December 2016Life Love and Hiccups: December 2016
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Thursday 29 December 2016

12 Rituals and Traditions to Ring In The New Year

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New Years Sparkler

I don't think I have ever looked forward to a new year like I have this coming one.

I'm not alone right?

According to numerology 2016 is the 9th universal year in nine year cycle.

Back in 2008 we started this nine year cycle and how we started it back then, could reflect how we are feeling right now at the end of it.

I can't really remember what I was doing this time back in 2008 but I do know this year has been a hell of a rollercoaster and the past few months have felt particularly crazy around the world and we have all probably added to the frenzy with our eagerness to finish this cycle and end this bloody year once and for all.

If you believe in numerology or if you are superstitious in anyway, then I need to tell you that now would be a good time to set your intentions for the next nine years.

According to numerology experts, it is important that we begin the next cycle by forgiving the past, letting go of any grudges, fears or worries and start 2017 and the next nine years with an open heart.

If all that sounds like gobblty gook, that's OK too... my hubby typically just rolls his eyes at me and says 'yes dear' when I rabbit on about this, because regardless, a new year is a fresh new start, a brand spanking new notebook waiting for you to fill each page with your dreams and adventures.

Personally, I freaking love the start of a new year.

The delicious promise of new beginnings and because I am ridiculously superstitious then of course I have a whole load of rituals and traditions that I follow to make sure that our next 9 years run as smoothly as humanly possible.

I thought I would share some of them with you guys, you know in case you too are also SO COMPLETELY OVER how this past year has led you to feel and you want to start a fresh with a clean slate.

Yep sorry guys, but we need to snap out of our silly season food comas and get off the couch. Arm yourself with some boxes and bags and start decluttering.

Clothes, toys, knick knacks... anything that no longer serves you purpose or you don't seriously love... get rid of it and donate it. Then start cleaning and keep going until your curtains and cushions are washed, fresh sheets on the bed and every surface dust free.

I know I know, it sounds a little obsessive... and truth be told that is probably the OCD in me coming to the surface because I do love an excuse for a good clean, however, this is one clean you want to put a little extra effort into.

Get out from behind the camera and get it front of it instead.

Take some photos of you and your family and your besties so that you can look back on them throughout the year and feel grateful for having those people in your life.

For those of us who see the new year as an opportunity to lose weight or get fit, it's a good way to see how far we have come when we look back on them next year.

If you have been holding any grudges or harbouring any ill feeling towards someone or a situation, then now is the time to let it go because you really don't want to take that shit into the new year with you.

Phone them up or write them a letter, you can even pen a letter to someone who has passed away then burn it releasing what ever it is you are holding on to.

Say you are sorry for whatever part you played in the situation, no matter how big or small, and then put it behind you and move on feeling lighter and free.

Surround yourself with your most special people.

Eat good food, toast to each other and tell each one of those people how awesome they are and how much they mean to you.

Celebrate seeing yet another year close, no matter how sucky that year might have been and end the year with love and laughter because THAT'S what you want in your new year right?


Before the year ends, take a little quiet time for yourself to sit and make a list of all that you want to achieve or have in your life over the next year.

I'm doing my list for the next nine year cycle so I'm gonna be needing a big fat gin to sit with as I think I'll be writing for a while.

There is so much I hope I hold for the next nine years, for me personally, my family, my business and the world and it is so important to be as specific as possible when you write what you wish for as the universe is listening and what you think feel and wish for is what the universe will ultimately deliver.

So on that note... don't hold back on wishing for lots of the good stuff in life. You deserve it.

Now is a good time to create a special jar to capture good memories throughout the year.

Every time you experience something good in your life, good fortune, a win, a joyous moment, write it down and encourage your family to do so too.

Feel gratitude for everything you write and you will feel that gratitude three times over when you reread from your jar at the end of next year.

Speaking of gratitude, consider taking turns around the table at your final meal of the year to tell each other what is the one thing you are most grateful for from the year that has been.

Gratitude breeds more of the same and by saying it out loud you are telling the universe that you are ready to receive more reasons to feel grateful in the new year.

Take a moment to write down on a small piece of paper all the things you do not want to take into the new year with you, things like fears, worries, pain, heartache, grief and burden.

Encourage those with you on New Years to do the same too and then together set fire to the paper in a fireproof bowl or a fire pit and let the universe take care of those burdens for you.

Then, just like that, they are no longer yours to carry into the new year.

OK, I am not really sure where this one came from, but I do remember being told that if you put something gold (a ring or a trinket) into your glass that you will toast the new year with, it will bring you good fortune and prosperity.

I'm gonna go with it as I could sure do with a little good fortune and prosperity in 2017.

Plants some flower seeds with your kids and with each little seed they plant, tell them to make a wish for the new year. As they watch their flowers grow and then bloom throughout the year remind them that is their 'wishes' coming to life.

As the old theory goes, if you believe you will receive, so go ahead and believe hard with all your heart.

If you are single, fear not... we are not talking about big tongue pashes here because a kiss from a friend, a relative or even a child is just as magical.

Some cultures believe that the purity of a single kiss has the power to trap any evil or negativity around you in the year that has just ticked over, leaving you free of it in the year ahead. So go on... be kissing at the stroke of midnight.

If you live near the ocean or a body of water, on the last day of the year throw a bunch of flowers or petals into the water as a way of saying thank you to the universe for all your blessings and to ask for more good fortune and blessings to be returned to you in the new year.

It is easy to forget all the good stuff that happens when the emotions and angst of fear terror and grief flood you. But the good stuff is there... oh it is SO there.

You know how we as individuals like to be thanked and how when someone shows us they are grateful, we naturally want to do more for them... well the universe works the same way.

End the year focusing on the good that has been and give it all your energy to carry through to the new year.

Right, so it wasn't all that whackety whack was it?


What about you guys?
Do you have any end of year traditions or rituals that you do?
Are you happy to see 2016 bugger off?

Thursday 22 December 2016

Why I'm Just Not Really 'Feeling' It This Year

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 At the risk of sounding like a five foot four grinch with balyage hair in desperate need of a touch up, I am going to say it anyway...

I'm just not feeling all that Christmassy this year.


I'm glad I got that off my chest.

Look, please don't get me wrong, because I am feeling joy and love and gratitude and all the things that should come wrapped up with a big shiny bow at this time of the year.

It's just that alongside that glittery package of Christmas joy under the tree, I stumbled upon another little package, one that you kinda want to ignore and leave there unopened... but I kinda sorta went and opened it anyway and inside it I found... sadness.

Normally at this time of the year I am busy immersing myself in all the decorations and the wrapping of gifts and I am instagramming the crap out of our Elf on the Shelf and his ridiculous antics and I'm blogging about Christmas and recipes and all sorts of Merry things.

But this year I haven't really felt like it and instead I have found myself wanting to withdraw from the world, to quietly wrap my arms around my family, to hug my husband hard and to tell my children how much I love them.

This year, more than ever before I have wanted to reach out to people privately to let them know that for what it is worth - I am thinking of them and that I am grateful for knowing them in any way that I do.

This year, I just haven't felt... I don't know... right? about blogging about Christmas when our world is crying.

I don't know if 'right' is really the word I am looking for, but I am struggling to come up with a better word to describe how I feel and how the idea of popping champagne and fussing over what to cook for Christmas dinner seems so insignificant when so many atrocities are playing out every minute in places like Aleppo and when I have friends who are mourning for loved ones who should be here... but no longer are.

Maybe 'guilt' is a better choice.

I don't know, and I guess it doesn't really matter what word I choose to use, but I just wanted to explain (in case you were wondering) why there has been a noticeable absence of Christmassy stuff here on the blog this year.

So there you have it, and this year instead, if it's ok. with you.. I am just going to excuse myself from the usual Christmas hype.

I am going to park the blog until after Christmas, and spend this time gathering my loved ones close and quietly relishing in my blessings and all I have to be grateful for.

Before I do though, I just wanted to wish you all with ALL my heart - the very Merriest of Christmases.

I hope it is one that creates the most incredible memories for you that will last a lifetime, one that makes your heart feel full to the brim

May you laugh... hard, may you love and be loved even harder, and may the new year bring some peace for you and me and for all of us around the world.

Merry Christmas you guys.

xx Sonia

Monday 19 December 2016

The Rose Gold Christmas I was GOING To Have

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I'm gong to confess - our house doesn't look anywhere near as Christmassy as it usually does at this time of the year. There are reasons why... which would require a whole other blog post that I totally plan on doing tomorrow.

However, if I was more organised AND I was feeling a little more like sprucing up the house, AND if I had the time to do a do-over for Christmas this year, I would be ging rose gold ALL the way baby!

I had all the best intentions to make this Christmas a rose gold one... I even had Pinterest boards all set up to inspire me.

Alas, all I can offer you apart from a shrug of he shoulders is some gorgeous rose gold Christmas inspiration that I may just get around to... next year!

What's your Christmas theme this year?
Do you change it up every year?

1. Rose Gold Leaf Garland 2. Rose Gold Christmas Wreath 3. Rose Gold Christmas Wrap and bells 4. Rose Gold Love Balloon 5. Rose Gold Christmas Ornaments 6. Rose Gold Mason Jars 7. Rose Gold DIY Christmas Tree 8. Rose Gold Christmas Reindeer

Sunday 18 December 2016

The Surprising Wrap On Wraps

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Brought to you by Nuffnang and Helgas

I’m going to be honest… I have never really given a whole lot of thought to my salt intake or that of my families for that matter either.

I mean, we don’t really add much salt to our food at all… OK… except for maybe on our BBQ corn on the cob because mmmmm BBQ corn on the cob, but surely salt isn’t something that needs that much thought right?


So I have found out.

I have been doing some work with Helga’s to help spread the word about the ‘Wraps Unwrapped’ Report and according to the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, the average daily intake of sodium from food amongst Australians aged 19 and over is 2,430.5mg which well exceeds the Suggest Dietary Target of four grams of salt (1,600mg of sodium per day)1.

It’s in so much of what we eat every day without us even adding any extra (hello again corn) and what this means is that when we eat something that doesn’t have added salt…it can taste kind of…bland. Often this leads to us adding some more salt and then we end up eating more salt that we should.

So what does Helga’s wraps have to do with all of this?

Well if you are like me, you might be regularly putting wraps into your kid’s lunch boxes. You think you are doing the right thing filling those wraps with healthy stuff like salad and protein and yet unknowingly we could be putting additional salt into our kid’s lunchbox too. Not to mention artificial preservatives to boot.

That’s because some wraps have a whole lot more salt than others and contain artificial preservatives. 

1.University of Newcastle, Wraps Unwrapped Report, October 2016

Goodman Fielder undertook an analysis in conjunction with Newcastle University to create an independent and publicly available analysis of 22 of Australia’s top selling brands of wraps. The Wraps Unwrapped report was commissioned to help us as consumers understand the differences between leading wrap brands.

Yeah, OK… so what does all that mean?

What they found was that 17 of the top 22 wraps contained artificial preservatives.

Holy moly, that means that even the ones that look healthy may not be all that they seem.

By swapping to a wrap with a lower level of salt than the market leader Mission Wraps Original2, like Helga's Traditional White Wraps, we can reduce the mg/100g of sodium we consume by 40% and skip the artificial preservatives altogether.

I made the Helga’s Spicy Chicken n’ Slaw Wraps for the kid’s school lunch and I was keen to see if they noticed the difference in taste from the reduced salt. I mean, let’s face it - kids can be super fussy little buggers!

The advice Susie Burrell has shared is to accustom ourselves to a gradual reduction in our usual salt intake and there are a number of ways to do that including; cooking your food in such a way that it will preserve its natural flavours, using fresh ingredients and adding herbs and spices to enhance the flavour.

The outcome?

Two thumbs up and declarations of the best lunch in a million years and a request to have it again tomorrow… and the next day… and the day after that.

Give this recipe a try with your kids. It’s kinda perfect for lunches and for a quick and easy dinner.

2. 350mg or 40% less sodium per 100g consumed when Mission Original Wraps (790mg sodium per 100g) is swapped for Helga’s Traditional White Wraps (430mg sodium per 100g)

For more information from one of Australia's leading dieticians, Susie Burrell, and to get her take on the better options available to us when it comes to lower salt and no artificial preservatives and what to look out for when you are reading the nutritional content and food labels on products, pop over to Helga’s Bakehouse on Facebook

What are your favourite wrap fillings?

Friday 9 December 2016

Losing The Battle To Win The War and Other (Probably Too Deep For A Friday Afternoon) Stuff

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I had my first real "OMG it's nearly Christmas" hit this afternoon.

I think I've probably had a few of them already but I suspect I have been squishing those hits like annoying little flies because HELLO... clearly I am in DEnial!

How can it be?

We are two weeks out from Christmas and holy shitballs I have much to do!

Two of our boys have finished school for the year this week.

The man child had his last day of year nine yesterday... YEAR NINE??

Hand me the antifreeze because I can practically feel those wrinkles popping like veins on my skin's surface.

He celebrated by sleeping in until 12.30 today before asking me for a lift to the beach...

Actually I think he sort of mumbled something at me that kind of sounded something like "canIpleasehavealifttothebeachmumitstoohottowalk"... but I couldn't really be sure.

In any case, I hope he has a nice afternoon at the beach because that is where I dropped him.

Flynn had his last day of school today too.

Like LAST last day at his current school.

Yup, after a long week of sleepless nights and pillow discussions, lists of pros and cons and moments of self doubt, we finally made the big decision to pull him out of the school he is at and move him to another.

Our decision wasn't because of any other kids, or families or any particular incident, although that's not to say that the events of this year weren't a part of what led us to the point of making the decision that we did.

But we have made peace with that now and with everyone involved and although I know it is not necessarily a solution that would work for everyone's circumstances, I would encourage you that if you feel that there is even a small chance that you think it may help -  consider reaching out to the other family if you find yourself in a situation like we did, and see if you can work together to make it all right.

You may just find that you can save yourself a whole lot of heartache if you do and resolution will come much faster for everyone than it would if left in the hands of people who are not as emotionally invested in it as you are.

But even once a situation is resolved, there can still be a nagging feeling that just won't go away. It's kind of like a niggling sense of disappointment, a deep loss of trust, or you may even find that you are left with a complete lack of faith in an organisation and it's procedures and try as you might you can't get that trust back.

Oh heck, you can try shouting about it.

You can also get really pissed off and demand meetings and explanations and all kinds of solutions...

But sometimes, there is nothing that one can do or say that will make much of a difference to an institution's way of thinking and so, like we have, you might find yourself coming to the conclusion that it is perhaps better to lose the battle in order to win the war.

For us, the war is only ever about protecting those we love most - our children.

As with all of you guys with your kids and families, their happiness and wellbeing is our reason for breathing... right?

And so for the sake of seeing ALL of our boys happy and healthy both physically and mentally, we decided to pull the plug and start our youngest afresh at a new school elsewhere next year.

We have spent nine years at our current school, and two of our kids had a fabulous time there.

Our middle son is finishing up year six there next week anyway and heading off to high school and with that came an opportunity for new beginnings.

We have made life long friendships with other families, there have been teachers who have both inspired and delighted us and we have loads of good memories from that school that we will take with us.

But schools aren't a one size fits all kind of thing, and just because it was once 'the right' place for two of our boys, doesn't necessarily mean it was going to be right for all three of them.

Schools change, people come and go and sometimes the leadership changes too. Sometimes those changes can contribute to a feeling that what was once a place you enjoyed being at, is not really the case anymore... and so you have a choice.

You can huff and puff and stay and as you try to get past it you continue to build resentment, or you can move on.

I reckon life is far too short to resent anything or anyone, and so we shall move on.

As simple as that.

We are moving on.

Flynn is super excited about his new school, "They do SO MUCH SPORT THERE MUM" was the first thing he said/ shouted at/to me after our interviews and "I already know so many people that go there" was another.

Admittedly, he went through a few moments of sheer panic (as did I) because... you know... there are still lots of new people to meet and all that.

Some tears were shed... BIG time...

He shed a few too.

But today he is smiling again and as any mother will agree - Oh boy do us parents LIVE for those smiles!

Have a fabulous weekend you guys.

May EVERY day be filled with the biggest goofiest happiest smiles humanly possible.

Has Christmas hit you in the face yet or are you still in denial?

Thursday 8 December 2016

Twenty TOTALLY AWESOME Gifts For The Kids This Christmas!

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Brought to you by Nuffnang and Macquarie Centre

I’m not even kidding when I tell you that I seriously struggle when it comes to figuring out what to buy our boys and my nieces for Christmas.

It doesn’t help that I ALWAYS imagined myself with girls and that I would be shopping for all the things that I would have wanted for myself as a little girl and yet here I am trying to come up with ideas for three boys who are all very different to each other in the things that they like.

I typically start my Christmas lists in June and by the time November / December comes around those lists look more like a page full of crossed out scribble than a list of gift ideas because trends come and go and something my kids are utterly obsessed with one month is SOOOOO ridiculously uncool by the next.

The struggle is real you guys.

When the gang at Macquarie Centre in Ryde invited me on a shopping trip to put together a suggested gift guide for kids aged 5-14, I swung between sheer exhilaration because HELLO great love of mine… SHOPPING, but then moments later I was all “Holy Cheeseballs” how the heck am I going to be able to make any suggestions for anyone else if I can’t even figure out what to put on the list for my own children?

And then there is my morbid fear of busy parking lots.

Do not underestimate this fear of mine.

Shopping generally involves having to go into big car parks and that alone is enough to get the heart palpitations going and it’s a legitimate fear you guys, one that has a proper name got with it too - 

Linecostraphobitis; someone who has a fear of parking lots.


OK, so when you finish laughing at me, I’ll have you know that I have been known to have meltdowns in shopping centre car parks after losing my car.
I know you are probably thinking - “what kind of moron LOSES their car?” right?

Well this moron who gets distracted by bright shiny lights and forgets to look where she is parked loses her car and then finds herself walking around in circles with purple hands because her shopping bags are cutting off the circulation to her arms and nice caring people see that she is panicking and stop to help help her and that makes her cry because sympathy always makes her cry and so she ends up sobbing big fat tears on some poor kind stranger who wishes they never stopped to offer her help.


But when I went to the Macquarie Centre, this happened… 

That there would be Valet Parking folks.

Can you hear the angels singing? Can you?
Ten bucks and you can drive up to the door, have someone help you out of your car and park it for you and when you are done and dusted and all shopped out, they bring your car back to the entrance for you and they then load all of your shopping into the car whilst your collapse into the drivers seat plum tuckered out.
No more hunting for lost cars.
Oh I can’t even.

Look, I am not one to generally fall for the bells and whistles, well not that much anyway… however for a measly ten bucks for the luxury of valet parking, I do hope that you will forgive me for the stars in my eyes and the blood flowing freely in my arms.

 Ok so onto the gift suggestions for our marvellous munchkins… you have shopping to do right?

Well I'll have you know that I happen to think I have done more than alright with this list you guys, but hey…you can be the judge of that!

A: Classical Acoustic Guitar from Mall Music $179 B: Mini Marquee Letter Lights from Typo $9.99

C: Boys Summer Hat from H&M $14.99 D: Beach Sounds Radio from Sunny Life $64.95

E: Toucan Bag from Sunny Life $26.95 F: Pop Handset for iPhones from Mr & Mrs Jones $20.95

G: Beach Flyer from Mr & Mrs Jones $15.40 H: Sky High Clock Projector from Smuggle $36.95

I: Flamingo Lunch Box from Sunny Life $24.95 

J: Beats Solo Wireless Headphones from JB HiFi $399

K: Ripley’s Believe It Or Not from Dymocks $24.99 L: Yellow Ukulele from Mall Music $34.95

M: Sequins Pencil Case from Typo $10 

 N: Day of the Dead Skull Money Money box from Mr & Mrs Jones $10

O: Watermelon Pool Float from Sunny Life $39.95 P: Book Light from Smiggle $11.95

Q: Barbie Fashionistas from Target $9.99 R: Boy’s Board Shorts from H&M $19.95 

S: Boys Tank Tee from Target $10 T: Remote Control Ferrari from Kid Stuff $99

For any of our Sydney readers, can I suggest that you get your luverly behinds over to Macquarie Centre because they have everything you need under the one roof to nail ALL of your Christmas shopping in one hit.

That’s a BIG win at this time of the year you guys… BIG win.

If you are looking for gift ideas for the family, then check out all of the Macquarie Centre gift guides here. - some of my fellow bloggers and I have got you covered for suggestions for boys, girls, beauty lovers, foodies, tech heads and yep… even us Linecostraphobitics.

Have you done your Christmas Shopping yet?
Any suggestion on what to buy the hubby?