April 2013Life Love and Hiccups: April 2013
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Tuesday 30 April 2013

The One That Makes Absolutely No Sense Whatsoever!

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I have been known to frequently misplace things, or lose them temporarily as one of my boys so aptly puts it.

I think it is probably a symptom of trying to do too many things at once, or it could be an early onset of senility given my *ahem* progression in years... either or.

I leave things in the most bizarre places only to find them later and think to myself WTF?

Take for example the car keys I found in the freezer, the nail scissors in a pot plant, my earrings in the letter box, and a brand new unopened packet of Buscopan in my sewing kit.

I honestly have no idea what I was thinking or if I was even thinking when I put those things there.

I know I must have been distracted but I cant help but wonder what happened to whatever I was supposed to put there instead?

Like what was in my other hand when I put my car keys in the freezer?

Is a packet of frozen corn or sea scallops going to show up somewhere smelling like a bucket of amputated feet when I least expect it.

If the Buscopan is in the sewing kit, did I give the kids a couple of buttons to ease their tummy cramps?

Scary prospect really and to be honest I have no idea why I have even started this post by telling that story as it bears very little relevance to what I actually intended to write about.

There go the Squirrels again.....

What I did intend to talk about was how I seem to have misplaced my sense of humour this past week and then found it again in a pair of rank smelling slippers. My Slippers.

I was going to talk about how I was sitting on the couch and I got a whiff of something so putrid that I immediately upturned the couch expecting to find a decomposing something or other under it but found nothing.

I was going to admit to making my boys wear socks when they snuggled on the couch with me as I was convinced that their feet were somehow staining the fabric with a foul smell.

And then I was going to tell you how it was in the moment that my loyal dogs refused to snuggle at my feet and watch Ellen with me that I realised the stench could in fact be isolated to the pair of fluffy slippers I had been wearing for the past 5 days straight.

Yep, the stinker wink was me and when I took those slippers off and stuck my nose in them for a good old sniff, you know just to be sure they were indeed the culprits, my life flashed before my eyes and I saw angels.

Slight over exaggeration with the angels bit, but I did start laughing, like hilariously snorting, cross your legs and try to breathe kind of insane laughing.

And just like that after a week of moping I found my sense of humour where I had left it, in a pair of rank smelling sheepskin slippers.

So what was the point of this post?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Tacos anyone????

I found My Village

Monday 29 April 2013

I Found My Village ....

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In the past few days I have cried oceans and oceans of tears.

Who needs botox when you can achieve a similar puffed up effect by bawling your eyes out.

Ok so the effect my leaky eyes sculpted is not so much an artistically puffed look, but more of the swollen blood shot type of puffiness.

But oddly enough when I look in the mirror at those puffy eyes, I feel more me than I have in God knows how long.

Now before you go and feel sorry for this crying blubbering puffy eyed mess, can I just say please don't!
You see these tears have been the most therapeutic tears of my entire life. They weren't all sad misery stained tears. On the contrary, they have been tears of relief and shock, but mostly relief.

When I had that meltdown last week, I triggered this whole chain of events and I kind of liken it to standing back and watching myself lighting one of those homemade bungers you made as a kid. You know the ones that you shoved into a poor unsuspecting neighbour's letter box and watched as the old rusty and weathered tin letter box blew up.



Well for a moment as you waited for the explosion to happen you stand there with your blood pumping in your ears and adrenalin roaring through your veins, the excitement wetting your mouth and making your feet jump up and down on the spot ready to bolt.

Then as the letter box explodes and all the junk mail, newspapers and cobwebs are blown into the air and start fluttering down, you are momentarily frozen and stare in awe of what you have just done.

As the shock subsides it makes way for the panic to set in and you start waving your arms around in the air turning to run this way before spinning on your heels and instinctively bolting in a totally different direction. All the while you are gobsmacked at your audacity of what you have just done, not sure of what to do next but knowing you need to get away for a moment and contemplate your actions.

That was the past few days for me, minus the bungers and rusty old letterboxes of course.

At this point can I just say that if my boys are ever reading this and ask me what a bunger is and if I ever blew up a neighbours letter box, I will totally deny everything and my answer will be "I don't know"  and "I have no idea what you are talking about".

Moving on.

After I shared my story last week I was so incredibly touched and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and every time a new comment came in on the blog or a new email or text came in, a fresh wave of tears would come. Good tears, happy tears and I would sit there all watery eyed and snotty nosed saying over and over again "Oh yes you get it, you get me, you understand what I am talking about".

My husband ushered the kids quietly out of the room to allow me to relish in peace, the relief I felt that you KNEW EXACTLY what I was talking about and where I was coming from.

YOU guys with your beautiful words held me up and inspired me. YOU wonderfully brave woman of all ages from all corners of the globe, who took the time to write to a messed up and confused Aussie woman, sitting in her lounge room in her stinky slippers and puffy bloodshot eyes. YOU have given me the courage I doubted I had in myself and you showed me how the sisterhood truly works when one of their own cries out for help.

I will never be able to thank you enough for what you have done for me over the past few days.

I feel like last week I finally found my village.

YOU are my village.

All of you amazing people who I am so blessed to have in my life. Some who were already a part of my every day, and some who I have been connected to via this big old interwebs. Some who are my own flesh and blood and some whose lives are so tightly wound within my own through my children and my husband. Many of you who I have never actually met, but you fatefully wandered into my village with the kindest of words and encouragement on a day when I needed you the most.

That's how a village works.

I have never really felt like I belonged in a village before. I have seen the villagers in action and watched as they united together to support one of their own.

I would frequently wander into a village and do my part to help out, but I never asked for any help in return .... I was too proud for that and instead I would quietly leave and continue on my way. I would check back in to see how the villagers were doing, to stop for a while and share a story or two, but I always felt too rushed, too busy to stay for long and inevitably I would make a reluctant departure.

Too busy?

Too busy!

Too busy thinking I had to live a life of perfect, pleasing all but not really giving entirely to anyone.

Too busy controlling everything I could in the waking hours and too busy wallowing in my self induced guilt at night.

Too busy organising the party and never actually being a part of it.

Too busy creating the ideal life without actually living it.

How foolish have I been.

So please forgive me when I don't attempt to cover these unsightly puffy swollen eyes, or hide the tears when they begin to flow. In the past few days I have covered great distance in my journey and every tear helps to wash away the past and prepare me for what is to come.

Like a weary soldier finally returning home I will wear my war wounds proud, a reminder of the long standing battle I have waged with myself. A battle that I have finally lost, but ultimately won.

***Thank you so much for the beautiful emails and comments and text messages you have so kindly sent me over the past week. Every single one of them has made me smile in a way I haven't smiled for so long and although it may take me a little while to respond to you all individually, I just wanted you to know how precious you are and how grateful I am.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

And So with a Deep Breath The Journey Begins

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Before you read this post I just want to be completely honest and tell you just how nervous I was about hitting publish on this post. How terrified I am about baring my soul in such a raw way and how afraid I am of the judgment i may provoke upon myself.

But I know that you cannot begin a journey without taking that first step.

And so with a deep breath The Journey Begins.....

Have you ever longed for something with your entire soul and with all your sense of being, without actually knowing exactly what it is you so desperately want?

Have you ever woken in the morning from a dream so deliciously inspiring it has left you intoxicated with a sense of joy? Joy you so desperately want to stay with you, and yet in the daylight try as you might, you cannot recall the intricate details of the dream or pinpoint what it was in the dream that gave you such a sweet taste of hope. 

Have you ever let your mind wander too far into darker places and let your guard down long enough to allow the demons in your mind to devalue your self worth, and rape you of your confidence?

Have you ever invested your heart into an idea that you have only ever dared to play out in the safety of your imagination. An idea that is so desirable and so close to a possibility that you can actually smell it and taste it and yet you are afraid to reach out and grab it for fear of it disappearing forever in front of your eyes?

Have you ever lost yourself within yourself? Stared into the mirror and not recognised the person who is reflected back. Have you leaned forward and looked into those strange eyes searching for some familiarity, a hint that the someone you once knew is still in there?

Have you ever stood on the edge of a void and dared yourself to lean forward, and then again just a little further – tempting fate, but too scared to actually lift your feet and leap blindly into the unknown?

Have you ever piled so much on your plate that you can do nothing more than sit there staring at your greed, unsure of where to even begin?

Have you ever pushed yourself a little too far out of familiar territory and then the reality and fear of the unfamiliar landscape grips you so tightly you cannot move and you cannot breath, and yet you realise you have gone too far to turn back again?

Have you ever given advice to others, advice about courage and seeking joy, advice based on wisdom you have gained from past experience and then laughed at the irony that you value the wisdom enough to gift it to others but are not courageous to use it for yourself?

Have you ever been in that precise moment where your tongue will not release the words you so desperately need to say? Words you have rehearsed in your mind over and over again and yet in that crucial moment you freeze and the precious window of opportunity passes?

I have.

Yesterday in the lonely hours of 2am I finally dared to whisper those words out loud. 

I spoke quietly to no one, to nothing but the darkness around me and I held my breath and waited for the universe to respond. 

I waited for it to punish me, or reward me for my courage to speak. A sign, Anything,  just something to acknowledge me and the words I had just spoken.

I was met with a resounding silence broken only by the sound of sobbing. An urgent cry that needed comforting and reassurance that everything is going to be ok

My husband who was resting beside me rose instinctively to attend to the cry and as he wrapped his arms around me I wept in the security of his arms and I let it all go.

I deliberated over sharing this post on my blog as it is so deeply personal and yet I feel compelled to share it in the hope that by saying out loud what I have kept inside for so long, that it will help not just me, but someone else who is reading this and feeling the same way.

For the past 12 years I have tried to do it all and be it all. To fit the costume of Supermum / Superwoman, a costume I had painstakingly crafted out of threads of who I thought I should be and who I thought people wanted me to be.

The hardworking employee working full time, a survivor of a life changing accident, and a happy homemaker. A doting hands on mum, a nurturing and loving wife, and an active member of my children's school and sporting community. A supportive daughter, sister and aunt. A friend who is always ready and willing to be there for others, to help those who need help and more recently someone who is exploring her creative side through writing and crafting.

Something had to give.

And it has.

Maybe it is a 'midlife crisis' or perhaps it is just exhaustion. 

Maybe I caught a whiff of the old dog lurking around, or it could just be that for too long I have just fooled myself into thinking you can have it all and be it all without major sacrifice.....

I don’t really know. 

What I do know is that life is too short to spend wondering "what if?" or waiting for the answers to magically fall from the sky. 

I have to trust that the universe does not punish the courageous and believe that it is not greedy to want to be truly happy.

I cannot and will not give up anything to do with my family. That's a given.

I am not the type of person to turn my back on family, friends or others in need, so that is not even an option.

So it leaves in one hand my career and in the other my interests and the creative things I get joy from doing.

If you stop doing the things you love and only focus on work, you are left with nothing more than an empty shell that robotically goes through the motions. 

That's not living.

That's not the life I suspect I am craving and the source of joy in my dreams.

I considered closing up the blog for a while to focus on clearing my head and getting myself healthier mentally and emotionally. But I can't leave this blog, I love writing here too much. 

I love the way I can share my triumphs and my fears and I love the way it helps me to laugh at my failings. I love the community we have built here and I love that through written words I can so freely express what I cannot at times find the strength to actually speak.

And so I am burning that Supermum costume. I am taking a big match and setting fire to the ridiculous notion that I have to be everything to everyone.

I am taking a few weeks away from my career to mend and recover and to reassess.

I am going to use that time to nurture my health and my mind, to search for the answers and make decisions, life changing decisions. Decisions that I hope will allow me to live a life without constant stress and anxiety, and free from the feeling that I am always running from the dog, trying to outsmart him and just praying he doesn't catch up to me.

I want to explore the possibilities of living a simpler life, one that doesn't revolve around how much I earn or what I can afford to do or not do. and to hopefully find the joy I crave in that much simpler life.

I am hoping that with rest comes clarity and that clarity will bring answers. 

I hope to stand before the mirror and see only the person I am truly meant to see. 

I have faith that if I trust in the universe it will lead me to where I am meant to be and who I was destined to be.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

In my Kitchen - The Evening Clean Up Battle - And a Method Giveaway

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***This Giveaway is now closed. Please see the bottom of this post for the winners details***

This post is brought to you by Method

It's a dilemma that often turns into an argument that men and women have night after night in households all over the world. 

To clean the kitchen or to not clean the kitchen? 

And more importantly - who is going to clean it?

In our house, I'm team clean and my husband is team nah stuff it lets go to bed.

I get it where he is coming from, I really do. He's tired, the kids and work have worn him down, I've pretty much nagged him to death and he just wants to chill out on the couch and watch some TV before hitting the sack. 

See I AM an understanding wife, I get it.

The problem is I just cant relax on the couch when there is mess that I can see. 

No seriously I am one of these weird anal retentive people that cannot work in a cluttered office, cannot sleep in a messy room and cannot relax with the kitchen in a mess.

First world problems - I know!

You see our family room is where we sit and watch TV at night, and it is part of a big open plan area at the back of our house. The kitchen is part of the open space so if there is mess to be seen, well rest assured I will be sitting there eyeballing it like no man's business.

I will fixate on it and huff a little, eyeball him and the kitchen and then huff a little more and hope that someone gets the hint and cleans it up.



Gawd I am so tired - Anyone but me PLEASE!

OK in the interest of full disclosure I am going to come clean. 

I am truly a sucky wife. 

The poor man not only cooks at least 4 nights a week, he is expected to either clean as he goes or clean up his mess too.

I do clean the kitchen as well, in fact I clean it at least 3 times a day, 7 days a week. After brekkie, lunch and afternoon snack time. But I hate cleaning up when someone else has cooked and even worse, I hate the argument we ALWAYS have when the dishwasher is being unloaded and the plates come out dirty.

You see apparently there is a right way to stack a dishwasher and there is a wrong way. No prizes for guessing which category my husband thinks my technique falls into.

I try to blame the dishwasher machine or the dish washing tablets, but to be fair - I just over load the poor machine and chuck all the dishes, crockery and cutlery in randomly and cram everything into every available space of the dishwasher.

Even my best efforts, the ones where I actually try to do it his way, end up being restacked by Carl the dish washer nazi.

He has tried to coach me, but despite his enduring patience it's a losing battle. 

A battle I choose to lose.

... because I hate cleaning the kitchen after dinner and packing the dishwasher.

Last week I gave Carl a gift - cause that's the caring kind of slack dish washing wife I am.

OK so it wasn't something I actually went out and chose for him with love, but it was something super cool that was sent to me try AND I even put them in a cute little jar just for him with their own chalkboard label and everything.

I know right!

I gave him these aptly named Smarty Dish dish washing tablets from Method -  because he is a very special smarty dishwasher packer. *ahem*

He may not have overly appreciated my thoughtful gift and he may have only spoken few words to me that night, but we both sat comfortably watching tele in a tidy silence. 

Me happily eyeing off the clean and tidy dish free kitchen and him enjoying the break from my huffing and puffing and eyeballing.

We were already HUGE fans of the Method Dish Soaps and these Smart Dish Dish washing Tablets are equally as impressive. Free from dirty chemicals like bleach and phosphates, perfumes and dyes they are safe option to wash your families dishes.

They don't have all that extra packaging, like the little fiddly packets you need to get open and then chuck, so even the laziest dishwasher like me can't complain.

The Method Dish Soaps come in the cute environmentally friendly packaging that Method do so well and the scents ... Oh The Scents! 

Pink Grapefruit, Fresh Currant and Ginger yuzu - good luck choosing, they are all divine. Lucky for you they are on sale anyway until the 30th April so you may as well just stock up and buy them all.

Now if you would like to win a gift for the special dishwasher packer in your life (even if that would be yourself), you have to enter to win this Method Dish washing Pack.

To enter just follow these steps;

1. Make sure you like Method on Facebook here and say hi whilst you are there.

2. Leave me a comment telling me your best tip to keeping a clean kitchen OR how you get out of doing the dishes. 

 Now for the Boring Bits -Terms and Conditions
  • Competition is open to Australian residents only
  • This is a Game of Skill and the winner will be chosen for their creativity, saviness or ability to make me laugh ... or cry.
  • Prizes will be sent to you direct from Method
  • The winners will be announced on this post right here on my blog and contacted by email. They will have 5 days to contact me to claim their prize. If the winner does not make contact me the prize will be redrawn and a new winner notified by email.
  • PLEASE PEOPLE - either register to comment or leave me an email address. I hate in when winners miss out because I cant get in contact with them.
  • The Competition is open now and closes at 7pm AEST Wednesday 07/05/13. 

Anna M (Guest):

How do I get out of doing the dishes? Are you serious?? I think I would have to be pronounced Dead for that to happen.
And keeping my kitchen clean...hahaha Oh you are sooooo funny.
Ok...so my kitchen is not 100% spotless and never has been...doubtful it ever will be BUT no one has ever had food poisioning from anything thats been prepared in my kitchen. Now perhaps thats because over the years my kids have built up this amazing immunity. My kitchen is not dirty but it is disorganised and well...its lived in. Sometimes the dishes are piled up...because Im the only one that does them and today is my day to have a minor breakdown and pretend im dead to get out of doing the dishes :)

Exploring The Hood - Manly

**Disclosure: This is a sponsored giveaway on behalf of Method. All opinions are my own and I take full ownership when it comes to admitting I'm a sucky wife.

Monday 22 April 2013

Exploring the Hood .... the Neighbourhood.

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As Autumn sets in, the days are starting to get shorter and I know that before too long it will be cold enough that it will take a lot of convincing to get me out of the house on weekends.

The weekend mornings will be spent in scarves and wellies watching the kids play sports, but come the afternoons I will make any excuse at all to curl up inside all toasty and warm with a book or something creative to distract me from the cold.

The weather in Sydney this weekend was ... kind of confused and didn't know which way it wanted to go. Saturday was one of those blah days - cold and wet. So wet. But come Sunday, the sun decided to pull rank and threw a little light and warmth on the matter.

The kids were showing serious symptoms of cabin fever and after one too many arguments over ridiculous things we knew we needed to get them out and release a little energy.

We had no plans, nowhere to be and no time constraints. The kids were in charge (God help us) and with skateboards under their arms they led us into to Manly on an adventure, their adventure.

We trekked along the gorgeous beach front, wandered down the Corso and traipsed through the grungier back streets. We stopped to feed some Pizza to grumbly tums and a grab a Corona for a thirsty Mum and Dad. But we didn't stop for long. There was too much to do, too much to see and soon we were on our way again.

They were thoughtful enough to allow me to linger a little in front of shops that housed beautiful things, bright things, things that caught my eye and my breath. But they allowed themselves to linger longer in front of the surf and skate shops, totally spurred on by Dad of course.

There were stacks, and there were laughs. There were meltdowns, tantrums and moments.

But there were memories being made and that's what explorers are all about...... apparently.

What did you get up to this past weekend?
Did you explore anywhere or anything?

Friday 19 April 2013

Excuse Me While I Take a Random Insta Dump!

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Like squillions of other people, I am addicted to Instagram.

There I said!

For a naturally curious (aka nosy Parker) like me, Instagram gives me a little hit every time I tap that little app button.

I get to check in on friends and what they have been up to and I am inspired by what people are wearing and creating from gorgeous vignettes and clever crafts to drool inducing images of food.

I have discovered some fabulous websites and blogs that I would never have known existed if it wasn't for Instagram.

I get to peek at their homes, their family and their day. I can check out the new reno, and find out where they scored that gorgeous rug or fabulous pair of shoes.

Maybe it is a little creepy or stalkerish in some sense, but I also love the window it gives me into other peoples lives.

I've talked before my evening walks around our estate and how I love hearing the happy sounds that families makes as they go about their evening, and instagram is a lot like an evening walk for me, except I don't have to move my lazy butt or put my glass of wine down.

I do have to control my addiction though, as this app has the potential to be the single biggest procrastinator for me and whilst I am working during the week I try to limit my check in to just once or twice a day. Except for a quick peak at my nieces account, because she is currently travelling around Europe and sharing her trip with me on Instragram so my jealousy can really completely run a riot!

I'm curious though - about how you use Instagram and if you don't mind, I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask?

Are you on Instragram and if so how often do you check in?
When someone is private and you don't know them but they follow you - do you request to follow back or is that just weird?
What do you love most about Instagram, what do you like to see?
What are your biggest Instagram peeves?

Ok because it wouldn't be a proper instadump without an actual ceremonial dumping of photos into a post, here's some of my fave pics from my feed this past week.

If you are on Instagram I'd love you to come and say hi to me @LifeLoveHiccups.

Thursday 18 April 2013

In My Blog Reader - Home Decorating, Design and Styling Blogs

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I was getting all sweaty and fidgety as I put this week's blog list together. Not because I have any weird kind of fungal infection or nervous tic, I just freaking love Home and Design Blogs and I found the task of trying to choose just a few to share with you, well damn near impossible!

Home decorating is just one of my many addictions.

OK, the shopping for home wares and the purchasing of Home styling Magazines is a slightly bigger addiction, but I am a very much a major devotee to the art of foofing around my home.

I have 'The Look' down pat. You know 'The LOOK!'  That thing us women do where we stand with our hands on our hips, narrow our eyes and survey the room around us, looking for what we can move, paint or redecorate.

'The Look' usually sends the males in my house running like Harry Holt because they know they are about to be hit up for a loan of their muscles to move things around the house. And so they bolt before I can ask.

They so have me sussed!

Is it any wonder my family are happy to let me hide away with my iPad and pour over my favorite Home styling and design blogs?

It buys them time.

As long as I am reading blogs and magazines, they aren't moving furniture.

I'd call that a Win / Win!

Now I have only picked some of the blogs in my reader from this category because well frankly I didn't have enough hours to copy, cut and resize ALL the headers of ALL my favorite Home Blogs.

But I have added them and will continue to add them to my Blog Roll on the Side Bar.

And in case you missed the first 3 posts of this In My Blog Reader Series, you can find My Morning Cuppa Reads hereInspiring Woman here or Blogs That Make Me Laugh here.

OK people - Are you harboring any other Home Design Blogs that I have missed but I really SHOULD know about?

If you are - please please please - leave me the link or tell me the name of the blog in the comments so I can check them out.

Thank you :) and Happy Blog Reading!