Friday, 23 September 2016

Spring Bucket List

Spring is pretty much the best time of the year on the Gold Coast, the weather is beautiful and clear without being too hot and humid so its the perfect time to get out and about.

We're almost a month down for Spring and we're away for 2 weeks in November so I'm not leaving myself much time to complete a Spring bucket list but here goes nothing:

1. Get to the beach - to swim, to play and just enjoy it. We live only 15 mins from some of the World's best beaches but we just don't seem to get there much. Not sure if the sand puts me off - through the car, the house and every crevice in between, or the amount of gear we have to lug along or if its just the thought of chasing a screeching CB across hot sand trying to apply sunscreen. Anyway, we need to get to the beach.

2. Halloween. We've never really done anything to celebrate the holiday/season/whatever it is but I do love (obsessed with) the movie, Hocus Pocus, and the boys love a good dressup so I want to try and get a couple of girlfriends and their children (and husbands - to watch the kids) together for a Halloween party. A good excuse to actually make some of the grown up drinks I keep pinning on Pinterest - for the adults only of course.

3. Spring clean! It wouldn't be a Spring bucket list without this one. I'm talking architraves, skirting boards, windows including screens and tracks, wardrobe culls, the roof and guttering, wash the lounge covers, replace the lounge room curtains and sort out our garage which has become a dumping ground for the masses of trucks and ride ons the boys have accumulated.

4. Seaworld. We have passes to all the theme parks, we just never seem to make it to Seaworld despite it being a favourite. Probably because its a total PITA to get to thanks to nightmarish traffic conditions around the area. That aside, its on the list and we need to get there as the boys love seeing the Ninja Turtles and the marine animals.

5. Buy fresh flowers weekly to enjoy more often - no need for a special occasion.

6. Picnics, lots of picnics and fish and chips in the park at dusk.

7. BBQs with friends. We love to entertain, we just have to be better at actually organising events.

8. Fly a kite. We've never done this with the boys - although we must have intended to as we have 2 kites floating around somewhere.

9. Go to an outdoor movie / open air cinema. There are a few locally so I'll have to find a date and get on it.

10. Feed the ducks - but first I'll need to find a pond with ducks ... or maybe not, they're aggressive creatures and scare me - maybe I can find a pond and send S with the boys?

11. Plant a vegetable garden ... might be one to assign to the green thumb father in law as I'm not known for my ability to keep plants living. I'm an accomplished plant murderer sadly, I even killed a succulent in less than 2 weeks - still trying to figure out how.

12. Bubbles, ice blocks and water play in the yard - the boys favourite things.

13. Camp out in the yard with the boys. E would love this adventure.

14. Take as many pictures as I can, and especially of the boys and I - I want photos they can look back on that actually have me in them.

15. Go on local adventures to new places - farms, new places to eat, find different parks, places to swim.

Wish us/me luck!

Thursday, 21 July 2016

I confess...

My ongoing confessions to a not so perfect life:


I live for wine o'clock aka 5 o'clock for non-mummas. Pouring that glass right before getting the boys in the bath makes everything seem so much easier. Although, I rarely get to drink it until the boys are bathed dressed and watching bedtime shows ... but its just having it there that I find reassuring.

I used to wash my hair daily. Then I had kids. Its a slippery slope and now I'm down to once a week, sometimes twice if I have something on for work. Gross I know.

I'm cheap, (or spoilt by my hairdresser) but as much as I love my hair (despite irregular washing), I bring myself to pay a fortune on having it done. My hairdresser was away recently and I had an event where I needed an updo. I rang around and after the cheapest quote of $75 for a high ponytail, I had my sis research pinterest and fumble something together - she did a pretty great job. Note: my HD charges me $30 for any kind of updo! I know, ridiculously cheap, see why I can't spend more than $50.

I'm a plant killer. Like can't even keep basil alive plant killer. I'm determined to change this though and was recently convinced to by a real Fiddle Leaf Fig for indoors (instead of the plastic one I was leaning towards). One week in and its still alive - babysteps.

C still needs to be bounced to sleep some nights in his Baby Bjorn bouncer (thank goodness they are long). Do I like, no. Does it get him to sleep with minimal fuss, yes. Choose your battles I say.

The boys have developed an obsession with 2 minute noodles. I know they are not a well-rounded wholesome meal but meh, I had them many a night for dinner (by choice) growing up so I let them too. 

But you know what? 
I'm a really great mumma to E and C and a really great wife to S.
I'm not perfect but they don't need perfect, 
they just need me, imperfections and all.

What are your confessions to a less than perfect life ...

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

I confess ...

My ongoing confessions to a not so perfect life:


I'm sad that my husband no longer has a regular sports night or boys night to go to every week. I know most wives prefer the extra set of hands for dinner bath bed but I would love my own company one night a week to watch trashy tv and eat popcorn for dinner once the boys are in bed.

I am doing an exercise program run by the Bachie, Sam Wood. I  never watched The Bachelor but some girlfriends got me on to his 28 exercise program and I'm loving it ... but I haven't shared the Bachie connection to it with anyone yet. 

I bribeE to eat all the fruit in his lunchboxes by adding just 3 Allens Jelly Tots to the treat compartment. If he doesn't eat all his fruit, no lollies the next day. Let me tell you, those teeny tiny jellies are prime negotiating tools. 


I'm over the washing grind. Sort, wash, dry, fold, put away. Especially as S doesn't even bother putting his clean clothes away... its all he has to do in the process but no, they sit in a neat folded pile in front of his side of the wardrobe for weeks until they end up back in the wash. So I've taken a stand and while it is killing my OCD, I'm leaving them there. Oh, and I'm not even turning his clothes in the right way before folding. Its my petty protest.

My car is a tip at the moment. Wrappers, odd shoes (mine and the boys), drink bottles, paper, random happymeal (shhhh) toys, bags of things to donate or take to kindy/mums/sisters, sand/crumbs everywhere and not to mention the outside could use a clean too.

My littlest kid spent 4 mins in time out this morning in his cot. He is out of control crazy hysterical lately and S had to leave early for work today. After 15 mins of him screaming at my feet or attacking his brother while I was getting ready, I put him in the cot in time out. Every 5 mins or less I went in and was told 'go way, out!' so I went on with my makeup etc.
When it came time to change him including nappy, he fought me tooth and nail and was deposited with much relief (by me) at his grandmother's in a nappy, long sleeve tee and nothing else. I admit, I gave up this morning and needed my mama to come to the rescue - which she did thankfully.

But you know what? 
I'm a really great mumma to E and C and a really great wife to S.
I'm not perfect but they don't need perfect, 
they just need me, imperfections and all.

What are your confessions to a less than perfect life ...

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Traveling with Children - Tokyo, Japan - part 1, The Planning

Japan is possibly S and my favourite place in the whole World together. We have both traveled, S far more extensively than I having grown up a British citizen and Air Force brat, but there is something magical and mystical and oh so fun about Japan. We spent our honeymoon there, complete with the biggest earthquake ever felt and we traveled back again 6 months after the EQ to finish said honeymoon that was cut short.

I've dreamed of heading back ever since our last visit but 2 children under 4, a mortgage, renovations, work etc and the timing (and finances) was just never right. Until a few weeks ago when Jetstar had one of their amazing flight sales. I saw the advertisement and ran some dates for fun. When the results returned that the 4 of us could fly to Tokyo return for under $1,600 incl. baggage, I text S and it went a little some thing like 'Ummmm how much do we have to spare right now? Japan for 4 of us $1,566' complete with shocked emoji and a screenshot of my summary.
We went back and forth with dates for a few texts and then he sent the magic words, 'Just do it' ... I may have cried happy tears.

We always said Japan would be a perfect place to holiday with children, even when we were there honeymooning and now we are actually going. We are both so excited at the prospect of making some unforgettable memories with our boys and to be sharing our love of this beautiful country with them.

Of course I now can't think of anything else and have gone into overdrive with my planning ... we also filled E in on the excitement and I'm not sure now if he or I will last the 6 months till we go, especially after we also mentioned the magic word 'Disneyland'. I've had to make a countdown calendar for the poor kid to cross off daily with pictures of airplanes, Disney, Mt Fuji etc on the days of our travel.

I'm having so much fun researching a family holiday and have learnt so much more about Japan that we never even came across on our previous trips. I've already worked out a basic itinerary (that includes 3 days at Disney of course) and have lists a mile long of things to do and places to see. The only painful part is booking accommodation at the moment as you can't book more than 6 months out for most places in Japan so I'm watching the calendar carefully so we can lock in some of the high demand places asap - the main one being Tokyo Disneyland Hotel which is prohibitively expensive but we think a worthy splurge for our convenience and to make our visit truly memorable for the whole family.

My only concern for this trip is the flight with C. I know E will be a dream with the ipad and few activities and books but C on the other hand is a wild one. He hates being restrained, is rarely quiet and has a very short attention span. I won't lie here, I've considered upgrading myself and leaving S up back with the two boys - but that's probably not the best way to start a family holiday. I guess the best I can do is just immerse myself in planning and hope he settles down in the next 6 months like everyone keeps promising me he will.

So, any tips or trips for packing for Tokyo Winter, flying with children, travelling with children and specifically Disney & Tokyo with children? I'll take anything.



Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wish list

My current wish list looks something like this...


Wish list


1. New sheets for our bed ... nothing beats fresh linen in a high thread count.

2. Victoria's Secret Mayfair pjs are my all-time favourite pajamas and I love the swiss dot flamingo print.

3. Inflatable gold swan for Summer - even though its now Winter.

4. Artis makeup brush set . I've only just discovered these and I NEED them in my life. Now to justify the price.

5. Prada sunglasses - I have a pair in tortoise shell and am in need of some basic black.

6. A new Oroton wallet. I love Oroton for their quality. I buy a new one every 2-3 years and love the size of their zip arounds for everyday use.

7. Beauty Blender sponge. Its a cult I hear and once you try it, you will never use anything else for makeup application.

8. Scholl Velvet Smooth Foot File. My feet are so dry and nothing I do seems to help that so I want to give this a go.

9. Glasshouse Rendezvous candle. I may have already added this one to my extensive collection.

10. Rag & Bone black Newbury boots. Late to the party on these but my Winter wardrobe needs them - or a good dupe.

Monday, 16 May 2016

A snapshot

It seems a lifetime ago that I was documenting every week of my first pregnancy then every month of Es life. Cue second pregnancy and the posts were slightly less regular and monthly B2 updates virtually nonexistent. 
I loved reading similar posts by fellow bloggers so much and I loved documenting the little details I would have all but forgotten in the whirlwind that is #mumlife with two little boys.
This is a teeny tiny snapshot of the boys right now ...


Ethan at 3 years 11 months
A beautiful little soul, E is already such a gentleman. Kind, so so so empathetic and intuitive, he makes my heart melt almost everytime he opens his mouth. 
He wants to know everything, has endless questions about the World and his imagination is magical. 'Tell me about the birds mama, all the birds' as he pulls up a seat next to me and looks expectant. And he remembers everything!
He loves puzzles, monster trucks, dinosaurs and building creations with Duplo. Much to daddy's delight, he is also obsessed with Star Wars and knows all the characters ... he also walks around the house humming the theme music.
He is always going on an adventure complete with 'accessories' and appropriate dress-up.
He loves to read, snuggle and kisses me through the front windscreen when I leave for work in the mornings, telling me to be good.
His vocabulary blows my mind, I don't know where he learns so many big words and he always uses them in context.
His favourite foods are homemade pizza, lasagne and 'bisotto' (my homemade risotto), milkshakes and chocolate - he's a sugar fiend which makes us laugh as S and I can take or leave chocolate and sweets.
He loves to watch Dino Dan, Peter Pan (Disney), Star Wars (the original 3) and Curious George.
He still lets me choose his clothes but mostly insists on dressing himself.
He loves kindergarten, has a big circle of friends and beautiful manners.

Charles aka Chuck aka Charley Bear at 2 years old
My wild one, self named 'Yuck and 'Yarles. He is a tornado and then some. I am constantly walking into rooms to finding him standing on stools or leaping off the armchair calling 'watch out'. Danger baby, this kid climbs anything he can and has no fear.
He loves stomping around in S' basketball shoes or my heels or careening around corners with his 'bubba' in the toy stroller.
He is funny, so so funny and he knows it with the cheekiest brightest grin I'm sure I've ever seen. 
He is a snuggly boy, always launching himself into my arms calling 'cuddle, cuddle' and loves resting back on me, pulling up his top and saying 'muuuumeee tickle tickle 'nummy' (tickle his tummy).
He loves watching The Wiggles, Teletubbies (for the Sun baby) and In the Night Garden - he points at the TV in the morning calling 'Wiggles, Piggle, I watch'.
He is fiercely independent and everything is 'I will do it' including dressing himself.
Lasagne, 'yoclat (chocolate), strawberries & cake are all favourites to eat.
I hear 'Goooo waaaayyy' alot if he doesn't get what he wants 
He loves to play with animal figures, his Chewbacca plush and is obsessed with real life birds and geckos.
Constantly keeping us guessing and on our toes, he can have me at my wit's end before giving me a smile that has me thinking he's the cutest kid I've ever seen.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Master bedroom renovating

Master bedroom



It feels like the World's slowest master bedroom renovation ever but in fairness, we've only been in our house for 12 months and there has been many more important tasks to tackle given we can comfortably sleep in the spare bedroom ... I'm looking at you spackled paint halls and '80's archways to name just a few projects. But finally our master has crept almost to the top of the 'to do' list and we are making (slow) progress. 

The master itself is a huge job as it needs a new wardrobe built in and fitted, walls prepped and painted and all new flooring... so not quite your five minute fix.

In happy news for me, our wardrobe is nearing its final stages and I am literally itching to get my our things sorted, culled and neatly put away, seasonal/colour/style coded of course. I played a big role in decided on the fit out design and we are making the most of the space with two columns of shelves/drawers, two sections of double hanging, one section of long hanging and another column of shelves plus the bulkhead shelf that runs the length... one day I'll have a walk-in again but until then, this should work.

The whole room will be painted natural white and it already gets lots of natural light (so I'll be getting some plantation shutters in as soon as possible as both a feature and to block the light when necessary) and the flooring we are still debating. We would like to do the whole house in ash coloured wood grain planks when we do the kitchen renovation however my cousin is a carpet layer and can do the room for us in charcoal carpet now for next to nothing. I'm tempted to just go with this as the rest of the flooring is still a way off. 

We bought a new grey upholstered king size bed with gas lift and underneath storage - perfect hiding spot for Christmas presents and space bags of Winter gear - and I would like to find either a vivid colourful piece of art to hang above the bed, that or a long picture ledge that I can change up as often as I like.

I haven't decided on bedsides yet but I think I want side tables over drawers as I find they tend to accumulate junk. I love the Freedom spaghetti tables but of course they are from many seasons ago so hopefully they bring out something similar again soon.

For lighting, I'd love a chandelier but a fan really is a necessity on the Gold Coast so down lights it is but I had the bright idea we should hang pendants over the bedsides rather than bother with lamps taking up space (and of course bought them straight away). It looks like they aren't going to work though thanks to the ideal bed positioning and location of the air conditioning uni :(

I have the small desk pictured to use a dressing table with a ghost chair under the wall mounted TV but I'm still questioning whether we should go with a tall boy instead. I guess it will ultimately depend on how much I cram into the wardrobe when its finished.

I'll post pics when it is actually completed (trust me, its a war zone right now).