Tag: home

A messy girl’s guide to cleaning up your side of the bathroom.

I know this will shock you, but I am not a domestic goddess. And by ‘shock you’ I mean, ‘probably not going to surprise you in the slightest if you even vaguely know me’.

I have a very busy brain and I can lose focus easily. Sometimes this means that my organisation skills suffer a lot little. I’ve had years of practice being me, so I have overcome a lot of these issues by planning better and making things easier for myself in life in general, but things do slip through the cracks. Especially when I’ve been out of my mind busy. Which is very different to being ‘got your shit together’ busy. Ha!

Lately, my side of the bathroom vanity was left to suffer. I’d been rushing around a lot – doing my make-up and then running without time to tidy up after myself. I’d dumped my stuff there rather unceremoniously after we got back from our recent trip to NSW and never really sorted it out. It was a f*cking dumpsite. Very embarrassing. I have photographic proof…

It looks like something from a hoarder’s house. Or one of those ‘rental tenants from hell’ pieces on a current affairs show. And quite honestly, I thought I’d removed any truly embarrassing items from view before taking the ‘before’ photo, but I clearly missed the tiny end of a tampon wrapper. I’m sorry. I can’t believe I’m posting this. Just #keepingitreal I guess!

Also, I should note that the martini glass was not used for drinking martinis out of and then abandoned (geez – I’m not an animal). Once upon a time, I had used it as a ‘trendy’ earring holder because I saw it on Pinterest like a bajillion years ago. You can see how well that went.

Anyway, I have redeemed myself. And it only took me probably less than an hour once I’d picked up a couple of basic things from Kmart (last of the big spenders).

Here is the ‘after’ picture (to help you recover from the awful ‘before’ picture):

I am not a perfect stylist (white flecks on the counter damn it) but I think I did OK! Mr Unprepared will be stoked haha (we have that stereotypical situation where his side is all minimalistic and tidy and mine is ALWAYS a mess).

Here’s what I’ve learned…

STOP KEEPING ALL THAT SHIT YOU NEVER USE.

I cannot stress this enough. I had make up items that I knew were the wrong shade for me, did not do my skin/lips any favours (i.e. dried everything out etc), or were so old that I could vaguely remember purchasing them before my son was born!!!

I had accessories that had once been really trendy but were now decidedly daggy and hadn’t been worn since forever. There was  cheap jewellery that had discoloured or gotten tangled up beyond recognition. Odd earrings. WTF.

What freaks me out is that this stuff had actually survived multiple clean outs! I do not know what I was thinking. If you think you’ll use it one day, but those days have turned into years, it’s got to go!!

I am going to be far more mindful of what I purchase from now on. I was never a frivolous spender, but I think sometimes when you’re trying to learn about make up or what works for you, mistakes can be made. It’s all trial and error. I think I’ll learn to gift it to someone else when appropriate or just admit that it’s never going to work for me and throw it away!

Be brutal. You can find info on how long is too long to keep certain cosmetics if you do a little internet research too. Helps to have a little reality check.

Put the ‘sometimes’ items away in a caddy for easy access.

I bought a nice open caddy style container (fitting with the theme of the above containers in the ‘after’ pic) to fit all the things that aren’t used daily, but that I go to regularly. Things like extra hair ties (I’m usually a hair down kind of gal but I do up my hair around the house when working out or on hot days), bobby pins, hair removal products (haha), face masks, eye shadow pallets that only come out on special occasions and the like. Everything’s together and easy to grab now. YES.

It’s also great that this stuff is no longer cluttering up my counter space. AWESOME SAUCE.

Group ‘like’ things together so they’re easy to find.

I know you’re thinking, DUH. THIS STUFF IS SO OBVIOUS. But I really hadn’t put any of it into practice before. That’s the key – who knew that actually doing it is just as important as thinking about it haha.

I put all the make up brushes together in one tumbler thingy. I put eye, brow and lip pencils etc in another. I put lipsticks/glosses in a make up stand so I can see them easily. Skin stuff in another container. And so on.

I think this will save me so much time trying to find my every day items. It will also make it easier to tidy up afterwards. It will take me the same amount of time to tidy them up as it would have to throw them down on the bench in a rush.

Now if only I had some sort of inbuilt motivation to clean my brushes as often as I should!

Bring the space to life. 

I’ve been working on activating ‘dead’ spaces around my home. I want every part of my house to feel alive and inviting. I have a long way to go, but I’ve been slowly working on it for a while now. I think that some of the more utilitarian type spaces of the house tend to get forgotten around here and they can end up making you feel flat and unexcited when you have to spend time in those areas and then they start to look progressively shabbier.

I bought me some cheapy fake succulents in cool geometric vase thingies and put them on a shelf that is usually strewn with clutter. Voila! Suddenly, I feel a teensy bit more house proud and happy when I look at them. They also serve the purpose of stopping me from mindlessly cluttering up the shelf from now on. It was a real problem spot!

Be on the look out for inspiration.

I love to get ideas from Pinterest and Instagram when I am not sure where to get started. I saw so many great ideas to draw inspiration from before I purchased some of my storage stuff for the ensuite. With so many on-trend items available at affordable prices these days (as well as great online tutorials on how to do it yourself if you’re crafty), it can be really easy to recreate your favourite looks/ideas. Just be sure to update things every now and then *cough* martini glass *cough*


So, tell me.

How’s your bathroom counter looking?

Got any amazingly spectacular/terribly awful pics to share with me? 

The Happy List #48

Hello! How are you? It’s been a little while since I wrote a Happy List and I thought there was no time like the present to bust one out! Now and then, I like to take a moment to blog about the things that have made me happy recently. It helps me to focus on the positives and record good memories!

Here are the things that have made the list this time…

My mums’ group

A lot of us got together to celebrate a member’s milestone birthday on the weekend. Things got a bit crazy, but gosh it made me so happy to be with my girls. I still marvel at the fact that we were only brought together because we just happened to have babies at the same time of year in the same place. We are all so different, yet our friendships have survived over 5 years (and counting)! We have supported each other, laughed and drank a bit too much wine together, loved each other’s children like family and waited for each other when we’ve been a little AWOL with the busyness or stresses of life.

I’m so grateful to have such weirdos to be a weirdo with.

Drinking more water

I was really annoying myself because I was struggling to drink enough water to stay properly hydrated (and to help my skin and my metabolism). I’d tell myself I’d do better each day, but then get to the end of the day and realise I’d only had maybe one and a half glasses all day (and we’ve had some hot weather). Anyway, I finally addressed this issue in the most ridiculously simple way: I bought myself a new water bottle. One that my son is not allowed to backwash into. One that ensures that wherever I am, I have filtered water (it has a built in filter). Something I can take everywhere and not end up with 394 half empty store bought water bottles rolling around in my car (*ahem*). Since then, I have definitely upped my water intake and this makes me really happy.

Discovering CC cream

I’ve always given BB cream a red hot go, but I never quite found The One. A while back I was looking for a good green concealer (to disguise redness from blemishes), but the shop lady may have got a bit confused and sold me a CC cream (Loreal Nude Magique if you must know). I never really thought about it, and occasionally used it as more of a spot treatment, thinking the consistency was so not what I was after. I was obviously not paying attention to the fact that it clearly says CC cream on the tube. Recently, I was all like, WHAT? I CAN PUT THIS ALL OVER MY FACE? And then I did. And I’ll never look back. It might be a shit ‘concealer’ but it’s a friggin’ awesome light foundation! I don’t normally rave about specific products (beauty blogger I am not haha), but this one is a game changer! It starts green and it blends to match my skin tone EXACTLY. WTF. Amazing. It’s quick to apply. Not too heavy (but not too sheer either). Perfect for trying to not look like the undead for school drop off and pick up, with that ‘effortless’ ‘no make up’ make up look!

Not being sick anymore

I was sick on and off (mostly on) since the 8th of February. I know. You’ve got to be shitting me. Two days ago, I woke up and I actually didn’t feel like I was dying. There was no sinus pain. No headaches. No painful throat. Far less of an urge to cough. I was so relieved because it was really getting me down! I’d kind of pinned February as my month to be a healthy living machine and when it held me back I got really frustrated. I can’t wait to feel really strong and energetic again (before life’s next curveballs come at me)!

Having a home printer that works!

It’s not a major thing but not having one was really inconvenient (in a first world problems kinda way)! Our old printer refused to work – especially the wifi function. The technology seemed to have aged out and it did not want to play! I would have to go to my mum’s to print and scan everything. It was a bit ridiculous. Mr Unprepared and I managed to pick up a good-but-cheapie the other day and now I feel so relieved knowing it’s sitting there, waiting for me to scan/print something at any given moment that it’s required! Finally! I don’t know why I put it off so long – actually I do. I kept thinking that until I had my home office up and running (although it still needs a few things), I wouldn’t buy anything else to clutter up the house.

Always dream big, people. Haha.

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Watching trashy TV. Married at First Sight, anyone?
  • The outfit I wore on Saturday night – it made me feel almost skinny and I felt on trend (a big deal these days haha) and I felt pretty. Definitely a keeper (and I got it for $20)!
  • Watching the Oscars live while blogging.
  • Making a movie date with my mum to see Lion some time this week.
  • Hangover food on Sunday. No regrets!
  • My new activewear shorts. And the fact that I am finally starting to feel comfortable in shorts again after a long hiatus.
  • Getting our summer weather back (even though it’s Autumn in a few days – eek).
  • Avocado. Because it’s avocado.

What’s been making you happy lately? Tell me! 

The Happy List #40

 

Why, hello there! It’s me! That lazy cow who skipped last week’s happy list. Don’t worry (ha – as if you were), I still took some time to acknowledge the good things. I just couldn’t be bothered writing them down – oops!

I think I was just feeling super exhausted and not quite myself. Illness really did a number on our household and it took a lot of recovery time!

But it feels good to be back. I’m awake too early for a weekend morning, but my cycling obsessed husband can just throw me some time for an afternoon nap and some time to exercise (i.e. lip sync/sing my way through terrible songs from the 90s and noughties until I deem my step count to be acceptable). OK, husband? Least you could do, buddy haha.

So I bring to you, my happy list. A day early this week, because who needs consistency? I get points for enthusiasm, right?

Here are the things that have made me happy in the past week…

Returning to full health

Yep. Whatever that cold/flu virus was, it has finally left the building. It’s weird. I’ve been sicker than that before, but I have never experienced a bug that had such lasting after effects. It felt like it took forever to recover. I had a fever that took twice as long as usual to leave my body. I had some weird coinciding issues with a lack of appetite and an irritated stomach (that issue lasted the longest). Then I was just tired. Mr Unprepared caught the same thing and we just managed to do what we needed to do to survive – the house was a mess haha.

This week, I finally felt human enough to get stuff done around the house. Cooking dinner and school runs didn’t feel like an enormous task. My stomach didn’t give me grief. I was able to exercise (albeit gentler than usual). It’s wonderful and right now I am not taking this good health for granted!

Seeing family friends who are basically family

Yesterday, the Little Mister and I went around to my parents’ house to see some family friends who are visiting from interstate. Growing up, they were basically like an aunty and cousin to us (plus we now get to spend time with my ‘cousin’s fiancé too). It was awesome to sit down and chat, reacquainting the Little Mister with them.

Some people are just a joy to be around, y’know?

Those times the Little Mister was quiet and still

I love those moments when the day is almost done and the Little Mister has gone past his tired-hyper phase and is just chilling quietly on the couch, watching the TV for a bit. Like when I realise, oh hey, I haven’t been nagged for half an hour, and look over at him just happy to be in his own space.

I hope we have more of those moments over the school holidays haha.

Progress in making over the front of our house

This is a huge one. We have been talking about it for years. Our house is rendered and the paint was fading horribly in the weather. It was one of those house and land type package homes that was popular a decade ago (can’t believe it’s been that long). We moved in when it was already built by someone else, but before anyone had lived in it – a pretty sweet deal at the time (well – you know with the responsibility of a mortgage and all). Since then, the render colour has faded and looks so dated. Basically, we had some very obvious damage to the front door step (not a great first impression for visitors) and everything was an awful faded purply colour. Yuck yuck yuck.

The whole task of making over the front of the house seemed daunting to us. We weren’t sure how to tackle it. Did we want stacked stone feature walls? Did that renderer guy ever want to call us back (he did and was very rude after mucking us about – don’t get me started on him pinging right off the creep-o-meter)? Also, how the hell did you ask someone to fix a dodgy doorstep, when it was such a small job, but one we didn’t feel qualified for? And of course, ‘life’ and other priorities got in the way.

Luckily, we have moved forward lately. It’s so awesome. Mr Unprepared has done an amazing job painting our gutters and front door a new colour and we know what direction we want to go in with painting our render (colour etc). Also, by an amazing stroke of luck, our neighbour who was rendering his own garden wall, was so kind and fixed our front door step with some of the stuff he had from his own job. It’s really exciting. Our house is starting to look like a respectable residence and not like a neglected old package deal. Woohoo!

Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry

Yep. It’s not a happy list without some mention of a reality TV show! Have you met me?? This one makes me so happy. Not everyone is into that medium/clairvoyance stuff, but I totally am a believer. I approach this stuff with some caution (i.e. I don’t believe in every medium I see on TV etc – some people honestly just seem like they’re spouting off BS), but I do believe in all that spiritual stuff. This guy, Tyler, is so amazing and it sounds funny but he makes me smile because he’s so nice. He’s only 19 and it cracks me up when he genuinely doesn’t recognise the celebrities he does readings for. While I get that things are probably edited somewhat by producers and maybe it’s a little tacky to do readings for the stars so publicly, I still find Tyler really credible and likeable. I want him to do a reading for me!!

I find this stuff super comforting and really moving, especially as I strongly believe I’ve been visited by late loved ones in my dreams at important times in my life.

Are you a believer?

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Being able to confide in good friends when you’re having a tough day. Gosh, it makes everything seem like less of a problem.
  • Being able to drink wine again (when I was sick it was an unbearable thought).
  • The Little Mister coming into my room just now, already dressed for the day, telling me he made his bed because he wants to be like a grown up!
  • Feeling well enough to blog again. There was nothing more frustrating than sitting in front of my laptop, feeling woozy and thinking, “Nope. Not gonna happen today.”
  • Cooler weather – being able to wear jeans. I never thought I’d say that haha.

What has been making you feel happy this week? 

The Happy List #33

Yo. I skipped a week because we were away camping, but now we’re home again (back to reality) and I’m about to dive into life as a school mum, starting tomorrow! Hold me!

I seem to have stopped freaking out about name labels and booklist items, and now I’m worried about lunches and this school lunch box shaming I see so much of all the time on the internet and OMG I don’t know if I have the time/energy to be a crazy health nut Pinterest worthy lunch making mummy!!

Breathe, Kez. Breathe! Go to a happy place!!

Here are some things that have made me feel happy since the last happy list

Ticking off holiday traditions

We go away to the same place every year. There are always things you have to do while you’re there. A trip to the light house. Fish and chips from the little takeaway shop on the foreshore. Drive though the beautiful Karri forest. At least one brewery lunch. Chinese takeaway on the last night. Time in/on the water (although the weather wasn’t as conducive to that as it has been in previous years). While we always try something new too, it’s nice to experience the familiar. It’s like a little home away from home.

Not relying on as much technology while away

I love my wifi and my laptop and my Netflix and…you get the idea. But there’s also something liberating about being away from it all. Sure, I had my iPhone and a limited data allowance, but it was really quite easy to switch off. Easier than I thought it would be. I wasn’t against having a browse and a chat. I did post some stuff, but there was no pressure to. I just didn’t feel naked without my phone in my hand, like I thought I would. Sometimes I’d put it down and just forget about it for hours. Then I’d realise I’d forgotten about it and feel quite pleased with myself.

I read more. I sat in the quiet more.

I didn’t even miss my DVR. I did good, y’all.

Holiday scenery

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Coming home to my own bed and ensuite

While I enjoy camping and living more simply, I do reach a time in my holiday where I’m happy to go home and sleep well in a bed that doesn’t move when you roll over, with a toilet in the very next room. It’s the little things that you look forward to when you’re lying in your camper van bed and it’s 2am and you have to decide whether you can make it through the night without peeing or risk waking everyone up and trudging up a hill to the shared ablutions block!

It’s amazing how much I love my toilet when I get home again. I am sorry, convenient, private toilet. I take you for granted!

Good neighbours

While we were away, we were lucky that we didn’t have to worry about the mail or the bins because my sister in law kindly came down the road to tend to those things. It was so nice to save a little money on getting the mail temporarily stopped and to know that we wouldn’t come home to full, stinky bins or bins that had been tipped over or had goodness knows what else done to them.

We also appreciated our good neighbours when we came home and they told us that they had scared off an intruder from our backyard! Some not so good neighbours (totes from the next street over of course) had hosted a rowdy party not long after we’d left for our trip and someone, presumably from that party, had decided that entering our backyard was a cool idea. Joke was on him when there were no drinks in our outdoor fridge, and when he discovered that Mr Unprepared had locked our side gate up. He couldn’t get out, so his rattling had woken the next door neighbours who had bravely and kindly decided to go outside and scare him off. It’s kind of comforting having good neighbours who are burly and have tatts and who at first glance would scare the bejeezus out of you if you were a stupid, drunk kid!

Nothing was stolen. Our house wasn’t damaged or broken into. We somehow gained a tennis ball (not sure if that’s related) and had damage to the dog kennel by the back fence, but we were lucky. Nothing like an unofficial Neighbourhood Watch to make you thankful!

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Trying Pana Chocolate for the first time. I highly recommend the mint flavour! It’s raw, organic and handmade, but hear me out! It actually tastes good. Not even kidding. I can’t wait to try some more! Also, I know I risk sounding like a health obsessed wanker (see the below item on this list to see why I am so not), but the cool thing about it was that just one piece was such a nice inside-my-mouth experience that I didn’t need any more than that in one sitting. Perfect for those after dinner sweet cravings! [not sponsored – just impressed]
  • Red Rock Deli sea salt flavoured chips. I am addicted and they aren’t the best thing for me, but I ate my body weight in them while I was away, with no guilt at all. YUM.
  • Getting some solid sleep since we arrived home.
  • Watching the Little Mister building mud castles on our holiday. He was So. Happy.
  • When I’ve been a little confused about the Little Mister’s school’s dress code requirements – hair and shoes – the barber and the sports shop staff knew exactly what he needed, so I won’t get in trouble. Gotta love great customer service!
  • The realisation that there is life after school holidays. While I’m nervous AF about the Little Mister’s first week at ‘big’ school (kindy), I am kind of also getting excited to have some time back to work and exercise and tick things off my ever growing to-do lists.
  • While the weather on holiday was quite cold and windy, it was a nice change from the relentless heat we’d been experiencing at home.
  • Having nice hair on holiday – the water is not so harsh there and my hair always fluffs up nicely and feels so soft when I’m away!

I’m sure I’ve forgotten so many things, but tell me – what would be on your happy list this week?

 

The Happy List #31

It’s been a tough week for a lot of Western Australians. There are a lot of people who have lost a lot over the past few days, with devastating bushfires threatening several small towns in the south west, sadly wiping out the historical town of Yarloop and taking the lives of two elderly community members. I just don’t think I could write this week’s happy list without acknowledging it. While we were always out of the danger zone, it was our neighbouring communities who felt the brunt of the fire front. It was close enough to scare my parents and it affected people and places that we know well. I often think of these people/places as our extended community. I went to school with kids from those communities. It feels like everyone from my home town knows someone from there. It was impossible to ignore – especially with the spectacular and confronting glowing smoke cloud that loomed over the area – a visual reminder that we are not likely to forget easily. A lot of people (even those not directly affected) have spent the past few days running on pure adrenaline, checking for updates constantly and combined with the searing heat and thunderstorms – causing more lightning fires in the state – not a lot of sleep was had.

Before I start my happy list I just want to say that my heart goes out to all those who face the task of rebuilding, of those who lost loved ones. I cannot imagine what these people will face in months and even years to come and I hope they will be OK. I know the surrounding communities are already rallying to offer support (click the link to see how you may be able to help). Let’s not forget these people once the adrenaline and urgency wears off.

While writing a happy list feels a bit trivial right now, I do believe in finding those small pleasures and I hope that through the tough times, those affected can find little things that keep them going.

Here’s my list…

Seeing the helpers during tough times

helpers

I’m sure a lot of you have seen this quote countless times on social media. It just resonates whenever something scary happens. And I saw a lot of helpers this past week. I got quite emotional every time I saw a fire truck headed in the direction of the fires. I just wanted to reach out and hug every person who bravely fought the blaze. Not just career fire fighters, but volunteers and all of the people who stayed back in dangerous conditions to save their homes (some sending their own families away to safety – can you imagine???) and the homes and businesses of their neighbours.

People offered up their homes and places of business to displaced people and their animals. The list goes on. Not to mention the outpouring of generosity of those wanting to offer food, drinks, other useful items to those who were stuck in evacuation centres or who were fighting the fires.

Numerous people donated their time and money/services to organise amazing fundraising events.

Gosh, people really are good.

Swimming in my parents’ pool on a 40 + degree (Celsius) day

Oh the heat got crazy! While we are blessed with air conditioning units throughout our house, we knew it was a hot one when they stopped being efficient and the air coming out of them no longer felt cool. At one point I thought the air con in our living area was broken, it was so hot! On Thursday afternoon, I cracked and called my mum – it was time to hit the pool! Even our slightly woolly, black dog came for a swim – she had been taking the heat the hardest. Mr Unprepared even stopped by on his way home from work (usually nothing can stop him from getting home and watching the cricket – he’s a tragic). The Little Mister had a ball and it was so nice to cool down. Considering what was happening at the time, I felt very lucky to not be out in the fire affected areas. I did not take it for granted. It was a little relief – especially before a very scary night ahead for some people we know and care about.

Early nights

I have really been relishing in the ability to collapse into bed nice and early when there’s nothing good on TV. It’s so great to snuggle up with Mr Unprepared and watch Netflix by the light of my iPad (totes romantic)! I don’t think I’ve gotten through an entire episode of Narcos yet, before falling asleep (despite liking the show a lot). I blame it on the effort involved in reading the subtitles. Yes, I know how embarrassing that is to admit haha. Still, it’s been good. Those who have ever stayed up way too long, because their brain won’t switch off, will relate to the joy of collapsing into a content sleep without having to try.

Time in the kitchen

Late last year (so not that long ago haha) I’d been lamenting the fact that taking time to cook or bake seemed like an impossibility. I hate when cooking is reduced to a mad rush to make something blah because my family expects to eat every day. How inconvenient! Since the silly season has ended and the Little Mister has been having a break from day care (before he starts kindy next month – hold me!), I’ve found time to enjoy creating new meals and trying out new recipes. I just find it so therapeutic and calming (when I have the time to actually enjoy it). Yay!

The satisfaction of organising all my Pinterest boards

I find that Mr Unprepared’s preoccupation with the cricket (while frickin’ annoying at times) is a good time for me to get some selfish, time consuming stuff done without feeling like I’m sacrificing couple time. Like I spent one evening re-organising all of my pins on Pinterest. I was sick of not being able to find my pinned recipes easily. So I fixed it and I was so happy. I had virtually decluttered. It was so satisfying. It’s fun being able to do those silly little things that you never get around to because they’re not that important.

And yes, I am aware of how sad that makes me look, but this is a HAPPY list. Haha.

General homebody-ness

As you can probably tell from the items on my list, I spent a lot of time at home in the past week (often using the heat as an excuse). It was much needed time to slow down and be more present with the Little Mister. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but while I was glad for some time out, I think I was actually missing him more than I thought while he was at day care during 2015! Let’s see how I feel a few months into this year haha.

What would you put on your happy list this week?

The Happy List #30 (first one for 2016)!

It’s the first Monday of 2016! I have mixed feelings about this. I am kind of glad to launch into the new year for reals (I like routine and a not-so-chaotic house), but it has been nice to be in holiday mode – where you don’t really have to be responsible for all the drives-you-nuts daily administration that comes with running a home and being an adult. I’m waiting for all of that to hit me like a ton of bricks any time now!

I hope that 2016 has been kind to you already and if it’s been kind of crap, the good news is that there’s plenty of time left for it to be an awesome year. We’ve got this!

Here are the things that have made me feel happy in the last week or so…

Slowing down

I spent a lot of the last few weeks of 2015 feeling exhausted – mentally and physically. I felt like no matter what I did, I could not catch up on sleep. I also never felt energetic. While there were very valid explanations for this that were pretty unavoidable, I think I was still pretty hard on myself about it all. In the past few days, as much as I’ve been stressed about some emotional stuff, I have had some slower starts. I’ve been able to take care of myself a bit more and gain some energy back. I actually sat still on the couch quite a few times! Hell, I even fell asleep at my parents’ house on Christmas day haha. I am so glad to start a new year feeling like myself again.

The Little Mister’s post Christmas honeymoon phase

The Little Mister has been in a blissful state where he’s been so utterly content to be at home, playing with his loot from Santa and his ridiculously generous extended family. He’s been quiet, calm and has enjoyed playing independently – his imagination going wild. It’s been a joy and has really assisted in the whole slowing down thing I was just talking about. He’s even slept in a couple of times – wonderful!

Having a tidy home again

Often over the Christmas/New Year period, we find ourselves running in and out of the house to social occasions with family and friends. Often this involves packing an esky with food, nibbles, drinks. Picnic stuff. Throw in some camping chairs and goodness knows what else (nothing like enjoying the summer outdoors) and it’s like moving house every time! It’s fun, but we often get home at the end of a big day and everything just gets thrown wherever and then we start again! Chaos! As much as I am definitely not the biggest neat freak (understatement), I do like to feel the calm that comes with having a bit of order in my house. I feel like we’re finally back in that place. You know, until our camping trip later in the month of course haha.

Meeting friends and some animals too

It was a stinking hot day yesterday and I felt super guilty heading to a little local zoo without the Little Mister (there were several reasons it was for the best but the mum guilt is strong with this one), but I was excited to get out of the house to meet my friends Tash and Olivia. It was my first time meeting Tash in person (she’s a Kiwi who appeared on Twitter one day and we never looked back) and it had been probably way too long since I last saw Liv.

We saw some cute animals, y’all. Tash got to meet some kangaroos. There was a ridiculous alpaca who was grotty from rolling in some mud and loved when I hand fed it. Some deer. A funny cockatoo who said “How ya goin'” while dancing ridiculously (I got this hysterical mental image of a human version in a nightclub). A beautiful fox. Still disappointed Tash didn’t want to have a cuddle with a snake, but can’t win ’em all haha.

I’ve been really lucky lately, having all the people come to Perth to visit. I haven’t had to go anywhere!

Getting fancy camp chairs

Yes. Sometimes the weirdest things make it onto my happy list. I picked up two absolute bargains – gotta love an end of year sale. They came with extra cushioning and solid framework and SIDE TABLES WITH DRINK HOLDERS attached! I don’t know whether to love myself sick for these purchases or hate myself for not doing it rough enough haha. I can’t wait to sit in those luxurious seats and enjoy my BBQ meals and nibbles (and maybe a holiday cider or three)! Who says you can’t do it in style, right?

Other stuff that has made me happy: 

  • Seeing hilarious pics on Snapchat from a tipsy friend who shall remain nameless haha.
  • The Little Mister’s swimming lessons starting back up for the year.
  • Binge watching Packed to the Rafters again. I don’t know why but it’s so soothing.
  • Plotting and scheming – can’t say what about for fear of incrimination haha.
  • Looking forward to our camping trip.
  • Seeing the Little Mister’s veggie plants growing (he was gifted a little mini veggie garden and some seeds for Christmas by my parents – so cool).
  • The feeling of relief when we got a bit of bone out of our dog’s mouth – it had got jammed. We still have no idea where she found it, but it was a hell of a job to get it out! Poor Blitz.
  • Having a smidgen more time to read my favourite blogs.
  • Not putting as much weight on over Christmas as I thought I had – in fact none at all (turns out I was just bloated with the dreaded PMS). Nice to know I’m starting 2016 ready to kick arse with my fitness and weight loss. I can make even more progress, without having to undo any setbacks! Yay!

So what is on your happy list for the first week of 2016?

The Happy List #17

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It’s that time of the week again! I am sitting in bed with my laptop, trying to ignore the fact that I had a shitty night’s sleep, despite it being my first chance in ages to sleep in. I’m feeling kind of mellow. Right in this moment, I’m a good kind of tired. Like the dust has settled on the previous week. Ask me again in a few hours when I’m feeling hangry and I am reminded of the mess in my house, but for now I just feel calm.

I feel like saying that it’s been a big week. But it’s always a big week in real life, is it not? Maybe I’ll just let you know when it isn’t.

Anyway, here’s my favourite part. The part where I look back on the week and remember the happy moments:

I smashed a lot of exercise goals

I ran. I kept up with my fitbit step count. I was surprisingly competitive. I started to feel my hips again. OK, so there’s still some pretty good *ahem* insulation on them bones, but I think I’m getting some shape back in that area and they feel slightly different to me. It’s very subtle (seriously don’t bother looking haha), but it’s encouraging nonetheless.

I let myself be emotionally vulnerable and nobody left me hanging

I am always the person who wants to help others with their feelings and their tough times. Despite being a pretty open person on the surface of things, I can be surprisingly guarded about my deepest feelings and experiences. It’s my armour. I don’t like feeling vulnerable and while I’d move heaven and earth to show someone that I’m listening and that I care, I just don’t know how to be that person who needs someone to listen and to care (outside of my family who are so awesome of course). I had a real roller coaster of emotions this past week. I’ve had a lot to process. I finally learned that I need to learn to reach out to people (instead of holding things in or playing things down) and the support and love that came back frightened and embarrassed me at first. I didn’t know what to do with it. I had this weird expectation that if I let myself open up and ask for support that people would turn away. It’s irrational (because I know a lot of awesome people) but let’s file that under ‘Kez’s Weird Fears’. When it didn’t come true (thank goodness), I was overwhelmed. I am so appreciative of those who have shown me that they care and that they understand and that they’re not going anywhere. I might have cried a few ugly, but grateful tears. I’m definitely being forced to grow as a person.

I know this is a little cryptic (how annoying!), but I’m OK – really. It’s just some real life stuff. We all have our own stuff. I hope someone cares about your stuff <3

I brought home some stuff for my lady cave

I was so excited when I found the little filing cabinets I wanted online! I picked them up this week and while I have no idea where I’m going to put them just yet (oh the clutter!), I am glad to be making progress. It can be hard to put aside time to get projects done around the house, but I’m feeling encouraged by these recent developments!

Oh and I also pulled apart some very old desktop computer towers after raiding Mr Unprepared’s screwdriver collection and looking at a YouTube video. Very proud haha.

When Mr Unprepared made dinner

I don’t know exactly how it happened but over time (since the Little Mister came along), I became the only dinner cook in our household (probably my fault at first – I used to use cooking dinner as my ‘me time’ where I could kick everyone else out of the kitchen after a long day haha). Recently, we realised this when I got sick and I felt too gross to do much by the time I’d survived the day. I had to call in some help! Mr Unprepared has started to find his own meal ideas and cook a couple of nights a week again. It’s so great.

I like the Little Mister seeing both of us in the kitchen – role modelling win.

On Friday night, it was fajitas cooked on the barbecue and I was in heaven. There were barbecued corn cobs and everything (my absolute fave)! Also, I can’t believe Mr Unprepared makes such pretty dinners. Totally Instagrammable haha. Pity I’m not a great photographer (see blurred evidence below), but you win some, you lose some!

I think he’s unwittingly started a Friday Night Fajita tradition. It’s so nice to sit outside and enjoy our patio too. What a taste of summer.

12096271_10153343599133218_7245489749924527313_n12087991_10153343599183218_3776556851450437335_nWatching the Little Mister play with his friends on AFL grand final day

All the kids played so well together while the adults got together to watch the game. I was so impressed. I know it’s totally normal and kids his age are all doing it, but I just still get so much pleasure out of seeing them at an age where they play with each other and not just alongside each other. It’s very cute and when they’re all being pretty well behaved and keeping their squabbles to a minimum it’s such a joy! It also makes them super low maintenance haha.

Our team lost, but the day itself was a big win. Great company and a relaxed atmosphere. Wonderful.

Other stuff that has made me happy…

  • XOXO Gossip Girl haha. I’m up to season 2 now!
  • This morning’s time to myself.
  • The moment you wake up and realise that scary dream was just a dream.
  • Having Mr Unprepared around a lot more since he finished his big charity bike ride.
  • That one time I chose not to reach for the comfort food. It’s a start haha.
  • Reading Disney stories with the Little Mister at night. I don’t always love doing bedtime stories (as bad as that makes me feel), but lately I think it has been good for the soul to cherish that quality time.

What has made you happy this week? Do you have trouble opening up to friends too? Got anything nice planned for the week coming? 

Everyone’s a critic: If my home received a TripAdvisor* review.

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So I was recently researching some overnight accommodation for my Misters (the Little Mister and Mr Unprepared) and I, as we briefly considered spending a night in the city. It would have been partly for convenience (Mr Unprepared has a big early morning bike ride coming up) and also for a bit of family fun. A chance to get out of our usual little home life bubble. Why not, hey? Kind of a staycation. Sadly, this never eventuated (too complicated)…

But…the thing is, TripAdvisor does my head in. I wonder what the hell we did before we had this review system? We just *gasp* winged it?! Now, every hotel decision feels like life or death. WHAT? THEIR INTERNET ACCESS IS PATCHY? ONE PERSON FOUND DUST ON THE SIDE TABLE? That’s it. We can’t go there. I must look at five other places, crosscheck the features each room has, compare prices and analyse each review IN DEPTH. All perspective has been lost.

I have reviewed the reviews and while some people seem to have made well balanced comments, there are some pernickety people who I would NOT like for a houseguest. I wonder what their houses are like?

Which made me wonder what kind of honest reviews my house would get? *gulp*

Here’s what I think it might look like (and I’m being generous haha)…

Location 3.5 stars

Located within walking distance of both a beautiful estuary and the ocean. Quite a distance from restaurants and other fancy things. You’ll need a car to get around (the bus service is not exactly an all hours type deal), but there is a new little neighbourhood supermarket that the locals can’t stop raving about on account of having been deprived for so long of such a thing. The view from the front of the accommodation is pretty boring – facing onto other residential houses. You won’t get a good photo of the sunset ever, without feeling like you’re invading the neighbours’ privacy, but it is pretty to look at. Your instagram opportunities will be limited and this may bring frustration, because DAMN it REALLY IS A GOOD SUNSET. It’s really close to the highway, but it’s not too noisy.

Sleep Quality 2 stars

You’ll be sharing the accommodation with a cycling addict who rises early for both work and recreation, so you will feel very sleep deprived. You’ll also find that the child resident will on occasion make a noise early in the morning, often singing just one line from that viral ‘hit’ song What Does The Fox Say over and over (consider it your wake up call). Because you’re expected to assist in looking after said child during the day, you will find yourself lying awake in the middle of the night for no apparent reason other than to worry about things you didn’t have time to worry about during the day or simply to get in some ‘thinking alone’ time. Don’t stay here if relaxation is what you’re after! Terrible!!

Also, rooms are very noisy during the day. I heard constant moans of, “I’m hungry! I need to do wees! WATCH THIS!”

Rooms & Cleanliness 1.5 stars

There are only two liveable bedrooms available (which you have to share with other residents). One is shoved full of stuff for storage (enter at own risk) and one has been turned into a makeshift study/ironing room (in terrible condition). The owner has apparently made plans to overhaul these rooms, but nothing substantial has been done about it. There is dust on some of the furniture, there are piles of clothes on the floor. When asking the domestically challenged lady owner about this, the reply was, “What? That’s just my floordrobe. Don’t touch it. It’s a very highly organised system.”

Housekeeping seems to happen often, but the accommodation still looks very much like nothing was done almost immediately afterwards. I noticed a lot of crumbs underneath the couch. And on the couch. Also, under the dining table. What. The. Eff. On several occasions I was amazed to see the owners used their DOG to clean up the floor. WITH ITS MOUTH.

Self contained. Pantry well stocked with complimentary baking ingredients a lot of the time. The master bedroom has an ensuite, but when an early riser uses the shower, it wakes whoever was trying to sleep because there is no door separating the rooms.

There are TVs with access to a DVR stacked full of shows up to a year old because the owner never has time to watch anything. The internet is OK, but on occasion becomes so slow you can’t even *gasp* watch Netflix!

Family friendly set up. Backyard. Play area. No-one is judging if your kids are cray cray.

Very ‘homely’ ‘lived in’ feel. We all know what that’s code for.

Service (either 5 stars for children or 1 star for adults)

If you are 3 years old, the service is fantastic all around the clock. If you are any older, you have to do everything yourself. You may be able to coerce one of the owners to do you a favour here or there, but you have to be really nice and it depends what mood they’re in (see above for sleep quality).

I don’t recommend the so called day spa. It consists of the owner just slapping some moisturiser on your face, painting your nails badly (only on sporadic weekend evenings) and then shoving you out because there’s no time for anything else. Well, I never!

The ‘gym’ is a treadmill shoved up into a corner of the master bedroom. The only upside of this is that if you fall off, you will land in bed.

The food menu is “Have what we make you or get it yourself” and depends on how close to pay day the owner is.

Value (hard to ascertain)

Children stay for free. Adults must contribute to mortgage, housekeeping and admin. It’s totes worth it if you have nowhere else to go. Basically, it’s like a working holiday.

The place has a lot of potential and once the owners find two seconds, it will be undergoing several improvements – woohoo!

 

Guess I’ll be staying here then! You know, because I live here.

Would you stay at my hotel house? What would a review of your place look like? Do you obsess over reviews when planning to stay somewhere? 

*I probably don’t need to say it, but this post is in no way associated with TripAdvisor.

How I cope with winter illness stir-craziness.

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I am not a winter person. I have learnt how to embrace it and try to enjoy it anyway, but it is a time fraught with danger. Germs flying about everywhere. No place is safe. No person is safe!

It’s just par for the course, really. Winter = cold and flu season.

As an adult, I’ve been getting a flu shot annually and while it doesn’t work for everyone, I feel thankful that it has seemed to work quite well for me. Mr Unprepared seems to have mixed results, but nothing too full on has hit him since he started having them, so that’s probably a positive sign.

But the Little Mister? Germ machine.

Since he started day care this year, he’s had a cold almost every second week. Some strains seem really mild and give him nothing more than a snotty nose for a couple of days, others seem to linger forever, along with an annoying cough. I am so lucky I work casually and can be flexible when he needs to stay home, but it’s starting to get a bit inconvenient! If I don’t work, I don’t get paid damn it!

BUT…

I am very passionate about not knowingly spreading germs around. I hate when I hear about work places that pressure their employees to turn up sick. I hate when someone turns up at the playground or social gathering, casually saying, “Oh man! I/my kids am/are so sick right now!” while their child is practically slobbering all over you/your child or you’ve just agreed to split a plate of finger food with them. A little warning might have been nice!

WHAT THE HELL? GO HOME. Is your FOMO really that bad that you’re willing to infect ALL the people??

I mean, sometimes it’s not a super big deal. Germs are everywhere, anyway. It’s just nice to know ahead of time so you can make an educated choice on how you choose to protect yourself or your child (we personally had to warn my family this past weekend about the Little Mister’s cold and blessings were given for him to turn up with a few extra precautions taken)! But generally? If you’re all germy, then don’t turn up! These things are unavoidable. People will get over it.

I even keep my errands to an absolute minimum. You’ll only ever see the Little Mister having a little cough at the shops if I have absolutely no other choice, but I promise he’ll be coughing into his sleeve, keeping his hands to himself and that pocket sized bottle of sanitiser I keep in my handbag will be making an appearance!!

But I get it when people say they’re stir crazy. It starts to feel like you’ll never leave home again. You can feel very isolated and it’s not great for anyone’s mental health. Not to mention, when your child is bored and unstimulated and it feels like the days are moving at snail’s pace. I was talking to a friend about this and she was saying they hadn’t been out in weeks, due to her son having a lingering cold. I myself had only just emerged from a loooooong week in myself. I remember the days when it would go on for months if you had a bad run of it!! I never feel comfortable asking for babysitting so I can get out either, because I don’t want the Little Mister to infect anyone else! So, everyone at home it is.

It messes with your head. Especially if you get a sick partner too (they always seem to go down first right?).

So I’ve decided to share some ways that I try to minimise the stir crazy factor…

Get some fresh air…somewhere we can be alone together.

If it’s a sunny day, I like to grab the Little Mister, rug him up in his coziest clothes and take him down to our local beach. It’s a great spot that is never highly populated (much less in winter) and we can go for a walk or build a sandcastle together. Obviously we have to avoid anyone getting wet and cold, but it’s totally doable. No-one else gets infected, we get a bit of Vitamin D and the Little Mister feels like he had a fun outing just for him. In turn, I feel like the best mum ever again.

Phone calls/internet time.

This can be a double edged sword. Sometimes these things can make you feel worse, with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) rearing its ugly head, but sometimes being able to chat online with your mates and feel connected can be a lifesaver. You can commiserate with your friends who are also stuck at home and keep each other company, virtually!

I also catch up on my favourite blogs and immerse myself in tales of the outside world when I get a bit of down time. Usually, when the Little Mister is snuggled up watching a movie. Gotta love movie time on sick days, right?

This week I joined Periscope (user name @KezUnprepared) just for the hell of it. Yet another new thing to eat up my down time and get me feeling creative. I feel like this should be its own little point too – try something new (read a new book or learn a new skill you can practice at home or research some stuff or plan a new project you could try during or after the current illness jag).

I like to have a good chinwag on the phone with my mum too. It’s nice to connect. Speak to an adult.

Clean EVERYTHING. 

Usually, I am no domestic goddess. But when everyone’s been cooped up for a while and the germs are so irritating, you swear you can see them having a party on every single surface of your home (living or otherwise), it’s cathartic to just start washing and cleaning and tidying ALL THE THINGS.

After the last outbreak of gastro, I went nuts washing bedding, towels and anything my husband had ever touched. Afterwards, the house looked and smelt nice and fresh. Psychologically, this really gave me a boost. I stopped seeing my house as a tiny, claustrophobic germ incubator and more as a sanctuary again.

I will be doing another vigorous cleaning session this week, after dealing with the Little Mister’s latest snotty, coughy situation. It’s gonna be great!

Obviously, it’s a good way to minimise the chances of reinfecting everyone over and over.

Have a secret stash of ‘sick day’ activity materials.

I have a craft box full of cheap stickers, pipe cleaners, cotton wool, kids’ craft glue, coloured card, felt animals hidden away for when the Little Mister gets really really bored and I start to feel like a crappy mum because we haven’t done anything but sit around for days. I also have colouring books and other activity books sitting around that he’s not really aware of. I pull something out when things are getting dire (I’m talking all out desperation) and it can keep him amused for ages! None of those things cost a lot and I just throw a little something in my shopping trolley when supplies are a bit low or I see something on sale.

Snuggle. 

Just give in. The Little Mister snuggles more when he’s not well. He gets so docile and cuddly. I just try to forget everything else and sit and snuggle with him when he needs it. It’s nice. I swear it is easier when I stop fighting it (‘it’ being my busy mum brain).

 

Kids are such troopers, aren’t they?

Look, my go-to strategies might seem a little obvious and might make you feel pretty stabby if you’re feeling at the end of your tether. Trust me, I get it. Sometimes I try all of these things and I will still feel like absolute shit. Hang in there! It won’t be forever. Summer will come again!

You got this! x

How do you survive lengthy winter sickness jags? Any advice you can add for other stir crazy parents?

Pretty things.

I’ve been watching too many home make over shows. OK, just the one. And now I have realised that if the contestants on these shows can completely gut, rebuild, design and make over several difficult rooms in a week, then I could probably get off my arse (after seven years) and start prettying up my place a bit more proactively. I think I procrastinate a lot. Shocker.

The other night I had a flash of inspiration. A vision. My living room (the first room you see when you walk in the house) was looking pretty tired, despite having great basic pieces of furniture in it to work with already. It needed a freshen up. It’s our sanctuary in the evenings – our little parents’ retreat. Also, I want it to invite people into our home. It’s kind of spent a bit of time being that first room we rush everybody past when they visit. Oops.

It looked cute when we first decorated it, but seven years (this month) is a long time between improvements!

I have been excited to have a little bit of extra money and time lately (thanks to going back to work and putting the Little Mister in day care a couple of days a week), so I couldn’t wait to catch up on lost time!

I decided to front up to some homewares stores and got my (extremely) amateur interior designer on. I was walking from section to section, carrying bits and bobs. Putting them near each other. Rearranging and primping and matching stuff. I used to be too embarrassed to do that. I used to just leave the things where they were and work from memory as fast as I could in case the store staff wondered why I was still there or why I was bothering to pretend I knew what I was doing (“It’s day 3 and they’re starting to get suspicious”).

Now I’ll spend an hour in a store, getting things just right (which is also why I never have time for it haha)! This kid is growing up. No more self conscious shenanigans!

It’s amazing how a few cushions and stuff can make a person (me) so happy.

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Isn’t this cushion a beauty?! It tied everything together. Also, I’m so in love with the whole geometrical thing that’s happening lately.

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I’ve never really had throw rugs before. This one is a shocker and I LOVE IT! It is neon pink chevron and it livens up the room so much! Also? It’s really comfy to lean against and snuggle into (totes tested it out last night). Still working on my draping technique, but we’ll get there!

I wondered what Mr Unprepared would think of the colour, but he was typically non fazed. He acknowledged that it wouldn’t necessarily be his first choice of colour, but he saw the whole look I was going for. And I quote, “I’m not bothered by it.”

I’d take that as a positive review from the least-likely-to-ever-become-an-interior-design-guy that I’ve ever met haha.

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I went through all of my magazines and only kept the prettiest, best quality ones. The kinds you go back to. The kinds that visitors might want to browse through. Bye bye crumpled up old TV Weeks! I updated some dull looking photo frames and I bought a little coral statue thingy (I love beachy things) and shoved it on a celebrity cover girl’s face (sorry love)! Suddenly that stack kind of looks like it’s meant to be there.

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I then splurged on some little milk bottle thingies with hydrangeas (pretend of course) in them. The purple ones remind me of the flowers we had at our wedding. Add a photo from when we were newly engaged and a kissy smoochy one from our wedding and we’re good to go.

Of course I couldn’t forget some coasters for the coffee table. Mr Unprepared loves his night time cup of tea.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?? Glass was a calculated risk because the Little Mister is growing up just that little bit more (and he’s blocked by a safety gate when we want him to stay out haha).

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a better looking living room!

All I need now is some amazing white wallpaper with some kind of cool textured effect on it (for a feature wall behind the TV) and I do believe I will be very pleased with myself.

I can’t wait to keep tackling my house room by room! And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my future lady cave. We will get there eventually!

Do you enjoy decorating your home? Know where a gal can get some wicked wallpaper??

None of the items in this post were gifted or sponsored. 
I bought them because I love them!