Life Lately…

Hello Everyone, its been a while hasn’t it? I thought I would do a round up post of life lately as you seem to like them and honestly I am not in the right place to know which way is up at the moment.

1. We went to sleep school. This is the reason I have been off-com. Finally at over 10 months of age my daughter has learned to sleep through the night and is only breastfeeding twice per day. Now I am actually getting some restorative sleep I am exhausted. More tired than I have ever known. I assume this is the massive sleep deficit catching up on me and my body is running off actual energy and not just adrenaline and stress hormones. Whilst I wasn’t feeling stressed I have not really accounted for the massive amount of stress my body had been under.

2. Following on from that I also had not realised until I was at sleep school just how much I had done alone in the first year of Millys life. Flying to the uk- alone with a 5 month old. Weeks on end of parenting with my husband working away and essentially very little help. Not through a lack of offers more through a baby who really needed me a LOT! Anyway this week at sleep school the art of self care was really drummed into me. As I am not working I don’t feel in a position to use a day care facility so instead my mother in law will have her one day a week when possible and I will join the gym and utilise the creche so I at least have 1 hour a day to myself when my husband is away. I am loathe to use the term SOLO parenting which seems to popular as it make you sounds alone. I am not SOLO, we are a team, but one half of our team has to work away at times to help bring in the money which affords me to stay at home- No I in that!

3. This led me to thinking about my plans for the future. I do want to start my business but i just don’t feel like i want to work all hours. This may be a truly indulgent paragraph but here goes. I have been watching lots of youtube about minimalism and many of the concepts are ones I love. One of the key ideas I have picked up is minimal outgoings equals minimal incomings required. Let us really question why I would be working? To keep busy? to be challenged? To create some income and to allow myself a balanced job. I can see that being self employed could easily get out of hand. Alison talks a lot about creating your world and job and it really got my brain ticking. I need a flexible job. In my heart of hearts I would still love to follow my old career, there are just no vacancies currently that fit my lifestyle requirements, so I would like the flexibility to pick up those contracts as required. I would like a lot of my work to be what I can do from home, i.e. the admin side, accounts, orders etc. I would love to spend my baby free days doing some more work, e.g. building the business, sourcing, connecting with people etc. I don’t really want to spend my time doing deliveries or order picking I want the dynamic and creative portion as well as the more mundane bits I can do from home. As such, after lots of discussing with my husband, I have decided to try and structure the business so I can outsourced those bits from the off. It may mean less clear profit or perhaps more if my time is better spent business building… in fact we will never know but it will enable me to have the balanced lifestyle I would like, or at least I think it will.

4. More on minimalism. I have been watching all the videos and it has truly struck me how little of my stuff I use. My brain is ticking and I want to do another big clear out. Our house is small and clearing out often is vital. Its a little hard when I dont get time alone and my husband has limited time off but slowly and surely I will do it.

5. On the small house. we met a builder, who had fab ideas, and we are confident our house can become a 3 bedder quite easily. But it will cost a lot and right now that is not our priority so we are hitting pause and getting on with what we have.

6. Priceline has a 40% off sale and I bought three considered purchases. Two of the Max factor creme puff blush and a bourjoirs healthy mix gel foundation. So far the blushers are both loved and the healthy mix feels quite nice on my skin. I struggle as I hate the feel of cream on my skin but this feels light and I don’t get irritated by it so far.

7. This week has been testing , to say the least, we are adjusting to new sleeping patterns, catching up on sleep deficits, teething like maniacs ( 6 teeth in 3 weeks and counting) and have a teething cold with secondary ear infection. All of this leads to a clingy baby in my lap and lots of ABC kids… which leads me to question what the hell is Yo gabba gabba? it reminds me of the groove is in the heart video?!?

8. Exercise has been truly out of the window. It feels like even getting out of bed and through the day is an achievement right now. I am trying to be kind to my body and let it rest but it has a deadline of this weekend.

9. Also weight watchers. I am counting points but I really need to clean up my act. I am pretty good at putting the good stuff in now I need to swap some less good stuff out. Morning snack for veg sticks and hummous and afternoon yogurt for natural yogurt and blueberries…. also, i bore myself just quit the diet coke!

10. On the subject of food. I have been thinking a ton about sugar. I loved the freedom I felt when my cravings left the building. I want this back so I am planning to cut it again following much the same guidelines I did before. Have you seen that sugar film? I want to go and get inspired.

Fill me in where are you all at? Also I am loving youtube, should i be vlogging my boring life? should i venture to videos? what do you all think- blogging or videos what do you prefer?

What am I?

I keep writing these posts which have absolutely no photo and often no real purpose except to empty my brain!

This week I have been In sleep school, more about this at another date, and one of the things which it really addressed was my thoughts about me. I had meetings with councillors and social workers as part of this week. Prior to this week I would have said I was fine with life. The thing is I am not quite fine. For many years I was a geologist, then I was pregnant, then I was on maternity leave with a small child who needed me 24/7. This week I have realised she doesn’t need me to this extent. She is ready for time away and she needs this to build her bonds with other people.

For me this is daunting, not because of missing her, but because I am currently nothing. I still know as much as a geologist who is employed but I am not one. I am also not pregnant, nor do I have a baby who needs me 24/7. I am in limbo and I find this hard! On one hand I really want to try my new business idea, on the other I am not ready to give up my career. Right now, though, there is literally no work for geologists.

I know I am more fortunate than most because I can have longer with my girl. Even though she doesn’t need me we enjoy these days. I am also lucky because my husband supports me in making options for myself. There is no real conclusion to this post except to say I need some extra purpose. I love being a mum but I am uneasy with being only a mum, once those intensive first months have passed. I wouldn’t want to work full time but once or twice a week it would be lovely.

when did you feel ready to work? Do you need to work for your sense of self?

Minimalism

Lately I have been reading a lot of minimalist blogs. A lot of the ethos behind this really appeals to me. I often find blogs are so filled with consumerism. There is a massive hype around the latest product, a lot of which numerous big bloggers have been paid to endorse. Whilst I have no issue with people making money from blogging, I prefer to take my views from smaller, less commercial blogs, which may not be as attractive or professional, but are real.

Some of the minimalist blogs I have been loving include Light by coco, Becoming Minimalist, minimalist baker and blonde on a budget. These blogs are all about simpler living, quality over quantity, products which do the job, easy, clean ways of life filled with experiences over items and I love it. In the past I have been really interested in the minimalist lifestyle. A lot of it suits me and I have written about it before on this blog

I am involved in Project 50 Pan and doing pretty well. This year I am buying nothing unless I have absolutely none of this product left to use up! I actually cant see me needing anything. The only concession to this, as I don’t want to get too extreme is that I am having a monthly look fantastic beauty box. For me part of minimalism is trying things to find what really works and using that. So with my products I am also going to do a big sort out and get rid of items which just don’t work for me.

My wardrobe is looking fairly sharp, or at least I think so. I am getting pretty good and not buying unnecessary items. The only thing I can even think I need is a new pair of running crops. Lululemon I am coming atcha. With my wardrobe I am aiming for quality over quantity and have been for a fair while. As a result, I think, I have a really nice wardrobe I just need to tone up and fit it all. The exception to this is pregnancy clothes, breastfeeding clothes and clothes for when I am not quite back at goal…. in these instances cheap and cheerful fits the bill.

Minimalist food. I am counting weight watchers points again to try and shift the last of this baby weight but at the crux of any plan is clean eating. This does not need to be fancy it can , infact, be quite minimalist. Salads, soups, meat and veg, fish and veg, basic smoothies, porridge so many easy meals made from basic ingredients. I love this idea. Strip it back and eat basic, have a treat  occasionally and keep the diet simple.

Minimalist exercise. As a mum I am getting into this. Not minimal exercise but no fuss exercise which I do from home. What works for me is walking/jogging a few times a week and toning 2-3 times. I do exercise videos, get outside and use youtube. Its simple and it works.

A minimalist home. Recently we looked at a bigger house, we have looked at renovating our house and I think we have decided to stick with what we have. What do we have? A slightly small house, with a relatively small mortgage in a fantastic suburb. We also have a low maintenance house which could be rented at the drop of a hat allowing us to travel. So for now my challenge is ensuring we have no clutter. There just isn’t room. I think I can do some more clearing out but am not taking it extreme I am just keeping things we either use or love and that’s it. I have also loaned all Milly’s baby stuff to friends who are expecting and they will just give it back for us to use if we are lucky enough to have another baby. After which we will sell it.

This next year is going to be a busy one for us so any tips to keep it easy are great, also  now we have officially dropped my wage thinking twice before spending and selling unused items is a great help.

Are you minimalist? do you know any good blogs?

Dream Love Life List 2015

I read  this on Jess’ blog and its basically a list of things you want in everyday to make your dream life. Not big ticket items but the little things that make life special… so here goes.

I start each day with lemon water

I eat well for my body

I enjoy any treats I may have

I use my body in an active way

I get outdoors daily

I take the time to play, properly play, with my little one

I stop and enjoy her cuddles

I read to the little one daily

I have time with my husband most days without the TV on or doing jobs

I sit for 5 and enjoy my morning coffee

I spend time with friends each week

I make the most of living in Perth at least once a week

I try a new recipe each week

I spend a bit of time having a pamper each week

I learn to enjoy my time away from Milly and give her independence

I water my plants ( herbs and veg garden) a few times a week.

What are your little things which make life special…?

Me goals for March

I often have a string of goals and they are often life goals and family goals… And we do have a long list of them but sometimes I think to stop and focus on me would be nice.

Lately I have been run down and feeling a bit down. I have had a long think and am sure I know what’s up. Basically after so long growing a child and breastfeeding I AM run down. Also, whilst I think I look ok for someone who has had a baby I don’t loon great for me… So here are my me goals….

Use my fake tan ( everyone looks better tanned surely)
Use my products and get in a good skincare routine every night
Workout daily ( walks, jogs or yoga) I love Kayla but think I need a few weeks of low impact exercise to replenish my body before I launch back into hard core exercise. I am thinking 30 days of yoga with Adrienne
Count calories/ points and focus on putting good stuff in
Also have a green juice, smoothie or soup each day and power salad to really up the vitamins. I am also planning a few days of juices!
Take time to read. There are no two ways about it I am pretty tired so reading/ resting a little bit is on the agenda for March to try and pep by body up!
Go for a float. I love floatation tanks and there are some in perth. I am going to go and have one!
Spend time in the sun and outdoors

what do you do when you need some me time?

The best beauty box

I get so annoyed with beauty boxes. They often contain the same samples over and over and I always get full size products of cheapies, which I could grab myself if I wanted them, and tiny samples of the luxury products. This annoys me as its only ever one application and not nearly enough product to decide if I really like it!

I think the answer, for my needs, is the look fantastic beauty box which contains 5 Travel sized samples.

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The feb box contained Moroccan oil ( love) , dr paw paw balm, Korres citrus milk (love), sea mud cleansing bar, bellapiere lip liner and a mini illuminating primer. Its the first time I can confidently say I will use it all and am excited to try the products.

I am selling my old iPhone and that money is earmarked for a years subscription… I really like these boxes. Infact I like them so much I accidentally ordered two February ones and I am keeping them both!

what’s your favorite beauty box?

Mentor me off Sugar- A final review

Well folks, around 8 weeks ago I was talking with Laura from Happy Sugar Habits and she offered me the chance to talk part in her program mentor me off sugar in return for my honest opinions… so here goes… and its a big one.

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I have written some other posts throughout this process here is one of them but I am now ready to talk about my overall views.

I thought that I was pretty sugar aware, I had heard it wasn’t that good and this particular program focuses on fructose. I had an awareness of fructose as I am unable to absorb this with my FODMAPS so could only eat it when combined with equal or more glucose.

First off the program. Its friendly, supportive and well structured. There is a meal plan, should this suit you, for me I used the guide and quick guide and ate more as I prefer. There is a fantastic facebook group which is chock full of other folks doing the plan. I used this a LOT. For questions, recipes and just support. The other thing I love about the program is Laura acknowledges just how hard quitting is and tells you to expect to slip up. This is not considered a fail, if it happens observe and learn and get back on the wagon! You also get lots of emails with links to new material as you progress through the program and texts.

I thought I knew. I also ate loads of stevia, rice malt syrup and all the sweeteners which are fructose free. The trouble is I still craved sweet treats after each meal. Little did I know I need to give it all up to ‘reset’ my tastebuds. After a few days these cravings subsided and I really enjoyed the freedom it gave. No cravings. Just eating to true hunger. I really liked this. Things which weren’t sweet before ( thai food) started to taste sweet, I enjoyed my coffee with no sweetener, I liked natural yogurt with coconut shreds.

Then it was my birthday and the week after valentines day. It ended up in a week of sweet treats. Each meal was still within guidelines, I was still having no extra sugar but with a few people taking me for meals and buying me cakes the cravings were back BAM. I got a bit down to be honest. Then I learned from it and it has really helped me design my new feelings towards sugar and guidelines for myself.

I am happy eating low sugar. I cant believe the amount of sweetness I would load natural yogurt ,smoothies, porridge and other so called healthy treats with. I also used to give Milly some sweet treats occasionally as I didn’t want her to become one of those kids who goes crazy on sugar. I actually think are home will now be sugar free. Not just sugar free but free of all the replacements which make sugar free treats. After falling off the wagon spectacularly I learned a few things. Eating from home is easier. Eating a meal out which have sauces and sugar is fine but don’t have dessert. Having a sugar free meal and a dessert is also fine but only ONE meal. If I do this and get back on the wagon the cravings stay away. Too much of this and they are back and I have a tough few days getting them under control again. I should probably add at this point that my cravings, I have learned through the program, are purely physical not emotional. If yours are different Laura covers other coping mechanisms. I do use these now as it has made me realise I eat when not hungry just because it means I get to sit and have a rest. I am changing this with a magazine, cuppa or sparkling water and permission to site for 10-20 minutes , or longer if needed, when Milly naps.

So down to the nitty gritty…. what did I eat? I sort of evened out into a routine.

6.30 AM  Lemon water EITHER sprouted spelt bread and avo or nut butter or eggs or a bowl of porridge and spoon of nut butter and sprinkle of cinnamon

9AM Latte and handful nuts, zucchini slice or other sugar free recipe

12 or 1- lunch- sprourted spelt bread and cheese and salad, quiche and salad, chopped salad with avo, seeds and home made dressing and quinoa are just some examples.

4PM natural yogurt, sprinkle of cinnamon, coconut shreds and I Will start to include 1 serve of fruit.

7PM dinner fish or meat and veg or salad

This works best if you eat from home. I like to eat out. So once a week I can have a meal out either a free main and no dessert or a good meal and dessert. Also WINE is ok  on the plan. I only ever have one glass so will not limit this as its a treat for me anyways.

I think we can honestly say even though I didn’t manage to complete the program perfectly I did learn a lot, which in itself makes it worth while. I understand the resources stay available to you after completion so I will be re doing the 6 week plan to reset again. I feel I can do better again and get more results because I know what to expect and have seen the rewards. .

Have you given up sugar? would you?

*i was given the chance to do this program in return for writing my opinions about it

Thoughts of late #4

I am really enjoying these sorts of posts as they just contain things which I have been thinking about and have been interesting me lately!

1. I have budget on the brain! I am going to download all last years transactions, firm up a budget and get our savings goals in order for the year. Given that our situation is so variable, ie. we have more if I work, if hubs works abroad etc I will base it on worst case ( or least money scenario) then anything else is a bonus. I am also checking in with centrelink to see what assistance we may be entitled to if I am not working.

2. I am also feeling the spring vibe, I want to finish the house off and then give it a darn good clean… anyone else with me?

3. On the subject of budget since having Milly our priorities have shifted so vastly. We are also really trying to be healthy and not use junk food or sugar as a treat or reward. We don’t really ‘do’ valentines day as such so have decided that we will just cook one another a nice meal, or do something together and buy a lotto ticket. We both find lotto quite exciting but limiting our purchases to valentines day and other special occasions means its not a regular expense.

4. So on Valentines day this year we headed into the city. All plans to go to the movies went out the window and we watched ‘the giants’ in the city. Oh my god these giant puppets were amazing. Milly had a ball. We then had lunch at my dads and came home and all ended up having a 2 hour nap… bliss!

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5. Milly is so mobile now and is loving being out and about and active. We went to a soft play place this week… what an adventure. We climbed the scramble nets and went down the slides, had a bounce on the bouncy castle, stopped for lunch and then carried on playing in the small kids area.

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6. Freebies in a few magazines. I don’t buy magazines too much, but now I have less time for books and I want to spend less time reading on technology infront of Milly ( bad habits and all), I may start getting the ones with free stuff… why not!????

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7. Tomorrow I am off for girls morning with Mr Grey. I have no idea how it will be but this made me laugh….

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8. I got some Popbasic in the post. This company is so fantastic. Their stuff is lovely and really reasonable. Follow this link for $15 off your first purchase. I got the shirt and the bracelet was a present from them.

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9. I had a gorgeous birthday meal with a girlfriend at Miss Kittys Saloon. It was lovely and the sunset after was even better.

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Whats been happening lately? Fill me in….

Having a baby on a budget-#2

There are no two ways about it having a baby is expensive. However, in my experience, there are some cheaper ways to do things.

We were given so much for our baby. We didn’t have a baby shower, as I really don’t like them, but we had plenty of generous gifs when she was born and also lots of people gave us second hand items.

My suggestion is borrow, use second hand items from gumtree and ebay don’t be snobbish. Some of the toys may be really faded but if it proves to be a favourite you can always go and get a nicer one knowing your money will be well used. Milly gets through toys fairly quickly and I love to be able to use them and then sell or pass them on without regret. I did choose an item I loved and got this new ( the jumparoo) but I got it on half price sale so it was a bargain and would resale for what I paid anyway.

We were given a lot of items or sold a lot cheap and second hand this was brilliant. I had no qualms if I was so sleep deprived and she had done an almighty poonami just binning an outfit if I knew it had served three kids. It also helped having back up clothes if you didn’t make it to laundry and she had pooed and spewed her way through six outfit changed that day! I have just been through all of her clothes and made a massive pile to pass on to pregnant friends ( what goes around comes around). I did buy, and was given, some more special clothes all of which have been saved away incase the next baby is a girl and if not will be sold.

For Christmas we knew she would get a lot of smaller toys so we put all our money into a larger, good quality toy, which would last. Again, we got it on sale.

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We also put away some toys from birthday and Christmas and every now and then I put some away and get new ones out… Also people often ask what she would like. I had a list. I hate it when people specify actual items as, in my opinion, a lot of the joy is in choosing, but I offered an area… bath toys, books, outdoor toy etc that way you have a variety.

Baby food is pricey. Milly has home made with recipe books you can get from a charity shop ( mine were a gift), I try and do homemade at home and shop bought pouches when out. I pick these up when they are on special. Some days its too hard, I haven’t heated/defrosted food in time etc and in that case we use a pouch… honestly you can only do your best.

Look at smaller ways to treat yourself. A monthly beauty box, bath bombs, a book. Time is often short and money is less. Each time I sold items I rewarded myself as well as her with a little something. You need to feel good in yourself as a mum too.

Finally, I would say in my experience. Try not to stress it. Milly has great stuff and spent yesterday in a nappy playing with a box and old waterbottle! be inventive people didn’t used to have all this stuff. Also, be realistic. IS everything  really worth selling? I prioritise what I sell and other stuff is passed on or sent to charity. I wouldn’t have time to sell everything and I really have found by being as generous as we can to others it really does come back around.

ANY BABY BUDGET TIPS FOR ME?

Thoughts of late #3

Well, I need to get back in the game. My sugar dodging ways have slipped, since my birthday, and although I am eating way less than I was I still feel sluggish. It also speaks to me again, I hear bakeries calling, and I loved it when they didn’t so I am doing a final two week no sugar push. Then I am going to enjoy some fruit! I have learned so much this last few weeks I will write a post about it.

I am still enjoying life and have been working on a few projects. It’s not ready enough to share on here but I am so excited about it all. A bit of a final push and the ball may get rolling!

I need to look into support financially. If I am not returning to work, which looks likely for now, then I think we would be due some government assistance with the baby. Next weeks jobs!

I am loving Kayla and finally, next week, having finished the pre workouts I start the proper program! Working out this way really suits me and my current life!

I have had so much coming through my letterbox lately sometimes I think doing a YouTube video may be easier!!! What do you think?

After my post when life throws you lemons, I can confirm we are super happy with decisions made and where we are at…. Let’s not stress about what we can’t control.

But let’s continue to cut back where possible. Foxtel…. Gone, back to base monitoring… Price halved, life insurance etc,… Reassessed and reduced as I am not earning, centre link…. Being visited, stuff going on Gumtree!

Also, I think I have a good grasp on what I wear post partum, as a mum and also when pregnant now. I don’t like clothes which make me feel mumsy. Clean, simple clothes with a pop of colour, studding, leather or something a little edgy and I feel good. Frills and flower prints get me down. Time for a clear out and eBay sale me thinks!

how are you all feeling? What’s new?