my kids gift guide

I like to think that I'm a pretty good shopper, for kids especially. Or maybe, I'm only good at buying for B. and/or going overboard. Either way, I do enjoy buying kids gifts. And, obviously, they need a December 1 gift, a gift the day before an event with Santa, gifts on Christmas Eve and then, come Christmas Day -- presents under the tree and stuffed in a personalised stocking and Santa sack. Here are my top picks --

All the Things I Wish from Papier -- I know I've featured this here before but I can't stop obsessing over this book. I plan to give this to B. just from me and, considering I've teared up just reading it to myself, I can't wait to share this with her.

Cute 2018 Weekly Small Diary from Kikki K -- B. has recently become obsessed with planning and I think for organised obsessed kids an adorable diary like this is perfection.

Pikachu Swimsuit from Little Gecko -- this is by far one of my favourite picks for B. The smaller sizes are unavailable but if you have/know a kid who loves Pokemon and is a size eight or up these are needed.

Girls Bon Bon 4 Pack of Undies from Cotton On Kids -- a cute little stocking filler. They also have a boys set {find it here} and, weirdly, or maybe not, B. adores being gifted underwear so it's a perfect essential but much loved gift. 

Large Bow Sparkle Headband from Cotton On Kids -- I actually picked this up for B. to go with her Breakfast with Santa outfit/present. The kid loves headbands and this is as close as I'm going to get to those hideously huge bows that swallow kids heads.

Nintendo DS 2XL Pokeball Edition -- because who doesn't need this?

Pokemon Ultra Sun -- I'm usually the gift buyer/thinker/doer but for things like this I leave it up to the Husband. Apparently, this is the necessary game. I don't know. But, look, I like to shop to a theme so when I'm buying a Pokemon DS I need to buy a Pokemon game to go with it. Both are necessary. 

Sylvanian Families Baby Sleigh Ride from Toys R Us -- adorable animals and outfits and the perfect Christmas Eve gift.

Snowman Bubbleroon from Lush -- B. dips in between liking baths but when she does she adores trips to Lush to pick something like this. She's picked out bath products like this one as a gift for her toys this year {yeah we're those people}. I think the snowman makes an adorable stocking filler.

Personalised Nutella Spoon from handstampeddelights on Etsy -- if you know anyone that loves eating Nutella straight from the jar {necessary} then they obviously need a special spoon with their name on it. B. needs this. Heck, I need this. Everyone needs this. It's also my dream in life to keep the pantry always stocked with labelled Nutella -- spreading Nutella and eating Nutella. I dream big people. Big. 


friday five|christmas must-haves

My top Christmas gifting picks --

one. your very own copy of Deadpool -- because watching everything digitally is too much for me. I love watching/buying DVD's and if Deadpool isn't needed in everyone's home I don't know what is.

two. this Kaju Candy Dancing Clown Brooch -- as I've discussed before I am not a fan of the original It but the remake is everything I love in this world and then some. I need this brooch desperately in my life. It's currently sold out but you can get emailed when it's back in stock.

three. this Stila Kitten Karma Liquid Eye Shadow -- a perfect stocking filler and my favourite eye shadow shade of all time. 

four. these amazing sneakers from Wittner -- because who doesn't need hand embroidered sneakers under their Christmas tree?

five. Beauty and the Beast Chip Mug -- if you know me you'll know all I've dreamed of for years on end is an actual Chip mug and then I found it and I screamed. And then I realised it was sold out so I cried. And then it came back in stock and I screamed some more. I need this more than I've ever needed anything in my life.   


mental health|to wallow

I always used to think that wallowing made me weak. I would let myself be sad and then force myself to move on before I was ready. So, as you can safely assume, I never actually healed from anything. I've since learned that I need to let myself wallow in all my sadness for as long as it takes.

I've started appreciating my depression, especially of late, and allowing it to, in a way, control me. The other day, overwhelmed by life, by people who lie and hurt others as if on purpose. Stressed and scared over turmoil that never seems to cease. Saddened by the state of the world and those who are a part of mine. Too depressed to feel like I can really go on. And so I didn't. Not really.

I did what needed to be done. Braved crowds {because it always feels like an act of bravery to do so}. And then, when I reached my limit, I went home, curled up on the couch and watched an endless stream of Hallmark Christmas movies alone. Usually I feel guilty about doing things for myself, for allowing myself to be depressed and wallow in it. But not anymore. I let myself be and instead of taking days to recover it took hours, if that, before I felt normal again.

I turned the air conditioner on low, wore my favourite Lady & The Tramp pj's, wrapped myself in a blanket, drank green tea, ate chocolate and home made cheese fries. Bailey and I had snuggles. The Christmas tree lights were on. I played with stickers and texted friends. And, sure, it wasn't a cure all and my head still pounded of the stress I knew was going to come in the days that followed but I didn't cry, nor feel the need to hold them in.

I've since come to the conclusion that wallowing is the best thing for my head. And Hallmark movies are cheesy but, kind of, the best medicine of all. 


husb. & b.

Sometimes, when the world feels like it's slowly crumbling around me. When my chest feels weighed down and my breathing turns shallow. When my only comfort is bed and loneliness is my only way through. When showering feels like too much and eating is too much responsibility. When tears are always threatening to spill over and nothing feels quite right. When all of these things join together to create a ridiculous depression spiral, a pit so deep, and it feels like nothing can pull you out, I turn to them, to Husband and B., to see me through.

But it's not in the times they come to see me that ultimately help {although that's wonderful too}. It's the moments I can hear them whispering to each other in another room or Husband reading to B. Or when she reads to him. When they share a favourite book curled up in her bed together. When he brushes her hair while they play a loved computer game. When they both high five over the same captured Pokemon. When they both giggle over ludicrously named gaming characters. When she thanks him for taking care of me. When he sings her good night songs and they hug. When she calls him by his first name rather than dad and he never complains.

It's always in these simple, quiet, moments together that I've happened to sneak up on that make me the happiest. I never feel quite as peaceful as when I get to watch them together. Especially when they're completely unaware of my presence. When they are so wonderfully themselves, bonding in perfectly lovely and randomly ridiculous ways. This is when I feel the weight of the world lifted. If only for a second.


on harrassment

I have this thing where I don't like joining in on conversations if it feels like everyone is joining in. I like to keep my mouth shut and my head down and just keep on going. I always so admire the people who can speak out on atrocities because it always seems incredibly brave and it's always something that needs to be said. It's also wonderfully heartwarming to know you're not alone and, while, I'd never assume that my words could do anything I'm incredibly frustrated with remaining silent. So I'm not going to anymore.

I've had my fair share of harassment in this world and as news stories continue to break I get more anxious about what kind of world my child is growing up in. It feels like everyone has a story to share and that's frustrating. Nobody should have a story on sexual harassment. It should never happen. But it does.

As a teenager I remember walking down the street to the train station. A man passed me in a car, honked his horn, yelled at me and continued on his way. I thought nothing of it. And, then, a few minutes later I heard yelling for "sexy" as I walked past and I turned to look at what that other strange noise was and there he was -- in his car, pants and underwear down, masturbating in broad daylight and so delightfully pleased that I had seen. I hurried off, mortified and ridiculously embarrassed.

On my way to high school an older man sat next to me at the bus stop. No big deal. But he edged closer, his legs touching mine and I felt weird because the seat wasn't crowded. I said nothing. The bus came and I got on. He didn't. He walked off. I felt relieved. After that he always seemed to be around me. At bus stops, in the car as I was walking. One day he spotted me as he was driving and got out of the car without bothering to park. I dashed into the train station, so sure he wouldn't follow me there and, yet, there he was, on the same platform. Yet, no matter what bus stops or train stations he followed me to he never did get on. I finally moved suburbs and went a year without seeing him and, then, again, there he was, following me in his car as I walked home from the train station. He never tried anything and I felt so silly for being so scared. But he was always there. Eventually I started taking a bus to and from the train station and even when I hadn't seen him around I'd run into my apartment building, too scared to check the mail. The last time I saw him he'd spotted me coming out of the train station. He'd parked his car and I could see him coming toward me and I ran, hid in a library, shaking and crying for over two hours until Husband got back from the city where he worked so I could go home. I never reported it. I never said anything. Because nothing really happened. 

I sat next to a guy in the doctor's office. He told me I looked beautiful and tried to grab my hand. I moved mine and tried to make polite conversation. I went into the doctor and he was still there when I came out. He asked for my number and I refused. He said he could show me a good time. I said no thanks. And then he got mad, leaned into me and screamed. I was a racist. I was a bitch. A tease. How fucking dare I. Because he was nice to me and I should be grateful. Nobody did anything. I walked off and walked home in tears. I saw the same guy a few years later and he asked if I was still a racist.

I was waiting for a train after University. I stood next to two police officers. The train doors opened, a man got off, looked me up and down, smiled and grabbed both my breasts in his hands. I screamed in shock and did nothing else. The man ran off, seemingly very proud of himself, and I burst into tears and slumped to the ground. The police officers got on the train, the doors closed and the train sped off.

Theses are not all the stories but they're all about the same. Feeling scared all the time. Never feeling safe. And then there's being passed out drunk and waking up to a man putting his penis inside me. Being pushed into having sex with someone and finding out, after the fact, that he never did wear a condom. I realise it's not quite the same thing as what I've said above but, for me, it all boils down to people feeling entitled to take just because they can. I'm sick of that. Sick of feeling like I deserved it or couldn't stand up for myself. Sick of feeling worthless or less than. 

I'm glad that more and more people are coming forward with their stories and I hope that if anyone is scared or feels worthless they won't for much longer.


gift guide|perfect books for kids

I am officially on the hunt for Christmas presents. I know it's ridiculously early for some and anxiously late for others. Whichever side you fall on, even if you're right in the middle, I'm currently all consumed with Christmas presents right now. One of my favourite things to buy for B. is books. She adores them and I adore buying and sharing them with her. Here's 4 picks I'm hoping to place under our tree for my favourite person --

one. All the Things I Wish for you Bailey|from Papier -- a personalised treasure with the sweetest messages inside. 
two. Pig the Star|Aaron Blabey -- we all love Pig's adventures in this house and I'm looking forward to sharing his fifth take with B. come Christmas. 
three. Don't Spew in Your Spacesuit|Tim Miller & Matt Stanton -- rest assured, if Matt Stanton is involved you need this book. B. adores a good gross story {especially if it involves poop} so I imagine a spew based story would be right up her alley.
four. Freddie's Adventures in Petlandia|from Petlandia -- another personalised treasure that features your beloved pet. I went through this story with Fred and Bum Bum and the story just fits Freddie. It's adorable, sweet and wonderfully heartwarming.  


friday five|best of the advents

In more recent years Husband and I have entirely forgone advent calendars and just picked one up for B. Nothing has ever drawn me in enough to bother with. But this year, I've decided, is going to be different because {drum roll please} T2 has come out with a freakin' tea advent and I need it so desperately in my life. Here's five picks for adults and kids alike --

Clinique Advent Calendar -- 24 items from the Clinique skincare & beauty range
Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar -- 24 Star Wars themed gifts including a holiday themed figure
Kikki.K Lovers' Advent Calendar -- a mix of stationery, lifestyle items and decorations.
Lego Friends Advent Calendar -- includes furry friends, Christmas tree and gifts.
T2 A Sip A Day Advent Calendar -- 24 tea surprises -- each day brings with it a new sipping possibility