind myself of all the perks you can temporarily have while your partner is gone. It flips the script from negativity and sadness to make it something to look forward to – hey, it’s only a few days and you have to get through them anyway. May as well find things to enjoy about it!

Here’s what’s made me happy this week…

The temporary bachelorette life

Hogging the bed, watching Netflix in bed as late as I like (within reason because I have to parent), eating weird meals, more time to blog, quieter evenings, the ability to do weird beauty related things without him looking at me like I’m losing my mind, no sports on TV. I also kind of like that no-one snores on me and the bathroom floor is always dry. Sorry, hon. You know I love you. Haha.

A little shopping for myself

Being able to buy myself some new make up and stuff was great this week. I had let things slip in the self care department and it felt really nice to get some stuff to pamper myself with and help me get back out into the world after a few illness ridden weeks in our household. I am so excited to have a couple of comfy hoodies and some awesome sauce PJ pants on the way too!

That one time the Little Mister ate his dinner without any weird complaints

You might know what it’s like trying to eat dinner with a small person. The food can be too hot, too cold, too hard to eat with cutlery. There can be demands that it be cut into smaller pieces, then tears because you cut it into smaller pieces. Yesterday’s favourite food can become today’s most hated.

Well, one night this week, I made macaroni cheese with corn and shredded chicken. Seems like a no brainer when it comes to kid friendly, right? Not always. Nothing is guaranteed. I have served similar dishes before, to just be left broken by his zero star reviews. Like the times he randomly decides he does not like chicken. You know, just for that night because that’s the night you cooked it.

Not this week! I watched in disbelief as he used his fork (as opposed to his fingers), peacefully eating the whole meal. No complaints. No sudden disliking of the ingredients. No weird, drawn out delay tactics between mouthfuls.

“I love corn! I love chicken! Thank you for dinner, Mummy!”

AMAZING. I felt like something magical had happened. Some mystical science fiction shit. I may never witness this again, but gosh it was wonderful. A once in a lifetime experience. No, really. Probably was.

Getting my blogging mojo back

I’m probably jinxing it right now, but something clicked in me after feeling writer’s block for a bit too long. I realised that I was caring too much about doing everything ‘right’ and about the fact that my traffic had been down since I became self hosted and moved my blog to its own site. I had forgotten what I was doing this for. Me. For me. Because I love to write. And because I know I would still do it even if no-one was reading. Once I got back to basics, the words started to flow. I love when my creative side is just busting out. It’s a thrill.

The Little Mister being BFFs with our dog

The other night, Mr Unprepared took pity on our little heeler Heidi and let her in the house for a while. She’s getting older and she feels the cold. She was allowed to sit in the Little Mister’s play room by the door. Of course she crept closer and closer to him as time went on. He made her a little ‘home’. He showed her his favourite toys. He said sweet things to her and gave her loving pats. He talked to her like she was one of his human friends. It was the sweetest thing EVER.

EVER.

 

So, that’s my list! What would be on your happy list this week? x

Stuff I wish I wrote (or that I just love).

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Guys, I am not kidding when I tell you I am getting stir crazy. Did you know that I have not left my home for a week?! If I didn’t have a Friday night date with my girlfriends to see Magic Mike XXL (we are all really interested in the plot of course), I think I’d go absolutely loco. Well, more than usual.

Everyone’s taken their turns being sick in our household and OMFG I want out!! I haven’t touched my make up in days and I have worn variations of really daggy PJs/track suit/leggings combos for an embarrassingly long streak. What’s going on in the real world, guys? Is everyone on hover boards yet? Are you all still out there? There hasn’t been some kind of crazy zombie apocalypse or anything, has there?

As you can tell, I cope really well with isolation…

I thought, hmm. I have all this time at home so maybe I can blog more. But could I think of a single thing to write about that wasn’t tired or boring (much like my week)?? Nope. Nothing. I stared at my blog for ages, nothing going on behind my eyes. One big derp. You know when you think you’re being really productive because you’re making your thinking face but then you realise that really, it’s all just a facade and you forgot to actually think? For like a few minutes you were just sitting there like a dumb arse? Because derp?

Turns out, to be inspired, you often need to get out of your little bubble and explore the world. You know, live a life you can blog about. At least that is what I would normally do when I have writer’s block. Damn it!

So today I gave up. I started catching up on all the blogs I subscribe to (and Netflix but let’s not go there). If I can’t write great stuff, then I can read it! Everyone is so gosh darn clever. I’ve read so many posts that I wish I’d written. Stuff that has made me laugh or made me think. Or made me hungry.

So I thought I’d share a little bit of link love. Here are some of the things I’ve really enjoyed…

Never Trust a Jellyfish – Tribute (to the Best Blog Post in the World)

Oh, the times I have thought up a wonderful blog post…and then subsequently forgotten when it came time to type it up. Or worse, when I’ve written a fantastic post and suddenly there’s a glitch and it goes missing!

This is not only a hilarious tribute to that frustrating experience, but a trip down memory lane – remember, Tenacious D, anyone?

A life less frantic – Managing the overwhelm caused by your inner ‘planner’

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Well, duh. You’re a person. Of course you have! Kelly, over at A Life Less Frantic has some really great tips for managing that frantic anxiety of trying to figure out the logistics of everything on your to do list.

Babble – Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week

I love when people round up great tweets that I would not otherwise find by myself. I giggle SO HARD. Trust me, these are worth it.

Ask Your Dad – Dear Crappy Parent

Around these parts, I am very clear about ridiculous judgement of other parents being an absolute no no. I always believe that when we see that person at the supermarket with their kids, we do not know the whole story. We don’t have the right to go off at people on the internet, based on one photo or post that we’ve seen. We should all focus on getting our own backyard in order before bossing other people around about theirs. Just because someone does something differently to us, does not immediately make that person inferior to us (I mean – who do we think we are?). That’s just how I roll.

Unless we see a clear incidence/evidence of abuse that cannot be explained in any other context (in which we should ALWAYS speak up), we need to reserve our judgements. We are all in this together.

This blog post from Ask Your Dad totally nails why we should be less nosey and judgey.

Culinary Storm – Chocolate Lava Cake for 2 

OK, so this just made me drool. It’s so easy and it is everything I crave on a winter’s evening. I’m not saying it’s good for you, but hello…just look at the pictures and tell me you don’t want it. Chocolate lava cake for 2? Yeah, right. I think we know it’s just for one hungry 31 year old woman with no self control…not that we’re talking about me or anything…

What have you been reading lately? Want to share your latest blog post with me? x

The Happy List #3

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This is a little list I write each week (or whenever takes my fancy), to remind myself to savour the good things in life and to help me start a new week in a good headspace. 

I think the loose theme for today’s list is ‘love’. It’s an accidental theme, but it’s…well… gosh darn lovely! So I’m just going to get down to it and share that love now:

Friends getting engaged.

I woke up to the news. I had really hoped it was coming and I am so happy for them. SO HAPPY!

Same sex marriage declared a legal right in the US.

For the whole nation! All states! A landmark decision (that should have been made a long time ago). I am so so happy for all the humans of America. It’s not just ‘gay’ rights. It’s human rights. I keep on hoping that Australia will catch up soon.

It brings me so much joy to see my Facebook feed light up with so many rainbows and outpourings of support from all over the world!

The Little Mister sharing his teddy bear.

Mr Unprepared has had to spend a night away this weekend (he’s a groomsman for a wedding and has needed to help set up the venue and attend a day-before rehearsal some distance away from home) and the Little Mister watched him pack an overnight bag. I explained that Daddy will be away until after the wedding. The Little Mister reappeared with two teddy bears. He held one for himself and gave one to Mr Unprepared to sleep with while he was away from home.

Cue HEART BURSTING AND ‘SPLODING EVERYWHERE.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Mr Unprepared totally took the teddy bear with him. And then he sent a snapchat photo for me to show the Little Mister, of the teddy bear keeping him company on the train. I managed to get a quick screen cap. I didn’t want that moment lost forever.

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That’s some good dadding right there. Dadding is totally a word, if anyone asks.

Rebuilding my website. 

If you know me (or are a blogger yourself), then you’d totally understand that my blog is a labour of love. I love writing. I love the sense of community. I love trying to make it pretty and give it care and attention. This past week, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to find a host for it and make it all mine (blah blah it’s kind of boring to explain). It was scary as f*ck. No joke. I have spent every second minute freaking out that the website will suddenly disappear on me. I have read so many instruction guides and felt like the biggest noob (do people still say noob?). BUT…I’ve done it myself. I nutted it out. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I love how my site looks. I love that I took a risk and that I’ve achieved something I put off for way too long because I was scared about trying something I have NO experience with. I don’t call myself awesomely unprepared for nothing haha.

I am sure there will be new challenges and hiccups along the way, now that I have so much more responsibility for this space (I liken it to going from renting a home to owning one) but I am SO happy I took the step. Or more correctly, took a giant leap (for me anyhow)!

Special shout out to Corrine from Frock and Roll for her moral support behind the scenes! She truly gave me the courage to go through with it when it was not much more than a scary “Could I? Could I REALLY? Like just DO IT?”! What a legend.

What a rush! Kind of like the feeling I get when I’m online shopping and I actually click ” proceed to check out” instead of just emptying my cart and never speaking of it again haha.

A good shopping day.

OK, so I am not so sure how to tie this into the ‘love’ theme, but let’s ignore that for a moment, because you guys, this was awesome.

I had to shop for a new dress for a wedding (the one that Mr Unprepared is a groomsman for). I only had black dresses or ill fitting summer dresses. While there’s nothing wrong with wearing black to a wedding if that’s your preference (I do love me a great LBD any other day/night), I get a little funny about it and I like to celebrate with colour. It’s like my own personal superstitious quirk. I was a bit worried about it because I couldn’t go shopping until the last minute and I would only get one real shot at it child free. I had already exhausted a lot of more local options and I needed to get myself to the city for one last ditch effort.

I was CERTAIN it would end up like any other need-an-outfit-last-minute shopping day – full of stress and rushing and self esteem shot to pieces as dress after dress made me look like a bursting sausage (I swear I’m always ‘between’ dress sizes).

BUT…the city was strangely peaceful and calm (which helped me to keep peaceful and calm). The weather was lovely. I found The One really quickly (a heavily discounted designer dress). It was the after-thought dress I grabbed off a rack on my way to the fitting rooms of MYER (along with my massive armful of just about every dress that looked like it might remotely look okayish on me). It was just a ‘what the hell – it’s in my size’ dress that I didn’t think I’d like. I put it on first and it fit like a glove. I actually felt pretty in it (as opposed to resigning myself to ‘it will do’). AMAZING. I got all the accessories and even a pair of shoes (most being on sale) in record time! I even found some time to get my nails done to match! I was on a train home by lunch time and I didn’t feel exhausted and drained afterwards.

Woohoo! There is NOTHING like a good shopping day. It was so nice. I don’t know much about astrology but seriously, the stars must have all been aligned or some shit.

So that’s what’s been making me happy. What has been making you smile?

 

Blog life interrupted.

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My internet is down. Kaput. My internet service providers are not very helpful (understatement of the year – you can find my occasional whining on Twitter and Facebook). It’s been a week now and I am realising just how much I rely on the internet. I blog, I have social media, my go-to stuff for life (recipes/life hacks) are on Pinterest. I stream my music through my devices, rather than storing it and taking up too much memory. I catch up on TV show episodes via streaming. Everyone wants an email address as a primary mode of contact. I shop online. My personal, private journal with all of my thoughts and feelings (that keeps me sane) is stored online. When did my life become so internet-centric?

I am using my phone data like there’s no tomorrow. It’s getting desperate. I’ve escaped to my parents’ house this morning (where there is wifi and cups of tea), because I am going crazy waiting for a mythical technician to contact me (a guy I am not allowed to contact myself because he’s probably in witness protection or something). For crying out loud, I just want a new modem (which of course is so special and is made out of unicorn horns and the wings of fairies so no-one sells it retail around here).

I have started to read books. Like actual, physical books with real paper pages. I’ve started to sleep more. In fact, the sleep has become ridiculous. Like my body is trying to catch up on all the sleep I missed since the internet was invented. I am not so happy with this enforced detox as I maybe could be. No internet on camping trips? Awesome. Best way to unwind. Unreliable wifi on overseas holidays? No biggie! At home? OH GOD NO. Can I scream I’M A BLOGGER GET ME OUT OF HERE?

I miss my blog. I miss my favourite bloggers. I am dying to read the amazing things you’ve been writing. I see your links on Facebook but I can’t click many times, because my phone data bill would be unthinkable. This makes me very sad. I promise that the moment I am back online, I will binge on all of your work and catch up on your lives. I miss the inspiration you all have to offer. I miss interacting with my gorgeous readers daily.

So never fear if you do not hear from me much in the next little while. I am here. Trying to survive with this terrible first world problem. Because I do actually know how lucky I am. Kind of 😉

Now go and read about people with real problems (you know – bigger stuff than whining about not having the internet) – do something kind for them – and if you work in customer service of ANY description, make somebody’s day today. Show them that you care. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and treat them with kindness (provided they are not just a**holes). Do it for me!

xo

2014: Top 5/Bottom 5.

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So, I’ve been looking at my blog’s statistics for 2014 and what a year! I thought I’d share my top 5 blog posts and my bottom 5 (let’s give them a chance haha) of the year. They weren’t necessarily written in 2014 but they had the most traffic in the last 12 months!

TOP 5 BLOG POSTS OF 2014

1. The Secret Life of Jimmy Giggle? Turns out a lot of you are very excited to know more about Jimmy Giggle. Got the hots for the dude in the loud PJs, huh? Hey, I’m not judging. His real name is Jimmy Rees by the way. Oh, and I found out he has twitter, just in case you were wondering. Which you all totally were, judging by my stats haha.

2. Bear Grylls – Hot or Not? Judging by the comments, you overwhelmingly voted ‘hot’. Beg to differ (and I offer a compelling argument for ‘not’)? Well, it’s not too late to add your own opinion 😉 You would be so surprised (or maybe not you crazy ladies) how many people google ‘bear grylls hot’ on a daily basis.

3. I support you: it’s your baby. Feed them however you need to. I was really proud of this one. It spread far and wide. I wanted to get my message out there – a positive one in a sea of ridiculous mummy war crap. I’ve been very passionate about supporting new mothers (or any mothers) in how they want or need to feed their babies. We need to stop being so outraged when someone does something differently to ourselves – there’s always a story or a struggle we don’t know about. We need to choose education (for ourselves – not the other person) and compassion before judgement.

4. Goodbye. I wrote this really short post when my grandfather (my dad’s dad) passed away in 2013 after a battle with dementia. A lot of people find it when they’re looking for how to say goodbye to people they have lost. I don’t really know that my blog post holds the answer, but I wish all of those people well.

5. Kez gets physical, physical! Look, I feel a little guilty about this one. In 2014 I have not really done my best with fitness or weight loss. I kind of let things slip. Although, I did get quite fit in Korea and Japan, it all went downhill when we got home at the end of June! Oops. I’m trying again, though. Maybe I need to take my own advice 😉 Still, I am glad I might be inspiring some of my readers? Maybe you could kick my lazy arse in return 😉

BOTTOM 5 BLOG POSTS OF 2014

I know that declaring loudly and proudly that these blog posts didn’t perform well this year is not really a great way of selling them, but I am hoping there are some gems in here that maybe just fell through the cracks. Chances are, you’ve missed them and they might be completely new to you and not too boring either – have a click! Go on! Maybe they’ll be my top 5 next year! Or not, but still…I’m sure they’re more great Kez rantings haha. Get to know me a bit more. Go on.

1. I can’t wait. I made some new year’s resolutions for the first time ever, heading into 2013. I KNOW. And it took me a couple of years to achieve most of them, but at the time I needed them, y’know? I was just starting to feel more like ‘me’ again after having the Little Mister in late 2011.

2. Are you a boofhead? I wrote an ode to all the boofheads out there. You know who you are. Hats are never big enough. You struggle to get your heads through t-shirt neck holes. You get stuck in weird places – head first. I thought it was funny, anyhow.

3. FAQ. I wrote this shortly after I announced my pregnancy in 2011. It just seemed easier to answer the questions I was asked the most often in one convenient blog post! Oh, those were the days. Being pregnant for the first time was difficult (it wasn’t the smoothest experience for me) but it was pretty special too. I had no idea what I was in for!

4. It was just one of those days. I was very hard on myself when the Little Mister was smaller. I was still figuring out what was OK with me (about my abilities as a parent) and what wasn’t. I tried my best, but some days I felt like I’d done terribly. This was one of those days. I look back and I think, oh well, I learnt something. Everyone was OK in the end and that’s what matters. It happens. But back then, I took every little bump, scrape or mishap so personally. I wanted to document it because I felt there was a need for mums to just keep it real. I hoped I wasn’t the only one who struggled to be kind to myself when I had ‘one of those days’.

5. From one burnt out mother…to herself.  I needed a hit of inspiration. I was feeling rather exhausted and I was struggling when we returned home from travelling to my grandfather’s funeral. I put together a bunch of quotes to help me get back on track. I recommend reading this one if you’ve just been through an upheaval of some kind and you’re feeling pretty bloody tired.

~

I just want to say a huge thank you for reading this crazy little blog. It has a long way to go, but in the last year I have been thrilled with how far I’ve come with my confidence and my ability to be braver and find my voice. I am so glad for my readers – long time and new. You really do make me feel like a million dollars and ninety-nine cents. I don’t care if you stumble upon posts from 2011 (when my blog started) and want to comment – you comment. There is no expiry date. There are no ‘stalkers’ – just loyal readers who make me smile so much when you dig deep into the archives.

You guys are so awesome and even though I’d keep writing if none of you saw a single word I wrote, I am SO grateful that you stop by.

And because I’ve had a rather strong vodka something or other that I invented with what was in the fridge, I shall leave you with the lyrics video to a song that inspired me and got me through the year. It’s truly my anthem and it’s only a tiny bit cheesy.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyAfjUHlFSM]

How to stay (relatively) sane on the internet.

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The internet can be an amazing forum/resource for parents (especially those of us who are new to the game), because it can offer us support groups online, and gives us a connection to other people, even when we’re stuck at home feeling a little isolated.

On the flip side, it can be a nightmare! There is information out there that is very dubious. There are people everywhere who think that having an opinion and a keyboard qualifies them to insult, degrade and fight (dirty ugly fighting) with those who have a different opinion and a keyboard too. There is a flood of articles thrown at us daily on how to do this, how to do that. It can make your head spin. It can make you feel worse.

Yeah, yeah. You’ve probably read these ‘how to have a good time on the internet without being a douche bag’ guides and tips a million times over and I have debated with myself over whether to even bother. BUT I think it bears repeating sometimes. At least here is my own personal spin on it all. These are the things I try to do. The things that help me to stay sane.

Stop reading if it makes you feel icky.

It’s that simple. You know that sinking feeling you get when you read something that makes you feel bad about yourself? Or perhaps you read something that makes you feel anxious because it makes you feel judged and makes you question everything you do? Sometimes it’s our own sensitivities or insecurities on a given day, other times it’s because the writer is inciting these feelings. It really doesn’t matter. If you feel icky, you need to take a moment. Y’know? Perhaps reading that thing isn’t the best thing for your mental health right now. Take a break.

If something you read makes you see red, if it makes you so angry that all you can think is four letter words towards the writer/website/Facebook page, that is a lot of negativity to be bathing yourself in. Scroll past. Unfollow. Do what it takes to not willingly return to such material. You don’t need that in your life! It’s wasted energy we could be using to better our own lives or the lives of those we care about. I mean, you could have been using that time to laugh at videos of Jimmy Fallon’s lip synching battles on YouTube, instead of reading about that writer who hates SAHMs/working mums/breastfeeding mums/bottle feeding mums/school mums/funny mums/serious mums/mums who are pretty and fit/mums who are overweight/mums who…you get the idea. Don’t buy into the hate-fest.

If the writer doesn’t write in a way that shows you the respect (you can respect people even if they do not share your opinion), do not give them the time of day. They haven’t earned it.

Do not bite the click-bait. 

Ever read those provocative headlines? The spiel before a link to an article, which is designed to entice readers into clicking and giving a website a lot of traffic? Some of it is just blatantly designed to get us hate-reading by inciting an outrage within us, which makes us say, “WHO WOULD SAY THAT HORRIBLE THING? I MUST KNOW.”

It’s so tempting. SO tempting. I’m trying harder to resist. I want to read things because I want to learn something, not because the website has tried to suck me in for negative reasons.

“WHAT THIS MUM DID NEXT WILL HAVE YOU OUTRAGED.”
“THIS WRITER HATES CHILDREN AND HERE’S WHY…”

You know the kind. If a website is resorting to that kind of manipulation, that says a lot. It also says a lot that it’s probably, sadly, working. I want to try harder to not be a part of the problem. If I know I’ll be angry when I read it, that’s not a good space to be in. I don’t need the virtual drama cluttering my head.

Keep it classy. 

Often people use the old, “it’s my freedom of speech” excuse for being a**holes. Yes. We are all entitled to our opinions. We are allowed to disagree with other people on an unlimited range of topics. But in my mind we have a responsibility in how we express them. You don’t need to attack somebody else’s character, belittle them, wish awful things on them or enter into a week long commenting argument with them to make your point. Try to be eloquent. Make your point in a way that might actually get through to the other person. Calling them fifty names probably won’t help the situation. If you are truly passionate about telling someone else what you need to say, then make sure your communication is effective. It ceases to be effective if you are insulting somebody. All they will see is the insults and not the message. You’re better than that. And that goes for passive aggressive comments disguised as constructive feedback. Come on. We’re not stupid. That doesn’t count as taking the high road! It’s not genuine. Just LET IT GO.

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And? If you’ve shown all the class you can show and the recipient doesn’t want to understand or refuses to reciprocate? LET IT GO. They’re just strangers on the internet who disappear when you turn off your computer (or click unfollow). You don’t need to win them over to know that you’re an awesome person.

Yay! 🙂 You are, by the way.

We can pick our battles too. People power definitely has a place (advocating for the equal rights of all people is important), but sometimes silence can be a dignified response – it can be all something deserves.

Think critically. 

Where is this information coming from? What are the interests of those publishing it? What are their motives? Are they a reliable source? Are they using reliable sources? This helps me to sort the junk from the stuff I might want to be paying attention to. I know not to get my knickers in a knot over stuff that has little credibility. I won’t be taking their advice to heart, that’s for sure.

Also? This includes reading all of the article/blog post carefully. Dissect the writer’s intentions. Where are they coming from? What are they really saying? Read it a couple of times if you have to and carefully consider your own response. If the writer explicitly says, I don’t agree with ‘a’ but I do understand why some people do, then don’t rant at the writer about how they are agreeing with ‘a’ and how wrong they are. It will undermine your credibility if other readers can see that you haven’t taken your time to understand what the writer is saying.

Have empathy. 

You might not agree with the writer or what they do might not feel right for you, but if you put yourself in their shoes for a minute, you might understand their intentions and be able to give constructive feedback. Also, it’s not always somebody’s fault if they do not ‘know better’. They might be struggling or simply not have certain tools to work with. You can’t always know the whole story in a few hundred words. You can either be a helping force or a negative, judgemental one. How would you like to be spoken to if you’d had the courage to put it all out there?

Come at it with a positive approach.

Proofread! 

Lastly, if you are a blogger or a commenter, re-read your comment/blog post before clicking ‘post’ or ‘publish’. I try to re-read everything I write – more so if I know I’m commenting on a contentious issue. I make sure I’m not letting my emotive response overtake my message. I make sure I haven’t insulted anyone. I make sure that I’ve said it in a way that it can be read easily (I am a waffler and I am sorry haha). I remind myself that I am saying something in a public manner. This has saved me many a time. I’ve even written comments and then deleted them when I realised I was not offering something relevant or helpful to a discussion. It reassures me that I won’t write a knee jerk response before I can calm down and think about it rationally. I only want to write things that will let me sleep at night!! There is nothing worse than saying that silly thing and then feeling haunted by it (or worse feeling the backlash over something you didn’t really mean to say because you didn’t think it out).

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I know I am not perfect so I don’t mean to preach. I am just passing on the stuff I’m working on. ‘Working on’ being the operative words. I mostly just hope that I’ve made a space where my readers feel free from all the crap out there.

I feel like parents in blog land and on social networks need to band together more. Have a supportive, nurturing approach, not a shaming, judgemental one. We have such great opportunities to build online communities and to learn so much from each other. Let’s not waste them with ‘mummy wars’ (just that term makes me want to spew a little in my mouth). Let’s not fall for the tricks of those bigger websites (who shall remain nameless) that rejoice when we go into a frenzy. We are seriously better than that. We are amazing people from all walks of life. Let’s not lose perspective.

And did I mention that you’re absolutely gorgeous and you’re doing great stuff? 😉

Do you have anything to add to my list of tips? What do you think? 

In my cup: Some gratitude.

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

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

Stuff I’m grateful for this Monday…

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

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

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

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

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

Also, this:

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

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

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

Why I Write Blog-hop (better late than never)!

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About a month ago, I was approached by Seamus of Dadinating the Country Side to take part in a blog-hop with the theme of ‘Why I Write’. He was so kind and patient as we emailed back and forth, with me wondering if I’d already exhausted that topic in a post I’d written a little while back…on the topic of Why I Write! He reassured me that it was a little different and with that, my arm was twisted (wasn’t going to take much convincing to be honest).

I love reading his blog because it is filled with honesty and humour, it gives a dad’s (and a good one at that) perspective on life with kids and it is pretty cool how he’s made a tree change with his family and he gets to do weird and wonderful stuff like making salami and growing an orchard!

I was so flattered to read Seamus’ glowing review of my own blog and finally after a month of shamelessly reliving my holiday in Korea and Japan through blogging (I really need to let it go haha), I am ready to do my part and complete my contribution to the blog-hop! To be honest, I don’t even know if anyone cares about this anymore and I fear that most of my favourite bloggers have already participated, but I shall do my best! By the way, I would have totally nominated Seamus first if I’d had the chance!

Here we go!

What am I working on?

Right now I’ve just finished documenting my huge family journey overseas to Singapore, Korea and Japan. Now, I’m just trying to get back to real life and finding inspiration in the ‘every day’. I am trying to up my game a little bit and blog more often than my previous once-a-week on average – writing is just a great ritual each day (when I can fit it in).

How does my writing differ from those in my genre?

I suppose my genre is mostly ‘parenting’, but I think my blog encompasses all parts of my life. I don’t know that I’m anything really revolutionary or completely refreshingly unique, but I suppose I am me and no-one else is me or has my exact life or writing style. I talk about being adopted and what it means for me as a grown person and now a parent. I write about life with my toddler the Little Mister. I share how we bumble through life and I try to be really honest about it – for better or…not so better. I don’t believe in stupid ‘mummy wars’ – there’s enough of that out there.

Why do I write?

I write because writing is such a massive part of who I am, that if I couldn’t I would be a certifiable mess (and I’m not even joking). I love sorting my thoughts out by writing. I express myself the best when it’s in written form. I might not be amazing at drawing, painting, or using my hands to create things, but writing? Writing is my way of being creative. It’s an amazing outlet for me, especially in my role as a SAHM or as a mum in general, and I love blogging because I get to not only share my writing with others (and have an excuse to do it regularly) but I get to be a part of a really cool blogging community!

See more of why I write here.

How does my process work?

I don’t know that I have a set process. I’m always looking for inspiration. Sometimes something funny will happen that I want to record, or there will be some kind of event in my life that I want to talk about. The Little Mister might go through a milestone and I might want to share that. I might just have a thought on a certain ‘hot’ topic that I need to vent about. I sometimes write a note on my phone or simply make a mental note. If I don’t have time to blog right then or the mood hasn’t really taken me, I will open a new post and draft a couple of words so I remember to come back to it.

It might take me days to finish one post, because I’m busy catering to the needs of the Little Mister and trying to keep things afloat on the home front, but that’s OK with me! It can sometimes improve the quality of my bloggings because I can look at a draft with fresh eyes the next day.

I just write to my heart’s content! I spend a while proof reading and trying to make sure it’s not too hard to read. Sometimes I’ll edit it a few times before clicking ‘publish’ because I can be a perfectionist. Other times, I will say, “NOW OR NEVER” and click it with my eyes closed because if I don’t I might chicken out!

Who do I want you to meet?

Here are the three bloggers I want to introduce you to. There is no pressure for you to participate in the blog-hop if you do not wish to (or already have), but I just wanted to pass on the love. Let me know if you do, so I can promote the crap out of it 🙂

Sweet Mama M

This lovely woman is someone I’d definitely consider a friend, even though we’ve never met! She is definitely as sweet as her blog name suggests. Her blog is fantastic as it chronicles her life as a wife and new mama to the gorgeous baby CJ. She writes really useful reviews of great local NZ parenting products and places to shop/eat (and how child/baby friendly they are) too! If only someone would do that for where I live (I’m too lazy for now haha). She sadly lost her mother to cancer two years ago and the courage she shows in writing about her journey through the grief is inspiring. I have no doubt it will help others out there who have been through something similar.

Bec from Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting 

Bec has been a great inspiration. While she had me at her blog title (who doesn’t want to see the lighter side of parenting in this crazy world?), I have loved watching her blog grow. I love her humour, her honesty and her blogging community spirit (I am so honoured that she takes the time to read my blog too). I was so excited and cheering her on when she popped up as a guest blogger on Woogsworld and iVillage Australia recently. She’s definitely one to watch!

I know she has already participated in the blog-hop but I really wanted to mention her x

Lisa from Two Point Five Kids 

I know it’s a bit of a theme with me but I really really love blogs that include both honesty and humour. Lisa’s blog has both. I love reading about her life as a police wife and mum. She really doesn’t hold back much and I love it. She’s the blogger I wish I was brave enough to be! She has even been known to make me laugh, get misty eyed and say, “OH NO SHE DIDN’T!” (in a good way) all in one sitting! I love her sense of integrity as a blogger too.

A special mention also goes to Bruce of Big Family, little income  who wanted to nominate me, but I was too busy ignoring his email (accidentally of course) while I was travelling – guess what…his blog contains honesty and humour just like all the others I have nominated – what do you know??