September 2016Life Love and Hiccups: September 2016
Life Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and Hiccups

Thursday 29 September 2016

Let's Make More Fires

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Our kids are always begging us to light the fire in our backyard.

They bought me a little fire pit a few years ago for my birthday... really it was a gift for them as they had this idea of us all sitting around the fire with music playing in the background, the fairy lights lit up and us all laughing and talking as we burn the beejezus out of some marshmallows.

It was a great idea, a very thoughtful gift and we do sometimes do that... sit around and burn marshmallows that is, but nowhere near as frequently as we thought we would or perhaps we should.

There is always an excuse why I often play the role of the wet blanket and say "no" when they ask to light the fire.

In fact I have an attic full of lame excuses I could pull out at any time.

No because it's a school night.

No it's too late.

No we don't have enough wood.

No I have too much to do tonight.

No it's too cold... yeah that one really makes sense right?

None of these are legitimate excuses... not really. They're certainly not reason enough to NOT take the time to light the fire and spend a little time together.

We have this family tradition where at the end of every year we write down all the things we want to leave behind in the year gone.

Bad things that happened, memories that make us sad, any misfortune or pain we felt.

We light a fire and we each take a moment to reflect on those things and let them go and then we throw them into the fire for the universe to take care off. They are no longer our burdens to carry into the new year.

It is such a cathartic exercise to do... whether it actually does anything or not is completely irrelevant because it's all about the way it makes us feel.

Isn't that the point of anything really? How it makes us feel?

We should do more of the things that bring us joy and makes us feel good right?

So why the hell don't we have more fires???!!!

Oh man, I've got it all so very very wrong and a major priority check is in order for me.

From here on in I say "screw school nights, record the Bachelor, pillage the park for firewood, let them argue over the best roasting sticks and let's just light the damn fire."

Life is far too short for a whole lot of "Nos" so let's make more fires!

Do you seize the moment or drop everything to do something special as a family or do you have an attic full of excuses too?

Monday 26 September 2016

A Bucket of Balls With Silver Linings

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I always feel like a teenager coming home past curfew when I pop in here to write after an unplanned few days absence. 

Do you know what I mean? 

You sneak in quietly hoping no one will really notice that you're late and you pop your head around the door and throw an awkward overly casual "hello" out there.

Not that I have tickets on myself to think that anyone is really waiting around for me to blog... it's just that I'm a routine kind of gal and blogging regularly is usually part of my routine.

Until life happens and then routine all but floats on out the window. 

I suppose, for a personal blogger like me it's a good thing... life happening that is... given that life is what I actually write about in this little space of mine and if nothing was going on in life then I would have nothing to write about...

Ummm... that was quite the lengthy hello wasn't it?

Are you still with me?

OK, so last week was one of those weeks that you can't quite plan for. 

You wake up at the start of the week expecting it to play out one way, the way that you had it all planned and then BAM... life throws you a curve ball, and then another, and then it's having so much fun with this game that it says "What the heck" and pegs the whole damn bucket of balls at you all at once.

They weren't exactly bad balls thrown at me (um that sounds rather phallic doesn't it?) just a whole lot of balls I wasn't really expecting and I certainly wasn't ready for.

I know you are probably thinking "What's with all the balls? What the hell are these balls she speaks off?"  I mean, I'm sort of curious too... which is really dumb given I'm the one writing this post.

The truth is that there is at least a week's worth of blog fodder in that bucket of balls, but before this post turns out to be a bit like one of those vague status updates people leave on Facebook that leave you morbidly curious... let me enlighten you with what the biggest ball that was thrown my way was... 

My business is moving.

Yep, last week we found out for certain that we can't get a 12 month lease on our warehouse for Little Lane Workshops. We can go month to month, but that kind of set up doesn't really work for a bricks and mortar business and so SURPRISE... LLWS is moving to a new home.


Now that wasn't exactly what I expected the day would bring when I woke up last Tuesday morning, but hey, what's life without a few surprises here and there right?

Um... right.

So whilst the thought of moving is more than a little daunting... there are most definitely silver linings in this whole malarky.

After the initial shock of Tuesday wore off, Wednesday brought about bright and shiny new opportunities in the form of a near new warehouse 2 minutes up the road from where I live.

A big open space with 8 foot floor to ceiling windows to flood in the light. 

A blank canvas where I can recreate what we have now.

We put in an offer mid morning and by sundown it had been accepted and so one of the many silver linings is that I will be able to ride my bike to work and my kids can walk there after school.

I know that doesn't sound like much of a big deal, but it is actually really cool given that it fits in perfectly with the whole slower living ideal I have had going on in my head.

OK so the idea of renovating another big space just over a year after we did the last one, is hardly a 'slow and relaxing' prospect... but it's exciting. It's a fresh page in a brand new notebook and who doesn't love a brand spanking new notebook?

It's time to roll up the sleeves, warm up the muscles and bring out the old paint tins again you guys.

Whoever said "life is boring" clearly never had a run in with a bucket of balls.

Has life thrown any curve balls at you lately?
How are you dealing? Spotted any silver linings you didn't expect?

Tuesday 20 September 2016

How To Save Your Family Over $500 AND WIN a $500 Holiday Voucher

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Brought to you by Nuffnang and My NRMA


Congratulations to: 
We have spent this year driving our son one and a half hours each way, 3 days a week to NPL soccer training in Melbourne. The voucher would be awesome to help our boy to continue to follow his dream of playing for Australia ( well at least play seniors at NPL level ;) )
The NRMA app sounds perfect for us, is there an RACV one? Cheers Sonia, from Neen :)

Our boys are now nine, eleven and fifteen - holy bat balls you guys, how did that happen?

It really doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that we were loading the boot of the car up on family day with nappy bags and bottles, prams and scooters, puke buckets and spare clothes and all of the paraphernalia that it is required when you head out for a day with young kids.

My babies are growing up, and as they do they are getting more expensive too.

Apart from the general things like school fees, sports fees, clothing and all the gadgetry they beg us for, they eat more, they drink more and their entry fees to movies and entertainment costs on our family days cost more too.

Then there is the costs of running them around everywhere in the car, driving them to all the places they need to and want to go to.

I’m not going to lie - money stresses me out… a lot. And the bigger that our boys get, the more I worry about money issues.

What if I told you that there is an app that can help you to save more than $500 a year on petrol costs?

Would that please you to hear as much as it pleased me?

I’m going to go out on a whim here and guess ‘duh yes’!

OK, so I have a REALLY bad habit of letting my car run low on petrol. By low I mean that more often than not we find ourselves rolling into a petrol station on barely a sniff of a fume.

To be fair, I have only ever actually run out of petrol once.

And on that occasion I didn’t actually know I had run out of petrol, in fact, I had a massive meltdown when I rang NRMA and I sobbed to the lady on the phone about how the motor in my car had died and what was I going to do, how was I going to pay for a new motor yada yada. Yes, I tend catastrophize occasionally.

SO you can imagine my level of mortification when my knight in shining armour (disguised as an NRMA mobile mechanic) arrived and informed me that my petrol tank was as dry as a dead dingo’s tongue (apparently that is very dry in case you were curious).

I have never run out of petrol again since then… but boy do I push my reserve take to the limits. When the flashing light on my dashboard no longer bothers to flash and just stays permanently lit, I chug into the closest petrol station and pay whatever the going rate is for petrol.

My husband freaks out at me doing this. Apart from the fact that I am potentially damaging my car’s engine by letting it run dry, I am also according to my hubby, paying far more in petrol prices than I would if I did a little careful planning.

Pffft - planning petrol purchases - who the hell has time for that?

Ummm I do, now I have tried out the My NRMA App.

The My NRMA app has a fuel function that allows you to search for the cheapest fuel by location and by the type of fuel you need. The prices are in real time and show you the real savings you can make by choosing one petrol station over another.

I had no idea that petrol prices vary so much from one suburb to the next, let alone between two petrol stations in the same suburb.

Check this out for example...

The other day, we had to drive out to Regents Park for a sports event for the kids. I filled up our nearly empty petrol tank about 10 minutes from home and the real time price I would have paid for my petrol according to the NRMA app was $1.269 cents per litre.

If I had not let my petrol run as low as I had, I could perhaps have waited and filled my car up when we got out to Regents Park where according the real time pricing on the app, I would have paid $1.029 per litre.

The difference in filling up our 75 litre car with petrol between one place and another was $18.

Struth Ruth, EIGHTEEN bucks!

Now say that I paid that much more every time we filled up our car for a year (which is approximately every one and half weeks on average, or 34 times a year) I would be paying $622 a year more in petrol than I need to.


Ok so I’m not going to drive all the way across Sydney to get cheap petrol every time I need to fill up the car, but I am going to use this app in future to plan my petrol purchases a little better and save as much as I can.

$500 bucks a year is a lot to our family.

That is a weekend away for us, a couple of nice dinners out or a number of family days paid for.

I don’t know about you guys but with our growing boys, I can think of any number of ways I would rather spend that money than paying top dollar for petrol when I don’t really need to.

Don’t just take my word for it though. Download the app and try it out for yourself. It’s free and just one of the many ways NRMA go the extra mile to look out for us Aussies.

Speaking of ways NRMA are going the extra mile, they have given me a $500 voucher to be used at NRMA Holiday parks and one of you guys are going to win this.

All you need to do to enter to win is;

Leave me a comment below telling me how your family would spend the $500 you could potentially save on petrol per year by using the NRMA Fuel app.

Competition is open to Australian residents only.
Competition is open now and closes at 7pm AEST on Friday 30th September 2016. 
The winner will be chosen on creativity.

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.