Thursday 31 March 2016

Life Lately...

A lot has been going on around here lately, which kind of goes part of the way to explain my lack of presence here on the blog and around the traps.

For starters -  baby turned nine... NINE.

Pardon the potty talk but how the fuck did that happen?

In my head I am still on the right side of 30 and certainly not old enough to have a baby who is flipping nine!

He's growing up fast this one and has had some hurdles he's had to deal with of late, and whilst he teaches a lot about how little patience I have, he has also taught me - the one who is supposed to be the mature adult - about how important courage and resilience and forgiveness is.

He shared his birthday with Easter this year and his cake request was a big old fruity pav .

Done. and with a bonus chocolate Easter rabbit on top for extra good mum points... because I'm kind of needy like that.

He seemed to pause longer on his candle blow wish this year, putting his whole body into it as though he could somehow force it to come true.

I don't know what he wished for, I mean you're not supposed to ask right in case you jinx it. or something, but whatever it was, I sure hope it comes true for him.

I'm on a bit of a mission at the moment to slow things down in my life.

You know, move through my days less like a rabid zombie and maybe a little more like a stoned turtle... except without the stoned bit and the big ass shell on my back.

OK maybe a stoned turtle wasn't the best choice.


I want to stick my nose in some roses and spend more time with the people I love and have more time to do more of the happy things in life.

Don;t get me wrong, I'm not complaining and I am well aware how very blessed I am to be able to make a living doing things I love to do... but I do need to learn how to switch off a little more and not always feel like I have to be doing something.

Shutting up and sitting still is not something I am very good at because as soon my brain is quiet for any period of time, its starts thinking and planning and spitting out ideas again.

It's very noisy in my balayaged head you know?!

Speaking of balayage... I'm kind of getting used to it.  My two toned head I mean.

I still feel like a bit of a fraud who is walking around with dark greasy roots but my kids gave it a tick and even went so far to say it is sort of cool and if you knew just how hard it is to earn even a 'sort of cool' badge from my self appointed cool captains, then you'd get why there was a bit of fist pumping going on from my end.

I've been thinking about my word I chose for this year which was 'change' and I'm not quite where I would have liked to have been by this time with it.

I'm working on changes in so many different areas of myself and my life so I guess I just have to give it time and keep on persevering.

I've had some wins though... I'm sure as hell getting better at standing up for myself and the word 'no' is getting easier to say.

That being said, I haven't yet addressed the fitness and weight loss I want to tackle, nor have I retrained my sleeping habits and as for introducing more balance to my life... well balance is the something I have still yet to master.

I feel like I am constantly trying to check things off my to do list, a list that seems to replenish itself twice over every time I manage to strike something off it.

But here's the thing - the harder I try and clear that list and slow things down, the busier I seem to get and the more I end up adding to that list.

Then I start stressing about time, and how I'm going to fit it all in, and then guilt rises up, gives me a little upper cut and tells me I am selfish or my priorities are all wrong.

And so I lie awake at night making more lists in my head and planning how I can fit more into a day and then insomnia kicks in and I can't get to sleep and I get the shits as I start counting minutes until I have to get up and ...... SHHHHHUDDDDUP!!!


Do you ever feel like that though?

Like the more you try and slow down, the more some sort of unseen force shoves you from behind, making you go faster and faster when all you really want to do is .... stop, even just for a little while.

Do you force yourself to stop?

If so please tell me how the sweet baby cheeses you manage that?

Ok, that's quite enough dribble from me... for today.

There's loads more in the thought bucket and for the first time in a long time my fingers are itching to keep writing.

That's also one of the things I want to change - the frequency in which I write here on my blog.

I want to write more, and I want more time to write and so I'm going with a formula  which might actually mean I write less but more often.

I want to go back to giving myself that time each day to sit down and write and to spill my thoughts without over thinking it so much.

One of the things I wrote about in my 'When blogging gets too hard' post late last year was how easy it is to fall into the trap of over thinking about what you write.

I'm over that - the over thinking part I mean.

It just took me a while to realise that the over thinking was actually the reason why my thoughts and words weren't flowing.

Clearly I'm a little slow to the game but I now know that I'm the one in charge of my overthinking and I let myself down by over thinking everything too bloody much.

Well blow me down with a feather - I said 'enough of the dribbling' and here I am still spewing it out.

Sorry about that.

Anyways, how are you doing? 
Are you working on any change?
Do you over think when you write, when you talk or about everything in general?

Style Crushing & Velvet Flashbacks

Tuesday 29 March 2016

What You Should Know About The Instagram Changes

So there has been a whole lot of panic surrounding Instagram lately, and I for one absolutely had my own "F**k me" moment about it all given that my blog and my various business I both own and manage rely heavily on instagram for reader & customer engagement.

Heck, I'd even go so far as to say that since Facebook screwed with it's business pages, Instagram (who of course are owned by Facebook) has become our number 1 sales tool.

But do we really need to be panicking like we have been?

Well in my opinion the answer is no - I don't believe so.

Hear me out, because I have spent far too many hours researching this over the past few days to let all this info go to waste in my head.

OK so Instagram recently announced that they would be changing their algorithms so that the photos in our feed no longer appear in chronological order.

They haven't actually said when this will happen, and whilst a huge chunk of the population are under the belief that D day was actually today, instagram is saying otherwise.

That being said, many of us noticed about a month ago that there were some glitches on instagram and likes and engagement decreased. Those who claim to be in the know were saying that this was due to the effect of instagram making some behind the scenes changes to the algorithms.

Now what those algorithms changes are exactly - well only those in the Instagram ivory tower really know, but based on the information that instagram has shared, it will mean that our news feed will be ranked in order of relevancy... ie what instagram thinks we want to see. At least for all the first lot of photos in our feed anyway.

How do they know what we want to see?

It's simple really - they will show you more of the images from the people whose images you regularly like and comment on.

So what about all the 'Turn me on' posts everyone is posting? Man there have been some toe curling sleazy doozies hasn't there?!

Well as the panic spread across the instagram community, more and more people felt that the only way they could guarantee that their followers would see their posts would be by asking them to turn on their notifications for each account they follow.

Sounds good in theory right?

Your follower hits the notification button and then they will be alerted via push notifications when you post something.

But what about when your followers start going bat shit crazy from their phone constantly pushing notifications at them all day and night because you posted (and then times that by all the people they turned the notifications on for) and... I am willing to bet there will be a whole lot of smashed iPhones as people lose their shit with all the binging and beeping going on and they peg their phones at the wall... that is after they unfollow us of course.

At the moment - Instagram does not discriminate between personal and business pages, we are all one so let's not give people reason to complain and Instagram reason to change that.

In other words, perhaps reconsider asking your loyal community to turn on their notifications and instead focus on engaging with them and encourage mutual engagement too.

Now, I'm the first to put my hand up and admit that I've been guilty of insta ghosting lately. You know, life gets really busy and find yourself tapping on instagram and scrolling through your feed having a quick nosey. You may even ooo and ahh over the imagery you see but then you get distracted and leave instagram without leaving a single double tap or comment.

Yeah that's not going to work for us anymore...

We need to be engaging with the people you follow to have any chance of seeing them and you want your followers to do the same too.

This means that not only do we need to have good content on our feed because after all - it's our own responsibility to keep people interested, but we need to talk to people too.

I know what you are probably thinking... heck who has time to do that every day?

My suggestion for that is instead of say checking instagram for a minute or two ten times a day, set aside a little time each day, maybe ten or 15 minutes twice a day (more of course if you are a business) where you can sit down and really give instagram your full attention and engage with your communities through liking and commenting.

Now that's not really such a bad thing when you think about it is it? Because like any social platform where it gets bigger and louder day by day, the personal aspect of engaging with a community often gets lost in the flurry of reaching for more likes and more followers, and then really - what's the point of it all?

Ok so this change does kind of void the insta part of Instagram, but if we look at it a different way - it's kind of about bringing it back to why most of us probably joined Instagram in the first place - to connect with, share with and absorb from other like minded people and businesses.

So please don;t panic about this. Just keep being authentic.

Keep on keeping it real.

Keep on being as personal as you are comfortable with, and keep on sharing the love in your communicates - if you like something you see and you want to see more of it - double tap for a like or leave a comment.

I truly don't believe it will be as many lead us to believe.

If you want to be insta friends you can find me as @LifeLoveHiccups and leave a comment below with your username so we can all find you too.

Style Crushing & Velvet Flashbacks

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Win A Family Pass To Oz Comic-Con

Congratulations to;
"Jabba the Hut. 
To mask my big gut."

I never really understood the appeal of dressing up like your favourite comic hero and parading around... until I had kids of course and watched their imaginations go wild as they dressed up as Spidey or Superman or an ugly artist loving green turtle and pretending to save the world.

But then... if I think back... I can remember myself as a kid and how I used to pretend I was the Bionic Woman and even made the slow motion noises as I ran around the front yard.

Heck I tried to convince half the street that Luke Skywalker was actually my brother and the dusty old locked box we had in the garage contained his light sabre and cloak.

Yeahhhhh, the more I think about it.. maybe I understand it much better than I give myself credit for.

I was into Archie comics myself.

I had a MASSIVE pile of them beside my bed and every pocket money day, I added to my collection.

I was totally team Betty of course.... Veronica was a complete cow.

My boys have been hassling me about going to Oz Comic-Con since they were old enough to know what a comic or comic hero was, and Sammy - well his walls are adorned with framed comic prints and he has a Marvel collection to marvel at.

Bless my little nerdy munchkins... I really need to introduce them to Jughead and the gang,

In case you have been hiding under a rock somewhere and you are all "Oz Comic WHAT Sonia?" let me fill you in...

Oz Comic-Con is a 5 event extravaganza that will play out across Australia, where comic lovers have the chance to embrace their inner geek and dress up as their favourite heroes and join thousands of others in a celebration of all things comicy and nerdy.

At the events you can meet your fave celebrity guests, get your game on in the gaming zone, buy all the latest and greatest memorabilia and celebrate you inner nerdiness in all it's fabulous glory.

I get it kids.

I bags going as The Bionic Woman!

It's an awesome family day out and lucky for one of you guys - I have a family pass to attend any one of the Oz Comic-Con events in either Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane up for grabs.

Perth April 2-3 at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre
Adelaide April 9-10 at the Showgrounds
Melbourne June 11-12 at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Sydney September 10-11 at Sydney Exhibition Centre Glebe Island
Brisbane September 17-18 at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

All you need to do to enter to win a family pass to Oz Comic Con is leave me a comment below telling me;

Who would you secretly love to dress up as?

I will then pick a winner on Friday night - easy as!

Terms and Conditions - Blah Blah
Competition is open to Australian residents only
Competition is open now and closes at 7pm AEST on 25th March 2016 
The winners will be announced on this post and contacted by email where possible.
You will have 3 days to contact me to claim their prize or the prize will be redrawn.
If you simply can't wait to see if you win, then don't!

From Dumb to Dumber

Style Crushing & Velvet Flashbacks

Monday 21 March 2016

Happily Tied Up In Knots!

There is something about the turn in weather from hot days and sunshine to rain and the comfort of a cardie, that always ignites a desire in me to get creative.

I tend to do a lot less of the crafting stuff in the warmer months.

Maybe it's because I spend more time outdoors making the most of the sunny days and daylight hours during Spring and Summer, or maybe it's simply because I see a rainy day as the perfect excuse to retreat indoors and start making things again.

When my hands and mind are busy working together to create something, it is pretty much the only time I actually switch my brain off to the everyday juggle and I focus only on what I am doing at that precise moment.

Crafting is actually a form of meditation, a practice in mindfulness, being present and slowing down time and in a day and age where we live life at a billion miles per hour, slowing down every now and then is something we should all aspire too.

Maybe that is what Autumn and Winter are about - forcing us to slow down a little?

It's not such a bad way to look at it and it goes along way to easing the sting from farewelling our beloved Summer.

My latest obsession is macrame, thanks mostly to Brianna from Woven Walls who runs our macrame workshops at Little Lane Workshops.

I sat in on her very first class with us and that was is, I was hooked and since that day I have been literally tying myself up in knots.

It's to the point that I am running out of wall space to hang my creations... and yet I still can't stop withe the methodical knotting of the rope.

My mum laughed when I shared my latest obsession with her, as macrame was something she used to do herself many years ago, and like all good things, they have their time again.

Have I mentioned that my mum had her own crafting business when I was a little girl?

Her shop was called Very Crafty and she sold craft supplies and gave lessons on various crafty activities.

Life has gone a full circle and now -  here I am as part owner of my own creative business and my children are the same age that I was when my mum had her shop.

The apple does not fall far huh?!

I hope their memories of a crafting mum are as precious as my own.

If you are in Sydney (or will be visiting Sydney) and you think that learning to macrame might be something you too would love to sink your teeth into, then come along to our next workshop which is in April.

I'll no doubt be there... because you know... any legitimate excuse to be happily tied up in knots and all that.

Do you have a Crafty Itch you've been scratching?
Anything you are particularly into at the moment?

Taming The Hallway Chaos

From Dumb to Dumber

Style Crushing & Velvet Flashbacks

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Win One of Three $200 Prize Packs from Decor & Howards Storage World

Congratulations to;
Melissa Jackson
Veronica Paterson

I often suffer from fridge envy, especially when I am flipping through an appliance catalogue and you see those glossy pics of perfectly organised fridges with all their fancy fresh food and matchy matchy containers. 

Unfortunately, my fridge doesn't look anything even remotely like those showy iceboxes... partly because of the three hungry munchkins that insist on daily fridge raids where they scavenge for anything semi edible... and also because we have gremlins who live in our container cupboard and eat lids.

I'm not even joking!

I have a cupboard FULL of containers and lids, and the majority of them are either stained or warped and less than a quarter of them actually have a matching lid that fits.

In other words I have a cupboard full of useless plastic containers.

It is my goal in life to one day own a neat looking organised fridge, and whilst I pretty much don't have a hope in hell of stopping the hungry scavengers from ransacking, well at least not until they grow up and go get their own fridges to trash... I can do something about the organisation and food storage containers.

The Decor range of glass Match-ups are made from borosilicate glass, and thanks to their cleverly designed silicone seal, and steam release air vents, these containers are not only microwave safe, they are airtight and leak proof. And the 'tada' ending is that they can go from freezer/fridge/pantry straight into the microwave for reheating and then into the dishwasher for cleaning. 

Simple as huh, and with colour coded lids and bases that fit all of the sizes of that colour in the range, this household may just be a couple of steps closer to becoming container gremlin proof too!

Terms and Conditions - Blah Blah
Competition is open to Australian residents only
Competition is open now and closes at 7pm AEST on 29th March 2016 
The winners will be announced on this post and contacted by email where possible.
You will have 3 days to contact me to claim their prize or the prize will be redrawn.
If you simply can't wait to see if you win, then don't!
You can go to Howards Storage World online and order these now.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

The Extra Limb Has to Go

Over the recent years, I think us a large number of us human people have developed an extra limb of sorts... a little extra bit that has attached itself to the ends of our hands... otherwise known as a mobile phone.

I wish I was kidding.

But I'm SO not.

I for one get myself in a panic if I make it halfway to the shops in my car and I realise that I don't have my phone with me.

Worse yet if my kids or my hubby leave the house and after they have gone I see that they have left their phone behind on the kitchen bench.

I mean what if I need to call them... or worse yet - what if they need me and they have no way to contact me?

What if there is an emergency, or an accident, or an earthquake or a tidal wave?

I know, I know, I have a tendency to be a little overly dramatic at times but... what if?

Ahhhhh Sonia, wake up chickadee because people and families and completely neurotic worrying mothers totally survived the no phone dilemma for a looooong long time before phones where even invented, so why the hell do you think you wouldn't?

Because I'm just used to it, that's why.

That was wake up call number one.

On the way to work this morning, I pulled up at a set of traffic lights on the main road at Collaroy beach. Right next to these traffic lights is a major bus stop on route to the city and given that it was peak hour, there were loads of people there.

Sixteen of them in fact.

Yep I actually counted them, and they were all dressed in varying degrees of work attire, waiting for what I presumed was the bus that would take them on their daily commute to the city.

What stood out to me more than anything wasn't the fact that there were a lot of people waiting for the bus, it was that every single one of them, bar one, were either talking on their phones or looking at them.

The one guy who wasn't looking at his phone, was just standing there watching the world go by and was probably more in the moment than the rest of them put together.

I want to be that guy.

Wake up call number two.

I saw this quote over the weekend... ahem... whilst I was looking at Pinterest on my phone.

It was like someone literally grabbed that phone out of my hands and smacked me in the head with it several times, and said "SONIA, LOOK UP" because when I did raise my head up from my phone, there was my hubby sitting next to me reading a magazine and two out of three of my kids playing with the dogs. It was like a happy freaking scene out of a banking commercial and I was missing it.

What the hell was I doing?

I WAS with the people that SHOULD make me forget to check my phone and they absolutely WOULD make me forget about it if I wasn't so busy with my head up my own ... well you know what!

It was an eye opener you guys.

A big fat in your face kind of eye opener that I am going to refer to as - wake up call number three.

As someone who can't avoid spending time on my phone during working hours, I really need to learn to switch it off for a while when I'm not working.

I mean - what's the point of worrying about what could happen to my hubby or my kids if they were to leave the house without their phone, if I am too busy spending the time I am with them ON my own damn phone.

I'm thinking it might be time I accidentally on purpose leave my phone on the kitchen bench next time I leave the house and be more like that guy at the bus stop rather than one of the ones with my head down missing life.

That extra limb has to go... at least for a little while every now and then.

How attached to your phone are you?
Do you purposely leave your phone behind on the kitchen bench every now and then?

How to Make Paper Flowers

The Test That Could Change Your Future

Taming The Hallway Chaos

From Dumb to Dumber

Style Crushing & Velvet Flashbacks

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Style Crushing & Velvet Flashbacks

I have a pair of green vintage faux velvet pants circa 1990, but before you go and get all "ooo Sonia you trendy little minx you" don't waste your breath - those pants actually live in my kids dress up box and are stained with sweet and sour sauce from their final booze filled outing at a local china restaurant. 

As much as I might secretly aspire to be - I am so not trendy.

Sure, at the time when I was wearing those pants I at least thought I was all 'that'... well kinda.

I actually found those velvet pants of mine on the sale rack at Dotti and refusing to accept that they had had their time already - I was determined to milk every last wear out of them before my friends refused to be seen with me.

I don't think 'trendy' and I have ever quite understood each other.

Once upon a time I entertained the idea that I could be trendy, and I did a pretty good job of convincing myself ... until that day when I was thirteenish and I wore my new tartan pants and short pixie hair cut to Luna Park for a party and I was called a boy by another kid and her mum.

Yeaaaaahhhh not quite as trendy as I thought after all.

If you had cornered me in the bathroom that night back in the 90s (when I was trying to clean the spilt sweet and sour sauce from my green velvet pants whilst my friends were all thinking 'Thank F**k that's the end of those hideous pants")  and asked whether I believed velvet would ever make it's way back onto my crush list again -  well I probably would have blinded myself with a chopstick whilst I laughed myself stupid and choked on a bowl of dim sums.

Until now of course... NOW I take it ALL back because I am loving velvet again dear friends.

OK so I won't be dropping those green velvet pants off at the dry cleaners anytime soon (although I did attempt to try them on before I got them halfway up one leg and gave up) I am kind of tempted to throw myself head first into some decorating at home - decorating of the luxe velvety kind.

Yup - velvet is back and apparently, it's bang on trend. 

This time around I'm getting in before the sale racks do and so I have been busy scouring the interwebs for some inspiration for a little Autumn / Winter jooshing at home. 

Take a little peek at what I've been crushing on and tell me;

Are you a fan of Velvet or do you have any vintage trends hiding in your closet waiting for a revival?
What would you bring back if you could?

chair in header image from Bodie and Fou
La Dolce Vita
Harpers Bazaar
Dust Jacket Attic
AD Magazine
Found Rentals
Lisa Cohen via Vogue Living 

8 Things I WON'T Be Doing Before I Die

How to Make Paper Flowers

The Test That Could Change Your Future

Taming The Hallway Chaos

From Dumb to Dumber

Monday 7 March 2016

From Dumb to Dumber

Just when I think my boys could not possibly find anything new to argue about - they go and surprise me by bringing out a brand new pearler.

Clearly their big ole bucket of gripes knows no limits.

I'm assured this is quite normal behaviour for siblings... although to be honest I'm not really sure if people are just saying that to me to make me feel better or because they are forced to tiptoe through this particularly turdish mine field on a daily basis too.

I know my own older brother and I used to give it a good go when it came to arguing.

We pretty much fought on and off (more often on than off) throughout our entire childhood, pausing only for brief moments and special occasions. This continued until I turned 16 and it only eased because my big bro cottoned on to the fact that it was more beneficial to be friends than enemies with his 16 year old sister because... HELLO 16 year old girlfriends of 16 year old sister!

To be fair, he was always the first to stick up for me and my boys are no different in that if you take one on, you take on all three.

That doesn't stop them from fighting with each other though and when it comes to the things that my boys argue over - I don't know whether to be utterly dismayed at the pettiness or totally impressed by the depths of their imaginations.

Equally as mind boggling is the speed in which they can turn from best mates to arch rivals. Dead set, one minute these kids of mine are playing and laughing and loving each other sick... but if I wait long enough...

Just a little bit longer...

Give it a sec...

Yep there it is - an almighty wail and the all too familiar rumblings of sibling war.

I once actually documented over the course of a week, 17 different things they managed to fight about.


Each one of those things was dumber than the next.

They do however have some regulars in their repertoire, you know - some trusty old faves that are frequently brought out to play.

I like to refer to it fondly as their PlayList - Ten ridiculous things they like to argue about;

1. Socks - yeah even the socks with the colourful toes that identifies which socks belong to who hasn't helped because they forget and argue over who owns which colour and then they fight over them because although they both have the same size feet and it doesn't really matter who wears what flipping colour socks...  "YOU STRETCHED MY SOCKS" and all that.

2. Balls - "That's mine, you lost it, you flattened it, you blew it up too hard, you left it outside, you let the dog get it, you can't take it to school because THAT BALL IS MINE! " You get the idea yeah?

3. Who didn't flush or who was responsible for peeing on the seat. Enough said about this one.

4. Who likes who when it comes to girls... or doesn't like but the other two are saying that he does like and he does like a little but won't like anymore if everyone keeps talking about it... Good luck trying to follow that one because I sure as hell can't.

5. "He looked at me."

6. "He's still looking at me."

7. "He won't stop looking at me."

8. "He's breathing all my air!!!"

9. The dog loves me more than she loves you. Really. No REALLY!

10. Who is better than who at... dancing, mine craft, Star Wars, reading, skating, burping, beat boxing, who is better at pretty much anything you could possibly think of. well pretty much everything and anything you can think of.

I told you... the list of things they find to fight about goes from dumb to dumber.

What's the story at your house - do your kids argue about ridiculously stupid benign things?
Did you argue with your sibling(s)?

Keeping Time In Style

8 Things I WON'T Be Doing Before I Die

How to Make Paper Flowers

The Test That Could Change Your Future

Taming The Hallway Chaos

Thursday 3 March 2016

Tame The Chaos - Hallway Organisation

I don't know what happens at your house, but around here - from the moment the boys arrive home from school, the chaos begins. 

Literally AT the front door.

They open the door and elbow past each other, dropping their school bags, kicking of shoes and on their path from the door to the kitchen - they strip... sock by sock, hat, shirt, pants until they make it to their holy grail - the fridge.

It does my head in - all their crappola spread throughout the house, abandoned in their quest for food, and what's worse than staring at the mess, is my afternoon ritual of tripping over bags, rescuing socks from dogs and screaming begging them to "pick it all up already!!!"

I won't lie, I considered locking them out... just kidding (kinda). 

I also contemplated putting a bar fridge full of their afternoon snacks just inside the front door in an attempt to limit the trail of carnage... but the responsible mother figure sitting on my right should scolded me for being all enabling and stuff.

So I came up with a better plan - a brilliant one that of course indulged my love of decorating and as an added bonus - gave me a totally legit excuse to go shopping. 

It was time to tame the chaos and get a little hallway organisation going on.

I had seen these white metal lockers from Kmart on Pinterest and so I did what any self respecting shopping addict would do - I jumped online an ordered three. 

Each child has one for himself and the first thing they need to do before they even get a mere whiff of food, is; put their bags, hats and shoes in their lockers. 

It's also where they store their homework books and sports gear... at least it will be when I train them.

Of course, it didn't stop there, a little extra foofing and jooshing was called for because duh - I simple had to rearrange and all that.

Tadah!!! We have organisation people.

It hasn't solved the sock dropping or the need to wrestle abandoned shirts and shorts from the dogs, but hey - it's progress and I'm gonna go and claim it anyways.

Here's a little shop the look guide I put together - you know, in case you also find yourself in some need of a little after school organisation... oh and OK, because I also kind just like making pretty graphics too.


White metal lockers (currently out of stock online but coming back soon I'm told)
Artificial plant

How do you control the after school chaos at your house?
I suppose the dogs eating the clothes is a good excuse to get out of some washing. Silver linings right? Yup Yup!

Proud As Punch We Are

Keeping Time In Style

8 Things I WON'T Be Doing Before I Die

How to Make Paper Flowers

The Test That Could Change Your Future

Tuesday 1 March 2016

The Test That Could Change Your Future

Never in a million years did I think I would ever put my boobs on show on the internet… but I just did, and for a very good reason too…

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Genius 3D Mammography

I honestly don’t think there would be many of us in this world who could say that they have not been touched by breast cancer. Whether it is that you have had it or that you are facing it right now, you are supporting a friend or family member through it or you tragically have lost a friend or loved one, it is going to touch us, ready or not!

My boys are 8, 11 and 14 and between the three of them alone, they have four friends who have lost a mum, leaving eleven kids to face life without their mothers by their side.

Four of them!

That kills me inside, it really does and it is obviously nothing compared to the tragedy of lives lost to breast cancer every year around the world.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and it was estimated that 15,600 Australian women were diagnosed with it in 2015 and 1 in 8 Australian women will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime.

They are some eye opening facts people.

Research shows that having a mother, or a sister or a daughter with breast cancer will double a woman’s risk, but please PLEASE don’t let the fact that your mum or sister has never had it - allow you to become complacent because 9 in 10 of women diagnosed with breast cancer DO NOT have a family history of it.

The good news is that the five year survival rate for someone who has the cancer discovered early, before it spreads to lymph nodes, is 96%.

That shouts one thing to me…


Better yet… the technology exists and is readily available to us.

Last week I met with Dr Peter Hunter at HealthcareImaging Services, a radiology Clinic in Campsie to talk about the Genius 3D Mammography exam.

Traditionally, a 2D mammogram is used for breast cancer screening, which in layman's terms - provides a flat image of a woman’s breast which a Doctor can then use to look for any abnormalities.

If there are any concerns, the patient may be sent off for an ultrasound and possibly a biopsy…thus begins a period of waiting for results, and anyone who has ever played that waiting game knows that it is an experience that can break even the toughest amongst us.

Whilst a 2D mammogram is incredibly helpful in the detection of breast cancer… 3D technology is even better – especially for women at high risk of breast cancer - as it allows your Doctor to view all of the complexities of your breast tissue, layer by layer.

A Genius 3D mammogram works by converting the digital images taken during your mammogram into a stack of very thin slices to build a 3D image. The radiologist can scroll through the various layers on screen and closely examine your breast tissue layer by layer.

This will allow the Doctor to get a clearer view of anything suspicious or something that may be hidden by the tissue above or below, something that may not be seen with a traditional 2D mammogram.

False positives can be common with typical breast screening.

 The 2D image on the left shows a potential lesion visible in the breast. However, the 3D image on the right shows there is in fact no lesion present, ruling out the need for further unnecessary tests such as a biopsy.

From my understanding, the younger we are the denser our breast tissue is (although woman of a more mature age can certainly have dense breast tissue too). The denseness means that our boobs have  lot of glandular tissue, but not much fatty tissue. A quick check of our breasts in the shower where we find a lump, may have us racing off to the Doctor and jumping aboard the train of testing and worrying, only to discover it was nothing to worry about…. that’s if we are lucky of course.

Whilst I was meeting with Dr Hunter I was shown the scans of a 45 year old woman who came in for a 3D Mammography Exam after she had been to her Doctor concerned about some lumpiness in her breast.

The lumpiness she could feel turned out to be nothing more than dense breast tissue, but the 3D technology did pick up cancer somewhere else in her breast… somewhere she would never have been able to feel in a self exam and possibly not in a 2D screening mammogram either.

Whilst I was learning of this woman’s story, she was off having a lumpectomy done and probably thanking the heavens for the fact that this technology exists.

The Genius 3D Mammography is NOT a screening tool. It is used for diagnostics following a discovery of an abnormality or for early detection for high risk patients and could also be used for women who have tested positive for the BRCA gene.

It used to be recommended that women over the age of 40 took themselves off for a routine mammogram screening, but now it seems that they have moved that recommendation to age 50… earlier of course if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, have any breast changes, signs or symptoms or women with very dense and lumpy breasts.

Regardless of age recommendations, many of us are avoiding mammograms for various reasons and whilst I was visiting the clinic, I wanted to fact find, debunk and devalue the top few excuses we women use to put off having a mammogram.

1.    Mammograms squash your boobs and they hurt.

Ok, yep… they squash your boobs and it’s not exactly comfortable, but does it hurt? I don't think so.

But how do I know when I have never actually had a mammogram? Because you guys - I wanted to feel what women actually go through and so I had my boobs squished by the machine for the sake of research.

That’s me. That’s my squished boob. You’re welcome!

It’s not exactly comfortable, but it didn’t hurt!

2. I don’t have time for a mammogram.

Really? REALLY?

Surely protecting the time you have is the whole point of this exercise?! I’m sorry, but MAKE the time, especially when we know that early detection is the key to survival.

3. I’m worried about being exposed to radiation.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about this kind of technology... in actual fact, it is a very low level of x-ray energy used in the 3D exam… just about the same amount as a film screen mammogram gives off and the total dose is well with the recommended guidelines.

4. I can’t afford this test.

There are over 120 centers around Australia with the Genius 3D. It is worth ringing around as some of the radiology clinics will bulk bill like Healthcare Imaging does, and for those that don’t, a Medicare rebate may be available for high risk or symptomatic patients those who require further diagnostic testing following an abnormal screening.

5. I don’t need to be screened, I check my boobs myself.

I probably fall into this category because I have naturally lumpy dense boobs and after a few freak out sessions, I had my Doctor check them out and reassure me that for now my particular lumps and bumps are normal.

Also, my friend who passed away from breast cancer last year once made me feel her lumps when she first found them and I don't have anything that feels like that in my boobs.


You can’t always feel breast cancer, especially if it is forming in deeper tissue.

I certainly don’t want to scare anyone, but remember; early detection could be what saves your life.

If you would like more information about the Genius 3D mammography exam, then please visit their website here.

Please check your boobs, ladies. Use the gift of technology to protect yourself.

You are too precious to others to be NOT doing this.

Have you ever had a mammogram?

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