Thursday, 27 November 2014

How To Deal With Being Apart From Your Kids

Pin It
Thanks to Bupa for sponsoring our Travel Insurance

Whilst I am so ridiculously excited about going to Dubai next week, if I am totally honest the thought of leaving Carl and my boys is making me feel downright sick to the stomach.

I dont mean to sound ungrateful in any way at all I truly don't, because whoa - this is seriously a once in a lifetime opportunity. Its just that 

they are my boys 

and Dubai is so far away and

you know right?

Its not just me that is struggling with the prospect of being separated; the two younger squids are finding the whole idea a bit much to bear too. So with that in mind I put the request out to all the lovely Facebook peeps for some tips and suggestions to help both me and the kids get through the period we are going to be separated from each other, and hot dignity dang not only did you guys not let me down, you had me in tears with all of your gorgeous suggestions.

It seems I am not alone when it comes to separation anxiety, there is a whole load of us who worry excessively about being apart from our partners / kids and most of us agree that the lead-up to the actual going away part is typically the worst rather than the being away itself.



But you lot have made some truly beautiful suggestions and for that I thank you so so much. For any of my fellow sookie la las facing some time away from your loved ones - heres some fabulous ideas to help both us and the kids cope with being apart from each other. 

You can read thefull list of suggestions here.


Okey dokey artichokey - Ive taken your advice on board and I have turned this years advent Christmas calendar into a way of staying connected with the kids and reminding them that I will not stop thinking about them whilst I am away.

For each day that I am gone, there is a special note from me along with a little gift for each of them. Just little things like a special pencil and notebook to write their news in, journal style so that they can share it with me when I get back. I have also included some new buddybangles for each of them and a photo of me wearing mine.


So booyah - you guys have my emotional well being under control for this up and coming trip and thankfully Bupa has the rest of me covered.

Its peace of mind for me and for the hubby too, to know that I am properly insured.

As well as covering my personal belongings against loss, damage or theft and providing me with cancellation cover, Bupa also gives me 24 hour world-wide emergency assistance. If need be (touch wood I wont need it) they can provide me with medical evacuation, refer me to a preferred doctor and monitor my ongoing condition.

Buying travel insurance from Bupa is easy as!

You can purchase it online from your mobile, via their website or in store and if you are a Bupa Health Member then you receive 15% of your travel insurance premiums.





If you are travelling in the near future, Bupa have a special offer for Life Love and Hiccups readers. If you buy travel insurance before December 31st 2014, you will receive a travel adapter kit. Conditions apply. Make sure you buy via this link or by calling 1300 555 240 to receive yours.


Just one of the many photos I will be taking with me. My hotel room is gonna look like a shrine!

Thanks, you guys, for all your awesome ideas for dealing with separation and thanks to Bupa for sponsoring our Travel Insurance for this trip to Dubai.

So tell me - are you a complete sook like me or can you happily wave bye byeto the kids and enjoy some time to yourself?

If you are the latter or someone who would give their right leg for a child free getaway, PLEASE feel free to slap me and tell me to snap the hell out of it!



Tuesday, 25 November 2014

It Twas Time To Bring Out The Big Guns...

Pin It

Oh Santa, have I told you lately how much I flipping love you?

I love you more than all the coal in the whole entire world, because YOU my friend single handedly manage to keep my tired cranky end of school term children from morphing irreversibly into proper little turds.

One mention of your name and the halos appear.

One "Did you hear that? It could be Santa spying on you" muttered from my lips and those rugrats fall into line quick smart.

One finger pointed at a light on the roof of the shopping centre (aka a CIA - Christmas Intelligence Agency Santa Cam) and my squids are putty.

One mention of a stocking full of a coal, a sack full of spuds or a bucket full of reindeer poo and those munchkins of mine turn impossible sweet and even make me consider getting up the duff  all over again.

Yeah OK that last bit was a bit of an overstatement, but you get the idea.

My boys were hot and tired over the weekend and did not want to co-operate with me and the hubby at all. Nope not one iota.

And so it twas time... it twas time to pull out the big guns and no I am not referring to the one litre bottle of vodka I have stashed in the garage.

The big gun I am referring to is the Jolly Fella in the Red Suit, The Big Kahuna of Elves, Sleighman, Twinkle Toes, Master of The Pole... I know I know - enough of the names already.

It was time for those kids of mine to walk the walk and put their money where their mouths are by writing their letters to Papa Noel and then wait to see just how good he thinks they have been this year.

Ahh it's the time of the year when bribery and corruption comes into play and I am ALL for it.

Have your kids written their letters yet?

If not, here's a free printable Santa Letter template you can download and print off. Leave it lying around and watch those kids pull their socks up to their necks and behave like saints.

I take all forms of gratitude.

One Litre bottles of vodka are most appreciated. ;)

Does Santa still reign over the little people in your household?
What does he bring to the naughty kids in your neck of the hood?

Monday, 24 November 2014

This is Really Happening!

Pin It

This Bloggerati Getaway is proudly sponsored by Dubai Tourism

There are officially five more sleeps to go before I, along with 20 other Nuffnang Bloggerati bloggers, hop on a plane and head off to Dubai.

FIVE SLEEPS people!!!

My stomach is officially in knots as I write this… a mixture of excitement and nerves and a whole lot of panic because MAN I have so much to do before I go.

Before I actually get onto that plane, there is Christmas to organise, presents to wrap, advent calendars to complete and packing… OMG don’t even get me started on the packing.

How I’m going to cram the gazillion kaftans and sandals I have purchased for this trip into one suitcase… I do not know! Besides, I need to leave room for all the stuff I am going to be bringing home with me right because... HELLO… The Dubai Mall! 


It’s only the world’s largest shopping mall at a mere 12 million plus square feet.  And  no probs if I shop them out of supplies... there is still at least another 94 malls to hit.





I’ve been obsessively Googling Dubai from the moment I found at that I was going. It has become my ‘thing’ to do when I need some time out.

I sit on my bathroom floor with the door locked and my laptop in front of me and I Google the bejeezus out of all the places we are going. I even burned some frankincense yesterday to really get me in the mood for a little bit of Dubai internet stalking.

I have no idea if they actually burn that stuff there but  go with me on this… three wise men… desert… camels… frankincense and myrrh.

You follow?

*ahem* moving on.

We were given a sneak peak at some of the things we are going to be doing whilst we are in Dubai, and oh my LORD I wish I could take the hubby and the kids and ALL of you guys with me.



And then there’s the camels we are going to ride. I have always dreamed of riding a camel, ever since one bit me at friendship farm at the zoo when I was a munchkin.

Or maybe that was a Donkey?

Whatever.  

Semantics really.

It seems I will be living my one hump or two dream on the SundownerDesert Safari.

Of course I’m not going to be dressed as fabulously as Carrie and the girls but hey, dude, I HAVE KAFTANS!!!


The animal encounters don’t stop with the camels. 

Apparently we will be schmoozing with a whole load of marine animals at the UnderwaterZoo and Aquarium as well as a penguin encounter at the Ski Dubai Snow Resort.


The things I’m most looking forward to, all revolve around immersing myself in the culture and experiencing everything I can to do with the heritage of Dubai.

I want to wander through the spice Souqs, and explore the bazaars. I want to stand on the beach and stare at a foreign ocean and for crying out loud - I even want to eat dates and drink that strong Arabic coffee. 



I had a dream the other night that I was being fed grapes whilst I lay upon gold threaded cushions in a Bedouin tent indulging in a little hubbly-bubbly.

I’m not so sure that is on the itinerary, but hey, a gal can dream yeah?

For those of you who have already been to Dubai… are there any must see things I need to put on my list?

For everyone else is there any tips or advice you can give me to ensure I suck all the marrow out of this incredible experience?

Friday, 21 November 2014

Weekend Rewind - Spilling The Beans

Pin It

A little while back Charlene from Teacher by Trade Mother By Nature wrote this 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me’ post and then passed the baton on to me. Only I didn't see it at the time because one thing that EVERYONE who knows me... like KNOWS me knows me, knows about me (huh??)... and that is that I suck at email and text messages.

They come in but I either don't read them straight away because I know I can't answer there and then and I'll feel like a major A Hole if I know that YOU know I have read your message and haven't replied ... and so I leave reading the message until I can reply, only then I forget that it is there and so I pretty much don't reply anyway until later... by which time I do feel like a major A Hole.

Also I have a brain like a sieve.

And I ramble a lot.

Clearly.

Anyway the idea behind Charlene's post was that I answer some questions - you know things that you may not know about me... which is as silly as tits really given that over the course of the last three years on this blog, there is not much I haven't told you. But we will give it a whirl anyways. 

So, time to start spilling the beans. Here's 20 things that you might not know about me or even care to know about me either...

How tall are you?  
Ha! everyone has this misconception that I am going to be tall when they meet me. I'm a short ass. Five foot three to be precise!

Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what? 
I can burp the alphabet... does that count? 
It horrifies my mother but my boys think I am incredibly cool! Disgusted Mother or boys that think I'm cool? Ummmm sorry Mum!

What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve? 
Hmm... biggest peeve... I think it would be when big name companies contact us and ask us to do a whole load of stuff for them like blog posts and photos and reviews etc and they get like REALLY demanding... all in exchange for a... wait for it... a shoutout. 

Um cause you want me to basically work for you right? How exactly is a shoutout going to put food on the table? Do they go to work for a shout out?

I love helping out start up businesses... but big brands with big budgets? Yeahhhh, I'll leave you to figure that one out.

What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve? 
Now that is hard to narrow down cause I have many. 

I hate it when people read over my shoulder, or look over my shoulder when I am talking to them. 

I cannot stand it when people eat apples really loudly next to me and they do that bite / slurp kind of thing. I once actually ripped and apple out of a colleague's hand and pegged it across the room because it was so freaking annoying.

I also can't stand mean or rude people. It's just not necessary.

See I told you I have a lot!

What’s your favourite song? 
My fave song at the moment is a toss up between Stay Alive by Jose Gonzalez and Wicked Games by Parra for Cuva.





What’s your favourite Etsy shop that isn’t yours?
I love Swanky Prints as she has an awesome range of photography backdrops I use for photo shoots.

What’s your favourite way to spend your free time when you’re alone? 
Lying by the pool with a cocktail in hand, a magazine and a notebook to write down ideas, some sandalwood burning and my fave tunes on the speakers... can I go do that now please?

What’s your favourite junk food? 
Kebabs! With hot chilli AND BBQ sauce.

Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names? 
Yep we have two dogs... dumb and dumber. Jokes. They are called Max and Milly and we have a crazy Lorrikeet called Lennie. 

What are your number one favourite nonfiction and fiction books?
Non-Fiction: Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now
Fiction: Oh man I have too many to chose just one fave. Every book I read becomes my new fave.

What’s your favourite beauty product? 
I suck at anything beauty related.. I have no idea what is for what. I guess if anything it would have to be my GHD because... bad hair days and all that.

When were you last embarrassed? What happened? 
Oh Good Lord, I embarrass myself practically every day, multiple times a day even.
I farted in the car when we arrived at soccer yesterday and the kids jumped out of the car so quickly holding their noses and squealing "ohhhhh MUMMMM" so that EVERYONE around us knew what I had just done. Embarrassing? YES!

If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Errrr hello! Vodka!




What’s your favourite movie? 
You've Got Mail or One Fine Day. Again I can't choose. 
Both are set in New York so maybe it's because I have a deep dark desire to go there.
I've always wanted to own a little book shop like the one in You've Got Mail, and I fell in love with the name Sammy because of Little Sammy Parker in One Fine Day... and *ahem* George Clooney is in that movie so um yeah. Coincidence? No.

What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep? 
I was a floater... I don't think I ever really fitted any one label or stuck with any one group of people. I was always a bit of a drifter. I was a total goody two shoes until I hit year nine and then I kinda went off the rails.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? 
For the moment, I am perfectly happy where we are right now. The kids love their schools and their friends, we love the beach, and we have our family all close by. 

That said I like to dream about a loft apartment in New York, and when the kids grow up, the hubby and I will do that Harry Holt to Byron or Noosa.

PC or Mac? I have a PC desktop and a Mac Air Laptop.

Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse? 
The hubby grabbed my boobs this morning and said I was his spunk. He also bought me flowers the other day too.

Favorite celebrity? 
Guiliana Rancic. She seems so real and funny and so damn courageous. Plus she comes with the added bonus of a hot hubby we can have a little perve on!



What blogger do you secretly want be best friends with? 
Nup, cant pick just one sorry. 

I pretty much adore all the bloggers I follow and the reason I so follow them is because I relate to them or they inspire me and they are the type of people that if we were to meet in real life - I KNOW we would get on like a house on fire.


How about YOU spill the beans now.. 
Pick a question or two or three and tell us your answers in the comments below. 
See if you can shock us with something we don't know about you ;)




Link up your favourite post from the past week and then if you get a chance, pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Heartfelt Living)Sonia's blog (Sonia Styling) or Kelly's at A Life Less Frantic
It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 4 places.




Thursday, 20 November 2014

Mango Mania

Pin It
This post is brought to you by Coles


Admittedly, it was not my best moment, but despite that I am still a mango devotee and as far as my kids go… well let’s just say that the mango doesn’t fall far from the tree. They are mango pigs! So much so that I have taken to hiding my mangoes in the fridge, behind the bags of broccoli and beans and things they claim to be allergic to.

Fortunately for us, mangoes are in season now, which means that we can happily make pigs of ourselves without breaking the bank.

There are a number of mango options available in Coles – all of which are 100% Aussie Grown.  I had NO IDEA that there was any difference between mangoes… I mean a mango is a mango right?
Wrong apparently.

The Kensington Pride is sweet and tangy and is by far the most popular making up for 70% of all mangoes grown in Australia. The Calypso has a firm fibreless flesh and is perfect for salads, the R2E2 Mangoes are sweet and mild and have a long shelf life, and the Honey Gold mangoes are firm in flesh with a rich sweet flavor that makes them ideal for smoothies and salads or to devour ala natural.

The early season mangoes are grown out of Darwin and Katherine in the NT and Kunnunurra WA and then the season moves across to Townsville in late November and then Mareeba QLd and Carnarvon WA through December.

Truth be told… I can’t actually tell the difference because I inhale them that quickly. You’ll just have to take my word on it. But given that one mango can provide 100% of your daily vitamin C, 35% of your daily vitamin A and 12% of your daily fibre… I shall inhale with glee!
When the hubby came home with a bag full of mangoes the other day, the kids and I practically savaged him. Once I safely extracted the mangoes out of harm’s way, I set to work adding a whole load of mango themed goodies into our weekly meal plan.

Here are a couple of ridiculously good mango recipes if you are now salivating beyond control and in need of a fix.



Oysters and Mango Salsa and Prawns with Mango Chilli Aioli.

You can find the recipe for the Mango Chilli Aioli here and the Oysters here and trust me - they are perfect if you want to create something to impress but you have about as much energy as a drunken sloth.

Not that I have ever actually seen a drunken sloth, but I imagine one would be kinda…. still?





Mango & Berry Muffins.

Ridiculously good. No need to say anything else except you can find the recipe for these muffins here.



Mango & Coconut Popsicles

These little puppies earned me the Mother of The Year crown from the squids. They took it off me again when I told them it was bedtime. It was a proud moment… whilst it lasted.

Mango Mania Cocktail

Ahhh and of course, you can’t go past a mango cocktail can you?
Ummm that would be a big fat NO!
Here’s my Mania Mania cocktail I created which can (God forbid) become a mocktail if you simply remove the vodka.

One last thing before I go – have you ever lost a finger trying to peel the skin of a mango? Well if you answered yes, let me start by saying that I’m so sorry about your finger, but… this might cheer you up a bit. A video from my insanely spunky celebrity chef crush Curtis Stone – teaching us how to peel those damn things.



What’s that Curtis *flutter flutter*?

I think you had better show me again… and again… Ok and again.


Are you mildly (bordering on obsessive) protective of your mangoes?
Who is your current celebrity crush?