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?

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Body, diet and exercise chit chat #1

I think that I would like to start regular diet and exercise chit chats on this blog… This blog started with a lot of weight loss ( more than 20kg), has had gain ( pregnancy) and loss again ( post pregnancy). Now at 8 months post partum I am, I feel, in quite a good spot.

Body

I am really happy that I did not ‘blow up’ whilst pregnant or gain all my unnecessary weight back. I did try to eat relatively well but there were a lot of treats whilst pregnant. Let me be frank here, although I also suffered water retention, I was certainly not one of those people who only gained 8 kg when pregnant and walked out of hospital in my jeans. I also was not one of those who has ended up thinner from breastfeeding. All this said I have been pleasantly surprised with my body. Until the end of last year I would say I was carrying an extra 7kg from my post pregnancy weight. This was not shifting with exercise and dieting was hard as breastfeeding makes me hungry. I wanted to know I had tried my best but if my body has to hold this, to breastfeeding then so be it.

This year, 2015, is my year though. I have breastfed for over 8 months now and want to work on a path towards weaning by a year. With this in mind I felt I could apply myself more to a diet etc and if my milk suffered so be it… she happily takes a bottle now! So the plan is for diet and exercise as below…. I will keep going. mid year I am going to have a try on of my old clothes. If there are items that just no longer suit my shape, which may have changed for good, so be it. They will be sold as I just don’t see the point in holding clothes which do you no favours. They will only remind me of what I am not, instead of flattering clothes which celebrate what I am.

Diet

Lately I have felt a bit out of control with my diet. I had some habits I knew I wanted to kick, such as sweet treats and diet coke, but felt a bit lost as to how to. During pregnancy I did eat some sweet treats often and also as a new mum they crept in. They were easy and quick and gave that instant energy you crave when sleep deprived. As a result I have developed quite the sweet tooth which needs to be reined in. After a week on my mentor me of sugar program I feel like I am making great strides towards this and can certainly envisage the end game. I think for me the ideal will be to eat from home mainly, with a treat meal or two each week. I had not realised just how much sugar is in so called health food when out and about and how readily this affects my cravings. Making home cooked, wholesome, basic food a priority is key.

Exercise

I have been loving exercise. After months of postnatal fitness I decided I wanted a more sustainable way of working out ( i.e. from home, and quickly), which delivered results. After a few weeks on the pre training I do feel Kayla offers this and am really happy. Instead of her recommended HIIT I will be doing couch to 5km again as I want to run the Perth half marathon. I am committed to both of these things this year.

Overall , I am happy with where I am at, ready to apply myself more and excited to see results.

How do you feel about your body?

Thoughts of late #3

I really enjoy these mish mash posts about thinks I like/ am thinking

1. The wheels are in motion for finding work/returning to work. Whilst there is no rush the idea of working again and also wearing nice clothes is so exciting!

2. I gave up sugar…. This was my first week and honestly it was easier than I thought. Using the mentoring scheme I have found it fairly easy. I didn’t stick to the food plan but used a lot of recipes. I had a couple of slips, which is to be expected, but these were in the form of a diet coke or meal out rather than sugar. So far I note that I don’t crave sugar, food or anything as much as I used to. Smaller portions satisfy me and I feel less hungry between meals. Also after a nap I used to be almost blind I was so dizzy until I had sugar…. No more! I am doing another 5 weeks and next week my goal is to get it 100% after the 5 weeks I will assess how I feel about sugar and what I want in my regular diary.

3. Millys toys have been having a picnic while she sleeps! My mum gave me this idea and if you set up an enticing scene, a few times a week, you get your coffee I peace whilst they play and destroy it!

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4. We have been so outdoors it has been fab…. Water park, beach, walks, river, garden. I am loving summer!

5. Jessica has written a fab post about decreasing food bills. Ideas I am taking include bulk buying cleaning produce and toiletries (including nappies etc for us), meal planning but with space for shopping local and frequently for meat and veg etc! Also a monthly store cupboard item delivery!! I am starting this month by recording what we actually use and eat!

6. Operation Kayla I have been doing the pre workouts ( to get ready for the 12 week challenge after having a baby) and am loving this. It fits my life so well!

7. I think I am finally getting towards the end of this round of life admin… Granted it’s a big few things left, sorting life insurance with new job roles etc, remortgaging flat, getting work done on flat, sorting job….. Buuuut I feel like we are getting there.

8. Milly is getting more independent and loving time with other family members. What’s a girl to do -NEW HAIR

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The first pic was post salon, second was post nap on second day. I love it and the beauty is it airdries with some product so I don’t even have to style it!

8. Loving reading blogs and watching youtube channels- note to self must comment more!

9. This week I have been putting myself out there, taking time to think and be creative and working on stuff…. I think it’s good for the soul.

10. After feeling quite run down spa tone sachets seem to be really helping… Anyone else have these?

11. Frozen lemon wedges in the freezer- used to pep up water instead of ice cubes

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12. quinoa and sweet potato fritters in mah belly

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13. I caved and signed back to beauty boxes. After using all the testers on my trip to the uk I caved!

14. I am still panning up to 7 items now just waiting for enough for the next post!

what are your thoughts lately?

At eight months old

Oh my baby girl where have you gone?

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You are such a delight and so much fun. You stand, you crawl, you clap, you blow raspberries, you sing, say yeah yeah yeah, dadda and it sounds like hi! You play with your toys, yunnmm with each food mouthful and crawl over to the curtains pull them out and wait for us to say ‘where’s milly?’ Then you drop the curtain and smile for us to say ‘peepo’.

You come over and cuddle us, snuggle up to me a few times a day and also share your toys and food ( or at least try to). The joy on your face when you smile and the happiness you spread each day is unreal.

I have never loved anyone so much and love you more than I thought possible each day. Being your mumma is my greatest joy!

I love you milly pops x

A working mother

I have been meaning to write this for a while. When I was pregnant I was sure I would want to return to work a few days a week after a year. Everyone said I would change my mind. I remained open to changing my mind as everyone was so sure I would.

At 3 months I love being a stay at home mum. I would find it hard to go back now as she needs me lots. I look forward to returning to work next year. I hope I can find a job that suits. I am not willing to work more than 3 days a week, I need to be my daughters main carer, and we are lucky to have the luxury I don’t have to. I do miss work, I loved my job and it interested and excited me. Infact more than ever I want to do a job I love, go to work and come home smiling to tell my daughter I loved it. I want her to see people having jobs they love so she expects and wants that for herself!

The extra money is also handy for financial stability and for my other passion travel . I want to show her the world from a young age so she learns to love it and be excited by it as opposed to scared of it.

are you a working mum? Do you plan to be?

In other news….

So you may be forgiven for thinking that I am all about baby lately… and oh my gosh you would be right. But I am still me and I still have other things going on so lets have a chat and if you have advice that would be awesome.

The Car- we may need a new car. The husbands ute is not big enough for all of us and it is so old it just keeps costing us. I have a new swift ( well it was new when I got it in 2011) and it has cost so little to run. We love it and there is space for me and him and the bubba and a pushchair but that is all. I think we need to trade in the ute and get another Suzuki the size up… This week the boredom that is car shopping begins and I am scared of using savings when we don’t know what is happening work wise for me next year.

The house- well our house is a well placed house for 2 people. Add the third in the mix and it is fine but you have to keep on top of clearing out. Anymore and it is pretty cramped. I have been looking for the dream family house ( requirements; 3 beds and a study or 4 bed or 3 bed and a granny flat, a full size block so there is garden, ideally an older house) and it is so hard to find. A lot of the sale for us is based on area which means we are looking for a fixer upper in a nicer area. We don’t mind living in a rough and tumble house which we could do up over the years of it being the family house. The trouble is we are unsure which hemisphere it should be in? if I will manage to work as I want to? if we would even be blessed with another baby? so many questions. What do you do in these situations? do you buy for what you think the future will hold or do you just focus on what suits for now ( i.e. this house is perfect)?

I am loving food. As in looking at recipes and finding what to make and buying ingredients. So very desperate housewives but I am really enjoying finding new meals. I drafted a post on things which helped in the first few weeks of a baby and one of them is Dinner Twist. Through this one delivery we have two new fave meals ( beef stroganoff and thai red fish curry in case you were interested). On this weeks menu is a dairy free, gluten free carbonara and some kind of healthy ish cake, possibly involving salted caramel sauce!

Have you heard about Pop basic? They release micro collections each month which you can buy. I bought one a few months ago which contained a white t-shirt, grey and white striped infinity scarf ( excellent to hide baby spew incidentally) and a beautiful grey leather clutch. I was delighted with both the value and the quality. The t-shirt has washed really nicely.

I have also signed to bellabox both the beauty box and the baby box to see whether I like them. I tend to dip in and out of subscription boxes as I don’t like having lots of excess around.

On the subject of shopping did you know tiffany do cocktail rings? Did you know as an aquarian my birthstone is amethyst? Make mine this one if you ever fancy treating me…

tiffany ring

My house is due a clear out again. Of both my clothes, lots of which are pretty rough now, shoes and also baby stuff. There is also a few items which I need to sell on ebay! Jobs, jobs, jobs…..

 

and on that note I guess I should go get started!

 

Life lately another catch up

 

Well hello,


I have downloaded a new app in the attempt to make my blogging experience better from my ipad. I am still really torn against getting a new laptop and better camera or whether to stick with what I already have. I am reluctant to have technology coming out of my ears when I already have an iPhone camera, point and shoot camera and ipad.


Anyway enough banging on about that, lets have a round up of things I have enjoyed lately. I have spent a lot of time outdoors as I am training for a 100km hike for oxfam in October. Along the way there have been a few nice views.






These are some photos which were taken up in the Perth hills when I did a big hike on Friday.
Yesterday we used a voucher we had got for Christmas for a horse riding experience along the Moore River. This was such a great way to spend a day. It was a 90 minute trail ride along the river and was absolutely perfect for beginners. We went with 13http://1300trailrides.com.au/00 trail riders  and they were great. I was so frightened at first and by the end was really loving it. I had a lovely horse called Gus and definitely want to go again.
Please excuse my fat roll, I swear it only happened when I was horse riding as I couldn’t take my hands off to adjust.
I also did a massive walk around the river and whilst going round who did we see? The dolphins are back. I took a film of them about 2m from me playing but I don’t know how to upload it. This week has been full of socialising, and lots of less than perfect food but this has been balanced by all of the exercise.
Today I am blogging with 

Coffees in bed, I will then clean the house, blog some more ( I have been purchasing- oops) and also baking up a storm. In other news I am desperate for the great gatsby! Still torn about the laptop and loving life.
How has your weekend been?Is this new blog tool working?


A very budget Christmas

Well howdy doody all, although I am not festive yet as I am at work I will be getting festive this break. I have 12 days off over Christmas and although, if I am honest, I do find Christmas tricky in a warmer climate I am determined to enjoy this.

To date I have been super spoiled as my mum really goes all out and is super talented at arts crafts and decorating. Side note if you ever want inspiration check out he blog at http://www.giftfrippery.co.uk. Anyway each year I have planned my presents for every meticulously, really thought about what they may want and gone home for Christmas. Each year, until I have my own children, I get a stocking and then we have breakfast, open gifts, play games, have dinner and chill by the fire as a family,

This year I am in Australia in my other families Christmas. This is a little tricky on a few accounts. Mainly because each of those family’s have another half of their family to see we all meeting up for Christmas breakfast leaving the rest of the day free for them to see the rest of their family… Fantastic except the rest of my family is in England! No my putty party is over I am throwing myself into a making new traditions of our own and having a very merry budget Christmas.

The presents for my family have already been sorted so I could send them home with my mum. So next break we are going to my works Christmas party, staying at the hotel with a group of friends in an apartment and then the next day the cob ( other half as I call him) are having our festive day. As we don’t have heaps of spare cash we like to have lots of little occasions and nice days such and this will be one of them. We are going into town to pick up presents for his family, we will have coffee together, maybe go for lunch and that evening we are planning to have a nice roast, a few drinks and put up our tree. I will probably also wrap presents whilst we watch an Xmas movie. Tradition no. 1. I can’t wait until we are shopping for our own little family.. One day!

We do have 2 weddings to go to which means more Christmas season parties so I am looking forward to that. I have planned to do a night of home made mince pies and iced mulled wine on Christmas Eve at our house for family and friends. I would love to decorate the house a little more for this. I am thinking some kind of wreath on the door and some extra decorations which I will make… Are you interested in seeing these?

Christmas Day will be the family breakfast. In Australia, thank goodness for us, due to the large amount of travellers they have orphans Christmas where you go and celebrate round a meal wit friends and friends of friends. We may end up doing this. Then we come home early evening and Skype in with my family. I definitely want to see them open my gifts it took me aaaages to choose them.

This year we are on a budget as I explained and I already gave cob money for his birthday and Xmas present. He had a work based amazing trip to Abu Dhabi and I wanted him to have money to make the most of every opportunity out there. I still want him to have things to open so I am going to get a selection of stocking filler type gifts and some hand made ones for him.

Some ideas I have-

Chilli jam
Pickled walnuts ( he liked these In England)
Pickled onion monster munch ( a few packets wrapped individually)
Some new guitar picks
A board game we can play
Some vouchers that I will go fishing with him, be designated driver etc for the year

I can’t think of anything else I need to pop to the shops to get some bits and should probably do that tomorrow whilst he’s at work.

Also these, from Pinterest

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Would make a lovely home made gift with some packets of seeds in!

What budget Xmas tips do you have?

Weekend of fun… parcels and winning things

Well this week has been pretty eventful and I still have another day of the weekend to go. The week has flown by my friend left on Tuesday night and then Wednesday I was back in work before a quick overnight trip to Darwin and a saturday of cleaning the house, shopping, dying my hair and supervising a nieces birthday party.. Phew I am exhausted. Needless to say extra food ( and pro points) have been consumed and a bit of alcohol with that. I am really hoping that as I have not exceeded my 49 fun points per week and kept within my limit that I will still have a loss and that it is larger than last week. Fingers crossed last weeks slow loss was due to water weight due to the totm.. We will know come Wednesday.

I have been doing pretty well with saving money and not buying too much. I did do a larger grocery shop this week to stock up on cupboard items but for the next month I will be trying to only top up the fresh produce and eat through the cupboard and freezer. Creative recipes ahoy! I am also trying to eat out less and from home more to save both pro points and money.

Hair colour, I was blond very blond possibly too blond and whilst it looked good straight after the hairdressers and freshly washed on other days it looked a bit like Britney ( on a bad day) and so I, with the help of clairol nice and easy ash brown, have joined the dark side. For those of you with absolutely no red in your hair I find this ash range to be the best and ,most wearable options. I can wear most colours from ash blond to ash brown without a prob ( but maybe a little extra bronzer).

I have also been receiving a few items in the post which I ordered a while ago with money which had built up in my pay pal account from selling items, these have included:

Artisana coconut butter sachets

Artisana raw cacao bliss

Both of these items were ordered from Iherb.com which is a great source for health items and unusual ingredients with relatively cheap shipping. As it is an american store it is often cheaper than buying items in australia even with shipping costs. As a gift for any of you reading this that fancy a shop if you use the code PEH829 and get a free $5 off your first order.. enjoy.

I also got a stippling brush from sigma which I have only used twice with a liquid foundation as I currently favour mineral powder makeup but I think the brush gives a flawless finish which is quite glowy.. perhaps a good one for evening makeup.

Another package arrived from England with a whole series of exciting goodies; a book, some cards and letters and 2 skull scarfs ( love love love skulls at the mo) plus an exciting art project to help with.

Look at the colour of the blue and orange and the small skull beads on the other.. Lushness in a scarf.

Other items received have included an ebay bargain.

Item picture

I have wanted a plain trench for a while as they are wardrobe classics I wanted a good one. This witchery number was just $30 with $10 for delivery and arrived with its labels (RRP $299) still on BARGAIN.

Also some new nail polish

 I have been seeing a bit of grey around the blog world often as part of the OPI pirates of the Caribbean set. This was a cheaper China Glaze option in pelican grey. I didn’t want an expensive one incase it made me look like a dead person but I also hate cheapo nail polish which chips quickly incase I love it.. super happy with this number. I also have seen a lot of matt nails lately and rather than re buy all my colours or even a new matt polish I got china glaze matt magic. I was a little unsure how this would be but I love it, it is just a top coat which coverts all shiny polishes to matt. BARGAIN.

With all these purchases, which I made prior to operation pan 50 I thought that I would update on the progress of this. I have used 2 products up! yipeeee

Dove body moisturiser, smells nice, sinks in well leaves your skin nice but also quite plain. I would rebuy if I needed more moisturiser but I have a whole stash to shop so will get on with that for now. It does sink in quicker than body butter though which I do like about it.

Beaubelle H20 which is a moistening gel. I do like gels, it did the job, it is all gone and although it was nice I would not go out of my way to get it again. I have too many other products to use and it doesn’t replace a moisturiser. I do like nice products but I also like a relatively quick routine and too many lotions and potions makes me uncomfortable so I would probably just stick to your standard moisturiser after cleansing and toning.

I am really happy about this using up though and I have more products about to be finished… go me. I have decided that unless a new purchase is completely necessary I am holding off for 3 months or until my credit card is cleared… or at least that’s the plan!

I did get some new items in the post which were not historical purchases and this does not breach the rule because they were a PRIZE. I have never been a winner before ( I was once told winners and weinners are only separated by and ‘e’ and sadly I seem to have had that ‘e’ most of my life as a winner I was not) but I won a facebook competition and was sent these in the post

3 lipglosses from ELF cosmetics. For you Aussies who are not onboard with ELF they are fantastic, so reasonable with great dupes for more expensive products. I recently placed my first order with them, I waited for a 50% off deal as I was unsure if I would like them, and was so happy with it. The items are really reasonably priced (most are under $10). These lip glosses are nice colours, a bit fruity/bubblegum like in flavour and quite sparkly but they are pretty and great to have in my many handbags.

You will end up seeing the elf items I love as I use them up but as a heads up the studio line is great and the bronze/blush compact is fantastic for shading, the eye liner gels in colours which are easy to apply, nicely pigmented and long lasting and the all over colour stick in persimmon a lovely sheen.. Enjoy!

Anyway I am exhausted now and have a busy day of bike riding, renovating and painting, ironing, roasting chicken and catching up with a girl friend planned so for now I will go hang with these guys

and finally finish my book

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Holly

The Princess and the Apprentice

Once upon a time there lived a princess, a rather chubby, slightly spotty and not 100% together princess but a princess none the less. The princess worked for 4 long years to train to do what she loved and then she moved to the other side of the world to do what she loved in the sunshine, as the princess worked mainly outdoors.

Whilst working in the sunshine the princess met a prince, a lovely, rugged, handsome and kind prince. A prince who was everything she had ever dreamed of and so much more. The prince and princess went on dates and moved in together and the princess was so happy because she had a lovely job, a lovely prince and a lovely castle but the prince was sad. The prince loved the princess, he loved the castle too but he was sad because every day ( or lots of the days) the princess would come home from work excited about her job and when she didn’t it was because she was angry or frustrated because she cared about her job. The prince wanted a job like that. He didn’t want his crown anymore he wanted to be really really happy and so the princess told him to work out what made him happy and she would want him to do that. The prince thought long and hard and the princess helped him google stuff and after not that long they became the princess and the apprentice.

The princess was so proud of the apprentice for following his heart but she was a little worried how he would feel when she had more jewels than him and a bigger crown but the apprentice was really good about it all. The princess explained that the jewels were no good to her on her own, what she wanted was someone to share them with and that once the apprentice became a prince again the tables would turn and he could shower her with jewels once more. The princess would buy treats for the apprentice like tickets to see the foo fighters and although there was a little less to go around they were really happy. The apprentice grew in confidence with every exam passed and it was amazing for all the kingdom to watch, they knew that one day he would make an excellent king. With this knowledge the princess felt sure that what they were doing was 100% the right thing to do as an investment in their future in terms of both jewels and happiness.

The End