I’m a “Bad Mom”

Yep!

I went to see Bad Moms on Thursday night with a girlfriend and we laughed, cried from laughing and nodded along in understanding.  

It got me thinking about Simply Organised. Simply Beautiful and the fact that I show the organised parts of our home, my life. 

I am a “bad mum”. 

I yell at the kids. 

I get lazy and use the TV as a babysitter when it’s all gotten too much, when I need peace from the fights between Miss 5 and Mr 3. 

I placed a lunch order for Miss 5 on Friday because I couldn’t be arsed to make the ham and cheese sandwich myself. I had all the ingredients to make it in the fridge. The apple for Crunch and Sip went to school uncut. 

I spend swimming lessons on my phone because it’s 30 minutes, two times a week that I can spend writing blog posts. 45 minutes at dancing each week also provides the same outlet. 

I swear in front of the kids too. It was a life highlight when Mr 3 dropped “f’n’hell” in front of his daycare teacher at parent-teacher interviews. 

I’m not a fun mum often either. As you know; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s are my work days which sees the mornings as a gamut of orders being thrown at them. Get up! Get dressed! Make your bed! Brush your hair! In the evenings the TV goes on whilst I try to cook a nutritious dinner in 20 minutes, empty school bags, get Miss 5 to do her homework, re-pack bags and get everyone to the dining table. Thursday and Friday afternoons are spent doing much the same, but I try and add in a homemade afternoon tea, study, tidying, cleaning etc too!


When I shared this post with my husband, he was vehemently opposed to it. He knows that the above is all sarcastic, and that I am, in fact, a good mum, but that there are some people out there that would class me as a bad mum from what I’ve written above. 

I think we all have our good days, our bad days and our average days. Our kids also have their good days and bad days too. The proof on whether or not we have been good or bad Mum’s really comes when they become adults. I’m hopeful we will turn out kind, considerate adults. 

Have you seen the movie? Are you a bad mum too? Is today a good day or a bad day?

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My KonMari Journey • Books

I have and will continue to share with you about my KonMari journey.  You can read my previous posts here, here, here and here.

I had a book case full of books, plus a kitchen cupboard full of recipe books. When I went through this category the first time I thought about what I wanted to achieve.

I love reading, the act of reading brings me joy but, I only tend to read books once. The same with movies, hence why we don’t tend to buy DVD’s.  I knew it was time to discard the majority of them.

I have tried to locate photos from when I did this a year ago, but can’t locate them. Safe to say though that there were at least 3, if not 5 boxes of books that made there way to Lifeline. I did attempt selling them on eBay and at a second hand book store but had no luck.

This time around I knew this would be an easy category to complete as I have taken to purchasing my books on iBooks and read them on my phone. I find this really convenient as I always have my phone with me so I can read anywhere with ease. I don’t find my iPhone 6 screen too small and the font size is adjustable too.

Upon trying to locate my fiction books I have realised that I have only kept the Harry Potter series, something I can’t wait to share with Miss 5 and Mr 3 when they are older!

This is my current study collection:


I have no plans to discard these books. There is so much good information in them, that even after completing my course, will more than likely still be useful.  I’m actually looking to expand this selection with some books by Sarah Richardson as I truly love her work!

This is my current recipe book collection:


Whilst I mainly go to Google or taste.com.au to locate a recipe, I do still like to head to a hard copy recipe book for inspiration at times. I am comfortable with the amount of cool books I have left.  

Magazines. I was never really a big magazine buyer, but with my growing interest in interior decoration and my mother-in-law passing on all her decorating magazines, I have quite a collection, and they’re actually an educational tool now, in conjunction with my course. I usually only have a few, but haven’t been reading them lately. I went through and got rid of a few, but will now ensure I spend some time on my work day commute to go through them, note down websites I need to visit, tag pages for keeping and discard once I have finished. 

My keep pile (for now)

My discard pile:

So, would you go this far?  As I said above, I had no plans on reading the books I discarded again and it has freed up space in my studio/kids playroom, giving us all some more room. Winning!

 

These are a few of my favourite things

An interior designer I recently started following on Instagram recently shared a picture of her home, with lamps, candles and fireplace lit and I swooned.  It got me thinking about some my favourite things.

A made bed

I love clean sheet day.  Not so much the stripping and washing, hanging and folding of sheets, but getting into a bed with clean sheets is what my sweet dreams are made of!  I also like knowing that all the beds are made.  These days seem more productive, I don’t know why, they just are and it’s awesome to get into bed at the end of a long day.

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The beginning of the day

I am a morning person!  It doesn’t come quite as quickly these days with Mr 3 up anytime from 6.00am, but I am still a morning person.  I love the ritual of going from room to room, making beds, opening blinds.  This is especially true of opening the blinds/curtains in our open plan kitchen/dining/lounge area.  The sun fills these rooms in the morning and it is joyful to see all our hardwork of renovations over the years, lit by the sunlight.

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The ending of the day

Especially in winter, I love the ritual of going from room to room, closing blinds/curtains, turning on lamps, getting pyjamas out and setting a relaxing mood for my family to relax into before bedtime.

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Tea

I like a good cup of tea, always tasting better of course when my husband makes it.  I love a good pot of tea even more!  Teamed with chocolate, I may let out a little groan!!!

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My chair

I have wanted a wing-backed chair for a long time and finally found one on e-Bay for the right price about a year ago.  Talked hubby into it and it is the most comfortable chair I’ve ever sat in.  When I am sick (you know that dry cough that always starts just as you nod off…) I can sleep in that chair all night and not have any aches or pains in the morning.  I enjoy cups of tea and reading interior design magazines there too.

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A hot bath

I know you’re not supposed to come out of the bath looking like a beetroot but I can’t resist a nice hot bath, sometimes teamed with Radox or Epsom salts and lavender.  Always good after a long day.  Pop on some clean pyjamas, clean sheet day, a cup of tea, I’m primed for a very deep sleep.

Sleep

After a productive morning, I enjoy taking a nanna nap with my son after lunch.  I’m not talking about the prescribed 20 minute power nap, I’m talking 1.5 to 2 hours.  Very luxurious!

DIY/Interior design TV shows

I love sitting down with my husband at the end of the day and watching DIY/Interior design TV shows.  We chat about what we would do in their position, if we could use those ideas in our home, chat about our dream home and comment on the reveal at the end. Something we both have in common and good to chat about.  Bring on The Block 2016 – 3 sleeps to go!!!

Friday/Saturday night family movie night

Freshly washed kids, clean pyjamas and snuggles on the lounge under a blanket watching a kid friendly movie!  Lovely. 

Massage

I love heading down to my local mall where there is a massage and acupuncture centre. Around $35.00 after my private health fund rebate and I can enjoy a full body massage. I do suffer from some back pain so there is some ‘need’ to these massages, and it hurts at the time, they are so good!

Spring

I love Spring!  My favourite season of the year.  It’s spring cleaning time.  It’s the perfect season to open every window in your home to allow the warm breeze to blow in.  It’s tulip time, my favourite flower.   It’s my birthday.  It’s no longer cold, but not too hot.  It’s the season daylight savings commences in.  What’s not to love!

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What are some of your favourite things?  What’s your favourite season?  Do you get time to do them?

 

 

Organising • The Little Things

I did a little video a while ago asking for feedback and also asking what you would like to see. Sara asked to see how I organise all the little things, so here we go!

The most common items you’re going to see are Tactix boxes I’ve purchased from Bunnings (around $4 each) and these Variera containers from IKEA.

Make-up


I used to apply my makeup in my bedroom at my dressing table but moved it into the bathroom a few years ago. Our shaving cabinet has mirrored doors and they’re at a good height so I knew I wanted to store my make-up in there, on ‘my’ side, using the mirrored door on ‘his’ side to apply my makeup. Thankfully the makeup caddy that I already had fit in and I could place the other bits in there too!  Howard’s Storage World can be a bit expensive, but Kmart have good options for this now.

On the shelf above I use a narrow basket from a $2 store to store my contact lenses and other spectacle paraphernalia.


On the bottom shelf we keep cotton tips and I have an old cotton tip container there for my foundation sponge.

*Tip – if you can instal a power point inside your shaving cabinet it means it’s not visible day to day but easily accessible.

Hair accessories

I try to blow dry my hair and look all grown up, but most of the time I can’t be bothered. I purchased a Tactix box from Bunnings for around $4 and it stores most of my hair accessories nicely. I can also store it on its side in my drawer as the lid shuts firmly and everything stays in its correct place. I use a Variera container here from IKEA to store hair products and brushes. I store this in a drawer in the bathroom and it fits well.

I recently sorted all Miss 5’s accessories into something similar. This is a container by Sistema, purchased at Woolworths. I love that there is a tray at the top for hair ties, bun nets and bobby pins and space below for hair bands etc. I store these in a cupboard in the lounge room with a hair ideas book, spray bottle of water and hairbrush. I store them in the lounge room as this is where I do her hair.

Small clothing items

In the kids bedroom drawers I use these to keep their undies, singlets, stockings etc organised.

 

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Batteries

I purchased this little container from Howard’s Storage World a while ago. It stores AAA to D batteries.

Jewellery

Aside from a jewellery box, which isn’t really suitable for long necklaces, I like to store my costume jewellery on this key hook (purchased from OfficeWorks) to hang them, on the inside of my wardrobe door. I’ve also used the clear 3m hooks. You can hang dangly earrings on these too.

Wrapping paper/ribbons

I’ve created this wrapping station on the inside of our double door pantry. I’m going to play around with it a bit as I’m not 100% happy with it and I’ll go into further details about this in an upcoming post.

Kids toys

I use cube storage boxes for the kids toys, storing like items together. Easy for the kids to pack everything away!


Stationary

I use a variety of storage options for stationary. In my desk drawers I use a tray with dividers and some Décor plastic containers.


In my studio I use a mixture of vases for storing pencils, textas, paint brushes etc.

For the kids stationary items I use takeaway containers with lids that I store up high to avoid my walls being drawn on!


Cables

I store our cables in empty toilet rolls, standing up, in box.


Kitchen utensils

I have a spoon holder and utensil holder by my stove top for commonly used items.


In my first, second and third drawers I use these trays to divide ‘like’ items up. I think I got them from Howard’s Storage World and Trade Secret. I strongly recommend sorting your utensils and really think about the last time you used the items in the drawer, and discarding any you no longer use. 

School notes

I have a command centre set up by our back door. I will do a post about this in the future. On this wall I have a plastic sleeve fixed to the wall with 3M strips and I place all school notes here. I clean this out at the end of each school term.


Key/Sunglasses storage

As I shared with you in my Entry • Organisation post, we store our keys on a hook and sunglasses in a drawer by the front door.  If this is not possible for you, consider an area in your home that you pass on your way out the door.  You could attach a key holder to the inside of a cupboard door and a small basket near it for your sunglasses to go in, that way you’ll know where they are, provided you return them there each time.

I hope the above has been useful. Feel free to comment on this post, in Facebook or Instagram if there are anymore small things you’d like storage solutions for. 

 

Organising • Your Emails

A friend and fellow blogger recently posted about the relief she felt when she spent time going through her emails, deleting and organising them. 

It is a rare day that I don’t go home from work with an empty inbox. It is also rare that I have more than 10 items in my personal email folder. 


How do I do it?

I get stressed when I see people’s inbox and it is full to the max! How do you know what’s there? Is there stuff in there that needs attending to? It REALLY stresses me out. 

This is how I organise my work email, we use Outlook:


I keep things organised, like filing them away. I create sub-folders within my Inbox, like this:


By doing the above, at work I can easily locate client phone lists, procedures I don’t recall, how to guides etc. 

This is how I organise my personal emails. I have a Hotmail account. Excuse the blacked out bits, but I need to protect some privacy. 


Again, folders for everything means that when I need to access documents come tax time, I know they’re going to be in that folder, and don’t need to search through thousands of emails. When I need to locate a receipt for something I’ve purchased online, I go to my receipts and orders folder. Easy!

Are you like me or are you happy with your inbox the way it is?

World Breastfeeding Week 2016

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World breastfeeding week this week. Breastfeeding conjures up so many mixed emotions for me.

Warning – this post is an in depth post about my breastfeeding experience with talk of breasts, nipples and photographs.

Miss 5 was born in 2011. When attending the antenatal classes at our local hospital, “breast is best” was drilled into us. We weren’t even allowed to discuss bottles and formula etc because it was against NSW Health policy at the time.  There was a mum to be in the class who needed to resume taking medication as soon as she gave birth and wouldn’t be able to breastfeed as a result, and she and her partner needed to hang around after the class to discuss separately!

I knew I wanted to breastfeed. Bonding aside, the cost of formula and purchasing bottles etc was something I wanted to avoid. So that was our plan. I would breastfeed.

When Miss 5 arrived after a VERY long labour (a story for another time), she needed to be taken to NICU straight away due to breathing difficulties. When it was time for her first feed, she needed to remain in the humidicrib and receive a bottle. I was devastated!  I wanted to be holding her and feeding her myself. At 3am, I received a call to say I should go to the NICU and breastfeed. I was without my husband and without a midwife trained to assist new Mumma’s with breastfeeding. I placed her on as best I knew how and we went with it. It felt strange and a little sore but I persevered and Miss 5 seemed content.

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Miss 5’s first breastfeed.

She was released to the maternity ward the next day and we continued on feeding. It hurt, and I mean a lot. Each feed I would get nervous. Each feed I would get tense. Each feed it hurt more and more. Each feed a different midwife would come to the room and show me a different way.

“Try directly in front of you”. “Try the football hold”. “Try laying down”. “Try sitting in this chair with a million pillows around you and books under your feet”.

It was exhausting. It was painful. My nipples were cracked. My nipples were bleeding. One night I pressed the buzzer, ready for the next feed and I was crying. Not a little bit. A lot. I felt defeated. I felt incompetent. I felt like a bad mum and I’d only been doing it for two days. The midwife that came in saw how distressed I was and went to fetch a nipple shield. An argument ensued between this lovely midwife and another midwife.

“Her baby is too young, Mum’s supply will drop and the baby will need to go on the bottle”.

The lovely midwife showed me how to apply it and although the feed still hurt, I felt hope.

Nipple shields are a pain in the arse. They need cleaning, they take time to apply which means you can’t be discreet. But my nipples started to heal. Miss 5 lost less than 10% of her birth weight so we felt like everything was going ok and went home.

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Everything took a turn for the worse once we got home. The pain, even with the shield on, was so intense. Each feed was filled with dread, pain and fear. I was having to psych myself up. A countdown for latching. 3, 2, 1 – wuss out. 3, 2, 1 – latch on. Pain, suckling, pain. My husband got up with me nearly every feed, offering support.

The feeds also took a long time. 40 minutes minimum and then time to change her and resettle her. It was exhausting for my husband and I.

I remember searching for lactation consultants who could come to my home, nothing local. The cost, daunting. I remember going to the local community clinic on a Saturday, without an appointment. No interest in helping me. I was eventually appointed a lactation consultant through the Community Clinic and she was a miracle. Hubby went and hired a breast pump from the chemist. I was expressing good volumes into bottles.  Miss 5 guzzled them down. I was still using the nipple shield, still painful. Weight was beginning to drop. Nipples were still bleeding. The lactation consultant amazed I had not come down with mastitis. When Miss 5 reached approximately 5 weeks, the lactation consultant said to me that I needed to make a call. I said I really wanted to continue to breastfeed. 

Miss 5 was confused. She didn’t know what to latch to. She had been exposed to my nipples, bottle teats and nipple shields. The lactation consultant suggested we apply to Karitane to be admitted for a stay to get round the clock assistance. Forms were filled in. Motilium prescription obtained and consumed.

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I used to have to hold my breast at feed times.

And I started to relax. I knew help was on the way. And then a day I will remember forever. Easter Sunday, 2011.

We host Easter Sunday Brunch for both sides of my family. My mother-in-law (Mum-O) and sister-in-law cooked all the food that year, but it was still in our home. Stupid? Probably, but they did nearly everything, I think.

After everyone else had gone home, Mum-O stayed and was chatting with my hubby and I. I had been trying feeds without the shield, and this particular feed, Miss 5 managed to latch on to my nipple and it didn’t hurt. We were at Mum O’s later for dinner and I tried the other side without a nipple shield and it didn’t hurt either. I cried tears of joy!  I was elated. 6 weeks of trying and we made it!

From there it was a breeze and I breastfed her for 18 months.

I conceived Mr 3 at the time of stopping breastfeeding and I was apprehensive about what the next breastfeeding experience would be like.

Thankfully, he was a natural. I delivered him and he was placed directly on my chest. After an hour of him snuggling with me, he fed. It didn’t hurt at all. It felt great!

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Mr 2, milk drunk!

He was clearly a different baby to Miss 5 and he fed and slept. He fed in under 20 minutes. He settled straight away. My supply was fantastic. I knew when my milk had come in. It was obscene I tell you. I have big breasts as it is – I think I have Dolly Parton a run for her money. It wasn’t obvious with Miss 5. It was all so different. I am grateful I got this easier and less painful experience. I breastfed him for 18 months too.

I remember being out with Miss 5 and my brother one day and he told me he was proud of me for my perseverance and sticking to my guns for something I believed in.  I cherish that memory.

As I said above, this is MY breastfeeding experience.  I don’t think I’m a better mum because I breastfed and the mum in the next bed didn’t. This is what I wanted for me and my babies. This is the path we chose for us.

Girls Weekend Away • Southern Highlands

When BabyMac put a call out that tickets were on sale for a long lunch to celebrate her 10 year bloggerversary, I was on the phone as quick as a flash to see if my best friend of 21 years would like to join me and make a weekend of it.

At 11 o’clock we gladly popped in the car, escaping children and made our way down the Hume Highway. First stop was in Mittagong to show Kyly my dream home at the display village in Renwick. A story for another time. 


Upon arrival at the Burrawang General Store, we were warmly welcomed by Beth and then went inside and met Mrs Woog, Nikki from Styling You, Beth’s Mum, Sue (aka suemacca52 on Instagram) and Wendy Harmer. After following them all for various periods of time, all the fellow guests we spoke with commented that we felt like stalkers, knowing all about them, and them knowing nothing about us!


The Burrawang General Store is a lovely old building serving breakfast and lunch. The staff were lovely and very welcoming and the food….divine!

We were spoilt with the food served. We had:

Entree:

Soup Shot, Carrot, orange and ginger with black tahini

Arancini with store made basil passata

Main:

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with salsa verde

Roasted chicken with lemon and garlic

Mixed roasted vegetables

Dessert:

Mini Meringues with mixed dipping sauces

Individual chocolates mousse and vanilla pots de creme


The lamb was Kyly’s fave and the chocolate mousse was mine! Heaven!!!

Nikki and Wendy spoke beautiful words of their friend. Beth seemed baffled that 60 women would want to have a long lunch with her. I’m not surprised. She’s awesome! Nikki played a little game with Beth called Word Association. You’re meant to reply with one word answers. Beth’s not so good at one word answers but lovely answers all the same. 

There was also lucky door prizes and I was the lucky winner of the Oh Mabel pillow cases. I cannot describe how lovely a soft they are. I am very lucky.

From there we went to the Burrawang Pub. Very cosy and enjoyed a lovely chat with Mrs Woog, Wendy and some lovely sisters from Perth. 

As I was rather tipsy from ??? (I’ll plead the fifth on the exact quantity) glasses of wine, we decided to head to our motel – Motel Melrose. Affordable, clean, basic – exactly what we needed for the 11 hours we were in the room – most of it sleeping. 

We decided on tapas at Biota for dinner. We enjoyed salt and vinegar chips, croquettes, fancy Mac and cheese and a fancy cheese burger. A glass of wine each ended the night with Kyly happy and myself – drunk 🙊! The food was tasty the croquette probably our favourite. Service was a little slow and we gave up on waiting for the bill to be brought to our table and went to the bar ourselves. Sleep ensued very soon after. 

Sunday started with a lovely breakfast in Mossvale in a cosy, rustic cafe called Vale Cafe. 


I enjoyed Croque Madame, sourdough with bechamel sauce, ham, gruyere cheese and fried egg. Kyly enjoyed bacon and scrambled eggs with sourdough and we both enjoyed a pot of tea each. She also collaborated on this post. 

We wanted to have breakfast at Highlands Merchant but sadly they aren’t open on a Sunday morning. I settled for a photo instead. 


We were now set for a day of shopping in the Highlands!

First stop, Susie Anderson Homewares. One word, GORGEOUS! The Mossvale store only opened recently and is much bigger than the Bowral store (in Dirty Jane’s). Sadly the items we loved were out of our price range. From linens to crockery, soaps to garden pots, something for everyone, if you can afford it. 

Next, the Main Street of Bowral. We ducked in to Kikki K, Bed Bath N Table, clothing stores, Dirty Janes etc. Lunch was at a lovely cafe called Palate Pleasure and it certainly did pleasure our palates! After the night before, we were hanging for a burger and fries. We both ordered the chicken burger and it was delish!


Last stop was Barbara’s storehouse in Mittagong. Lots of baskets, cushions, rugs, throws and decor items available and worth a look if driving past. 

And then home, tired but refreshed from a lack of squabbling between children!

Do you like a girls weekend away? Had one recently or planning one soon?  Suggestions please!  This was our second and we plan many more!