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. 😉 😉 

The Shoe Tree 

“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,” 

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!

Alopecia Areata Awareness Month – or just Be Your own Beautiful Month.

 

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Phoenix dragged me over to a gems and crystals stall the other week, fascinated by all the shiny things that were within her reach. While reminding her not to touch anything I was approached by the stall owner.

“Good Afternoon,” she says while eyeing my head scarf. “She’s welcome to have a look, she can’t break anything.” talking about Phoenix and her wandering hands.

“Don’t bet on it,” I replied with a smile.

“Would you like more information on what I’m offering?” the stall owner asks with a pamphlet, “I do readings and healing with the crystals. Something you might be interested in?”

“Thanks, but we’re heading to lunch,” I reply honestly.

“I know how you’re feeling,” she suddenly presses upon me, still eyeing the scarf “I was in your position five years ago. Your hair will all come back.”

Oh. “Please don’t assume,” I request with a kind smile. “Thankfully I’m not sick. But I do have Alopecia. And no, my hair may not come back, ever. But that’s okay.”

Twice that day I had someone assume I’m going through something more than Alopecia, so with September being Alopecia Areata Awareness month what better time to share my story and raise more awareness.

Every year the awareness day/week/month comes around and every year I want to post something. For the past few years I’ve considered taking pictures of the patches I was battling with and sharing them, to help raise awareness. And every year it gets to the end of the day/week/month and I’ve talked myself out of doing it.

But this year is different.

It’s my 9th year with Alopecia and once again, I’m bald. Not just a little, but completely and utterly bald. And I want to share it. I feel like I need to share it this time. Because it might start growing back tomorrow and while that would be amazing, I might have lost this opportunity.

I want to encourage others, you, to live within the skin you have. To feel confident within your own body, with your own beauty. Because everyone is beautiful, hair or no hair.

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So here I am. In all my baldness glory. Pretty cool, hey? Somedays, I will answer that with a resounding NO. Not cool, it’s hard. But today I’m okay. Today it is cool. Today I’m feeling like this is who I am and if I don’t accept it now, then when? When I’m old and still bald and wishing I’d accepted it years ago. Well, that time is now and today I’m okay. Today I’m being myself, and I’m feeling beautiful.

Did you know that 2 percent of people have some type of Alopecia? It can range from smaller coin sized ‘patches’ of hair loss on the scalp (called Alopecia Areata) to complete scalp hair loss (Alopecia Areata Totalis) to total body hair loss (Alopecia Areata Universalis). At the moment mine is flitting between Totalis and Universalis with all my scalp, eyebrows and most of my eyelashes gone but every couple of months I still have to shave my legs. #notfair

I’ve talked about it before. I’ve written many posts about my Alopecia, how liberated I felt shaving the last few strands off and how I went about getting my eyebrows tattoo’d on. If you’re a regular reader of my little blog, you know all about my Alopecia.

But I bet you also know someone else with it. Maybe they haven’t spoken up like I have. They might feel reserved, shy and even ashamed of what it’s doing to them. Yes, ashamed. Ashamed that they don’t look like who they feel they are. After writing about my Alopecia I’ve had more than one friend message me about their own battle. I bet you have friends who are battling too. I battle, often, with how I look. But the acceptance is starting to win more often.

All I ask is that you be aware. Don’t assume. Be kind. Be beautiful. Be yourself.