2017Life Love and Hiccups: 2017

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Just A Break... Not A Break Up

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Well hi there you guys...

You guys?

Is anyone still there?

It's been a long time since I last wrote on here... so long in fact that I kinda sorta almost FORGOT how to even get into my blog.

I've wanted to start writing again, for soooo long now actually... but the timing just always seemed kind of... I don't know... off?

So many times in this past 6 months I have made it as far as saying "right, today is the day" but then something happened... something big, like terror attacks around the world, or someone I love had a big thing going on and then I just felt so... awkward about sitting down and writing about my average day.

I questioned myself... like who really gives a fuck if I went to lunch at such and such, or I made over a room or I had some big epiphany about how I don't actually like fennel or some other lame ass realisation. Who cares about my obscure fears or random musings when there is REAL shit going on in the world.

Does that even make sense?

It's sort of hard to verbalise... I lost my voice for a while, and when I found it... I just kinda felt so insignificant in the bigger picture and therefore lost my nerve to speak.

That's not the only reason I took a break from blogging.

On a number of occasions over the past year I have found myself asking.... has blogging changed or have I?

It just seemed that there was a once upon of time when blogging was so much easier. 

I mean, you wrote and I read. I wrote and you read and yada yada.

When we could, we left a comment on each others posts, we chatted on FB or instagram and if you were lucky you got to meet your mates every now and then at some bloggy event.

But then the bloggy world changed.... the number of blogs increased at a massive rate. Sponsorships and monetisation became a viable opportunity but with that came a focus on numbers and stats, and online cliques and comparison. 

Snark sites emerged, FB & insta insights became important, Facebook wanted us to pay to speak to our communities, and follow/unfollow and analytic apps became yet another way for ones insecurities to go to town with an all expenses paid trip courtesy of our confidence and sanity.

Gah!

The more my insecurities grew, the more I withdrew and became private and guarded of my everyday life. I compared myself constantly and I questioned myself and my worthiness.

I lost my ability to share.

And so I took a break from the online world, granted a much longer break than I originally planned.

I stopped reading blogs and spending so much time online. I avoided online groups and social media for anything other than work, and I said no thank you to sponsorships and invites to events and reviews and all the stuff that I had been fortunate enough to experience in the past because of blogging.

I guess you could say I went AWOL or some might say I did an online detox.

Regardless of whatever label we give it, the biggest lesson I learned in my absence was that I miss blogging. I like writing on my blog and I like reading blogs. I enjoy taking photos and capturing moments and recording how I am feeling at the different stages of my life.

I missed sharing those moments and feelings and I missed the community we created together.

I missed my little place on the internet where I found comfort in sharing the randomness that floats through my head at any given moment.

I realised that I like looking at pretty things, making pretty things and sharing pretty things and I like being able to sit down at my computer and confess to my screw ups, rejoice in my wins, commiserate when our worlds are sad, and generally just chew the fat we call life.

And that's ok to like all those things.

I just needed to find my balance... a flow that works for me and that can adapt as my needs change.

Maybe I needed to feel insignificant in this big old world for a while. Maybe I needed my confidence to be shaken so that I could put it back together again in a way that fits me better and maybe I needed to experience all the negative emotions that the online world can conjour so I know exactly what I don't want my blog or me to be or succumb to.

I guess it will be a work in progress, a suck and see and make it up as I go kind of process... not surprising really given I myself have always been and always will be - a work in progress.

Anyways, enough already with my rambling. I have loads to share with you about what we have been up to this past 6 months and  I have lots to catch up on with what YOU have been up to as well.

The good news is, there is no need to rush things... I'm back, it was just a break and NOT a break up and I don't plan on running away again for a while.

Besides, it may be the last day of the year and all that... but we have a whole new chapter ahead of us.

Happy New Years you guys... it's so bloody good to be back!

Ok... so I know we have so much to catch up on, but if anyone is there and reading my rambling, I'd love you to say hello.
Tell me - what's been going on with you? 
What are your plans for the New Year?
Have you ever lost your voice so to speak?

Header Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash



Monday, 17 July 2017

Is The Internet Making Us (Me) Paranoid?

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Social Media and the Internet has A LOT to answer for.

Aside from all the insecurities that are born from comparing our bodies, homes, families and lives to those of all the others that we see on our phones and computer screens, there is also the added bonus of paranoia to contend with too.

Social media and blogging unleashes ALL kinds of uninvited ring-ins into my already overcrowded paranoid mind and I have to admit I am more than a little curious to know if you ever feel this way too?

Apparently, this overwhelm and paranoia we feel are both perfectly justifiable signs of the times that we live given that we spend so much time talking to each other online rather than in person.

Once upon a time, back in the olden days (kill me now cause I said it again), it was very black and white when it came to deciding if your paranoia was justified or not.

Case in point;

You approach a group of friends who are huddled up close with heads together, clearly discussing something or someone.

One of two things would typically happen....

1. They will pause for a moment whilst you join them, briefly give you the background and then dive back into the discussion.

Or...

2. They notice you approaching and immediately stop speaking and so you then oblige them with a response that includes an awkward laugh and an even more awkward comment along the lines of "ok girls, you can stop talking about me now". They in turn respond with something along the lines of an intense interest in the current state of their cuticles or they simply stare up at the sky and ponder the possibility of snow falling in Summer in your beachside suburb..

Case solved.

They were talking about me.

These days, things are much harder to figure out thanks to the subtle passive aggressiveness and vacant jibing that the internet enables.

In fact the internet is a breeding ground for judgement and paranoia, and there is no place more virile than Facebook and The Blogosphere.

So what the hell am I vagueing on about right now?

Hmmm, it kind of goes like this...

You read a cryptic status update that a friend writes on Facebook about how someone has pissed her off and you respond with an appropriate dose of empathy in the form of a comment on that post... but then your comment is met with silence.

Not a single word in response, not even a like to acknowledge your comment.

Nothing.

Nada..

And so (if you are me), you commence hyperventilating as you mentally recount your last ten conversations and interactions with this person to pinpoint exactly what it was that you did that caused her to be so mad at you.

Now don't expect reason to help you out here.

Nope, Reason doesn't even think of coming to the party and pointing out the fact she could be talking about any of the 1852 people she has engaged with in the past month.

Nah ah, there is no room for reason at this party because Paranoia has arrived people and Paranoia has started a big old paranoia orgy in your head and consequently you have already donned your own shackles and you are now far too busy writing your 98 page apology letter... for something you don't know even know what or if you have or haven't done.

But....Paranoia says you did so you must have right?

Gah!!!

Then there's that blog post a fellow blogger writes about blah blah and how she really dislikes it when people yaya yada, or how she thinks that people who yada yada make her feel blah blah...

You get the gist right?

Of course you do, because that post was written about you right?!

Oh wait, oh sweets... you mean you didn't know she was talking about you?

Bless, you mean you actually thought it could have been about any of the other eleventy billion faceless people she could have been referring too?

THAT my dear friend is the point that reason leaves the building and insecurity and paranoia claim squatters rights.

Now short of leaving a comment on that Cryptic Facebook status or opinion post asking the author if it is indeed you she was talking about and in the process of doing so risk making yourself look like a utter narcissistic looney... there is not much else you can do about it.

I guess you could spend the next few days in self imposed exile doing some deep and meaningful soul searching as you question the probability of it being you or not and whether you can you live with yourself it were indeed you she was talking about.

Or... you could attempt a modern day passive aggressive poke in the shoulder by writing your own cryptic Facebook / Twitter / Instagram update / blog post and leave everyone else wondering who you are really talking about too before you realise that you have now completely lost the plot and surrender yourself and your wounded ego to your local Social Media rapid detox and rehabilitation facility.

Then again, you could just get over yourself, turn off the computer for a while and go and get a life.

Who am I to judge?

Whatever works for you I say.

Do you ever overthink what you read online?
Ever felt like the internet and social media is making you slightly paranoid?





Friday, 14 July 2017

Dyson VERSUS The Kids and Their Dogs

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Brought to you by Dyson & Nuffnang

OK my fellow neat freaks… get ready to be enlightened.

We (we as in our family but let’s face it, we are really talking about me - the neat freak) were sent the new Dyson V8 cord-free vacuum cleaner to try out and with the camera aimed directly at us - we set about putting it to the test.



Impressive huh?

This beautiful machine is like the holy grail… in my humble inner Martha Mudgut’s opinion.

OK, so if you were to sit down with my mum for a chat over a cuppa and ask her if I was always such a neat freak - she would probably choke on her coffee and collapse from a laughing induced hernia because her answer would be a big fat resounding NO.

Nope, I wasn’t always quite so fastidious about keeping things neat, in fact I was probably one of the messiest teens that has ever walked this planet… but then something happened to change me.

At 19, I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend (who is now my hubby) and he was hands down the messiest person I had ever met. I’m talking lose yourself for days in his piles of laundry and dirty dishes kind of messy you guys and it did my head in.

Ironically, his messiness was the miraculous cure for my own untidiness and the beginning of a lifetime spent apologising to my mother for all the years of mess she endured with me.

It was also when Martha Mudguts was born.

Since most of our friends still lived at out home with their own parents, our humble beach side apartment became the go-to party house. Hey, I was always one who was up for a good time, so of course I was totally ok with our place being party central. In fact, I was very accommodating (if I do say so myself) when it came to our multiple house guests and bodies that slept off hangovers on our couch and living room floor, and as long as no one minded me putting coasters under their drinks and lifting their lifeless legs so that I could vacuum the morning after (or the night before if my desperate need for tidiness won).

Somehow I managed to convert the hubby along the way… my years of training eventually paid off and he found his own tidy streak… buried somewhere under all the laundry no doubt.

Aaaaaand then we had kids, three boys to be precise.

Three lovely, happy, dirty, messy, loud and adventurous little boys.

Not content with our boisterous trio, I then insisted on adding two dogs to the mix because clearly I am a sucker for punishment.

I know you are probably dying to know… has my insistent need for tidiness waned somewhat over the years… what with a house full of boys and dogs and all that?

Hell no!!!

In fact I would even go so far as to say that I am as fastidious as ever if not more, and further yet I am cunning in the way that I manage the mess and clever in the arsenal of tools I have at my disposal to fight my endless battle… and at the top of my list (ok, sharing pole position with my coffee machine) is my trusty Dyson Vacuum cleaner.

I have been a total Dyson convert since I bought my first one nearly 12 years ago. I still have that incredible machine and it is now used solely on the car after the kids used it in various role plays over the years.

Then I was introduced to the newest member of the Dyson family and I have pretty much now declared my undying devotion.







The Dyson V8 Absolute cord-free vacuum cleaner takes all the hassle out of keeping our house clean and tidy. As you saw in the video, it is ready to go any time I need it, really handy for cleaning up small messes as they happen. I also love the fact that it has no cords for this self declared Queen Klutz to trip over (or my merry party of mini klutzes for that matter) is absolute winner of a bonus!

At just 2.6kg, it is super lightweight and so easy to manoeuvre. The powerful suction generated by the Dyson digital motor V8 removes ALL the crumbs, dirt, dust and dog hair from our carpets, soft furnishings and tiled floors and the battery now lasts up to 40 minutes (compared to 20 minutes on the previous generations) which is plenty of time for me to whip around the entire house in a my ritualistic cleaning frenzy.

One of the best bits yet…even the kids love using it too. OK, so they probably like to pretend it is a super sucky light sabre or something, but hey…if they want to play and clean the floors at the same time, who the heck am I to argue??!!!

The Dyson V8 Absolute cord-free vacuum retails for RRP $899 and you can buy it here. It is quite possibly the best gift you could ever buy for yourself and your home.

Go on, you self-confessed house-proud clean freak - you know you want to.

I’m curious (because some of my friends think my once or twice a day vacuuming habit is bordering on obsessive - how often do you vacuum your place?


Monday, 10 July 2017

Totally Worth The Pool Of Drool

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Helllooooo and happy Monday lovely people!

It's been a looooong time between drool pools around here, but thanks to a stinker of a head cold that kept me in bed for a few days early last week, I had a chance to indulge in a little bit of Pinterest Porn.

Ahhhh... Is there anything quite like it?

Drooling over other people's perfectly staged homes and then mentally (& sometimes physically) rearranging your entire home to meet the needs of your new style crush?

I think not.

I say scrap the Lemsip and engage in a little swoon therapy instead.

I've been madly crushing over greens and teals for some time now... evidence of this is very clear to see in the teal coloured wall I insisted on painting in our home last year... I STILL love it.

Now if only someone would care to fix me up with a blush coloured velvet couch and maybe a couple of thousand buckeroos to spend on some new plants and accessories, then I think we could put this style crush to bed for a while.

One can always dream right?

In the meantime, here's a little snippet of what caught my eye during my recent Pin Pash!

What colour combos have you currently swooning?
Do you happen to have a blush velvet couch you would like a new home for? I know someone ;)

 Source: Norsu Interiors

Source: ApartmentF15



 Source: Arte Boheme

Source: Patina Studio


 Source: ApartmentF15

 Source: Sincerely Jules





Friday, 30 June 2017

A Not So ADULTY Thing To Do

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Deadset you guys, I think I have been more adulty in the past few weeks than I have ever been in my entire adulty life to date and honestly... I've never felt like such a phoney.

I half expect to look in the mirror and see a little person staring back at me, a little person all dressed up in her mum's high heels with a face full of blue eyeshadow and red lippy, a dozen strings of pearls hanging around her neck and a glow mesh Oroton slung over her shoulder.

Except I don't see that... partly because you will never see me in heels 'cause I can't walk in them to save my life.

Instead I just see me.

All 40 something years of me.

OK, so I know that in theory, getting married, having kids and buying a home are all very adult things to do and have done, but the past few weeks have upped the stakes and have seen me and the hubby dealing with car accidents and insurance companies, finance brokers and commercial real estate agents, super fund experts and financial advisors, doctors and grown up tests and grown up waits for diagnosis of grown up medical conditions.

That's a whole lot of grown up stuff.

To top it all off there has been that family situation that has demanded of me; sensitivity, patience, common sense (all very adulty kind of traits) and not to mention a bottle of hair dye to cover up the rapidly appearing (adultish) greys.

Throughout it all, I've just been standing here waiting for a proper adult to walk into the room and say "It's all good Sonia, the adults will take it from here", but that adult has failed to turn up and so I am forced to be as adulty as my non adulty heart can fake.

***Sigh***

You see in my head I am still somewhere between 16 and 25 years old and not a day older.

I think my brain kind of stopped ageing some time about 20 odd years ago but my body and my life just went full steam ahead not even realising that my mind was standing back there waving it's hands going "hey.... HEY... did you forget something" and now suddenly, here I am pretending to be an adult in a big old adult world.

I might look the part, but inside I'm feeling like a scared shitless teenager taking the wheel for the first time... and quite frankly I miss the ease of just being a kid.

Yesterday I woke up with an overwhelming urge to rebel and do the most unadulty thing I could possibly do.

Well, not quite the most unadulty thing, but as unadulty as I could manage to pull off given I had 3 kids in tow.

And so I did this...


Yep that would be a diamond nose stud in my snozzle.

I KNOW RIGHT???!!!

Who am I?

What, why.... I have no idea!

The thing was, as I was sat there in the chair with a stick of Betadine shoved up my nose, the kids had their phones stuck in my face ready to film me and the nice lady was waiting to stab a hole in my nose, and the first thought that came into my mind was "Oh shit, what will my parents say?"

My parents!!!

Here I am a parent myself doing something very unparent like in front of my OWN kids and I am worried about what MY parents would think???

HILARIOUS!

It felt good.

Like RIDICULOUSLY deliciously good to metaphorically stick my finger up at adulthood and let my mind act it's age for once... well the age it thinks it is.

And so that's how I came to have a nose piercing. A completely random, out of character and so not adulty nose piercing... and I luuuuurve it.

P.S so um Mum and Dad... *cough cough* what do you think? Dare I ask?

How old are you in your head?
Ever done anything to purposely NOT act your age?

Header Image source: UnSplash




Friday, 23 June 2017

Do you Believe in Signs?

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Artwork by Pete Cromer

Do you believe in Angels and in the signs they send you?

I do.

I don't talk a lot about my spirituality here on the blog, which is weird I guess considering it is such a big part of who I am or at least - who I have become.

Maybe it is because a lot of what I believe in, others would possibly see as a whole load of whickety whack, which when I think about it...  is really dumb that I should even care.

I am what you would call a spiritual person - but you can't really put a label on my belief system. I sort of subscribe to a universal kind of spirituality.

I believe in angels and energy, in karma and power of positive action. I believe that there is something far greater than us and I can't tell you how much relief that notion gives me.

I identify with what you would call "the good parts" of many different religions, the positive and the nurturing side of all religions be it Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, paganism... just to name a few. However,  as soon as a religion sparks fear or judgment or condones suffering in any form... you've totally lost me.

So someone I love has been going through a really tough time lately. Like REALLY tough.

That person is one of my children and I can't actually say that without a sob escaping my lips... it truly breaks my heart.

It is not my story to share with other people though and as much as I crave the release of writing about it, it is not mine to tell.

What I can tell you though, is that my heart has been feeling pain like no other pain I have ever felt before. My every thought and every breath is consumed by it and as any mother who has ever worried about a child (which is pretty much every mother EVER) will confirm... that worry is possibly one of the heaviest burdens a human could ever be expected to carry.

And so last night as I lay awake in bed thinking about everything, I asked the angels for help, which is something that anyone who knows me knows it is hard for me to ask for... but I did it anyway and I asked for healing and protection and for some extra help to carry us through.

Now the thing about Angels you see, is that they tend to give us signs. Have you ever thought of someone you have lost and then a butterfly randomly floats by or a feather just magically appears? Or maybe you have been wondering if you are on the right track, or have you made the right decision about something and then a number sequence appears like 11:11 on the clock?

I believe they are signs, just a bit of an "Oi, we're just doing this to let you know we are listening to you" kind of message from the angels, and sometime those angels can have quite the sense of humour in the way they deliver those signs... case in point below.

Last night, when I finally fell asleep, I had a dream that I was somewhere in a park with my family... maybe on a picnic or something? I can't be sure as those details are a bit hazy. What I do remember though is that a Rainbow Lorikeet flew down and landed on my shoulder, followed by a whole load of them landing on my head and all down my arms and I can clearly recall the sensation of them on me and the sound of my kids laughing.

I don't remember much else about that dream... except for the birds, but then this morning when I was sitting in the cafe outside my studio having a coffee, I spotted two Rainbow Lorikeets feasting on some bread scraps someone had left behind.

They reminded me of my dream and then suddenly they squawked and took flight. One flew to my left and the other... the other flew so close to my head I could feel the wind from its wings on my face.

It was sign... albeit a cheeky one, a sign that in my heart told me that things will be ok, a sign that the angels heard me last night and were telling me that they have our back.

Whether the lorikeets this morning and the dream I had the night before is purely a coincidence or a real life sign... doesn't matter really.

It is whatever I believe it to be and that in turn it gives me so much comfort and hope.

At the end of the day, isn't that all we can hope to gain from whatever form of spirituality we subscribe to... a little comfort and hope?

I believe so.

Happy Friday lovely people and to any of my fellow mamas whose heart feels heavier than usual today - I am sending you so much love and light.

Do you believe in Signs?
Have you ever received one so perfectly timed that it took your breath away?


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Winter Schminter; Love it or Leave it?

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When people tell me that they love winter, I kind of want to stab my eyeballs out with the sharp end of a severely charcoaled marshmallow roasting stick.

I should make a point of saying,  just in case you happen to be a devoted winter lover... it's not you... it's totally all me.

You see, in my world, winter sort of sucks bulls balls.

I have all these romantic ideas of winter and they are beautifully bound up into something like one of those special coffee table books people often have on display... only my pictures are in my head rather than laid out on the coffee table.

Think crackling fireplaces (fireplaces that don't actually make the house smell of smoke), big chunky cable knit jumpers (the type that won't make me look like a hippo wrapped in a ton of Cotton wool), and fluffy mittens clutching hot cups of cocoa under the twinkly lights (cocoa of course because I'm pretty sure that a king size tin of Nesquik wouldn't feature in a fancy coffee table book).

Come to think of it... I think I may have pinched all of my idealistic winter ingredients straight out of a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie or something.

Sounds pretty darn cosy though right?

I should probably mention that I usually start putting that romantic winter picture book together waaaaayyyy back in January, when the weather is like fifty zillion degrees, when the ice in my cup melts so damn quickly that it dilutes my G&T faster than I can drink it, and at night when I am doing to the muggy night toss to the beat of my hubby's mozzy slapping.

I can totally see why people fall in love with the idea of winter, it's just that it never quite lives up to my expectations.

Come winter, my bones are aching, the kids wobble somewhere between feral because they are bored with being cooped up and feral because they have miserable colds from running around in no clothes in minus 100 temps (modest exaggeration duly noted). The sun sets too early, the mornings are too cold, and the constant smell of dampness out near our clothesline reminds of me of musty old motel rooms and my car that once stunk to high heaven after the kids left the windows down during a storm a few years ago.

Things just don't ever seem to run smoothly for us in winter either.

June and July never fails to deliver us a dose of bad luck... but then on second thoughts...r maybe that's because I have come to expect it from those months and so the universe being so giving and all that doesn't want to disappoint me and even chucks in a set of free steak knives in the form of... no... I don't even dare to give it any ideas.

I'm a Spring kind of gal through and through. The new green growth, the smell of blooming Jasmine, the hint of a warm breeze and the promise of stinking hot zillion degrees days and mozzies to slap.

Did I mention that I turn into quite the moaner during Winter? You know, in case you didn't happen to notice and all that.

What about you?

Are you sold on the whole romantic notion of Winter Schminter or does it leave you feeling a little ripped off too? 




Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Hemorrhoids, Zappos and Mummy Meltdowns

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Image Source


Grab a cup of coffee or join me in a glass of coping cordial and come and sit down for a bit of natter.

If it's alright with you, I'd like to whine chat about the kids for a moment because honestly... I think mine might be out to get me.

No like REALLY, I think they are doing their best to send me to the loopy lock up.

You think I am kidding right?

I know, you are probably sitting there thinking to yourself "Sonia has gone and drunk the Conspiracy Kool Aid and now she spends her days running around with tin foil on her head because she thinks that aliens can't read her thoughts"... wait... I am a bit of a sucker for a man in green... do you think they really can read our minds?

I digress.

But I am not kidding.

I wish I could say that I am kidding, but I am deadset convinced that they have some kind of devious plan to trick me into signing myself into a padded hotel so that they can skip the nightly routine of arguing over showers, homework, chores and bedtimes.

I feel like we are arguing a lot at the moment. Like ALL the time, and about stupid things too.

For example, it took me no less than 11 requests (and some begging followed by a meltdown) for my kids to do their dog poop duty this afternoon. In the end I resorted to bribing one of them to do it by stealing and trading 3 Zappos from one kid and giving them to another.

Their bedrooms are a pigsty, there is clean still folded T'Shirts in the dirty laundry basket and the dishwasher conveniently went through two cycles before it was unpacked. To top it all off I found my Scholl foot file thingymajiggy under a pile of scrap papers on my youngest offspring's desk where he had been using it to make pencil shavings.

PENCIL SHAVINGS????!!!!

Some days I might be all about the silent fist pumping and self congratulations on my awesome mothering skills. Then other days I'm not.

On those other days.... I find myself questioning whether I have somehow managed to break those perfect little children that I willingly broke my pelvic floor in childbirth for, or... have I in my quest to have children who actually like me, become some kind of lame ass pushover who unknowingly led them down the garden path and straight into Turdsville where they have morphed into... little turdy people???

Now don't get me wrong... I love those children.

I love them HARD.

In fact I love them so much I would punch a billion people in the face to protect them.

But after the argument I had just today with a pant missing teen (the 'missing pants' were hanging in his cupboard in case you were wondering) and the argument I had with the ridiculously tired and cranky tween (It only took until midnight for him to finally go the f*** to sleep last night) it would be fair to say that yes - I love them, but I just don't like them... right now.

Oh kill me now, I went and said those cliched old mum words - "I love you, but that doesn't mean I have to like you".

'Gah!

But it's ok right? Because we can not like our kids for a little while but we do still love them.

I know that hiding underneath the snarling teeth and stink eyes, they really are good kids, it's just that clearly, every now and then (cough cough) they like to dress up and masquerade as cranky little hemorrhoid inducing turdy people.

And then... just like how haemorrhoids one day just go away... so too does the turdiness and I am reunited with my nice children again and we will be all smiles and hugs and double shot hot chocolates. with Zappos on the side.

OMG, I just compared my children to haemorrhoids... forgive me... it's has been a particularly rough day.

Anyway, my point is... well I don't actually have a point really except to let you know that if you ever find yourself having a rough day, week, month or year on the old parenting front... you are not alone.

You are SO not alone.

And next time you find yourself wanting to shove your shopping trolley into a litter of nicely behaved siblings traipsing along behind a glowing happy looking mum... remind yourself that she is smiling because she is so darn relieved that her turds have departed and she has her nice kids back again... after all, that's the only reason she would be brave or insane enough to go to the shops with all of them in tow... right?

Either that or the kids have been bribed with Zappos and she has self medicated herself with a Valium Mocha Latte.

Whatever gets you by I say.

Have your kids been to Turdsville lately?
Any tips for getting a 12 year old to go to sleep that DOESN'T involve Phenergan?


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bloggers On The Loose

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I've only just realised that I have had this post half written and sitting in my drafts from a few weeks back and I totally forgot to hit publish on it. 

I'm tempted to blame my recent lobotomy performed by a pack of ferocious little aliens... but that's not a very nice way to talk about my children so I'll just have to shrug my shoulders and plead insanity instead.

A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel for the 'In Cahoots' event with Mum's Society with some of my fabulous fellow bloggy mates Beth (BabyMac) Kayte (Mrs Woogs) and my beautiful friend Kate (Uberkate).  

We spoke about all things business, blogging, life and parenting... well our take on those things anyway, and I had an absolute ball... I mean, how could I not given the most excellent company I was in and the laughs we had?! 

The highlight would HAVE to have been Beth's impromptu rendition of Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby. That woman gives the Ice man a hell of a run for his money. 

The event was also an opportunity for us to catch up with so many awesome women including the familiar faces we got to catch up with again and those who we had only ever spoken with online but were thrilled to finally meet in person.

In fact, so much fun was had by all of us that we got to thinking that maybe taking a road trip together would be a hoot and so we are going to look into an excuse to take our four (wo)man circus on the road to meet more awesome peoples... watch this space.

The Mum's Society brunches are organised by the fabulous founder Kylie Ostle and are such a great excuse opportunity for us women in Sydney to get together and be inspired by each other and the online community is a wonderful way to support each other through our work / life juggles. 

The next Mum's Society brunch is on the 28th June with guest speaker Talitha Cummins who be sharing a little insight into how she has managed her very own expectations of Maternity Leave and set about rebuilding her confidence after giving birth to her son. 

Believe me when I tell you that you will have a fabulous time - whether you go along on your own or with a friend.



I'll leave you with a couple of photos of the event taken by Blumenthal Photography, but please do leave some suggestions in the comments below as to where we should go if we do manage to get this circus on the road.

For the record - I only realised after seeing some of these photos that I have a very Italian way of waving my hands around whilst I talk... despite the fact I don't have a drop of Italian DNA in my very Irish bloodline.

Go figure!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Ten Ways To Tell If A Friendship Has Past Its Expiry Date

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It goes without saying that life would feel pretty empty without your friends in it.

Your sisters from other misters or maybe even your brothers from other mothers, these friends are those special ones with whom you have chosen to trust with your deepest secrets, who you turn to when you are busting with exciting news to share, and who you seek out when you need someone to carry you through the shittier days that life insists we endure every now and then.

They are beside us through the good times as well as the not so good and if they were suddenly gone - we would miss them as much as we would miss our left hand if it too suddenly went missing.

I mean, you could cope without your left hand... I guess. It sure as hell would be difficult though and probably even unbearable at times.

So then how do we cope when a friendship ends, and what if you were the one to end it?

Why would you even consider drawing the curtains closed on a friendship?

Hmmm good question, but the answer is simple - because sometimes a friendship has past its used by date and is no longer good for you.

Alright, so how can you tell if a friendship has past it's expiry date?

Well, if you are anything like me, you probably try to hang on to those friendships to the bitter end. You do what you can to 'fix' it and you are not beyond donning the gloves in a bid to fight for them.

You think nothing of whipping out your nunchucks to defend them to the end when others repeatedly speak badly of them, and often you are willing to forgive the unforgivable because let's get real here... breaking up with someone sucks and who is ever really ready to just let a friendship go?

Maybe you are more ready than you realise.

Ouch.

I know.

Your left hand is twitching right?

I've had to break up with a friend before, and it was an awful thing to go through. You miss them like crazy and for a long time you find yourself reaching for the phone to call them to tell them about your news or to share a juicy bit of gossip you know they would love.

There's no denying that the end of a friendship can leave a big gaping hole in your life, but much like that infected hole you once regretted piercing in your belly button... it needs time to close up and to heal, but you know you'll be better without it in the long run.

A very special friend once explained to me her views on friendships and how they can pretty much be divided up into three different categories; Reasons, Seasons or Lifers.

The 'Reasons' are those who came into your life for... well der, a reason.

There was something that brought you together in the first place, school or uni, mother's group or even your work. Maybe she was a friend of your sister or a fellow school mum newbie who held your hair for you whilst you expelled the excess champagne you nervously consumed at your first school trivia night.

Whatever or however - she came in to your life for a reason, albeit one you may never actually understand, and she may only be around for a short time or perhaps for many many years to come.

There is a chance she may become a lifer... but there is also a chance that she won't, because no matter the reason that she came into your life in the first place, sometimes, that reason isn't enough to keep the friendship alive forever.

The 'Seasons' come and go like their name suggests. Often we fall hard and fast for these friends, but they rarely last the distance long term.

One day you just quietly fall out of friendship with this friend, and you may not even realise it has happened until you find yourself in the supermarket feigning interest in the calorie content of a can of Whiskers rather than making eye contact with her and enduring an awkward post seasonal friendship conversation.

The 'Lifers' are your soul mates, your kindred spirits and the ones you would do anything for. You love them with all your heart and even though you may have the occasional spat - you never doubt the bond that ties you together. Your friendship with a 'Lifer' is never too hard.

Often you will go for long periods where you don't see each other or even speak, but that moment you are reunited... it's easy as and you effortlessly pick right up wherever it was that you left off.

Friendship shouldn't be all hard work. It really shouldn't.

That's not too say you'll never hit bumps along the way, but a good friendship should never make you do something you don't feel right about and it shouldn't make you feel bad about yourself, or sad or guilty... unless you bonk your bestie's boyfriend or hubby because if you do that then you should TOTALLY feel the guilt and suffer in it because YOU are the bad friend.

So if friendships don't always last forever, how do you tell if your friendship has past its expiry date?

Are the signs obvious?

Sometimes they are... sometimes they are not, but I think it is fair to say that if you ever find yourself regularly feeling any of the following with a friend, it's probably time to consider calling it quits and put that friendship out with your recycling.

1. She's not happy for you. 

Our friends should be happy for us if we are lucky enough to get a win under our belts, and she should with no questions asked, bring out the best glasses if we arrive on her doorstep with champagne and good news to share.

I mean you would for your friend right?

If she has an ongoing reluctance to share in your joy, doesn't have time to listen to your exciting news or is always 'too busy' to celebrate a win with you... then you probably need to check the use by date on that friendship.

2. She likes to make you feel guilty.

Now I'm not talking about the kind of guilt you would get if you stole your bff's boyfriend, or promotion or recklessly trashed her favourite dress she graciously lent you. No, we have already established that you probably deserve any guilt you feel for those things.

I mean the unnecessary guilt that you get piled with when you haven't called her for a while (helloooo, she has fingers doesn't she? She could call you!) or the guilt you are made to feel when a friend who never has time to call / see / catch up with you, somehow manages to make you feel bad for not spending enough time with her or for spending too much time with someone else.

Then there is the guilt she gives you when you dare to speak your mind or disagree with her. Isn't that what a good friendship is built on - honesty? You should be able to discuss with her how you feel about something without being made to feel any guilt for offending her.

That kind of guilt is just not fair and if you repeatedly find yourself having to make up excuses to avoid being smacked over the head with a bucket of unfair guilt, then it's time for you to quietly back away and don't go back.

3. There isn't an equal exchange.

If you are having to do all the work and always be the one to call her or organise when, where and how you are going to catch up, or if you are there for her whenever she needs you but when you need her?

Crickets...

If you are constantly giving and not getting anything in return - then stop it right now because
you deserve more than that. Friendship is after all a two way street and if the exchange isn't flowing both ways then you need to change direction... and put your foot on the accelerator as you drive away.

4. She always talks about herself but never asks about you.

Of course there are going to be times where you won't get a word in edgewise. Your friend might be going through a tough time and just needs time to vent, or maybe she is really excited about something and genuinely wants to share it with you... at a million words per minute.

Generally though, it is not like that ALL the time and you both get equal air time to share what's going on in your life with each other.

It's probably fair to say that if every conversation is about her and she never stops to ask how you are and properly listen to your answer... then she probably doesn't really care too much and the last thing you need is a friend who doesn't give a shit about you.

5. You are always her scapegoat.

Oh man, I'm pretty sure we've all used someone or have been used ourselves as an excuse at some time or another in our lifetime of friendships. But there is a difference between being used as an excuse to not go to a party and constantly finding yourself being used a pawn in a dirty game or being blamed for something you didn't do or say because your friend dumped you in it.

If you are familiar with the latter scenario then... RUN because aint no-one who needs frenemies like that in their life.

6. She is always putting you down.

Now I am not talking about your friend who kindly pointed out your camel toe before you headed out to dinner the other night... no, that is a GOOD friend, keep her!

I'm referring to the one who feels it is her responsibility to point out every flaw you have - whether it be to do with the way you look, how you parent, how you manage your love life or your finances or even how you keep your home.

Good friends go out of their way to build you up and keep you up there, not tear you down and give you an extra boot in the side to make sure you stay there.


7. She is ALWAYS negative about everything.

We have all had at least one of these friends right? A negative nancy who never has anything positive to say about anything or anyone.

How flipping exhausting are they?!

She never sees the positive... in fact she goes out of her way to point out the negatives.

Be careful - she is like a walking talking magnet for negativity because the reality is - you get back what you put out, and so if you are always finding things to moan about... well the universe will make sure you don't run out of those things. You don't want to spend too much time with someone like that... that bad juju can be contagious you know.

8. She is a constant one upperer.

Ha - She's had it worse than you, done it tougher than you, or did it better than you... or at least that's what she insists on telling you.... all the bloody time.

Trust me, if you get a whiff of a 'one upperer' - give her some of the 'you win' recognition she craves and then whilst she's distracted with her victory RUN for the hills because no matter what it is you choose to share with her, she will somehow find a way to make it about her instead... only bigger and better than your version.

9. She won't admit when she is wrong or say sorry.

Look, forgiving is one of the key foundations of a solid friendship.

We are ALL going to screw up at times, we're mortals, we do that, but a good friend will recognise when she has done something wrong and she will own it, say sorry and do what she can to make things right again.

If you find yourself constantly forgiving someone who doesn't deserve or even realise they need to be forgiven, say your goodbyes and get out of there. That's not a friend you have there and deep down you already know it.


10. She makes you feel bad more than she makes you feel good.

You guys - friends are supposed to add to your life in a good way. They should be there to support you when you need them, to laugh and cry and to celebrate with you too... just as you are for them.

She should care as much about you as you care about her and for the most part - you should leave her looking forward to the next time you get to see her or speak with her again.

If a 'friend' constantly leaves you feeling sad or used or not valued - there is a good chance the friendship has past its expiry date. If you find yourself getting anxious at the thought of telling her how you are feeling in case she 'goes off' at you, then it is a deadset doner.

Let's face it, letting a friendship go is usually a lot harder than it sounds. It can hurt deeply for both of you and like with any loss - you need to give yourself time to grieve.

But eventually, you will feel better, lighter, and perhaps even relieved.

Don't feel guilty about that relief.

Please don't.

Think of your life as a fridge.

If you insist on hanging onto something that is well past its 'use by date', you are not only at risk of it turning all weird and toxic on you, you are eventually going to run out of room to put anything new in there.

As hard as it is - sometimes you need to let of a friendship to free up the time to spend on someone else who is both appreciative and worthy of what you bring to the table and is someone who is willing to bring to the table too.

Have you ever had to break up with a friend?
Was it hard or was it a relief?