Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So I have been slack at drawing giveaways again this last fortnight! Sorry.

Anyhow, I finally drew the Animal People giveaway... and the winner is

Congrats Jess! I will email you in the morning!

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Wordless Wednesday

My birtday cake...

I am linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

It's My Birthday And I'll Spoil You If I Want To!

So today I turned 26. B got home at 630am and I could hear him sneaking around the house getting the kids ready. They all came bounding into to bedroom at 7am yelling Happy Birthday and dropping gifts on me.

The celebrations were wrapped up quickly so that B could go to bed seeing as he has been at work all night, but apparently there is something else planned for later today...
No, I didn't get these flowers, but I think I am goig to have to hunt out a Peonies bush to plant in my garden so I have flowers like this in my house!

I do feel older this morning but I think that has something to do with the fact that I have a throat infection...

Anyhow, so because it is my birthday I thought I would have a surprise giveaway. You won't know what the gift is until you receive it! Just like on your birthday. To enter all you need to do is tell me what you love to do on your birthday. Entries will close at 5pm AEST on Sunday the 4th of December and I'll draw the winner that night.

So go on, what do you love to do on your birthday??

{Image credit}
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McFatty Monday

For a while now I have had enough with my weight. I now weigh the most I have ever weighed except for at the end of one of my pregnancies where I carried that much fluid I started to resemble an elephant...

Anyhow, I can't give you an exact weight as my scales have died, but the last time I weighed myself I was around 85kgs that was about a month ago. That is 30kgs more than I would like to be and 15kgs more than I weighed when B and I got married 3 and a half years ago. And if I want to reminisce some more it is also 25kgs more than when I got pregnant with Caden almost 6 years ago. So yeah, I am over being fat, I am over using my anti-depressants as an excuse for my weight, and I am sick of not being able to wear my all time favourite jeans.

A few weeks ago I was sent some products to trial and review. Those products were Body Science Body  for Women products, and it was good timing really. I needed something to help kick start me on my journey. They came with an eating plan as well. And I followed it as much as I could but had to change a few things as there is no way I can eat Tuna... I have tried in the past and just can't get past the smell.

I can't tell you how much weight I have lost, but I can tell you that I have noticed that my clothing is fitting better and that in some cases they are getting loose. I am planning on sticking with the Body Science Body for Women to help me on my journey. As you can see from the Eating Plan below, you aren't replacing all your meals with the products, just a few here and there and that works for me as that is one of my problems in a sense that I either forget to eat or run out of time as I am rushing out the door with the kids.

By being able to have the snacks in my handbag or pantry I can eat them on the go and not be tempted by other options.

Have you tried meal replacements before? Do you like them or loathe them?

Every Monday I plan on giving you an update on how I am going. This means that I am accountable to someone other than myself. Next week I will start hosting a linky too. So if you want to either join me on my weight loss journey, or want to talk about healthy living and exercise, please feel free to link up.
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oh That's Pinteresting- The Blythe Doll Edition

I have blogged before about our love of Blythe Dolls. They can be a little odd at times, but always enchanting.

I am in no way obsessed with them, unlike some people. But if money were no object we would certainly be adding to our collection faster then we are. We have two Blythe Dolls at the moment, meet Mango and Gauva.

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

I have a few on my to buy list, but they will be spaced out. We wont be adding any to our collection until next year sometime.

And when I went to pinterest to figure out which pins I wanted to share with you, well it was a little hard to narrow down...

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

What you think of Blythe Dolls before? Do you think they are freaking or cute? 

What have you been pinning a lot of lately?

I am linking up with Tina today for Oh, That's  and 5 Minutes Just For Me. Pop on over and check out what everyone has been pinning!

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'd like you to meet...

... Pokoyo

The kids found him sitting in the curtains this morning. He has a birds eyes view of everything in the house!
Pokoyo is our Elf on a Shelf. He moved in with us yesterday and we will be farewelling him on the 24th of December. Already he has become a valued member of our home. I am sure I will miss him when he is gone!

Have you got your own Elf on a Shelf? I only just found out about their existence last month.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm grateful for...

AIR-CONDITIONERS! In particularly mine!

I know I was shouting but this week has been so bloody hot that we have had to resort to the use of them A LOT!

I will be hunting through the shed tomorrow to find anything that resembles a wadding pool and setting it up for the kids. It is weather like this that makes me wish we had a money tree so we could put a pool in. I have a feeling we would live in it if we did!

Has it been hot in your part of the world this week? What are you doing to keep cool?

What are you grateful for this week?

I am linking up with Maxabella Loves for her I'm Grateful For linky. Pop on over and join in on the fun!

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Things I'm Loving

I haven't written a Things I'm Loving post for a few weeks, things have been crazy busy here and I haven't had a chance to stop and take stock and reflect on what I'm loving at the moment.


So here are just a few things that I'm loving today.

I'm loving the Caden and Mahli are coming along leaps and bounds in their swimming. They are just doing so well and are enjoying themselves in the process- No photo's of that, people get all funny about cameras at public pools...

I am loving that B and I got to go away last week and spend two whole days and nights being us and not Mum and Dad. Wish I could say we came home rested, but Melbourne is one big city and we walked... A LOT.

I am loving that at the Bloggers Brunch last week, they sung happy birthday to 6 of us and gave us cupcakes. We even got to blow out candles... okay, I was a little embarrassed by it, but it was a great gesture!
Add caption

I am loving this necklace that I made the other day. It is a pay-it-forward gift, but I think I need to make one for myself.

And I am loving that I am finally putting together a new blog that I have been dreaming of for a while. It should be all up and running next week sometime! I am looking for contributors too, so if you think you might be interested shoot me and email. I'd love to chat!

What are you loving at the moment?

I am linking up with Paisley Jade for Things I'm Loving.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

{Guest Post} Why I don’t sign my blog with my full name #SpeakOut

I wasn’t going to speak out. I'd rather have forgotten.

I wasn’t going to read any of your posts either. But I did. They made me cry. They also made me realise that some of you didn’t want to tell your stories either. But sometimes stories have to be told. So here is mine.

When people ask me how I ended up in Australia I usually try changing the topic as quickly as possible. I came here because of a guy. I met him while I was working in the US. I should have seen the signs then. I think I did. But I followed him to Australia anyway.

I was in a new country where I knew no one. He told me he didn’t want me to talk about our relationship to my friends and family. He felt that it was something between me and him and by talking about it I was betraying him. I didn’t want to betray anyone. I lost my support.

He’d get angry and swear at me, or he’d stop talking to me for 3 days because I had forgotten to turn off the light in the bathroom and that was a sign of disrespect for his parents (we were living at their place at the time). When I tried explaining that I hadn’t been anywhere near the bathroom and it hadn’t been me who left the light on, he’d stop talking to me anyway, because I was trying to make excuses for myself.

He was moulding me into what he wanted me to be. I was to anticipate his every wish because that was what true love was supposed to be all about. He knew better than me what I wanted and I was meant to be grateful when he was thoughtful enough to buy me a coat (with my own money, because he wasn’t working). And yes, he was entitled to my money, because he had sacrificed his income for me – if he hadn’t been with me, he’d have been able to get the dole. I didn’t know anything and I couldn’t do anything right. Oh, and everything he did was for me, and if I ever disagreed with him it meant that I didn’t appreciate it.

Then I got pregnant. He didn’t want the child and convinced me to have an abortion. I’m still not sure how he managed to do it. I remember him threatening me that he’d call the Immigration Department and tell them that we weren’t together anymore and they should deport me (he was sponsoring me for my visa), but that alone wouldn’t have been enough. I remember him promising me the world and how we’d have many more children once we were ready. He made sure he was present at the compulsory pre-abortion counselling rightly suspecting that if he hadn’t been in the room I’d have broken down and told everything as it was.

A few days after the abortion it hit me. I had done something I’d never thought I’d do, something that went against my every instinct, against everything I believe in. In a way life got easier. Something in me had died and I just didn’t care anymore. I suspect I was depressed but he wouldn’t let me seek counselling because that would be involving a third person into our relationship and I would be betraying him.

Fast-forward a few years. He cheated on me and we broke up. Even though it felt like it was the end of the world, in reality it was a blessing in disguise. I was free to rebuild my life.

I’m now re-reading my post and I realise just how ridiculous it all sounds. Did it even happen? Am I just making excuses for myself because I still feel so guilty and ashamed? Why would a young, beautiful and intelligent woman, who could take on the world, put herself through all this?

You see, people like him have gift to convince you that what they want you to believe is logical and the only way it should be. And when you have no other support to fall back on and when you hear the same thing again and again from the one person you hold dear, you start believing that he’s right and there’s something wrong with you for not understanding all these simple things by yourself.

It is the kind of emotional abuse that Dorothy from Singular Insanity talks about – she’s chosen to talk about it and I didn’t want to remember. My story was going to stay buried forever until the Speak Out campaign made me see things in a different light. If my post helps just one person recognise emotional abuse for what it is then it will be worth the discomfort.

Some of you blog anonymously because you don’t want strangers intruding on your family. I don’t sign my blog with my full name because I don’t want him being able to Google me, find my blog and gain insights into my life. As much as I want to believe that I’m now strong enough to stand up to him, there is still this fear in me. What if he gets into my brain again?

Tat is now a mum of two and in a happy relationship. She blogs at Mum in search about parenting, self-discovery and all those things that make us feel good about ourselves. 

Editor: Thank you to Tat for sharing your story with us. I am honoured that you allowed me to publish it here.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I ordered some signs from the US last month and they arrived on Monday

I love them!

And I finally started on my pay it forward gifts. I should have them all finished and post off tomorrow.

I am linking up with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Melbourne, how I love thee!

Last Thursday B and I headed off on a quick trip to Melbourne. I had been invited to attend the bloggers brunch run by kids business and I somehow managed to convince B that a trip to Melbourne would be a great early birthday gift for myself.

So after holding back tears on Thursday at the airport as I said goodbye to the kids we started our two plan journey to Melbourne.

We got into Melbourne just on peak hour traffic. I hadn't been to Melbourne in about 15 years. It was for my 3rd cousins wedding...

We checked into our hotel and were given a complimentary room upgrade! Our trip was off to a great start.
The view from the 22nd floor at Rydges Melbourne
I asked B where he wanted to go for dinner, I wasn't shocked by his reply. He wanted Italian and told me to lead him Little Italy. Little did I know he expected to walk there and back... I had to stop into Woolies to grab some fold able ballet flats for the walk home since I set off in my new heels that are just not conducive to walking a few kms...

I wore them on Friday too after the Bloggers Brunch until I searched out a pair of sandals at the Novo sale.
But the Italian was awesome! It was the nicest meal I have had in a long time. B said it reminded him of his Nonna's cooking.

Friday so us head our seperate ways as I went and watched this

while he went and walked around here

and took photo's of these

Oh and he also walked around the Prahran Markets and devoured some food!

We got all touristy in the afternoon and checked out the Old Melbourne Goal

and The Tutankhamen Exhibition. Loved the exhibition and B said he was glad I made him go.

Friday night we headed out for Yum Cha

and a walk around China Town.

He was in awe of the crabs. Child...
I was in awe of the great coffee!
We had planned to head down to the Yarra on Saturday morning and check out federation sqaure, but it was pouring with rain, so instead we headed to the Bourke Street Mall so B could get a photo of Andrew O'keefe...

While I took photos of the Myer windows...

I'll post more about the Bloggers Brunch later in the week. We are all operating on not much sleep at the moment as our nights have been filled with Caden coughing and vomitting since we got back. The poor little bugger has some kind of bug and is now on antibiotics. I have everything crossed that no-one else gets it.

Have you been to Melbourne? Are you lucky enough to live there?

I am linking up with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for I blog on Tuesdays.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

What Is It With Men and Sports?

Sponsored By Nuffnang

Seriously, put a group of men in front of a TV showing a sport of some description and they lose all sense of manners and decency! I know that is a sweeping generalisation, but it applies to most, if not all of the men I know.

Be it a football match (NRL for those playing at home), a car race or since getting Austar, a UFC match, the Neanderthal in B seems to come out. He yells, cheers, burps, farts and swears! It is like he forgets his surroundings for however long the sport is happening. 

Another instance of Neanderthal occurrences in this house is nudey mags. When I say nudey mags, I mainly mean Ralph and FHM, but there have been worse in this house and I am trying to phase it out by replacing them with sports mags. I would rather the kids find a sports magazine than a nudey magazine lying around the house any day. Recently the UFC Magazine has made an appearance in the house. It has now become his bathroom reading of choice which, if you ask me, is a slightly better magazine for the kids to find in the bathroom than a People magazine… 

I don’t actually think that he has noticed that, thanks to me, his nudey magazine stash is slowly dwindling. At the moment it is still a rather large stash though and thinking about it I should have prefaced the confession of his magazine stash with the fact that he received the majority of them from his work when they changed their site rules regarding magazine on the premises… I don’t think any of the blokes could face throwing them out, so they got divided among them all and sent home with them… anyway I am actually thinking about buying him a UFC Magazine subscription as a part of his Christmas gift from the kids and I in an effort to slowly transition the stash from ‘adult’ to child friendly. 

Oh boy, I have probably made B out to be way more of a Neanderthal than he is. So I want to go on the record to say that he is an excellent Husband and Father. Nudey magazines and ignoring his surroundings during sports are probably the only two major things that really annoy me. B if you are reading this, notice that I said MAJOR! You no doubt know what the minor ones are, I tell you often enough!

I have also been checking out other Sport magazine subscriptions for my brother as his magazine stash is way bigger than B’s. I if I can slowly transition that one, I am sure any future girlfriends will thank me.

Does your husband have a similar magazine pile?  Does he switch off from the world once watching sports?

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas present? Give your loved ones a magazine subscription this year and you can win a tropical escape to Hawaii with Magshop’s Christmas competition.
Treat your family and friends to a magazine subscription  today - it’s the gift that keeps on giving all year round!
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh, That's Pinteresting- The Harry Potter Edition

My kids have gone Harry Potter mad this past week. They seen a preview of the Deathly Hallows somewhere and have been taking about Harry ever since. They have watched all of the earlier Harrys with no problem, but I am a bit hesitate to show them the rest. I will watch them first and decide if they will be fine to watch them.

Anyhow we took to pinterest so they could get a Harry fix that way.

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Source: via Amy on Pinterest

Have your kids watched the Harry Potter Movies? At what age do you think that are old enough to watch the most recent HP films?

I am linking up with Tina today for Oh, That's  and 5 Minutes Just For Me. Pop on over and check out what everyone has been pinning!

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I finally drew the giveaways...

Flinders Street Station on a hot but beautiful Melbourne morning.
Sorry for the delay in drawing some of my giveaways, this week has been crazy. What with trying to complete everything for my A Handmade Christmas and then flying to Melbourne on Thursday to attend the Bloggers Brunch run by Kids Business. Well this week was just a little hectic.

So anyway, without further ado here are the list of winners:

Handy Manny: Big Construction Job DVD- Serendipity

Country Style Magazine- Cherie, Veronica, Natalie

Keratinology by Sunsilk pack valued at almost $100- Kate

Thank you to everyone who entered. I will endeavour to email you all today. 

There is still one giveaway running at the moment. It is the Animal People Novel giveaway. It is a great book, so don't forget to enter as it ends tomorrow.

Next week I will be having a giveaway everyday to celebrate my birthday. I'll be turning 26 and wanted to celebrate with all of you, so keep your eyes peeled for some awesome prizes.
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Handmade Christmas Wrap up

Hopefully this past week of A Handmade Christmas I have helped you get some ideas for gifts for friends and family and on making some decorations for your home.

A quick recap of this past week:

On Monday we looked at some simple Bath salts and Body scrubs that make great gifts.

Tuesday saw us making some handmade Christmas Decorations.

On Wednesday I really enjoyed showing you what kids crafts we have been trying out at home lately.

Thursday we looked at food type gifts you could make. I am looking forward to trying the Candy Can Vodka!

And finally on Friday I showed you some of the things I have been and will be making for Christmas Gifts.

Thank you to everyone who joined me this week! I have really enjoyed reading your comments on what you thought and what you have and will be making.

Have you made something Christmas related lately? I would love to hear about it.

And don't forget that you can link up below. The linky will be open for the next week so don't worry if you aren't ready, you still have plenty of time. I look forward to reading your Christmas related posts!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

A Handmade Christmas- Gift Ideas

I thought I would share with you some easy gift ideas that a beginner sewer could make. I am still very much a beginner sewing and this projects are easy for me to make.

Coasters- These are super easy, you can either make them like a mini quilt and bind them or you can back two sqaures with interfacing to give it some stiffness and then sew the two squares right side together on three sides then turn to the right side out and top stitch.

Table Runners- If you pick up a pack of charm sqaures you can piece one together quickly and then baste and bind. As I beginner you would be able to make one of these in a day. Quilts really aren't that scary once you give them ago.

Source: via Kalynn on Pinterest

Cushions- Cushions are so fast and easy, if you can sew a straight line, you can make a cushion. Envelope closures on the back save the need for fussing with a zipper or making button holes.

Brooches- You can make some quick and easy brooches with some felt and fabric scraps. Here are a few I made a few months ago.

Slippers- I was planning on making a pair to show you, but I ran out of time this week... You can find so many patterns for fabric slippers online. But there is also a great pattern in the most recent Make It Perfect book.

Eye Masks- Again, I had grand plans to make an Eye mask to show you, but here are some examples.

Hot/Cold Packs- you can make them in different shapes and fabrics to suit the ladies, men and children in your life.  I did actually make a few to show you this week!

Here are the ones I made:
Sew the rectangles right sides together leaving room to turn right side out and fill with rice.

The rice mixture was rice, dried lavender and 20-30 drops of essential oils. I used a bottle cut in half for a funnel.

Once they are as full as you would like, either top stitch them closed or use and invisible ladder stitch.

He was supposed to look like he was in pain...
And again, he couldn't stop smirking!
If you want to make different shapes you can use cookie cutters, or draw the pattern free hand.

I hope I given you some ideas. This post was a bit rushed as I am finishing it in a hotel room in Melbourne! Day Light Savings is really doing our head in down here. B couldn't get over how bright it was at 7pm last night!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to link up any gifts or decorations you have made. If you have more than one blog post to link up, that is fine too. I would love to see what you have made!

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