friday five

This week has been busier than most which has left little time for anything other than time with my family, sleeping and eating. Being busy is not something I do well with - I am the kind of person who needs ample down and alone time to recuperate after busy interactive days so I'm looking forward to a leisurely weekend {or at least a leisurely last half of Saturday and all of Sunday} to wind down with my family. As for my Friday Five, would it be strange to admit that it was difficult to put together and that it took most of yesterday to compile? I don't know but I just felt blah and when I feel blah no amount of online window shopping is remedy enough but, slowly, ever so slowly, as I watched Sam-Wise bounce around I ambled out of my funk and out of that came {in my opinion} a fabulous list of five things and here they be...

four. hello, is this my next watch? {husband and I are doing watches as our 4 year anniversary presents to each other - is the one I want? I think so!}
five. i love you. perfect for the growing wall of framed prints/pictures in our bedroom


a sunday in pictures//a family road trip

This past Sunday the three of us {Bailey, Husband and I} went for a road trip through the Blue Mountains. We slightly planned the trip beforehand with loosely scheduled stops in Blackheath, Little Hartley, Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls but kept everything slightly open with no rushing. It was a lovely date and family day {we try to do something special on the 25th of every month as that's the date we were married and we're corny like that}.

There was, of course, a lot of picture taking involved. We took our proper camera and snapped things as we went {though there are some phone photos too}. I don't know why but I am a picture taker and a picture sharer. I like to have visual reminders of things and, I guess, I love to shove visual reminders in other people's faces too {that last part not so much - I actually love going through my Instagram when I'm bored/can't sleep/feel like it}. Anyway, just a warning, there be a lot of pictures coming up.

^obligatory foot on the dashboard shot - paradise by the dashboard light was not playing when this was taken but it should have been so let's pretend it was

^Bailey tries to eat all the pikelets
^^I take pictures of anything & everything

^we stopped at Bakehouse on Wentworth for lunch - a must
^their pies. this crust. delicious.

^after lunch we walked around Blackheath. Bailey posed and we found love in Gleebooks

^^the lolly bug shop in Little Hartley - a must visit for candy fiends

 ^Katoomba - a quick stop for tea, berries and a look around

^Husband was excited for Bailey to see the 3 Sisters until she wanted to jump off the ledge and go down the mountain

 ^^these two

 ^the danger tape sums up this kid and her desire to climb a mountain

^the candy store in Leura - Nutella & Go and Harry Potter treats, yes please!

^this pirate ship at Wentworth Falls Lake was ridiculous amounts of fun

^we were pirate prisoners and Bailey escaped

^I fulfilled a life long dream of being the "king of the world"

^we tried jumping photos {mine was too ridiculous/hideous to even share}

^and then the sun went down and the little one rubbed her eyes and said "I'm getting tired" so we reluctantly headed home from our day


a little essay//on wearing & caring

One particularly difficult morning, after spending what felt like a lifetime getting Bailey ready for Kindy {showered, hair washed, dressed semi-weather appropriate, teeth brushed and hair brushed}, I had a thought: why do I care what my child looks like? That sounds silly when I see it written out like that but, quite honestly, why do I put so much thought and effort into trying to get her to wear an outfit that looks presentable?

In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter all that much to me - I know who she is. I know that she's funny and kind and smart and beautiful and that's all that should matter and, yet, when it comes to having to go out I forget all of those things and focus more on what she looks like and it's not because I really care what strangers think. If someone came up to me and commented on Bailey's appearance in a negative light I'd be shocked and I'd rant a little {ok, a lot} but I wouldn't rush out and change what she looked like at that exact minute. I wouldn't go home and donate all of her things to charity and start all over. But, yet, when it comes to getting her dressed I think instantly of how she, and her father and I, will be perceived.

It sucks doesn't it? This world of ours is a fickle one - looks and presentation matter and while I like to think that just because I wear bunny shoes at age twenty-six that I'm above all that, I'm not. Not really. Bailey can, to some extent, pick her own outfits and she can be all mismatched if the occasion warrants but if it doesn't, I like her to look nice or rather, well put together. Is that wrong?

I thought for a moment what the opposite would be - I don't care what my child looks like - and that didn't sound quite right either. I do care but I'm not going to disown the child for rocking ugg boots, gloves, three quarter pants and a top {which she did to the video shop the other day, by the way}. When I see her dressed ridiculously but decide to roll with it I do momentarily wonder if I will be perceived to be a bad parent. What kind of mother would let their child wear that? And I think that's the root of the issue. People can say what they want about me but if it involves my child or my parenting my insecurities rise to the surface and I worry.

When it comes to people seeing me I want to be seen as well groomed/put together and that, I've realised, is what I want for Bailey as well. If people don't like her style then so be it. I'm 150% certain that there are many people who don't like my style and that's fine. I don't need people to but, for no reason other than just because, I want people to look at me, if they happen to, and see that I care about myself. For some reason taking pride in my appearance, and that of Husband and Bailey, has become something that matters to me.

In my younger years I would judge people on what they wore but I no longer do. Nothing seems as trivial than judging people for wearing what they like. So why do I even care if someone looks at my child and judges her? Especially when it says more about them then it does about her? Of course, the mumma-bear aspect comes into play. I feel very protective of Bailey in every single aspect of her life but that's only part of it. The other part? Well, I haven't quite figured that one out yet.

My very feeble answer to my own question of why the hell do I care so much? is this:

I think taking pride in your appearance is important. Being yourself and wearing what you feel good in is important too. So there's that. I like to have well groomed eyebrows. I like clothes to be ironed, not just for myself but for my Husband and Bailey too. I think presenting the best version of yourself is important and is an important lesson to teach your child. Yes, parts of that "best version" is for other people but an even bigger part is for yourself. To me, in order to feel good I need to look good on the inside and the outside. 

And now, as I read that back to myself my head is screaming: who are you to choose what makes Bailey feel good? And that's a good question. Obviously, I am her parent but I don't buy into that "I'm your parent and what I say goes!" mantra. Think what you will but I believe we're equals. So, who am I to decide to a pair of coral pants, a bright purple top and teal coloured shoes don't look good? If that's what she wants to wear then shouldn't that be it {as long as it's weather appropriate of course}? Is it really my place to worry what other people will think of her and, by extension, her father and I? Or, am I supposed to worry about these things, even if it just comes down to vanity, until she is old enough to decide to worry or not worry for herself?



friday five: a few last minute gifts for an almost 3 year old

In a few weeks Bailey turns 3 and I'm excited. Her main present shopping is done {12ft trampoline, pink scooter and My Little Pony train set} but there are still a few little things to pick up just because. Here are five items I have my eye on.

one. ears up wallet - she loves wallets
two. ami satchel - & bags too
three. the little mouse who lost her squeak - we are a family of readers
four. some nail polishes from the Hello Kitty range at Priceline - and she is a nail polish fiend
five. an ice cream skipping rope - and an ice cream one too and lately she's been pointing at skipping ropes at the shops so they've been on my mind


tips & snapshots//from instagram

^L'OREAL Telescopic Explosion {I think this product may be discontinued?}
^I found this at my local chemist, and from a quick search it seems this product is pretty difficult to find. If you manage to spot this little pot I suggest you pick it up - it's not to be missed.

^Bonds do my favourite tights. I always wear their black opaques and now I'm loving their colour range. I always go for a larger size because I like to wear my tights pretty high up {nothing annoys me more than having to constantly readjust tights}. These are perfect for a cold-ish day. 


let's talk about//hats

I've always loved hats but have never really been a hat person. Years ago I got into beanies but that's as far as I'd go until I decided that I need some hats to wear in the sun and picked up a straw hat with cat ears from Dangerfield and now I've decided to move on to felt hats that I can wear in Winter and all the other seasons too. So let's talk about hats shall we?

^number seven is named the Flynn! 


weekly spotlight//clarins beauty flash balm

^if you asked me what beauty product I couldn't live without it'd be difficult to answer. See, I'd want to name the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm for what it does to my skin with and without make up but then what would I do with a brow product or a concealer? See my dilemma?

Beauty Flash Balm is the ultimate pick me-up for tired, stressed skin. It instantly moisturises, brightens and tightens facial contours so skin looks rested and relaxed. Olive and Witch Hazel extracts help smooth the skin's surface, diffusing the look of lines and wrinkles. It preps the skin for perfect make-up application and provide hours of luminous wear. It's also the perfect hydrating face mask.

To use as a base apply to the face without massaging or rubbing and apply make up immediately if desired {though if you don't want to it works fabulously alone}.

I like to use it both ways - as a base and as a mask though my preferences for use change with the wind. Lately I've been loving it as a base all over again and will use as a mask when the wind changes. 

^allow me to be all infomercially for a second?

And if you like this product you'll love the Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash


a little ditty//about sam-wise jar-2 gaff-gee

^Allow me to introduce to you the newest member of our family - Sam-Wise.
His full name is actually Sam-Wise Jar-2 Gaff-Gee after Samwise Gamgee, Jar Jar Binks and R2-D2. I picked the name and the placement of the dashes in case anyone didn't pick that already. I'm awesome {or strange, whichever} though Sam-Wise is obviously more awesome.

It was love at first sight when I saw him and that's the way it's always been with all the animals that have become members of the Gaff-clan {by the way animals I am terribly sorry for the awful 'Gaff' portion of your name, blame Husband}. Sam-Wise has the trademark 'J' middle name that all the Gaff youngsters have {see: Minnie Jean Gaff, Summer Jones Gaff, Bailey Jane Gaff} and we adore him already.


shopping the kid section//for me

Lately I've noticed myself lusting after kids accessories - shoes mostly. Like these snow leopard booties from witchery kids which go up to a size 37 and which I have decided I'd be more than willing to spend $129.95 on. 

^cat flats & a bunny ring? I mean, honestly, kids have the most adorable things.


a little ditty//about benefit gimme brow

^so, here's the main thing I need to tell you about Benefit's Gimme Brow and it is - don't buy it, it's not worth it.

How do I know this? Well, for one I've tried it out and two, I didn't buy it.

Gimme Brow is meant to fulfill your fantasies of thick, natural-looking brows even if they're barely there. Gimme Brow's buildable micro fibres adhere to the skin and hairs, mimicking the look of real brows. The innovative brush-on fiber gel builds easily for thick, lush arches, thanks to a tapered brush for blending and precision tip for shaping.

Except it doesn't do any of that. Not really. I expected fuller brows due to those micro fibres Benefit talked about but all I got were some nicely combed brows in a shade that wasn't that great. I noticed all my brow flaws and all the empty spots where the hair is super fine or hasn't grown in. I'm not being picky here - a good brow gel should add something to your brows if you need it to. This didn't and we should all know by now how I feel about bold brows.

So, the final opinion - it's just a tinted brow gel and if you want gorgeous brows go with the Benefit Brow Zings.

ridiculous or awesome???

There are times when you happen upon a beauty/skincare/whatever product and you can't decide - is it ridiculous or awesome?

Well, which is it?

The biggest parts of me want the damn thing.

Then the ever so small sensible part of me thinks - no! don't get it you silly fool!

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. 


j style//some current lusts/wants/needs

When it comes to fashion and me there will never be enough of it. There will always be a dress, a skirt or a shoe that I just have to have and usually I find some way to get it. I've never taken much notice of trends because they bother me. I remember once reading an article in a magazine that claimed flats were back in because of Carla Bruni and it made me incredibly bothered and feel - ugh. How can the entire genre of flat shoes be out? Explain that to me? Please, someone do. Anyway, rant over.

^with that in mind, here are a few items on my current lusts/wants/needs list

1. luella cat eye sunglasses {I don't seem to be getting this prescription lens thing}
2. prada candy {I haven't smelt this yet but I only hear good things and I so badly want it}
3. metallic tee {a simple tee, perfect for me}
4. faux fur gilet {to wear un-done}
5. wine & dine crystal necklace {pretty and delicate - I'd wear with casual & dressy outfits}
6. embroidered skirt {currently on sale, my kind of "winter" skirt to wear with tights}
7. elastic cut out boot in taupe {these are divine}
8. royal ruby lace bodice dress {this dress with number 10 - perfection}
9. animal handbag {I'm currently loving bags that are structured like this but can be worn like satchels}
10. berry heel {could I even walk in these? doubtful}
11. revlon scented polish in lavender soap {Bailey told me I need a purple nail polish and you have got to listen to the kid, she knows her stuff. Lavender is the way to go and these bottles are oh so pretty}
12. kate spade metro watch {kate spade {check}polka dots {check} love this one}
13. lobster red smoking gun slipper {these are the perfect Dorothy shoes. I need these. Mimco does it again}

every night should be grilled cheese night

On Friday night while the Gaff family settled around some chips and dip I was multi-tasking my way through eating, chatting and grilling Bailey on what kind of cake she would like for her birthday. She would suggest something and I would show her some pictures {though that didn't work out too well because she is insisting that she and her dad are going to have a strawberry cake and I am going to have a banana cake even though Husband hates strawberries - weirdo! - and I hate bananas - normal person!}. After a while I got off track {as I do} and could be found searching for lunch ideas for Mother's Day and I came across the wide world of grilled cheese sandwiches {see here} and then I decided that the we needed a panini press and a panini cookbook and that we should make regular grilled cheese nights in our house a thing.

So that's whats going to happen. So we need these things which are, of course, from Williams-Sonoma because I've convinced myself that they are the only store in the world that sells panini presses and cookbooks so there, yep, that's whats happening. Here's what we and you {everybody, really} need to make grilled cheese nights a reality*.

and ta-da how awesome am I!

*oh, and obviously, you need the actual food too

^^and so, the Gaff family will partake in grilled cheese nights on Saturday until it grows tiresome {will it ever?} We're big fans of themed food nights in this house. Friday night is usually pizza night {Husband and I eat it while watching a movie after B. is in bed because she don't like pizza}. We have a recurring BFD {breakfast for dinner} night that comes and goes as it pleases {usually on a Thursday night} and we've also loved and then retired Mexican night too. I've found food nights make it easier on me to plan a menu and a shopping list and to make sure we actually eat the food we buy.


weekly spotlight: something for limp & lifeless hair and something to warm the soul

Two things I've loved this week - something for my hair to make it not so limp and lifeless and not so clean and something that warms my soul.

For the Kindy Mother's Day afternoon tea last week I decided to give my Schwarzkopf Instant Volume Powder another try. I had dismissed it long ago because I didn't like the way it made my hair feel dirty but I've now come to learn that sometimes faux-dirty hair is the way to go to add some volume. And once I got over the "dirty" thing I fell in love with how it made my hair look {first pic, obviously}.

But then, look what happens if I don't fiddle with it for a bit and actually make it look presentable.

This is why I'm married. This second picture right here.

^and the, something to warm the soul, tea {specifically this tea from Gloria Jeans}. It's a loose leaf tropical green tea with punch notes of pineapple, peach, mango and passionfruit with a fresh green tea finish and it needs to be drank in this mug. It's perfect for a afternoon pick me up and for a night time calm down. I make it in my Breville Tea Maker with the green tea setting {80 degrees} for 3 minutes. Delicious. Yum. Perfect. Delicious again. 


friday five

Happy Friday! Also, happy one month until Bailey turns 3! This week was a tad different from the rest, if only because Husband was away on business for the first 3 days of it and I was on 24/7 with Bailey alone. That's never happened before. For her almost 3 years he's never not seen her in the space of 24 hours so this week was a little hard in that regard {though I know others have it harder}. I, on the other hand, have never spent a night away from Bailey and I could never imagine doing so until she's much older so I don't know how he coped without her special brand of nutcase-ary for 3 whole days.

Anyway, I still found some time to compile a list of 5 items for today - all of which I hope make their way into my home very soon {one can dream}.

^the bracelet of my dreams {I love a good tassel}
^a new watch? {I am yet to add a black one like this to my collection. I like the purple detail on this}
^ridiculous but necessary {a cow teapot}
^a maybe present for b {she is always talking of her desire to play soccer so I think she'll love this}

^^and if I don't get to say it on the actual day - happy mother's day to all the mums and grandmothers out there whoever you may be. I, for one, am very excited to see the goodies Bailey made for me at Colour Me Mine and to spend a relaxing day with my little family. 


watches for a man named husbles

In our almost 9 year relationship I have gifted Husband 2 watches {plus a pocket watch}. One was silver from Jag and the other was a calculator watch. The former broke long ago and the latter's band recently broke so a new watch for the man named husbles is a necessary purchase. I don't want to go too expensive or fancy because he's not that kind of guy but I don't want something too cheap either. Something too rubbery is out but I am undecided on a metal or leather banded watch and I don't know if I want to go down the neek route again. He's the opposite from me, un-obsessed by brands so he wouldn't prefer a Michael Kors over another just for the name alone. The watch market is a minefield - here are some of my favourite picks.

& two novelty-type watches


pillowcase love//adairs

I'm a massive bedding fan. I love Egyptian cotton and whimsical sets that make me feel comfy and happy. Adairs is usually my place to go when I want something new to dress my bed and my most recent stop did not disappoint. I picked up something small- the Home Republic Sprinkles Sundae Pillowcases -for Husband's business trip to Melbourne so he could take a bit of home with him.

^these are made with 100% cotton and while not as delicious as Egyptian cotton they are beautifully soft. the regular retail price on these is $29.95 but they are currently on sale for $19.95 and linen lovers {that's me!} get an extra discount and pay $18.95. 

^^currently with Husband in a hotel room is the "you are the sprinkles on my sundae" {because I am the dessert fiend} and I'm resting my head on the "you are the sweet in my dreams" {because every night he gives me a kiss and wishes me happy dreams before sleep}.

oh Adairs, I love you so


weekly spotlight//the thing about my hair//something i'm loving right now

^this picture by the way, is one I sent to Husband - the "sad" face I pull whenever I want something because I'm 4 years old. I am wearing the no-makeup and non-brushed hair while wearing pj's in bed look. Like it?

 Anyway, on to the hair. This is my hair. My hair and I have a love/hate relationship. Here are some things you should know:
^my hair is thin, very very thin
^I have no volume whatsoever
^I have a few strands of grey hair that came in when I was 15 {terrible genetics} and they all stay in one spot
^I have this weird cow lick type thing at the back of my head and it will never sit down
^my hair is frizzy and straight and kinky
^my hair does not wear product well - most turn my hair into an oily mess
^my hair does not hold curls or really any style other than straight and it straightens very easily
^whenever I fork out on expensive hairdressing it all goes wrong. Highlights? Don't even get me started. A lighter colour? Hair turns orange. Cut? All goes to crap
^and, possibly, the weirdest complaint of all - my hair is just too darn soft!

With all that said I've been trying to find a shampoo and conditioner that helps my hair out. I picked up the Pantene Aqua Light Shampoo and Conditioner and, so far, I like what I'm seeing.

^I didn't think my hair ever felt weighed down before but this duo makes my hair feel light and weightless. It feels more life-like, that I can touch it and it won't automatically flop back down in the same spot. It still feels soft but not as annoyingly so - like it is human after all, not so perfect {though it never was}.

Also in the Aqua Light range? A Lightweight Creme Treatment - which, for me, will be the true test for this range since every other treatment leaves my hair oily, slick, heavy and droopy.

And here's hoping that this range continues to stand up to my unruly strands