a year one mumma

B. starts Year One today and, as usual, I have decided to make the day all about me. Just kidding. Kind of. Whatever.

I just don't know what is happening with my life. I'm twenty-nine. I have a five and a half year old in year one. This is my life now. It's really pretty darn wonderful but it's also really darn ridiculous. Wasn't it just a second ago that I had a little baby? I know it's the oldest cliche in the book but parenting really goes way too fast and I'm not sure I like it anymore. Can it slow down just a bit please?

I'm really proud of B. She's such an amazingly wonderful kid. She's clever and funny {even if she thinks knock knock jokes are hilarious} and really sweet and sensitive. She acts likes a grown up half the time. She uses adult phrases and rolls her eyes and stamps her foot and complains about things you'd never imagine a five year old would care about.

Basically she's me in miniature form. Except she thinks teachers should want to teach on the weekend if they really loved teaching. And she doesn't understand why school holidays go for so long. And she's already so much better at Math than I can ever hope to be. So there's that...

Last year, as she started her very first year of big school, I was in the midst of a nervous breakdown and was not ready to let her go. And now, well I'm not sure I'll ever be ready to go and I still miss her terribly but this school life is getting a heck of a lot easier {even if I am forced to help with boring homework}.


friday five//back-to-school picks

School goes back on Monday *sob*. Even though the last few weeks of these holidays has seen B. turn into a tantrum-y head {proper medical term, that is} I'm still going to miss the days filled with blanket forts, homemade play-dough and random nothingness. Sure, she's only in Year One and, sure, I knew what I was getting into when I had a kid, but school screams structure and organisation and sometimes that amount of adult is just too much for my sensitive soul. There is one thing, however, that I do enjoy about back-to-school time and it is the stuff. Oh, the stuff...

loungefly star wars backpack -- okay, fine, I want this backpack for myself {despite detesting backpacks} and I'm kind of really hoping that B. wants this backpack for next year and am kicking myself that I didn't buy it for her this year {instead she's going to back to school with a personalised butterfly bag}.

tinyme vertical names diary -- for anyone who wants to stay organised I highly recommend a specific planner {or planning pad} for the family.

dogs & bubbles decomposition notebook -- I picked this up for myself recently and while it's on the more expensive side {$17} I can't recommend it enough. The dogs & bubbles design is simply divine and the book itself just feels wonderful. 

wise words pencil set -- who doesn't need pencils with cute things written on them?

stuck on you bento box -- stuck on you is always a wonderful treasure trove for personalised school goodies. B. designed her own bento and it's gorgeous. The bento box, itself, is large, easy to open and to clean and just wonderful to make fun lunchboxes. I find that having a bento makes packing lunches so much easier and more enjoyable. 


and now, let's freeze time for a bit, yeah?


pretty in pink

Pink is one of my absolute favourite colours. I love wearing it, buying pink pieces for my home and adding a splash of it to my lips and/or cheeks. Over the years I have tried to branch out. Have attempted to add splashes of colour in other places, tried to enjoy other lip colours, but have failed miserably. I may have changed my all-time favourite colour to yellow but pink still has such a hold over me. Some current pink picks {I know, so groundbreaking}--

one. lacey bra|peter alexander -- when you have large-ish boobs bras like these are usually a no-go but a girl can dream right?
two. love light|adairs -- I find myself drawn to the Adairs Kids section more than the adults and who can blame me when they come out with such deliciousness as this love sign?
three. hourglass ambient lighting blush in cool pink|mecca -- you know I love an Hourglass powder. How divine is this blush?
four. love heart dog toy|peter alexander -- have just realised, without intending it to be, this is a very Valentine's themed pink edit... 
five. nars audacious lipstick in greta|mecca -- for the packaging alone nars is a must-have but this colour is perfection.
six. pink neon frame|seed heritage -- another kid pick that I need for myself. Is it just me or is pink the only colour that does neon superbly well? 
seven. gold spot teacup|lark -- teacups and saucers always seem so dainty and perfect which is why I love them. The issue is I am neither dainty nor perfect, regardless I need this adorableness.
eight. chanel nail polish in camelia|chanel -- you can't really go wrong with a Chanel polish now can you...?   


watch//don't breathe

I feel like Don't Breathe was named as such because after watching it you can't really breathe. It's kind of really fucking creepy and if I had been harboring any delusions of become a robber and robbing a blind man/war vet I would not after seeing this film. It's just like when I watched The Visit and vowed to never trust old people and nappies. Now, I feel kind of bad saying I'm scared of blind people because I'm not. I'm just scared of this one particular blind person. This guy freaks me out so much I want to cry.

Now, I've heard Don't Breathe described as a horror and a thriller and I guess it could be seen as both but for me it's one of those edge-of-your-seat thrillers that see you jumping with fright and keeping your hands hovering near your face just in case. It's kind of a tricky one also because you're not sure whose side to be on but you want to be on someone's side, to root for someone, that's just part of the fun. I found myself switching sides periodically throughout the film and finished feeling off about everyone involved. 

It really is wonderful film and if you have the constitution for it I highly recommend it. Saying that, I did have to chase this movie down with a viewing of The Magnificent Seven {also good but Denzel Washington is not naked in it so, also, highly disappointing} just so I could sleep that night. It kind of leaves your heart racing and your body a bit shaky afterward so take that as you will. 


friday five//kids picks

Yesterday B. and I went on a little shopping and lunch date and it was wonderful. It always seems ridiculous for our outings to be called dates but I can't help myself. Spending one-on-one time with Bailey doing something extra special always feels particularly "date-like" even if I loathe myself for thinking it. Regardless of eye-rolls, I am now in such a B-centric mood that I just had to compile a selection of kids picks today --

one. madame eiffel: the love story of the eiffel tower|amazon -- this just sounds like the sweetest story & kind of perfect for a valentine gift for that wonderfully adored kid
two. kickboard flamingo|sunnylife -- of course, the inflatable floaties are adorable too but I find myself drawn to this kickboard over everything else
three. scooter|boab toys -- B. desperately needs a new scooter and, as always, I'm finding love with wooden toys over plastic
four. d.i.y friendship bracelets|harry hartog -- because who doesn't love making jewellery? and, also, I kind of lamely want matching friendship bracelets with B.
five. mickey bomber|cotton on kids -- I want this for myself but since it's in kid size, one for B. will just have to suffice.


beauty//scrubby pad roundup

Is it just me, or do you get to a certain age where you just get too old for a face scrub? Yes? Or am I completely mad? Or...yes and that too? Look, I'm not entirely sure {when am I ever?} but what I do know is that face scrubby pads {that's their technical name} are awesome, necessary and so much better than face scrubs. So much better. Here's a roundup --

Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Complexion Correction Pads|Mecca -- double-sided pads with a fresh peach bellini scent deliver gentle cleansing action on one side and superior pore-refining exfoliation on the textured side.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads|Beauty Bay -- pads that brighten, tone and exfoliate. A generally wonderful scrubby pad, however, as you get to the last few pads they tend to dry out {rendering them unusable}which is nice...

Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads|RY -- radiance-boosting pads, soaked in glycolic acid.

Pixi by Petra Skintreats Glow Peel Pads|RY -- I am currently obsessed with Pixi products thanks to Caroline Hirons {who is still amazing, btw}. These pads contain glycolic acid which helps to reveal brighter, healthier and more radiant skin over time.

Anatomicals We Never Forget A Face Memorably Good Daily Cleansing Pads|ASOS -- another pad with glycolic acid that helps to deep cleanse and exfoliate skin. Also, who can resist a product from Anatomicals based on their names alone?

This Works In Transit No Traces Pads|Mecca -- a convenient cleansing method to remove all traces of makeup while brightening skin.  


"...but we love it and doesn't that count for something?..."

For as long as I can remember I have always hated my name. Before I was married I focused on my hatred for my surname, of the man who gave it to me, of all the bad memories he brought. Part of the reason I got married so young {aside from love} was that I just wanted to be rid of that horrid surname and all the bad memories that went along with it. I felt no sense of pride hearing it. The name didn't belong to me. It never did. I was glad to be rid of it.

Next, came the hatred of my middle name because it's the first name of my mother and, to me, for always, she was never the mother I needed or wanted. And, so, when my mental health got really bad and she was no longer a part of my life I got rid of the middle name and, with that, I shed another layer of unnecessary hatred from my life.

After that, came the hatred for my first name.

It's at this point I feel like I should point out that I know I could just not associate all the bad people and things with my names but I'm not wired that way so let's just leave it at that. I don't just hate my first name because of the people who gave it to me. Nope. I also hate the stupid thing because it's a dumb name and every time people ask me my name they say:

Like the letter?
Oh, that's interesting!...
Isn't that a boys name?
Are you named after someone special?

Anyway, I hate my name. Hate it. It's stupid. End of story.

Or, rather... I hated my name. I am now, thanks to my adorable kid, slowly, learning to like it. B. knows that I hate my name but she has never understood why. She usually calls me "mum" or "chook" so it's never really been a problem but as she's gotten older she's questioned my distaste for it more and more.

One day, in the checkout at a supermarket, while she was calling me Jaye and I was stamping my foot and pouting and calling her something silly in retaliation she stopped, held my hand and said --

but we love it and doesn't that count for something?

And I felt tears well in my eyes. Not just because she said something so ridiculously sweet but, also, because I get a bit teary when she recycles phrases I use.

In response I mumbled something like -- I guess I could try. And with that I have been trying. For B. And maybe, eventually, I will learn to like Jaye after all. Who knows? One day I might even love it. 


friday five//twenty-seventeen wishlist

This year I plan to make an actual concerted effort in not buying what I don't need. Or, at least, going easy when it comes to buying things I want. While I do enjoy the $500+ shopping trips they really aren't practical are they? Regardless, I do have a few items that are on my twenty-seventeen wishlist and, of course, the majority of them are impractical and ridiculous.

Victorine Wallet in Monogram|Louis Vuitton -- I actually really enjoy not having a wallet {currently using this Louis Vuitton piece as a card and note holder} but this adorable wallet may just make a wallet user out of me yet.
Frozen Disney On Ice -- it doesn't come to Sydney until July but B. and I are already ridiculously excited for it. Last year we went to Disney On Ice {see more here} that featured a wonderful mix of our favourite Disney characters and this one sounds just as amazing. Tickets to this for both B. and I are essential.  
Round Coin Purse in Monogram|Louis Vuitton -- I do actually need a proper coin purse and this Transatlantic version from Louis Vuitton is just divine.
Polaroid Zip Printer -- I've featured various Zip printers many times. Twenty-seventeen has to be the year I actually get my hands on one. I really adore this black one. 
Amethyst Tear Drop and Copper Ring|Indie and Harper -- this ring is currently sold out but I am holding out hope that they bring it back because I need this desperately in my life. It's so not what I'd usually go for but as soon as I saw this divine creation I knew I needed it in my life. If I could go back and get engaged again I'd actually rather this as an engagement ring rather than the cliche white gold/diamond creation. 


a recurring dream...

I keep having this recurring dream where, as I sleep, my friends come into my bedroom and judge my butt. It's weird and feels entirely, one-hundred and fifty percent, lifelike. Sometimes, after waking from the dream I am tempted to text someone who had judged the butt to ask them if they had just been in my room and, if so, why they gave me such a low score? Of course, I never actually do because that's too strange right?

After numerous repeats of the same dream I'd finally had enough. So I Googled for a dream interpretation and the consensus was that I was self-conscious about my butt. That I felt judged by my friends. And the fact that I was sleeping in my dream meant that I was probably having quite a heavy sleep. Right then.

Here's the thing -- I know my butt isn't the best thing in the world but I don't really care. I prefer my boobs anyway. I don't care if my friends, or anyone for that matter, is judging me because, hey, I do a lot of stupid shit and I don't care what people think of me. Also, I kind of think my real friends aren't really judging me all that much anyway. 

The only thing I feel self-conscious about here is probably how I actually sleep. My legs are always spread. I always have a blanket wedged firmly between them. My nightie or pyjamas top is always riding up and I never wear pants or shorts to bed so my underwear and, ergo, butt is always on display. This is how I'm comfortable but I always feel a tad paranoid about my sleeping style as if this is not how normal people sleep.

But can you imagine if, at night, while you slept soundly, your friends/family/enemies/complete strangers crept into your room and held up scorecards about your sleeping butt? I feel like my butt would definitely be deserving of something higher than the under five scores I've been getting in my dreams. Right???

Why are dreams so weird...?


mental health//what i learnt in twenty-sixteen

Twenty-sixteen was a tricky year. In one hand it was really wonderful. On the other, it was the worst year for my mind. I spent the first few months of twenty-sixteen withdrawing from and then adjusting to new medication. I don't know if anyone has the same issues with medication as I do but here's the thing -- withdrawing from my medication was the hardest thing I have ever done. It physically hurt more than labour and I hope to never experience it again. After withdrawals comes getting used to the new medication which, for me, is two weeks of feeling like absolute shit and then another month or so of feeling completely numb inside, unable to feel anything {happy or sad} at all.

Throughout those first few months of twenty-sixteen I plastered a smile on my face and pretended everything was fine. I went out. Invited people to my home. Had people stay for dinner. Did everything I would normally do if I didn't have depression or anxiety. I think, looking back, most people would assume I was happy. They'd see me with a smile and laughing, out of bed, pretending everything was okay. Yet, they didn't see {or didn't care to see} that when I said I was going to the bathroom I was really hiding away as the worst parts of an anxiety or panic attack hit me. And then I'd return with red eyes from crying but a smile still firmly fixed on my face. I was lying to everyone.

And then lying became too much. Everything became too much. I had screaming panic attacks every single day. My Husband had to walk/drag me into my work because I couldn't leave the car from the sobbing. I was surrounded by people who knew I was sick, who knew about my mental health, and I just wanted them to ask me --  are you okay? And of course, with my head, I was entirely incapable of verbalising this to anyone. 

Twenty-sixteen taught me that people don't care enough to ask. If you don't look sick you are fine. That's it. And if you are sick you will ask for help, you will reach out, and if you don't nothing can be that bad.

I had a few people in my life who actively asked how I was going. Others knew to leave well enough alone and others pretended to care but, of course, could never really grasp the whole depression and anxiety thing and didn't care enough to try. 

After realising that everything was getting much worse I disappeared. I had friends and family who understood these parts of me. They didn't punish me for it. I had a few people {luckily less than a handful} who could not understand and made my mental health about them. More darkness followed. And then, finally, a few months after recovering from Swine Flu, after the depression from that disaster had lifted, I saw the light.

No, not everything is suddenly perfect. No, my marriage didn't suddenly heal itself. But... something. In the dying months of the year I became myself again. Or, as much as I could be. I got out of bed. I started walking the dogs more. Setbacks didn't take me weeks to recover from. I actually went out without my Husband or Bailey. I spent time with friends. I went to people's houses and didn't feel as though I was dying.


Still, there are things that have not returned. I am still not able to take B. to the park without having an anxiety attack. I still don't feel entirely comfortable having people {no matter how close} in my home. I still get blinding migraines after having to talk to people. I still collapse into sadness when I think of last year and what that loss meant for Bailey. I don't bake anymore. I rarely cook because the idea of having to keep an eye on more than one thing, to prepare a proper meal, leaves me dizzy and shaking. I still see black spots and stutter. I still hate leaving my home, my bed, my comforts. I still feel as though the world would be better off without me {and Bailey, especially, in particular}. I still have this one massive moment, hidden away inside, from last year that I've never told anyone...

But, you know what? Unlike last year, this time I am entirely optimistic that this year can only get better.


being mum//fave kids reads

Some favourite kids reads of the moment that we've all been enjoying together --

Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas -- after B. borrowed this from her school library a few times I knew we had to grab a copy to have at home always. I think it's fair to say that we are a family of Aaron Blabey fans and this silly piranha tale doesn't disappoint. As always, Husband does the reading while B. and I do the snuggle-listen. Piranhas is cheeky and fun for kids and adults alike.

I Just Couldn't Wait to Meet You -- it's become a Christmas tradition over the past couple of years for me to buy B. a special book that's just from me. Last year I got her Love You Forever and this year I wrapped this adorable story from Kate Ritchie. I may have cried reading this to B. because it's just so poignant and sweet and I can't wait for it become just as treasured and adored as the aforementioned Munsch classic. 

Pig the Elf -- I do adore buying Christmas themed books for B. come Christmas time. This year we gifted her Pig the Elf along with her advent, Christmas pj's and a Shopkins gingerbread house kit on December 1. Pig's Christmas tale quickly became a staple throughout December but Pig & Blabey are so hilarious and fun that I don't think our love for him is going to stop now that Christmas is over.

Thelma the Unicorn -- a lovely little tale to remind you to be yourself. B. loves it because it's funny, cute and glittery and once the last page has turned she likes to remind us that "being yourself is better".


friday five//phone case picks

I am absolutely, positively, still so madly in love with my Skinnydip I'm A Unicorn Bitch phone case. If I had a choice I would never, ever, move on from it because the case just speaks to me. Sadly, it's cracking and breaking all over the place {I think maybe dropping it on the road or footpath constantly has something to do with it} and it needs to be replaced. You would think picking a new case would be easy but I am rather picky and fickle and finding a new one has become a terribly arduous task. I have compiled some strong contenders for inspiration --

*note all case picks are for the iPhone 6S Plus 


holiday watch-list

I am a massive couch potato so, when holidays roll around, I seem to become one with the couch, air conditioner on as high as it will go, with a crinkly blanket and a wonderful film {or fifty}. Mostly, I re-watch old favourites that bring delicious warm and fuzzy feelings. Here's what I'm currently devouring --

Under the Tuscan Sun -- Diane Lane is just amazing isn't she? Any movie with her in it is simply wonderful but Tuscan Sun is my favourite of hers. I just, simply, adore her voice, her quietness, her entire being.

Annabelle -- I have mentioned this previously {see here} and I'm still as terrified of Annabelle as ever. Why I purchased a copy of this I will never know. This film scares me almost as much as The Strangers does, yet, I insist on watching it. It really is rather good. Creepy. Freaky as fuck.

When Harry Met Sally -- yes, it's one of my favourite films but it's still worthy of a mention here. If you haven't seen it you are missing out on life but who am I kidding? Everyone's seen it. Days of the week underpants and Meg Ryan's superb ordering style. Just perfection.

Pitch Perfect -- it's hilarious. Fat Amy {or Fat Patricia} is my spirit animal. As is the girl who just loves sex who I can't be bothered looking up to find her actual name. Okay and, maybe, Brittany Snow too. I do love the music and I don't care if really snobby music people hate it because I think they're all stupid anyway {yes, I'm entirely mature}.

I set fires to feel joy.

Harry Potter -- all of them but most recently, the first film in the franchise. No, I don't think the acting is terrible. Yes, I think they're wonderfully magical. The films {and the books which I must re-read as soon as humanly possible} just make me happy, lift me up, make everything okay.


favourite beauty products of twenty-sixteen

Usually I'd do a top sixteen of twenty-sixteen but this year I'm a) lazier and b) quite, honestly, only deeply loving two products. It is what it is...

L'OREAL Miss Manga Mascara -- I've mentioned it multiple times before and here it is again. I adore this product. It creates length and body and it just works. It doesn't run and it doesn't flake. It stays all day but it's super easy to remove. It also doesn't create lashes so long that they hit my glasses which is actually really darn uncomfortable.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette -- Dim Light is by far the best powder in the entire world. Incandescent Light is a wonderful highlighter and Radiant Light is an amazing bronzer. Hourglass does powder better than anyone else in the world and if you're going to splurge on one item it needs to be your powder and you need to get it from Hourglass. You won't regret it.


& there it is, the best products of twenty-sixteen. All round amazing.