Monday, 2 October 2017

DIY Feather Wall Hanging


This post is sponsored by Stickeroo

October is my blogs 5th birthday and what better way to celebrate than with a lovely DIY and competition (more on that at the end of the post)

I've seen a number of these lovely feather wall hanging on Pinterest and have also wanted to try one myself. After I was sent some lovely feather stickers by Stickeroo I had the perfect excuse.

The things you'll need:

- a stick (I used a branch off a wattle tree that someone cut down in our complex)
- paint (you can pick up mistinted pots for only $2 at Bunnings)
- stickers
- feathers
- beads
- lace
- whatever you have lying around (I used a heart I made in a pottery class a few years back)
- bakers twine
- needle
- single hole punch (I used it for the stickers so I could thread them with bakers twine)
- sharp scissors (to cut round the stickers a bit more)


Trim the branch to the length you want, I used a hand saw for the first time. If you want to paint the branch give it plenty of time to dry, I left mine in the sun for a few hours, paint it any colour or design you like. 


Once the paint is dry, use the lace and make a double knot on each end of the branch to keep in on there securely. 

Using the bakers twine, thread on your stickers, beads, trinkets etc and attach to the branch in any configuration you care to create, making sure you double knot the twine so it doesn't move along the branch. 


Now find a place to display and enjoy. 

It's as easy as that. 


Stickeroo which has recently launched is an Australian Sticker Printing Company who are proudly Aussie owned and made. They do all their printing locally in Melbourne. They print a whole variety of stickers for companies and businesses, logos as well as custom designs for anyone. The stickers I received were of different types of feathers I found free online. The quality of both black/white and colour printing is amazing, super impressed by it. Their turn around is pretty good and they also offer free postage - can't get better than that. 


So to celebrate my 5 years of blogging, Stickeroo would love to giveaway a voucher for 50 free Die Cut: 5cm by 5cm stickers to one lucky person (Australian residents only) - all you need to do is comment below what would you do with your 50 free stickers. The winner will be picked at random, competition closes 16th of October 2017. 

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

So many questions not enough answers


I get questioned a lot, anything I do in life is pretty much always questioned – Why are you doing that? Why would you want to do that? Why do you like that? Why do you have to be so different? Why do you want to make that? And so on and so forth. Ever since I was a little girl my thoughts and actions have been scrutinised so whenever I want to start something new or try something different or just plain do anything I come up with a list of answers to all the usual questions I get asked.

But you know what I always seem to miss a question, I never have enough answers, there’s always another question and another. I cannot keep up. I find it so tiring always having to be prepped and ready with the answers and sometimes I don’t even know the answers. So how can I give answers if I don’t know them?

I’m starting to realise that I’ll never have all the answers to all the questions because people are always going to doubt me, to question me, to ridicule me and scrutinise me because people will always doubt/question/ridicule/scrutinise themselves. The questions are not personal attacks against me, they are personal attacks against themselves and I’m just the one in the crossfire. Doesn’t make it right or fair at all, it’s not an excuse for the behaviour but it’s a reason for the behaviour. I’m sure myself I’ve done this to others without realising it. We all carry around self-doubt and when it becomes too heavy for us to carry any longer we start throwing it at others in unhelpful ways.

Self-doubt is crippling, I’m full of so much self-doubt, and there have been many missed moments and opportunities in my life because I doubted myself terribly. This is something I’m constantly working on and also how to not let others influence my self-belief too just because they have their own self-belief issues.

Do you get questioned a lot? If so how do you find the answers? Or do you have a way to handle all the questions that get thrown at you? Do you have self-doubt?

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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

September Mindful Style Challenge


I love a good style challenge and I've been missing them lately, I haven't seen them around for awhile so I've decided to create my own for the month of September and I'd love for you to join me.

Style challenges hold a special place and meaning in my life. Back in March 2014 I joined my first one on Instagram through Fox In Flats. I had just had my first miscarriage, I had a terrible infection from the removal and I was in a very low place. I saw the style prompts and thought why not, I need to do something. While the pain (both psychically and emotionally) didn't go away but just for a few minutes everyday, I focused on something else, I had a something to look forward to. Picking out what to wear seems so simple and automatic but in that moment in time it was my lifeline and I'm forever grateful.

Clothes have a way of making us feel so many emotions, they can be both negative and positive. We can feel amazing or we can feel blah, can bring us up high or bring us down low. It might just seem like clothes but as the saying goes "the clothes make the man" and they can make the man/woman feel awesome!!!!

Yes I know clothes are vanity in a way and there is so much going on in the world that's more important but is it really bad if picking out something to wear and sharing it can bring a smile to your face and just make the world feel a little less horrible?

I'd love for you to join in with me next month and celebrate all things happy. You can join for a day, a week, the whole month it's up to you. Interpret the prompts as you like and please use the hashtag #smilesmindfulstyle so I can see what you are all wearing and here's to bringing a little bit more sunshine to our day.

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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Always a student


My beautiful little 15 month old boy Star Boy started swimming lessons back in February this year. Every week since then I have dreaded Tuesday mornings because for 30 minutes straight I’ve had to watch my baby boy cry and scream his way through his lessons in my arms. Most weeks I just wanted to get out of the pool and go home never to return again, cause here was my happy chappy boy becoming a complete mess every time we stepped into that pool.

I did return each week because swimming is a vital skill to have and I don’t want him to miss out on all the fun that comes with swimming as he ages, the beach, pool parties, visits to his cousins’ pool, learning how to backflip into the pool while giving his mother a heart attack, swimming carnivals etc, plus having the skill to swim can help save his life.

Growing up I was always allowed to quit whatever I was doing, the moment it got tough I’d quit and walk away never to try again. I don’t want Star Boy to do the same, I want to teach him that yes things can be hard to learn and it takes time to learn a new skill but it’s worth the fight. It’s taken 24 weeks for him to stop crying during swimming and he now has started to smile, play, clap and enjoy swimming, including giving the instructor a high five at the end of the lesson. He’s still not fussed on being submerged under water yet but recovers straight away (he just needs to learn to close his mouth when going under the water and then he won’t swallow the entire pool).

If I had of walked away over the last 24 weeks Star Boy would have never had learnt how to enjoy the water or swim. By pushing myself I’ve made progress on learning the skill of not quitting myself, so while teaching Star Boy I have also learnt that I’ll never stop being the student.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Taking Stock


July has been an interesting month and August looks like it will be another different month again, so I've taken time to take stock and reflect back.

Original Idea from: Meet Me At Mikes

Making : memories
Cooking : banana choc chip muffins
Drinking : chai tea
Reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – Our Year of Seasonal Eating by Barbara Kingsolver
Trawling: Instagram
Wanting: Calmness of the mind
Looking: at Star Boy’s happy face
Deciding: should I take a nap today
Wishing: to be in the moment more
Enjoying: crumpets with almond butter and cinnamon
Waiting: for the NBN to show up in our area so we can get some internet
Liking: the library reservation button in my online account
Wondering: why do politicians fight instead of running the country
Loving: blowing bubbles with Star Boy
Pondering: why so many kids toys have batteries
Listening: to the radio – Hope 103.2FM (the best)
Considering: trying to make my own hand soup
Buying: bananas
Watching: Arrow Season 3
Hoping: to sleep through the night with no nightmares
Marvelling: at the development of a child
Cringing: every time I hear the news and a politician speaks
Needing: new hankies so I can stop using so many tissues
Questioning: am I doing this life thing right?
Smelling: gingerbread cookies candle
Wearing: trackies and a cozy jumper
Noticing: the flying birds
Knowing: God has my back
Thinking: way too much
Admiring: my husband’s love for both me and Star Boy
Getting: so many library books
Bookmarking: craft ides to do with Star Boy for MJ’s birthday soon & Father’s Day
Opening: A bank account for Star Boy to help give him some money for his future
Closing: off past hurts (well trying to)
Feeling: everything
Hearing: baby laughter at being tickled
Celebrating: naptimes
Pretending: I’ve got the strength for it all
Embracing: myself

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Unknown Grief


A few weeks back over one weekend I become so overwhelmed with sadness, it had been a hard day and I was trying to relax by doing so relaxation yoga before bed. I was fighting back tears, my whole body felt tired and heavy with grief like I was mourning a loss. But what was I grieving? What was causing my bones to ache in despair?

Since becoming a mum a lot of childhood memories having been coming up and reliving themselves in my brain, memories I had long forgotten, memories full of pain and hurt. The grief has been a feeling of a lost childhood, something I’ll never get back. Reliving the pain and hurt of things and situations I had not control or say over whatsoever and realising how much I missed out on growing up. So much stress, pressure and unrealistic expectations that were put onto me and sadly continue to be now at age 32. I do not pity myself but I feel a deep sadness at having missed out on a relaxed and carefree childhood.

I know I cannot change the past but I can change the future by learning from the past and making things better for the next generation. I can provide chances and opportunities for Star Boy to have a happier life and less mental beat-up than what I went through. I can do my best to give him that relaxed/carefree childhood he deserves.

I never realised how much motherhood can affect a person and the emotions that it can evoke. I will continue sit with my emotions at this time and learn what needs to be learnt and hopefully one day be able to heal from this and transform into something new. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

What do I really want?


What do I really want? 

- I want to feel content in myself
- I want to enjoy myself without the constant mind chatter
- I want to believe in myself more
- I want to stop being so darn hard on myself
- I want to know that I am a good mother/wife and actually believe it
- I want to stop doubting and second guessing myself
- I want to speak my truth
- I want to be able to stand up to my parents
- I want to sleep through the night without nightmares
- I want to enjoy sex more
- I want to help others feel good about themselves
- I want to feel good about myself
- I want to publish a book
- I want to make money from writing
- I want to be proud of myself
- I want to accept myself for who I am
- I want to be LOVE!

What do you really really want?

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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Doing the unexpected


I'm a creature of habit, I like to stay cozy in my little world and not disrupt it too much. But I shocked myself this past week when I signed up to an app called Mush (not sponsored just sharing a story).

Mush is an app to help mums to meet other mums in their area. You make a profile about yourself and your child and see what other mums live close by and you can connect and catch up for coffee or playdates etc.

I signed up last Sunday (I saw it on the Mother's Day advertising in the app store) and by the next morning I got a message from a mum who live only 4 streets away. We organised to meet up and take our kids to the park. I have never done anything like this in my life before and I was so nervous and couldn't actually believe that I was doing this (my anxiety started having a field day inside my brain). I keep saying to myself "what are you thinking? you don't do this kind of stuff, who do you think you are? you're so silly". But you know what I am glad that I did, I got out of the house and talked to someone I normally would have never met and had a conversation with another adult (which doesn't happen often).

I was so proud of myself for pushing through my limiting beliefs about myself and did something way out of my comfort zone and proved to myself that just cause I'm an introvert and have anxiety doesn't mean I cannot socialise or meet new people.

So does this mean I'll try my hand at public speaking next? Ha ha no but I will be trying to challenge myself to just step outside my little box every now and then cause you never know what might happen.

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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Not mine to hold


This year has been a stressful and demanding year so far, both my depression and anxiety have really been playing up and causing chaos in my head. My psychologist even suggested me going onto anti-depressants and that scared me as I’ve always tried so hard to not need them (I do believe they are helpful and have a place but I’m not ready to go there yet). I’m currently using St John’s Wort which does help a little but one of my biggest issues is I’m an empath and I feel what others are feeling around me. I’m a giant magnetic and seem to suck all the negative energy into my system like a drowning swimmer gasping for air. I can be in the best of moods then boom one word or look from someone and I’m gone. It annoys the crap out of me.

To try and avoid having to go on anti-depressants I’ve started trying to do yoga, meditation and journaling daily to help me stay centred and mindful. Through the process of this over the past few weeks I’ve started to get some real insights into my behaviour. I've realised that I feel responsible for how others feel, if they are sad or angry I feel it’s my need to help them with that, it’s my responsibility to make them happy. But the truth of the matter it isn’t my responsibility at all, I’m not the one in control of their moods and behaviours – they are – all I am in control of is my moods and behaviours.

Someone else’s reactions/behaviour is not a reflection on me – my reactions/behaviour is a reflection of me. How I response to others is all I can control, as the saying goes “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react”. It’s not my job to make others happy – yes don’t go do things to make them upset on purpose but I cannot make someone happy or take their pain and hurt away. They are the only ones that can do that, they are the ones with the responsibility to do that. Their moods and behaviours are separate from me they are not mine to hold.

When I wrote that down the other day “they are not mine to hold” my body instantly felt relaxed as if someone had come and taken a huge heavy backpack of my shoulders. There’s a certain family member that brings me down a lot and I’ve always wanted to do whatever I could to make them better but “they are not mine to hold” – I cannot do the work for them only they can. Yes I can love them and care about them but I cannot no matter how much I want to, be the one in control of their mood and behaviour. What a relief but also what a sadness as they don’t want to make themselves better.

Who’s moods and behaviours do you take on and feel responsible for?

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Friday, 28 April 2017

Letter to Star Boy


Dear Star Boy,

It's been just over a year since you hurtled into our lives and turned our world upside down, you showed us what it meant to love. Your cheeky smiles, crazy hair and constant babbling are the best sights and sounds in the world. You drive us both crazy and have us in fits of laughter all in the space of the same minute.

What an awesome ride this past year has been, with you growing and changing every day and learning new things all the time with us having to grow and change and learn along with you, like the time I learnt that no matter how desperate you are for the bathroom do not leave the shopping on the floor unless you want raw egg smashed into the carpet.

Your daddy and I love infinity times infinity, we didn't even know you could love like this. You are a beautiful little Star Boy sent from heavens above and we are grateful to God every day for choosing us to be your parents. God is going to help you achieve wonderful things in your life darling and He'll guide you every step of the way, always remember to lean into Him and trust He'll show you the way.

Our arms will always be open for you gorgeous boy no matter where life takes you.

Happy 1st birthday honey bunny

Love Mumma and Daddy xoxo

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Monday, 17 April 2017

I hate food


I hate food!!!!

There I said it, those words came out of my mouth - well, yes technically out of my fingers onto the keyboard but you get the gist.

I'm over eating food, thinking about it, planning it, buying it, the works. I wish I never had to eat again.

I'm so tired of thinking about what to eat, what to feed myself, my husband and my son. What to cook for dinner, what to eat for lunch, what to have as a snack.

Please tell me there is someone else out there that feels the same way? Are there other people out there that are just so over food they'd be happy if they never had to eat again?

Everyday I need to work out what to feed Star Boy, who pretty much just turns his nose up at anything that isn't meat or porridge and just throws his food across the table or onto the floor. When he refuses to eat one thing I'm trying to rack my brain what to try him with next and then when that is inevitably refused as well so I'm onto the next item of food to contemplate and workout. By the time I've done all this I've got no energy to think about eating myself as I'm so stressed out from picking up toast crusts and egg bits from the floor and scrubbing Vegemite out of the carpet.

Life would be so much simpler if food didn't get in the way, just imagine how much extra time we would all have and the extra cash in our pockets too, it would be awesome. But I will admit there is nothing quite like the feeling of eating a bowl full of fresh raspberries and admiring their lovely red jewelness, or the smell of a roast chicken baking in the oven on a weekend evening and oh who could live without the stickiness of fresh homemade sticky date pudding.

So maybe food isn't that bad but it would be nice if we didn't have to think so darn hard about it for so many hours of the day and it would be fantastic if an 11 month old ate the damn food you gave him instead of sticking in underneath his butt for you to peel off his clothes later.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Isolation


Check my phone for the billionth time – really it’s only 1:32pm there’s still 5 hours to go. I’m covered in spit, snot and sweat and none of it my own, my legs are full of scratches and there’s rice stuck in my hair. As I put my phone down there’s a little face staring up at me smiling, well now he’s crying cause he slipped on his little book and face planted into the carpet. “It’s okay sweetie, mumma’s got you” – now I can add tears to the list of today’s fluids on me (the wee came later in the night).

So much energy in such a little package – no energy left inside the mumma package. I adore and cherish this little munchkin and love him to bits, but some days I just don’t want to adult anymore. I want to sleep in (well try as sleep escapes me – the kid sleeps better than I), focus on a task for longer than 30 seconds, I want someone to talk to me about anything and everything not just ask me how the baby is going and then walk away.

I love being a mumma and I cherish every moment with my little Star Boy however I was never prepared for the isolation that comes with it. All day alone, no breaks, no communication with the outside world, trapped like a rat in a maze. The struggles are hard: try communicating with the outside and you’re shut down, ignored, told to be grateful and suck it up. I know there’s nothing that can be said to make it all better but a listening ear can make you feel less alone and at least heard.

We cannot function as a sole unit and we need community to survive so why do we except parents to do it alone, why do we offer up “support” in forms of “just deal with it”, “oh get over it all children are like that”, “be grateful for what you have after all you struggled to get this one” (that’s the one that hurts the most especially coming from family). Ok I know we cannot fix the problem as yes all kids have their “jerk” moments where you are just so over it all you want to do is tie them to the chair and let them watch Thomas the Tank Engine all day. Most of us know you cannot say anything that will make it easier as parenting is a tough job and words cannot magically take away the struggle so why don’t we instead just be a friend and listen or talk about other things happening in the world that doesn’t involve the child. It’s actually nice to have other conversations.

Words cannot save us alone only connection can.

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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

The tryhards guide to being eco – clothes


Welcome back to part three of my tryhards eco guide - today we will be tackling the topic of clothes.

Clothes – we all wear them and we all need them, they keep us descent, warm and cool. They talk and tell the world who we are and what our personalities are like without us having to open our mouths. But clothes also make a big impact and dent on the environment and the people who make them (plus our credit cards).

Today in our fast fashion world we have new styles and trend every few weeks, we have shops where you buy a shirt today and it’s replaced by something new next month. Yes that bargain $10 special you’ve got it awesome and you’re going to wear it all the time but will you really when there will always be another sale and another bargain to be had out there?

What went into making that item? Was the maker fairly treated, did they get a fair wage? Was the environment affected in anyway? How much water was used in the production method? What chemicals were used? Cotton is one of the most chemically treated plants out there.

But we all need clothes and we all have budgets, so what are we to do? We need to shop smart. Here are some of tricks I use: 

Shop secondhand

I love me a good op-shop, it’s amazing what you can find there. My best purchase was a pair of vintage Dolce and Gabbana sunnies for only $25 with a tag still on them – so never worn. This is a great way of recycling as most of us don’t ever wear clothes till they are falling apart anymore so you can find new items still with tags on. Even if they have been worn you can get some stains out with a good soak and easily sew on a new button or fix a ripped seam. Always have a look as there’s always a hidden gem somewhere. Also if your friends wear the same size clothes as you, do a clothes swap or check out Round She Goes markets as well.

Upcycle

Upcycle what you already own – if you are bored with some of your current clothes cut them up and create them into something new and one of a kind (which is always a nice feeling). Pinterest is an upcyclers heaven filled with so many wonderful ideas.

Sales

If you don’t have a very big budget to buy organic or more environmentally friendly clothes watch out for sales. Blessed Earth is always having different sales on and you get a great bargain on something that you need. I got a pair of organic yoga pants for only $8 once.

Need verses Want

Really look at what you need as you’ll realise you don’t really need all that much clothing as you think you do. We are so programmed to want and want and want that we forget we only need so little.

Baptist World Aid

If you need certain clothing and you cannot find it secondhand or on sale at environmentally friendly place in your budget check out Baptist World Aid Behind the Barcode for stores that are trying to do a little better by the planet and the workers.

Shop your wardrobe

You’ll be surprised how many outfits you can get out of your wardrobe already just using a little bit of imagination. Instagram is full of so many different style challenges and you’ll start looking at your wardrobe so differently and start pairing up items you never would have thought about in the first place. I love partaking in these challenges most months and it’s really helped me see my clothes from a different perspective.

Go without

This one sounds drastic but it’s not really, most of the time you don’t really need that extra pair of shoes when you already have 20 others in the wardrobe. It goes back to need verses want, you only need so little to get by in life and yes it’s nice to have new things and there’s nothing wrong with that but really think before you buy and most of the time you don’t really need to buy.

Do you have any tips to share on how you shop for clothes? 

Our next part of the series I’ll be covering how to be eco with children. 

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Hold onto life


This post is in partnership with YouthSuicide

Suicide – most people don’t want to mention it, let alone talk about it but did you know that there are over 70,000 suicide attempts every year in Australia alone and out of those attempts nearly 2,500 succeed, leaving behind hurting friends and family.

It’s not easy to admit that you are feeling suicidal as there’s such a stigma surrounding it – “oh you’re so self-centred, there are so many people worse off than you, just get over it”. The depression that you feel when you are suicidal is so intense and so draining that you just want the pain in your head, heart and body to just stop and you feel like you are doing your friends and family are service by leaving them.

Between 2003 – 2005 I couldn’t count the amount of attempts I took to end my life, my depression and anxiety were so overwhelming it took all my energy just to keep going. It was crippling, voices telling me I wasn’t worth the space on this earth and after years of bullying at school and being personally violated, it all just built up too much and crash tackled me to the floor. I ended up having to leave my job at a medical centre after I tried to take the out-of-date medication.

It was hard to find help as I believed that there was something wrong with me and didn’t want to be judged by anyone. Friends looked the other way pretending everything was going fine and at home I struggled to get anyone to understand how I was feeling, my mum did try to help by suggesting finding a psychologist to talk to. It’s easy to feel alone and the Internet wasn’t what it’s like today with access to helpful resources like YouthSuicide where you can be directed to helpful tools, carelines and websites (wish I had this back then).

My boyfriend (now husband) told me one day that “life is hard, it goes up and it goes down but you are here for a reason and you can hold on.” By finding a great psychologist, herbal medication and working bloody hard on personal development I did hold on. I do still have moments of darkness (thankfully no more suicidal thoughts) but I know I can hold on and know there is more to life than this moment, it’s worth the fight and it can be done.

Life isn’t always easy but it’s such a beautiful mess that it’s worth holding on to – so please hold on to it, you’re worth it.

If you are struggling please reach out and get help – YouthSuicide is one place to start.

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Monday, 16 January 2017

Post Holiday Blues


Today my husband went back to work after a lovely 3 weeks off over the Christmas/New Year period. It was wonderful having him around and getting to spend time together as a little family of 3. We didn't go away or anything just stayed around home and did a few little adventures here and there. I loved having the company during the day and that extra pair of hands with Star Boy.

Well it's now back to normal routine and I've got the post holiday blues (it's an actual thing - Google it) and I've got them bad. I do enjoy spending time with my son but it does get really lonely all day by myself and sometimes quite trying when Star Boy is having a difficult moment (like teething at present - poor kid).

I know my husband has to go back to work as how else do we live as we need money to survive. I'll get over it but for now I feel blah and I'm just going to sit with that while Star Boy plays on the floor in just a nappy and t-shirt as I cannot be bothered to fight pants onto him - it's hard enough to fight a nappy onto him let alone pants.

How do you survive the post-holiday blues? Got any tips?

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