Thursday, 31 March 2011

I've Never Been To Me.....



As cheesy as this is, I love it. Listen to it? Register to the words?

My lovely friend Naomi was "singing" it on Twitter yesterday, and I ended up You Tubing it. And found myself enjoying it all over again. I loved it in the 1980's; identified with its resurgence in the 1990's, and now, listening to the lyrics 30 years on since I heard them the first time, I can identify even more, on both sides of the coin.

The grass is greener, whichever lifestyle I chose to lead.

Always.

I have periods of being a discontented mother and a (self) regimented wife. Periods where I crave the life I had. I've been to Nice and the isles of Greece, when I sipped champagne on a yacht. Truly.

And of course, whilst I spent my earlier life exploring, all I craved was a truth. A truth that involved babies and a husband.

Which, thankfully, I now have.

Am I the only one that goes around and around in circles with nostalgia, love, with trying to find out what I want, what will be best?

I know, I know. I need to I take this life I have been gifted and not get bitter from the sweet.

One hit wonder she may be, but the lyrics still have an impact upon me each and every decade I feel them.

Do you have a song? One that makes you think? One that makes you stop and listen?  One that makes you happy, sad, grateful and nostalgic, all at the same time?

Share with me?


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

I shall ask this only once....

Ok.

I am only going to do this once, then I will leave it all in the hands of the Gods and Goddesses, and karma, and all that.

Whatever will be, will be, que sera sera....♫♫

But I would really love a iPad.

So help me out?

Click on this little button thingo, and that will take you to the Aussie Mummy Blogger with the X-Factor Awards page.

You then just need to Like me or Tweet me via the icons at the top of the page.

Aussie Mummy Bloggers Awards Badge


The Mummy Blogger X-Factor Awards are being run by Home Loan Finder

And tell your friends.

Thank you!


As featured on A Current Affair...

Did anyone catch A Current Affair last night?

My Aus Blog Con sponsor, Think Slim, was featured.




The ACA story, and video, is here - shedding the kilos using a revolutionary style of hypnotherapy...



For any of my followers or readers - you can get 15% off any of the Little Forest retreats, or $100 off any of the Think packages. Just email me for details?


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Harder and faster...

I should perhaps preface this by saying I am not a fan of violence, in any form.

And I am not a fan of modern day marketed boxing matches.

(My father in law used to box. By all accounts, he was fantastic in the ring, back in the 1950's.)


Boxing legend, Gene Tunney

So whilst I am not a fan of what boxing has become, nor of what street fighting used to be, I am in awe of boxing training.

I watch boxers train. every Tuesday night as I run on the treadmill down at the local dusty footy club gym.

And I love to watch them. Really love to watch them.

Men and women, traditional and kick boxing.

I watch the sets, the moves, the jabs, the crosses.

The lunges and the dips, the footwork, the hooks.

From boxers handshake to barn burner, and everything in between, I love to watch them.

I watch them as I run on the treadmill.

Watching them train with such speed and timing and grace: it makes me run harder, and faster.

No lycra here, just wrapped hands, loud music of a boxer beat, the smell of canvas and dust, and an air of concentration and power.

Power punches and counter punches, in training, are like an enigmatic dance.

Male or female, adonis or palooka, there is a focus and grace to the uppercuts and the slides.

As I said, I am not a fan of violence, in any form.

But I am a fan of watching people dedicate themselves to getting better at what they do.

Because that makes me try harder.

Have you ever watched boxers train?

Have you ever boxed?

What inspires you to try harder?


Monday, 28 March 2011

A Year From Now...




Go
Go and do that thing, now.
Or at least start it.
Dream it...
Plan it...
Commit to it...
Do it.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Chillax

This weekend has been the first in many months that we have had NOTHING booked.

Nowhere to be, nothing to plan.

No conference.

No work.

No entertaining.
No cricket.

No swimming.

No kids birthday parties.

Just time for us.

The fab five.



Slightly chilly weather.

Games of Connect Four around the kitchen table

Lots of lovely coffee

A movie fest (Fantasia and Hairspray)

Shepherds Pie

Chillout music

Slippers

Cuddles

A long walk together and maybe kick a ball about later, down on the oval

Reading stories - leisurely - to the kids.

Pouring over baby photo albums - my children love nothing more than to look back on themselves.

Baking - some amazing biscuits.

Lego and Play 'doh and Jigsaws - again, around the kitchen table

Gardening - tending to my herbs and the compost

Smiles, over the top of the heads of these beautiful children.

Just blissful family time.

Tell me.....when there is time...what do you love to do to just chill?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Shut up and drive...

This week, since being back from last weeks gallivanting, has been a week of catching up.

I let a few things slide last week, and I am now, unsurprisingly, paying the price.

Chores.

Deliveries.

Drop offs and pick ups.

Shopping.

Replenishment.

Family to visit; favours to return.

It makes me realise how very lucky I am to live where I live, and how very relieved and grateful I am to be able to drive.



As I zip all over Adelaide with a car full of children, with ease, I am grateful for driving.

My Dad taught me to drive preceding my seventeenth birthday. I passed my drivers test first go, in a manual car. (An old Triumph Herald that smelled of vomit. Nice.)

(Please do not ask me about obtaining my Australian licence. That is a whole other blog post...)

My Dad's life's work was connected to the motor industry. He was passionate and entrenched in it. He taught me, not only to drive, but how to change the oil, how to change a tyre, how to check the air pressure, how to change headlamp and brake light bulbs.

I am grateful for the Captivator*. I am grateful to my Dad for presuming girls needed good motor skills.

And I am grateful to live in Adelaide where the roads are wide and the traffic is light....

And I am linking this up to Maxabella's Saturday Grateful, which is being graciously hosted by her lovely Sister C, whose blog I also adore - And then there were four...


* Daft nickname given to my car...

Friday, 25 March 2011

It's like pulling teeth...

When I was a little girl, as the fourth child out of five, losing teeth was no big deal. My older brothers would try and pull my wobbly teeth out for me. I would spend days with my hand clutched over my mouth.






My Dad was the village 'expert' in teeth pulling. A full mouth of false teeth himself, he would cheerfully yank teeth from the mouths of any of my little school friends that came to play.

Anyone in my class at school with a wobbler would ask to come to tea, so that my Dad could deal with it. They would be served a high tea with a grin from my Mum, and then they would skirt around my Dad. Nervous but excited. Giggling, boys and girls.

Crossword paused, peering over the top of both his newspaper and his specs, he would lean over with a clean white hankie in hand, have a peer in, and before my unsuspecting school friends would know it, they were awarded tooth fairy currency. Slightly bloodied at one end, pearly white enamel.

He was viewed as much of a hero as the tooth fairy herself.

He never managed to extract any of my tiny teeth. I would rather leave them hanging by a thread of a root for days, twisting and wobbling, exposing a little more raw gumminess at a time. Then, alone and stoic, in front of a bathroom mirror, with a tissue in hand, I would take a deep breath and deal with it, proudly, all by myself.

And wait (sometimes for days - my parents the tooth fairy was evidently distracted and busy) for the thrill of the five pence piece that was my reward.

I am not sure I ever believed in the tooth fairy.

But I know a girl that does.

I find I have assumed the role that my Dad initiated. I am inundated at the school gate by excited seven year olds who say "Olivia's Mum, Olivia's Mum, can you get my tooth out please?"

Including, this afternoon, my own lovely Olivia. Gappy. She says she looks "Gruesomely" with an edge of pride. But still so beautiful to me.



The tooth fairy will be on shift, on time, tonight.

Were you a wobbler or a yanker? Did you believe in the tooth fairy?


Thursday, 24 March 2011

See what can happen when a Mum gets inspired?

Having spent time recently not only reading, but also chatting with other bloggers, I have really noticed how there are so many Mums out there, in the blogging world and in forum land, as well as in the Twitterverse, who desperately want the opportunity to combine working whilst caring for their littlies.

But they also want the opportunity to really stretch their brains and gather the confidence to make something happen. To take a child-related business idea from a dream to reality.

As a child, I was fortunate to be family friends with a lady who started a tiny skin care range in her kitchen. She did this whilst her husband was overseas, and whilst she cared for her two little daughters. She juggled parenting and the running of a small cafe with her own determined desire to create and build a business of her own.

An ethical business, based on a gentle and natural approach to trade, cosmetics and packaging...



From these humble beginnings (which I know were an immense struggle in terms of time, energy and determination, as well funds and resources) Anita went on to open her first shop.

The Shop. Which in turn became The Body Shop. An international business which now serves nearly 80 million customers via 2000 shops.

See what can happen when a Mum gets inspired? Amazing. With a little bit of confidence, and some incentive,
amazing things can happen.

And so it is with great delight that I share with you the MumInspired Grant Program from Huggies.

MumInspired will award a total of $110,000 (five mums each to receive $20,000) to help mothers act upon their child-related business idea. In addition there will also be a People’s Choice Award, which will enable the public to vote for their favourite MumInspired grant recipient to receive an additional $10,000.


With the trend of ‘mumpreneurs’ rising in Australia, Huggies wants to provide a genuine opportunity to help Australian mums act upon their entrepreneurial ideas, whilst balancing work and family life.  Many mums don’t have the confidence to actually act on a business idea and this is where I think MumInspired can really provide that confidence push to take an idea and turn it into an actual business.

Submissions for the Huggies MumInspired campaign are open until 1st May 2011. Mums are encouraged to submit grant applications with ideas that focus on nurturing the relationship between mother and child, and be aimed at mums with bubs aged 0-4.

In order to be considered for a grant, mums can submit an application online at www.huggies.com.au/muminspired

Does this inspire you? I hope so...


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

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

Thanks to everyone who is joining in....it's a great way to read some brilliant new blogs and get some new followers...

I am really enjoying reading about everyones healthy journeys - keep them coming...






All you need to do is:

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

2. Link up your post about health, wellbeing, exercise or deting or healthy eating...

2. Grab the Fit Button and pop it on your blog sidebar, or within your blog post.








5. Go visit some other links on the blog hop - share the love, read each others posts, get inspired, follow and comment!


The next Fat to Fit will be happening just after Easter on Thursday 28th April - so if you need to work off the chocolate Easter Eggs and the Hot Cross Buns, the next new blog hop will go live on Thursday 28th April!

See you then!

 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Natralia Nourish Hamper - winner


The Winner of the Natralia Nourish Hamper is.........


Holly Homemaker, from Good Golly Miss Holly




Good Golly Miss Holly!


Thanks to everyone that entered!


Garden happy...

There has been much teasing over the past week or so over the blogging about mops and hand soaps and washing powder.

Nearly as much teasing as I get in general over my love affair with ironing.

As I have said before, I am a domestic goddess in training. And proud of it.

For purely selfish reasons too - if I can get my house under control, if I can get the feeding of small people in some semblance of routine, and if I can assert my organisational skills over the never ending laundry, then that means I have more time. 

 More time for blogging, for Twitter, for coffee, for running, for walking. More time for me.

I love to walk nearly as much as I love just gazing out at our garden. I have spoken before of my lovely husband and his green fingered ways. He is amazing. And it helps that our garden has the luxury of water. In South Australia, the driest state, we are generally always on water restrictions. But our garden does not suffer. We have a greywater recycling and garden irrigation system plumbed in, so that all of the water from the laundry gets utilised for the garden.

As a result, our garden is lush and green all year round. Garden happy...



BUT, this luxury also means that I need to be exceptionally careful with what goes into the washing machine in terms of washing powders.  My main cause of concern in detergents in relation to our garden is the sodium (or salt) load and phosphorus concentration as well as the PH levels. These chemicals impact my lovely husbands veggies and fruit trees as well as my herbs, so we are very choosy when it comes to laundry detergents.

Plus I have the issue of three filthy children. I am not sure what they do all day at school and kindy, but they are grubby and grotty. And no sooner as they sit down to eat they generally have greasy food dribbles down their clothes. And of course there are a great many changes of clothes between me and my sweaty exercise. So, I need a powder that will actually get things properly clean, as I generally cannot use harsh chemical stain removers and soakers.

AND my son Charlie has eczema. I need to really careful that whatever detergent we use for laundry doesn't irritate his skin at all.

I am always budget conscious as well - any laundry products need to be cost effective - I actually don't mind the cost, as long as the stuff is good value.

I was sent a stack of EucoFresh Laundry Powder to trial and review, by Bosisto's



Quite simply, this product fits all my requirements.  The Bosisto's website is great, by the way - they have loads of good stuff on there - go have a look perhaps? I won't copy and paste from the website or the press release details on here to tell you all about the laundry powder.

But I will tell you that I love this product.

I can truthfully say I will be purchasing it ongoing for all of my families laundry needs.

And I will tell you it smells gorgeous.

And I will tell you that it really does the job well. It gets clothes really clean.

I think its fair to say that I genuinely love all Bosisto's products. Because they do exactly what they say they are going to do.

Plus they have a competition running at the moment, to win one of three washing machines.



Click here to go to competition details
And I am giving away a stack of Bosisto's EucoFresh Laundry Powder too - I have six large boxes to give away. All you need to do is make sure you are a follower of my blog and leave me a comment telling me
why you would like to try
Bosisto's EucoFresh Laundry Powder.





Open to Australian residents only
Six winners chosen at random
Giveaway closes Weds 30th March, and winner announced Thursday 31st March

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Shout Outs!

As a result of attending the recent Aussie Bloggers Conference, I have scored a copy of the Problogger, Darren Rowse's





I am not going to ramble on about how wonderful this workbook is - but I will tell you I just cannot wait to get stuck into it.

I have made mention of my love affair with Mooo before on my blog - and the affair with them grows stronger.


Mooo also organised a gift for us- one of their gorgeous personalised diaries. I am in heaven. I am addicted to notebooks. The Mooo designs are just lovely. In my experience (I get all the kids personalised stuff from Mooo) their pricing and service is sensational.

I have also made mention before of my domestic goddess in training tendencies. I am an ironer and a lover of all of my aged appliances. Dyson sponsored the dinner of the conference. There is 15% off all Dyson vacuums in March. And I would seriously sell my soul for one of these babies -


Image of Dyson DC 24 Hepa from Dyson

And last, but certainly not least, I should make mention of MY sponsor - Think Slim, which has been my key to making my diet work, the key to my weightloss.




I have some brilliant Think Slim discounts that I am able to offer ALL of my readers - so even if you were not able to make it to the conference, these discounts are also available to you,
so please email me for the substantial discount details.

The sponsors of the Aussie Blogger Conference - ALL of them - have been amazingly generous. I have a lovely stash of things that I have enjoyed, that I have spoiled the children with,
that I have shared with friends.

Thank you.


Monday, 21 March 2011

ABC? XYZ? URL? IRL? Either or both - it's all wonderful...

Is it just me, or have you ever come away from a break or a holiday or a course and felt really inspired - so impressed that you have a list of a hundred things you want to do RIGHT NOW.

I have that list - written with a hangover on the plane back from Sydney, where I attended the inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference, this weekend.

My list is long, and ever increasing as of this morning.

But my list is contradictory - so I have a lot of pondering before I start making any changes to the way I blog, if, indeed, I end up making any changes.

The weekend, on every level, was a huge success for me.

I met successful bloggers, and I met self professed "newbie" bloggers. They were all gorgeous, inside and out.

I met bloggers who have always utilised pseudonyms, and bloggers who have always avoided real photos of themselves. I have met bloggers who are my heroes.  They were all so amazingly charismatic that I felt more than a little humbled.

I heard stories and words that I had read before, and cried again.

I hugged friends I have made over the past year or so - friends who I suspected would be very real, and they truly are.

I made new friends. Other bloggers who reached out and won me over totally with their charm and their smiles and their charisma.

URL meeting IRL was a very wonderful thing this weekend.



I got to hear the experts and realised a really key thing - from these big engaging popular blogs with amazing communities - there is no perfect "set of blogging rules".

These blogs that are so enchanting, the ones that draw me in with their words and their images - it is the bloggers themselves that share their personalities through their blogs that win us over and make us feel connected.

To advertise or not? Your choice. There is no right or wrong on a successful personal blog. 

Followers or Feeburner? Either works, as long as your content is king.

Wordpress or Blogger? Both do the job brilliantly.

Sponsored posts, or not - your call - make them good and true and folk will love them. Or not.

Just words, or just photos? Or both? Your own images or attributed? Either is great.
Giveaways or not - your call - if it is a win win and it fits, that's OK. Or not. Your choice.

To meme or to not meme - as long as you have fun , there are really no rules.

To blog daily or weekly or randomly - it all works - your voice will be heard.

Deep and meaningful raw content? Versus frippery and fluff? It's up to us, to write and post what works for us, today.

Blogs are the most dynamic of spaces to write in, and I mean that in a literal old fashioned way and in a web space way - dynamic and moving.

And I am so very glad, and feel so very lucky, to be involved in all this Australian blogging business from the early stages of the trajectory....


Friday, 18 March 2011

Outta here...

I am on a plane to Sydney.

I shall be back posting by  about Tuesday....


Be good.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Fat to Fit

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

Thank you, to all of you who join in!

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, 16 March 2011

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Recurring...

I dream a lot. I have no failure to recall my dreams each morning.

I have recurring dreams of different themes. Do you?

My main one is flying. It is exhilarating. The sensation is not so much about the flying, but more of the climb to altitude, which is a stretch, but a manageable effort. A powerful sensation of propelling myself up high enough to soar then cruise.

To then look down and revel in the bliss of height and freedom.




I have always dreamt this dream. Apart from times of grief, when my flying ceases, I can usually summon up a flying dream.

I fly a lot when I am content.

My other recurring dream is not an unhappy one, but certainly it is a lot more confusing. I am more hesitant to revel in this dream.

A house with so many superfluous rooms. An old, ramshackle house. With very steep front steps, gracious angles and a tower. With warrens of rooms, Dressing rooms leading off bedrooms. Studies off dining rooms. Larders and sculleries off kitchens.  And lots of sets of steps, all interlinking winding nests of rooms.



My house dreams conjure up, in my mind, storage issues - where to stash stuff - almost as if there are simply too many rooms and too much space. I forget which rooms I can use or which I am allowed into and which I would need to clean. I feel overwhelmed and want to feel the simplicity of a two up two down kind of terraced house whose front door has no steps and walks out directly onto a wet cobbled pavement.

I have no idea what these dreams mean. I am curious. But not enough to seek dark meanings or perceived truths about myself.

They are just dreams.

And you? Do you dream in black and white? Or in colour?
Tell me your recurring dreams?
Do you love them or wish they would not intrude upon your rest?


Monday, 14 March 2011

Delicious first kisses...


I was twelve when I enjoyed my first kiss.



His name was Andrew and he was in my art class at school. He sat behind me and teased me. I played hockey with his elder sister and she told me that he daydreamed about me all the time at home. He had floppy brown hair, brown eyes and the grin and dimples to die for. As cute as. He smelled clean. I suspect that was one of the main attractions.... a twelve year old boy that smells clean is a rarity. (And I would wager that thanks go to his Mum for that.)

We had a date. He took me for a cup of coffee at our local Wimpy bar. This was 1981. The Wimpy bar was a greasy spoon cafe in the middle of Chichester, but to be honest, I was so terrified and excited and nervous that I really didn't care. My skinny jeans were so tight, I suspect I was struggling to breath.

We went for a walk, to a local nature spot. Priory Park. I cannot recall that place these days without a grin - the shenanigans that that green space saw, throughout my school days (and before them,  and indeed, to this day, I am sure...)

The kiss was nervous and awkward and delicious. Warm and sweet and tentative and toe curlingly exciting. We were both first kiss virgins. We were both embarrassed and shy. We both fell into tween love at that kiss and it lasted all of.........ermm, ten days? Three weeks?

I see snaps of this Andrew on Facebook, through the connection of mutual friends. I do not interact. I smile at sweet memories though. He still has a grin and dimples to die for. With a bald spot, grey hair and a handful of children.

And now I fast forward to my own lovely husband. Bald spot, grey hairs and a handful of children.

I asked him over the weekend if he remembered our first kiss. He grinned and held me, and his eyes took on a sweetly reminiscent twinkle. "Our first kiss? Of course I remember, my love"

He kissed me, like he did way back then, like a man on a mission. A confident and resounding smacker on the lips. A kiss from a man that means it.



I was touched that he remembered. But, I have to admit, more than a little surprised. (This is a man that does not wear a wedding ring, nor ever sees reason to remember any anniversary...you can understand my suspicion?)

"Really? You can remember our first kiss? Really? Where was it?"

He laughed, and kissed me again.

"On the lips, my love, on the lips."

First kisses.

Then and now.

Warm and sweet and tentative and toe curlingly exciting.