October 2012Life Love and Hiccups: October 2012
Life Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and Hiccups

Wednesday 31 October 2012

A Sweet Smelling, Pretty and Handy Obsession of Mine

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I have a thing for Glasshouse Candles and Diffusers. Let me be really clear about this, when I say a thing I really kinda mean an infatuation.

I have the Coconut and Lime burning in the bedroom, the Verbana Diffuser in the bathrooms and at the moment I have the limited Edition Coney Island frangrance wafting through the living areas.

Umm I did say infatuated didn't I?

To be fair - I live in a house full of males, so I need to disguise the smell of testosterone that stains the air. So as soon as the male species leave the house for the day, I light one up. Granted it is totally for my pleasure, but it makes for a sweet smelling house if you ever care to visit  me.

I also love lighting one at night while I lie in bed and read or watch tv. It's a little bit of luxury that helps to create an oasis of calm and if the planets are aligned and the dishes done, maybe even some romance.

Apart from the gorgeous testosterone obliterating fragrances and the warm ambiance they create, the thing I really love about Glasshouse Candles is that they just keep on giving, even when the candle runs out. Hear that dear Hubby and children? This is why I chuck the biggest tanty if you dare to dispose of these precious jars of mine or use them for collecting snails, spiders and dead bugs.

Oh Man - Please do not tell me you also throw your empty candle jars out? Please Nooooooo!

These jars can be used for so many things around the home. So useful and pretty. To be fair I didn't realise just how far my useful and pretty obsession had spread or even how many of these candles I actually go through in my home until I had a good look around. Its kind of like my fish obsession in the way it just sort of snuck up on me.

Once I realised I had a problem a healthy interest in these candles I decided I had better do a purposeful home roam and photograph just a few ways I use the candles and the jars when they are done. Please note this is all part of my defense case for the day the white coat men arrive in their van to pick me up for that special holiday.

So what the hell does one do with all these empty candle jars?

Well I use them as vases as they are the perfect size to pop some fresh flowers in. Sometimes I pretty them up with some ribbon, other times I just prefer the simplicity of them undressed.

They make for the cutest little sugar jar in the kitchen and I guess you could use them to store pretty much anything really. See - cute and practical.

I love collecting shells, driftwood, pebbles and starfish (yep, yet another obsession it seems) so you will find these little collection jars sitting around all over my house looking all smug and special.

My favourite of the moment is the limited Edition Coney Island which has the sweet smell of Burnt sugar and Fig. One word - Heavenly. And how cute is that gorgeous blue jar. This one is sold out at my usual haunts so if you know where I can get more of it, please let me know, I'll be forever grateful. My husband not so much but hey, let me deal with that one.

I put a photograph up on Instagram and Facebook and you guys came up with some more great uses for the jars too, so I thought I would share them with you.

Cleaning them out when the candle runs out is pretty easy as the wax is very soft. Here's what I do.
  • Warm the jar for 30 seconds in the microwave and then scrape out the leftover wax.
  • Use a blunt knife to scrape the little metal wick holders on the bottom of the jar. They are super easy to get off.
  • Using paper towel give it a good wipe out to remove as much of the soft wax as possible.
  • Soak it in a sink or bucket full of hot soapy water and give it a good scrub.
  • Once again give it a good wipe out with paper towel.
  • The gorgeous smells tend to linger so I found a good wash in a dishwasher gets rid of that, but someone also suggested leaving some bicarb in it for a few hours.
Walah. You now have a gorgeous jar you can use in so many handy ways. My obsession can now be yours too. You're Welcome! Just avoid the temptation to get too carried away or I'll be seeing you in the padded suite on that Special Holiday..... or on an episode of hoarders.

By the way, this post is so not sponsored by Glasshouse. It is simply just me over sharing yet another of my many obsessions with you. But Glasshouse - if you are reading this, please feel free to call me he he.

Have you got any other uses for these gorgeous candle jars I should know about?

Tuesday 30 October 2012

I am SO Running Away And Joining The Circus!

Pin It What kid hasn't joked about running away and joining the circus?

I used to lay a rope along the ground and pretend to tightrope across it complete with the full wobbles and the fake scared for my life facials to boot. I can also remember a friend and I trying to tame her families lion (aka little sister) with a chair and a stockmans whip. She was completely un-tamable and we got seriously busted big time by her mum for being cruel to the pets.... I mean children.

Clearly I was an imaginative child... or a few screws loose.

I had a habit of walking around pretending I was the bionic woman and I would even do the slow motion movements with the chhhchhhchhhh sound effects. I also told everyone in year 1 that Luke Skywalker was my secret brother but they couldn't tell anyone as it was like a huge family secret.

I digress .... again .... what was that about loose screws?

In the school holidays our friends took our 7 year old son Sam to see Cirque Du Soleil and he raved and raved about how totally awesome it was. My youngest was all "meh  whatever, what's for dinner?" whilst my oldest was completely and utterly devastated that his brother got to see it and he didn't.

You can imagine the major .... no like MAJOR major brownie points I earned with one said devastated son when I announced that he and I were invited as VIP guests to OVO by Cirque Du Soleil.

Did I milk it? Oh hell yeah!

Now taking my 11 year old Kai to see Cirque Du Soleil was enough of a treat in itself, but to throw some extra cream and a big fat cherry on top, we got to go as VIP guests and have access to the VIP Rouge Suite where we were wined and dined (well I was wined, he was loaded up with unlimited soft drink) AND meet with one of the Shows Performers.

So last week on a school night (helloooo there you rebels) we headed out to the Entertainment Quarters at Fox Studios, ready for a night of adventure.

Before the evening's festivities began, we had the opportunity to meet with one of the lead musicians and an incredibly talented and completely down to earth guy, Sebastian Savard. 

Sebastian ran away and joined the circus back in 2002. OK he didn't really run away but he did join Cirque Du Soleil back in 2002 as a violinist on Quidam. He comes from a family of musicians and performers so performing is well and truly in his blood. 

In 2003 whilst on tour in Japan, he met, fell in love and married his wife. Since I am such a nosybody, I had so many questions about life on tour and juggling family life and Sebastian seemed more than happy to humour me and answer my nosy questions.

Sebastian and his wife had their first child, a daughter (now 7) on tour in New Zealand in 2005 and his second child, a son (now 4) on tour in Portugal in 2008. The family always travel together and whilst they are oceans away from their blood relatives, they are part of the big yet very close Cirque Family.

There are 54 performers in the show from 16 different countries and between them there are 30 children aged between 2 months and 15 years.
I wanted to know all about schooling for the kids whilst they travel and Sebastian told me that Cirque Du Soleil has a school that travels with them especially for the children of the performers. There are currently 5 school age children in this troupe and they have 2 teachers that travel with the kids and they are taught all the normal stuff that kids their age are normally taught in school but they are taught in English and French. 
My son was curious how Sebastian's kids feel about moving constantly and where they stay. 
We were told they spend 2 -3 months in each location and they stay in apartments in the city of their performance. The kids turn every place they stay at into an adventure and they decorate their temporary homes with drawings and artworks and all the normal kid stuff. 
They believe that home is wherever Mum and Dad are, they know no different, but know they are blessed with an incredible life. Their routines are just like those of any permanently home based family and the only difference is they get to experience new cultures and different places and they are taught from such an early age that "the world is theirs to take care off".
Sebastian's wife along with many of the other partners often work on tour in the box office and other roles within the production and they also do jobs like run Yoga classes and massages etc whilst the kids are at school. 
Both my son and I were so curious and we could have grilled poor Sebastian for ages if it weren't for him being called away for a pre show sound check.

With the interview under our belt it was time to (as my son proudly put it) walk the red carpet and experience what it is like in the VIP Rouge Suite pre show.

I'm telling you - we could totally get used to that type of treatment. Imagine as a kid, unlimited access to food and soft drink and popcorn and for big kids (moi) champagne and the most divine food like Peking duck and steamed Barramundi. I'm seriously considering becoming a Cirque groupie! No - I'm not really kidding.

After all that spoiling we almost forgot we still had the best bit of the night to come - the show. I honestly don't know who was more excited, me or Kai. The fact that I needed to pee many times in the 10 minutes before the show highly suggests I was the most excitable.

The show itself was seriously amazing. This particular story OVO is about a colourful eco system where insects work, eat, play, fight and look for love.

The almost inhuman contortions and acrobatics had us holding our breath all the while mesmerised by the whole experience that was the music, the sets and the costumes. I challenge anybody to see this show and not walk away either completely speechless or at the very least wanting to run away and join the circus.

Me - I'm personally very glad my husband didn't come with me. I mean imagine if he saw the way these woman can bend and contort..... the expectations of living up to that! You know what I mean!

OVO will be in Sydney until 25 November 2012 and will then continue on its national tour with
seasons in Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.

Tickets start at $64 per child and $84 per adult and there are special deals for family passes. Or you can experience the show VIP Rouge style from $295 per child and $335 per adult.

For more information or to book your tickets visit the Cirque Du Soleil Site here.

Thank you so much to IP Publicity and Cirque Du Soleil for a truly magical Experience.

*Disclaimer: I was not paid to post this, but we were guests of Cirque Du Soleil for a night. All opinions are my own and completely unbiased .... possibly even seriously understated!

Monday 29 October 2012

There is No Place Like Home!

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I am the biggest homebody like ever. I love the rare Sunday when there is nothing on. No kids sports, parties or comittements. Zilch, zip, zingo. Nothing but just hanging at home with plenty of hours to just potter as happy as a pig in a pit.

I never seem to get bored and there is always something for me to do from pretending to know what I'm doing as I hack away in the garden, organising or even reorganising something for the zillionth time, hiding away in my lady cave and creating or just generally foofing around.

And it was foofing I chose to do this weekend and the subject of my foofing? The front entrance and the front garden.

I have no idea why I chose there specifically to foof apart from the fact that I love it to look nice and welcoming so when I arrive home from being out, I have the ahhhhh I'm home moment before I make it into the door.

Come on I want to show you my foofing.

So tell me what you got up to over the weekend?
Are you a home body too or do you prefer to be out and about on the weekends?

Thursday 25 October 2012

The Story and The Words I NEVER Thought I Would Say - I Heart My Body!

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I never thought I would write this post, I didn't believe I had it in me and even as my fingers mechanically translate my thoughts I still can't believe it I am really sitting here about to share this with you.

I have never had a good relationship with my body. I was born with talipes and a club foot which required over 30 operations to get me up on two feet and stay there. The operations and the condition itself was painful, the time spent in hospital and away from friends and family was emotionally and socially painfully. But the most painful thing was the way I despised my body.

Those scars and physical abnormalities were the cause of years of teasing and as I grew older they were the cause of years of self loathing and abuse. I would starve myself to be thin because it was something I could control. I couldn't remove the scars or change the shape of my legs to make them look like everyone elses, but by God I could be thin like them.

For years I pushed my body to do things it really shouldn't have done. Not happy with the fact that I could walk alone unaided, I skated, skied, surfed, jumped off mountains - all things they said I would never do. I don't really know what the greatest motivation was. I wanted to prove them wrong, I wanted to see how far I could push my legs and I just so desperately wanted to be normal or at least what I thought was normal.

I did more than my parents who sat in the hospital with their physically impaired newborn, would have ever imagined or dreamed I would do.

But I still could not accept my body.

Love and Motherhood are the most amazing gifts. They put into perspective so many different things for me.

My husband fell in love with this scarred and less than perfect body. He decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with that body.

Together we created life, and within that scarred and less than perfect body I grew three of the most amazing  children ever.

When those legs were again damaged in an accident that saw me almost back to square one, I almost gave up. For nearly two years I allowed myself to be dwell in the biggest dark pit of anxiety and depression whilst I fought to rebuild those legs.

But throughout those dark moments, my husband and my children, my family and my friends supported me and loved me.

Me........ They loved me with the wonky legs and scars.

They loved me for who I was, not how I looked.

I can't change the shape of my legs and try as I might I cannot fade the scars on the exterior, but it is because of those imperfections I am who I am today. I can't change the teasing that took place or erase the heartache I felt as a child and teenager for not feeling normal or like most other people. I will probably always dream about wearing short little dresses and cute high heels and running and just walking without pain.

But that's OK - dreams give you hope, something to aspire to and a place to escape to when the pain gets a little too much.

Today something truly amazing took place. Reading all the other amazing stories over at We Heart Life I was inspired and uplifted. I realised that for the first time ever I want to tell my story. I want to inspire through my story. I want to tell the world about something that I have never really spoken about to anyone apart from my husband, parents and my therapists.

Today I can proudly say for the first time ever - I wouldn't want to change anything about my body. Not really. Because my imperfect exterior shape has been responsible for shaping my interior - my heart, my soul and my true being into something I really do love and am proud of and something I don't ever want to change.

For that reason alone, I heart my body. My imperfectly perfect body.

I encourage you ... no I implore you to go over and check out all the other amazing woman and their stories and no matter what your shape - learn to love your beautiful body for what it is.....  a beautiful You!

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Please Feel Free To Slap Me.....Hard!

Pin It I am kind of likening it to chocolate or carbs .... or both, when you know you can't have it - it only makes you want it more!

I'm talking about babies and the regret that comes a little while after you put up the closed for business sign and throw out the welcome door mat, once and for all.

The craving isn't there all the time, just every now and then. Like when I get to hold a newborn and I smell that sweet talcum powder baby smell and they make those cute gurgling noises. I'm not talking about the gurgling noises they make as they chuck up over your shoulder. I have selective memory and that is one of the things I choose to forget.

The decision to get my hubby desexed wasn't one we made on the spur of the moment. OK so the decision may have been partially (like a lot) influenced by a number of moments where the kids were doing their best devil child impersonations, but overall a lot of thought and discussion went into it.

What I didn't expect is that I might change my mind a few months down the track.

Here's where I give you my full permission to slap me in the face like really hard. You can then sit me down and recount the numerous horror stories I have told you about my kids when they were toddlers, about the multiple visits to Drs to extract things from noses, and children who insisted on acting like a dog and would only eat their dinner if you served it in a bowl on the floor.

But you can slap all you like, the reality is that thanks to Pinterest my ovaries are screaming at me to makeover a new baby nursery. I linger far too long over the Baby clothes in catalogues, get a little too excited with Baby Showers and I make far too many clucking sounds and mooshy baby faces at strangers prams in the supermarket.

Maybe it is because my baby is growing up too quickly and starts school next year and I am getting all nostalgic and sentimental. Perhaps it is because I had broken legs for my last two babies and I missed being a real mum in many senses. It could be that I am so over the stabby uterus every month and I am aching for a 9 month break.

Or lets face it - this all could just be a case of the recent bout of gastro spreading to my head and giving me really shitty ideas.

Whatever the case may be it is a moot point and the baking oven is closed, the roadblocks are well and truly up and the tide is out for the little swimmers. Clearly I am just having one of my moments and need to get over it.

Someone hand me a screaming reflux baby with a pocket full of poop STAT. I am beginning to scare my hubby and he is starting to wander around with his hands permanently nested over his private parts.

Maybe I should just stare at my face in the picture below for a little while and try and relive that moment..... though it has to be said I was rather partial to that happy gas.

Have you ever wondered if you closed shop too early?
Do you ovaries ache at the sight of a shiny newborn?

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Moooooosic to My Ears!

Pin It I am a little relieved and giddy with a mixture of hope and sentimentality at that moment. As I was just sitting in my suburban backyard soaking up some of the gorgeous sunshine and fresh un-gastro touched air, I heard it .... the mooing or actually more of a mehhhhhhhhing.

You may recall last Spring I was kind of excited when one of the residents in the nursing home behind our house took to mooing like a cow. He (or perhaps a she with a very deep moo) did the most realistic impersonation of a cow and for this little suburbanite it made for quite a pleasant change to the normal suburban  hum we usually have.

You see I could sit in the backyard with my cuppa, close my eyes and imagine I was on some gorgeous country property surround by sheep and cows. Behind my closed eyes I could picture my kids roaming through fields of golden wheat happily playing tag whilst I sit under the sweet wisteria on the back porch sipping my tea and reading Country Living whilst my hubby makes cheese in the nearby barn. Cheese? Random I know.

The mooing suddenly stopped a few months ago and I was seriously greatly saddened by the thought that my mooing neighbour may have gone on to greener pastures. But no! I am pleased to report that he (or she with a very deep moo) is quite okay and was back to mooing with passion today.

Oh Happy Days!

Monday 22 October 2012

When Sharing is NOT Caring!

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Bless you dear children (said with great restraint), you have finally decided to listen to one of my parental rants about sharing being caring and all that. But did you really have to go and choose a time when you all have a crappy Gastro Bug to start the sharing?

The weekend has been a bit of a bummer - pardon the pun. My precious little children felt that it was really quite selfish for them to keep the bugs all to themselves and so they decided to share it .... with me. I likened it to a "Do you think we are pretending to be sick now Mum"? kind of statement on their behalf but perhaps more subconsciously because I'm sure they weren't capable of coming up with something that clever  as they were lying all over me with their chuckit buckets.

On Saturday morning Sam was really quite sick. After 4 days of not being able to hold down any food or water we were advised to take him up to the hospital and since I was puking anyway we decided out of my hubby and myself it made more sense for me to go and hang out with all the sick people.

We made a great pair my boy and I. Sitting in the waiting room with our respective buckets. Me rubbing his pale little face with a cloth whilst I sang a song of thunder into my sick bag.

They took us through pretty quickly. I don't think we were very good for business the way we were lying all over the waiting room benches looking like death slightly warmed up.

I explained to the Drs (in between intimate chats with my bucket) that we were actually here for Sam, but somehow I ended up next to him with a drip stuck in my arm and wondering how my poor husband was doing at home with the other two sickies.

He was doing OK but as expected was exhausted from looking after all of us.

I love the message Emily sent my husband to pass on to me; Remind Sonia of the classic line from Devil Wears Prada when the girls says "I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight". It may make her feel better.

It totally did make me feel better thanks Em xxx, though I think I may be more than one stomach flu away from my goal weight.

So anyway that was our weekend. The weekend where we had sport, garage clean outs and some really nice stuff like lunch with my parents planned. 

In my head I am mentally preparing for my next parental chat with my boys. The chat where I tell them that perhaps you don't need to listen to everything Mummy says and that there are some things that really its OK not to share.

I did want to share with you a little tip one of the Doctors gave me at the hospital gave me. It is a home made Gastrolyte solution to re hydrate kids or yourself when you are battling illness and dehydration. 

What did you guys gets up to this weekend?
Have you had the Bug come to visit lately?

Friday 19 October 2012

Mushrooms Are Going Pink This October!

Pin It This is a Sponsored Post for The Australian Mushroom Growers for their Go Pink Campaign.

Breast Cancer - it Sucks! Actually all Cancer Sucks but breast cancer is one of the sneaky ones that literally every woman fears.

Sadly in Australia the latest figures suggest that we lose 2,800 of ours Mums, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts and friends every year to breast cancer. Think about that for just a moment. That is 8 beautiful women every . day . of the year.

I have more friends at the moment that I would have ever have imagined that are fiercely fighting the fight. They are fighting it hard and they are prepared to put on those big girl undies and battle harder than they have ever had to before in their lives, and not just for themselves, but for their families and every other woman that has faced this insidious disease!

And whilst I know we will all do whatever it takes to support our sisters, it is also incredibly heartening to know that Australian companies have really thrown themselves and their products behind such a great cause as Pink Ribbon Day.

Pink Ribbon Day this year is next week on Monday the 22nd of October and this is a day dedicated to raising funds and increasing awareness about breast cancer.

So Why Are Mushrooms going Pink?

Since 2010 The Australian Mushroom Growers have been supporting the fight against breast cancer with their Mushrooms Go Pink Promotion in October and in the past three years they have raised almost $180,000 for breast cancer charities in Australia. Well done guys and thank you!

This year they have again partnered with the Cancer Council Australia to support Pink Ribbon Day. Their target for this year is to raise $50 thousand big ones which will be directed to the Cancer Council to support their work in reducing the impact of breast cancer on our Australian women. The Mushrooms Go Pink in October promotion also coincides with the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Whilst you will see many companies going pink in October, which is totally beyond fabulous, mushrooms are the ONLY fresh products to our knowledge that are going Pink.

OK so let's one thing straight - the mushrooms don't actually go pink. But the packaging does and you can buy the specially marked pink packs of mushrooms through Woolworth's and independent greengrocers.

As a predominantly Veggie house, we eat a lot of mushrooms. They give us that almost meaty taste we don't normally get as a result of not eating meat. I knew they were a smart healthy choice but I had no idea that mushrooms have been at the centre of an explosion of research where studies have found a strong link between mushroom consumption and a decreased risk of breast cancer.

In 2009 research from the Uni of WA showed that women who ate an average of only 10g of mushrooms a day had a 65% lower risk of breast cancer. (You can hear more from the researchers and the work they have been doing here).

Seriously man - HAND ME THE MUSHROOMS!!!

Now I know a lot of kids turn their noses up at mushies. One of mine did too, until he tried my special Garlic Mushies. You can eat these hot, warm or cold. Any which way you eat them, they are just mouthwateringly divine and my kids always ask for more, even the fussy one.

All you need is;
A couple of Table spoons of Olive Oil, 
2-3 cloves of Garlic (crushed or minced), 
Sea Salt.

Simply put your mushrooms in a saucepan and pour over a couple of tablespoons of Olive Oil and combine with your crushed / minced garlic and a good seasoning of Sea Salt.

 Cook over a medium heat and stir occasionally to keep coating the mushrooms in their juices.

  Cook until they soften and turn golden brown.

Then just serve them up and enjoy. As I said we like ours cold too with a salad, if we don't hide them the kids just want to eat them straight away, fresh out of the pan.

There are literally zillions of ways you can cook and eat these little power pods and if you didn't know just how good they were before, you certainly know now.

To further support the Mushrooms Go Pink Promotion anyone signing up as a member of the Mushroom Lovers Club will be entered in a competition to Win one of five Girls Day Out Packages.

Five Winners (nationally) will each receive a $300 Restaurant Voucher and a $1200 Day Spa voucher. Way to treat yourself and some of your special friends!

For more information on the Mushroom Lovers Club you can visit their facebook page here or for more info on the competition and the Mushrooms Go Pink Promotion you can visit the Australian Mushroom Growers Website here.

One last thing ladies - Don't forget to check your boobies!