Monday, 31 January 2011

Memory. Muscle Memory...

It was back to school today. Which also means that it was back to the gym for me, after a break of seven weeks. Seven weeks off!

And oh my, I felt it. From warm up to stretch, and all the hard bits in between, I felt hot and huge. (It doesn't help that it was already 35`c at 6am this morning - scorcher.) 

Cumbersome and clumsy. Uncoordinated and uncomfortable. Stiff and stagnant. 

I am amazed at how very quickly the body loses its tone and its fitness.

I am also amazed at how the muscles have such a wonderful memory.

I am relying on that muscle memory.

I want my lovely lady arms back. I want to get shot of my saddle bags.






Lots of planks and push ups for me. Along with plie squats for the inner thighs.....

Tell me, what exercise are YOU undertaking at the moment?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Get a Jon...

This is so totally NOT a sponsored post.

But I wanted to include the below clip, which, to my mind, is hilarious and effective TV advertising. And so true to life...



The lovely blogging sisters, Multiple Mum and Maxabella have both recently posted about DIY, Hire-a-hubby issues and jobs that need doing around the house.

I am sure I have shared with you the fact that I live in a 1970's monstrosity of a house? One that needs a lot of of time, money and inspiration?

And that my lovely husband IS indeed very handy? As I said to Multiple Mum recently -


Lovely husband is handy. He is a geek with bricklayers arms, which can be wonderfully useful (and economic). He can build and tile and plaster and is particularly adept at high class painting and decorating.


Sounds just wonderful, doesn't it?


But its only ever any good IF HE HAS TIME.


No time. Between his work, us, the kids, the garden, and cricket, there is no time left for me to exploit him.

So what is a girl to do? When she has a list of jobs undone?

I have Jon*.

Jon is a jack of pretty much all DIY. He is a chippy by trade, but also has a general builders licence. He can turn his hand to electrics, and has no problem at all with plumbing. Tiling? Consider it done. Tree lopping ? Easy. Gutters need cleaning and fixing? In the blink of an eye.

And he is a darling. The kids and the dogs love him. He is smiley and cheerful, has a cool tool-belt, and he whistles whilst he works.  He drinks his coffee with six sugars, but I forgive him that as he always rinses his mug out. He cleans up after himself and nearly always turns up on time. He never blocks the drive with his van, and can turn his hand to anything. His long ladders are a godsend. Fast and clean...

Jon comes at a price. He invoices on time, and whilst not exorbitant, he is not cheap either.

He is utterly gorgeous and single.

He is a (harmless) flirt.

He is my age and has more than just a little bit of silver fox about him.

The value of Jon?

When I am desperate for a job doing, when its been on my nag list for a year, and my handy husband has still not managed to attend?

When I am frustrated at lack of activity, and when my critical path is getting congested.....

"Lovely husband of mine, shall I call Jon around to give us a quote?"

It spurs my resident handyman into action every. single. time.

Just like the Selly's ad a the start of this post.

Works. Like. A Charm.

Get a Jon.

So worth it.

On every level.

* Not his real name, but he is as gorgeous as Jon Bon Jovi was in Moonlight & Valentino....


Saturday, 29 January 2011

Gluts...

Today I am grateful for gluts. Profusion. Abundance.

Tomatoes, basil and olives, to name just a few.

Gluts keep my husband and my children and my garden and my compost and my kitchen, and my tummy, happy.







I am also doing a Weekend Rewind at the Fibro. Off you go. It's all oldies but goodies from a year ago....some classic stuff.



Friday, 28 January 2011

Glamma Mamas

A friend of mine, a good, kind and generous friend of mine, has asked me to allow her some space, to get a little something off her chest. Something that she needs to get expunge, without recourse from the very clique she writes about...

I give her my love, and let her spill, here, on my blog.

I suspect we can all relate to her words.


I call them the glamma mamas.

A few of us do.

They’re the ones who do the school run in their gym kit in full make-up. They’re the ones who run late picking up their kids from school, usually because they’ve lingered over their liquid lunch with their “besties.”

We’re “allowed” to be friends with them on Facebook which is three shades of awesome. This is mainly because we get to see photos of all the parties, balls and social events they organize but never invite us to.

I’ve learned to circumvent the stab in the heart this causes by blocking their feed there.

They’ve got the art of small talk, but very little else. If you can capture a glamma mama’s attention for long enough, the talk is usually about the nail bars they frequent or how the person tweezing their eyebrows simply isn’t doing their job properly.

If I sound bitter, it’s because I am.

Because I’m the one who waits with their kids after school until mum totters in on her impossibly high heels. Meanwhile I’ve soothed their children and assured them “Mummy will come.” (Eventually)

I’m the one who wishes that I too be could be effortlessly glamorous and exude an air of entitlement.

I wish I could be invited to their parties and it was me in those pictures looking amazing on Facebook.

But I won’t be.




I love my life, my family, my friends, my job. But I must admit to a slight stomach churning about dealing with the school run again this year.

It’s bad enough dealing with my children and their grief when they feel excluded or left out at school. But it serves to magnify my own all the more.

It seems that when I left high school, it didn’t leave me. But while I see their gilded world for what it is, shallow and meaningless. I can’t help thinking, that sometimes, just sometimes; it would be nice to be included.

Sometimes, being a grown up sucks.

Sometimes we need to rise above it with grace, as I know she does.
 
Tell me, do you suffer the glamma mama syndrome?
 


Thursday, 27 January 2011

Eight down, fifty six to go....a giveaway...

Eight down, fifty six to go.

Eight school terms down, with a further fifty six school terms to go, that is.

Olivia started school in term one of 2009.

Lexie will finish school in term four of 2025.

That is 64 terms in total, of children, and hair, and the potential for nits at school.

(I am hoping that the likelihood of nits diminishes at high school? Please tell me that this is true?!)

Anyway, my girls have long thick lovely hair. If I was a nit, I would love to live on the head of Olivia or Lexie.

So far, touch wood, we have remained uninfected.

I use a preventative method every single day.

In a huge spray bottle, I mix the following -

1 x bottle of spray detangler
1 x bottle of leave in spray conditioner
25ml Bosisto's tea tree oil
Topped up with water, shake before use.

I spray the girls hair with this every morning as I deal with their hair for school and kindy. It gets all the knots and tangles out from their sleepy bed heads. It makes brushing easy. It makes pulling it back or plaiting their hair very simple and manageable. It leaves a conditioning coating on their hair that makes it impossible for nits to cling onto. And the tea tree oil is a natural deterrent. It smells clean and the girls have no problem with using the spray.

Charlie, my son, however, does not have long hair, nor can I get away with spraying him. He gets cranky.

But I have found a brilliant alternative for him and his nit prevention!

Instead of the above solution, I use the Bosisto's Tea Tree Spray. It's 100% pure Tea Tree Oil, in a convenient spray can.

(Apparently there are 500 squirts per can. At $12.95 per can from this is brilliant value, as it lasts for ages. You can buy it from the medicinal aisle at the supermarket, or from your local pharmacy.)

I spray his school hat and I spray around the collar of his uniform. He doesn't even know I have sprayed...

As I said, eight school terms down, no nits as yet. It's my insurance policy.




The Bosisto's Tea Tree Spray has a multitude of other uses too -

•Natural antiseptic for abrasions and insect bites

•Natural anti fungal for tinea, fungal infections and foot care

•Natural deodoriser for feet, shoes and pet care

•Effectively kills germs and bacteria

•Natural cleaner and deodoriser for toilets, pet areas and rubbish bins

I was sent some of the Bosisto's Tea Tree Spray to trial, and would totally recommend it.

Bosisto's have also let me have one of their Picnic Pack sets as a  giveaway for one of my readers:


Bosisto’s Picnic pack RRP $120

• 2 x person picnic backpack set

• Bosisto’s Tea Tree Oil 50mL

• Bosisto’s Tea Tree Spray

• Bosisto’s Tea Tree Handy Hints brochure

If you would like to win this, all you need to do is make sure you are following me, and leave me a comment, telling me what else you would use the Bosisto's Tea Tree Spray for in your household. Or tell me a horror story involving nits...either way, I'll pick the most original or the most gross!

Winner will be picked chosen after midnight Thursday Feb 3rd.

Open to Australian residents only.

This review post and giveaway is completed in partnership with Bosistos - they did not pay me, but they did send me items to trial.


Fat to Fit

It's Fat to Fit time again........

Thank you, to all of you who join in!

I am so enjoying reading everyones posts about health and fitness......






If you would like to join in my blog hop, I'd love for you to link up.


All you need to do is:

1.Follow my blog (if you haven't already done so).

2.Add the "Fat to Fit" button/code from below to your post or blog









3. Link your post up in the Linky below.

4. Share the love, read each others posts, get inspired, follow and comment!

5. The blog hop list will open every Thursday and will be open all week.

And then go about your Fat to Fit business!




Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Big Auction!

After two weeks of hard work, Sarah from Just Me has secured over 150 items to auction off to raise money for Lori.

(I raided my credit card reward points and have donated some Gift Cards. Free money!)

All proceeds of the auction will go directly to Lori and  her children.

The auction is being hosted via Facebook and all items are ready to view now.

The auction will start at 9am Wednesday 26th January and will conclude at 5pm Monday 31st January.

Please feel free to pass on the link to anyone you know how would like to secure a bargain whilst at the same time raising some cash for Lori.






I should also make mention of the fact that Sarah rocks a lot, for pulling this all together - well done Sarah...




Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tuesday Chores

A dull day planned for Tuesday.

This house is filthy.

I need to just get on and do some Tuesday chores.

I am planning on enticing my children into helping me....



Illustration images from the sketchbook of DoodleMum's Sketchbook Blog


Go and have a look. Her illustrations are sensational. I love them.


Monday, 24 January 2011

A fresh start...

I am good at this whole healthy diet lifestyle business. Usually.

I can go for months and months and months without faltering, without reaching for the crutch that is (junk)  food.

I have the desire and the self discipline to get up at 5am every morning all week and exercise.

I have the knowledge that dictates that I eat right, drink plenty of water, and get lots of exercise.

But sometimes, sometimes, stuff just happens that just derails me entirely. Stuff just happens and my focus is forced to change direction.

Between Christmas and  the way that our new year has started out, my energies have been elsewhere, a long way away from a healthy lifestyle.

I can feel it too.

I have not put on any weight, thankfully, but I have lost tone and I feel am a little wobblier and a little saggier. My bum and the tops of my arms are not as taut or as tight as they were...I feel saggier that I would like...



It is hard to get back to being rigorous.

It is hard to set the alarm for 5am again.

It is hard to step away from my computer, to jog, or even to walk.

It is hard to have to really really think about my food intake and adjust it all right back to basics.

It's hard to have to restrict my fat and calorie intake.

It's hard to up the water intake again.

But time will pass regardless.

I suspect it would be even harder to see all my previous work go to waste.

So, as of today, a little less whimsy, a little more focus, a little more health. A little more fibre, a little more movement.

A lot more water, and a lot more determination.

It's time for a fresh start...


Sunday, 23 January 2011

Lucy in the sky...


♫ Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,

And she's gone.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds...
    Lucy in the sky with diamonds... ♫




Saturday, 22 January 2011

Grateful for them...

The end of the school holidays are drawing near.

I am excited about getting some (much needed) time back to myself.

But I shall miss my three when they return to school and kindy.

I shall miss their constant splash of the pool and their excited noise. It's such a happy sound.

I am grateful for it.







As I am grateful for them - so very grateful for them.






(And I am also always grateful to the lovely Maxabella. She is a generous and kind soul....)



I am also Rewinding today...





Friday, 21 January 2011

Reach out...

As you will have read, my friend Lucy passed away last week.

Details & circumstances are here, on Mrs Neurotics blog.

Tomorrow, I am sharing in a memorial for Lucy, by doing a balloon release, in her name. The kids and I, we will will let red balloons fly, to dance into the sky.



(So too will many of Lucy's friends in Melbourne, and across other cities too.)

Which leaves me to say, if you have friends, online or close by, who you would feel lost if they left this world, tell them? Share how you feel? Tell them how tops they are? It may mean the world to them.

Naomi, Christie, Leanne, Sarah, Cailin, Christy, Sarah, Maxabella, Holly, Kristin, Christine, Mrs Woog, Allison, Shelley, Henrietta, Kim, Brenda Bianca, Tina, Franki, Emily,  to name but a few, thank you, for reaching out.

Reach out, tell your friends that you care, tell them they rock, let them know why they are so special to you?


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Fat to Fit

It's Fat to Fit time again........

Thank you, to all of you who join in!

I am so enjoying reading everyones posts about health & fitness......








If you would like to join in my blog hop, I'd love for you to link up.


All you need to do is:

1.Follow my blog (if you haven't already done so).

2.Add the "Fat to Fit" button/code from below to your post or blog










3. Link your post up in the Linky below.
4. Share the love, read each others posts, get inspired, follow and comment!

5. The blog hop list will open every Thursday and will be open all week.

And then go about your Fat to Fit business!




Wednesday, 19 January 2011

My blog spot...

One thing I love love love to perve on when I read other peoples blogs is their blogging spot.

Where they surf, where they read, where they create, where they write: where they blog.

I also adore sneaky peaks at other peoples homes and their space. (Yep, I am a sticky beak!)

I yearn to tell you that my blogging spot is a streamlined writers peice of heaven and organisation. It is not.




I actually have two blogging spots. (Greedy, me.)

The first is in my kitchen.







An old laptop on the kitchen bench that lovely husband overhauled. He uses it too, on occasion, and it is fondly nicknamed “the crappy lappy”. It's on all day, and I read other peoples blogs from here like an addict. (As the kids create merry mayhem around me!)

And I try to comment from here too. I also use the “Blog This” tool a lot from this computer, and save all sorts of stuff into my Blogger drafts, as a reminder of things I might want to use or view or reference or link to later.

Then, when the day is finally done, I can retreat upstairs to our haven of calm. We have a spacious and very retro sitting room upstairs which is very much a grown up space.

My desk is by the window and I have a gorgeous view over the trees, across Adelaide, eventually to the sea. It is very 1970′s, in need of time and energy and style to renovate. We will get there eventually.






So there you have it.

And why do I blog?

I have blogged privately for many years: since 2002, when I lost my first baby, and when blogging and my journey to motherhood was truly in its infancy. In those days, it was Pyra hosted and I had to pay for a blogging account and there was no ability to upload photos even! Unimaginable, these days...

I continued to blog privately until January 2008, when I started a new blog centred around my weight loss attempts. Through my activities on a parenting forum I realised that I had shared so much of myself already, I was happy for other people to read my blogging.

I blog a lot more now that I'm working at home. Despite having my children close together, I have always managed to work part time, and now I'm doing some freelance things from home, blogging fits in beautifully.

I love blogging. I love writing. I love the creativity behind it. I love the words. I love the engagement. I love journalling my weight loss experiences. I love to swap tales of family life. I love to influence about everyday health. I love to blog about food. I love to be insprired by others. I love to follow and be followed. I love the challenges.

Most of all I love the ability to share.




This post, about my blogging spot and about my blogging in general, was first published a while back, on the blog of the lovely Sarah at Just Me. Go visit her....she is just about to host an awesome auction!

I've reposted it today, so I can link to Chantelle's Blogversation...

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Spent, not wasted...

You know the phrase "that was five minutes of my life just wasted that I am never gonna get back?"  Usually after you've watched some rubbish video?

Reverse it.

"that was five minutes of my day that I am glad I spent, moments that just bought a huge smile to my face and some sparkle to the hour..."



I think it was Thea that shared this montage with me months ago.
It popped back up and I wanted to share it again, as it is, quite simply, lovely & cheering.


 

Monday, 17 January 2011

Pegged

Call me a homebody, but sometimes all there is left to do is take some huge deep breaths and tackle some simple and therapeutic tasks.

Laundry and bed making are mine.

The stripping of sheets off the beds. (And the subsequent resorting of books and soft toys that comes with that, from my children’s realm of slumber.)

And then the methodical piles and sorting and turnover of washing machine to basket to washing line. (I thank whichever domestic goddess before me who invented the automatic washing machine. An old copper and a mangle is not my idea of therapeutic.)

It feels gloriously suburban and safe, for me, to see pillowcases and sheets, flapping in a gully breeze, strung out in rows. It tells me that this is a house where its occupants are loved and cared for. That there is a little order in the world, here, for a moment at least.


Towels and sheets, quilt covers and tea towels, pegged, so neat and regimental, squared neatly. The smell of sun on clean damp, mixed with rosemary as the cottons brush against the herbs...

Like many children, I was strolled into the garden as a toddler and watched happily as my mother and my grandmother pegged out.

I, too, have always carted my babies out with me, often in a wicker basket, and smiled down at them as they gazed at the laundry, in the breeze, enjoying the damp dappled shade that linens gave.

And now to rest, to sleep, in sheets that smell of sunshine, to surrender to some peace. There is no greater luxury, for me, than clean sheets upon the beds.


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Past tense...





We shared the same name.

I cry now, as I have to write that in the past tense.

She was my friend.
             And now she is gone. And that is just so so wrong. Goddamn it Luce, I want you back here right now. 
           
             We never met. How I wish we had. How I felt like we never needed to. We had all the time in the world, didn't we?

Online. For nearly 7 years. I have shared and laughed and cried with her.



We forumed and blogged and Facebooked & twittered and emailed, together.



We agreed to differ and laughed at our variance.  They didn't matter, because the parallels were enough.



I keep going to her blog with some insane wish that the fact that she is gone is just a cruel joke and that I will see her words, her quirky funny posts, peppered with swear words and tequila and unperfect things.
She helped me with her essence of balance. She listened, and her integrity and her innate perception guided me.



Her passion, her belief, her love. They were just... always there.


             She was, quite simply, one of the most awesome chicks I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
And I cannot believe how cruel life is that she is no longer here. I miss her.



And my tears are for the babies & friends she has had to leave behind.






She was my friend.



We shared the same name.



I cry now, as I have to write that in the past tense.

Friday, 14 January 2011

No longer my little girl...?

We have over a month to go until Olivia, my six year old, turns seven.

The present suggestion list, which she meticulously scribes at the front of her secret lockable diary is lengthening.

Famous Five books are very babyish, apparently. The Saxby Smart: Private Detective series is much more de rigueur, according to Miss Nearly Seven.

She also tells me she wants some glitter nail-polish, in blue please.




Top of her list is currently a new leather handball and gloves to match - she is a demon handball player at school, apparently.

But she yearns, some days, just to sit and play with her younger sister at imaginary "shops" with nothing more complicated than buttons for money and empty cereal boxes as their gourmet retail stock. So a plastic pink toy cash register has also been requested.



I have suggested a watch - a traditional Timex that she has earned by the learning of telling the time - which she concurred is a good idea. As long as it has a pink strap. And as long as I still tell her when it's her bedtime.

A moment later she needed reassurance that her advancing age of seven is not actually too old for fairy bread at her birthday party.

That she has picked a cake depicting a cartoon ladybird from the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book makes me yearn for a more innocent time.

She is sensitive - today she may be crying over the desire to have her ears pierced. Tomorrow the tears may revert to flowing over a much loved lost teddy.

Definitely not yet a pre-teen. But no longer my little girl either....

Tell me all this is normal? That what she is going through will smooth out? That I will cope with her growing up so fast?