2017Life Love and Hiccups: 2017
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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Less and More

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I remember reading this Less and More post over at the gorgeous With Grace & Eve a couple of weeks back, and it has kind of stuck with me.

At the time I recall thinking - HELL YES, I'm gonna do that right now... but then I must have gotten distracted by squirrels or something because it just hasn't happened... yet.

But the fact that it kept popping into my head made me promise myself that as soon as I should find myself with a spare 15 minutes or so, I would make myself a cuppa and sit down and write my own less and more list.

So, ahhh, this is kinda happening now ok?!

Less and More -  two very simple words that if we somehow manage to apply them to the things we do in our everyday life - BOOM what a difference we could make.

Instead of just dreaming about something we want to do or achieve, we can actually snatch it by the big old hairy toes, give it a yank and say "COME 'ERE BIG FELLA!"

Ummm

That sounded all kinds of wrong huh?

*cough cough* It wasn't really the visual I was meaning to conjure up.

Let's try again.

So the idea is that you choose some things you wish to do less of or give less effort to, and replace them with things you want more of.

Simple Pimple right?

OK, Let's do this.

Less routine, more spontaneity

Less gin, more mineral water... SNORE****

Less manic, more mindful

Less stuff, more memories

Less choice, more simplicity

Less rushing, more sitting

Less noise, more silence

Less screens and technology, more books

Less work at night, more romance

Less worry about stuff I can't control, more being thankful for what I can

Less overthinking, more doing

Just thinking about those changes makes me feel calmer. 

Thanks Elisa... I needed to do that.

Ok, your turn. Want to have a go?

It's ok, I will sit here and practice my silence wait whilst you make yourself a cuppa and write your list. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Oh The Irony...

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So we are head first into week two of the school holidays here and whilst I'd love to be able to tell you that my absence from this blog was because we've been busy working on our tans in Bali... but that would be a big fat lie.

A rather delicious sounding lie at that.

But alas, nup... I've just been doing the school holiday juggle like squillions of other parents around the world do at the end of every term. I've been trying to keep up a seamless appearance on the work front, whilst bribing older siblings to babysit and gratefully accepting generous friend's offers of 'playdates' to occupy the kids whilst I catch up on work... all the while battling the relentless guilt.

Oh screw me - THE GUILT!

I haven't spent enough time with the kids, I'm not on top of the washing, I haven't yet shopped for Winter Uniforms and now I have practically Buckley's chance of get a midget size school blazer made in time for first day back... insert at least 136 other valid reasons to feel guilty and...

GAH!!!!

That good old useless good for nothin guilt - Rack off!

Pfft!

Easter was pretty quiet around these parts. We lunched with family on Good Friday, caught up for dinner with friends on Saturday night and Sunday we ate our way through a couple of kilos of chicken that we had prepared for another family get together we were supposed to be hosting that was called off at the eleventh hour when ALL of our family couldn't make it after all thanks to a bucket full of reasons including and not limited to; head colds, work travel, and an old dog having dizzy spells.

No, I mean like a proper furry dog having dizzy spells (my parent's dog), I wasn't rudely referring to any human members of our family.

Despite the party that no one came to (sorry, I have to milk it at least a LITTLE) we ended up having an awesome Easter Sunday.

It was just the hubby, the kids and I and we cooked lots of food, sat around the fire, played guitars, sang far too loud and gorged ourselves stupid on wickedly rich chocolate / marshmallow / hot cross bun shmores (recipe from here).

It was pretty darn perfect and although I don't have a single damn photo to show for it - I couldn't be happier about that.

I didn't feel like taking any photos because Ive been going through a bit of a 'private' phase lately.

AHEM

Yes, it's OK, I'll wait whilst you snort wine out of your nostrils at the irony of a 'private blogger'.

But it's true though, I've just not felt like being 'out there' quite as much as I normally would.

I can't help but feel like the world has been crazy as batshit lately what with the threat of war, all the atrocities against children and families and innocent people that have taken place, and whole families wiped out under tragic circumstances. That has to have an effect on us all right?

I mean, how can it not affect you when you see it or hear about it on the news and through others?

It makes me feel like that photo I took of us in the city or at the beach or anything I was going to write about nice new linen sheets, a day in the city, a new recipe for lemon caper chicken I've recently discovered and ... well pretty much anything... sound kinda petty really.

Do you know what I mean?

And so I just say nothing for a little while and that's what I mean by 'feeling private'.

I just quietly press pause on the online world, edge back from the crowds, gather my tribe close and we bunker down under our rock and keep to ourselves for a little while.

It doesn't fix anything in the world.

It doesn't change anything or prevent any of the bad stuff from happening or any of it from affecting us, but sometimes it just feels like what I need for a little while.

Does that make sense?

Do you ever feel like 'switching off' for a while and keeping to yourself?

Anyways, how was your Easter? Have you had some time off? Are you mid juggle too?




Monday, 3 April 2017

Who Gave Him Permission To Go And Grow Up On Us?

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The days seem to be getting shorter and the months passing by quicker lately.

I remember my grandmother once saying that to me and at the time I recall looking at softy wrinkly face and wondering when exactly it was that she lost her marbles. 

How can time ever go fast or slow? Isn't time just time?

I think that's because when you are a kid, time seems to stretch on endlessly.

A birthday party or a sleepover that you are looking forward to in a week or two seems to take a lifetime to come around.

School Holidays last foreeeeeeever but the time in between lasts even longer.

Now, any holidays are over as quick as a fart.

Why is that?

Why does time move so much faster the older that we get?

Is it because we try to fill every hour of the day with something from our never-ending to-do-lists and because often as adults we are so focused on timelines and deadlines that we have lost the ability to to do nothing for a while and to ever allow ourselves to get… you know, like bored?

I sat on the couch the other night having a bit of a snuggle with my nearly 16 year old boy. 

I’m so grateful he is still wants to sit and snuggle (OK... lean on me) for a chat and allow me to ask him the million and one questions about all the things that as a mother I both want and need to know about what is going on in his teenage world.

“Do you still love your Mummy?” I asked him, already knowing the answer but wanting to hear it anyway.

He responded with a smile and then kissed my forehead.

WTF?????

My BABY kissed MY forehead.

My 6 foot tall size 12 hoofer with hairy bits man child kissed MY freaking forehead.

I swear only last week I was wiping his bum and chopping up his eggy soldiers into bit size pieces…. SO WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED???

Who gave him permission to go and get all grown up and man like on us?

Time is what happened. Age put a good old boot in there too.

Next thing you know he’ll be buying MY adult diapers, running me to bingo and booking me in for denture fittings whilst I sit there and tell him about how the years are going by faster and all the while he will be staring at my soft wrinkly face and wondering who the feck stole MY marbles.

Kind of dramatic, but not really right?

Ahhhhh slow down!!!

I'm so not ready to be all old and stuff yet.

Have you ever driven somewhere and then suddenly realised you cant actually recall the driving part of getting there... 
you're just kind of there?!

Do you ever looked at your kids and felt the same way? Like how did you get from being so little to.... THIS???


Monday, 27 March 2017

A Bit Of Insight Into Why I'll Never Be a Renowned Beauty Blogger

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I am never going to be a renowned beauty blogger - partly because I really suck when it comes to figuring out makeup and what to do and not do etc and, mostly because... well I really suck at figuring out makeup and what to do and not do etc.

My makeup case is an abysmal site to behold.

I have maybe two lipsticks, a blush that is fifty three years old, a concealer, a mascara (that probably should have been chucked yonks ago), an eyebrow pencil, some eye lift in a tube thingy, a pile of brushes I have no idea what to do with and a broken up palette of eyeshadows.

Yup abysmal.

I do however have fancy new foundation that has been blended to perfection by a lovely friend of mine to suit my exact skin colour and condition and I also have a new bag of brushes that actually says on them what they are for.

I haven't always been this bad with makeup.

Oh who am I kidding... I once swore that mousse foundation was the best invention since Donkey Kong (I know right... BIG call) and every time I go to the beauticians for a facial (generally once a year when the hubby gives me a voucher from the boys for Mother's Day) I get busted for using St Ives Apricot exfoliating scrub... on my face.

What???

In my defence, it makes my skin feels super tingly and nice after I use it and I guess I just figured that the red rawness is kind of a budget alternative to the expensive derma blasting thingy that the RHOS pay the equivalent of a 3 bedroom holiday house for.

I told you... a beauty blogger I am not.

So anyway, my gorgeous friend Sandra, who just so happens to be the make up artist on The Bachelor, also happens to be holding a pop up Custom Blend Foundation event at my studio soon and so when she popped in to see me recently, she mixed up some gorgeous goop for my face.

Sorry Sandra - 'gorgeous goop' is probably not the correct terminology right? ;)


What Sandra actually does is mixes foundation formula that is perfectly matched to your individual skin tone with all kinds of specific elements added to make your skin look freaking amazing. 

She can make your blend a full coverage kind of deal, or a lighter coverage like I prefer, it can have a matte finish or a dewy glow and she can add SPF,  extra hydration and retexturizers that fill and plump out lines.

That's my favourite bit of it - the filling out my lines part!

The Custom Blend Foundation has been tested by dermatologists, is vegan and won’t clog your pores. It's also paraben, fragrance and talc free.

Yay!

You don't even need to remember what colour your foundation is because Sandra keeps your unique recipe card on file so that when you come to reordering over the phone or email - it's super easy.





As I mentioned, Sandra is holding a Custom Blend Foundation Pop Up at Little Lane Workshops on April the 28th. The cost for an individual appointment is $95 and takes approximately 30 minutes and includes a bottle of custom blend foundation and a mini makeover.

You can book your appointment here and come and say hello to us at the Studio.

I'll be the one wearing the fabulously blended foundation and probably nothing else because you know... I'm possibly the crappiest beauty blogger in Australia.

*** This is not a sponsored post, just a plug for a friend who rocks!



Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Thursday Throw Back of the Most Mortifying Kind

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Clearly this is not me - I think I'm about to embarrass myself enough without photos!

I was driving home from doing a whole bunch of errands this morning, when out of the blue at a round-a-bout in the pouring rain - I had a flash back to being 13 and in high school and probably one of the most socially awkward crime scenes I have experienced... at my own hands.

I have no idea what prompted this memory, it literally just flew at me out of no where and there I was grimacing and knuckle clenching the steering wheel as I drove home via memory lane.

I'm going to share this memory with you because... well let's face it, all good embarrassing memories deserve to be shared right? Besides, I figure we all have dorky skeletons in our closets and so you may as well cringe with me and fully understand the level of dorkiness you are dealing with here.

Righty oh, as I mentioned, I was 12 or 13 and in high school, it was year seven from memory although I'm not positive about that but I am just assuming that it HAD to be year seven because surely I would have had more social pride by the time I got to year eight.

I was best friends with this girl who was on the brink of popularity. By that I mean that she had been 'noticed' by the cool crowd but hadn't yet been invited to join them.

She had a really unusual name, exotic I guess you could call it and she was a fabulous dancer... I thought so anyway but given I have always been about as graceful as sack of potatoes falling off the back of wagon I'm probably not the best one to judge grace... but anyway.

My friend had this most amazing long mane of dark blond hair that she would flick around in one of those true to eighties style dance moves and she and I would get around by day in our 'uniform' of sparkly spandex dance tights, an over sized white men's business shirt and a tie.

WHAT???

We were SO on trend back then *ahem*. Think about that 'Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun' movie and what they wore and you are picturing us ladies... at least that's what we were aiming for anyway.

Our 'Uniform' back then


I'm kinda rabbiting now aren't I?

I hear you - "Get to the point of the story Sonia... the really embarrassing bit you promised us".

Alright, alright... I'm getting there, I'm just setting the scene for you.

One night we were in her bedroom and making up dances in front of her mirrored wardrobe as was our usual sleepover ritual, when my friend announced that she was going to enter the talent quest at school.

"Yes! that's such a cool idea" I declared assuming that I would of course be a part of this dance extravaganza.

She eyeballed me with a look that clearly said... "you and I both know that you can't dance for shit Sonia, please don't do this". Trust me, she was right and of course I agreed with her about my dancing ability, I mean I had to because let's face it - I sucked, but I so badly wanted to be a part of this and I was sure that with some coaching she could get me up to speed.

Kudos to her, my friend tried to get me there... but alas, just like you can't make an onion taste like a strawberry, you can't make a Klutz like me into a dancer.

Ahhhhh, if only someone took me by the shoulders and slapped some reality into me back then.

So we signed up for the talent quest at school.

Oh gawd, you can see where this is going right?

Maybe there is a really GOOD reason I blocked this from my memory for all these years.

As the day of the talent quest drew closer I struggled with learning the moves of the dance. Heck I just struggled with the dancing full stop. My friend was all liquidy and stealth and could do those slinky hip movements with ease... me on the other hand was about as liquidy and stealth as the tin man pre lube job.

The night before the show we came to the conclusion that our current format was just not going to cut it, we both couldn't do the dancing part of the ummm 'dance' and so upon my insistence I was designated another very important role in the performance.

Yeah... wait for it!

Morning broke on the day of the talent quest and I excitedly (and in hindsight completely moronically) packed my uniform of shiny spandex and my dad's best white business shirt into my school bag.

We stood outside the hall where the talent quest was taking place and man we were amped. Our fringes were teased to perfection and we were sure that this was our moment, and after this everyone was going to want to hang out with us.

Well I was sure... admittedly my friend repeatedly asked me if I really wanted to go through with this.

Pfft... der yeah!

Our music cued and we jogged into the room, my friend moving perfectly in time with the music and wowing everyone with her grace and style... and me...?

Uhhhhh well let's just say I wowed everyone but not for the same reason as my friend.

Whilst she danced I performed my part of the act (KILL ME NOW) which entailed me lumbering around in the background attempting cartwheels and headstands and waving my arms at my friend like some coked up Price is Right model presenting a free washing machine.

I should probably tell you at this point that my cartwheels skills were NO better than my dancing skills and as for my head stands?

Well the few times that I managed to get my feet in the air I drew gasps from the crowd... but I'm pretty sure they were gasping at the sight of my ass in my sparkly spandex being shoved in their faces and nothing else.

It was social suicide.

WHAT THE FUCK was I thinking?

I don't actually know how I slept that night... or ever again.

After our disastrous debut, my best friend and her cool moves and mane of hair was embraced by the cool crowd. I of course was delegated to social pariah courtesy of my humiliating performance and I was forced to abandon my sparkly spandex for good... at least until the next talent quest rolled around and fresh new blood arrived to humiliate themselves and I was forgotten about.

I have NO idea why this memory chose today to surface some twenty *cough cough* years later. i have NO idea why I chose to put myself through all that either but the good news is - I can now laugh at it... all be it with a red face and toes curling in humiliation at the replaying footage in my head.

Thankfully my kids have shown no interest in taking part in talent quests as I don't know if I could cope with them laughing at me if I was forced to retell this story to them out of 'duty of care'.

Have you ever done anything like this to humiliate yourself?
Got any cringe worthy memories that you might care to share with us for our entertainment?



Monday, 13 March 2017

So THAT'S What's Wrong With Me...

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For ages now I have been feeling like an old flogged donkey trekking the path and getting nowhere.

I've been a cranky and impatient moll (crankier and more impatient than usual).

My brain has been foggy,  I've lacked my usual enthusiasm, my anxiety has been off the charts and I've been so irrationally emotional... like ridiculously teary.

Then there's the tiredness... oh my lord the overwhelming tiredness that no amount of sleep or caffeine or Married at First Site marathon was capable of curing.

I assumed it was because I've sorta been pushing it hard on the work front for quite some time now, generally working 7 days a week and then staying up till all hours after work trying to you know 'wind down' (catch up on recorded trash tv).

Admittedly though, in the back of my mind - I was starting to get a little anxious about how I was feeling, but I figured it would all sort itself out and I'd begin to feel more human and less donkey's ass again... eventually.

When I had to visit the Drs last week for a script, the hubby who has been badgering me for some time about getting checked out, insisted that I raise my 'tiredness' with the Dr.

So I did.

Indeed, true to my word I rattled off all the other symptoms I'd been experiencing on top of the tiredness and crankiness, things like... my hair falling out and blocking the drains (like LOTS of it), the headaches that was making me moody as fudge, people commenting on how pale I looked and yada yada.

I knew he was sitting there waiting for me to say 'and in conclusion' and then offer up some kind of Google self diagnosis like I usually would, but when he realised I couldn't even be assed with doing that, he promptly sent me off for some blood tests.

Turns out I am iron deficient, really iron deficient.

Like so super dooper low LOW iron levels that even the most starving of vampires wouldn't bother sniffing me as a pre dinner snack.

Well I'll be damned right?!

Some high doses of iron and possibly an infusion or two and I should be good as gold and feeling back to my old self again. Of course I will get the other check ups done to make sure the deficiency isn't being caused by something worrying other than the fact that I don't eat red meat.... but WHY did I wait so long?

Seriously, why did I let myself feel like crap for so many months when a quick visit to the Doctor could have put a stop to the crappiness?

Well I know why.

Because I am a wuss - that's why.

Yup, a dead set WUSS.

I'll happily drag my family and friends off to the Doctors for peace of mind, but I totally stick my head in the sand when it comes to myself, but I am the first to admit that my theory of "what I don't know, won't hurt me" really is a lame cop out.

How are you with going to the Doctors?
Are you on top off it or do you put it off hoping things will get better by themselves like I do?
Have you been low in Iron?



Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Magic Of The Parking Lot

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I'm in planning mode around here at the moment you guys. I've spent a good part of today with my notebook, my computer and a king size cup of coffee.

Ok maybe two or three kins sized cups of coffee because I stayed up late last night watching trash TV... but that's a whole 'nother post in itself.

There's always a zillion thoughts and ideas I have bubbling around in my head at any given time and with all that action going on up there - my head is at risk of exploding or something if I don't get those ideas out by writing them down.

So this week I am planning on knuckling down and focusing on that little gold book of mine in that photo up there. That book is very very special because that book could potentially be - my very own mine full of gold in the form of ideas I have had and I plan on serving up each one of those ideas and smashing them out of the Parking Lot.

Well that's the plan anyway.

I was chatting about this Parking Lot strategy I have with a friend of mine this morning.

He was telling me about how he frequently feels overwhelmed with all the ideas he has every day, and how he just doesn't know where to begin with them and which one to begin with.

I can totally relate with that kind of idea overwhelm... I mean, can't we all?

I shared my Parking Lot strategy with him, which is something that I adopted for myself many years ago when I used to make my living out of business development in the corporate world, and it's a strategy that I still use today as my make my way in my own businesses.

I thought I would share the Parking Lot with you guys too, as it's something you can use for pretty much any area of your life, blogging, family, hobbies, health and fitness whatever... and of course for business.

It's called the Parking Lot for good reason - it's somewhere that you corral and park all those million and one brilliant ideas you may have on any given day, until such a time that you are ready to give them a good look over and the energy you need to bring them to life.

Think about how many awesome and potentially even lucrative ideas you have when you wake up in the morning, or the ones that may come to you as you go about your day or as you drift off to sleep at night.

Now think about how many of those ideas are lost because much like a squirrel who gets distracted by nuts, your thoughts and ideas get distracted by kids and life and random thoughts and *POOOOFFF* just like that... those ideas are gone, maybe they've floated off to someone else who has more time for them and you will never have the chance to realise their potential.

What if you have somewhere safe to park all those ideas until you have the time and energy and you're in the right head space to think about them more and give them a plan on how you will bring them to life?

You could be sitting on a gold mine of ideas right there people and you need yourself one of these...


So the way the Parking Lot works is this...

1. You get yourself a drop dead gorgeous notebook or diary. One that makes you go all mushy when you look at it. You want this book to be like SUPER special because this book is going to be the home of your dreams and it's going to go EVERYWHERE WITH YOU... it will even rest beside your bed whilst you sleep.

2. Every time you have an idea, whether it be whilst you are in the shower, waking from a dream or cooking dinner, you need to write that idea into your Parking Lot as soon as possible. Include as much detail as you can at the time but don't be afraid to go back and add to an idea at any stage.

3. Now here's where the magic happens... set yourself a goal of actioning maybe just one or possibly two ideas a week if you have the time.

For each of those ideas - you are going to need to write out a bullet point step by step strategy or plan on what you need to do to bring those one or two ideas to life.

Break your plan down into bite size pieces of what needs to be done and give yourself set timelines for each step and a deadline for when you will have it finished... then get to work.

NOTE: If an idea doesn't go anywhere, that's ok... it may be a lemon and every Parking Lot has a few lemons in them right?

Right!

It may not be a lemon though... it may just not have been the right time to bring that particular idea out of the lot, so simply put it back and leave it parked there for another time.

4. Once you have actioned an idea - celebrate your win by treating yourself to something, even if it is just a coffee with yourself and your notebook in your fave cafe and use that time to dive into your Parking Lot and decide on the next brilliant idea you are going to put into play.

Keep on diving into your Parking Lot for ideas whenever you need some inspiration and add more ideas to it as regularly as you can.

With a little love, focus and energy, that gorgeous book of yours that you are carrying everywhere with you - could just be the key to all the success and the most amazing life you could ever have imagined.

So what do you think -  is this something that might work for you? 
Are you going to give it a go?



Tuesday, 28 February 2017

I Don't Want To EVER Have To Say Goodbye

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*** Please know that this post discusses the very sensitive issue of suicide and reader discretion is strongly advised***

I once knew a girl who was so lonely, lost, confused and unexplainably sad.

She was only sixteen and yet felt like she bore the weight of eighty or more years of living on her shoulders.

She didn't really want to say goodbye.... she just couldn't bear to carry the burden of her confusing pain anymore and although she was desperate for help from somebody, anybody... she just didn't know how to ask for it or where to even begin.

It all just seemed... too hard.

One day, she found herself so incredibly overwhelmed by it all and she just could not see the stars for the clouds and so she wrote some goodbyes to the people she loved, took some pills she found in her parent's bedside drawer and got into bed to wait for it to all .  just .  stop.

That girl is gone, I don't know her any more.

I don't not know her because she was successful in her attempt to end her life... no thankfully that wasn't how this particular situation played out.

I don't know her because she isn't that scared lost girl anymore. She is all grown up and happily married with three beautiful boys and surrounded by family and friends who love her and listen and care.

She is me, but I am no longer that girl.

In the past six or seven weeks, the world has said goodbye to 6 people within my immediate circle of friends and family.

SIX!!!

Six people whose loss has had an unbearable impact on their families and those who knew and loved them.

One of those losses was but a mere 16 year old boy.

I didn't know all six of them personally, some were friends of my friends and friends of my family members and yet I am so deeply saddened by their deaths and to be honest I am really struggling to come to terms with the age old question of... Why?

WHY?

Three of these people lost their lives following hard fought battles with various illnesses and disease.

That is so incredibly tragic.

Three lost their battles with themselves and took their own lives. All three of those were males, including a 16 year old boy who was a school friend of my niece.

That is beyond tragic.

It just doesn't make sense does it?

On one hand we have three people who were so desperate to live, to beat their disease and live their lives for as long as possible, and then, on the other, are three who clearly felt so lost inside for whatever reasons that they just couldn't hold on.

The thought of them shatters my heart into a million pieces.

When I look back at the 16 year old me crying in her room feeling so lonely and helpless, I want to hug her and tell her to just hold on.

I want to tell her that in the weeks and years to come, the things that seemed so huge and impossible to overcome back then, will be so insignificant that she may not even remember them.

I want to tell her to talk to her parents about how she is feeling, to talk to a friend, a stranger on the end of a phone line... anyone, just talk.

I want to tell her that it is ok to cry, that it's ok to make mistakes, and that you don't always need to be strong and brave.

I want her to know that sometimes just by talking, you can allow someone else to be strong and brave for you when you can't find the strength for yourself.

I want everyone who feels that sense of hopelessness to know this and to hear my words and feel my warm hug.

As a mother of three boys, my greatest fear is that they will ever find themselves feeling overwhelmed by fear or pain or internal battles.

My greatest fear is losing them, so much so that I can barely even whisper those words.

I don't ever want to EVER have to say goodbye to my children.

No parent should.

I want them to know that they can always talk to me and to their dad, about anything and that no matter what it is they may be feeling or any mistakes they have made, it will be OK... they are OK, we are OK.

I want them to know that they DO NOT need to man up.

They DO NOT need to hide their pain or their tears.

They DO NOT need to hide their feelings and fears.

No one should ever feel like they should have to do that.

Not ever!

Please you guys, make an extra effort tonight to talk to your kids, like really talk to them about their feelings and their fears and all the stuff that you might feel uncomfortable talking about, but is soooo important.

Encourage them to look out for their friends, and to talk to each other, especially the males because for some reason whether it be society conditioning them or not, our boys and our men often feel like they can't talk about how they are feeling or show their emotions and pain to others.

Talk to your brothers, your boyfriends and your husbands and make sure they are doing ok and not trying to carry too much on their shoulders.

Do this for them and for yourself and do it for everyone who wishes that they still had the chance to have that talk.

We need to be here for each other, to look out for each other and to remind each other that life is so very very precious and fragile...

Please, don't ever let go.

Please don't.



If you are thinking about suicide or experiencing a personal crisis - help is available.
No one needs to face their problems alone.

Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Just call 131114. PLEASE, just call.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Too Pooped To Pop - An Explanation of Sorts

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Can you believe that we are a hairs breath from being into March already...

MARCH you guys!

How the flip did that happen?

One minute we were on school holidays and the next... well the next I'm sitting here writing a blog post an lamenting how it is nearly bloody March!

I have been the worst blogger this year. THE WORST.

I have all the best intentions of blogging, I have had tons of ideas, a billion thoughts and a squillion projects on the go that I could share and yet... all you really have had from me this year so far is crickets and tumbleweeds.

I wonder every day what all my bloggy friends are up to and I ache to read and comment on all the blogs that I love to visit and yet I just haven't and I'm so sorry for that.

The truth is - I am tired.

I am soooo unbelievably tired right now and if it weren't for the fact that I have been working seven days a week (including at least a couple of nights a week too) since pretty much last October, I would seriously question if I was unwell.

I'm not unwell though thankfully... well not like properly unwell, although I copped a good old dose of the flu late last week which was pretty much like my body standing up on a podium and screaming into a loud speaker at me directly into my ear canal.... "SLOW DOWN YOU MORON".

The emotions of last year and what went on with my youngest son and school really took it's toll on me, more than I realised. Then the nerves and anxiety around him starting at a new school this year and one of my older ones starting at high school... well all of that anxiety chewed through a shitload of adrenalin and now that everything and everyone is settled and happy and peaceful once more my bucket of adrenalin is all dried up and I am finding myself a little too pooped to pop.

When I am tired like this, I get all emotional (read A LOT emotional) and I tend to withdraw from everything and everyone and hide away in my own little cocoon. I don't feel much like talking some days, which yes I know is VERY unlike me the verbal spewer, but I feel sort of raw and exposed and not wanting to put myself out there very much in case someone says something that sends me over the edge.

Someone asked me the other day at the studio "Are you ok Sonia, you look very tired" and I promptly burst into tears. BIG FAT irrational tears which made this poor woman recoil in horror and I could see the regret she had  over asking me that question literally dripping like sweat from her forehead.

I get it though, I'm not a pretty cryer!!!

The good news is I have finally found a gorgeous woman who I have hired to help me run the workshops, which means I will finally get at least one of my weekend days back and most of my nights too and the thought of that has me dancing on tables (all be it in my head only) and has given me a MUCH needed boost.

Anyway, blah blah blah... I just thought I would sort of explain what's been going on as I know I have worried some people lately with my radio silence and your kind and thoughtful messages and checking in on me has been unbelievably appreciated and well... I guess I just wanted to let you know that all is AOL and you can expect me to return to my normal program of relentless chatter very very soon.

How are you lot doing though?
Do you withdraw when you are tired too?
Do you have any magic cures or pick me ups I should know about?


Monday, 20 February 2017

A Dining Room Makeover on A Zero Budget

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

"Rack Off" Chicken Little

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I'm not going to even attempt to deny it... I'm a good old fashioned the 'world is falling in' Chicken Little Drama Queen.

You know, the type who jumps to conclusions like - if you don't answer your phone when I call you, you must be like lying dead in a gutter or something?

Yup, that's me.

Hi!

I'm also known for these pearlers too..

Worrying that a one off giddy spell doesn't actually have anything to do with the fact I forgot to eat brekkie and lunch... nuh uh, I googled it and I totally have a very rare form of brain cancer or a genetic blood disorder or possibly both.

Stressing when I don't see your text message for a few days and then I respond and I don't hear back from you straight away, then that means that you hate me and you've probably already stuck eleventy billion pins into a lifelike voodoo doll you made of me.

Of course I'm not brave enough to do that because surely if I do I will make a fool of complete and utter fool of myself, or fail miserably or insert a zillion other lame excuses here.

I have spent SO MANY HOURS, every single day, every single week, EVERY FRICKING YEAR OF MY LIFE sweating the small stuff and making mountains out of nothing and not doing something because I'm too darn chicken... and I am over it.

SO over it.

I've allowed 'worry' and 'anxiety' to make themselves too damn comfortable around here so after a particularly frightening panic attack back at the beginning of this year, I made a decision to ditch my Drama Queen crown and sash once and for all and stop stressing so damn much.

Whilst I haven't yet mastered the finer details of this new goal of mine... I'm getting better at it.

I'm checking myself more frequently and asking myself "is what I am worrying about is worthy of a good worry?" or "does it even warrant a fart of a thought at all?"

I'm making a conscious effort to seriously consider "does this (whatever it may be) really matter?"

I'm challenging myself with "What is the worst that could happen" and "is the worst really all that bad?"

I am asking myself, often throughout the day... "Would I be bothering to spare even a single second of a thought about this if I were lying here on my death bed?"

And you know what?

At least four out of five times, my answer is no and so I tell Chicken Little to "Rack Off".

I'm not going to lie... it still feels kind of clunky at the moment and I have to consciously stop myself from going straight to disaster mode.

I guess you could say I am a work in progress, but regardless - I am really starting to like the freedom that not worrying about quite so much brings to me.

In future I plan on hugging more chickens rather than behaving like one.

Are you ready to tell Chicken Little to Rack off?
Are you an obsessive worrier?
Do you have a Drama Queen sitting on your shoulder?







Monday, 13 February 2017

This and That and Some Other Stuff

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Monday, Monday, Monday - why must you always come around so fast?

No joke, it's kinda like Friday arrives and we are all "yayyyyy - it's the best day of the week, let's celebrate", and then we all start dancing and before we get to the end of the song  BOOM... Monday sticks its head up and jealously announces "sucked in, I'm here now" to which we all eye roll and bail the party like someone just dropped a fart bomb the size of China...

Or something like that.

Thanks heavens that awful heat wave has left us here in Sydney for a while.

I just don't know that I could have coped with another day of that insane heat but my thoughts are very much with those who are still battling the combo of heat and fires and then the extreme opposite - the flooding in WA.

We live in a crazy country right?!

How have you been coping with the heat / rain? Are you stir crazy yet?

I got by with the help of the air con in the car (yes I totally begged OFFERED to drive our kids around), along with a couple of dozen packets of lemonade icy poles and a shitload of Coconut and Lychee Tim Tams.

Holy bat balls have you tasted those things?


Last week, Tim Tams organised for Jayde and I and some others to be picked up by some fancy pants cars and driven to a mystery destination.

Whilst we were tempted to shove our passports in our bags in the hope of being whisked off to somewhere, anywhere that was cooler than we were, we weren't disappointed when we arrived at the Messina Gelato HQ in Rosebery because HELLO GELATO!! Hello COLD gelato!!

So it seems that Tim Tam Biscuits and Messina Gelato have gone and hooked up and had themselves a love child.... or more like a whole gang of love children in the form of the most amazing gelato inspired Tim Tams including; Choc Mint, Salted Caramel & Vanilla, Coconut & Lychee and Black Forest.

To celebrate - we spent the night eating Tim Tams and Gelato, Drinking Tim Tam and Gelato, Making Tim Tams, and more eating of Tim Tam and Gelato inspired desserts.


Deadset you guys, they are SO good and after devouring basically a whole pack of Coconut & Lychee and Choc Mint I would consider myself well and truly qualified to say so.

In other news, I am so beyond happy to tell you that three weeks in now and Flynn is officially loving his new school. Strike up the band *inset double cartwheel fist bump here* I can breathe again.

We are soooo beyond stoked that he has settled in, and relived as I have spent quite a few nail biting nights questioning whether we did the right thing, but seeing him so happy now, well that makes us so happy too.

Speaking of happy things - a very special little four year old friend of ours who just so happens to be like the most happy little human on earth, is doing something very very awesome...


That little cutie up there is Minty - Jayde and Steve's daughter (Little Paper Lane) and not only does this little bubble of sunshine plan on marrying my middle son, she also loves to draw and make people happy. In fact she wants EVERYONE in the world to be happy.

Her heart is HUGE for such a little human and so Jayde and Steve have turned her drawing of a heart into a gift card and 100% of the proceeds of Minty's Heart Card go to Rafiki Mwema - an amazing charity founded by Anne-Marie & John Tipper and Sarah Rosborg that supports children in Africa who have been abused.

It would be awesome if you could support Minty's dream of making a difference. Go with your heart and buy a heart card here.

Ok enough of my rambling for the day - I need to get dinner served up so that I can sit down and watch Married at First Sight.

I know, I know, totally trashy train wreck TV.

Deliciously mind numbing trashy train wreck TV and I love it.

What have you been up to? Any news? 
What trashy Tv shows have you hooked at the moment?









Monday, 6 February 2017

We Are Getting There

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Well you guys, we are into week two of the new schools for two of our boys - a change of school for Flynn and high school for Sam.

I would like to say it has been all smooth sailing... but the truth is it hasn't, not for everyone anyway.

Sam is stoked, absolutely loving high school so far, loving meeting new people and loving feeling all mature and the like. Totally NOT what I expected from a kid with such extreme anxiety but hey... I am thrilled about it so I'll just quickly knock on some wood and move on if it's alright with you.

Flynn?

Ah Flynn, our little crystal and Kombi loving hippy child.

Our happy go lucky confident dude seems to have gone AWOL at the moment and has left in his place a teary lost little soul.

Monday last week saw him smiling from ear to ear after his first day and I was fist pumping about how easy it was and thanking the universe for giving us a much needed break.

But then you know how they say that you shouldn't brag too soon?

Yeah, well that! Beacuse as much as he loved day one... day two... NOT so much.

Day three saw the arrival of some pretty nasty pre school stomach aches, a case of the wobbly bottom lip and by the time we arrived at the gates of the school, the tears had well and truly set in.

With every tear that fell, I literally felt like my heart was being ripped out, chucked on the ground and stomped on.

I was trying really hard not too cry with him, really hard, but I hugged him harder and longer than usual.

Somehow I managed to hold it together and after kissing him goodbye, I put on the sunnies and bawled my way back to the car and all the way to work.

He misses his friends and he just feels a little awkward and out of place and... just lost. It's as simple as that... he just feels lost.

He really likes his new school, he thinks his teacher is pretty darn awesome and he says that all the kids are really friendly... he just misses his old friends and the familiarity he had walking into his old school every day.

By the end of last week, things were improving.

He found himself settling within a group of six awesome little dudes from his year and one who lives up the road from us. Actually, now that I think about it, 'awesome' is quite the understatement when it comes to describing those kids because after they came up to Flynn and I as we waited for the bell to ring and introduced themselves and asked Flynn to play, I could have hugged the guts out of each one of them.

Now, I need to get my brave on and organise some playdates with those kids. It's my turn to get all nervous ringing mums that I don't know and introducing myself.

Gah!!!

You never quite grow out of the nervousness do you?

It will get better, I know this.

It will get easier and he knows this.

He rated today a seven out of ten. That's a HUGE win in our opinion.

Bring on an 'eight' day.

It's coming right?

Have you guys changed your child's school? Or did you ever change yourself?
Any tips for any of us going through it or considering it? 
I would love to hear from you if you have any experience you could offer.



Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Off The Leash

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Brought to you by Nuffnang and Sydney Cycleways 

I’m not one of those helicopter kind of mums when it comes to our boys….

BAHAHAHA who am I kidding? I SO AM one of those helicopter mums and if I could wrap my kids up in a suit made out of extra thick padding and microchip them with a homing teleporter kind of thingamajig then I totally would.

I live in constant fear of something happening to one of my kids… don’t we all?

Even though I know that you can’t live like that… I sort of just do anyway, we probably all do.

If they are not at home and I hear sirens nearby I have to ring them to check that they are ok because what if that siren is for them?

We have had safety talks, stranger danger talks, respect your body talks, water safety talks, friendship talks and we have had the ‘scare the bejeezus’ out of them when it comes to drugs and alcohol talk.

There are certain things I and we (as in them) can have some control over when it comes to protecting them, you know diet, health, making smart choices and all that, but it’s the things we can’t control that scare the crap out of me - like accidents.

We are a bike family… ok wait, no, we don’t get around in leathers on Harleys and stuff. I mean we like to ride our bikes a lot - to the beach, the shops, friend's houses etc and even though the kids wear helmets and carry phones with them etc, I am terrified that when they are out riding on their bikes, they might forget to look, or other people on the road don’t do the right thing by them.

Next week, my youngest starts at a new school, one that is within bike riding distance and ever since the decision about the new school was made, he has been asking if he can ride his bike to his new school with some of the other neighbourhood kids.

WHAT THE?

No. Definitely NOT!

He is my BABY!!!

OK, he is nearly ten… but he will ALWAYS be my baby and as such I need to protect him in every way that is humanly possibly… right?

Despite the fact that every bit of my being was begging me to shout “OH HELL NO”, I actually squeaked out a “yes okay” instead and I have suffered from sweaty palms ever since.

I trust him… kinda.

He knows how to ride safely… sorta.

He is responsible… well kinda sorta.

Bike riding is such a good way for the kids to spend their downtime and it’s an awesome way to get around. Besides, it’s fun - don’t you remember the freedom you felt when you would ride off up the street on your trusty old bike? Just you and the bike and the road to adventure.

Yep, we needed some help to get him ready for this new found independence and me ready for this too for that matter.

Last weekend all five of us headed out to the Sydney Cycle Park at Alexandria for an afternoon of bike safety training and cycling around the city with Rob and Jules as our guides teaching us the dos and the don’ts and all the info we needed to know to keep our boys (and us for that matter) riding safely on the roads and Flynn safely to ride safely to and from school on his bike.

Did you know that anyone older than 12 is not allowed to ride their bike on the footpath unless it is a designated shared pedestrian and bike path?

I sure as hell didn’t and that information alone was enough to send me into hyperventilation city because I actually TELL my kids to ride on the footpath.

You can ride on the footpath if you are accompanying someone under 12 or carrying a child seat, but other than that - nah uh - you need to use separated cycleways and low trafficstreets, obeying the road rules and taking responsibility for your own safety and that of those you are sharing the road with.

HOLY SPITBALLS hold me.

The good news is, if you live in Sydney, our councils are working very hard to protect us bikies and provide as many separated cycleways and shared paths as possible. I’m pretty sure other states are doing the same too.

You can even hop online and download maps that show you the safest routes to take to where you want to go via your trusty pedal powered steed.

After a half hour classroom session learning the rules and then a couple of hours out riding on Sydney City roads practicing drills and the rules - I am breathing a lot easier about the whole riding to school thing.

I’m not quite ready to shut off the chopper engine just yet, but I am getting there and that’s a start.

My fellow Sydneysiders - I seriously encourage you to spend a couple of hours at the Sydney Park Cycling Centre with your family. You can take your own bikes, and for $20 bucks you can do a fourhour course designed to develop the skills and confidence required to be an effective bike rider.

TOTALLY WORTH every cent.

The courses run on weeknights and weekends and as well as parent and child courses and bike maintenance courses there are even ones dedicated to women only and rusty riders too.

I will be breathing a little easier as I send Flynn off on his bike to school knowing he has these news skills and knowledge under his helmet… although I’m not going to promise that I won’t be stalking him from about 50 metres back, you know, just to be sure.

We all have to start somewhere though.

For more information on the courses, cycle safety tips and maps etc, head over to the Sydney Cycleways website here.

Do your kids ride to school too?
At what age did you manage to release the reins?