being mum//5 thoughts on returning to work

For various reasons I have returned to work. Yes. I am a still a writer, jayebyday is still my baby, but I'm a working woman again. 4 years out of the workforce and now I need to wear something other than pyjamas and can't eat Nutella by the spoonful whenever I feel like it. Here's some other things I've learnt --

saying goodbye to your kid is really bloody hard

B. only drops me off once a week but it hurts my heart to say goodbye to her. I know I'm ridiculous but I really love my kid. I'm used to her leaving me but not the other way around and, yes, sometimes I need a second to compose myself before heading into the office. Breathe, blink away tears and away I go. Being busy helps but, also, doing something for yourself and helping others kind of takes any pain away.

you won't miss all those creature comforts

One of the first thing I said to Husband was: but what will I do without my tea kettle? I seriously love a perfectly brewed cup of tea but what it really comes down to is: for four years I was able to make tea whenever I wanted and now I can't. Sob. Yes, my Husband laughed at me and, yes, I laughed at myself. My tea kettle is there when I get home and I don't really miss it.

it's really bloody nice to wear make up and get dressed

Because it's nice to have somewhere to be.

you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think

It's a bit scary isn't it? Going back to work and feeling like all you're good at is being a mum and you're not even that great at that? But you're brave and strong and smart! A baby ripped its way of your vagina, you'll be fine.

life is just that much sweeter & time is just that more precious

Because absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Bed is more comfy. Husband's are more snuggly. Doggies are less annoying and even cuter and Bailey is even more adorable. I feel more appreciative and life feels more precious. 


beauty//four perfection

I recently went through a phase where I didn't wear any foundation {or BB/CC} at all. I would do my brows and cover any problem areas with some concealer and be ready to go. While I looked okay I just felt plain, naked if you will, and I wasn't entirely happy. It was just a bit blah and I craved a foundation to elevate the look a bit more and when I realised that one of my favourite concealers came in foundation form I knew I had to give it a go. 

The Match Perfection range from Rimmel is a favourite. As soon as I put it on I fell in love. The foundation is ridiculously easy to apply and works so wonderfully with any brush or blender I own and in the biggest pinch, applies beautifully with fingers/hands. It also doesn't crease or sink into pores and wrinkles and it lasts all day longThe concealer goes along in the same vein and works so well as a concealer and a highlighter. I've been using it for years and I adore it.

If you're a pale ass like me -- go with the shade ivory in both.

For brows I'm loving the Maybelline Brow Drama. I use the shade medium brown and I adore it. It's a wonderful brow mascara and is so great for people growing out their brows. It really picks up every hair, darkens any light hairs and gives your brows the best brushed look. If I'm going for a less "done" look I'll just use this but if I'm after something more I'll add some powder or pencil to the brows.

As for mascara I'm am completely obsessed with the L'OREAL Miss Manga Mascara. It's not too wet, dries quickly and creates wonderful curl and length. My favourite mascara that I've ever used. Hands down. Honest. I use the black {I don't know how I feel about coloured mascaras} and I love, love, love it. 


sex is weird...

If you knew me before I got married/pregnant and had a kid you'll know that I was certainly no prude but even so, this is a weird post for me to be writing because being a mum made me a bit hush hush on the topic of sex. I don't know why but I do have a lot of trouble separating myself from being a mother and doing "naughty" things. Regardless, I'm still going to press {push? hammer?} on and talk about sex today because it's recently come to my attention that sex is weird...

But before I get started I also really must say that trying to find an image to go along with this post was... interesting...

Anywho, sex is weird. It's weird for a number of reasons, mostly because I can't help but think: who invented that? But also, you're putting your mouth where? But, really, the weirdest part comes down to:

what are you supposed to do after?

Snuggle? Wash dishes? Shower? Sleep?


Life was a heck of a lot easier when I wasn't in a committed relationship and, quite frankly, cared no iotas about the guy with me, but now... Now I actually love my Husband and I kind of don't want to just jump off and say "thanks for that" and then toddle off to do other stuff. I can't just use my Husband for sex. Actually, scratch that, I can and have {and his body would probably love it} but I don't want to. 

So, what's a girl to do? Snuggle after sex? That idea makes me want to stab myself in the eye and vomit. Snuggling is not on the table. I love the guy but I'm never going to be a "hold me" after all is screamed and done person. I could think of nothing worse actually.

I could go back to what I was doing before but how could I really, properly, get anything done with shakey hands and sleepy eyes? So, what... just go to sleep then?

i don't know!

So, you see, sex is weird.

& don't even get me started on how weird being pregnant was -- seriously like wearing a flashing neon sign saying: i have sex and, look, that's something I don't need my grandmother to see...


j style//the autumn/spring edit


friday five//5 items you need for your nails

1. ciate nail superhero from mecca -- I love the ciate packaging so this purchase is worth it just for the cuteness factor but the word superhero in the name ups the need by about a hundred
2. ciate mint choc pot from mecca -- I have the Maybelline nail polish remover pot so I don't need this but it's so cute that I need it -- feel me? Also, it's a mint choc pot so I bet it smells delicious {there's tons of other "flavours" too}
3. sweet almond oil nail polish remover from the body shop -- nail polish remover is quite harsh and stinky. I also feel like most varieties aren't great for your nails either. I have never really cared about it all until I happened upon this nail polish remover from the body shop. Don't you just feel like it would be amazing?
4. coconut scratch & sniff nail stickers from asos -- how could you not want these? I love coconut and I also kind of love having a clear nail with a bit of detail like a nail sticker. These might be a bit ridiculous but they're scratch and sniff!
5. minty armour polish from the body shop -- this colour is divine and I need it... that's about as deep as it gets


be brave//the kikki.k edit

Here are some things I adore -- 1. having lovely words as reminders 2. gorgeous stationary items & 3. kikki.k and, hey, fancy that! this edit is all three of those things combined. What a coincidence! That just happened all on its own without any forward planning at all {I swear}.

one. boxed sticky note set -- love a good sticky note
two. lovely things inside gift bag -- imagine receiving a gift with this bag. divine.
three. glitter tape -- love a good tape like this. perfect for wrapping or making your diary/planner, notes, anything pretty
four. adhesive note butterfly -- how gorgeous is this? the colours!
five. sticker book -- these kikki.k sticker books are perfection. I currently have 3 and plan to keep adding more to my collection
six. bowl {set of 3} -- a gorgeous set, every house needs some gorgeous bowls
seven. wooden frame with print -- such a perfect message
eight. be brave be bold peach mug -- if you didn't know by now, I am mug obsessed. need to add this to my collection
nine. butterfly dish -- perfect for beside the bed for rings and frequently worn jewllery
ten. my daily thoughts journal -- what made me happy, what I learnt, I am grateful for, tomorrow I am going to...
eleven. quote cards {set of 12} -- frame & keep or gift


j style//the mix apparel edit

If you have't heard of Mix Apparel then you've been missing out. Coles launched the range a few years ago and I've been obsessed ever since. And, yep, it's Coles as in the supermarket. Stay with me...some things are not that great but the majority of the stuff is gorgeous and it's affordable so it's a must.

chambray & dots for b. -- I can just picture this with red chucks and pigatails
colourblock knit for husband -- I don't really love their men's range but once in a while you'll come across something, like this, that's cute
classic v -- who doesn't need a v?
jammies for b. -- love the colours on these
jammies for me -- because, why not?
zip poncho -- these are even nicer in person
sweater skit for b. -- which she already owns but I had to share. It does run large though. B. is 4 years old and I got her a size 3 in June and it's so big that it falls down...
chambray wrap dress -- I didn't know this was an actual thing -- chambray in wrap dress form -- but it is and I need to see it in person. Would it be weird/annoying if I wear this while B. wears the chambray & dot dress above?

the curse of the ghd

In the past four years I have purchased two GHD straighteners and I've finally had enough. No longer will I be tied to that brand. They're dead to me. In fact, they top my "dead to me" and "hate" lists and let me tell you, up until now, that list has only consisted of Mr. Charrington {he knows what he did}, Frodo Baggins, Claire Underwood {if Frank doesn't kill her in the next season of House of Cards I may boycott. I mean, come on Frank, you pushed *spoiler* Kate Mara in front of a train. Do that again. But instead of a train make it a chainsaw} and Apple {the tech company, not the fruit or person. I actually love green apples and I don't know Apple Paltrow {?} Martin {?} so I can't judge}.

So, one actual company person as opposed to ridiculous fictional people that actually make me so mad that I can't breathe. GHD is now on the list. The first one I owned was pink and I bought it over the plain one {and paid more!} because some of the proceeds {prob. 10 cents} went to breast cancer. On, or around, the two year mark I plugged it in and, suddenly, snap crackle pop and it stopped working. Just like that. And, lucky old me, the warranty had just run out. Ugh.

I hopped on Adore Beauty a few minutes later and purchased the gorgeous red one above {I wrote about it here - Tim Tams!}. And wouldn't you know it, just after 2 years later I plugged it in and, suddenly, snap crackle pop and it stopped working {in different houses, by the way, so different sockets}. Warranty. Out. But, even if it had of still been in warranty why would I even consider dealing with GHD again?

When it comes to Apple I really believe that they don't make their products to last beyond the 1-1.5 year mark and now I believe the same of GHD. These things are not cheap! And everyone raves about them and I loved my pink one and this ruby red one and now *sob* now I am straightener-less. I have frizzy hair! I can't be straightener-less. Also, I don't own a blow dryer and doubt I'd know how to use it in the first place {bar actually drying my hair}.

So, yes, I am disappointed. Mad. Somewhat sad. My Husband, on the other hand, is proud because I gave him license to pull it apart and have a fiddle {that's what she said} and if there's one thing you should know about that man is he loves a good fiddle {dirty as intended}.

So GHD how do you feel about being utter crap, devastating my self esteem and being on pair with Charrington/Frodo Douche Baggins/C. Underwood & Apple? Does it feel good? Do you not care? Yeah, I thought as much...

*psst. give me some suggestions for other straighteners...


the jotters guide//get your 2016 on

Generally I don't like to wish the time away. Mostly because time seems to go too damn fast anyway and I'd like it to slow down a bit, thank you very much. But if there's ever a time to wish for the year to finish up nice and swiftly it's when the 2016 diaries/planners get released. Oh, yes, it's one of my most favourite times of year.

I am a diary girl. Always have been. I like the pen to paper contact. I like pens/stickers/washi tape and everything else in between. I am also a big fan of organisation so when the 2016 diaries come rolling in my heart gets all a flutter and the excitable lust sets in. Here are my top picks from the early batch --


j reads//come away with me by karma brown -- review

death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.

And with this we are transported into the grief-stricken world of Tegan Lawson whose life is changed in an instant by a patch of black ice. After the accident, Tegan is consumed with undeniable grief combined with anger toward her husband, Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. Depression swirls and just when she thinks she's hit rock bottom Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity -- a collection of their dream destinations and experiences -- where the slips of paper create adventure around every corner.

Tegan and Gabe travel to Thailand, where we too feel as if the heaviness of the air fills our lungs, to Italy, where food flavours our minds and Hawaii, where moving on begins in the ocean.

Come Away With Me is a wonderful, heartbreaking read. Tegan's adventures, tears and laughter weave naturally and we're right there with her every step of the way. Brown gives us heart breaking twists that don't feel forced or overtly shocking, careful not to overpower the celebration of the human spirit. 

The beginning of Come Away With Me was incredibly sad. By page twenty-three I was already crying. Silent, salty, tears that burned my eyes and I half wanted to stop reading but I couldn't bring myself to put it down for longer than a hastened tissue wipe of the eyes. It's too good. I haven't lost a baby but I have felt loss. I have blamed and hated and felt the urge to cut open my chest and pour ashes close to my heart and I... the pain is indescribable for me but for Brown, for the magnificent Karma Brown, they are right here, in this book, so perfectly, hauntingly, true. I hate and love her for that.

Despite so much good, I did find the book lagging in places. Some pages screamed to be skimmed over, as if the plainness of the travels wasn't quite as alluring as heartbreak. For the most part, though, Brown's debut is a read that can't be put down, that pulls at your insides and leaves you in a huddled, sobbing, mess.

*Come Away With Me by Karma Brown is published by Harlequin and will be released in September, 2015
**I was sent this copy of Come Away With Me from Harlequin for review. I was not paid for this review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
***If you're interested in more wonderful reads from Harlequin, check out my review of Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica


j style//the review edit

As my style evolves more into "50's housewife" I find myself trawling online stores like Alannah Hill & Review for fabulous finds. I'm so deeply in love with the finds from both stores but today, especially with the latter. Here's the edit --

blakeley spot dress -- this dress was obv. designed with me in mind.
all aboard dress -- there's something about a sailor item that I just adore.
nori fit & flare dress -- a dress for a special occasion? 
kimba lace shirt dress -- so cute with a cardigan & flats.
ardeina dress -- retro secretary.
mariela spot dress -- spots & ruffles!
ditzy spot dress -- another spotted dress, less obvious = easier to wear
trafalgar spot dress -- the colours, the spots & the neck!

dorchester spot blouse -- this looks right up my alley but I'd wear it with the pussybow a bit less "done"...
abbie stripe jumper -- love a good collar. 
true romance slip -- for bed and pretty lounging...
tae skirt -- this is what I'd wear if I were a sailor.
mariela spot skirt -- love a good spot skirt. love a good flip at the bottom.
love bug bag -- I've actually gotten out of the habit for buying any bags that aren't in satchel form {or Louis} but this one is so sweet I think I may just need it.


friday five//the pottery barn kids edit

Happy Friday everyone. I adore Friday night more than any other night of the week. There's pizza {sometimes homemade, sometimes store bought} and there's a movie once B. is in bed and it feels like the only night of the week where I truly relax and let go a bit. Why is that?

This week I want to jump back on the edit bandwagon because Pottery Barn Kids just has too many good things to share and I just had to because, come on...

art jar -- B. loves to do crafts and I love to do them with her. I always like to invest some money into proper art supplies because they're fun and a great learning tool
quote boards -- these are on sale and I need both for the home. I love a good blackboard/whiteboard
darth vader pencil case -- B. starts "big school" next year and I'm thinking this {embroidered with her name, obviously} is perfection
castle rug -- this is picture perfect {if this isn't your taste try the construction rug instead}
barbecue set -- I have wanted to get B. a BBQ for outdoors for a long time but I am averse to plastic-y kitchen toys. This has moved straight up to the top of her Christmas list.

*psst -- can we also discuss this cot from pottery barn kids?

its name is Blythe and I need it in my life...


home style//10 things you need for your home

I would say that my home needs an update, a refresh, but let's face facts my house is in constant flux. Regardless, I currently have the itch to make some changes. Do you too? Here are 10 home essentials --

six. hogwarts
seven. deck chair -- kmart I love you!


j style//the hunt for the perfect black skirt

My closet holds no secrets and many black skirts but none are the black skirt. One has a floral-type print on it that's black, yes, but still noticeable. Another has a white bottom. A few have a tulle lining and, so, ballerina-esque and one of those is full on sequins too so not plain at all. Of course, these skirts would suffice if I were different but I am not, I am me, and I need a plain black skirt that isn't boring and doesn't collect lint on its rack at the shop and isn't too corporate. Silly me thought the task wouldn't be difficult at all but, man, was I wrong. It's a jungle out there and plain {but not boring} black skirts are extinct.

My search will continue and as it does here's four that scream perfection --


personally j//how to be happy

As someone with anxiety/depression/ptsd I know that happiness isn't always easy. In fact, being happy is sometimes really darn hard but, for the most part, I am happy all day every day. Yep, even with mental illness... Here's how --

1. Be 100% yourself and have no shame in who you are -- why would you? I'm awesome and so are you. Are you hurting someone? No, then there's no need to worry...
2. Remove people from your life who don't need to be there -- this goes for anybody
3. Help whoever you can -- even if you feel like they don't deserve it
4. Volunteer -- when you can, where you can
5. Smile & laugh every day -- even if you feel like you need to force it sometimes
6. Tell your spouse everything -- communicate & don't lie
7. Acknowledge even the silliest or smallest of issues -- sometimes we cry over spilled milk and that's okay
8. Allow others to do the same -- ditto for above
9. Snuggle with your loved ones whenever you can -- because snuggles are the best especially with your kid
10. Don't view parenting as a job. It's hard but it's not hard. Your kid is your friend. Treat them as you'd like to be treated -- I may be biased but parenting is kind of the best thing ever. Sometimes it's hard but most days it's a walk in the park and so much fun. It's not a job. I'm not a doctor, a taxi driver or a chef. I am a mum and her friend
11. Be alone -- because you need it and with tea, preferably
12. Be surrounded -- because you need it
13. Don't judge -- anyone
14. Eat what you want to eat. I eat chocolate for breakfast and salad for dinner and I love cake -- because how can you be happy otherwise? I guess, unless you like being regimented and kale...
15. Own your choices -- again, if you're not hurting anyone who the hell cares? I am a stay-at-home mum. I spent the other day ironing an entire basket of clothes, cleaning the house and being all busy after waking up at 6.00 AM for no reason other than because I wanted to. I liked it. But if I didn't want to I wouldn't and that would be okay too
16. Dance -- even if it's in public
17. Be a kid -- as much as possible because grown up stuff {working/cleaning/bills} is boring and Nutella is much better
18. Colour in -- or find something that calms you and do it whenever you need
19. Read and watch TV and movies and listen to music -- devour as much as you can and then devour some more
20. Adopt a few mantras like -- it's okay
their opinions don't matter {they really don't}
celebrate the little moments

how do you do happy?


rants & raves//puffy the eye bag slayer

During a recent Asos spree I happened upon the Anatomicals Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer Wake-Up Under Eye Patches and happily popped the 3 pack into my cart. I am a big eye patch fan and I really adore the process of a sheet/patch mask product where I can lie down and just be for a bit {even if I'm on my phone/laptop/tablet while doing so}. It feels deliciously decadent and these wonderfully named patches did not disappoint. 

Each patch is enriched with moisturising agents and collagen which helps to reduce dark circles, signs of ageing and puffiness. Aside from the wonderful tongue-in-cheek attitude of the brand I really adore these eye patches for what they do. They brighten and tighten and leave your under eye area really plump and youthful. When I peeled the patches off {which feel like jelly, by the way} my under eye area felt transformed and super hydrated {by look & feel}. 

As a bonus they felt like they transformed me into a more awake version of myself which is rare and wondrous and worth so much more than $12.50. These patches are a beauty drawer must and one that should be repurchased over and over until the end of time.


friday five

If I could give this week one word it would be: vomit. Yep. Parenting these days can only be described as trying really hard to like your kid when she smells like stale spew {sorry B}. On the serious side of things, having a sick child and not being able to do anything is painful and the amount of times you lay awake during the night {whether you're the one catching spew in a bucket or trying to keep the dogs away from eating stuff they shouldn't} is ridiculous. Your mind turns over and it's as if you hear it thumping away trying to come up with a solution, any solution, please, to ease her pain. And nothing... it's just a waiting game and luckily my kid is the most awesome at being sick because she's just the same as always, albeit a little quieter and more sleepy and all she wants is hugs and her mum and her dad by her side. Minus the vomit it's kind of perfect actually.

Since this week was quiet and relaxed I had plenty of time to appreciate the little moments and things and I found my self obsessed, in the best possible way, with a number of little areas of my home.

One of my favourite parts of our garden. If fairies were real and fairy gardens were a thing this would be one. A meeting spot with mushroom stools and sparkly fairies pottering about, drinking tea and eating dainty treats.

 2 random egg cups I found at an op shop and fell in love with. I may just become an old lady who collects old egg cups...

A favourite stack -- a perfect mix of Husband's and my books.
*guess whose is whose?

A wedding card from my sister that's been framed basically since day one. This has moved places around every house we've lived in but now sits on the hall table with our "out the door" essentials. I adore it.

A new favourite lip balm -- Honeymania from The Body Shop. Wonderfully creamy and lush that gives perfect moisture and nourishment with no icky taste.

have a wonderful weekend x


product rave//my palmer's cocoa butter saviours

I have spoken at length about my love for the Palmer's Purifying Face Mask {see here, here & here -- just to name a few} and even though I still adore it {and no face mask has ever surpassed its greatness} don't fret, nor fear, today's post is not about that beauty. Nope, I have branched out and discovered two other Palmer's products that quickly won me over with their saviour-like qualities.

Here's the illuminating brightening eye serum and the rapid moisture spray lotion in coconut rich {I naturally gravitate toward anything "coconut" except coconut water because... well, I don't know why. Healthy things scare me}.

Both products are must-haves in the time saver arena. The eye serum has little illuminating particles that gives your under eye area moisture and illumination for darkness. It's really very white and can be a bit sparkly so you must remember to blend properly otherwise you'll notice white stripes on your face and that ain't pretty.

The moisture spray is perfection for lazy people like me. The good thing is that it actually works so well that you don't feel so lazy using it. You just spray it like any spray bottle -- close to the skin but not too close and not too hard. It sprays and dries clear so be careful. I learnt the hard way when I got Husband to spray my back and I was soaked {he didn't think anything was coming out - ha!}. Luckily, even if you do apply liberally, the product isn't greasy and I only had to go sans top {yes, Husband, I am onto you} for a few minutes until it dried. With this, there really is no need for actual moisturiser which is good because using my hands and rubbing things in is just too damn hard. Ugh.

& in case you were wondering, no Palmer's are not sponsoring me or sending me products. None at all. How rude right? I know! But, also, yes, back on track, I know I talk a lot about Palmer's products but I just genuinely love them and can't help it!


misadventures in parenting//getting my 4 year old to sleep in her own bed

Bailey has always been a wonderful sleeper. At birth she was sleeping longer than three hour stretches. At a week or so she started the five hour stretch and just before 10 weeks she was sleeping through the night. She's never really broken away from this at night but somewhere along the way monsters and the dark became a part of her life and she started sleeping in our bed. 

This isn't a problem, exactly, because I love that kid and having her in bed with me was basically the highlight of my life. I've always missed her when bedtime came around but with her in our bed I didn't need to. She was always there, slept wonderfully, and I got to snuggle up to her whenever I wanted. The happiest moments of my day involved slipping into the warm bed with her and falling asleep holding her hand.

But, see, the thing is, we eventually realised that we were not addressing her fears {and sometimes Husband and/or I didn't sleep the best}. We were letting her be scared {and so much so that she was often scared of the monsters in her room all the time} because we {and mostly I} were being greedy Bailey hogs. But we were stuck because B. was so entrenched in this big bed sleeping world and it just seemed too damn hard. So what did we do? The stuff of parenting dreams...


And it worked {that kid loves school}. Because she ran right off into her room and went to bed. She has a story {or fifty}, gets tucked in, has kisses, etc and then we leave the room {light still on because she likes it that way} and she goes to sleep on her own. Of course, she's still welcome in our bed but for the majority of the night/early morning she sleeps in her own bed and she's so proud of herself and so fearless now that I know we did the right thing. The way we went about it, however...

It's almost as bad as that time, months ago, when she told me she wanted to sleep in her own bed with her newly purchased bed tent {because it keeps monsters out} and I {good parent and all} pouted and said "but I'll miss you!" And she felt so sorry for me that she ditched her plans so I wouldn't be sad. Yup...


beauty//the bareminerals 5

bareMinerals is one of those everything brands isn't it? One of those rare beauty brands that caters to everyone and really cares about your skin. They're pretty darn special because they make you feel special. Not only that, but they're affordable, their packaging is divine and they help you look and feel good. I'm a big fan! In fact, bareMinerals is at the top of my "brand wishlist" at the moment. I want to gobble up each and every one of their divine products but right now I'm going to settle for sharing my 5 current must-haves from the bareMinerals range --

create a divine finish with the beautiful finish brush
get natural brows with this brow styler
say hello to flawless with this complexion rescue gel
never say never with this marvellous moxie lipstick
& get acquainted with the brand with this 3 piece kit


that married life//how-to be the perfect wife

 While I haven't be married nearly as long as most people I do feel as though 5 years as a wife has given me some knowledge that is worth sharing. So share I will... how-to be the perfect wife in 5 easy steps. Let's get on it...

Face masks are the number one cause of divorce...

Good wives don't wear Elmo hats when out in public with their partner...

The bed is reserved for sex and sleep. When you're asleep you should look attractive -- Cookie Monster eye masks are a big no-no...

Maintain the same weight as when you first met. Of course, you can always lose but never gain. And don't eat fattening foods like cheese fries... ew, gross!

 A good wife always prepares meals that satisfy his manly side...