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The Strands Of Me Posts

Everything I need

I remember this day like it was yesterday. We’d had an early morning and I needed to get out of the house for some fresh air. I had decided i wanted to take Noah for a walk along the Bargara esplanade so I packed the pram into the car, grabbed the nappy bag and Noah and pulled the front door shut behind me – leaving the house and the car keys locked inside.

Thankfully I had dropped my phone into the nappy bag at some point so I called Hubby who had to come home from work and let us into the house again. 

So there we were, locked outside and for some reason I’d locked the car so I couldn’t even get the pram out and go for a walk anyway. We had an old park wrought iron chair out the front of the house so we sat in it for a while before Noah got restless. I pulled out the blue wrap from the bag and sat us on the grass in front of the house. I tickled him till he giggled for me, took some photos and relaxed. 

I got what I wanted – to get out of the house. I also got what I needed – to spend happy time with my new son. 

Sometimes we all need something as simple as this. To get locked out, sit on the grass and just be. Not think. Not worry. Not stress. Just be. I knew Hubby was coming and I knew that in that moment, there wasn’t anywhere else I needed to be than just being Noah’s Mum. 

Life is busy. I’m trying to say ‘Productive’ instead of ‘busy’ because I think being busy is something we all compete with lately. ‘Work is so busy I don’t have time to think.’, ‘I’m too busy to catch up’, ‘I’m too busy to do that thing for myself that I’d promised I’d do,’, ‘I’m too busy….’. But if you’re productive, you’re doing what you need to do (and here’s hoping its something you enjoy!!) so you have more time to do what you love to do. 

Or more time to do what you need to do. Like sit on the grass. 

No one ever seems to take the time out of life to just live lately. What does living mean to you? What is the lifestyle you really want and what needs to change to have that. 

Do you need to go back to basics? To be locked out so that you just stop and take stock of what you already have? Why do you need more? Do you really really need more? 

I need happy and healthy kids. I need to be able to go to the beach when I want to (which we can now!!). I need to feel fulfilled in something I do everyday. Now that doesn’t necessarily need to be work (bonus not many people have but I love what I do!), but that can be as simple as reading to Phoenix after school. Making them a Milo. Sitting with them (without my phone) and watching Shaun the Sheep before bedtime. That fills my bucket of self satisfaction and I’m pretty sure it fills theirs. 

What more do I really need to feel fulfilled? To feel like I’m living? If I’m honest – nothing. 

Maybe it takes getting locked out to realise we already have everything we need.

A smile, a giggle and a memory. 

 

A Letter From my Past Self

Did you know that there’s a website where you can write to yourself? Totally not in a creepy kind of way, your future self. It’s called FutureMe.org.

I read about it a couple of years ago and decided to try it out, then late last year I received an email from my 2013 self.

Noah was nearly 4 and I thought that was insane, but now that Phoenix is over 4 I question my sleep-deprived 2013 sanity. Noah was well into Spider-man, collecting treasure and telling stories. Not much has changed except that Spider-Man obsession is now a Pokemon/Dragons Obsession.

Phoenix was 20 months old and talking in one word sentences. While she was slower to talk she now is just as (if not more) talkative than her big Bro. I thought she was tall for her age and that still hasn’t changed. The amount of times I get asked if my two are twins is still shocking.

Hubby was working on a Harley that he now no longer has because he stopped working on his Harley. We were still living in Centra Qld – probably the biggest change. I’ve moved from a part-time radio job to Thermomix full-time.

The Offspring TV show had just killed Patrick. I’m still devastated. 

My youngest sister was heavily pregnant with my nephew and my other had just won an amazing big award for her work. Now my youngest has two (and a half!) little ones and our middle won another two big awards, travelled overseas, moved to Brisbane, continued to advance her amazing career. All while we were living in the middle of Hot-Ass-Middle-Of-Nowhere-Country.

I then crapped on about how much I loved the iPhone and iPad my kids now mainly throw around as toys, disposable technology. But at the end, I love this line:

‘You should really start going to bed earlier. You need sleep more than whatever crap is on TV.’ 

Yep, not much really changes. I’m off to write another letter so my FutureMe can look back and laugh at 2017 me.

What would you write in a letter to your future self? 

Top Tips for Hosting a Thermomix Cooking Experience

I’ve been sharing the love of all things Thermomix for a little over three years now, so I’d say I know a thing or two about hosting a successful Thermomix event. I’ve shown the Thermomix in to many, from the small and quaint groups to the large and overwhelming dinners, you name it, I’ve done it.

Crazy ones hosted in the evening where every man, woman, child and dog seems to be in the same room, kids running around like headless chooks while one interested guest shouts questions at me from over the roar. Intimate ones where a few close friends sit around a bench, so close to the Thermomix that they touch it (and they can’t take their hands off it!), murmuring ways of sneaking one past their Hubby and onto their own kitchen benches. Husbands, firing off a million and one questions at a time, trying to see if they can find a flaw before finally admitting its the best thing they’ve seen since sliced bread.

Cooks from all walks of life, from the beginner novice, to people who would rather do burpees than make dinner to the advanced home chef, have all invested their time and money into their Thermomix, getting the most out of their cooking experience.

Now it could be your turn. Maybe you’ve already booked in a date. Or you remember them from Masterchef and want to learn more about how this fabulous machine can work for you and your lifestyle. Your friend who can’t cook (and hates cooking) has suddenly been turning out Chux Pastries like it’s a walk in the park (it is) and you want to know how. 

From the experience of consulting, here’s my Top Tips for Hosting a Thermomix Cooking Experience:

  • Setting the time and date – Chose a time that you’re relaxed. You don’t have to rush anywhere straight away and you get to ask your Consultant all the questions you may have. Most Consultants are quite flexible with their availabilities so don’t hesitate to ask for a time that works. In my experience, it’s always better set a time to work with and move it if it doesn’t work for your guests than the other way around. 
  • Inviting guests – My advice is to think of people who you think may like to see the Thermomix over people who you think may buy. Think of your friends who are time poor, love cooking, hate cooking, interested in health, cooking for allergies, etc. Your Cooking Experience is an opportunity to see the Thermomix in action to learn more about it yourself or share your passion!
  • Getting ready – Your Consultant should bring most of the ingredients already prepared but for the few things we can’t bring, you should be provided with a list of what to have ready. 
  • Consider disposable plates and cutlery – In my experience, the majority of the cooking  experiences I’ve held have been in the evening and we all know how little we want to do the dishes after dinner with friends. Consider using (eco friendly) disposable plates and cutlery to minimise any excess washing up later!  
  • Bring your Appetite – Don’t underestimate how much food your Thermomix Cooking Experience will produce!! Don’t eat first as you’ll want to try everything you create together in the Thermomix! 
  • Write down any questions in advance – It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of sharing the Thermomix with your friends in your very own kitchen that your carefully thought out questions may be forgotten. Write down your questions somewhere accessible (like your phone!) so that you know the answer to everything you’re looking for. 
  • Have fun!! – The most vital ingredient to your Thermomix Cooking Experience, enjoy it!! Relax, spend time with friends, create and eat some fantastic food and have fun! 
  • Brochures- If you’re still considering the investment, if you have a friend who couldn’t make it or if you need to show a family member what you’ve been banging on about all this time, ensure you keep a brochure at home at the end. 
  • Book the other Cooking Experience – I’ve never had a Cooking Experience with an existing Thermomix owner where they didn’t walk away learning something they didn’t know before. Even as consultants, we’re always learning new ways the Thermomix helps our lifestyles. Not only will you learn more, but there is always a host reward you can qualify for! How many ThermoServers can one kitchen need? (9. My answer is 9. How many do you have?)

 

Our own little date.

I miss them. They’re both at school this year and I’ve been missing hanging out with them more than I expected I would. 

Last year there was time I could spend with each of them during the week. I had time between school and day care pick up to hang with Noah, then whole days with Phoenix while he was at school. We don’t have that one on one time anymore and I’m not the only one who notices it. 

“Mum, can just you and me go out on a date? Then we can come back and you can go with Phoenix.” Noah asked me the other day. It made my heart melt to know that he feels the same way I do.  

Yesterday afternoon I decided we needed to rebel from homework and after school routine. We went straight from school to a little store I know and each chose an ice-cream (Zebra Dream Coconut Ice-Cream FYI – amazing!), then sat together in the sun and shared them. We relaxed, chatted about their school day, living near the beach and my upcoming trip to NZ. It was the most stress-free I’ve felt in ages. Completely relaxed and just,  happy. 

Then I took them to a shop to try on a dress and it all turned to shit. 

But for a short time that afternoon I realised that our life is perfect. It’s how we spend our time with our loved ones that can make the world of difference. An afternoon of ice-creams and chatting can make everything align perfectly. 

And I realised they’re both getting so big now. I need to stop blinking. 

10 Things to do when you loose your TV Remote.

1. Do something else than watch TV.

2. Turn the house upside down looking for it, and in the process, clean it from top to bottom. It’ll never be so tidy again. 

3. Learn to crochet using YouTube tutorials or ‘How-To’s’ on Pinterest. 

4. Write that novel you’ve been talking about writing for years now. {note to self….}

5. Cook something yummy. 

6. Fold the laundry. You know you have to. JFDI. 

7. Ask everyone on Facebook where it is? You’ll get 10,000 replies!

8. Pull the weeds out of your garden. 

9. Write a blog post about losing your remote. 

10. Check in the shopping bags that you re-use every time you go to Aldi. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ 

I’ll just drink wine then…

Anyone interested in an Alopecia update? 

Still Bald.

It’s been a whole year now since I shaved off the last of my hair and none of it has grown back. In fact, even more has fallen since the Big Liberating Shave. I’d like to say that I’ve adjusted to it by now, but I would be lying. Mostly I miss my eyelashes and eyebrows. The scalp hair I can learn to live without, I’ve found a wonderful wig company and will be investing in more of them, but for everyday life, I’d love my eyelashes back. 

I have learned that it’s really hard to blink salt water out of your eyes at the beach, if you don’t have any eyelashes. Or when you’re at the gym, your eyebrows stop the sweat from rolling straight down and into your eyes. 

For the past few months I’ve been working with my friend who’s a Nutritionist and who is in turn working with a Homeopath to help my Alopecia. We’ve done a saliva analysis test to see what foods and products trigger an immune response and I need to eliminate them for a while to see if there’s a change/help heal my leaky gut/something like that. According to that I can’t eat: 

  • Chicken
  • Strawberries
  • Capsicum
  • Eggs (even free range)
  • Cabbage (which is interesting as I was wanting to start more gut health options but no cabbage = no sauerkraut)
  • Bananas 
  • Pineapple
  • Rum (these two together = no Pina Coladas!!!!)
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms (no loss there really)
  • Cola
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Calamari
  • White Sugar
  • Almond Milk (interestingly, Almonds are okay though)
  • Nutella
  • Vegemite
  • While or Wholemeal Bread
  • Chocolate (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Vita Britz
  • Weet Bix
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Garam Masala (incase it contains fennel seeds)
  • Milk 
  • Cow’s Cheese
  • Margarine
  • Colgate
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Psyllium
  • Wile Raspberries

And oddly Mixed Feathers and Cigarette Smoke. I’ll definitely have to get those feathers out of my diet. 

I have already eliminated foods containing Gluten for years now, due to my Autoimmune research and in the past three years have become terribly Lactose Intolerant. 

I’m also now advised to eliminate Nightshades from my diet as well.

Looks like I’ll be on the Fruit Juice Diet from now on….. 


Please don’t tell me next that I can’t have grapes…. 

On the upside, since starting the homeopathic remedies as well as the elimination of most of that extensive list above, my fingernails have been the best they’ve ever been in my entire life. They’re long and strong and beautiful, where before they’d crack, split down the bed of my nail and were brittle. 

Hair and Nails are all connected, right? It’s got to mean something that there’s a change. My Naturopath believes my hair will come back opposite to how it fell out, so I’m early awaiting my eyelashes as they were amongst the last to go. Any day now. My Mascara is at the ready… 

Cross your fingers for me, but better yet, send wine! 

I have learned…

I have learned that if you’re even remotely thinking of having any sleep at all that night, don’t drink espresso martinis…. 

Case and point.

I have learned that during the school holidays, there’s crap all on TV. 

I have learned that if I want to fit back into my Gala Ball dress, I shouldn’t eat the leftover chocolate biscuits. I should probably go to the gym more than twice a week too. 

I have learned that I don’t sleep well unless I read first. 

I have learned that no matter how many times I pull the weeds from the front garden, they’re right back there again tomorrow morning.

I have also learned that I really enjoy pulling the weeds from the front garden. Very relaxing.

In the past week I have learned that I really really miss the kids when they’re at school. Everyone always said that I won’t know myself when both the kids are at school. People also say that when your babies start to crawl. And to walk. And talk. It’s only now that they’re both at school all day that I now don’t know myself. 

I have learned that it’s okay not to have all the answers {just don’t tell Hubby that}.

I have learned that sometimes you just have to sit back and trust that things will work out. 

I have learned that everything I need is already right in front of me. I just need to reach out and ask for it. 

What have you learned this week? 

The Shoe TreeΒ 

“Mum, I think that is a shoe tree there.” Noah pipes up from the back seat in the car as we idle at the local IGA, waiting for Phoenix to do her belt up. 

“I think you’re right Noah, I wonder how it grew its own shoe?” I ask

“From a seed!” Phoenix chirps in

“I think it’s ready for picking,” Noah comments “should we leave it there or pick it?”

“Hmmm, I wonder what it would taste like?” I ponder 

“Like poo!” Phoenix’s favourite topic can be added to anything at the moment 

“Maybe like dirt?” I suggest “or like tyres? Or like the road?”

“Yuck. Let’s just leave it there then Mum,” Noah decides 

“Let’s leave it to ripen more maybe,” says Phoenix 

“Good idea you guys,” 

Way too Big

I don’t know about you but for me, the school holidays were over in a blink. One minute we were eating Zooper Doopers and celebrating Christmas and the next second this happens:

Both of my children are at school this year.

Huh?

I’ve had countless people say “what are you going to do with yourself now that they’re both at school?” Well I haven’t yet stopped long enough to sit and contemplate that, and that’s the way I intend to keep it. 

Noah has adjusted well to Grade 2, fitting back in with his friends and playing Jurassic World at lunch time. Phoenix is still adjusting to the change, even though she’s been in Day Care since she was little. It’s a pretty full on change though. This morning she didn’t want to let me go so I stuck up a deal “You stay today and I’ll let you have the day off tomorrow”

“Really??” She asked

“Really,” I answered with a smile, knowing that she doesn’t yet understand the concept of a Public Holiday means a Day off school and that the next day was Australia Day. 

It feels so much like the start of a new era. I’ve always dreaded the day they both went to school, nothing scares me more than the idea of life flying by quicker than I can keep up with it and nothing makes life fly by more than everyday routine. 

How will I keep the days from flying? Besides doing the job I love with Thermomix, I’m still figuring the rest out… 

17 Things to do in 2017

The year has started and we’re off and running already. Can you believe that’s it’s four days into 2017 already? What do you have planned for this year? What are your goals? If you don’t have any, here is my list of 17 Things you can do in 2017:

  • Be Grateful – Start a Gratitude Journal, write things in your diary, save it as your phone background, write it on your bathroom mirror. Have an attitude of gratitude. 
  • Go Somewhere New – It doesn’t have to be far, holiday at home! We’ve only been on the Sunshine Coast for a couple of months now and I’m always grabbing any brochures for local attractions, there’s heaps to do in our backyard! Is there a ‘Big’ something near you? Something people flock to see yet you haven’t visited for months, maybe years? We used to live in Bundaberg and it took me 3 years before I visited the iconic Bundaberg Rum factory! Next on my list (today!!) is the local Buderim Ginger Factory. 
  • Cook a New Meal – Of course anything to do with food is always going to be on a list of mine! Cook something you’ve been eyeing off. Sick of your weekly staples – cook a new dinner once a week. Be adventurous!
  • Menu Plan! – Along with cooking something new, you need to be prepared. Menu Planning is one of the best things every household can do, it’s the easiest way to save money (you only buy what you need), waste less food and eat healthier! Do it for a month and see how much money you save, then do it for three months, then six and before you know it, it’s Christmas again and you’ve saved enough to buy that Thermomix. 
  • Read a Book – Now I know not everyone is as much a fan of reading that I am, so read something that suits you. I love Fantasy so I always reach for them but there’s so much to chose from. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for unleashing your creative side without fear, The Fault in our Stars by John Green for a tear jerker or laugh at Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. If you’re a fan of fantasy like I am check out the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness, loved them! 
  • Challenge Yourself – My word for 2017 is Grow, and for me the best way to grow is to set goals and work towards them. They don’t have to be massive goals like ‘I will hike Mount Everest this year…’, but something that you can’t do easily that you have to work towards is ideal. Do a 1000 piece puzzle (and get the family involved for some bonding time), finish writing that book you started three years ago (note to self…), learn a new instrument, download DuoLingo and start learning a new language. Set yourself a goal, write it down and take small steps to work towards it. 
  • Drink More Water – Do you really drink enough? Water is so important to our overall health, it flushes out the nasties better than any detox cleanse superfood tablet shake bullshit will do. There are so many ways to remind yourself to drink more, countless apps that will beep at you. But the best way I’ve found is to simply have a water bottle, fill it up and take it with you everywhere. Helps you drink more of the good stuff and saves you $$ on buying sugary drinks while you’re out. 
  • Learn a New Skill – Last year I pulled out the Rubix cube I’d bought half a dozen years earlier. It’s always been on my Life List to do so I sat down, Googled how to solve it and did it. Then I did it again and again and again till I didn’t need Google anymore. I did the same a few years earlier with crochet and all our family this year received a homemade gift. Lately I’ve been looking at free online courses through Open2Study and am going to enrol in something I have no idea about, just to learn something new. What have you always wanted to learn? Or more importantly, what’s stopping you? 
  • Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones – Go out for dinner without your phone, or if you really need to have it with you, keep it away and in your bag. Pull out the board games and put away the iPad. Spend time with your loved ones actually looking at them. 
  • Exercise – Nothing will get those endorphins flowing better than exercise. If you’re aiming for a weightloss goal then diarise your exercise and make it happen. Exercise is a stress release of me; it stabilises my mood and helps me focus for the day. You don’t have to go to a gym and bust out a class, instead go for a walk, play in the park with your kids or go for a swim. Use a cheap pedometer to make sure you reach your 10,000 steps a day and get your body moving. 
  • Be mindful – Spending even just one minute a day breathing purposefully, to sit and take the time for yourself can reset your mood and attitude better than any chocolate or coffee fix. 
  • Take more Photos – The best camera is the one you have with you and in this day we usually all have our phones within arms reach. Take more snaps of your family and friends and make sure you’re in them, not just on the other side of the camera! 
  • De-Clutter – I’ve always believed that for me, a messy house = a messy mind. I know that I can’t focus on anything if there’s crapola everywhere. Throw out what you don’t really need and find a permanent spot (not just a ‘for right now’ spot) for everything else and put your things away. 
  • Let Go – This one can be a hard one but so essential to everyday happiness. Someone cut in front of you? Let it go. On hold to Centerlink for an hour and a half? Let it go. Kids driving you nuts all afternoon? Have a wine. No, wait. Let it go. (note: wine and letting it go may be the same thing….)
  • Have fun! – It’s been proven that people who laugh often live longer. Start the day with a smile on your face, watch a funny movie over a thriller, play games with your family and don’t take it all too seriously! 
  • Love Yourself – worts and all. Hair or no hair. Love yourself. 

What are you looking forward to doing in 2017?