Tag: shopping

Our secondary infertility story: Part 3 – Buying tests – it’s a minefield of awkwardness.

This post was written in November, 2015 – about 16 months into the trying for a baby/dealing with secondary infertility thing. I didn’t feel comfortable publishing all of my story in real time (some things needed to play out first), but I couldn’t stop myself from writing it all down. Here is the third instalment of my story…

You can catch up on part 1 here and part 2 here

When we first started this ‘trying for a second baby’ thing, I wasn’t too fussed about testing for ovulation or buying ALL the pregnancy tests. I was coming off the pill again and it had taken about 4-5 months to conceive the Little Mister in 2011 so I expected no immediate results. I had no idea it would take as long as it has (…and we’re still waiting)! Once that amount of time passed, I started to wonder if my body had changed since having my first baby. Maybe I was ovulating at a different time (even though my cycle seemed to be the same in length as it always had been). I decided to try to find a home ovulation testing kit that would work for me. I did the pee on a stick ones where you had to analyse the two lines, but it seemed dicey. I had no idea if I was reading them correctly. I got these from the supermarket mostly. Chucked in with the groceries. Cue nosey check out ladies.

“Oh, are you pregnant?” (I can’t even begin to tell you how that doesn’t make sense)

“Oh, are you trying for a baby?” (said in front of my little man who had no idea)

I left every exchange fuming and swore never to buy anything ‘sensitive’ from there again. A STRANGER’S FERTILITY IS NONE OF YOUR FREAKIN’ BEESWAX, PEOPLE. Unless you are up in my bits for profesh reasons then it is a NO GO ZONE. For reals. Don’t ask me or I will start to imagine violent things happening to you like only a PISSED OFF TO HAVE PMS YET AGAIN person can. I might not know you, but I will find you and I will kill you. Or at least I will threaten to in a way that makes Liam Neeson seem like a fluffy little kitten.

Aha! I thought. I will buy my groceries online – tests included. No nosey check out ladies (and I am singling out ladies because the teenaged boys are far less likely to comment – or give eye contact). YES.

But no.

The delivery driver (who is awesome) comes to me and says, “Here is a list of the things we didn’t have in stock…”

Guess what those things were. Sigh.

Then I found out that Clear Blue (not sponsored but bloody should be) does a digital test. It would be much more obvious and easy to read. Flashing smiley face means you’re reaching peak fertility. Non blinking, solid smiley face means you’re ovulating. Blank circle means you’re not. Simple. You were either in the zone or you weren’t. Perfect. Only thing was the dual hormone one that I liked was only available in a couple of places in my home town. It was freakin’ expensive but worth it for my peace of mind. There is nothing worse than going month after month not conceiving and worrying that you missed your ovulation time. I can handle my body not allowing it, but my own human error? Much more frustrating to think about the possible missed opportunities.

So I headed into the heavily populated pharmacy where I’d found the tests. I hadn’t told anybody about our attempts to make another baby. It was classified information. We were still hoping we’d conceive within a year, keep it quiet and make nice announcements for all the Facebook likes after clearing the first trimester. What dummies. People were really getting on my back about when we’d provide the Little Mister with a sibling, so I was super sensitive about it all. Don’t get me started on why that isn’t cool either.

I find that I have to straddle the line between being suspected of shoplifting for acting too shifty (it’s not like I can hide the tests in my bag until I pay for them) and being so open about it that people start asking questions or starting rumours (it is quite the small world where I live). So I joined the longest line ever (damn it – the longer you wait the more likely someone will notice). When I got to the front, feeling like I might have saved myself some humiliation, the pharmacy assistant said, “Should I be saying GOOD LUCK?”

OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE. SAY NOTHING. IF IN DOUBT, SAY NOTHING. In fact, say nothing anyway.

The next time I braved the line, used all of my life savings and bought two packets. Yes. I figured this would buy me two months without having to face anyone saying something stupid. I thought I felt braver too. I had gone past caring who knew. Or so I thought. Who do I see paying for something at the counter right in front of me? A dude I used to go to school with. Nope. My fear of awkwardness had returned. I suddenly became very interested in celebrity perfumes. La-dee-da. Nothing to see here.

Two more months went by. No luck.

I went back to the pharmacy. Nobody I know in the store? Awesome! The tests were practically half price?! Sign me up!! So I went to the counter full of hope that for once, nobody would cause me embarrassment or piss me off.

“Um. These are scanning at full price. Are you sure these were the ones on special?”

“Yes. I double checked.”

“Let me get my colleague to check it out.”

So the colleague goes and looks on the shelf.

“WHICH ONES WERE THEY?”

“THE CLEAR BLUE DUAL HORMONE BLAH BLAHS.”

OH GOOD LORD.

They ended up giving me the tests for the sale price and I fled to the safety of my car.

Seriously. I just bought a couple of packs online – discounted too. I am done with that shit.

Ever had a similar experience? Want to have a bitch about it? Feel free!

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)

The Happy List #41

Oh, hey! It’s me! It’s been a big week. Action packed! Filled with good things. Much needed. It’s a bit hard to slow down, because I think I’ve been trying to avoid reality (the start of a new school term and my upcoming surgery), but I’m hoping that this long weekend will give me some time to ease back into it without having a total mental breakdown!

So here is my happy list…

My Sydney getaway

Last weekend was GLORIOUS. I was starting to come good from a rough bout with my endometriosis. I was healthy. I was ready! I slept like I hadn’t slept in years (no joke – my fitbit’s sleep tracker proves it). I shopped until I dropped. I saw good friends. Had plenty of laughs with my parents. I ate ridiculously good food. COCKTAILS. OMG. I didn’t have many responsibilities. So yeah, that’s it in a nutshell.

I’d been a frustrated, sad hermit for weeks on end. It was really getting me down. This trip ended that awful feeling for me. I came back more ‘me’.

Hashtag grateful etc.

My new obsession with make-up

I have always been pretty low maintenance (read: crap) when it comes to cosmetics, but realising that my skin is getting older (with the rest of me) and needs more attention, means I’ve had to make more of an effort to age gracefully (I know – I’m positively ancient at 32 haha). It started with the need for better moisturisers, some more face masks and the search for a good primer (yet to find The One), but now it’s blown out into a full on obsession with make up brushes, eye liners, trying to look like I actually have eyebrows, and wanting matte lips.

I took a trip to Sephora in Sydney and it was CRAZY. Hats off to the girls who work there! Gotta love the adrenaline rush, though haha. I ticked everything off my wish list and I have honestly never spent that much on make up in one go before. Ever. I made great use of my birthday money! I splurged on good quality products (nothing crazy but more than your average supermarket find) that I would never have treated myself with before. It felt good. Let’s just say that I earned my black membership card straight off the bat that day…

I’ve been enjoying playing around with my look and the difference is immense. I needed that boost. I love feeling like I’ve put in an effort with my appearance. It sounds shallow, but it makes me feel less frumpy and more ‘on’. A feeling I’ve needed a lot more of these days!

My birthday

I turned 32 a few days ago. I realised that 31 wasn’t as kind to me as I might have hoped. In fact, it was pretty darn shit (sprinkled with a few nice moments). So I’m trying to close that chapter and move forward with an open heart and an optimistic outlook. I don’t mind getting older. I’ve never understood that fear of ageing thing that people have. I feel more comfortable in who I am than I ever have and I wouldn’t trade that feeling for all the flawless skin and super fast metabolism/pre baby bodies in the world! I mean, I’d consider it for a hot second, but I wouldn’t.

I really appreciated the gifts from my family, the messages from all my friends and obviously my trip away. 32. I’ve got this! Right? Check in with me when I turn 33 haha.

The Little Mister

I swear he grew up so much while I was away (for all of 3 days haha). I loved getting home and being able to appreciate him more. It’s that whole thing about needing a break so you can come back better. I’ve really felt that this week.

We took an awesome day trip to the zoo and I liked making his dreams come true – he still thinks public transport is magical and awe inspiring, so you can imagine how he felt about everything else!

He’s still driving me crazy (because he’s 4 and it’s the school holidays), but I don’t feel like I’m ready to skip the country with nothing but my clothes on my back and start a new life anymore ???

Which is nice. And I love him so much.

Brunch with a couple of good people

My awesome Tassie mate and her Freo boyf (also known as guy I went to high school with) took time out of their weekend together to come and see me for brunch. It was so nice of them and I had fun. It blows me away that they know each other (I’ve known them completely separately for years), let alone that they’re together now (sorry guys – you’re Blog Official now)! I’ll be counting down until we can hang out together again!

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Cuddles on the couch with Mr Unprepared.
  • My renewed obsession with leopard print.
  • The fact that my new manicure saved me from getting a badly bruised or broken finger while I was away. I should probably try harder to not slam car doors on my hands.
  • That time I accidentally stole a fork from a cafe in Dee Why (Sydney), because it fell into my handbag, and then went on a snapchat rampage about my whole new life as a fugitive on the run with it. It really seemed so hilarious at the time. Guess you had to be there ? PS. We can never return. Ever… unless it’s to collect the whole set.
  • My latest shopping spree in Kmart. I couldn’t help it, but it felt so good.

So what’s been making you happy this week?

What is this? A handbag for ants?

When the Little Mister was born, my handbag situation got ridiculous. Every day, a trip to the shops was like moving houses. An overnight stay somewhere took the same preparation time as that of a month long overseas holiday. There was a pram, nappy bag, my handbag…actually, scratch that. For a while, my nappy bag was also my handbag. Because babies don’t give a damn about style. They just need bottles, wipes, mashed up baby food goo, nappies, nappy rash cream, spare outfits (because poop tsunamis), teething toys, bibs blah blah. You name it, I had it in my bag. I was awesomely over-prepared (yet it never felt like it).

When the Little Mister reached toddlerhood, I managed to get away with carrying just one massive handbag (it was a way of fooling myself into thinking that nobody would be able to tell it was a total ‘mum’ bag – not sure it fooled anyone). That habit has truly stuck. I win all of those silly baby shower/kitchen tea party games – you know the ones where you get points for every ridiculous thing you find in your handbag? Yep. I am a freakin’ champ. I will come to your baby shower and fuck shit up. Woo. Last time I won, it was because I had a toy Hot Wheels car and an odd sock in there.

I am that uncoordinated jerk filling up the aisles on aeroplanes with my massive jerk bag. I am the idiot who bangs her handbag into people at the shops. Mostly accidentally of course. In my defence, some people just walk right into it. I guess they just can’t handle someone with that much swag bag. I am always being told, “WATCH OUT” by the people I’m with, because if anyone’s going to turn around suddenly, swiping several fragile things off a shop shelf…I’m your guy.

(PS Kate Hill does some awesome ones if you’re in that awkward toddler phase BTW – you’re welcome – you too can be a jerk with a big jerk bag but it will be a pretty jerk bag)

So anyhoo…with the Little Mister starting kindy this month, I thought I deserved a little treat. Key word: little. Because now I’m going to spend more days getting out and about without him than with him – which is a little bit bittersweet if you ask me but let’s move on without being a sentimental fool for once, Kez – that means I don’t have to carry so much crap. YESSSSS.

I found this beauty. She was on sale ($30 WHAT?!). She was much smaller than the big arsed bag I’ve been lugging about. She was a pretty colour. She had zips and pockets in all the right places.

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Yep. People have ‘first day of school’ photos. I have a photo to commemorate my first smallish handbag. OK, so maybe I have a ton of first day of school photos too, but shhhhh. I’m having a moment.

I feel like this milestone is completely underrated.

I took my new bag with me to school drop off and the shops today. It was fantastic. It tucked so nicely under my arm. My shoulder didn’t want to dislocate itself from the weight. Sure, it will take some getting used to. I mean, it’s really weird being able to find stuff in there right away. And it does feel like a little handbag for tiny ants.

I feel like someone’s going to yell out, “OH LOOK. WHAT’S WITH THAT LADY’S TEENSY TINY HANDBAG. IT LOOKS LIKE A DOLL’S HANDBAG. THAT HANDBAG IS TOO SMALL FOR HUMANS.”

But the truth is, it’s really just a normal sized handbag. You know? The type that normal women use every day without incident?

It’s liberating. Let me illustrate how it feels, with the use of a Nicolas Cage gif.

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So tell me.

How big is your handbag? What’s the weirdest thing in it, right now

Kez Gets Physical: Swimsuit Edition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Don’t freak out! Easy last minute Christmas gift ideas.

Despite our best intentions, sometimes we can be a bit shit at getting all of our Christmas shopping done on time, or circumstances can change and suddenly we’re a few gifts down. Also, there’s also nothing more annoying than realising you missed a bunch of online Christmas shopping deadlines and you’re gonna have to do this in real shops! I thought I’d put together a little list of gifts you can get at the last minute, without having to go too far out of your way or do anything that is too logistically/financially difficult as time gets away from us. I hope this helps!

Shop your pharmacy

There’s always some pretty cool stuff if you browse through your local pharmacy. Cosmetics, pamper items, specialised gift packs, fragrances (like the gorgeous Cosmopolitan* that I’m lucky enough to be wearing right now that can be found at Priceline/Terry White/Nova)! You can make themed care packages: mani/pedi, skin care, shaving kits etc.

Just run around like a headless chook and stop when you meet your budgetary limits!

Shop your supermarket

While you’re stuck fighting for the last minute Christmas feast stuff with the masses, might as well also grab some gifts to stick in the trolley! The supermarket often sells DVDs, a limited selection of children’s toys, books, beauty products, etc. You can also create a foodie’s hamper. Think some good quality chocolates, some boxes of the good tea/coffee, some fancy biscuits. Or think savoury: fancy crackers, cheeses, quince paste, fancy relishes etc.

The key is to not let it look like all you did was raid the supermarket – style things up a little. Put things together in a way that shows you still put some thought in. You’ve got this!

A lot of supermarkets now also stock great gift vouchers for lots of outlets/experiences. If you know your intended recipient would rather choose their own gift/experience, this can be a really easy option!

Bake in bulk

It might be last minute and you are probably pushed for time, but if you can get your hands on a couple of nice recipes and you don’t mind hanging out in the kitchen for half a day (and you’re pretty confident with this stuff), this can be quite achievable.

Here are some of the recipes I’ve loved…

Gourmet Rocky Road – It looks festive and decadent, is really really easy to put together (we’re talking microwave and fridge – ingredients you’ve heard of – no oven).

Chocolate truffles – I’ve used these as a non alcoholic alternative for rum balls (which are also awesome). Again. No oven – minimal stove top time. Only 4 ingredients that you have heard of. Yippee.

Choc chip cookies – A classic that never seems to disappoint!

And look, I’m so not going to judge if you buy some Betty Crocker or one of those cute gingerbread man box mixes. Go nuts! Splurge on some of those Christmas coloured M+Ms. Bling things up!

People love a nice sweet treat and when something has been home made (even with the help of a box mix), it’s extra special. It means someone put their precious time into it.

If you don’t want to cook, you can even just raid the baking aisle at the supermarket (see above for tips on shopping your supermarket) and put together some cute patty pans, sprinkles, etc to make a little cupcake decorating kit! Even easier!

Shop your bottle shop

Obviously one just for the over 18s (21 if you’re in the US). You can get something for every budget. I’ve personally never turned down a nice bottle of vodka or a beautiful bubbly. I know Mr Unprepared just loves receiving a selection of obscure craft beers that he can try out.

Also, you can do this if you’ve got some craft supplies lying around (or that you managed to scrounge from the supermarket)!

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Most importantly, you might be pushed for time or you might be feeling stressed at this time of year, but just remember that it’s all about showing we care about our people. There are so many little ways to dress things up a bit and make a person feel special or thought of, without killing ourselves to achieve it.

I hope this list has helped to inspire you and I wish you well! Good luck!

Do you have any other tips/hacks to add?

 

*Cosmopolitan fragrance was gifted to me for my bloggy consideration. I really really like it, which is good because I am shit at buying that stuff for myself and I never know where to start 🙂

The Happy List #28

I can hardly believe it’s the last happy list before Christmas. I mean, it’s the 20th of December. We’re in the 20s. That’s when you know shit is getting serious. I’m a little overwhelmed about some last minute decisions, but I am going to try to take it all one bite at a time and remember my Christmas spirit when certain situations test me!

I hope that wherever you are, and whoever you are with, that you have a lovely Christmas to look forward to. If you are struggling at this time of year, I am thinking of you.

I am so glad I get to write this list, because it’s so nice to get back to basics and celebrate the good things that have happened in the past week. It seems like a good way to centre myself and move into the next busy week with a positive frame of mind.

I love this time of year, but it does get intense!

Here are the weird and/or wonderful things that have made me happy…

Coleslaw

Seriously. This was the first thing I wanted to write down haha. The summer weather has had me obsessed with the humble salad that is coleslaw! Not the pre-packaged, heavily dressed, overly chopped crap from the deli section at the supermarket (or from takeaway outlets) but the stuff that comes ‘dry’ in bags, fresh, pre-shredded and ready to serve however you like. I cannot get enough of the stuff. I’ve eaten it for lunch with a little bit of tuna (don’t know if that’s a weird combination – I can feel you judging me) or with a minimal amount of dressing or just on its own. Cannot get enough. Pretty sure it’s helping me to lose weight (a surprising but probably logical outcome), but I will admit things get a little more windy at night time if you know what I mean. OMG I can’t believe I just admitted that.

It’s just so fresh and light (at least the way I eat it) and easy!

I sometimes call it ‘slaw, because that’s what all the cool people are doing these days. It drives Mr Unprepared mad haha.

Finishing the Christmas shopping

That’s a big deal, right? What an achievement! Where’s my medal? I was lucky because Mr Unprepared was free to help with this task yesterday and it was so much easier with a (grown up) buddy! Yay for team work, as we navigated the busy shops and drove from place to place in what seemed like circles!

We rewarded ourselves with a pub lunch and some cider and beer. Did I mention we were child free? Amazing! A Christmas miracle!

The Little Mister’s adventure with his Nanna

For months, my mum was really excited about taking the Little Mister to the airport to pick up my dad (known to the Little Mister as Poppy). She wanted to show him the planes and do some special things with him. So cute. It was fantastic, because it coincided with Mr Unprepared and I needing to finish the Christmas shopping (see above) too!

They had a pretty awesome time, by all accounts. A lot of the time, the Little Mister wore a Santa hat and cuddled a Christmas teddy bear and it was pretty adorable stuff (judging from the photos my mum sent). They visited his beloved great uncle (the Little Mister had never been to his house). They visited the shops. They sang Christmas songs in the car. The Little Mister ran at his Poppy filled with so much excitement when he arrived. He shared the cookies he made the day before. He then slept all the way home haha.

I love when he gets to do stuff like that. It’s what memories are made of, don’t you think?

Remembering to buy paper towel

Ever have that one item that you keep forgetting to pick up when you’re at the supermarket and it gets really frustrating, but you’re a slow learner so it happens over and over again?

For me, in the past week it was paper towel. The day I remembered to buy it was a joyous day. I even bought the stuff that has festive Christmas tree patterns on it, for good measure. There was so much satisfaction in bringing it home and putting it on the holder. The first time I needed paper towel to wipe up a spill, I could not contain my joy – yes. I did it. I remembered to buy it. Winning at life. I was my own hero.

Realising that one of my favourite people is on her way home for Christmas/a wedding celebration from the US

I woke up on the 18th and suddenly realised my friend would be getting ready to get on a plane and come home for the holidays with her husband. Yay! I miss her all the time and distance never stops us from getting along like a house on fire. I can’t wait to catch up with her, celebrate her wedding again and see her family (who always make me feel like a part of the family).

 

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Admitting to friends that I like watching interviews on TV that feature Justin Bieber. I don’t know why, but I do. It’s so…interesting? Oh, gosh it shouldn’t be. It really shouldn’t. I’m not even into him or his music really (although it pains me to admit his latest singles aren’t so bad). I just like reading gossip about him. Anyway, admitting it is the first step to recovery, right? Gosh, it made me laugh so hard when they all admitted to being secret Beliebers ?
  • The Little Mister’s happy face first thing in the morning (what is wrong with me – in theory this should really annoy me haha).
  • The bittersweetness that came with the Little Mister finishing his time at day care. It’s 4 year old kindy next year!!! I also felt so glad I could express my gratitude (in a Christmas card that was attached to some chocolates) to the carers for being a big part in why I think the Little Mister is so ready for the next chapter. When I read their email (sent out to everyone) that the cards and pressies they’d received last week had made them so happy and teary (in a good way haha), I knew I’d done the right thing – I had debated over whether to do the gift thing or the heartfelt card thing and settled on both because I figured that everyone wants to know they’re appreciated. I can’t thank them enough.
  • Running into a couple of really good friends at the shops and being able to wish them a merry Christmas in person (and give squeezy hugs), as we weren’t likely to see them beforehand.
  • Having mature conversations on really touchy topics, without everything turning to crap.
  • Throwing myself an end of year ‘staff’ party at home (being a SAHM I figured I deserved recognition for my hard work all year). It involved wine, was catered by Dominos pizza delivery, entertainment by the Little Mister (my esteemed underling), music from the 90s, and I swanned about a bit without having to do anything I didn’t feel like. Props to Mr Unprepared who truly humoured me (smart man) haha.
  • Hearing from readers who are inspired by my happy lists. I cannot thank you enough for sharing with me.

What is on your happy list this week? 

The Happy List #24

Well, hello there lovely person who is reading my blog! Welcome to my weekly Happy List thingy. It’s where I reflect on the stuff that has made me happy over the previous week – taking time to smell the flowers, kind of. So I don’t lose the lovely memories in the blur of adult life and all that.

So, here’s the stuff that has brought a little joy…

New couch feels.

Today we picked up my new gorgeous 3 seater sofa. It’s second hand and it is just gorgeous! I bought it from a gorgeous lady friend. I am so so so happy as I would never have been able to afford it brand new. It’s originally from Freedom and it has this real retro feel to it. It’s really comfy and while I am a little nervous letting the Little Mister anywhere near it, it’s great to start over! The old couch was horrendous. While we thought we could wait out the whole ‘having a small child’ phase of our lives with it, I started to get very very cranky about it. You sank into it (and not in a good way) when you sat down, you practically needed a crane to lift you out of it, it made your back sore every time you sat in it for a while and just about every part of it was detachable, which meant the Little Mister could remove all the parts and throw them around the room (or make boats/cars/forts/a mess) if you left for five minutes. It was also starting to look really…tired and embarrassing. I sold it for next to nothing on Gumtree to a young guy moving out of home for the first time and wished it well. That alone made me happy! I was so relieved when he looked at it (his mum was there for support) and didn’t change his mind!!

So anyway, back to the new couch. It’s SO CUTE. Change is slowly happening in my house and it’s making me so happy. I’m starting to see my own style emerging (instead of an ‘ugh that will do’ approach). My house is becoming a home – finally (it’s only been about 8 years haha).

Here’s a shitty googled shot of what it looks like because I haven’t taken a proper shot of it in my house yet. The picture does not do this little beauty justice! Squee!!!!

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Celebrating a beautiful wedding.

Yesterday, I got to attend the wedding of a really amazing girl and her groom. I met the gorgeous bride when we were scared new parents at a mothers’ group meeting and four years later, we all mean a lot to each other. Most of the mum’s group was honoured to be there and we had a blast. It was so nice to dress up too! It was a gorgeous day and I couldn’t be happier for the couple of honour and their beautiful son.

Wine was consumed, dancing was done. Love was in the air. So. Awesome.

Buying clothes for Mr Unprepared and totally nailing it. 

I went shopping with my mum (quality time – just the two of us) for the first time in ages and it was so nice. We did some shopping for me for an upcoming wedding and I realised it would be good to get something for Mr Unprepared as he hasn’t splurged on nice clothes in a while. I was nervous picking out some trousers and a dress shirt without him there to try them on, but I took a risk. My mum assured me that if I’d messed up the sizes she would be visiting the city again soon and could return them for the right size. We got home and after snap chatting him all day with photos of ridiculous clothes (just to scare him), he seemed a little relieved that I had bought him some nice things. He tried them on and he looked great! Since we’ve been together, I like to think my sense of style is slowly rubbing off on him haha.

Everything fit him perfectly – go me!

Ladies, I think I’ll get in trouble for this (sorry Mr Unprepared haha), but here’s my secret. You have to take your not-as-style-savvy partner just a teensy bit out of their comfort zone each time you shop for/with them. Show them how to take little risks and try new things, but don’t go so out there too early or it freaks them out. Mr Unprepared has discovered some great new things on his own over the years after I’ve done a little groundwork – it’s great 🙂

Clean sheets day. 

Not much explanation needed. Bliss. Especially when the weather has been warm and your sheets are crisp and cool.

These shoes. 

Manly-Black

I bought these from Novo (not sponsored – just love them) and they are so cool. They don’t make my stumpy legs look stumpier (like some strappy wedges do), they’re high enough that I feel like a normal person, but not so high that I fall over (although give me a bit too much wine and who knows). They are comfier than traditional heels. AND…I wore them to the wedding I mentioned above and I got ZERO blisters and my feet never got sore, even after a good dance session! I love how the style is fairly timeless. I can’t wait to wear these for a few seasons at least. I even bought the white pair so I can match to more outfits (after having to track them down in my size – they seem to have sold out in a lot of stores)! Yay.

You wouldn’t believe how hard it can be for me to find the perfect wedged shoe (I’m picky and my feet and legs are a bit weird). These are a miracle buy. Even better?? The second pair was half price. I was a total sucker for that deal! When you find something you love and will wear to death, I swear by buying it in multiples.

Gosh this has been quite the materialistic happy list. I feel a bit guilty for appearing to be so superficial but maybe it was a week for retail therapy!! Might have to take it easy until my next pay haha.

Other stuff that’s made me happy…

  • The Little Mister meeting a sausage dog for the first time. He was so confused. Hilarious.
  • A funny little Santa song the Little Mister learned at day care, complete with hand gestures.
  • Mr Unprepared humouring me through a rough bout of PMS and keeping me company at the doctor’s.
  • Mr Unprepared nailing the arrangement of cushions on the couch. I can’t even begin to tell you. He’s really getting some skills.
  • Thinking of charity for this Christmas.
  • Planning fun things to do with my Tassie mate Alice next weekend – how excitement!!

What’s on your happy list this week? x

 

Jeans with holes in them. Thoughts?

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Do you know what’s always been fashionable? Jeans. Jeans have always been in style. Sure, there have been many different kinds – flared jeans, 90s mum jeans, dad jeans with white sneakers – WTF, acid wash, entire double denim outfits – but they’ve been an enduring constant. It’s a huge wardrobe staple for most. Male, female, old, young, big and small.

Right?

Well…not for me.

I could just never get on board. My mum tried when I was a little girl, but nope. I wanted to wear pretty dresses. When I was skinny as a teen, I couldn’t quite get them to fit me. There’d be that pouchy crotch situation. Or when I put on more weight than I really wanted in my 20s, there was muffin top no matter what size I tried on (still is a bit). I just gave up after a while. I never felt comfortable in jeans.

Recently, I thought – you know what? I might give it another go. If I can get jeans to work for me, my life will be so much easier each day. Normal people wear jeans. I want to be a normal person who has something to wear! Every day!

I was spurred on a little because I’ve managed to tone up a tiny bit since I started working on my fitness. Knowing I’m making great changes gives me confidence that I wouldn’t just wear them twice and then have to throw them into that deep, dark section of my wardrobe where I put all the things that don’t fit anymore until I inevitably have to get rid of them. You know, just because I had lunch that day.

When I got stranded at the shops for hours thanks to a flat tyre recently (that was a fun day), I thought – may as well try some on! Got nothing better to do! And unbelievably I found a pair. I was stoked because even though there was a bit of muffin top happening that day, I knew it wouldn’t be a permanent problem thanks to my hard work on my exercise (I might have eaten some bad food court food before I tried them on – again – nothing better to do haha). I felt like I’d achieved something. I love that my new jeans have ripped knees. So cool.

Since then, I have worn them heaps. They can be dressed up. Dressed down. Worn almost anywhere. It’s so much easier to decide what to wear each day! I feel like a normal person. Normal people wear jeans. Actually, I feel casually celebrity chic – like just about any famous female picking her kids up from school or ducking into the grocery store – effortlessly amazing. I said FEEL like, not LOOK like haha. Oh, paparazzi. Stop it.

But I have to warn you. If you are thinking of purchasing your first ever pair of distressed jeans, there’s something you should know.

THERE WILL BE DAD JOKES. SO MANY DAD JOKES.

Not just from your own dad, but any uncles, granddads, other people’s dads. Even your own kid’s dad (which is a little embarrassing for that guy if you ask me).

They should put that shit on a label somewhere!

If I had a dollar for every time I hear…

“Hey, I like your jeans. Hey, I could rip up some jeans for you for free! HUR HUR HUR.”

“Hey, I have a pair of ripped jeans! I must be fashionable too!”

“Hey, did you know there’s something wrong with your jeans? They’ve got holes in them.” *wink wink*

“I should just rip up old jeans and sell them to young women! I’d be rich!”

SERIOUSLY, OLD DUDES? SERIOUSLY?

I guess that’s OK. I don’t understand some dad fashion myself (ahem socks and sandals *cough* Dad *cough*) so I guess we’re even 😉

Do you wear a fashion item that is always misunderstood? Do you own distressed jeans? Ever had the same problem with ‘dads’ when you wear them? Are you a dad? Are you down with the torn jeans? What do you think of the trend? 

The Happy List #12

Happy List#12

So, it’s been quite the week. I’m even writing/posting this happy list a day late! It’s been a big mix of emotions and events. Nothing too out there, but anxiety, a flat tyre on my car, the loss of a beloved security blankie (more on that later) and a bunch of other stuff (including the Little Mister getting very grouchy due to a suspected growth spurt) have played a part. It’s definitely been an exhausting week. Still, there were lots of positives hidden away in that week and it’s time to celebrate them (even if sometimes those things felt overshadowed by dumb stuff at the time).

Here’s what made me happy in the last week…

Colouring in

Ever since I was considered ‘too old’ to colour in, I have wished I could. For years, I would joke about buying my own colouring in book just for fun, but then wondered if that was too weird. Now, with the sudden craze of adult colouring in books, I am in my element! I found one the other day that I liked the look of, threw a new pack of coloured markers in my basket too, and brought it home. I immediately wondered if I’d wasted my money (it felt like I’d never get time to colour in), but the other night I needed to chill out for a few minutes and took my chance. IT WAS SO GOOD. Of course, I have read all about the benefits of colouring in as an adult, but I didn’t expect anything. I was just doing it for fun. Yet, no joke, a few minutes in and I felt so CALM! I hadn’t felt that calm in DAYS. It was truly blissful. Now I know I’ll be reaching for that book when anxiety comes calling. Especially at night, when my anxiety kind of tries to run rampant. Although, I do feel it’s only a matter of time until the Little Mister somehow gets a hold of my colouring in stash, despite my best efforts!

New glasses

My new glasses arrived early and to say I was excited to collect them is an understatement. I finally picked out frames that suited my needs (and style), as opposed to always compromising in the past. No more pesky rubber nose pieces that get knocked out of whack and are then all crooked when I put them on! No more flimsy frames that scare me when the Little Mister inevitably gets a hold of them! I’ve even managed to just pull off an aviator look from Country Road, with my first pair of prescription sunglasses (for driving in sunny weather). I asked Mr Unprepared if they made me look like a hot FBI chick or a secret agent of some sort, but he said no. How rude haha.

Buying some jeans

I know that jeans are not a revolutionary item of clothing. Most people have them and wear them every day. They are considered a fantastic, practically timeless (if you buy the right style) staple of any wardrobe. But for me, pants have been an issue. Muffin top, short legs, pouchy crotch, you get the idea. I get around this with shirt dresses and leggings a lot, but there are times when jeans just seem like the best option and I just haven’t had any on hand (or leg as it may be). While I was stranded in the local shopping centre the other day (thanks to my flat tyre incident – second one in 6 months – aargh), I figured I’d kill time with some dress ups. I decided to try some jeans. I love the distressed look skinnies, so I thought, why not? If they fit I might be tempted to buy them and if they didn’t, I’d just put them back, no harm done.

I was stoked to find a pair in a darker (and therefore more flattering) denim, with the odd sizes in stock (i.e. 11). I put them on and I wasn’t instantly repulsed! Yay! I still have some muffin top issues (I may have been eating badly in the past week) but with my usual exercise/eating routine, I knew it was not going to be an ongoing problem. I actually felt kind of cute in them. Massive win!

Spending time in the fresh air

Yesterday, we went to my parents’ place so Mr Unprepared could help my dad to cut down a whole bunch of trees and help with a bonfire. It was so lovely. We roamed about their 5 acres, stayed away from technology for the most part, and the Little Mister had a great time wearing himself out (and trying not to fall down rabbit holes). There were beautiful flowers everywhere, the sun shone for most of the day, and even though my parents don’t live far away from civilisation at all, it felt like we were sequestered away on a little country holiday. Bliss!

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A good night’s sleep when you’re tired

Ever have those days where you’re all, “Man I’m so knackered. I’m going to sleep so well tonight.”

But then you don’t? Because life is a bitch sometimes? And the problem goes on forever because you jinxed it? Well, last night this was NOT the case! I needed a really good sleep, I went to bed early and I got it! So satisfying. Please don’t hate me haha.

I feel so much more refreshed than I’ve felt in ages (instead of feeling worse which is sometimes the case). Thank goodness! The situation was getting a bit dire!

Other stuff that’s made me happy:

  • Knowing when to say ‘no’ because it’s the best thing for you. FOMO can go to hell – people understand.
  • The Little Mister playing so quietly this morning – that hasn’t happened in a while.
  • Having time to blog.
  • A little bit of sunshine after a few days of rain.
  • Seeing that my azaleas are about to flower.
  • Knowing my brother is following his dreams and is making the big move to Melbourne.
  • Having a morning at home to just regroup and chill out.
  • Some clarity on an issue I’ve been struggling with.

 

What has made you happy lately? x