May 2016Life Love and Hiccups: May 2016
Life Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and Hiccups

Monday 30 May 2016

A Day Out With My Favourite People

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With a teenager now living among us, and with sport commitments, housework, work work and birthday parties on the agenda, it is getting harder and harder to lock all three kids into a day we can spend together out and about as a family. 

I remember when they were little - it was so easy. You just got up, said you were going to x, y or z, the kids cheered and then ran off to get themselves dressed and boom you were on your merry little way.

Easy as.

Oh I miss those simple times.

These days, it requires everyone’s calendars to be laid out on the table before hand and we wade our way through work schedules, sports schedules and social schedules until we can pinpoint a day where everyone is free to go and do something together.

We try to make a habit of spending at least one Sunday a month doing stuff as a family.

Easier said than done of course and with the kid’s ages ranging between 9 and nearly 15, it can be a trade off to find something to do that everyone will enjoy.

Everyone gets to list something they would like to do or somewhere they would like to go and then it’s gloves off as we battle out the itinerary.

OK that sounds far more ominous than it really us, but just for the record - I’m totally open to bribing the kids to include something I want to do.

On this particular family day out - a trip to the city that included lunch at the Sydney Fish Markets and a visit to Kings Comic stores was enough child bribery / encouragement to get my plans on the list.

I’m such a sucker for fresh seafood. You could even go so far as to call me a seafood pig and in fact - my whole family would happily eat it all day every day if they could.

There is something extra special about obtaining your gluttonous seafood fill via a trip to the fish markets. I mean, you get to jostle with the crowds to choose your own fresh off the boat prawns and oysters, it is a haven for people watching, and it wouldn’t be a true native experience if you didn’t then have to fight for a seat on the wharf alongside all the other million and one seafood pigs so you can eat your prawns whilst simultaneously shooing away feisty seagulls who are willing to take you on for a shot at your lunch.

I love it.

No I really do!

Right, so with full bellies on board, next stop was King’s Comics - a ‘totally epic’ comic store in Sydney.

I’d like to note that ‘totally epic’ is the kid’s description of that place and not mine.

I prefer to call it - ‘that shop where you kids are willing to sell you their soul in exchange for advance on their pocket money to buy the latest issues of Phantom, Thor and Star Wars Awakens.’

Or something like that.

Finally, having narrowly escaped the financial carnage I was anticipating when we entered that comic store, it was my turn to direct us to the next stop.

An hour wandering around the Rocks and the Rocks Markets, followed by a hydration stop at one of the old pubs that included a G&T for me, a beer for the patient hubby, a jug of lemonade for the kids, and corn on the cob all round (winner winner corn for dinner) was the prize I’d had my eye on all day.

All kids fell asleep reading their comic books on the way home all plum tuckered out, the hubby and I partook in a little car karaoke and that my friends is what I would classify as a pretty awesome way to spend the day with my favourite people.

Totally worth the meticulous month’s worth of planning and trade off it took to have us all present for this family day and I’m already trying to lock in the gang for next month’s day out.

Any suggestions for our next family day you guys? 
What did you get up to on your last family day?
How often do you manage to have one?

                        A Get Out of Jail Free Kind of Monday

Friday 27 May 2016

101 Ways to be a Shitty Mum - And THEN Some!

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Jeepers, I'm sneaking this Friday post in by the hare's breath. But alas I am on the couch, with a glass of Friday night coping cordial and all is good in our world and as it should be... unlike last night.

Before I share yet another spectacular parenting fail on my behalf, let's rewind a little just so you can get the full picture of how this week may have possibly lead up to this particular event. I'm not using it as an excuse ok... but if it cuts me even a little slack then I am all for exploiting the facts.

It was a busy week, busier than usual.

Actually, it's been kind of busier for the past three weeks than it's been for quite some time - because of some changes that have been happening lately.

Not bad changes, just changes. Changes that have needed attention and even more of my time than usual.

You see I'm now flying solo at Little Lane Workshops.

Yup our Tessa is exploring some exciting new opportunities for her family that may well lead her elsewhere (I'll leave her to tell about that though as it's her story) but the short version is I have donned my big girl panties and I'm going it alone with the business and man oh man I have some big plans for that baby!

Another change is that The Cult List now lives with Uberkate and Kate is flat out working on exciting new designs and concepts for her gorgeous brand. I'm thrilled to be working with her on some of the behind the scenes stuff for The Cult List and honestly - I am busting my non fictional balls for you guys to see what gorgeousness she has coming.

The rest of the way I fill any extra hours in my days pretty much remains the same as always though -I'm still working for Kate on her core brand Uberkate as well as partnering with her in our Crossroading business and I'm still doing my own photography and brand development work too. Oh and I'm still here of course - at LL&H.

It's just one big old basket of busy - but a fun busy, a happy to be busy and not a wanky I'm so important busy or a bring out the violin because poor me busy kind of way - if you know what I mean?!

It's more of a self induced glorious pig in shit kind of busy in my opinion.

The kid's are also busy (I'm really starting to hate that word), with the business of being kids and as they get bigger and become more independent they present us with a whole new world of experiences and challenges.

Most of the time, I think Carl and I are doing an OK job with them, a good job even. In fact sometimes I think Carl and I have it all figured out... but then life says" nah ah, not so fast" and despite our best efforts to convince the kids (and ourselves) that we kinds sorta know what we are doing... we don't get it quite so right at all.

Like last night.

Last night I certainly didn't get it right.

Last night I was absolutely knackered after another week of crazy and so at about a minute to 6 I poured myself a glass of wine and I plonked on the couch with my laptop where I proceeded to lose myself in the world of Facie to catch up on what everyone has been up to whilst I have been busy with my head up my own... you get the idea yeah?

So Flynn came in from where he and his brother's and some neighbourhood friends had been outside towing each other on skateboards behind bikes and he was limping and whimpering and sort of holding his hand weirdly.

He had some blood on his knees along with some gravel rash and I could see that clearly he'd had a bit of a run in with the road.

I'm used to that with this kid.

I mean there was a good chance he would inherit my klutzy DNA and his skinny little scarred and bruised legs are evidence that indeed he has.

"Oh mate, what did you do this time?" I enquired, but if I'm honest - in an only really half listening kind of way.

"I fell over" he whispered as he fought back his tears.

"Ohh darling, sit down and rest quietly for a while" I said as I patted the couch next to me. "You'll be ok!" and after a quick kiss on the top of his head, I turned my attention back to Facebook where I was reading about the academic achievements of the nephew of some ex colleague I haven't seen for oh at least 20 years.

About 20 or 30 minutes or thereabouts later, I looked up from my laptop and noticed he was still quietly sniffling.

"What's up hun?" I asked, almost forgetting that he'd fallen over... again.

"My hand still hurts" he cried.

"Give me a look mate" I said, closing my laptop and taking a sip of wine. And so he did, give me a look that is.

He gave me a look at a little finger that was sticking out sideways and sort of backwards too.


He'd been sitting there all that time with a dislocated finger and I'd been sitting there all that time with wine and Facebook!

Needless to say a trip to the hospital was on the cards for this crap mama, but I am pleased to inform you that his finger is back where it's supposed to be.

I'm ashamed to admit that I probably just checked off item number 102 on the list of 101 ways to be a shitty mum.

Feel free to go ahead and boo at me. I totally deserve it!

I couldn't possibly feel any worse than I already do.

Have you ever? No really have you?

                        A Get Out of Jail Free Kind of Monday

Wednesday 25 May 2016

The Envy Of School Drop Off!

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 Brought to you by Nuffnang and Mercedes-Benz

Never in eleventy billion years did a once young and semi sorta sassy twenty- year-old- me ever imagine I would be about to say this out loud, but yo Im in love with a people mover van!

Nope, I didnt trip on kids school bags and bang my head, nor do I have some kind of post school holiday PTSD. Im not even dosed up on mummys coping cordial right now, I am being dead set fair dinkum when I tell you that I have fallen in love with a flashy new Mercedes Benz Valente people mover.

OK before you dismiss me as showing symptoms of pre menstrual, pre menopausal or pre midlife crisis, let it be known I am none of the above. But to prove my sanity, let me take you back a few weeks to when I was asked by Mercedes if I would like to test drive one of their new models for the blog.

The email went bing in my inbox and I quickly scanned the preview screen before seeing the words Mercedes-Benz and then squealing at the top of my lungs to anyone nearby (which, for the record was only the two dogs and a neighbour who was kind enough to text me to see if I was ok)

Im gonna drive a Mercedes. Im gonna drive a Mercedes.

Of course I immediately launched into role play mode where I stare off into the distance and picture myself doing whatever it is Im going to be doing in this case I was driving a flashy Mercedes through the Northern Beaches, soundtrack playing on the radio (some kind of sexy R&B number), long blonde hair blowing in the breeze (I have medium length multi colour balayage hair but whatevs) and leaving lock jaws and green eyes in my wake as I slide into pole position at school drop off.

You get the picture right?

I mean this is a Mercedes people. Its HOT!

I did what any self respecting bloggy wife would do - I rang my husband to brag.

Guess what I told him before he could even get his hello out.

I have no idea Sonia, what? he likes to humour me.

ImgonnatestdriveaMercedesImgonnabethecoolestofthecoolmumsinthewholeofthebeachesandeveryonesgonnaseemeandwannabemecauseImgonnabeinaMercedes was my excited response.

Did you get that?

No either did he.

Once I did manage to slow down my speech a little and explain what all the fuss was about, my husband was suitably impressed.

Wow, thats cool. So what model? He enquired.

I dont know a Mercedes model I said.

Ahh theres quite a few Mercedes models Sonia he calmly explained. Which one is it?

I quickly looked back at the email and scanned through all the words

Ummmm,,,MercedesBloggernew Valente test drive Mercedes sponsored post You are going to be so cool Sonia (OK I may have added that last bit in myself)

AHA I declared triumphantly. A People Mover

Cue the riotous laughter on the other end of the line.

Alright, so admittedly a family people mover doesn't quite fit the sexy image I had in my head of me cruising the beaches in a Mercedes. But stay with me people - the story doesn't end here.

So we arrived at the dealer ship to pick up this car and Im gonna have to be honest and tell you that the excitement levels had waned just a wee bit since my first reaction, because ummm people mover!

However, from the moment we pulled into the car yard and spied the gorgeous metallic gold voluptuous vehicle waiting there for us looking all shiny and big and shiny and Mercedes like - I got this fluttery feeling somewhere under my ribcage and I knew we were going to get one very well me and that fancy people mover.

This Mercedes-Benz Valente goddess we have in our possession is sleek and shes sexy but in a Kim Kardashian booty pride kind of way.

She has bells and whistles and bells upon whistles and she practically drives herself whilst you sit there feeling all totally safe and looking totally cool.

Different things appeal to different people when it comes to cars right?

Well I have to tell you that this powerful 8 seater family van has something to get everyone swooning.

Lets work the list.



Mercedes-Benz is notoriously meticulous when it comes to passenger safety in their vehicles and whilst Im not going to pretend that I know all of the technical features and names and how they all work, I can tell you that this beautiful van is packed full of safety features and then some, with a  5 Star ANCAP safety rating.

Theres a full complement of airbags for the driver and all passengers. With standard features including  ABS Brakes, a Reversing Camera with guidelines to direct you, Crosswind Assist and Attention Assist Fatigue monitoring - all of which help to ensure you and your precious people cargo are safe as well as the other drivers you are sharing the road with.

Child Friendly?


There are built in child restraints on all passenger seats, child locks on the automatic easy access dual side doors, side steps for entry, rear reverse camera, flexible seating configurations, cupholders, food holders, stowage nets and enough room for kids to spread out so they dont invade arm territory or hog all the air.

Luxury, practicality and Comfort?

Check, check and check!

Im not even kidding when I tell you that driving in this car is like travelling first class. Actually I stole that description from my 14 year old.

There are eight full-sized super comfy seats with the option of an additional seat - taking it to nine. NINE seats!! AND with room leftover to fit everything your family needs for a day out into the boot.

It has adjustable arm rests, leg room that stretches on forever, iPod and Bluetooth, leather steering wheel, cruise control, climate controlled air conditioning, LED lighting, automatic dual sliding doors and that distinctive prestigious logo smack bang on the front of the van that makes you feel very very special.

It drives like a car rather than a van of its size and it has a unique Mercedes-Benz Adaptive ESP system thingamajig that can detect the weight distribution of your passengers and compensate accordingly in an emergency situation like an accident.

Thats pretty space age kind of cool in my humble and completely non educated car opinion.

OK, so lets get down to the business end of this post and talk some numbers yeah?!.

When I asked about the price tag on this car I was ready to have some big figures thrown at me and I was pretty sure I would be writing this gorgeous machine off as out of our league’… Well I stand corrected because seeing as its priced from $64,982 driveway it is seriously nowhere near as expensive as I was expecting a van of this calibre to be.

Look, Im not usually one to get all in a fuss over cars or at least I wasnt until now, but this Mercedes-Benz Valente has done something to me you guys.

I mean we spend sooo much time driving our kids from here to there and back again, we deserve to drive something nice, right?



Oh alright, so theoretically SOLD is not exactly true given the car is only on loan to me until they remember to ask for it back, but the new Mercedes-Benz Valente is officially now at the very top of my lust list.

This kids love it.

The hubby loves it.

The Grandparents love it.

The dogs love it.

I love ME in it.

Now if only I can convince the guys at Mercedes that they really shouldn't take her away from such a loving home.

One can dream right?!

You can get all the information on all the bells and whistles of the new Valente over at theMercedes-Benz website here and if you are in the market for a new family car, I HIGHLY recommend you get yourself off to a Mercedes-Benz dealer and test drive one of these gorgeous machines for yourself.

Right, so now where do I hide this thing?

*Ahem* I have a Mercedes on loan? Noooo. I have to give what back?

I have NO idea what you are talking about!

Are you in the market for a new car? Ever driven a Mercedes? 

Monday 23 May 2016

A 'Get Out Of Jail Free' Kind of Monday

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Hello, Happy Monday... assuming it is a HAPPY Monday of course and that Monday hasn't spent the day being a gigantic A'hole and chewing you up into tiny little bite sized bits.

I saw Monday eyeing me off this morning like I was some kind of done deal.

It was not long after I opened my eyes and sipped on the luke warm morning coffee my hubby had kindly left me on my bedside before he left for work at crackers. Just for the record, it wasn't luke warm when he left it... but it may have been by the time I actually woke up.

He's a good man that hubby of mine. He brings a coffee upstairs every morning when he comes to wake me up and say goodbye. The theory is that one can't get cranky about being woken up when one's waker uperer has coffee in their hand right? AND the sweet smell of freshly brewed coffee is wafting up your sleepy nostrils is supposed to be enough to make your insides smile and entice you to open your eyes and be all happy about waking up.

That's the theory anyway, except that it doesn't work if you fall back asleep and the next time you open your eyes it is OHCRAPWEAREGOINGTOBEFLIPPINGLATE o'clock.

That's what time I woke up this morning, and that's when I saw Monday making eyes at me.

Yep, it practically laughed out loud when I called out to the boys in their rooms "ARE YOU READY YET" only to hear back "Yessss" from one and some kind of unintelligible sleep talk from the other two.

SHIT, clearly we were going to be REALLY late.

Turns out one of the kids was kinda sorta semi legitimately feeling sick and felt the need to stay in bed (at least until after the school bell had rung), and the other could not even be bothered faking it and just asked instead if he could use his 'Get out Of Jail Free Pass' for the day so he could stay in bed longer.

I was faced with choices people.

I could put on my gloves and prepare to fight fair and square with Monday who by now was pretty damn sure it was already in the bag... or... I could say "Screw you Monday" let the sick one stay in bed, let the other one stay in bed and use his 'Get Out of Jail Free Pass' and focus all my efforts on getting myself ready for work and the one who was already to school before the clock ticked over to the time at which you actually have to walk them into school and fill out one of those 'We are late because _______' notes.

So I chose that - the "Screw You Monday" option.

Some days you just gotta do what you've gotta do right?

In case you are wondering what our 'Get out of Jail Free Pass' is - let me explain.

A few years ago we got so sick and tired of our boys pulling fakeys on us in order to get a day off school. They were really good at bunging it on and it usually ended up with either the hubby or I needing to take a day off work to stay home with the 'sick' child... only to find that they miraculously recovered around morning tea time.

Soooo frustrating.

Apart from the fact it meant we took an unnecessary day off work, it also left us feeling totally duped by our precious cherubs and so we introduced the 'Get out Of Jail Free Pass' which means that - once a year - the squids are allowed to take a day off school for no particular reason.

There is no need for pitiful excuses, lame attempts at appearing sick, or all the general effort and malarky that goes into a half decent attempt of faking it.

They get one day off - no questions asked.

The trick is... once they have used it, that's it! That pass is invalid and they are done for the year and no amount of faking it will be deemed worthy of a day off.

They have to be burning up, hospitalised or seriously maimed to stay home from school after they have used their Free Pass.

It works.

It really does -  because they choose wisely when to use it.

When they say they are too tired or theydontwanna go to school, we simply ask them do they want to use up their free pass and stay home or would they rather save their free pass for a cold rainy day where they can stay snuggled up in bed?

We usually find that after a little bit of careful consideration they opt to save their free pass for another time.

Except for today, today they used it... and you know what? With Monday smirking at me the way it was this morning - I was quite happy to oblige their use of the 'Get Out Of Jail Free Pass.

Gotcha Monday!

Until next week...

How has Monday treated you?
Do your kids pull the fakeys on you or do you have some kind of a Get Out Of Jail Free system too?

Thursday 19 May 2016


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Brought to you by People’s Choice Credit Union


For someone who always puts my kids and family needs first the conservative person in me would put $5000 towards bills, getting my teeth fixed finally, car serviced and a few house repairs but the new carefree me would either book a well earned Bali holiday, new clothes and shoes and a day of pampering !! We can all dream right ....

If you could have access to say mmm five thousand dollars to spend on whatever you want – what would you spend it on?

I am sooo good at this game.

Probably because I am very, very good at spending money and given that with this game, there are no hindering factors like whether you actually have the money sitting in your account or not; it’s very easy to get carried away.

There are literally so many things I could happily splash $5000 on, but here are five things at the top of my list.

1.  I’d clear my credit card debt. I know, I know BORING. But given I’m paying a fair amount of interest on the $5000 I currently owe on my credit card, I could save heaps by paying off my balance and switching to a much MUCH lower interest rate to a credit card rate. It would be my sensible ‘look out here comes the fun police’ grown up kind of choice.

Ok now I have the ‘I’m so mature’ choice out of the way, I’m going to go and blow the rest on some fun stuff and with that being the case - number 2 on my list would involve leaving the kids with the grandparents for a week.

2. A cool $5000 could be very well spent on one of those wellbeing retreats in the hills of Ubud in Bali for the hubby and I. 

Yup, I’ve always fancied doing one of those healthy living retreats in Bali where you spend your days meditating and having massages and reiki, then spend the evening sitting on a tree top deck overlooking the lush green forests of Bali drinking bubbles and contemplating the greater meaning of life. 


You don’t get bubbles on a healthy living retreat? 

Ha, you do on my wish list!

3. Hmmm, speaking of Bali, I rather fancy myself a backyard Balinese style makeover with a water feature. 

Clearly I have a thing for Bali happening here. 

We have been talking about redoing the back garden for ages but we have never had the spare cash sitting in the bank. Money well spent I’d say given we could enjoy this indefinitely … as long as I don’t kill the plants of course.

4.  I saw a for sale sign on an old Vespa when I was driving through Surry Hills recently. Granted it wasn’t as pretty as this one, but at $2000 ono I would have had spare change in the bank to spruce it up, get it humming and make her all pretty. 

We will just ignore the fact that Carl, my husband, is dead set against me ever riding one of these because… no rules with this wish list right?!

5.  Last item for the list… today (because I am sure I’ll have a whole new list by this time next week) would be to pay someone to come and finish painting the stairwell that I began painting a year ago and then lost interest when I couldn’t reach the ceiling. Heck, I’d get them to paint as much of the house that $5000 could buy me because I cannot see myself getting enthusiastic about painting again anytime in the near future.

See how fun that is?!

Now what if you really could have access to that money – and you actually got to choose something from your wish list to spend it on? Would you consolidate your credit card debt, go on a fancy pants holiday, do some renos or pick yourself up some new wheels?

Hmmmmm tempting isn’t it?!

This post is brought to you by People’s Choice Credit Union, one of Australia’s largest credit unions with 345,000 members across Australia, and apart from wanting to give one of you the chance to win a $400 prepaid Visa card to put towards that dream wish list of yours, I wanted to tell you guys a few things about them…

People’s Choice Credit Union’s origins date all the way back to 1949, which means they are not some flash in the pan lender – they have history and are a trusted financial services provider that are known as a leader in the credit union industry.

So whatever it is on your wish list, be it debt consolidation, a new car or a holiday or something for you and the family to enjoy together, People’s Choice Credit Union can help you achieve those goals with competitive Personal Loan rates.

Calculate what your weekly, fortnightly or monthly personal loan repayments would be using their online personal loan calculator, it’s also quick and easy it is to apply for a loan online with them.

Most of all they want you to know that being a member owned business means that PCCU customers and owners are one and the same and therefore everything they do is designed to benefit their members.

Buuuut, don’t just take my word for it – head on over and check them out for yourself.

Ok, so it’s time for you to indulge your own $5000 wish list and possibly win yourself a $400 prepaid Visa to put towards that dream of yours in the process. All you need to do to enter is simply leave me a comment and tell me;

What’s on top of your $5000 wish list?
Competition is open to Australian residents only
Competition is open now and closes at 7pm AEST on Friday 3rd June 2016 

The winner 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.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Winter Style Crush & Some Passion Pinning

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I know I know, here we go again - me getting all mushy about STUFF.

Now when I say stuff - I don't mean the regular sort of 'stuff' that normal people tend to get all mushy about, like love and feelings and cute animals doing cute animal things.


I'm getting mushy about things for the home, like furniture and leather and marble and that kind of lush 'stuff'.

I find myself crushing hard on home 'stuff' like this at least 4 times a year.... OH OK that's a lie, I'm pretty much ALWAYS like this when it comes to home decorating, but in particular it's when the seasons are changing and I am bored with the current look in our home and I start fantasising about all the beautiful things I would buy if I was rich... which just so we are very clear... I'm not.

Rich that is.

But if I did have the cash to flash, I would be without an ounce of remorse, stripping back our home and replacing the non sentimental things with a whole lot of 'stuff' made of marble, and leather and natural wood and metals and prickly things that make me go ooooo.

Horses for courses of course, these things are not to everyone's tastes but here's a little peek at some of things I have been 'passion pinning' onto my Pinterest boards lately.

In case you are wondering - 'Passion Pinning' can be defined as the someone who engages in moaning and groaning and possibly even drooling as they feverishly pin to their Pinterest board. Generally the level of excitement reaches a peak where the pinner is forced to leave their computer to partake in something that will ultimately satisfy their desire for whatever it is they are pinning.... in my case - it involved rearranging the house.

Whatever floats your boat right?


Image source: IKEA

Retro style furniture gets me all goosebumpy. I'm a sucker for anything Parker and up-cycled pre loved family heirlooms with a that distinctive retro flavour. Admittedly this one above it not legitimately retro because... well its from IKEA, but I wouldn't turn it away if it arrived on my door step.

Clockwise from top left
image source: The Design Villa
image source: KatarinaNatalie
image source: Lunehjem

Header image and this print from: Home & Abode available on Down That Little Lane

I'll admit I've been a bit slow to the whole wild horse art thing, but I making up for lost time now.

Clockwise from top left
image source: Style-file
image source: Beacon Lighting
image source: Polyvore
image source: French By Design

Crushing on any particular 'stuff' yourself lately?
Engaged in any 'Passion Pinning'