Boxes on boxes on boxes

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I started this little blog over 6 years ago now. Noah was a baby and I was a stay at home Mum. Initially I wanted to share my cooking adventures with the world. {Nothing much has changed there!} Then we moved to Central Queensland. My view of my blog changed, it became a way for me to keep my family in touch with Noah. Then Phoenix too when she came along.

I’ve posted about funny things the kids have done. I’ve posted about hard days I’ve had. I’ve shared recipes and recipes and cooking adventures.

Now things are changing. Next week we’re moving away from Central Queensland and landing ourselves at the Sunshine Coast with new opportunity and new challenges. Ever since we moved out here Hubby and I have talked about taking our next step toward the Sunshine Coast, and now it’s actually happening.

It’s a lot to wrap my head around.

This week has been full on crazy. Noah’s finished his last week of schooling out here. Phoenix has been at home all week to save us some money and she’s so bored she’s climbing the walls. We’ve packed up our whole house, thrown out and sold almost as much stuff as we’ve packed and managed to find a new home to move into at the same time. It’s a good thing I’m already bald. I haven’t felt so stressed in years.

But it’s knowing that it’s temporary that’s getting me through. Life isn’t like this, moving is. It’s sharing dinner with good friends and taking a moment to listen to their advice that clears my head. It’s knowing that when we get there, we need to replace the majority of our furniture = Ikea anyone?

It’s looking at the opportunities that lay ahead that’s bringing me back to normal. The kids will be able to do so much more than we ever could out here. Just being able to go to the beach and breathe the sea air, it’s something we’ve longed for ever since we move out here.

My little blog will still be here. I’ll share wins and doubts and whatever is going through my mind. The possibilities are endless with new beginnings.

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A clearer way to travel

One thing I love about School Holidays is the excuse to get away. Living in a remote town in Central Queensland, I’ll take any excuse to pack up and explore somewhere new.

Being somewhere new and learning all it has to off I love, it’s just the commuting there I don’t much enjoy.

If you know one thing about me, its that I love to read. I’ll happily stick my nose in a book the whole car ride there to escape the monotony of the drive. Hubby can’t understand it, ‘Look at all the scenery you’re missing out on,’ he’ll exclaim. Meh. I’ve seen one Gum tree, I’ve seen them all. Give me a good book anyday.

I’m sure our kids have inherited my lack of enthusiasm for the commute as well, preferring to play an iPad, read or sleep than to stare out the window for hours at a time. I think Hubby prefers to drive so he can keep an eye out for hidden creeks and bridges he’ll stop and flick a lure in.

I think travelling always brings out the bugs in people. Sitting for hours makes my nose stuffy. After reading for hours my eyes are tired. Then I nap and wake with dunes of sleep sand on my face right when we stop for lunch. Not a pretty look. 

Recently FESS sent me a little Travel Pack that included their Frequent Flyer Nasal Spray. I stuck it at my feet our last trip so I could grab it when I woke for the lunch time break. I used the Nasal Spray to clear the dust out of my sinuses and the Eye Mist to revive myself so I didn’t look like I just woke up. Which I had. But no one really needs to look like that, right?

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I loved the light Tea Tree scent that the nasal spray has, just enough to clear my head without sending it off like a rocket. I’ve also noticed that more dust gets into my sinuses lately, I’ve realised that I must be loosing those protective hairs there as well and giving everything clear path. The FESS Frequent Flyer spray worked so well to clear everything out, it’s now planted in my handbag!

Now that we’re home, I’ll be keeping the rest of this pack close to the front door for our next trip away.

How do you enjoy pass the time commuting for your getaways? 

Just brows-ing around….

All in all, I’m kinda okay with my Alopecia this time. It’s all happened before, the major hair loss, wearing scarves and wigs for months on end, drawing on my eyebrows and lashes. It’s odd how normal it feels now.

Recently my hair has all fallen out again. I don’t share this as much as I feel I could, as I find it personal and confronting a lot of the time, overwhelming. For me Alopecia doesn’t stop on my head, that’s just where it starts. At the moment I’ve also lost the majority of my eyebrows and lashes.

But still have to shave under my arms #rippedoff eyebrows

I’ve had to start drawing my eyebrows on each day, and am considering and looking into a cosmetic tattoo, mainly so I don’t scare the bejeesus out of the parcel lady in the morning if she gets to me before I get to drawing.

Out of all the hair loss I find the loss of my eyebrows the most confronting. My scalp hair can be dealt with, a wig or a scarf and I feel okay. Most of the time. It’s the eyebrows that do my head in. Probably because I can’t just cover them and get on with my day. I now have to wear makeup everyday – which is something I never really did unless I was working. How I look, how anyone looks for that matter, without eyebrows is more confronting than a bald head, to me.

So I try to find the good in the picture. I can shape them how I want. I don’t have to worry about over or under plucking. Or waxing. Or tinting. I love any way I can save money.

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YouTube is my friend at the moment. I bet you don’t realise how many tutorials there are on drawing on eyebrows!

So mostly I’m okay with my Alopecia. I’m aware that I may never get my hair or my eyebrows back again, but there’s a possibility. A little light. And where there’s light, there’s hope.

Translating Barks

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Dachshund’s are a popular breed of dog where we live. It seems as though every second home I visit has at least two of them. I can understand why, they’re pretty adorable, a little funny looking, and from what I’ve seen of my Aunt’s Dachshund Eddie, very loving.

With the cooler weather I’ve started walking the kids to school a couple of times a week. It’s nice to get out early and stretch our legs and we’re so close to the school it’s a bit ridiculous that we haven’t done it more sooner. But you know, 40C weather doesn’t make you want to walk home.

One of the homes we pass has a fence, and two Dachshund’s. They come out to inspect us then bark their little heads off until we’re away from their yard.

At first, it caused a bit of a fright with the kids. Until I translated their barks for them.

‘GOOD MORNING!!!’ I’d mimic. ‘I HOPE YOU HAD A GOOD SLEEP!!!’

Giggling, my two stepped up onto the curb of the garden and balanced their way across. Barking on the return home again the dogs decided to change up their chatter.

‘HELLO!!! DID YOU KNOW THIS IS OUR HOUSE?! WE REALLY LIKE IT HERE!!!’

Noah and Phoenix we equally pleased when I told them they were ‘Sausage Dogs’. What a hoot on the way to school!

Ladies wear Lipstick

Me and nanny

This is my Nanny and I. She was amazing.

For the last 10 or so years she lived close to my parents in a quiet little seaside town. Before Hubby and I moved out to the middle of nowhere, we lived there too. The years around our wedding, Hubby was working out here away from home while I was working two jobs, to keep me distracted from his absence mostly. It was hard, having him away so much.

On Tuesdays Mum and I would go shopping at Aldi. On Saturdays Mum would make me French Toast for Breakfast. The rest of my spare hours were spent at Nanny’s.

She’d perm my hair, when I had it. Make lunch. Coffee’s upon coffee’s would be had before we broke out and indulged in a Magic Milo, just for a change. Sometimes I’d take her out for a Macca’s coffee or a KFC burger. An ultimate indulgence for her. Before we’d leave the house she’d totter about wearing her trademark runners and maxi skirt and she’d slap on some lippy.

“Ladies wear lipstick,” she reminded me, more than once.

I learnt many things from Nanny. I learn to never put up with crap from anyone, especially not someone who loved you. She’d learnt that the hard way. I learnt various sex tips that I won’t mention here, because no matter how old you are, sex is important for a healthy relationship. Also, the ability to say ‘Fuck’.

When my Alopecia first started Nanny told me to always put my best face forward, even if it doesn’t look like I want it to. Sadly, I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I know she made my heart feel better. I learnt to hold my head up, no matter what may come my way.

Every year for Christmas I’d make her a calendar complete with photos of our family scattered throughout it. At the end of each day she’d write the days’ events in it’s little box, taking a moment to thank God for the blessing of the day. From Nanny, I learnt to be grateful.

My family and I learnt a lot from Nanny. She was strong, witty and loving and now she is missed dearly. She called me the week before she passed, just to chat. To see how the kids are. I told her about the trip we’d planned and were taking the next week. I was standing in the hair salon, watching Phoenix get her 2nd ever hair cut. Nanny, who at one point in her life used to cut hair, liked that very much.

It still doesn’t seem like she’s gone. I suppose because I’m so far away from her home and have been for some time now. I feel like can still pick up the phone and have a chat. Talk about how much the kids are driving me nuts lately. Ask for a good recipe for dinner, or how her garden is going. I once read that when you see row’s of number is time – like 11:11 or 3:33 – it’s someone watching over you. It’s uncanny how often I see that lately, especially on hard days. I know she’s still here, somehow. That’s probably she feels so close.

Her last few years were a struggle (Fuck You Cancer) and knowing she’s finally peaceful is comforting.

‘To be absent from your body is to be with the Lord’

Love you Nanny.

That is Poetry

Did you know my little blog here has been going to 6 years….? It used to be fuller, recipes in abundance with thoughts and memories of my two as babies, product reviews, heaps more. Then I went and wiped it. Somehow. I don’t even know what I did, but it erased a lot of the content.

Apologies if you ever came across a pic on Pinterest and it’s not there anymore. My fault.

Luckily, my Mum is pretty clever and one year for Christmas she got that whole year’s worth of posts condensed into a book. Totally felt like a published author! I recently found it and have been going through it. Any recipes will be posted over on my dedicated food blog Mix Taste Eat now (and some need a bit of tweaking!) and some fun things I loved I’ll re-share with you here.

Like this poem. I remember a lecturer handing it out at Uni one day. I loved it from the moment I read it. Unfortunately I’m unsure of the author, at the bottom of the typed page is a handwritten ‘Edwin M’. If you know more, feel free to enlighten me!

Opening the Cage:

14 Variations on 14 words: ‘I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry.’ John Cage.

I have to say poetry and is that nothing and am I saying it
I am and I have poetry to say and is that nothing saying it
I am nothing and I have poetry to say and that is saying it
I that am saying poetry have nothing and it is I and to say
And I say that I am to have poetry and saying it is nothing
I am poetry and nothing and saying it is to say that I have
To have nothing is poetry and I am saying that and I say it
Poetry is saying I have nothing and I am to say that and it
Saying nothing I am poetry and I have to say that and it is
It is and I am and I have poetry saying say that to nothing
It is saying poetry to nothing and I say I have and am that
Poetry is saying I have it and I am nothing and to say that
And that nothing is poetry I am saying and I have to say it
Saying poetry is nothing and to that I say I am and have it

I’m starting today again.

I am in a mood today.

I actually have a really busy day and seem to have pulled 5 minutes out of nowhere to sit and write but if I don’t I know my mood won’t improve.

I said to my kids this morning ‘I might as well talk to a wall,’ then realised I sound exactly like my mother. And for the next five minutes Noah mocked me, mimicking what I said, but to a wall. “Put your socks on, Wall.” “Put your shoes on, Wall.” “Grab your school bag, Wall”

*bangs head here*

It might seem cute but when I’m in the middle of my terrible mood, it’s not cute. Even in the slightest. Not even a little bit.

The bank calls. Phoenix ignores my 10,000 requests to get out of the car. I have a delivery to get ready for. I need to hang washing out. I call my husband and take my mood out on him.

I need more coffee.

Can someone, anyone, come and pluck this terrible mood that seems to have rooted itself into my spine out of me please? I’m in the thick of it and can’t think enough to do it myself.

Or just send wine. I’m sure that’ll do the trick. I feel like I need to write today off and start again. Where’s the snooze button?

AIP Diet for Alopecia.

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I have Alopecia and currently, I’m bald. I have been for around two months now.

I’ve been eating gluten-free for years now from the advice of a doctor due to how gluten can affect our autoimmune system. All these years eating GF and I’m still bald.

I developed a nasty lactose intolerance around two years ago now and had to cut out my much loved dairy. Nearly two years of gluten and lactose free and I’m still bald.

Otherwise I’m pretty healthy. I get a little tired in the afternoons (but I’m a night owl so that can be expected). Sometimes my weight goes up and down, but only by a handful of kgs so it’s nothing I can really complain about.

A year or so ago I decided to quietly go full Paleo, and stuck to it for a good six months. I cut out all dairy (incl. lactose free options), gluten and grains. I felt amazing. My skin was clear, my weight stabilised and I had more energy all day – loosing my afternoon dip. The hair I had would still fall out, but remember noticing the everyday loss was less.

After a while the occasional GF treat snuck in. I went back to using Zymil in my coffee instead of a dairy free alternative. Then I needed an extra coffee in the day. Then my clothes got a bit tighter as I put on a few kilos.

I became complacent with what was really working for me. I would think that I had it all under control. I thought my body could handle the odd sweet. The odd treat that could be ‘good for me’ because it was ‘gluten free’.

I thought wrong.

I stopped being 100% Paleo and over the past six months I’ve become tired. My skin breaks out. My moods go up and down more, especially around ‘that time of the month’.

I was advised recently to start the Autoimmune Protocol Diet for my Alopecia. It’s like Paleo, but on steroids. Despite my additions to eating, I’m still gluten and grain Free. I’m still lactose intolerant. On top of that the AIP diet cuts out eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades.

Gulp.

I’ve had a hard time getting my head around it, and with some upcoming travel commitments I’ve started stressing myself out about what I might be able to eat while I’m away from home. How ridiculous is that? Stressing about something that may happen next week.

Did I mention that the main cause of Alopecia is stress? No? Well, it is.

I’ve also done a bit of research, and found that while the AIP diet works for a number of other autoimmune diseases, it hasn’t yet for Alopecia specifically. So after a lot of thought I’ve decided to put the AIP diet on hold for a while. I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life lately and I don’t think I can be completely committed to it. I haven’t made this decision lightly, I’ve given it a lot of thought and reflection and time.

But with the reflection, I have decided to go back to Paleo. Not 98% paleo, 100%. I know I feel great with that and my body works at it’s best and when I feel ready, I’ll try the AIP Diet.

I’ll be posting any new recipes over on my dedicated food blog Mix Taste Eat. Check it out and subscribe.

On my coffee run. 

While Hubby topped our cars fuel up this morning I ducked into Maccas and grabbed us a coffee for the road. 
After ordering I stood to one side and noticed I was in a room full of men in mining hi-vis, all starting out their working day like we were. 
One of them sided up to me and held out a folded piece of paper, “Give me a call sometime?” He asked. 
Pretty sure my eyes bugged out of my head. “I’m flattered, but no thanks. Happily married.” I replied turning him down. Nodding he promptly walked straight out.  
My order was completed and grabbing the coffees I turned to walk out, sweeping a glance around the room. A guy winked at me. A completely different person. 
Looking down I wondered if I’d forgotten to do a button up or something. 
Getting back to the car I relay all of this to Hubby who, upon seeing my shocked face, asks “Haven’t you ever had someone try to give you their number before?” 
“No. That’s a first.” I reply. 
He takes a moment to process this before jokingly replying “Huh. I get guys trying to give me their number all the time.”

I spy…

Playing a quick game of ‘I Spy’ with the kids before bed. Phoenix always chooses ‘P’ because that’s the only letter she knows straight away (and the answer is always ‘Phoenix!’). Noah’s getting pretty good at connecting the letters to sounds (except C for Crown and K for Kettle). But I just love the guesses they come out with when it’s my turn…

“I spy with my little eye, something beginning with C. That’s a c- c- sound…”

Phoenix yells, “Photos!”

Laughing “Try again.” I say

Noah, “Cooking!”

“Nope!” I reply

Phoenix, “Flowers!”

“Not quite,”

Noah, “Cup Cakes!”

Phoenix, “I want to eat a cup cake!”

“Nope, that’s not what I spy. Ready for me to tell you?”

Both, “Yes!”

“Clock! For Bed Time!”

Both yell “No!!”

The game continues for a few more minutes before they get distracted by animal cards, but I love the few moments we focus on playing together.