the gifting grinch

I have a confession to make -- I'm not buying my Husband anything for our wedding anniversary this year and I refuse to make money in our budget for him to give me one. On July 25 we'll celebrate six years married {eleven years dating} and I'm just like meh. Sure, I'm happy to do some fun stuff with him on the day and, then, continue the celebrations into that weekend so B. can join in but, man, am I bored of the anniversary gift grab. Ugh, it's so boring but, also, it's just too much pressure. 

We love each other. We're married. That's all I need to know/big deal. People get married all the damn time. Call me when we celebrate 50 years together. Right now it just kinda feels like been there, done that.

Am I the grinchiest person you've ever not met? Like, what's up my butt that I can't just think of something super romantic to buy my Husband on our wedding anniversary? Why can't I just be one of those lame people who buys cotton or silver or whatever? Wikipedia tells me traditional gifts for a six year anniversary are Iron (US) and/or Sugar (UK). The librarians at the Chicago Public Library suggest Wood as a modern gift idea. To be honest, that's not even more remotely helpful than Iron and Sugar. What do those things even mean and why are they even things?

I don't know.

I just peaked at 5 years because my gift to Husband last year was the most imaginative awesome thing I've ever done. His gift to me last year was a necklace I already {basically} had with the intention of me going back to the jeweler and picking items I actually wanted because he couldn't think of anything else. That's love right there.

But, really, when it comes down to it, why is a gift how we celebrate things like anniversaries? Because isn't the "another year" together thing enough of a gift? I think so.

Grinch out.


planner love//lily pink prints sticker review

I recently placed quite a few little sticker orders from a few different Aussie shops on Etsy -- a few were shops I'd already discovered and fallen quite in love with like Studio Kylie & Confessions By Court and the others were some recent finds like Lily Pink Prints. LPP is based in Sydney and offers a massive range of lovely stickers.

I'm quite a fan of functional planning and, so, I usually select stickers that meet that need. I do admire the "no white space" look but it's just not for me. For functionality alone I picked 5 sheets of various icon stickers which come with 66 stickers on each for $3.50. There's a wide range on LPP, for this order I picked up: washing baskets, stars, meals, exclamation marks and running shoes.

With LPP stickers you get to select your paper -- either matte for $3.50 or glossy for $4.00 but you don't get a choice of colour theme with these. What you see is what you get {which is actually really lovely and versatile}. I picked up the matte because I'm cheap and I actually quite prefer matte stickers for icons like these because they calm the page down a bit.

I also picked up some pretty functional stickers {again matte} -- grocery bags {60 on this sheet}, make up brushes {160 on this sheet} and heart envelopes {90 on this one}. 

I do regret not picking up a full sheet of movie marquees because they are just so lovely. And, also, how divine are these funk tv's?

& that's it! LPP also sends a cute little "freebie" thank you pack, some of which I've used already {aside from a pay day one which I gave to Husband because it wasn't me at all}. I do love a shop who does this because you get a little treat and an insight into their other products.

Here's one of the "freebie" stickers in action. A cat-icorn? Uni-cat? No idea but it's really cute and perfection for a day off. I'm not sure why. It just is. 

Lily Pink Prints matte stickers are smooth and easy to peel. They're kind-of re-stickable if needed but, as always, not if left for too long. When I first purchased I felt a bit down because some of the stickers didn't look as interesting as I'd like but when I got them and got to sticking them I was pleasantly surprised. Since I didn't get the glossy ones they don't exactly "pop" off the page in the same way but they do add such a wonderfully special something and I will definitely be repurchasing. 


a love affair with bed

I recently read a piece on what not to do before bed. They're everywhere and everyone seems to have the same points -- beds are for sleep & sex only but, man, if that isn't the most hideously boring life to live I don't know what is. Sure, we all have our own happy places and routines, blah blah blah, but, look, people who thinks beds are only for sex and sleeping are stupid.

My bed is my happy place. It is where I feel safest and when I'm having a really bad anxiety/depression/ptsd day I retire to the safety of my bed and instantly feel a weight lifted. My bed is comfy. My sheets are deliciously soft and fun. Bed is where family snuggles happen. Dogs are most certainly allowed and I don't want to live in a world where furry family members aren't allowed on your bed. Seriously. Who died and made you a fucking idiot?

I eat in bed. I colour in bed. I most certainly write and work in bed & TV and movies are most certainly a bedroom must.  

In our house bed isn't restricted to sleeping hours. Our bed is like an extension of our couch. We hang out in it together, snuggled under blankets and chat about our day. We luxuriate in the warmth of it on particularly cold and lazy mornings. We bounce on it. B. and I have running contests to see who can run and jump on the bed the quickest. The dogs and I snuggle up during thunder storms that terrify them.

Sure, my bed is also for sex and, sure, I might sleep easier if I switched off in bed and didn't have my phone charging near it. I might also become so incredibly bored with my life that I begin to sit in my front yard and yell at young people for breathing too loudly. 

Look, I get it, I do but, also, I kind of don't. Because who are these people that don't love bed so much that they ache for it? Who doesn't love some deliciously thread-counted bedding and slipping into it multiple times a day? Who are you people that only sleep and have sex in your bed? Do you also not have sex in cars/on couches/against walls/in showers/in public restrooms? I mean, how far are you guys willing to sink into mind numbing boredom? Someone please tell me!

Do you also not talk to your bed? Not tell it you love it and missed it? Do you wear bras all damn day? Are pyjamas not your most worn items of clothing? Do you live at all?

These are the things I ponder when I read such utter crap as "no TV in the bedroom rule". I'm sorry but where do you watch your porn?


being mum//oli6 dairy goat toddler formula

*Brought to you by Nuffnang and Oli6

When B. was a baby she refused to breastfeed. It just didn't work. So we moved to pumping and bottles and the kid still hated it. From day one she just preferred formula and so, without hesitation, we switched because feeding B. was my main priority. Yet, I still felt a bit off with the decision. I craved something that felt more natural, a bit closer to breast-milk. We never managed to find that lovely middle ground with formula and yes, maybe, I’m still a tiny bit bitter.

For those in the same boat now, as I was then, there’s some good news. Oli6 Dairy Goat Formula, which is new to the Australian market, masterfully balances the natural benefits of goat's milk with the latest expertise to bring your child a safe and digestible Dairy Goat formula that is proudly Australian owned. It’s the naturally smarter choice, a lovely balance of nature and nurture.

Did you know Goat's Milk Formula is not just for babies with allergies? In fact, some babies who have cow’s milk allergies will also be allergic to goat’s milk. The natural prebiotic oligos in goat's milk are structurally closer to breast milk when compared to standard cow's milk. The formula is naturally high in vitamins and minerals with Vitamin A for vision and sight, magnesium for development and growth, Vitamin C for immunity and calcium for teeth and bones.

Oli6 has up to 6x the prebiotic oligos of cow’s milk with smaller fat globules which aid in digestion. It’s manufactured in Australia, adhering to the strict Australian regulatory guidelines. Nothing is added that doesn’t meet strict Australian regulations and requirements so you can rest easy in the knowledge that Oli6 is a safe choice to support your little one’s growth and development.

As soon as your baby arrives, you want to give them the best start in life. Oli6 really believes in this and you can see that love and care in their three stages of Oli6. Dairy Goat Infant Formula – from birth to 6 months, Dairy Goat Follow on Formula – from 6-12 months, which is designed to be used when you begin introducing solids, and Dairy Goat Toddler Formula from 12-36 months.

I do wish that there was a product like this out there when B. was baby. Something that felt a bit more “me”. Something closer to breast milk from a company that actually cares about both parents and kids.

Oli6 Dairy Goat Formula is available in pharmacies across Australia and online at https://www.oli6.com.au/ with a RRP of $37.95.


run down with sadness

Sometimes I get so run down with sadness. It always comes, seemingly, out of nowhere and I hate it. I'm like a broken record at this point, even I roll my eyes at myself. Again? Really? Because isn't it enough? Sometimes I find myself so heart broken, dejected and a shell of myself. I hate myself because I have a child who is the greatest and I just can't be better. And then I get bogged down in the "she deserves better" feels and then some stupid character on TV rattles my anxiety and I take fifty showers and retire to bed to put stickers on things and drown in my misery.


I read something the other day that perfectly sums up anxiety and depression and communicating with others. Because I rarely text people and sometimes I type a text to someone that may be as simple as "hi" and I stare at that stupid message, running over every possible reply in mind, before I eventually delete the message and hide my phone away. Communicating with people is kind of the scariest thing for me this year. Knowing I should reach out and never being able to is making me irritable and exhausted and scared. Scared to leave the house. Knowing anyone can say anything at any time, that I could disappoint them. Of course, the knowledge that not reaching out is probably more disappointing than a stupid "hi" doesn't deter my brain from its own stupidity.

Lovely right?


planner love//happy planner stickers

Let me tell you a story about an epically draggy Friday afternoon/night. Of boredom and tired and fingers that Googled all on their own {I wasn't at work! How you dare! ahem}. Of the desire for Happy Planner stickers that called Australia home and the discovery of a little online shop called Scrap Boutique who stocked such wonders. Of orders I most certainly did need. Of stickers purchased well after end of business. Of delivery the very next Tuesday. Ah! Also, Freddo Frog surprises. Need I say more? No? Well I shall. Pip pip.

I ordered the Don't Forget stickers, the To Do Bright stickers & the To Do in neutral, two packs of the bold washi, the Colourful Dots & a pack of the everyday reminders {I also picked up a pack of these snap-in tabs but they were a bit of a miss}.  

The "stop the glorification of busy" and "don't forget to be awesome" stickers are my favourite.

The stickers are quite thick and can't really be peeled back up and used again but other than that they are amazing. The only downside is that if you do stick it down incorrectly the sticker {if you can get it off} is rendered useless. One that I managed to get up and down again now has a flaky effect to it which ain't cute.

The packs come with 5-6 sheets of different stickers which is lovely {because some sticker books repeat the same design on each page}. I adore the colours and designs of these. There's gold and a gorgeous teal and the flags are wonderful. Also, the fonts are divine.

Of course, I'm now addicted to the Happy Planner stickers and need them all.


a room fit for a b.

Here's the thing, I absolutely love pin-worthy homes especially when it comes to kids rooms but when it comes down to implementing that kind of design in my life I just can't commit. It's too much pressure. Too much perfection. So when a fifth birthday comes around and a B. asks for a bunk bed I decide to make a whole new room for her along with it. I pin and Google and lust over dreamy Instagram posts but, look, my life is never going to be really truly Instagrammable. Still, I'm pretty chuffed with the 7 hour outcome --

I picked out the Kingston Loft Bunk Bed for B. that has drawers, shelves and a desk {with drawers also} built in. Love it. Bedding is by Cubby House. Fabulous Day pillow is by Adairs {similar here}. 
We chucked a random assortment of pillows on the top bunk. Yes, that's a poo emoji pillow. A horse that makes noise and moves {Buttercup or Butterscotch I believe}. Comforter and bunting from Kmart.

I found this dream sign at Kmart as well as these pastel dots. The butterflies are over a year old but were also another Kmart find as are these house boxes. B's bookshelf is from an op-shop and I just placed some decor and books on it for her.

The turquoise house shelf holds B's fragrances. Next to it we added her Dear Little Mailbox and underneath is her mushroom stool {purchased 4 years ago} and a little Beanie Baby.

A lollipop that B. got as a gift from a friend in a vase and B's cactus. 

The shelf next to B's bed that acts as a bookshelf/bedside holds a few most read books, this B happy print in a frame {that's actually a birthday card that I had to have}, a special rock that was a gift for B. from a customer at work and a toy.

Underneath that shelf is some Enid Blyton books, B's Frozen Karaoke machine/CD player and a box of library books.

You can also see a glimpse of the "reading corner" we have this chair from Ikea. The cushion was from Adairs {from when I was pregnant with B}.


& that, apparently {with a few other bits & pieces not pictured}, is a room made for a 5 year old. Bloody hard work but so well worth it in the end.


planner love//sublime sticker storage

Why am I even writing about this? Why is this my new "thing"? Sometimes I can't believe that I am a twenty-eight year old obsessed with planners and stickers and how to bloody store them. But I am aren't I? And it makes me happy and, well, here I am writing some crap about it now. Moving on --

I saw someone on Etsy selling folders for people to store their stickers in and I decided it was a wonderful idea but there was no way in the world that I would pay someone to do it for me so off to Officeworks I went. I purchased 2 folders {this floral one and this one with hearts}, these Otto Index Dividers and these J. Burrows Binder Document Wallets

I liked the "kraft paper" look of these dividers. They also came with sticker labels to organise them. I organised these by "labels", "cute", "dots, etc", "functional" and "flags". The other folder holds my "misc." and happy planner stickers.

I really like these document wallets as opposed to just normal plastic sleeves because the stickers can't fall out and it helps keep them contained.

I also punched holes in the stickers that were big enough to hold them. Though, to be honest, I much prefer the storage in the wallets.

For my sticker books like my Kikki-K & Ban.Do ones I still keep them in this bits & bobs storage {that I mentioned here}.

I really adore the new storage system. The folders keep everything contained nicely and I'm not searching for a specific sticker for hours.

But, seriously... this is the thing I'm spending my money on. 


friday five//what i love about being a mum

It's Friday and we're currently on day three of B's four day birthday celebration. I'm still feeling super sappy and sentimental so today I want to share five reasons I love being a mum--

it's easy
Being a mum just came naturally and I, quite honestly, find it to be one of the easiest things in the world. Everything I do just feels instinctual, it's not hard and, no, I don't believe I "work" 24 hours a day. Being a mum, to me, isn't a job. I don't think of it as work and, sure, some days are really bloody hard {just like people without kids have hard days -- fancy that!} every day with B. is better than the day before and I look forward to every moment spent being her mum.

i got to experience love at first sight
I did not love my Husband at first sight. No way. Love after 9 months worth of sights, sure. But the first time I saw B. in her ultrasound I knew I loved her with everything that I had. She took my breath away and even though I felt such love when she was in my tummy seeing her weird shaped 3-D self cemented those feelings. And now whenever I look at her, I feel all those rushes of love and just swoon all over again.

i get to live with a cute version of me
B. is her own person, sure, but she's also exactly like me in all the best ways and, man, is she fun to have around. We laugh at the same things and we craft together and we love to snuggle up and watch Golden Girls.

i get to give & show her the love i always craved as a kid
My parents may have loved me but when I was a kid {and even much older} I always felt perpetually unloved. I love that I get to give & show her the love I always wanted. And I love that B. loves being told she's loved and, in turn, loves telling me I'm loved. 

it's fun
I never really enjoyed life as much until I had B. Gosh, having a kid is kind of the most fun thing in the entire world. And going shopping and to lunch and all the other things? The best. I'm not sure one minute with B. has been boring. Challenging, yes. Poopy {literally}, sure. But boring? Never. If I had the choice to do something with or without B., I'd pick something with her every time. Life just isn't that fun without her.


b. takes five

Well, it's actually happened. I have a five year old kid. She's so grown up and, at the same time, so little and I just adore her so. What did one do without her, I wonder? Had a pretty meh life I imagine. Here's some facts about this five year old B. --

1. B. is loving big school so much that she refuses to admit she's sick because she doesn't want to miss a day. The other week she had a chest infection and no school was imposed on her and she missed her news day which the kids have now been given topics and talking points for and she cried and cried because she so wanted to tell people all about her favourite weather.

2. Currently she says her favourite movie is Beauty and the Beast because {and I quote} the beast turns out nice in the end and Belle's dress is pretty.

3. She still refuses to listen to my rants that *actually* the beast was always nice it was the witch that was the bitch face.

4. She no longer calls me mummy which broke my heart a little. Now, I'm just mum which, once I got used to her being too old for mummy, has become my new favourite name.

5. She calls her dad Lindsay which is his name, yes, but is really hilarious actually. People always comment on it and Husband and I have now taken to calling him her step-dad because we're annoying.


Happy Birthday B. I love and adore you so very much.


j reviews//too faced better than sex mascara

Right. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. Let's discuss the suck shall we? Because if this mascara is better than sex I'd like you to break it off with your partner and go fuck somebody else. 

This is one of the absolute worst mascaras I have ever used and, yes, I'm cross. I mean, Mecca how could you do this to me? To be honest, Too Faced, I really didn't expect greatness from you since every eyeshadow of yours falls all over the damn place but come on! This mascara retails for $34 and, sure, Australia's make up prices suck but this is up there for a mascara.

Your packaging is pretty and your name has that funny, naughty, novelty factor that draws people in but, look, it's not enough. You're like one of those stereotypical "hot" girls whose personality is so wretched that you can't even with them. You are that girl and you should be ashamed. Here's a list of con's I've compiled about our relationship:

1. You're a pain in the ass to wash off. Water won't do it. Neither will cleanser. Add some micellar water and you're kinda almost gone. How needy do you need to be?
2. You either dry too quickly or stay wet too long and yeah, sure, being wet is a good thing but despite your name you're not actually useful during sex so I don't know what you're doing with your life.
3. You flake and make me look one hundred. You spiteful cow.

I I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.

Seriously. Don't waste your money. Save that $34 and add another $36 to the loot and go buy yourself the Nu vibrator. Now that's certainly worth the money and when used during sex is better than any sex you've ever had. You're welcome. 


being mum//parenting now

I haven't sat down and really written about what parenting a four {one day from five} year old entails so, today is the day. Let's discuss parenting at this age shall we?

1. B. is very much of the opinion that she's older than she actually is. So, parenting now involves having a kid who has already started school {and seeing lots of shocked faces regarding this development} and thinks she's very much grown up.
2. It also involves tears {from her} at bed time because kid has a lot of nightmares and me trying to reassure her that all is well even though I have no idea how someone can be scared of the dark.
3. Realising that I say "don't be a baby" too much and needing to stop that. I caught myself saying it and realised I may as well be telling her not to feel the things she's feeling {and it's kind of disparaging and rude} and now Husband and I have banned the phrase in our house.
4. Homework. B. gets sight words at school and a home reader every week. She psyches herself out and tells herself she can't learn new words even when she can. Homework times are me trying not to get frustrated with my kid who doesn't realise just how great she is. Sometimes I fail miserably at being calm but then I think back to homework when I was a kid and feel sick at the thought of becoming that. 
5. But as each day passes B. learns more and more words and she reads those home readers so well and makes sentences like "mum saw that dad but"and, perhaps, one day she'll realise that version of butt needs two t's. Until then she thinks she's pretty darn hilarious and so do I. 
6. B. has a flair for the dramatic and she usually talks to people with wild hand motions and her hip jutted out a bit. She gets the dramatics from me. 
7. She thinks that people want to hear every detail about her life and never stops talking. So I always have to tell her to scale things back a bit otherwise nobody would get anything done.
8. There's the thinking and contemplation of stuff like ear piercing. B. says she's old enough and I, of course, stress and worry. And no amount of getting B. to watch videos of other kids getting theirs done and telling her it hurts and suddenly surprising her with a bang sound will talk her out of it. So... parenting now {ish} means a 5 year old with her ears pierced.
9. Currently frustrating B. more than usual because I'm lame and think I'm funny so when she's playing cafes I tell her I want all the things from her shop but refuse to pay for it. So then she goes back to her kitchen/cart and you can hear her muttering about how rude/annoying/silly I'm being and then she'll "dob" on me to Husband and she sounds like she's thirty I tell you.
10. Wondering when the terrible two's are going to happen. She's basically five. Did she miss them? Are the terrible two's going to spring up on us at five? What's happening?

But most of all -- parenting a kid at this age is so wonderfully magical and I can't get enough of it.


sticker book obsession

As you may have seen, I am pretty darn obsessed with purchasing stickers off Etsy {see here & here} but I also enjoy not purchasing stickers from Etsy too. I have dabbled with lots of loose stickers from places like Officeworks but have finally found my non-Etsy groove with sticker books {don't worry Officeworks I still love you}. Sure, sticker books may be pricey but you get a whole book of stickers! Case closed.

My favourite spot for sticker books has always been Kikki-K, they have the most amazing range but my newsest, favouritest, pick comes from Asos and Ban.Do. But before I delve even further into sharing my latest find can we discuss the absurdity here? These are stickers! To go in a planner that, sure, I will keep forever and will make me happy to see it look more like a journal or scrapbook of our lives but, also, stickers! People are so obsessed with them that they use their planners without any white space and they use all the stickers and I just can't. If you're wondering what the deal is I, quite honestly, have no idea. I'm not sure what started the obsession or why I can't go on Etsy without buying some more but, man, it's weird isn't it? Anyway, moving on...

How can you not purchase these based on the cover alone? So cute. But also --

The book has 35 pages with over 700 stickers. There's planner reminders, illustrations and labels and I am obsessed. My favourite page is the hair appointment, nail appointment & coffee date stickers but I also love those blank speech bubbles and, well sure, everything else.

Aside from what's pictured there's -- gorgeous alphabet stickers, some party stickers {one sheet that looks perfect for New Years}, random picks like "fries before guys", a vacation sheet, birthday & girls night out sheets, cute stars, mouths & hands, hearts with faces and lots of labels {including gift ones}.

The sticker book retails for $21, Asos gives me free express shipping and voila! dreams are made. 


friday five//the to-read list

For as long as I can remember I have loved to read. Reading is beautiful, magical, wonderful and I love transporting myself to different places as I fall into a really good book. Harry Potter. Anything Capote. 1984. Life of Pi. All trans-formative books. I go through stages of re-reading favourites or devouring new finds and I'm currently in the latter. I always have a list, somewhere, of books I want to read. Here are five top picks from my scribbled, tattered, one of the moment --

In Don't You Cry, Esther disappears without a trace. That's all I need to hear to be drawn back into the Kubica world. You know I love a good thriller and Kubica never disappoints {see Pretty Baby and The Good Girl reviews}. Can't wait to devour this.

I can not find this book anywhere and, so, The Good Neighbor lingers on my list until I can see it in person {I prefer to buy books in person rather than online}. In Banner's work Sarah discovers a shocking secret that makes her doubt everything -- her friends, her neighbors, her Husband. It sounds delicious.

Caitlin and Sean go out for an early morning run. Only Sean returns. The book follows the grieving family for a year until we learn what happened to Caitlin. This is the basis for Tim Johnston's Descent and it sounds haunting and terrifying.

The Kind Worth Killing just sounds so haunting doesn't it? The title alone made this a must have addition to my to-read list but the plot sounds gripping. Two strangers meet in an airport and decide to play a game of truth. Soon they're plotting murder and well... when one of the main characters is described as being more psycho than Amy from Gone Girl you know it's going to be good. 

Into The Darkest Corner introduces us to the world of an abuse survivor as she tries to keep herself safe and goes about her life, day to day, trying to survive. It's described as scary and suspenseful and I imagine it's one to devour in one go.


j reads//pretty girls by karin slaughter

I've just finished the book and am now stuck in a perpetual loop of disgust, the same three words swirling in my brain.

what the fuck?

Because, seriously. I don't know if I have ever read something so entirely fucked up in the best way possible. What starts out as one thing twists into something else entirely and I'm still lost in the icky feelings that Slaughter's words bring.

Of course, being a fan of shows like Criminal Minds means I've envisioned such horrors before but there's something different when it's in book-form, when it's your own imagination prodding the story along, filling your mind.

Pretty Girls is wonderful, scary and really fucking hideous and if someone had of told me everything that would transpire I'm not sure I would have wanted to read it. Though I am sure, as it always does, my curiosity would have gotten the best of me which I why I consumed the book in less than seven hours on an unsuspecting Sunday. 

Slaughter tells of sadness that hits you in the gut and leaves you nauseous and grief stricken. Of disgusting, vile acts, that seem frighteningly real. Of devils who walk among us.

A thrilling, roller-coaster, fucked up must read.