friday five//planner thoughts

You may well be aware that I am stupidly planner obsessed. I have been forever and I still don't get it but I adore it so it is what it is. It's actually more therapeutic for me than therapy. Whenever I get the anxiety shakes I go to my planner, my washi, my stickers and it calms me. It's my thing. Lately, since I won a wonderful planner packed prize, I've become ever nuttier in the planner stakes and I find myself alone with my planner more often than usual. Five planner thoughts --

Just telling you now, the Erin Condren is worth all the hype. This divine creation was one of my prizes from The Planner Sophisticate and I can't even... This is the Floral Heart Metallic Gold cover with gold coil. The cover is interchangeable and it's the neutral design inside. Gorgeous.

I have now, also, become hooked on monthly kits. This March one is from Planning World and has a delicious blue foil. It's no longer available but you can check out her May kit here. The foiling takes some getting used to and even though it comes with a note to say it can't get peeled back up I am here to definitely confirm that it can't be peeled back up. I don't know why I think instructions are for everyone but me but, look, I learnt my lesson when the March flaked away. Still delicious though. And that Chanel cart...
If you don't have decorative paperclips for your planner I really don't know what you're doing with your life. Pigtails and Pockets is the place to go -- light pink bow & pink frappuccino. I also need all the others -- Luke's Diner, Chip & Mrs Potts and Gus Gus!

I love a gold foil sticker and have become obsessed with these Life's Little Stickers from Kikki-K. I use them in most spreads and they come with a variety of labels -- to-do, dinner, important, pay day, etc and a bunch of foiled symbols -- car, cake, meals, movie, hearts, stars, etc. The best part is they're only $3.95 for a pack of 2. Whenever I'm in Kikki-K I like to stock up on a few packs so I never run low. 

My planner essentials -- this Planner Gems pen it's a ballpoint so I like to use it for pre-planning on post-its and in my writing planner {you can buy gel refills here though}, this Sharpie pen is my current pen to paper choice and this Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker is what I write on all my stickers with. A glue roller is also so needed {mine is from UHU which is my favourite brand -- I find it lasts the longest and actually sticks}. I mean, any excuse to buy stuff right?


elizabeth arden intensive moisturising body treatment review

I'm here to introduce you to the best body moisturiser in the entire world. I'm serious. If you have dry skin. If you have sensitive skin. If you have skin. You need to toddle on over to an Elizabeth Arden counter and ask them to hand over the divine Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Body Treatment. Take it from them and run away giggling {pay, of course, otherwise you're prone to getting tackled by security}. But, still, the running away giggling part is essential to the process and if you don't do it it kind of defeats the purpose of having the best mositurser to ever grace the earth. 


The Eight Hour range is, of course, incredible but the body treatment is a standout. Simply amazing. It's thick and creamy but blends wonderfully. It takes a little while to absorb but once it does your skin feels luxuriously soft and stroke-able {yes!} for hours on end. I'm serious. It just does wonders for my skin which is prone to irritation, dryness and flakiness. I get itchy all the time and this moisturiser heals all my skin woes. After I shower I smother it all over my body {Husband does the back and butt -- poor guy}, wait a few minutes to get dressed and then stroke my legs for a few hours. When I shower again at night {or after exercise, depending} my skin still feels full of moisture and luscious and then I stroke myself all over again {well, not really, but you get the idea...}

I use the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Body Treatment all over my body, from top to bottom, skipping only my face. It's amazing for tired heels, crabby elbows and aching toes. It's also wonderfully affordable -- I pick mine up for $38 at my local Elizabeth Arden counter in Myer. You can also purchase this hero body treat online but I am partial to the counter experience. 


hey! how are you?

Remember when I ranted about my aversion to talking on the phone? Or, rather, my aversion to being connected? I wrote that interesting piece of crap back in April last year and my condition has only worsened since then. I now despise texting. In fact, now I just despise any form of communication whatsoever. 

Here's the thing, I hate this "instant" world we live in. I hate the idea of contacting someone when you don't have anything to say. Hate it. But it feels like I am surrounded by people who just contact you to say "hey! how are you?" and nothing else... what is the point of this? I would honestly not care in the slightest if somebody didn't talk to me for months on end just because they had nothing to say. I frequently have nothing to say and it's wonderful...

I have this amazing friend who is kind of the same as me. We are actually really close but we rarely talk to each other. I find her interesting and {I think} she finds me interesting but we don't just talk for no reason. She was in the hospital with pneumonia around the same time Bailey spent two weeks non-stop vomiting while I battled swine flu and we didn't contact each other during that time. 

Unlike some people I have known, after we'd recovered and gotten back to some semblance of normalcy, she did not attack me for not being there for her and I did not attack her for not being there for me. Because we are both busy and we both don't like asking for help and she understands that I don't talk when my life is going to shit and she doesn't begrudge me that.

As my mental health has gotten harder to manage and as I've distanced myself from all my dangerous coping methods, I have become less inclined to keep in contact. I just don't like talking to people. Ever, really. Of course, there are exceptions and there are some people I can't go too long without speaking to but, then, there are the others who I don't dislike but who I just don't have anything to say to. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

I just can't handle the fact that we live in a world where there are people who are offended when you don't contact them. I would understand if someone had sent countless texts that went unanswered. Sure. Go ahead. Be offended. But if you are silent and the other person is silent... well, what's wrong with that? That's my idea of heaven. Why does silence instantly have to mean hatred?

I understand that we are all different but, look, I refuse to become someone who texts another person for no reason at all. I don't often have things to say because I am a private person {ha!}, because I hate talking to people I adore most of the time, because my brain is always on and not talking to people helps. Sure, there are times when I go to contact someone and my anxiety stops me out of fear and that's crippling and something I still struggle to get past but other than that I don't contact people because I have nothing to say.

I feel like I'm in the minority here but I don't care. Because I'd rather be the person you rarely hear from if it means that I'm not on my phone all the damn time. I'd rather be all there with my kid. When I'm with some of my closest friends I don't pick up my phone the entire time we're together. When I'm with B. it's just her and I. When I'm on a date with my Husband my phone stays away. I can't be around people who are always on their phone. I'm grateful to be around people who actually talk to B. People who are seldom on their phone. 

And in my perfect world nobody would be on their phones unless they had something valuable to say or do. End of rant, grouchy old person out.


friday five//necessary home-wears

I think it's pretty standard fare by now. I love pyjamas, dressing gowns, slippers. All of the above and everything else in between. Peter Alexander is my happy place. Since the weather has been rainy and nearing cold my mind has been on all the things above. I like to call them home-wears because you wear them at home {duh!} but trust me, if I could, I would wear pyjamas everywhere. Particularly to work. Because who can't be happy in pyjamas? Nobody that's who. Five picks --

Dinosaur Hooded Robe|ASOS -- if there is a robe that personifies me as a person it's this one.

Cloud Hooded Gown|Peter Alexander -- the clouds on this gown bring me back to childhood when I was obsessed with anything star/moon/cloud themed. And we all know Peter Alexander does amazing gown. Perhaps I need both?

Bunny Eye Mask|Cotton On Body -- because, yes. Fluffy and perfectly themed for Easter. Necessary.

Spot PJ Pant|Peter Alexander -- if I had to pick a favourite pattern it would be the polka dot/spot. These pants are no exception and I need them in my life.

Metallic Moccasins|Peter Alexander -- at this point, one might wonder if I'm sponsored by Peter Alexander but, rest assured, they don't even know I exist. Sure, it'd be nice if PA, along with Willams-Sonoma, could sponsor my life but I'm realistic -- that ain't ever gonna happen. And, look, I can't hold a grudge against awesome so I need these metallic moccasins to add to my slipper collection.


on falling in love with exercise

I have a confession to make, I have become quite taken with exercising. I am ashamed to admit it because in this world of people posting selfies of themselves in underwear to show off their "great body" on social media I don't want to be like them. I refuse to become someone who does those 12 week challenges and counts calories and thinks about how they look in their bathers. I just... no.

I don't know what happened. I have exercised, on occasion, begrudgingly for my entire adult life. It's so boring. I could be not wearing a bra and eating chocolate. I could be sleeping. I could be doing absolutely anything. Anything other than exercising.

And then something happened. I realised I was getting older and continuing on with the same lazy lifestyle. It's fun, sure, but I have a child, and I want to instill healthy habits in her. And, so, I decided to get over my innate laziness and try and push through the anxiety and depression and I walked. I walked the dogs late at night and I wasn't scared. I walked through period cramps and 40+ degree heat and sprinkling rain and sickness. And I had fun. And when I hadn't gone for a walk that day I missed it. And when I needed a break because I was too sad or my asthma was really bad I got back on the horse.

And, now, as much as it sarcastically pains me to say it -- I have fallen in love with exercise. We go for walks as a family. We walk to the shops when we don't have anything heavy to grab. I take the long way home on the way from dropping B. off from school. When it's just Husband and I we take the dogs for a long walk and talk. I don't have an anxiety attack when I get overheated any more. In fact, being outside is just the thing now, no longer a source of anxiety for me. 

I love it. Alone or with my family. It's just fun.

But, no, I am never going to have abs because I think they look gross and if I ever start talking about lifting weights or Kayla whoever I will ask my Husband to smother me in my sleep. Because I may love {some forms} of exercise now but I'm still a sarcastic bitch and hopefully that aspect of my life will never change. 


mother guilt

It would be a lie to say that I don't have guilt in my life because I do. I always will. That's nothing new. But, here's the thing, I don't feel guilty about how I parent.

I work part-time. 3 days a week and sometimes I work more. I also set aside time for writing -- here and on other creative endeavors. All times where I can't devote time to Bailey. All times where I am away from Bailey. And, yet, I don't feel guilty about working. I never have. I never will. I don't see the point. It's stupid and ridiculous. No, I don't think you who do feel guilty are stupid. I just think working guilt is a waste of time. 

I do miss Bailey. If I could have it my way I would happily spend twenty four hours seven days a week with her. She is my world. I adore her. Not only as my child but as someone who is fun to be around. I miss her constantly because the world is a little less bright when she's not around. But I don't feel guilty for having to be away from her. 

And, yes, I do for financial and health reasons, need to work. To maintain a lifestyle that we have all become accustomed to, to fix significant financial errors I made during the worst years of my anxiety and depression. So, yes, due to my own shit, I need to work. But I don't ever feel the need to explain myself. I don't ever care about judgement or perception. I only care about the happiness of my family. Nothing else really matters does it?

I have to admit, that I don't understand mother guilt in this instance. I don't understand why we let other people's perceptions and ideas shape our happiness. Because it shouldn't. If you are a mum and you work that's fine. If you are a dad and you work that's fine. If you are a stay-at-home mum or dad that's fine too. Yet, we seem to let society pigeon hole us into who we are and who we should be. We let social media snapshots of perfect moments of someone else's life make us feel bad about our own. We let bikini bodies define us. We applaud "honest" revelations about marriage issues and screaming children and sneer at "fake" ones with seemingly perfect marriages and kids. Why?

I know it's really simple to say but who cares? I know it's easy to just have no fucking clue about it all because I don't care. I know that. But, honestly, why are people, and yes, women especially, spending their lives feeling guilty about something that is right for them and their family? Are we so terrified of judgement? So worried that people are going to look down on us? That people will think we're bad parents? Because we work?

Here's the thing. I don't care what people think of me. Yes, I have my down moments that are, annoyingly, linked to my mental health but, or the most part, for ninety five percent of the time I don't give a shit. Because humans are flawed. Because I am flawed. Because I actually like myself and what I see in the mirror. Because my family is really fucking weird and I adore them. Because I don't care to put up with people who are rude and judgmental. Because I know that's all on them and I don't think it has anything to do with me.

Because I can live quite happily in this world with people thinking that I am a bad mum because I work. Or that I was a bad female for being a stay-at-home mum. That I'm a bad wife. That I'm a bad daughter or a bad sister. That I wear stupid clothes. That I'm unfashionable or fat or ugly or stupid. Because I just don't care what anyone thinks of me. I know my heart. My daughter knows my heart. My Husband knows my heart. That's all that matters.  

I just wish that the world could be that simple. That we could embrace everyone for their differences and applaud people for doing what was right for them. For what made them happy. That we could stop letting other people define our happiness. Because I live in a world where only I can make me feel bad about myself and it's pretty fucking wonderful. 


being mum//on friends without kids

I know it's shocking to believe that I have friends but I do. Settle down, it's not that big a deal. Happens to everyone. So, yes, I have friends. I have friends with kids and friends without kids. And, here's the thing -- I always feel bad that my friends without kids have to hang out with my kid.

I know Bailey is awesome and amazing and adorable and I never feel like she's a burden but... I just feel bad that when I am around Bailey is usually around too and my friends have to listen to her talk {because she talks a lot} and wear the jewellery she makes them and act interested in her stuff. Don't get me wrong, my friends never complain but... when I hang out with my friends with kids they have a kid that Bailey wants to play with and we barely see them. Bailey does not make jewellery for them. She yammers, sure, but she yammers to the kid mostly and ignores us.

When B. and I do stuff with my other friends there is {usually} no other kid to play with. It's just us and her and she likes to talk to them and make them pictures and go about her day as if their world revolves around her. Like I said, they never complain. They adore her and Bailey worships the ground they walk on. When I told B. two of my friends that she adores more than anything were her in case of emergency contacts at school she squealed with delight and begged Husband and I to "forget" to pick her up from school so one of "her friends" could.

I know it's not a big deal and I know {hope} that if my friends really felt bothered by B. they would tell me but I still feel bad. Because kids have runny noses and sometimes they need help finding a rubbish bin or washing their hands and sometimes they make mess. Sometimes they're easily occupied and sometimes they get bored. Sometimes they're needy and other times aloof. And as I sit there with them and B., no matter the situation, I let my anxieties get the best of me and I worry.

I worry that she's annoying them. I worry that B. and I are putting them off the idea of ever having children. I worry that they think that my child is out of control and rude and ruining an otherwise great day.

I feel like at this point I should note that I do go out without Bailey. That is a thing that happens. But, mostly, I miss that kid and I adore her company and usually we're together. And whenever we're together with friends who don't have kids I feel like I need to apologise for nothing in particular and craft thank you texts after we've left to thank them for being so lovely with B. and it's ridiculous isn't it?

Because I have wonderful friends who actually seem to enjoy Bailey's company as much as I do. And they treat us like we're family and I know I have nothing to worry about. And maybe one day I won't worry but until then I'll just continue being an anxious wreck, thank you very much.