9/30/2016

friday five//last minute birthday picks

Some last minute birthday picks for someone adorably awesome --

three. mermaid blanket|typo {in store only}

9/28/2016

being mum//you do not work 24 hours a day

I feel like my opinions on parenting are wildly unpopular. Mostly I keep them to myself because parents be crazy. But, look, I've now had enough. I've reached my limit. 

Parents you DO NOT work 24 hours a day!

Number One: I don't believe being a parent can be considered work. You know that stupid saying like if you do what you love you'll never have to work a day in your life? That. But, also, being a wife/husband is not a job and neither is being a "mum" to an animal so why is your kid any different? Changing nappies and getting up multiple times a night and breast feeding and a myriad of other things is not work. It's life.

Number Two: if you work 24 hours a day for 18 years {or whatever other bullshit number you want to throw out there} then guess what? You're dead. You died from exhaustion long ago so shut up already. You do not work 24 hours a day. You sleep. You may fall asleep thinking about your kid and/or dream about them but this is not called "working" okay? This is called sleeping and I can guarantee that any other childless person falls asleep thinking about their job or the endless loads of washing or any other boring piece of crap that flits into their mind. Yet, if a childless person were to say they work 24 hours a day for the same reasons you're stupidly saying you do they'd get scoffed at.

Other things that annoy me:

1. Parents who say until you have a child you do not know the definition of tired. Stupid for multiple reasons. Here's a few -- everyone has their own levels of tired and everyone deals with lack of sleep differently. Some people only need 4 whereas some {me!} need 12. For me, parenting has never been tiring. Hard, yes. Tiring, no. I never knew tired until I was diagnosed with one hundred and fifty different mental illnesses and promptly put on medication that causes extreme drowsiness/exhaustion, yet I would never say to someone: you don't know tired until you have depression/anxiety/ocd/ptsd because that is stupid!

2. "I haven't had a meal in {insert number of years since becoming a parent}... Especially since I know you just got a babysitter and went out to dinner without your kids. You have had a meal and I can guarantee that you've also had a meal at home when your kids have been present. Are you stupid?

3. I am a nurse, a doctor, a teacher, an ambulance driver, a therapist... Nope, you're just a parent. Putting on a band aid does not equate a degree. Cuddling a crying kid does not a therapist make. You are an idiot though so congratulations on that.

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I know, I know, I'm a giant a-hole. Sue me. 

9/26/2016

the bread loving fred

I have a dog. His name is Sir Fredrick Maxington Jedi Gaff. Or, Fred for short. He is a rescue dog. He has issues and one of those issues has to do with bread. Fred loves bread.

When I say "Fred loves bread" I mean that he guards the bread as if his life depends on it. We have a rule in our house -- don't give Fred bread! Yet, the another night as Taco night came to an end Fred gave me his "I was on the street" eyes and I felt bad so I started to break off strips of the tortilla and he ate them {I promise!}. So then I gave him the rest of the tortilla and this happened. 24 hours of growling and protectiveness. We were held hostage by Fred and his bread.

He takes the tortilla and hides it {mostly under a blanket} and then when he sees you going near the place where he has "hidden" the tortilla he freaks out and races you to the hiding place to make sure you're not going to steal it. At night he needs to sleep with the bread. He buries it just so and then lies in wait. If Bum Bum goes near the bed he freaks out and Bum Bum hides under my desk/bedside table, too terrified to move. Eventually we have to get rid of the bread because being held hostage by bread is not fun.

But, here's the thing, Fred I know you were on the street. I know you were abused. I remember meeting you at the shelter and only I was allowed in the cage with you because you were very scared and might get aggressive. I know this. I remember this. But this is taking it too far. I don't know why you are so protective of bread. Were you involved in a bread factory fire and you couldn't save yourself and the bread and now you feel endless amounts of guilt? Were you beaten with bread and now feel like bread was a second-hand victim of doggy abuse and feel protective toward it? Do you just love bread? Or has your brain been adversely affected by neglect that you've finally cracked and bread is the biggest trigger toward cracking some more?

I am concerned Fred. Really concerned. But also... really effin' amused.  

9/23/2016

friday five//the awesome day

A few years ago I decided that it was highly unfair that parents get a special day {mothers/fathers day} and kids don't. Actually, I've always felt that way but it wasn't until I had B. that I could do something about it. And, so, this is how the Awesome Day came to be. Today is B's Awesome Day which she will be surprised with when she comes home from her last day of Term 3. Awesome Days are just for kids {because they're special too}, they're always a surprise {and can happen more than once a year} and are to celebrate just how awesome your kid is {because they deserve a day just as much as you do you selfish crap bag}.

5 perfect gifts for the Awesome Day --






9/22/2016

a love letter to my sock box

Just so you know, this is going to be a weird one. I am deeply in love with my odd sock box. Deeply. I smile whenever I see it. It makes me swoon. The idea came to me out of sheer frustration. I was sick and tired of searching through three separate sock drawers every time I put away the laundry. And, so, armed with a spare box that used to hold B's toys, a blackboard label, sharpie and a bunch of odd socks I created the "odd sock" box and a love affair began.

Every time we find a lonely sock we throw it in the box. Once a week I sit down and sort through the box, reuniting long lost loves as I go. This is happiness to me. I love this box. She brings so much joy {her name is Shirley, by the way}. She's simple and not too fancy. She sits in the laundry room day in and day out and so bravely holds nefarious odd socks with ease. I love her. She provides me with that lovely domesticated glow that is so lacking in every day life.

If you don't have a Shirley please go get one and then tell me how wonderful it feels to be sitting at home on a Saturday night sorting through your odd socks. Get back to me. I can wait...

9/21/2016

being mum//the second child

I have a confession to make. I'm scared to have a second child. I have been asked numerous times since having B. -- so are you going to have another? And I shake my head no! and they say: so not now or ever? Why? as if there's something wrong with me {which, yes, but also, no}. And then, sometimes, I get told that I'm doing a disservice to B., that I'm setting her up for a terrible life because every kid needs a sibling. How horrid am I?

Now, I have never been offended by these conversations because why? But the repeat questions are starting to become annoying and sometimes when people ask {particularly strangers} they look at my stomach as if to say: for sure you're already one hundred months pregnant and I'm like no I just like cake! And chocolate! And all the food!

But here's the thing -- maybe, just maybe, I might like a second child but I'm really bloody terrified because --

1. Yes, some parents do the multiple kids thing wonderfully but some really suck and when I see parents screaming that they're going to beat their kids in public for breathing too loud I get frightened that I could turn into that.
2. Getting pregnant means going off my medication and I vividly remember the beginning of the year when that went down so well. Yes, crying in the shower because you dropped a bottle of body wash is perfectly normal.
3. I don't know how I'll handle being pregnant again. I so adored it the first time and I so miss having a baby in my belly but since having B. my back and legs have gone to shit and can you imagine the second time around?
4. I adore B. and I love our relationship and I don't want that to change. This is not to say that people who have multiple kids don't love their first {because stupid} but B. and I have something special {yes, I'm sure you and your first do too} and that may not change completely but it will have to change a bit and that makes me sad. Every morning B. and I have snuggles for 10-15 minutes {sometimes we laze in bed for half an hour} and when she gets home from school and before she goes to bed. We do crafts together and go shopping together and hold hands and skip around and just have fun together. Sure, a new kid might join in with all that and that would be wonderful but for a while that kid is just going to cry and poop and eat and that's not kosher.

But... here are some other thoughts:

1. I have seen siblings together and they have fun and seem so in love with each other. Wouldn't that be so wonderful for B?
2. B. is so loving and caring and she would be so wonderful with a baby.
3. Husband cried of happiness when he found out I was pregnant with B. Wouldn't that be wonderful to see again? Even if I still tease him about it...
4. Babies are really fun and if a second one is as easy as B. was then life is going to be even more amazing.

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So what's a girl to do? Because when I wanted a baby, when Husband and I were discussing B. before she was a B., I could feel it in my bones. I ached in desperate need for her. And the day I found out I was pregnant I just knew that she was there before I peed on all those sticks. I just knew... with everything with B. I just knew... And right now I don't know and if there's a lean anywhere it's certainly into the "no" column. But is that how every mother feels when thinking of a second {or third or fourth}? Or is it still, forever and always, a complete gut feeling?

9/19/2016

adventures in awesome//family time

One of the things I love most in life is to just be with Husband and B. If there are two people in this world who just get me, who love me unconditionally {flaws and all} and who actually appreciate me for me it is these two magnificent weirdos. Sometimes I feel strange that we do so much stuff together, as if we are doing B. a disservice for not leaving her with a babysitter or going out of town without her or whatever other people do. Mostly, though, I am so grateful that we are so close and that we just enjoy each other. So, without further ado, some current favourite family past times in three, two, one...

picnics

Sure a picnic is kind of basic and obvious but we love them all the same. If B. can plan a picnic to an unknown park she's really in her element. We take a picnic mat or my giant Missoni beach towel, munch on snacks and explore. But we don't just enjoy picnics out. If we're not feeling the weather or it's not possible to venture out we lay down our mat inside and have "picnics" from B's cafe or enjoy taco night on the floor. A family favourite.

"coffee" dates

B. gets a babychino {or more recently, she had her very first hot chocolate} and Husb. and I get a caffeinated beverage and when B. finishes she goes off to play. It's simple but so adored. 

movie dates


The drive-ins, the cinema or watching at home -- we love. For the drive-ins we stuff the boot with pillows and blankets, get burgers and fries and snuggle up in the boot with the seats folded down. Cinemas call for popcorn and slushies and the entire back row to ourselves. And movies at home -- comfy blankets, homemade popcorn and way too much fidgeting.

board games

Oh my goodness, I'm a loser. But yes, board games. We love them. Monopoly. Minions Life. Olaf Operation. This grocery game thing. B. has even started getting into the not cheating thing which is wonderful.

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Love my little family.


9/16/2016

friday five//dresses for the warmer weather

I am usually a massive fan of Winter. I adore the colder weather but for some reason, this year, Winter and I just didn't get along. Perhaps it's because we were sick every month while it was chilly. Maybe it's because this Winter wasn't all that cold and there was no need to rug up under thirty blankets with thick pyjamas. I'm not sure. All I know is that I am so excited to start wearing skirts and dresses without tights. Five picks --

9/15/2016

the twenty-ninth wishlist

In a little less than a month I turn twenty nine. It hit me last week that next year, as October 10 rolls around, I will be thirty and I wondered... will I want a party? Will I be sad? Scared? Anything. I know it's still a year away but I imagine I'll take thirty just as I'll take twenty-nine -- quietly and without too much fuss, happy to get the chance to get older. I know I say every year that I'm not a big fan of birthdays and I've decided that's true and untrue in the same breath. I love birthdays but I'm not big on mine because I'd rather celebrate someone else. The attention makes me uncomfortable but, man, do I love a good gift. Something picked just for me by those I love the most. Over the years I have become calmer with gift gifting and expectations. Still, I can't say no to a wishlist --

one. the illustrated harry potter & the chamber of secrets  -- essential for the collection
two. kikki-k sweet sticker book -- what 29 year old doesn't need a sticker book?
three. Dumbledore print -- something I love but struggle to remember 
five. breville egg cooker -- for the lazy & egg obsessed
six. yellow salt waters -- a pair that have been long on my wishlist 
seven. jonathan adler elephant mug -- gorgeous
eight -- kate spade cat bag -- so me
nine. kate spade eat cake for breakfast tumbler -- a wonderful life motto
ten. happy planner gold quote stickers -- a pack I don't have but so need
eleven. converse slip on -- need these in all the colours


9/14/2016

the anxiety of relaxation


The other week I was forced into relaxation-mode. I hate relaxation-mode. Relaxing stresses me out. It makes me itchy. I had booked in for a brow tint, a hair dye, cut & colour and a manicure and pedicure. I told myself: you have a wedding to go to the next day, you never treat yourself like this, why not?

Ugh. I hate my thinking. Because, see the act of relaxing means not doing one-hundred things at once and that's the worst possible thing. Because concentrating on one thing means the walls start closing in and I feel like I'm going to die. See how horrid relaxing is?

I hate it because I love being pampered and having my nails done and all that other stuff. Love it. Live for it. Except once I actually get there the lighting hurts my eyes and if I'm getting my hair done I can't wear my glasses so my eye sight goes wonky and if I'm at the basin I just have to half sit half lay and it's hideously boring. Then I start to get itchy and my feet start getting all jiggly and life starts to feel very death-inducing all of a sudden.

The frustrating part of all this, aside from always being on edge, is that my Doctor tells me to relax. Take a minute, an hour, a day and just be. Once a week, do something alone that's just for you. But I psychically can't. Even the idea of doing something like that, having "me time" without watching a TV show and folding washing and scrolling Instagram and putting stickers in my planner while also making meal plans and shopping lists and organising our lives months in advance seems ridiculous and makes me even more anxious than writing this sentence just did.

So what's an anxious mess to do? 

9/13/2016

planner love// gpstickerstudio review

I recently picked up some lovely little stickers from GPStickerStudio on Etsy. By "recently" I, of course, mean I ordered these in July and got them by the end of August and only got over that {ridiculous} rage to write about these stickers now.

I picked up two of the Glitter Half Boxes {which are annoyingly rounded}, these Birthday Celebrate Half Boxes and Header Stickers, these Freshly Picked Half Boxes and Header Stickers, these Hello Dreamer Half Boxes, Header Stickers and Flags {which I can't find online} and, lastly, these Bright Appointment Stickers.

All the stickers are on a wonderfully luxe vinyl that is super shiny. I use my Sharpie Ultra Fine with these and it works perfectly. The stickers can be removed but can/will become permanent after time. They're easy to use and put down but can take some getting used to as they're flexible and very easily stick down crooked.

Each sticker makes a wonderful addition to my planner but I do have a few complaints:

1. My order took an entire month to arrive. The first was apparently lost in the mail. The second took over a week to arrive from shipping day when parcels/mail from the state GP is based usually only take 2-3 days tops.
2. Communication with the shop is not the greatest. GP is nice but she takes a few days to respond which, for an impatient fool like me, is frustrating.
3. The header stickers are great but the ones with text on them are basically useless. There's no set of "to do" stickers or anything really usable for the entire week so in order to get a proper functional kit with "to do" labels you need to pick up the entire kit which I don't want to do.

All complaints and ranting aside -- her stickers are gorgeous, her "freebie"/thank-you sticker sheet is divine and the glitter used in her stickers is lovely and fine.

So final thoughts? Love, love her stickers but I doubt I'll ever re-order because shipping hassles suck man.

9/12/2016

that devastates my self esteem...

I feel like we all have an overused phrase {or fifty}. Mine is that devastates my self esteem and I'm not sure why or how it came to be but there it is. I use it multiple times a day for all manner of things. Un-cheesy chips. Un-cheesed cheeseburger. That time Husband went to the toilet when he was supposed to be cutting me carrot sticks. You know, the usual.

But the thing that devastates my self esteem more than anything in the entire world is pants. I hate pants. I own pants but I hate pants. I also hate bras but that's another story entirely and, also, bras, for me, are essential to make sure my boobs don't bounce around like a flippy floppy hat. But pants. Explain their motives for life because they're mostly uncomfortable and they don't have crotch breathing space and they just suck.

I hate pants so much that as soon I get home I flick them off with great urgency and walk around with great relief. The loss of self esteem suddenly comes flooding back and I become one with my glorious self again. Pants take away my will to live I tell you. They make the world seem rougher and dirtier somehow. They make tough situations harder to deal with. They sap me of all sane and rational thought.

And they, of course, devastate my self esteem. 

9/10/2016

on sadness...

Sometimes being sad is the most ludicrous thing. That bone-aching, depressive sadness that swallows entire days of your life. That steals moments with your child and takes away your ability to talk because words and thinking hurt too much. So you lie in bed for days, weeks, months and you're still in this terrible hole.

Most advice will tell you to just get up and do stuff and I do. I go to work and attend school things and go to dance class and food shop. The essential stuff. I struggle to do more than that. I don't know why. I don't know why my mind can't just click and do better. I wish someone would tell me what to do when I look at my loved ones and ache for love and sadness. Sadness that I can't be better for them. 

And you do all the right things. You take medication and you see a Doctor and you don't believe your head when it tells you hideous things and you try but it's been years now of the crappy, completely overwhelming pain and your Husband is still taking leave to look after you as if you were a sick child and you still can't do the things you used to. Parks still make you scared for your life and you so miss watching your child play there. And being in a car makes you sort of a jumpy mess and you wonder what life is like where you can travel somewhere without visions of your dead family everywhere.

Sadness. Life. Ludicrous.

9/09/2016

friday five//sole mates

I go through phases of "needing" {a.k.a craving/wanting} certain types of things {as I'm sure most people do}. For months it's been planner stickers. When it comes to fashion it's always been dresses but I dip between being obsessed with ridiculous bags and silly shoes. Currently, I am obsessed with the idea of needing new shoes. Realistically, I need a new pair {or twenty} of slip on sneakers {which have been a favourite to wear with skirts & dresses for some time} but no more. Still, "need" is never going to stop me from going stupidly overboard. Five current picks --





9/08/2016

misadventures in parenting//the hot dog conundrum

I love my kid. I love her individuality. I love her brains, her weirdness, her wit. I'm rarely disappointed in her because B. is often more well behaved than I am. Yet, I find myself a tad disappointed in her lack of desire to be a hot dog. She wants to be a princess. Always. Sure, I introduced her to Disney movies because if I'm 90% water the other 10% is made up of Disney princesses and chocolate but, look, I didn't think she'd look up to the girls in these films. I thought she'd watch them and enjoy just as I always have done.

But no.

No. She decided to think being a princess was something to aspire to. That beauty and dresses is all life is about. She doesn't judge other people and she doesn't call people ugly or fat so she's not all stuck-up and spoiled but, ugh. For book week she chose to dress up as Queen Elsa and I dreamed that she'd wake me up in a panicked state that she didn't have a Harry Potter costume despite never reading the books or seeing the films. Or she'd decide that she just had to be Olaf or Mario or someone else really awesome.

Nope. Queen Elsa. Sure, she looked really bloody adorable in her dress and cape and I didn't look at her and feel sad or mad or bad but after the fact I remembered this hot dog girl and thought --

I wish my daughter was a hot dog!

This is the stupidest thing I've quite possibly ever thought and complained about but, look, there it is. I wish my daughter was a hot dog.

She's only five and I know this stage is not telling on how she'll deal with stereotypes when she's older but, man, I really do wish that she didn't think girls can only be pretty with dresses and long hair. In a world that is seemingly growing more Kardashian-vapid by the day I want my child to be a hot dog dammit!

9/07/2016

being mum//kids & honesty

It may seem ridiculous and/or pointless to say this but here's the truth -- I have never lied to Bailey.

Not when she asks about Minnie. Nor Sam-Wise. Or Husband's grandmother when she recently passed. Nor family members who claim they want nothing to do with Husband or I and, so, by extension B. 

She gets the truth every single time.

She knows Santa isn't real. That he's just a "mascot" of sorts for Christmas. She also knows that we should always let people believe what they want and, so, no she isn't allowed to burst anybodies Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy bubble.

I've never seen the need to lie to my kid. I've never seen the point. Because, see, for things like Santa, it's not like the magic of Christmas is destroyed. She gets more than enough presents from Husband and I and we still celebrate and have fun. She gets photos with Santa's at the shops and we celebrate holidays with the kid-like wonder Husband and I still embody. I don't see anything wrong with this because "lies" like these seem pointless to me.

Yet, when it comes to telling her that there are some people who have known her and claimed to love her for 5 years of her life have now cut off contact with us and haven't given her a second thought I can't help but wonder if, perhaps, lying is the best way to go. Because who wants to hear that people can be so selfish and callous? That she hasn't even rated to them? That, to them, she doesn't matter?

Of course, I can sugar coat. I do sugar coat. But I'm not going to lie to her when she asks me if she can call a relative or attend a birthday party or see somebody. She is my kid, I treasure her, and I never want to see her sad {that devastated cry breaks my heart} but I also see her as an equal. I like to parent in a way where I think: "would I do/say this to Husband?" and if the answer is no I don't do it. 

Still, sometimes it feels like it would be nice if I could bring myself to let go of the truth and just bullshit my way around tricky subjects. I know it doesn't do her any good to lie. It just provides false hope after all but, gosh, it breaks my heart that my gorgeous little five year old already knows that sometimes life fucking sucks.

Won't somebody please think of the children?

9/02/2016

friday five//snapped lately

I know I always say random cliche crap like this but -- oh jeebus, is it really September already? Soon it's going to be the end of Term 3, I'll be 29 and then B. will finish her first year of big school and life will continue on in this ridiculous fast pace and I'll never have time to eat stuffed meatballs or watch Death Becomes Her.

^^ this photo of B. is one of my favourite things. She had the time of her life at a wedding we attended last weekend. She was the flower girl and after she couldn't stop beaming about her basket and tossing petals and the "pretty princess" dress she wore. She was ecstatic that the bride {a gorgeous friend from University} had included her and thought of her so much and the kid now treasures the personalised gown, her flower girl dress and her flower basket so. 

^^my clutch for the night {shown here} is actually a makeup bag from Peter Alexander {no longer available} but as soon as I saw it in store I snapped it up for this occasion. And B's flower crown that she wants to keep forever. Gorgeous. 

^^B. & I adore a good photo {or thousand} together. 

^^new Kikki-K Personal Planner set up. The wedding had a photo booth which makes the best wedding ever in my book! We took fifty-hundred photos in it and Husband & I look horrid in every single one {am terribly sorry that the bride & groom have to see that} but I'm gonna treasure them all the same. B. got to pop into the photo booth with the bride herself but I'm not allowed to touch that strip...

^^quite a nice little Scrap Boutique order. They finally got their hands on The Happy Planner Value Packs and I grabbed them as soon as they hit their store -- the seasonal sticker pack, colour coordinated pack, planner basics and everyday plans. Each of these packs have over 1,000 stickers in them and I am obsessed. I also picked up this five page rose gold sticker book {also from Happy Planner} and this American Crafts Better Together Sticker Book {divine}. 

All of these Happy Planner products are sold out at the moment but are so well worth the wait until they come back. Snap them up when they do. 

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Love.