Category: Grateful (page 1 of 3)

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? 

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? 

Dear Noah

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Dear Noah, 

You turned 7 last month and I’m scared to blink incase when my lids open you’re already 17.

You’re amazing, you know that? Just such an amazing little man. The way you pick flowers for your Mum on the way back to the car after school, how you still love to cuddle up to me at the end of the day on the couch {thank you Shaun the Sheep}, how much you care just makes my heart glow. 

We’ve had a bit of a challenging year, with so much change. I’m so proud of how well you’ve adjusted to your new school, how well you’ve made friends. It seems like the best thing we could have done for you. You’re so much more settled here. Happier. Calmer. 

Don’t get me wrong. You can still throw a good tantrum or 10 {and that’s just before school starts} when you feel up to it. The socks don’t quite fit right. You don’t like your {new!} shoes. You wanted to take that toy plane and I said no. The difference is now, instead of blind tantrums, you’re open to reasoning. You’re understanding the ‘why’ of life a little more. 

We celebrated your birthday at the park, surrounded by your new friends. It was such a wonderful afternoon, watching you play with them and your sister. 

Thank you for your infinity hugs. Thank you for your kisses. Thank you for choosing me to be your Mum. 

All my heart.

Your Mum.

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Weekend Getaways

Since moving to the coast we’ve been trying to go somewhere new (to us) every weekend. We’ve gone on long Sunday drives, chilled on beaches, visited Maleny {one of my favourite places in Queensland!}, dropped into a dam for a fish and checked out markets on markets on markets.

Last weekend was no exception, even though I started it feeling not-so-great, with an invitation from some friends to join them camping on a local beach.

Can I just say, I’m not an adventurer 4WD enthusiast, in any capacity. I’m not a fan of going over the bumps and dips of sand dunes with the constant worry that we’d become stuck {we didn’t}. I don’t mind, however, the view….

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We arrived, had a drink to celebrate then unpacked, then Hubby’s keen fisherman’s eyes spied some frolicking in the water….

whales

WHALES!!!!  I’ve lived in Queensland my whole life and this is honesty the first time I’ve seen whales!! I was JUST A LITTLE BIT EXCITED. Just quietly. Twice last weekend they played and tossed and leaped out of the water. It was just magical.

Pity I didn’t get a better photo than that one.

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I took some of the #hiddenorchard drinks that I received recently to cool off with. Adding some blueberries and mint just freshened up the drinks for a sunny afternoon.

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I saw this trick on Facebook recently and thought it couldn’t hurt to give it a try, now that we live near the beach and all. Use Baby Powder to help get the sand off your feet.

Well, I think it works. I found that it helps make everything smoother and the sand wipes off easier than it would before. Plus – I smell nice after too!

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What’s camping without a fire and marshmallows? For me, it is still unbelievably cool for October but I suppose I’m comparing that to the 42 degree heat 9 months of the year that we’ve just moved from. I sit here typing this with the laptop on the couch, snuggling under a blanket. It’s still so cool. I’m loving it.

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The kids spent the weekend collecting Ghost Crabs in cups of sand. Phoenix loved to chase them in the sand exclaiming ‘No Mum, you pick it up!!’

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We’re enjoying living somewhere thats so close to so much, it’s such a change from the more rural life of Moranbah. It was a great weekend until a stomach bug decided to turn my breakfast inside out so we made a hasty getaway before anyone else caught it. Not fun. Thankfully it was just a 24hr bug!

I wonder what adventures this weekend will bring!

How I got my eyebrows back.

Unfortunately for me, my Alopecia isn’t restricted to my head. While I’ve already lost my scalp hair, I’ve also lost my eyebrows, top eyelashes and lots of other body hair.

Except for under my arms for some reason, I still have to shave there… #rippedoff

A couple of weeks ago Hubby dropped me off at the gym and as we pulled up he noticed I had a fleck of something on my eyelid. Reaching over he wiped it off, as well as half my eyebrow.

At the time, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. So much was happening in our lives that I felt I was hanging on by a thread, and he just unknowingly wiped that thread away. I cried. I cried big ugly tears in the car as Hubby raced us home to try and fix my eyebrow like that would fix everything. While I could redraw it back on and pull myself together enough for a gym class (that I absolutely smashed) it didn’t fix the issue. I don’t have eyebrows.

I think I’d been coping pretty well with this round of Alopecia up until then. I bravely shaved my head, felt empowered, owned it. I wear scarves mostly now, with the wig coming out when I’m over the looks the scarves get me. I’ve even learnt how to do liquid eyeliner – that in itself deserves an olympic sized gold medal! But the one thing I just couldn’t get my head around was having to draw my eyebrows on everyday. It became a constant daily reminder of what I’d lost.

So, after much research, I fixed that too.

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I visited the absolutely wonderful Deb from The Beauty Spot at the Gold Coast and after a lovely chat, she cosmetically tattoo’d my eyebrows back on. It’s the only tattoo I have that my Mum approves of!

I have to say, the experience was amazing. I felt relaxed the whole time and in her very capable hands. The procedure didn’t hurt at all, the only feeling was the weird scraping of the micro blade as she drew the lines. Deb has a specially made numbing cream from a compound chemist and that took away any pain.

She also took away the anxiety, the stress and the constant morning reminder of what I’ve lost, in giving my eyebrows back. Again, I was leaving  place in tears over my eyebrows, but this time big, happy, tears.

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If you’re considering any kind of cosmetic permanent makeup, definitely visit Deb at The Beauty Spot on the Gold Coast first. If you have Alopecia and are needing your eyebrows back as well, message me and I’ll happily tell you more about what Deb did for me.

*not sponsored, just amazing.

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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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!

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.

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.

Dear Phoenix, after your Birthday

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Dear Phoenix,

I just realised I missed writing my On Your Birthday letter to you late last year. I’m sorry, here it is. And you know what they always say about better being late than never…

You are now 4. You’ve just started the Kindergarten Program at Day Care and everyday you’re showing how bigger and older and beautiful you are. Even though you’re now capable of mega meltdowns when told ‘no’, acting like you’re starving even 5 minutes, and getting your big bro into more trouble then needs to be, you’re still our bright ray of sunshine.

You wake up happy (and starving, apparently) and go to sleep happy. You’re constantly smiling and lately singing ‘it’s okaaaaaaay, that’s okaaaaaaay, let it goooooo!’ and every single song you’ve learnt so far at Kindy. Now the alphabet songs ends with the demand of ‘Next time you will sing with me!’ instead of a request and I love it.

You are just the happiest person I know.

You’re favourite food is pizza and cake and yoghurt, though you’ll eat more at Kindy than you do at home. You love your fiends and love company but love ‘Big Hugs’ most of all. You’ve just started really playing with the Barbies you received the year before last and you’re imaginary play with Noah has grown. You two are always running around with some sort of battle or drama or play but my favourite part is when you both claim to be ‘Best Friends’. That just warms my heart so much.

You’re speech has improved in leaps and bounds, with most everyone being able to understand you now, which is such a relief to the frustration you were experiencing. You talk and sing endlessly, with absolutely no sense of an ‘inside voice’. Sometimes my ears need a rest but most of the time it’s wonderful.

In this past month alone we’ve dropped all sense of ‘baby-ness’ and you’re such a big girl now. The perfect completion to our family.

In this year I wish you more. More happiness. More play. More best friends and big hugs. More courage to eat new foods (!!!) and more songs to make up. More of you.

Thank you for letting me be your Mum and to watch your grow.

All my Love.

Mum

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