Tag: inspiration

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? 

Christmas gift ideas…for me. OK, so it’s basically my wish list. Shut up.

OK, so I don’t actually expect anyone to buy me this stuff (friends and family who are reading this with incredulous looks on your faces – it’s all good – you’re off the hook haha). It’s more of an aspirational wish list and hopefully something that will help any of you who are looking for ideas of what to buy a 32 year old chick who is like, totally exactly the same as me. Yeah. So that’s kind of specific. Ha!

See, I have always loved the idea of writing a list of great gift ideas for Christmas (or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day) but often I realise I’d just be giving up my secrets and the recipients of my gifts would know exactly what was up. We can’t have that!

But if I write a list of stuff I would not be mad at receiving, then no secret squirrel business will be betrayed!

I did write a little guide full of affordable, feel good options a couple of years ago though,  so that’s probably worth checking out.

Anyhow, here’s stuff that I would (hypothetically) be really stoked to receive. Hope it helps! If you like this stuff too, feel free to ‘accidentally on purpose’ leave this post somewhere your partner/kids/parents/rich uncle will see it!

Subscription for Marie Claire Magazine

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I don’t tend to buy many magazines these days, because I have so many things at my fingertips, electronically (ahem and I have a kid who doesn’t know about adults’ me time). But there’s something really relaxing and indulgent about flicking through a big, fat magazine full of thought provoking articles and amazeballs fashion and lifestyle stuff. It’s usually my ‘treat’ magazine. For those times when I am lucky enough to be child free or we go on holiday. Or even when I had my surgery earlier this year and I knew I’d need a pick me up during recovery.

You can purchase it here

Kylie Cosmetics

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I am obsessed with make up. OBSESSED. Especially with creamy, matte lip products. I keep seeing Kylie Jenner’s lip collections and fantasising over them being on my face, wishing I could have one of each colour. Don’t even get me started on how she’s doing the eye shadow palette thing now too. But I know I will never get around to treating myself. It’s the kind of thing that seems too indulgent for me to buy throughout the year (not to mention it’s shipped from the US). It’s the kind of thing I will always say no to, because other priorities get in the way. I can never justify it. So basically, these cosmetics are the perfect treat for a loved one (perhaps one who loves make up and watches a bit more of KUWTK than they’d like to admit). Something a bit special!

You can buy them here

A good quality bluetooth speaker

I love my music. It recharges me when I feel like crap. It makes housework bearable. It makes exercise really enjoyable. It’s also something that reminds me of who I am when I’m not just being ‘mum’. I’m that bad ass chick (OK so maybe that’s a bit of a stretch) who still listens to punk rock and ridiculous hip hop. I like it loud too.

I’ve had a crappy little speaker for a while which I take around the house with me, but I’d love to invest in something a bit more reliable and solid.

I love this one from Bose:

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I love that it comes with a charging cradle and that it can be plugged into the wall. Sticking USBs into stupid ports on computers or a travel adaptor charger gets old after a while.

It’s a bit pricey but hey, this is my fantasy list. Maybe you could go in on it with some other friends/family members. Or buy it as a joint present for yourself and your partner.

You can buy it here

iTunes gift card (with a nice big amount on it)

You know. So I won’t feel guilty all year buying the music to play on my imaginary BOSE bluetooth speaker. Or in my car. Or those TV shows/movies I never ever get to see at the cinema anymore. It’s those little things that add up when you’re watching your budget throughout the year, but that make a weekend evening in seem a little bit more exciting (yes – I know – how did my life become this).

I know some people feel like they’re slack for buying vouchers, but I honestly would not be mad if I was given this. If thought is put into something, then it still has meaning. This would be so useful to me and would feed my TV and music obsessions quite nicely.

You can purchase them online or you can get them at some supermarkets (I’ve seen them in Woolies) and other retailers.

My Life Story 100 Year Journal

 

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I have been lusting over this for a few years now, but I’ve never bitten the bullet and purchased one. I think there’s something really romantic and lovely about the idea of recording your life for future generations to keep and have that insight into what your life was like. Or you can fill it in for a child and they can continue it when they’re old enough! I know that if I could have things like this to read about my parents’ lives or my grandparents, these sorts of precious memories would live on forever in writing. That’s pretty cool.

You can buy it here


So, there you have it. Stuff to buy the awkward music loving/make up obsessed/me time starved/sentimental idiot in your life.

I could have continued my wish list forever, but I hope this gets your creativity flowing.

I also recommend supporting small businesses – think handmade gifts, personalised prints, unique t-shirt prints etc. I bet it wouldn’t take much searching to source some great local traders online and offline. I wish I’d been able to get to all of this in one post. Definitely something I should revisit!

What is on your wishlist this Christmas? 

(please note that none of these products have sponsored me in any way – I just genuinely like the look of them – also, please check individual websites etc for online order cut offs in order to ensure you get your deliveries by Christmas or you can try to source some of these things in stores if you’re pushed for time)

Note to self: my struggles are a part of my story.

Excuse me, but I’m going to get a bit deep right now. The last month or so has been pretty tough, emotionally. BUT…I think I’ve faced those struggles for a reason. Because now I’m in warrior mode. And I’m OK with that.

It’s been a challenging couple of years dealing with secondary infertility. I have found myself feeling the pressure, physically – it’s my body that isn’t doing what it should. I have felt emotional pressure – pretending that I’m OK on days when I really am not. I have felt like I have not been participating in my life – through no real fault of my own.

On top of that, I’ve obviously had all the usual pressures of real adult life and parenting.

I’ve been saying things to myself about how I have no ‘life’ and have been feeling depressed about it.

But that’s the thing. How do I define ‘life’? I’ve been defining it as that thing I cannot have. I’ve been defining it as all the things I could have done if my situation was different.

If my situation was different, I’d be able to say yes to so many more social opportunities. If my situation was different, maybe some of my friendships would be thriving instead of barely even there. If my situation was different, I might be fitter and slimmer (you can work harder if you’re not afraid of rupturing something important at certain times – and if you’re feeling better you tend to not eat as many feelings). If my situation was different, I wouldn’t have to pretend I was OK at the school gate when I’m not (because it’s just too awkward if you answer “how has your day been?” with “not good – I’m super infertile today thanks”). I could do more drinking of wine. I could take better medications when I feel sick. I wouldn’t be sick as often. I might be a lighter, brighter person.

But my situation is not different. It is what it is.

And I am finally beginning to embrace that. I can’t spend my time yearning to be the old me. The me from before all of these struggles. I can’t spend my time in a futile fight to be her again.

I am learning to embrace and empower who I am now. The chick with the battle scars. The one who is still standing, despite all the shit she’s had to deal with. What’s with talking about myself in the third person?

I was too scared to join support groups online because I thought that would mean this shit defined me or that I might be obsessed. I didn’t want to be that person who got ‘crazy’. But one day I realised that I am crazy. Because that’s what this stuff does to you. No matter how much you try to not let your life revolve around it, the sheer volume of tests and results and effort that goes into trying to have a baby ensures that ‘positive distractions’ are merely that – distractions. May as well be crazy with women from all over the world who actually understand what I’m going through.

I was sad because I could feel my friendships changing. Some have thrived and others have faded. I have decided to stop scrambling to pretend to be the old me so that I can keep everything the same. I am going to do what I can, when I can, but not so I can stave off the fear of being left out or because I’m killing myself worrying about what others think of my flaky social abilities. I am going to do these things because they feel good (hopefully for all involved) and keep me mentally healthy. And when I can’t do them, I won’t beat myself up, because true friends will understand, will check in, rally around, and won’t judge me for it. I’m in this situation whether anybody likes it or not!

I’m going to choose the way I look at my battle scars. I am going to take my power back. I am even seriously considering my first ever tattoo! Something that symbolises my strength and my open heart. Something to look at when life gets tough. Because it is. A way to show the world that I have been through some shit but I’m fucking rad and kicking arse. Just like everyone else, I have a story and this is mine. I earned those scars and it’s what I make of them that matters. Not to mention how strangely appealing it seems to choose to have a whole bunch of needles in my skin that will create something beautiful, after spending so long being poked and stabbed for reasons that aren’t so beautiful. I am going to wear these scars (whether designed by an artist or a surgeon) without apology. Pretty or not.

So I present to you, the new me. She’s not better or worse than before. She’s just different. And both versions of herself were/are awesome in their own ways and had/have flaws like everybody else. Oops – more third person talk. I can’t help it.

One thing I am is stronger. I have dreams and plans and I have back up dreams and plans and I have back up plans for the back up plans. I am going to land somewhere awesome no matter what. Because life doesn’t always go to plan and I know that better than anyone. I think it makes me more compassionate. More real. More able to roll with the punches.

I still have my shit days. I will melt down and I will cry my eyes out. I will feel sad. I will feel frustrated – angry even. I will have to pretend I’m OK during small talk sometimes. I’ll get lonely. But I will use those tough moments as fuel for my fight. I will wear my struggles like a badge of honour and not a sign of a secret shame.

These struggles are not all of me. But they are a part of me. And trying to pretend they aren’t just makes me feel worse. And it’s taken me two years to realise this. To truly realise it. The old me is gone. There’s a bad ass mother who’s seen some shit standing in her place. And I’d better not forget it.

Kez Gets Physical: Loving your body (and yourself) NOW.

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When I say ‘love’, I don’t mean that you have to be head over heels, loving yourself sick and thinking you’re the sexiest beast to walk the planet every time you look in the mirror – no improvements needed (although you are totally a sexy beast – just saying). I mean the act of love. The ‘being kind to yourself’ kind of love. The kind of acceptance for yourself and your body that you would give anybody else that you care about, but somehow forget to give yourself. The remembering that you are more than what you look like. That kind of love.

I used to be of the mentality that I would have to work hard to get the body that I want and THEN I could love myself – you know, when I got really hot. And you know what? I was MISERABLE. I was all about the destination and not about the journey. Holding off my happiness and acceptance of myself was not the best idea I’ve ever had. In fact, it turned out to be really counterproductive.

Also, WTF. How shallow is that?? I would never treat somebody else like that. Why do it to myself?

The funny thing is, it took me being the heaviest and most unfit I’ve ever been in my life to actually start loving myself (this was only a few months and a couple of kilograms ago). I think it’s because I had to accept that if I got myself moving and really made an effort to improve my health, it would take a lot longer than it ever has before. It wouldn’t be a quick fix (and nor did I want it to be). That’d be a really long time to wait to be happy.

For me, the happiness I feel when I’m saying nice things to myself, is what actually motivates me. I’ve made so much more progress in my journey to better health since I decided to be happy with myself NOW than I was ever making when I made the choice to loathe who I saw in the mirror each day.

How do I love myself and my body NOW

I used to think that there was no point buying nice new clothes because I’d be heaps smaller and slimmer one day, so what’s the point? May as well make do with what I had until I was ‘hot again’ and then I could spoil myself. That was a HUGE mistake. Each day I faced a wardrobe filled with things that didn’t fit anymore. Stuff I was waiting to fit back into. See, I never got rid of that stuff because I thought that if I did, it was like telling myself I’d never wear that size/style again. I thought it would be like admitting I was giving up. Thing is, I was also subconsciously telling myself that I didn’t deserve nice new clothes that fit and flattered, because I didn’t think I was good enough how I was.

Each day I would have to wade through the stuff that I couldn’t wear anymore. I would feel sad and annoyed (it also was a big waste of time). Every day. I would put on some drab piece of clothing – probably something super floaty I could do nothing but hide in and hope I blended in with. It was often a few seasons old or it looked overly worn out. I never felt good.

I also never worked out. I told myself that until I was ‘hot’ enough to wear gym clothes, I shouldn’t buy any, like I didn’t have the right to buy it because I wasn’t ‘the real deal’ or experienced enough. But then I would never be able to exercise the way I wanted, because I didn’t have the right clothes or I felt frumpy and out of place when I improvised! Funny that.

So one day something snapped in me and I went into a little bit of a frenzy. I packed all the stuff that didn’t fit me into bags. One for charity and one to put aside somewhere just in case (in a container to be stored away so I didn’t have to see it every day). My wardrobe looked quite bare, but suddenly there was room for new stuff. Stuff I deserved to buy myself. Best decision I ever made.

Now I go clothes shopping when I can (which is not often but I make it count) and I put some effort in. I deserve it. I deserve to look and feel nice no matter what weight I am or where I am in my progress as I strive to be healthier and stronger. I have a couple of aspirational clothing items but I keep them to a minimum and they are realistic aspirations – not crazy dreams of a size 6 mini dress – the kind worn only by Hollywood socialites on the red carpet (socialite in mini dress I am not)! If I ever get small enough for that kind of thing (and someone invites me to a red carpet event haha), I’ll go buy it when I need it. For now, I’m happy to dress for where I’m at. Yes. Happy. I’m gonna be sexy NOW damn it!

The more I exercise and eat better, the less I care what people might think of my appearance. Because there’s something magical about knowing your truth. If I’m doing all I can, people can think whatever the fuck they like. When I was miserable and secretly eating my feelings every day and hiding in grey muu muu dresses, I thought that any negative thoughts people had of my appearance would be all I deserved. It wasn’t and to be honest, I don’t think other people thought much of anything. I was just projecting my own feelings about myself onto them. Deep, huh?

Another thing to do is to find inspiration (and perspective) in people who are more like you, physically. I know heaps of beautiful girls of all sizes and shapes who look AMAZING to me all the time and not once have I ever looked at them and thought bad things about them just because of how they carry their weight (or any other physical trait). In fact, I see who they are shining through more than anything. If I don’t judge them, should I be judging myself? Hell to the no! That’s also a good indicator that other people probably aren’t judging me either!

Now when I look in the mirror, I look for the good things. Sure, I might do a quick ‘does my back fat look too obvious in this’ check (old habits die hard), but I look for the little differences in my muscle tone since I started exercising more. I look at the things I like about my outfit or my body. Because I put love into my body and my wardrobe NOW, it is much easier. I’m proud of a ‘look’ I’ve achieved, rather than relieved I can blend in for another day (or horribly anxious that someone will ‘out’ me as not being good enough).

Even if my clothes aren’t fitting great (and the stuff in the shops is not helping either), I find ways to pamper myself. Cute accessories (they’ll always fit), colourful shoes, getting my nails done (or taking the time to do them myself). It doesn’t matter what size I am. I know I’m working hard and things will improve. I am kind to myself because I deserve my own kindness NOW (or at least I am working really hard on it).

Because what’s more motivating? Someone bullying us and saying we’re not good enough or someone telling us they care and that they’ve got our back and they know we can do this because we’re worth it?

Don’t be your own bully!

You are beautiful in so many ways RIGHT NOW!

The big question: Do you believe me?

Stuff I want to do when the winter is over.

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Now, I am not usually the ‘wish your life away’ type. I believe in finding happiness in the exact place and time you’re in, because if you’re always waiting for the perfect circumstances in which to ‘be happy’, are you ever really happy? I am a big believer that happiness comes from within – it’s a choice we have to make a lot of the time. When times are shit, we have to dig deep and find the positives or the learning that can come from that circumstance. Yep. I’m that annoyingly positive person a lot of the time. The rest of the time I can be found moaning on Twitter (just in case you thought I was perfect – as if – bahaha).

But I’ll be honest with you. I am starting to feel a bit bloody annoyed by this whole winter time caper. And when I get this annoyed, I have to just mutter “this too shall pass” under my breath and make some plans to look forward to. I am so excited that the official start of spring is now less than a month away!

So what am I looking forward to?

Wearing short sleeved stuff and getting my pale legs out! 

I was looking at some photos from last summer (cleaning out my phone – it’s a mess) and the photos of us as a family, wearing singlets and t-shirts in the sunshine felt really at odds with the cold weather and rain we’ve been experiencing of late. I actually realised I can’t remember what that feels like – to have your arms or legs out and not be freezing and uncomfortable! I am also excited to see the spring/summer fashion that is coming. While I’ve been happy enough in my ‘winter uniform’ of leggings and shirt dresses and jacket and boots, I am so ready to shake things up! That first day of pure sunshine and warmth, I am going to rock those pale legs like nobody else! Just remind me to shave them first haha.

Planting flowers with the Little Mister

Look, I’m no gardening expert – maybe I’m supposed to start now or I was supposed to start a couple of seasons ago, but I look forward to buying some simple potted colour with him and teach him how to look after them. He’s shown an interest in flowers (he’s been watching a lot of bee related TV shows for some reason) and I think we’ll have so much fun. Also, the kid is obsessed with watering cans. I can’t wait to get him outside watering my plants too (so not a green thumb over here) haha.

I’ve been holding off a little, because the weather has kind of limited our outdoors time. I want it to feel like a full experience for him where we can really take our time and go and tend to everything whenever we want to.

Running outdoors

I love my treadmill soooooooo much (if you read this blog regularly you might have guessed). I can walk on her for hours (she doesn’t mind), but I am finding it more mentally challenging to run on her. I need that scenery to look at and the freedom of seeing the open space ahead of me (and not a bedroom curtain). I can’t wait to grab a dog (not just any random dog – one of my dogs that lives with me haha) and get going. I think I’ll see a huge difference in my progress. I’m really excited.

Less illness!

Oh, I know you hear me on this one! Less illness for the Little Mister means more attendance at day care. That means more all important socialising and learning for him, more time for me to work and get things done at home, which means a little more moolah for our household and a bit more sanity for me!

Less illness for all of us, means I won’t be constantly fighting something off. Which means more energy to do things I need to check off my to-do lists. More motivation. More creativity. More productivity. More things we can go and do. Less risk of Mr Unprepared getting the man flu (because NOBODY wants that).

Less illness basically means less stir craziness. That’s the worst part. Honestly. Quarantine is not fun.

I can’t wait to make plans to socialise that don’t fall through, due to illness!!!

Making the outside of our house pretty

We have so many things we would like to do. We started the process before winter really hit, but lost a lot of momentum. We’re excited to finish painting the gutters (OK so not excited about the actual task but for the result) and to give the front of the house a makeover. I know we’ll be so relieved that it’s finally done. We’ve been talking about it for years. Not even kidding.

 

Of course there are so many little things I can do to work towards these tasks right now and I think that writing my list has inspired me. I could buy some nice clothes for spring/summer ahead of time (retail therapy) so I am not freaking out that I have nothing to wear the moment the weather gets nice. I could start researching flowers with the Little Mister and buy some of the things we’ll need (pots and little trowels and stuff) – it could be our little project. We might not be able to work on the outside of our house just yet, but I could look into upgrading our bedroom furniture and do some more indoor stuff in the meantime.

I have really lost my mojo lately and I am hoping I can channel my frustration and stir craziness into something positive. I need to find that fire inside me again! Winter really does a number on me every year.

What is your favourite season? Anything you’re looking forward to this spring? 

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

Surprise! It’s Autumn!

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I know, right? How did that happen?? It was summer a second ago! Has it really been that long already? Where does time go? I’m not done frolicking at the beach. COME BACK, SUMMER.

This happens to me every year. It’s not that I don’t love autumn. I just wish it wouldn’t sneak up on me all the time. I guess that’s how famous people probably feel about Ellen Degeneres. If you do not understand this reference, shame on you…for probably having a life…that doesn’t involve a love affair with a DVR…and Ellen.

NO. I AM NOT HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH ELLEN. SPEAK TO MY PUBLICIST.

I don’t have a publicist.

Um…where was I?

Yes. Autumn. I love Autumn. My birthday is in Autumn. Easter is in Autumn. Some of my fondest memories come with the sounds, smells and weather of Autumn embedded in them.

My problem is that I am just never ready for it. Ever. You’d think I’d learn, right? Nope. Slow learner right here.

My biggest downfall is my inability to plan my autumn/winter wardrobe. See, the clothes appear in the shops at the hottest time of the year (which is coincidentally usually right before Autumn begins). So I look at that stuff and say, “Pffft. As if I can think of leggings and jackets and scarves right now. You’ve got to be joking!”

The weather in my corner of the world isn’t quite cold yet, but Autumn is in the air. We’ve had some rain, the days feel more mellow and they are getting shorter. So I’m feeling awkward as f*ck, because soon I am going to be that girl who is so obviously wearing her summer clothes for too long, because she doesn’t know what else to do. We’ve all seen that girl before. She’s the same girl who gets too excited for summer and wears shorts too early and everyone is all like, yo, settle down. Y’know? Yep. That’s me.

The only time I feel I nailed Autumn was when I was pregnant with the Little Mister in 2011. Because, hello, when you have a baby bump you can wear anything and no-one thinks you’re fat or falsely accuses you of being pregnant. It’s like the perfect accessory. So fashion tip: be pregnant.

Um…as that is not an option right now, I am SCREWED. I have not done a THING towards preparing a cooler weather wardrobe. NOT A THING. All i have is some worn out tights, some worn out boots and a couple of hoodies – the kind that say you’ve given up on yourself and have nothing else to wear. Oops.

Besides vowing to watch Rosie Rockets’ blog very closely for ideas (no pressure haha), I really haven’t made a plan. All I know is that I’d like to somehow incorporate these things that I thought of in my brain and then found on Pinterest for illustration…

Oversized flannel shirt/dress.

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This is my kinda thing. It’s easy. It can be worn with comfy leggings. It doesn’t involve 50 layers of clothing (layers make this 5 foot tall shortie feel like I’m drowning in fabric). It flatters a few extra curves if you’re carrying them (guilty!). It can be dressed up a little or kept really simple. It’s almost an outfit in itself so there’s no crazy decision making every single morning. Get me one in every kind of plaid! Stat!

Burgundy lips.

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Something about cooler, greyer weather just makes me want to bring out the darker hues. Strong, warm, matte colours. I love lipstick because it’s a quick way to make yourself look (and more importantly feel) polished, like you’ve made an effort. I kind of let my lipstick wearing slip through the summer and I think that I really need to bring it back. When I’ve got my lippie on I feel so much more sexy and confident. I wouldn’t be surprised if I even carry myself a bit differently (disclaimer: still a klutz forever though). Watch out, world!

Dark nails. 

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Gotta match my lips, of course! These hands look a bit over photo shopped, though. Kind of like they’re dead. Let’s ignore that. Gotta love Pinterest haha.

Boots.

I need boots. To be honest, I do not know where to start. I want black ones. But I’m short and I have short legs so I have to wear a lot of the shorter ankle styled ones over dark tights to keep things flattering. And while I like the ones with heels, I also need to be practical and have some flatter ones or wedges maybe. I don’t want old ‘mum’ boots. I want cool boots. Very ‘now’ ones. Maybe something with a bit of an edge. BUT WHAT IS ‘NOW’?! I feel a bit out of touch. How sad! Suggestions? Links? Pics? Maybe I can get some inspiration in Sydney next month…

Told you I’m crap at Autumn/Winter!!

Let’s just fantasise about these impractical beauties for a second, though…that’s just shoe porn right there.

*drools*

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Biker jacket.

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I have had incarnations of this before, but I’ve just never quite nailed it. I am looking for something that I can wear, but that doesn’t wear me! See? This model is wearing the jacket. When I put a jacket of any description on, I feel all bulky and lost in it. Like it never quite sits right. It wears me. I know The One is out there somewhere waiting for me. I must search harder this year!!

Are you ever ready for Autumn? What staples will you be wearing this season?

Lady cave.

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No, it’s not a euphemism (giggles immaturely). Just like men like to have man caves, I have decided that I need a lady cave. I have a place for it all picked out. Sure, it won’t be perfect, because we have to keep the ironing board and unsorted washing and the bills somewhere, but hey – Mr Unprepared won’t be getting a shed as big as he’d like for the time being so I guess it’s only fair 😉

Yep. I am going to be making over the study. It will be my little sanctuary, where I can blog and look at pretty things and pretend I belong on fancy websites and do very important ‘unspecified as yet’ creative ‘work’. It will be a light, bright space that makes me feel happy and serene and not at all stabby like it does now. It will have to be functional, but almost 31 years into my life I am finally realising that the home office is actually allowed to be ridiculously good looking just like the rest of the house (which admittedly needs a little work too but nothing is as bad as the study is right now haha). I always thought that a study needed to  be the soulless room in the house and have ugly, horrendously designed generic furniture. Bulky stuff. Fugly – to keep all the fugly paperwork in. That it’s just a place to be practical. The one room that doesn’t need any prettying up. Because it’s supposed to be all utilitarian. Like an actual office. Think of the ugliest accountant’s office you’ve ever been in. Like that. I don’t know why. Now that I think about it, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME? Why was I punishing myself?? WHO AM I??

But then Pinterest was invented. And I started reading some great blogs, with pretty pictures from people’s lives. Now I have myself believing that there’s no reason I can’t enjoy that space and feel productive in it at the same time. I want to make it inviting and peaceful. So beautiful that no-one would ever dare to chuck old paid bills and clutter all over the place out of fear of ruining the wonderful vibe of it all (Ha ha ha – shut up).

Here’s what I’ve been drooling over…

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All I want is a little white desk. I don’t need heaps of work space! Some space for my laptop and some artistically arranged stationery. Nothing crazy. Just something to replace the massive, inflexible corner desk that takes up so much more room than is needed! The space would look instantly bigger.

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Floating shelves. White of course. Storage is definitely a challenge in our study, so we can’t just ditch all the shelf space. However, I would happily ditch all of the bulky book cases that are lined up against one wall. Floating shelves would again offer the illusion of more space, but would happily accommodate our important books and photo albums. I think it would also force me to really think about what I really need vs what I keep thinking I might need one day (notebook hoarder over here – HOLLA!).

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I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t want some inspirational wall prints. A pop of colour. Sure, I’d have to get creative in how to display my degree, the wedding certificate and Mr Unprepared’s trade certificates, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

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And isn’t this desk chair divine? I want colour! And shape! Style. Comfort. I love that it’s not huge and foreboding like the big chair we have in there now. The one that looks like an evil movie villain will spin around in it at any moment, stroking a white, fluffy cat. The chair we have kind of dominates the room – drives me crazy. We bought it originally because it had a lot of back support and felt it was important because I would be studying for so long at a time in it. We figured, the higher the better. Except I am only five foot tall when I’m standing. Hilarious. I question my old decisions more and more!

Of course I’d need a simple filing cabinet and maybe a drawer or two near the desk for extra stationery, but I think it’s all quite doable.

I also dream of a gorgeous desk top computer – Apple of course (gotta add to my collection of matching devices) – but maybe that can wait a little while. In fact, all of it must wait a little while. But I can get started clearing the junk (it’s like an episode of Hoarders in there – you won’t believe that I found two CAR WING MIRRORS in there for WHO KNOWS WHAT KIND OF CAR… AND MORE – WTF Mr Unprepared?!), one piece of ugly office furniture at a time. It will be my ongoing project. Also, if anyone wants cables for anything. Anything that is not manufactured anymore or compatible with anything made this century, just give me a yell.

YAY FOR NO MORE UGLY HOME OFFICES…EVENTUALLY! 🙂

What would your lady (or your lady’s) cave be/look like? x

Inspiration: Living a more authentic life.

Sometimes I like to seek out inspirational quotes that make me feel like I can do this whole life thing. Stuff I can meditate on. And by meditate, I mean think about and reflect on. Not actually meditate. Because I am crap at actual meditation, even though I know I should do it more because it does work. Hmm…maybe I should find some inspirational quotes about meditation. That might help.

But today is not that day (sorry Mum).

Today I have put together a handful of quotes (found on Pinterest) around the theme of living more authentically. I think that living a life where we’re really honest with ourselves and others, is the best way to achieve inner peace and lessen the constant mental turmoil.

Here they are. I think I will let them speak for themselves (I won’t add my own personal notes this time because I think these kinds of things can be quite personal and I’d love for you to find your own meaning for them):

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Did any of these quotes resonate with you?

Reflection on the year that was.

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I want 2015 to be as peaceful as this photo makes me feel x

Look, I am a total New Year nerd. As much as I work on self improvement and celebrating moments all year round, I just cannot resist the allure of December turning into January. I get to use a new diary (whatever’s the cutest at Typo – yay) and everything feels like a fresh start. When I discovered these questions over at Maxabella Loves (and some great answers from Kelly over at A Life Less Frantic) I couldn’t resist. The perfect way to spend a little quiet time (lucky me) on a NYE morning.

Here goes!

1. What word do you think best summed up 2014?

Brave. It probably wasn’t very outwardly noticeable to others, but for me it was a big theme. I started to speak up in small ways and to become more assertive. I learnt to be brave enough to say ‘no’ and brave enough to say ‘yes’. I became braver in sharing more of myself and my life on my blog. I stopped censoring so much. I did things that had scared me all my life and I triumphed. I think perhaps this explains my obsession with Sara Bareille’s song which is obviously called Brave.

2. What did you do for the first time this year?

I visited the place I was born. I had so many unresolved feelings about being adopted. Feelings I probably didn’t even fully realise were unresolved until I got there. Stuff that made me sad. Stuff about my decision to not search for biological parents. Stuff that weighed on me. Which brings me to the next question…

3. What is one thing that happened that will have lasting consequences?

Being in Busan, South Korea (where I was born) was HUGE. I finally know what the people of my birth country are like. I know so much more about their customs, their food, their way of living. I also know about the language barriers. The cultural differences between Korea and Australia – as well as some similarities. I see a little of what could have been and I am glad for what has been. Korea is no longer some weird mythical far away place I have to put on every form ever (which still pisses me off haha). I realise more fully that my identity is MINE. It is not defined by where I was born or where I’ve grown up – that is just a part of it. I am ME from wherever I am from and I am OK with that 🙂 This has brought me so much peace (after 30 years). I cannot begin to tell you. HUGE.

4. Was there anything you wish you’d done differently? Why? How?

I wish I had been less affected by the drama of other people. I wish I had been able to practice maintaining my own inner peace. While I am a very compassionate person, some things just shouldn’t be my battle.

5. Do you have a favourite moment from the year? What made it special?

Oh. So. Many. A vast collection of moments that showed me how much I love the Little Mister – any time my heart burst. No better feeling. While there were many mixed feelings about visiting Korea, I am SO glad we went there (and Japan and Singapore). I am glad we travelled. I am glad we had those experiences. Once in a lifetime stuff. A big highlight of the year. Sorry to keep bringing it up haha.

6. What lessons has 2014 taught you about yourself? About others?

I’ve learnt that I am inspired easily. If I have a tough time, I have the drive and determination to turn it around. I rarely just sit there and give up or wallow. I see obstacles and mentally challenging times as a call to action. I realise now that this is a strength of mine, whereas I think I always took this attitude for granted. I’ve learnt that there are people in this world who are ‘dumpers’ and ‘drainers’ and that it’s entirely up to me how I choose to react (or not react) to such treatment. Take it personally or realise that person is being an a**hole and move on? I think I know what I’d rather do. It’s a work in progress!!

7. How will the lessons from this past year change the way you approach the new year?

I just want to keep building on my personal strength and courage that I have found in the last year or two. I want to be less ruffled by things that do not matter. I want to beat my anxiety.

8. What do you most want to do in 2015?

Keep blogging, have a happy healthy family, watch the Little Mister grow. Chase whatever wonderful opportunities come my way. I love that I don’t know what those are yet. I want to say yes more but I want to say no more. It’s all about getting them in the right balance 🙂

9. What do you most want to change about yourself? The world?

*best beauty pageant voice* I want peace. Peace for the world. More compassion. I want for us to all become less self absorbed and more mindful of others. What we do/say/write affects other people. While we shouldn’t worry too much about what others might think of us when we make the best decisions for ourselves, we should be considerate and kind. A lot more considerate. Remember our manners. There’s a difference between being honest and being an a**hole about it.

10. What one word do you hope will sum up what you hope to achieve in 2015?

You could probably sense this, but my key word will be ‘peace’. Peace in my mind, peace in my family, peace in my community, peace in the world.

PEACE OUT.

OMG ‘peace’ is a weird looking word. I think I have officially typed it too many times – ever have that happen? Haha.

If you want to answer these questions too, please let me know where i can find them – or you can leave your answers in the comments 🙂 I don’t care if they’re super long x