Taking Stock of February


Making: a scrapbook for Olivia. Should of started 16 months earlier… 1000’s of photos… send help!
Cooking: some new recipes from the 12WBT program.
Drinking: water. If I have bottles made up in the fridge I find I have no excuse 😉
Reading: Tori Spelling’s latest book. I’m a sucker for celebrity auto-biographies. 
Wanting: the pieces I listed in this post. Slowly saving…
Looking: clearer skin lately. Lay off the gluten and dairy again it happens within days.
Playing: with my girl any chance I get, it’s so much more fun at this age, it’s not just me dangling a toy in front of her face making stupid noises haha!
Deciding: what tactic to try for our 3 hour car trip tomorrow – leave when she wakes or leave when she is due for a nap and pray she naps in the car…
Wishing: for sunny days while we are up the coast.
Enjoying: life.
Waiting: for winter. I’m ready to snuggle and dress O in cute cardis.
Liking: colour,
Loving: nap time with the babe.
Pondering: the things I’m good at.
Considering: shorter hair.
Watching: Hoopla Doopla! Awesome kids show.
Hoping: for sunny weather up the coast.

Needing: sleep!
Smelling: an agave scented candle.
Wearing: Havi hongs til they break! Just got 2 new pairs delivered, phew.
Following: a couple of new “outback” bloggers.
Noticing: that teenagers don’t have any bloody manners these days.
Knowing: that my kid certainly will!
Thinking: money money money. What you think and feel will manifest.
Feeling: tired, lonely and in need of a break for most of Feb.
Sorting: through 8 bags of hand-me-down clothes for O from a lovely friend.
Buying: more Instagram prints!
Getting: impatient for the beach…
Bookmarking: gems/crystals on Etsy
Disliking: elderly people on the road. they probably shake their fists at us young’uns driving but I only ask to do the speed limit – I have a screaming child in the back!
Opening: more Instagram prints lol I love stalking the mailbox every day for them.
Giggling: at Olivia’s babble talk. I thinks she thinks she is really having a conversation with me lately!

You can view January’s list here.

$440 Living Room Transformation

I mentioned last post that Hubby and I have been bitten by the reno bug again lately. I wrote about how we spent all night discussing options to expand out kitchen but ended up going to bed frustrated and back at square one with it. Over the weekend we found a solution that actually works. Finally! We even ran it past my folks and they said it would work, however the only down side is we would lose our laundry (for now). To me that’s not a big deal but when we eventually sell I know it’s important.
While we work out costs and look into how to DIY it, I’ve also been looking at some new styles for our home.
When we moved in here in 2011 our taste and style of interior design was very different to how it is now. Well, mine is. I’m finally not afraid of colour, and want to incorporate more of it into our furniture and decor.
Other factors – like the fact we have a tiny human tornado whooshing through the house – have also prompted me to look into new items. Our current coffee table is getting ruined because of Olivia (it’s this one from IKEA, minus the wheels) and the TV unit isn’t enclosed so buttons keep getting pressed and the volume turned up to excruciating levels by an inquisitive accident.
I’ve also been keen on a rug since we moved in, especially during the winter months. But shit, rugs are expensive, so it’s never happened.
This morning I finally found the new items I’ve had pictured in my mind for months… years even! Before I go into the new items, here is one of my inspiration pics:
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I’ve been crushing on a coloured TV unit for quite some time and was even open to a DIY refurb job but haven’t come across anything suitable. The second part of the picture is the coffee tables. The 2 simple square tables side by side. I love the simplicity of them when you have so much else going on (like a coloured TV unit!).
Now, onto what I’ve found at IKEA today:
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How awesome is this TV unit? I was hoping for more of a mint colour but I’d settle for turquoise. Great to hide all the electronic stuff from little fingers… it’s a great standout coloured piece for the living room! If I got it in turquoise I would then put this rug on the floor:
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And on top of that I would sit two of these simple white coffee tables:
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I know it can be difficult for some people to imagine all of this thrown together and what may look bold and scary in a product photo can actually be quite warm and transforming when placed in a home with other items. So bear with me! I’m not sure the Hubby would go for a turquoise TV unit. If he doesn’t, it happens to also come in this colour:
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Which means I’d then use this rug:
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And I’d probably still use the 2 square coffee tables pictured above, in either white or black.
It would cost $440 all up, which in my eyes is pretty reasonable to transform a whole room. So I’m saving my pretty pennies. What do you think, which of the 2 options do you prefer? Or do you hate the TV unit?!
Oh, one last thing. This is another inspiration pic I have found:
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The thick black and white stripe wall paper. This is exactly what I want to do on the wall that greets you when you walk in our front door. We have a tiny entrance area before leading into the hallway or into the lounge room. Since removing the mirrors I had hanging there (I found out it’s bad feng shui) I’ve been racking my brains what I could put there. THIS! This would also tie into the lounge room which you can see from this wall, if I used the black and white striped rug pictured above. I think I’m onto something 😉
Perhaps I’ve found my calling!

Miscellaneous #2

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A fleeting sunrise from my kitchen window

I love Friday’s. It means the evening marks the start of my husband being home for 2 days. Our little family can spend time together, 3 amigos playing our way through the days. Sunday will be a big day, as we’re packing little O into the car with my folks who are going into Sydney to visit some relatives. I wish them luck as Olivia has hated the car since she was born. Without food, music or some videos of herself or The Wiggles she will scream and maker herself sick. She’s never gone that far away from me so I’m a little nervous but know she will be okay. It’ll be good to spend some time with the Hubby though and I’m sure time will fly.

We’ve had a substantial amount of rain over the past week or so. It was nice to spend time inside and have life slow down. And of course for the drought-stricken areas to cop a good soaking. Even our plants and herbs are looking much happier and I got a handful of strawberries off one plant the other day.

The Mountains gets so pretty in the rain with the mist and wind.

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We had the TV on a fair bit though which I don’t like but what else is there to do for a week inside? We’ve danced, sung, built towers, played ball, made raw bliss balls (she loves using the food processor!), read many a book, made music, put all her dolly’s to sleep under tiny blankets, ate watermelon and popcorn, had lots of snuggles, and yes, lots of TV. If only she was at the age where we could chill out and watch a movie for 2 hours! 
TV is more for the background noise at the moment while her rapidly-developing imaginative play is going on. It’s been amazing to watch! It’s my favourite type of play… seeing her push her bunny on her scoot-car, holding a toy phone to it’s ear, putting the dolly’s to bed after feeding them toy cupcakes and bananas, or the one that made my heart sing and eyes prickle with tears… lifting her shirt to breastfeed her dolly. Oh my!
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I think it’s fair to say the Hubby and I have been hit by the renovating bug again. We’re really into renovating, yep, we’re big The Block fans (although we haven’t been watching the current one – want more renovating, less drama!). Last night we spent a good 40 minutes talking about knocking down certain wall, building new ones, losing the laundry etc. We ended up going to bed so frustrated!

I’m wanting a new colour scheme… currently all the furniture is black and white with red and green decor (red clock, shades of green in the rug, pillows and other decor etc). I’m loving yellow, mint and coral. I don’t even know if they all work together but I’ll make it work!

I’m really into homewares (I have my own store) and decorating and have my eye on a couple of cheap pieces I recently saw in the Target catalog. Target, said like the post “Tar-jay” of course 😉

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Waiting til they restock this in white, for our entrance area.

And this clock! Which is from my own store. Have you jumped on the pineapple bandwagon yet?

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I’ve been feeling pretty shit this week. Tired and run down. I’m not exactly sure why, but know the lack of sleep lately hasn’t been helping! Many many cries in O’s sleep lately is to blame, even during her day nap. Not sure what’s up, possibly another tooth? I could sleep for days right now…
So with that being said I’m very much looking forward to next weekend. Our little family is off on a getaway up the coast before the weather cools down and we’re all bundled up inside. We’ll be staying with family for 2 nights and hopefully the universe blesses us with sunny and warm weather so we can take O to the beach for the first time in her 16 months of life. 
I do need a break, motherhood is hard. Running a business and a blog is hard. Keeping a home is hard. Making all our food from scratch is hard (enjoyable but time consuming). Running on little sleep is more than hard but by now oddly familiar. But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Life is amazing isn’t it?

What Are You Eating?

This post starts off with a little bit of history on myself. It’s still raw, emotional and private but somewhat necessary for the topic in this blog post. It also explains the main idea behind this blog, who and what it is about.
I had a period in my life where I was extremely unhealthy. These were in my teens years, when I was becoming more independent with food choices and was able to purchase and cook my own food. When I moved out of home as a teenager it of course got worse. I knew nothing about nutrition nor did I care about my health. I smoked a pack a day, never exercised, didn’t sleep, ate vegetables maybe twice a week and ate junk food upon junk food every single day. I suffered from anxiety and depression so severely that I was hospitalized many times over many years. I was diagnosed with every mental illness under the sun over about 10 years. This was not all down to nutrition in my case, it was also to do with being on medication that was supposed to be the answer, but in fact was half the cause  – but my story is far too big to really get into now. Perhaps one day I’ll go there (for now you should check out this doco).
A long story short, after coming off the poison (I mean, medication) I slowly cleaned up my health. I started to eat better, cut out soft drink (at one point it was 2 litres a day), quit smoking and not only did I physically improve my health but mentally I was great. I felt alive! Having been told I would never last off medication and would eventually relapse, I looked more and more into how to support myself with nutrition. The theory that mental illneses (and autism etc) can be because of lack of vitamins, minerals and general poor nutrition was a new one but made complete sense after what I’d been through personally. 
Since having a baby I’ve had a lot of questions and comments regarding the way we raise our daughter. I’ve been told I over react to what she eats and am causing her more harm than good by “denying” her of packaged process shit.
Olivia is 16 months old now and as a newborn she had “reflux” and after much investigation we discovered dairy was causing her the upset and therefore she became 100% dairy free, as did I, because I breastfed her. This is where I took a bigger dive into my healthy lifestyle. Having a baby has been wonderful for me in more ways than one!
Now my whole family tries to avoid dairy, gluten and refined sugar and we definitely stay away from colourings, preservatives, additives and all the fake stuff listed on packet food that I can’t even pronounce (a sure sign we shouldn’t be consuming it). We eat meat once a week, if not less often. We try to eat raw, and cram as many vegetables in as possible. We use superfoods on a daily basis. I make almost everything from scratch. Of course we have dairy, gluten, sugar etc on occasion. We can’t avoid it everywhere we go. Birthday parties, relatives that just don’t understand, shopping centers, it’s-a-long-car-trip food  etc. People ask “but what do you eat?” Simple answer… whole foods. 
So, what has prompted me to write this blog post? Well I read THIS ARTICLE this morning which was interesting but not surprising. It’s about the studies. by US experts, into chemicals (fluoride, pesticides etc) causing brain development disorders in infants and young children (heck, even adults) like ADHD, dyslexia and autism.
There was also recently this TED talk I watched this week about how a mother completely eliminated her daughter’s autism symptoms through diet (don’t get me started on how free glutamate is the base of all vaccines, which is furthermore food for thought [no pun intended] and again a whole new discussion). 

These days for me it is a no-brainer. But for so many others it’s a joke to them. They think it’s paranoia, or a fad, or just plain bullshit. I find the people who say that are uneducated, uninterested and scared. Don’t feel guilty, don’t be scared, because it’s never too late to change.
My point of this post is this:
We really need to think about what we are feeding our children. I feel so strongly about this since becoming a mother. I’m writing this post to raise your awareness. I can even vouch for it’s truth myself. Share the links in this post, or share the link to this blog post. Do your own research into it, educate yourselves. Become informed and aware. Make changes. Feed your family what you all deserve. Take care of your health. Without it, you are not here.

Thankful Thursday #

If I am correct, I think I missed 2 weeks but I can assure you I have been doing my thankfuls in my head every day.
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1. A fridge full of food. So much fresh produce greets me every time I open the refrigerator. I realize I’m very lucky.
2. Being a stay at home mum. Oh my I feel blessed on this one. To get every minute of the day with my girl, never missing one moment. So so thankful.
3. Having a supportive husband. And not just for the above thankful. He is (usually!) so selfless, and knows the importance of giving this mama her me-time. Like my 2 hour horse ride last weekend. Bliss. 
4. Nature. Always marveling at mother nature and her fury. Or even the way the regrowth is happening all around my town from the bush fires. So beautiful!
5. Origrami. I’ve been printing my Instagram photos through them and love how affordable and easy it is. Nope, this isn’t sponsored. I’m just thankful to get them from my phone into my hot little hands 🙂
Every Thursday I’m posting 5 things I’m thankful for. Practicing the art of being grateful is something we should all be doing. Oprah Winfrey said it best:
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” 

Being grateful will bring you happiness and peace in life. It can turn a negative into a positive. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. Join in on Thankful Thursdays by blogging your thankfuls or using Instagram (hashtag me!).

What are your thankfuls this week?

12WBT Week 1

I’m now 2 days into week 2 of the 12WBT and I’ve still got mixed feelings about it.
Apart from what I mentioned before regarding food colouring, sugar, low-fat options and a shit tonne of ricotta cheese, it hasn’t been that bad! I’ve been liking 90% of the meals, and I love having new recipes to try and play with.
What I don’t like is controlling my calories, when I eat, how often I eat etc. In fact it leads me to over eat, binge on snacks, and beat myself up for it. Hardly healthy. So we’ve decided that seeing as I don’t’ need to lose weight and was healthy and maintaining it fine before this program, that I’d just eat what I want and when I want, but have the same meals as the Hubby and not keep shit in the house to tempt him. I don’t need to come out of this with a freakin’ eating disorder!
Anyway here are some pics of our meals last week:
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1. Rice fritters with a mango chutney/salsa. Olivia liked the fritters but this would be very bland without the stuff on top!
2. Pistachio, hazelnut and cranberry biscotti’s about to go back in the oven.
3. Really nice Brazillian rice salad!
4. Tabouleh and haloumi salad (love haloumi, hate how dairy makes me feel).
Check out my Instagram for more food pics.
The exercise part is okay. I’d like to work out with my husband but his work hours don’t always permit this so often I’m going on the walks by myself. Well, with Olivia… who wants to hop out the pram and walk herself but this is VERY. SLOW. GOING. Kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise as it doesn’t get my heart rate up at all! The toning part is awesome as that’s what I’m into. I also do yoga on Wednesday night’s and managed to drag the Hubby with me last week. Ah what a session he got to experience! We were sweating and groaning by the end of it… yoga is hard work, man! I love my weekly yoga (would go more often if I could afford it!) but it doesn’t always challenge me like it did last week. I also went horse riding for 2 hours on Sunday which, despite what most people think, is certainly a work out.
Weigh in is tomorrow but as I’m trying to maintain my weight (something I was successfully doing on my own before starting this) I’m not that excited… but I’m anxious for the Hubby! People in this round are posting on the forum of losses up to 10kg! Obviously it depends how big you are to start with, how much weight you have to lose, and how different this eating is to what you did previously.
The main things I’ve noticed is this: I’ve always loved my veggies but the plan has got me eating more, which is a win in my books. I’m off to eat a fruit salad now!

Last Minit V-Day Idea

June 2011, I took my first terrifying plane flight to Vanuatu. On the 4th day of the month, my family helped me squeeze into my white wedding gown, the tropical humidity making it an almighty task. The Hubby and I said our vows on the beach – toes in the sand, waves softly crashing behind us. We slipped our rings onto each other’s finger and just like that we were married.
Almost 3 years later and it’s coming up to Valentine’s Day this Friday. Racking my brain for gift ideas since the start of the year (I like to be prepared) I realized I never got that ring engraved. I had meant to do it before we got married. And then it was on my to-do list when we got home from Vanuatu, then after we settled into the new house, after I got over the morning sickness, after the baby was born… Well that last event was 16 months ago and it’s still been on the to-do list! So what a better Valentine’s Day gift could there be?
I braved the shopping center on a Saturday lunch time to get my man’s ring engraved with the words “always + forever”; an inside joke, I guess you could call it. Having used Mister Minit for previous engravings (dog tags, jewelry, gifts etc) and knowing the local jeweler could charge 3 times the amount, the Penrith Mister Minit store was my destination.
It was pretty busy, being Saturday and leading up to the big day of love this week, so I handed the ring over and went window shopping for 30 minutes. These are the lovely fella’s who did the engraving:

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Seriously, they were funny blokes! Friendly service always makes a difference.

And this is the awesome job on the ring:

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Wonderful! To-do list is one task down, and Valentine’s Day is sorted. All for under $20. If you’re stuck for an affordable Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one you could get a key ring, jewelry, or even a yard glass engraved (yep, someone did that when I was there!). 

*This was a sponsored post for Mister Minit.