The mood

The change in the weather is here.  The mornings are enveloped in a warm sunny glow, which is decieving as poke your foot from underneath the covers to find a crisp coolness.  Although it isn’t winter, the weather change is well and truly upon on us, and not just in the ‘weather’ sense but also in the ‘mood’ sense.

I do love winter, it means we light the fire, get in our pj’s early (usually as soon as we get home), snuggle up on the couch with blankets and night ins take precidence over nights out.  But this time of year initially puts me in a bit of a rut, a mood if you will.  For some reason at this time I long for space, and the fresh air that the bush can give.  I don’t live in the bush, I live in suburbia and unless I win tattslotto, that aint going to change anytime soon.  So yesterday I decided to go with it, if I can’t live in the country, I’ll bring a bit of it to me.  New doona cover (quilt style) purchased, bedroom spring cleaned, books at the ready and my new space was made!

This morning I woke up and read some of my book, something I haven’t done in a while.  I even did it before I headed to the land of nod last night.  I hope this feeling doesn’t pass and my small space can continue to make me a little happier.  I know some of my friends on the interwebs are feeling similar to me at the moment, so how are you planning to life your mood?

Bel x

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Give me five

This post contains ranting, raving and some course language.

Please give Mummy five minutes, I’m about to loose my shit!  I’ve woken up this morning, and everything has piled on my shoulders and I’m about to drop my bundle!

1.  I’m sure I left the kitchen tidy before I headed out to get my hair chopped off last night, but this morning, it looks like we had a party, oh which I was not obviously invited to!

2.  I’m sorry, did I ask you to leave a pile of clothes in the corner of the room, for me to play the game of “what to hang and which is clean, what to put in the washing machine?”.

3.  Phoebe I love you dearly but I am sure you watched me go through your whole wardrobe two days ago and refold everything, how they hell does it now look like for the past year I’ve opened your wardrobe and just chucked things in?

4.  How is it possible to loose 3 shoes, all from different pairs and not know where your runners are?  Our house is only 13 sqaures, do we have shoe-eating monster I didn’t know about?

5.  Why is the playroom floor littered in rubbish, isn’t there a bin under the desk?

6.  Why when I swept the floor boards Wednesday does it now look like someone has let off a confetti bomb?

7.  How is the microwave full of your crap, when you have a basket next to it with all your crap in it?  Oh that’s right, the crap is over filling, just put it there, don’t clean out the first basket.

8.  Leave that empty cordial bottle on the bench, no worries, I’ll fill it!

9.  You know that big white thing under the sink?  I’m pretty sure its called a dish washer, and you guessed it, it washes dishes, maybe you should try it!

10.  Don’t forget the dining table can also be used to put your crap on, once of course the basket of crap is full and the microwave too.

11.  Why must you insist on wearing your bathers as a netball uniform, isn’t that what dress-ups are for?

And  ………….. breath, in and out!  It’s only eleven and and I think I need a drink!  Is there any point in ranting and raving?  Probably not.  What about not doing anything today to prove a point?  Nah, that wont work either, just means more to do tomorrow.  Instead, I guess I will suck it up!  Watch some day time TV and in between, clean up this bomb site that I call my house.

Rant over!  Thanks for listening!

Bel x

 

Tidbit Tuesday

Tuesday’s, where you get to find it ‘stuff’ about me!

1.  I care what people think.  I try not to sometimes, but I do, I really do care what people think.  If I hear something that someone said about me that isn’t positive, it makes me feel sick and question what I did wrong and how I can make it better.  I wish I was stronger sometimes.

2.  If my kitchen isn’t clean, I feel like my whole house isn’t clean.  Therefore if I don’t have time to clean the house, this is my number one priority.

Bel x

Photography Tips

I am NO expert!  I have a DSLR, I know how to use it and I try to take nice pictures.  But some of you have asked for some of my tips.  Some will be lame, some you will make you nod, some you might even say aha to!  Join me if you will (posts will at least contain some pretty pictures).  They will not be in order either.

If you have a DSLR read your manual, and once you have done that, look at doing a short course which will show you how to use it properly without throwing it on auto all the time.  Initially I enrolled in a course at the CAE in Melbourne.  I did a Basic Digital SLR course and then later a Portrait Photography course.  I also went to Angie Baxter’s ‘Love Your Camera Workshop’, she is all types of awesome and really down to earth.  A good mix of practical and theory, in a beautiful and safe environment.  She travels the country and has been running the workshops for a while, so it is  definitely worth it (I think I asked for it as a birthday present).

I was also really lucky to attend Meaghan Cook’s first ever workshop, I learnt a lot with her, you can read about it on my really old blog (Meaghan also photographed my wedding a few weeks back, I love her, she is amazing, awesome and an all round great chick!).  And then I won my first ever competition, which was a mentoring session with the child photographer Chrissy Torney who is also a teacher like me!  We chatted and drank coffee (hot chocolate) for hours and then she showed me how she worked and let me have a go too.  She taught me so much about backlighting, she is amazing at it!

So I guess my number one tip is, learn how to use your camera without setting it to manual.  It’s hard work, it takes practise, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be second nature and you’ll notice the difference!

Is there anything else you would like me to focus on for my next tip?

Bel x

Dummy Wars

I’m sure it is a familiar story to many families but it is a new one to mine.  Over the Easter break, many of Phoebe’s little friends bravely gave their dummies up to the Easter Bunny (apparently he has many, I guess he breeds like a rabbit!).  MY daughter though, wouldn’t have a bar of it.  She didn’t get angry, she didn’t get upset, she did however state rather firmly that she would not be leaving her dummy for him and nor would he be taking it.  Mother guilt set in for me, Phoebe is three and a half now, and even though no one around me was saying anything, I felt like she should have given it up earlier.  It wasn’t like it was stuck to her at all hours of the day, she only had it for sleep time, but still, I knew eventually problems would arise.

I had plans set in place, I knew she wasn’t going to give it up freely, we would have to get creative and it may take time.  I was planning on using the nail-biting solution, in turn making her dummy taste yuck, and if that didn’t work, I would start putting small holes in it.  Neither of these were needed however.  Instead, the stars aligned and the universe gave us the perfect opportunity.  Instead of picking Phoebe up from her Aunty’s the other night after work, I met them at the park, this also meant that dummy was left at her house.  The plan still wasn’t concocted until later that night when the dummy still hadn’t been dropped off and she asked for it.  She sobbed and told me she need it, she couldn’t sleep without it and she didn’t know what to do.  Seriously broke my heart.

 I’s started to notice that after about 5 minutes of being asleep, the dummy would fall out anyway.

Aunty came over to drop it off, but we kept running with the story, until Aunty realised that Phoebe had in fact left her dummy on the floor after her nap that day.  And so it was then that we told her our dog, Dakota, had if fact seized that moment and took the dummy.  She didn’t believe it at first, it took some phone calls to other family members to confirm, she was upset but then it was like a switch was flicked.  She started convincing us (more like her) that she was a big girl, she didn’t need it, “look how tall I am, I’m nearly four!” she told us and just when you thought she was thinking about something else, she would start convincing herself all over again.

And so it was, we tottled off to bed, there was NO turning back now.  It took her a while to figure out how to actually go to sleep without it, you could hear her trying to work out what to do with her mouth and tongue, even her hands, but soon enough, she was off and snoring.  I waited patiently throughout the night for her to wake (I’ve been down this road once before with her) but when she did wake, she simply asked for some water and went back to sleep.

 Going to sleep is a little harder, but she’s doing a great job.

Since then, we have had a nap (which was a little more difficult but still no tears) and another night of sleep, with no waking whatsoever.  I am so proud of her, so is the family.  I never thought I would see the day when she wouldn’t need it, but it has come.  I guess my girl is growing up and I guess you just have to do things your way.  Wrapping her dummy up and giving it the fairies didn’t work for us, nor did giving it to Santa or the Easter Bunny.  I guess as parents, sometimes you have to get creative and read the signs.

Dummy War won!  Have you had a similar experience?

Bel x

Breaking Point

I have reached breaking point, or better still just a point where I can’t go on the way I am.  I was on a good fitness streak before the wedding (and not because I was getting married either, because I just felt blah!).  I was loving the immediate feeling after working out, that feeling though is hard to remember when you are trying to drag yourself out of bed to exercise.  My weight didn’t budge one bit, but my body was changing.  But all that fell in a heap after the wedding, now I’m too scared to get on the scales.

The other day I borrowed a treadmill off a friend, there will be NO more excuses for not getting off my arse and moving.  The things that bought me to this point though were numerous:

– After Phoebe’s first major tantrum I can remember (it was a bloody good one too that lasted a full hour of her screaming and crying like I was stabbing her in the eyes or cutting off her legs with a steak knife) which just so happened to conicide with my first walk in ages with her in the pram.  At this point, I realised I could no longer rely on her to come with me and be 100% angel like.  So how the hell was I going to fit in exercise?

– The moment when I had dressed up a little, did my hair (which I normally put no effort into at all) and made-up my face, which is also very rare but made me feel so pretty, even a little hot (I strutted like I was hot).  Hot until I looked back at a photo and realised that what I saw when I walked out the door that day and what the camera saw were two totally different things!

– When I finally succumbed to buying my first ever pair of high wasited stretchy jeans (which I must say I rock) and coming to terms with the fact that my body shape will NEVER be the same as it was pre-Phoebe.  This is not me giving up on trimming down, rather realising I can but my body just isn’t going to be that of when I was young.

– The fact that I just feel shit-house really!  Clothes are a little tighter in places that they never were and just feeling blah.

– The cooler weather is not helping the situation really either.  And the fact that I can’t exercise after I eat, which means no walking after dinner alone (plus I am scared of walking the streets in the dark by myself).

So treadmill it is!!  It’s under my pergola, closed in from the elements but I am still able to get my fresh air and fit in exercise at any time of the day I can.  I also have a TV out there which means I can catch up on all my trash TV, yay!!  I have taken my measurements too but I will not be getting on the scales for a while.

How are you going to combat exercising in the colder weather, especially without a gym membership?

Bel x

(I have already used the treadmill a bit and have gone on a power walk, with somes running spurts with a couple of friends)

Tidbit Tuesday

Tuesdays, where you get to find out ‘stuff’ about me!

1.  When I am really super tired or I can’t seem to get to sleep, I always lay on my belly with my head to the right and my hand under it.  I always go straight to sleep but often wake up with pins and needles up my little fingers.

2.  When I hang out the washing, I do it in a very orderly manner (meaning it probably takes more time hanging out but less to bring it in).  Phoebe’s clothes go on a clothes horse, a big one, and everything is hung in categories, like all her tops together, her pajamas in the one spot … you get the jist.  It’s the same for our clothes, I hang hubby’s altogether but in categories (work tops, work pants, normal tops, normal pants) and mine together in the same way.  I used to color code the pegs too, but I’ve given up on that a bit now.

How do you hang your washing, please tell me your are particular about the way you do yours too!!?

Bel x

Camping

I know some of my fondest memories are camping with my family when I was young, sitting by the fire in my little kids camping chair and toasting marshmallows.  Wandering in the bush and building our own cubbies out of sticks and leaves.  Spending time by the water with friends and family.  So it is with great pride I say, I love camping with Phoebe, yes we do it a little more glamoriously now days but the concept is still the same.

Me, soaking in the fresh air and rays.

We are super lucky to have an awesome bunch of friends that we camp with almost all of the time.  Our girls are all around the same age and are growing up together.  We always trek off together, safety in numbers (which we discovered at Christmas last year), help eachother set-up and watch out for all the kids.  Easter is probably one of our favourite trips, although it is short, we pack alot into those few days.

 Phoebe heads off on the Fire Engine.

Good Friday is always spent out on the water, the girls play at the edge with the safety of their life jackets and everyone watching out for them.  The adults take turns skiing or in my case, attempting to ski.  The kids take trips in the boat too and are now all pretty confident when it comes to skiing on their own (kid still, Phoebe calls it scooting).  Hubby bought a canoe this year too, which I really enjoyed, so peacful out there alone on the water.  We set up shades on the banks, eat good food, listen to the radio, catch a couple of zzzz’s and laugh our arses off most of the time.  In the morning, the local Fire Brigade come around to collect money and this year the girls even got to have a ride on the Fire Engine, sirens and all!

 Life jackets are non-negotiable for the kids if they want to play near the water.

Easter Saturday is Pub day, you see, this Easter weekend was originally a boy’s weekend, which started way back when they were at the ripe old age of eighteen, a few years ago though, they decided that with families on the way, we could join in too (gee thanks!).  The girls take the kids down for lunch and then head home to put them down for a nap (and ok, we nap too).  We venture back for dinner, and depending on the year, they either come home with us or stay for longer (hence why I was left to light the fire this year).  During the night, I set up the bunny prints, and also the hunt, I love playing the role of Easter Bunny!

Sunday morning, oh what joy, the Easter Bunny has been!  We all emerge from our tents/caravans at 7:30am and unleash the girls for the hunt.  They run around screaming and collecting eggs, while the Dad’s nurse their sore heads and the Mum’s shake theirs.  Chocolate for breakfast too, which is my fave part!  The caravan park organises a big bunny to visit all the kids and have a photo with him.  We are at the top of the hill, so we can always see him coming.  Each year it is pot luck to see who cries, only one did this year.  We head back to the water again on Sunday, and really enjoy our last full day before we have to pack and leave.

Phoebe and the Easter Bunny, no tears or apprehension this year!

My not-so baby girl skiing all the way out in the lake.

 The girls fight like cats and dogs, but love eachother the next minute.  It is hilarious to watch them play their own little games, have their tiffs and try to sort them out.  Everyone watches out for the kids which is what I love about our group, you know that they are always safe and being watched by someone.  We are usually blessed with the weather too, nothing worse than camping in the rain!

What did you get up to for Easter?  Do you head away alone, or are you lucky to be with great friends like ours?

Bel x

I am woman, hear me roar!

For the first time ever last week, I headed off camping without hubby (he had a big day at work and couldn’t come up til later – there was no way I wanted to arrive at 11pm to set up!).  This meant however I had to tow, for the first time really.  There was no way I wanted to tow the huge van, so plans were made for me to travel up with my bestie and her family, they would tow my van and I would tow their boat.  Genius really that bestie and I also planned for her hubby to take her two eldest girls (five and four) and Phoebe, while we took her youngest aged one (who slept most of the way, which left us lots of time to gossip).

Me and my high-school bestie Nic

So I towed the last little section of the journey (which was one hour out of the four), around a huge mountain (ok, maybe it was more like a hill with a few bends), white knuckled and not letting my eyes avert the road for even a split second to look at the scenery.  We thankfully arrived safely, including her hubby who had to endure Phoebe asking a million and one interesting questions along the way.  Then it was time to set up, alone, all by myself, just me, which I have also never done before.  I knew I would stuff it up somehow, I’d even said so before I left.  Me setting up is like hubby trying to clean our house, he just doesn’t do it exactly the way I would (the right way of course).  So I proceeded to set up, doing a super amazing job, when I eventually ran into trouble and broke the arms at both bed ends.  I seriously somehow snapped the bolt right off.  Now, in hindsight, I should’ve left them, pretended that nothing had happened so that when Hubby set up next time, he would think he had done it.  But I’m a little too honest and let him know, to which he proceeded to give me a lecture and I proceeded to tell him where to go and that I didn’t to get off the line to stuff something else up.

But all was good.  I setup in good time, everything looked the way it should and I was finally able to sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of the night by the fire until he arrived and surveyed the damage.

P.S Ignore the men, they are setting up the communal BBQ (they helped push the van into place though, good job men).

This weekend I also finally managed to stand up skiing (I tried about 3 times for the last two or so years to no avail).  So when I actually got up, however I shit myself, everyone has always focused on helping me get up that they failed to mention what I should do when, if I ever did, so I screamed and let go.

We also came home one night without the boys, to a dark surrounds and a chill in the air.  Cue me, splitting wood in the darkness on the road and lighting the fire of all fires to warm up the insides.

My roaring fire, after it died down a little.

After the weekends end, I realised how many things I did with little or no help (especially from Hubby, who I realise I now come to rely on over the years to help me out).  I am woman, hear me roar!

Stay tuned on Friday for more of our camping adventures.

Bel x

Tidbit Tuesday

Tuesday’s shall be known as “Tidbit Tuesday”, where I will share two things that you may not know about me.  Some will be weird, some wonderful, ok mainly weird.  So pop by on Tuesdays and get to know me a little better x

  • I don’t drink coffee.  In fact, I have never even tried it.  I’m not a fan of the smell, so just haven’t given it a go.  So ask me over for ‘coffee’ or let’s go and catch up for ‘coffee’ but I’ll order a hot chocolate, with some marshmallows on the side – very adult of me!

 

  • Birds, they look beautiful in cages and their singing signals fresh air and freedom.  But if one comes flapping their wings near me, I become a screaming mess.  Picture me in my little office a few weeks back, tapping away on my keyboard only to hear a small thud, then to see a small sparrow flapping around in my office.  Cue hysterical scream, me crawling under my desk and quickly towards the door.  Luckily for me, no parents were lurking outside waiting to pick up their children.

P.S I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you.  Unfortunately, chocolate is my drug and the Easter Bunny is my dealer, I’m trying to allow myself only one egg a day after dinner (except for today, I will have more, I have loads of washing to do and they will get me through it).

Bel x