3/31/2017

friday five//easter love

Easter is coming up quickly and I'm ridiculously excited because there's my favourite mini Kinder hazelnut eggs, Miffy pyjamas and bunny ears. Love. Here's five Easter essentials --

Women's Miffy Wake Up PJ Set|Peter Alexander -- I'm such a Miffy fan and this PJ set from Peter Alexander is divine.

Personalised Easter Jigsaw Puzzle|Stuck On You -- despite chocolate being my favourite food everything I much prefer giving B. gifts like this for Easter rather than a bunch of chocolate and I know she'd adore seeing her name on a puzzle.

Miffy Hooded Gown|Cotton On Kids -- yes, I'm lame enough for B. and I to match so she, of course, needs this.

Ceramic Bunny Bowl|Williams-Sonoma -- filled with speckled eggs. Necessary.

The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson -- books are a mandatory Easter gift in our house and this Peter Rabbit tale, inspired by Beatrix Potter, is adorable.     





3/30/2017

shop spotlight//st. frock

A few weeks ago, I finally retired my favourite polka dot dress. Devastated doesn't even begin to describe it. I have a hard time getting rid of clothes that have sentimental value {like this Miffy top} and this dress, purchased when Bailey wasn't even a year old, cemented my love affair with polka dots. B. and I had so many great times together, usually matching in dots, while I was wearing it. It's utterly ridiculous but it was hard letting it go. When I'm down I am instantly drawn to anything dotty so I knew I had to find something new. Without fifty hundred spotty items, my wardrobe felt severely lacking. Do you know how this makes a nut-job like me feel?

One of my friends suggested I try St. Frock and on a frenzied online shopping evening I stumbled upon this spotty beauty. I do adore a good wrap dress and this one is lovely. The Libby Wrap Dress is black with white spots, has flouncy butterfly sleeves and is in a gorgeous lightweight fabric. Grab it at St. Frock for $59.90 and get free shipping {for those based in Australia}.

& because I'm completely rational and great at saving money I had to pick up a new pair of Quay Sunglasses {Invader -- find here} but they actually ended up sending me another pair by Quay which I can't even find on their website -- the My Girl. I just... how does this even happen? They were lovely about it though and even though they ended up finding the Invader for me I just gave up and am keeping the ones sent because you know how I feel about companies that require me to make effort. I guess the niceness works in their favour but I'm just not sure how you can trust that they wouldn't do it again {and I've since heard about other order stuff ups too so...}?

Some stuff about their website and service -- they use Afterpay {which I have used} but it didn't actually work. I don't know if there was a glitch the night I ordered but it's still incredibly frustrating. As for shipping it's rather fast which is lovely because I had an occasion in mind for the dress {Beauty and the Beast, movie date!}. I ordered on a Thursday night, it was apparently shipped on Friday {but I wasn't notified about it as they say you will be} and it arrived on Monday. The dress and sunglasses were packaged in the "butterflies" tote bag {quote on one side and butterflies on the other} which was a nice little touch. The dress came crinkled and in desperate need of an iron but I don't know if you can really expect much for something being shipped now can you? 

So, after all that complaining, yes I do think I'd order from St. Frock again but I'd be slightly hesitant. A company that is lovely with stuff ups is great but I'm always really wary when companies make mistakes like sending the wrong products out. The error always leaves a sour taste in my mouth and I'm on the fence as to whether adorable wrap dresses are really worth it.

3/28/2017

planner love//agnes & rosie

The other week I stumbled across the most adorable Aussie planner sticker shop on Etsy -- Agnes & Rosie. At first I was drawn to the name because one of my most adorable friends shares the latter name and she makes me happy, therefore, this shop made me happy. It makes sense. Deal with it. But I soon fell in love with their entire range.

Whenever I find a new shop I like to try a couple of things to test them out rather than going completely mad {which I am prone to do}. I ended up showing restraint and only picked up two items. First, the Rustic Floral Weekly Kit which comes with 6 pages for $18 and is simply gorgeous {the font!}. You get full decorative boxes and checklists, washi and date covers, sidebar items, headers and tons more. There's enough items in here to stretch over 2 weeks which is what I plan to do for a lovely Mother's Day kit and another whenever it tickles my fancy. I adore a kit that can take you into multiple spreads.

The only downsides {and they're slight} are that some of the stickers {see the cancelled/rescheduled ones} are slightly raised off the sticker sheet. None of them are damaged to the point of non-use but they could be and that kind of makes me nervous. Another meh is the icon stickers. You get them across 4 pages and they're really nicely done with stitching around the circle but they are the exact same icon across all 4. So you get an asterisk, a heart, a house with a $, a credit card, a map pin, recycling, rubbish bin, vacuum cleaner, washing machine and a petrol pump. All really useful stuff and I get the doubling up on the asterisk and the heart but four of the rest seem redundant. They're all a different shade on each page but I would have liked to see some other stuff like a phone, grocery bag, TV, laptop. Really anything than four bloody recycling/map pin ones.

I also picked up these adorable Weather Icons because their faces are just adorable. And I can't even with the freebie they sent with. I was so pleased that the relax time pillow icon is included on there because I was desperate to grab those too {find the entire sheet here}. Am loving that I stumbled upon this adorable shop.

All Agnes & Rosie stickers are printed on a matte paper. The stickers aren't shiny at all and I know some people really adore that shine but I really don't mind either way, especially not when the colours are so vibrant. Agnes & Rosie stickers are all made to order. Processing times are listed as 5 to 10 working days. I made my order late on a Thursday night and received my order the following Wednesday. Don't you just love it when you receive your Etsy items before you're even allowed to leave feedback? Truly, that's a mark of a good shop for me. No issues. Just awesome.

& can we please discuss the Agnes & Rosie Cactus and Succulents Kit because... yes! Need it in my life as soon as humanly possible, thanks.

3/27/2017

thanks, but...

I may spend the majority of my life being a sarcastic bitch but I am also, generally, a pretty positive person. I find that if I don't force myself to be obnoxiously positive {maybe he's speeding and almost killed us because he has his pregnant wife in the car whose in labour and they have to deliver at the hospital! And maybe we can't see the pregnant wife because invisibility cloaks really do exist!} it's way too easy to sink into the way my head actually thinks. But sometimes, it actually helps to be really bloody sarcastic and just be as negative as fuck. So here's some thanks, buts... to embrace all the negative crap I want to rant about --

Hey, air conditioner thanks for being all cooling and stuff but... sometimes you work too well and I actually hate you.

Hey, life thanks for being wonderful but... where the fuck is my Chip tea cup?

Hey, husband thanks for doing lots of cleaning and taking care of me and being an all round non-stereotype Husband & dad but... can you please stop leaving my clean socks all over the house? AND please stop leaving your dirty ones in the car? Why is that a thing that is happening?

Hey Bum Bum, thanks for being lovely and snuggly and always warm and toasty in the cold weather but... can you please stop trying to stick your always poop scented tongue in people's eyes/mouths/ears/noses?

Hey boobs, thanks for always being soft and nice to touch and play with but... can you please stop needing to wear a bra? I appreciate that you're big {ish} and I love that about you but, gosh, bras are almost as useless as pants.

Hey Star Wars underwear, thanks for being comfy and cute and making me really happy but... can you please become more women-friendly because I really like wearing Star Wars undies but I've only found one style specifically for women and that's annoying!

Hey tea, thanks for being an anxiety saviour and my life force but... can you please learn to make yourself and stop making me vomit?

Hey rain, thanks for being my favourite kind of weather but... can you please stop doing you for just a minute? 

K, thanks, bye!

3/24/2017

friday five//planner thoughts

You may well be aware that I am stupidly planner obsessed. I have been forever and I still don't get it but I adore it so it is what it is. It's actually more therapeutic for me than therapy. Whenever I get the anxiety shakes I go to my planner, my washi, my stickers and it calms me. It's my thing. Lately, since I won a wonderful planner packed prize, I've become ever nuttier in the planner stakes and I find myself alone with my planner more often than usual. Five planner thoughts --

Just telling you now, the Erin Condren is worth all the hype. This divine creation was one of my prizes from The Planner Sophisticate and I can't even... This is the Floral Heart Metallic Gold cover with gold coil. The cover is interchangeable and it's the neutral design inside. Gorgeous.

I have now, also, become hooked on monthly kits. This March one is from Planning World and has a delicious blue foil. It's no longer available but you can check out her May kit here. The foiling takes some getting used to and even though it comes with a note to say it can't get peeled back up I am here to definitely confirm that it can't be peeled back up. I don't know why I think instructions are for everyone but me but, look, I learnt my lesson when the March flaked away. Still delicious though. And that Chanel cart...
  
If you don't have decorative paperclips for your planner I really don't know what you're doing with your life. Pigtails and Pockets is the place to go -- light pink bow & pink frappuccino. I also need all the others -- Luke's Diner, Chip & Mrs Potts and Gus Gus!

I love a gold foil sticker and have become obsessed with these Life's Little Stickers from Kikki-K. I use them in most spreads and they come with a variety of labels -- to-do, dinner, important, pay day, etc and a bunch of foiled symbols -- car, cake, meals, movie, hearts, stars, etc. The best part is they're only $3.95 for a pack of 2. Whenever I'm in Kikki-K I like to stock up on a few packs so I never run low. 

My planner essentials -- this Planner Gems pen it's a ballpoint so I like to use it for pre-planning on post-its and in my writing planner {you can buy gel refills here though}, this Sharpie pen is my current pen to paper choice and this Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker is what I write on all my stickers with. A glue roller is also so needed {mine is from UHU which is my favourite brand -- I find it lasts the longest and actually sticks}. I mean, any excuse to buy stuff right?

3/22/2017

elizabeth arden intensive moisturising body treatment review

I'm here to introduce you to the best body moisturiser in the entire world. I'm serious. If you have dry skin. If you have sensitive skin. If you have skin. You need to toddle on over to an Elizabeth Arden counter and ask them to hand over the divine Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Body Treatment. Take it from them and run away giggling {pay, of course, otherwise you're prone to getting tackled by security}. But, still, the running away giggling part is essential to the process and if you don't do it it kind of defeats the purpose of having the best mositurser to ever grace the earth. 

Yes.

The Eight Hour range is, of course, incredible but the body treatment is a standout. Simply amazing. It's thick and creamy but blends wonderfully. It takes a little while to absorb but once it does your skin feels luxuriously soft and stroke-able {yes!} for hours on end. I'm serious. It just does wonders for my skin which is prone to irritation, dryness and flakiness. I get itchy all the time and this moisturiser heals all my skin woes. After I shower I smother it all over my body {Husband does the back and butt -- poor guy}, wait a few minutes to get dressed and then stroke my legs for a few hours. When I shower again at night {or after exercise, depending} my skin still feels full of moisture and luscious and then I stroke myself all over again {well, not really, but you get the idea...}

I use the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Moisturising Body Treatment all over my body, from top to bottom, skipping only my face. It's amazing for tired heels, crabby elbows and aching toes. It's also wonderfully affordable -- I pick mine up for $38 at my local Elizabeth Arden counter in Myer. You can also purchase this hero body treat online but I am partial to the counter experience. 


3/20/2017

hey! how are you?

Remember when I ranted about my aversion to talking on the phone? Or, rather, my aversion to being connected? I wrote that interesting piece of crap back in April last year and my condition has only worsened since then. I now despise texting. In fact, now I just despise any form of communication whatsoever. 

Here's the thing, I hate this "instant" world we live in. I hate the idea of contacting someone when you don't have anything to say. Hate it. But it feels like I am surrounded by people who just contact you to say "hey! how are you?" and nothing else... what is the point of this? I would honestly not care in the slightest if somebody didn't talk to me for months on end just because they had nothing to say. I frequently have nothing to say and it's wonderful...

I have this amazing friend who is kind of the same as me. We are actually really close but we rarely talk to each other. I find her interesting and {I think} she finds me interesting but we don't just talk for no reason. She was in the hospital with pneumonia around the same time Bailey spent two weeks non-stop vomiting while I battled swine flu and we didn't contact each other during that time. 

Unlike some people I have known, after we'd recovered and gotten back to some semblance of normalcy, she did not attack me for not being there for her and I did not attack her for not being there for me. Because we are both busy and we both don't like asking for help and she understands that I don't talk when my life is going to shit and she doesn't begrudge me that.

As my mental health has gotten harder to manage and as I've distanced myself from all my dangerous coping methods, I have become less inclined to keep in contact. I just don't like talking to people. Ever, really. Of course, there are exceptions and there are some people I can't go too long without speaking to but, then, there are the others who I don't dislike but who I just don't have anything to say to. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

I just can't handle the fact that we live in a world where there are people who are offended when you don't contact them. I would understand if someone had sent countless texts that went unanswered. Sure. Go ahead. Be offended. But if you are silent and the other person is silent... well, what's wrong with that? That's my idea of heaven. Why does silence instantly have to mean hatred?

I understand that we are all different but, look, I refuse to become someone who texts another person for no reason at all. I don't often have things to say because I am a private person {ha!}, because I hate talking to people I adore most of the time, because my brain is always on and not talking to people helps. Sure, there are times when I go to contact someone and my anxiety stops me out of fear and that's crippling and something I still struggle to get past but other than that I don't contact people because I have nothing to say.

I feel like I'm in the minority here but I don't care. Because I'd rather be the person you rarely hear from if it means that I'm not on my phone all the damn time. I'd rather be all there with my kid. When I'm with some of my closest friends I don't pick up my phone the entire time we're together. When I'm with B. it's just her and I. When I'm on a date with my Husband my phone stays away. I can't be around people who are always on their phone. I'm grateful to be around people who actually talk to B. People who are seldom on their phone. 

And in my perfect world nobody would be on their phones unless they had something valuable to say or do. End of rant, grouchy old person out.

3/17/2017

friday five//necessary home-wears

I think it's pretty standard fare by now. I love pyjamas, dressing gowns, slippers. All of the above and everything else in between. Peter Alexander is my happy place. Since the weather has been rainy and nearing cold my mind has been on all the things above. I like to call them home-wears because you wear them at home {duh!} but trust me, if I could, I would wear pyjamas everywhere. Particularly to work. Because who can't be happy in pyjamas? Nobody that's who. Five picks --

Dinosaur Hooded Robe|ASOS -- if there is a robe that personifies me as a person it's this one.

Cloud Hooded Gown|Peter Alexander -- the clouds on this gown bring me back to childhood when I was obsessed with anything star/moon/cloud themed. And we all know Peter Alexander does amazing gown. Perhaps I need both?

Bunny Eye Mask|Cotton On Body -- because, yes. Fluffy and perfectly themed for Easter. Necessary.

Spot PJ Pant|Peter Alexander -- if I had to pick a favourite pattern it would be the polka dot/spot. These pants are no exception and I need them in my life.

Metallic Moccasins|Peter Alexander -- at this point, one might wonder if I'm sponsored by Peter Alexander but, rest assured, they don't even know I exist. Sure, it'd be nice if PA, along with Willams-Sonoma, could sponsor my life but I'm realistic -- that ain't ever gonna happen. And, look, I can't hold a grudge against awesome so I need these metallic moccasins to add to my slipper collection.

3/15/2017

on falling in love with exercise

I have a confession to make, I have become quite taken with exercising. I am ashamed to admit it because in this world of people posting selfies of themselves in underwear to show off their "great body" on social media I don't want to be like them. I refuse to become someone who does those 12 week challenges and counts calories and thinks about how they look in their bathers. I just... no.

I don't know what happened. I have exercised, on occasion, begrudgingly for my entire adult life. It's so boring. I could be not wearing a bra and eating chocolate. I could be sleeping. I could be doing absolutely anything. Anything other than exercising.

And then something happened. I realised I was getting older and continuing on with the same lazy lifestyle. It's fun, sure, but I have a child, and I want to instill healthy habits in her. And, so, I decided to get over my innate laziness and try and push through the anxiety and depression and I walked. I walked the dogs late at night and I wasn't scared. I walked through period cramps and 40+ degree heat and sprinkling rain and sickness. And I had fun. And when I hadn't gone for a walk that day I missed it. And when I needed a break because I was too sad or my asthma was really bad I got back on the horse.

And, now, as much as it sarcastically pains me to say it -- I have fallen in love with exercise. We go for walks as a family. We walk to the shops when we don't have anything heavy to grab. I take the long way home on the way from dropping B. off from school. When it's just Husband and I we take the dogs for a long walk and talk. I don't have an anxiety attack when I get overheated any more. In fact, being outside is just the thing now, no longer a source of anxiety for me. 

I love it. Alone or with my family. It's just fun.

But, no, I am never going to have abs because I think they look gross and if I ever start talking about lifting weights or Kayla whoever I will ask my Husband to smother me in my sleep. Because I may love {some forms} of exercise now but I'm still a sarcastic bitch and hopefully that aspect of my life will never change. 

3/14/2017

mother guilt

It would be a lie to say that I don't have guilt in my life because I do. I always will. That's nothing new. But, here's the thing, I don't feel guilty about how I parent.

I work part-time. 3 days a week and sometimes I work more. I also set aside time for writing -- here and on other creative endeavors. All times where I can't devote time to Bailey. All times where I am away from Bailey. And, yet, I don't feel guilty about working. I never have. I never will. I don't see the point. It's stupid and ridiculous. No, I don't think you who do feel guilty are stupid. I just think working guilt is a waste of time. 

I do miss Bailey. If I could have it my way I would happily spend twenty four hours seven days a week with her. She is my world. I adore her. Not only as my child but as someone who is fun to be around. I miss her constantly because the world is a little less bright when she's not around. But I don't feel guilty for having to be away from her. 

And, yes, I do for financial and health reasons, need to work. To maintain a lifestyle that we have all become accustomed to, to fix significant financial errors I made during the worst years of my anxiety and depression. So, yes, due to my own shit, I need to work. But I don't ever feel the need to explain myself. I don't ever care about judgement or perception. I only care about the happiness of my family. Nothing else really matters does it?

I have to admit, that I don't understand mother guilt in this instance. I don't understand why we let other people's perceptions and ideas shape our happiness. Because it shouldn't. If you are a mum and you work that's fine. If you are a dad and you work that's fine. If you are a stay-at-home mum or dad that's fine too. Yet, we seem to let society pigeon hole us into who we are and who we should be. We let social media snapshots of perfect moments of someone else's life make us feel bad about our own. We let bikini bodies define us. We applaud "honest" revelations about marriage issues and screaming children and sneer at "fake" ones with seemingly perfect marriages and kids. Why?

I know it's really simple to say but who cares? I know it's easy to just have no fucking clue about it all because I don't care. I know that. But, honestly, why are people, and yes, women especially, spending their lives feeling guilty about something that is right for them and their family? Are we so terrified of judgement? So worried that people are going to look down on us? That people will think we're bad parents? Because we work?

Here's the thing. I don't care what people think of me. Yes, I have my down moments that are, annoyingly, linked to my mental health but, or the most part, for ninety five percent of the time I don't give a shit. Because humans are flawed. Because I am flawed. Because I actually like myself and what I see in the mirror. Because my family is really fucking weird and I adore them. Because I don't care to put up with people who are rude and judgmental. Because I know that's all on them and I don't think it has anything to do with me.

Because I can live quite happily in this world with people thinking that I am a bad mum because I work. Or that I was a bad female for being a stay-at-home mum. That I'm a bad wife. That I'm a bad daughter or a bad sister. That I wear stupid clothes. That I'm unfashionable or fat or ugly or stupid. Because I just don't care what anyone thinks of me. I know my heart. My daughter knows my heart. My Husband knows my heart. That's all that matters.  

I just wish that the world could be that simple. That we could embrace everyone for their differences and applaud people for doing what was right for them. For what made them happy. That we could stop letting other people define our happiness. Because I live in a world where only I can make me feel bad about myself and it's pretty fucking wonderful. 

3/13/2017

being mum//on friends without kids


I know it's shocking to believe that I have friends but I do. Settle down, it's not that big a deal. Happens to everyone. So, yes, I have friends. I have friends with kids and friends without kids. And, here's the thing -- I always feel bad that my friends without kids have to hang out with my kid.

I know Bailey is awesome and amazing and adorable and I never feel like she's a burden but... I just feel bad that when I am around Bailey is usually around too and my friends have to listen to her talk {because she talks a lot} and wear the jewellery she makes them and act interested in her stuff. Don't get me wrong, my friends never complain but... when I hang out with my friends with kids they have a kid that Bailey wants to play with and we barely see them. Bailey does not make jewellery for them. She yammers, sure, but she yammers to the kid mostly and ignores us.

When B. and I do stuff with my other friends there is {usually} no other kid to play with. It's just us and her and she likes to talk to them and make them pictures and go about her day as if their world revolves around her. Like I said, they never complain. They adore her and Bailey worships the ground they walk on. When I told B. two of my friends that she adores more than anything were her in case of emergency contacts at school she squealed with delight and begged Husband and I to "forget" to pick her up from school so one of "her friends" could.

I know it's not a big deal and I know {hope} that if my friends really felt bothered by B. they would tell me but I still feel bad. Because kids have runny noses and sometimes they need help finding a rubbish bin or washing their hands and sometimes they make mess. Sometimes they're easily occupied and sometimes they get bored. Sometimes they're needy and other times aloof. And as I sit there with them and B., no matter the situation, I let my anxieties get the best of me and I worry.

I worry that she's annoying them. I worry that B. and I are putting them off the idea of ever having children. I worry that they think that my child is out of control and rude and ruining an otherwise great day.

I feel like at this point I should note that I do go out without Bailey. That is a thing that happens. But, mostly, I miss that kid and I adore her company and usually we're together. And whenever we're together with friends who don't have kids I feel like I need to apologise for nothing in particular and craft thank you texts after we've left to thank them for being so lovely with B. and it's ridiculous isn't it?

Because I have wonderful friends who actually seem to enjoy Bailey's company as much as I do. And they treat us like we're family and I know I have nothing to worry about. And maybe one day I won't worry but until then I'll just continue being an anxious wreck, thank you very much. 

3/10/2017

friday five//read lust list

5 books on my to-read list --

My (Not So) Perfect Life - Sophie Kinsella -- a quick and funny take on social media perfection. Sophie Kinsella always writes in a fantastically readable way and her books are easily devour-able.

Every Last Lie - Mary Kubica -- I have been hooked by Kubica since I inhaled Pretty Baby. Her next novel isn't available until June 2017 but it sounds as gripping as all her others. 

Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick -- because she's sarcastic, sardonic and funny {just like me!}

Talking As Fast As I Can - Lauren Graham -- because I just adore her and need to read the Gilmore Girls and Parenthood insights.

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful - Sarah Wilson -- I'm taken with the title and the cover and sometimes you need to read a clever book about anxiety and the fight you feel like you're losing. 

3/08/2017

lush oatfix mask rave

I have a thing for oat face masks. They smell delicious and they just work for my skin. My favourite oat-y mask comes from Lush and it's their deliciously wonderful Oatifix

Oatifix is a gentle nourishing mask and is made with fresh bananas and illipe butter to moisturise dry skin. The oatmeal, ground almonds and kaolin make a mild exfoliating base to remove dead skin and leaves skin wonderfully soft and clean.

Use it like you would any other mask -- apply a generous layer to clean & dry skin, leave for 10-15 minutes and wash off with warm water. Easy.

Keep your Oatifix in the fridge and keep an eye on the expiry date. The only downside to their fresh face masks is the shelf life. They don't last long and there's only so many face masks a person can do in a week. Sometimes life is just really hard.

Oatifix comes in a 60g tub {keep them, clean them and take back five tubs to get a complimentary mask} and costs $13.95. It's wonderful for dry and sensitive skin and is the standout mask from the Lush range

& while you're at Lush why don't you pick up the most amazing cleanser in the entire world -- Ultrabland?

3/06/2017

from the archives: mumma essentials//the only play dough recipe you'll ever need

When I was pregnant with Bailey there were a few types of mum I wanted to be: fun mum, cool mum and, most importantly, crafty mum. Of course, I'm fun and cool, that just goes without saying but sometimes the crafty thing is a lot of work and involves a lot of patience and skill and that's hard, man. I'm a big fan of the whole "slop it together and hope it turns out" method and let's face facts, that rarely works. Still, I persevere because I love it even if the end result ain't so great.

When we're at home I try to come up with craft ideas that are, first and foremost, fun but I also like to make sure they aren't too difficult to clean up {I learnt this the hard way with glitter by the way}. One of our favourite things to do is play with play dough {which also occupies B when there's stuff to get done} and since the store bought varieties dry out quite quickly we've begun to make our own {though we still buy some when we're lazy}.

It's super simple and an activity in itself and I wanted to share its genius for all to see...

Here's what you'll need:

^2 cups of plain flour
^2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
^1/2 cup of salt
^2 tablespoons of cream of tartar 
^up to 2 cups of boiling water
^food colouring {some will say this is optional but honestly! what's optional about it?}
*we use the same food colouring as we do for baking and it's perfect

& here's what you need to do:

1. mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
*if you're going to do different colours you'll need to separate the mix, once combined, into separate bowls {as per top picture} 
2. add the food colouring to the boiling water and then add in increments to the dry ingredients
3. stir until the mix becomes sticky & then allow to cool
4. once cooled, remove the mix from the bowl and knead until the stickiness has gone {you may need to add more flour until it feels right}

^you can store the dough in an air tight container for up to 6 months {though if the person using it is anything like B it'll be lucky to last the month}

3/03/2017

friday five//the bag essentials

The other day I came across the most amazing bag I have ever set my eyes on. It made me weak in the knees and so overcome with desire that I just...I can't even. Here's five I need desperately in my life --

Kate Spade Toothy Monster Shoulder Bag -- look, I know it's hard to believe that I don't have a bag with a monster on it but I don't. Life is full of hardships and devastation comes from the cruelest places.

Blah Blah Blah Tote Bag -- in case you didn't know I invented the word blah and this tote is needed. Get it on Etsy from agrapedesign and then you'll also need this random crap one

This Black Diamond Jute Shopper from Table Tonic is the perfect carry-all {or, as I like to call it, a chuck-all}.

I don't actually use clutches but I need this Embroidered Clutch from Steve Madden because pom poms.

If there was a bag made for me {aside from all the other bags that I have previously declared were made for me} it is this Kate Spade Typewriter bag. Is this not the most divine Jaye-bag you have ever seen in your entire life? It is...

3/01/2017

on the front door

I have a few dreams in life. One of them is, that if I ever buy my own home {which, no, don't want to, never}, to have a yellow front door. Another is to be one of those people whose front door is always open to friends and family. I have these grand visions of being one of those people who is always ready to welcome guests to their home with a moments notice. One with baked goods at the ready. And I'll revel in these moments as if they are caffeinated and giving me energy to last until bed.

Sadly, or not, I don't know... I am not that person. Sure I still want a yellow front door {but no mortgage, thanks, too adult...} but I am never going to be someone who enjoys having people over. I am always going to be terrified of my front door. I am never going to enjoy opening it. A knock at the door, unless I'm expecting it fills me with dread.

Sure, I have bad front door/unexpected guest memories but I don't think my uneasiness is that easy. I'm pretty sure it's deep rooted in the fact I, quite simply, dislike people and need to be eased into seeing someone. I am a planner by nature. I detest surprises and if I'm going to see someone {unless you're someone really special} I like to know at least two days in advance {a week is even better}. It's sad and, sure, maybe even somewhat pathetic that I have to psych myself up to see people, to train my brain to not have that instinctual flight response but it is what it is.

So, the other night, when some random knocked on my door I instantly panicked. Not just because I'd just read about a break-in in the area that morning or because the lateness of the hour {after 7.00pm -- please, my child is getting ready for bed} but also because I was bra-less {as I often am} and in my pyjamas {ditto}. My hair was frizzy and still damp from recently being washed. My eyebrows, undone. I did not need to be answering the door to some random while I looked like shit {and as I was deep in -- I'm really sick mode}. 

Sore throat and croaky voice aside. Is it just me? Or is answering the door a normal fear that other people have? Is it up there with answering your phone? Or saying hello to a random acquaintance while out and about? 

What I wish is that there was some kind of law that prohibited people from just turning up and knocking on your door. Any door knockers, unless they are a delivery person or an invited guest should really need to give two weeks {or more} notice in writing and, still, then, only with express consent. So, if you simply ignore their letter {as I would, most likely, often do} they can't just turn up two weeks from postage date. This would surely prevent me hiding under a blanket on my couch, waiting for the random door knocker to leave. Right? 

Right.

And don't even get me started on the people who hang around for five minutes or more just knocking. After the third knock you should know it's like fetch. It's never going to happen. Move on with your life and stay the fuck away from mine.

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I'm just a dream aren't I?