How to get through the whole house being sick. 

It started last Tuesday in the office. I was freezing and despite putting my cardigan on and drinking tea, I couldn’t get warm. I made it to the end of the day and by the time I got home I felt terrible and had a fever. Thankfully hubby beat me home and had picked up one kid and had a start on dinner. I hopped in a nice hot bath, pyjamas, dressing gown, slippers and onto the lounge under a nice warm blanket. 

The ensuing days were spent in bed or on the lounge, only going out to see our doctor or picking up my daughter from school.  Thursday was a tough day. My hubby had compulsory training at work and this was when I felt my worst. Miss 6 and Mr 4 were now both sick and home from School/Daycare. Pyjama day it was. Thankfully, Miss 6 can operate the TV and I unashamedly used the TV as a babysitter. This got us through to nap time when I sent us all to bed at 1pm.  Hubby came home as soon as he could which was whilst we were all sleeping. He needed to rest too, he was getting sick. Neither of us felt like cooking but Hubby was well enough to go and shop for some basics, stock up on Codral and Panadol and to get takeaway on his way home. 

Friday all four of us were home. I was starting to feel better. I was sick of the TV being on so it was time for us to head outside. At first just at home and then to a local duck pond after nap/rest time. 

So, my tips to get you through this awful time?

1. Be as organised as you can in advance. 

We always make sure we have Codral/Panadol/Nurofen in the cupboard. This will save any late night dashes to the pharmacy.  Surplus tissues are also a good idea. Coral all these items into one container and keep either nearby or in a central location so you/your partner knows where things are in the middle of the night. 


2. Try to keep on top of your routines, but cheat or do the bare minimum.  

I had no energy to be hanging out washing on the line, so I only laundered the clothes that could go in the dryer at first and then washed the rest and hung on hangers on an airer inside. The first load was washed on Wednesday but didn’t get folded until Sunday when Hubby and the kids felt well enough to do it.  It meant we didn’t spend all day Sunday catching up on the washing. We only had to fold it all. 

We weren’t that hungry and when we were it was pretty much just tea and toast. This helped with little to no washing up and we just had to load the dishwasher.  When I did have washing up to do, I left it til I felt well enough and did it then. 


I need clear visual spaces around me to be able to relax. The kids had pillows and blankets all over the lounge room. I got them to help me for a couple of minutes before dinner to tidy up the lounge room so that I could relax again. Similarly, when I got up in the morning, I quickly tidied the bed covers, threw out any dirty tissues from overnight and took any dirty cups with me when I went down to the kitchen.

3. Shower and dress

Wednesday I had to dress for visiting the doctor and picking up my daughter. Thursday was a pyjama day. Come Friday I needed to wash my hair and get dressed. This certainly made me feel better.  I wanted to feel very comfortable though so I opted for an outfit of ponte pants, t-shirt, cardigan, scarf and slippers.  Dressy enough for a visit to the duck pond but comfortable for time on the lounge or in bed. 

4. Food

I made sure that there were snacks the kids could easily access. We had heaps of berries they could easily reach in the fridge and the fruit bowl was on the bench.  Prepare meals to suit how you’re feeling. We had lots of tea and toast and soup. 


5. Bedding

Try to change your pillow slips daily and wash your sheets when you are feeling well enough. 

6. Delegate

If other people in your household are well, get them to hep out. You need to be feeling better asap so rest up and ask others for help. 

Overall

The only way you are going to get better is if you rest up.  Do as little as possible. You will be better faster and back on top of thinks in no time. 

When you are feeling better, give the house a good clean, open the windows, go from room to room disenfecting door knobs and light switches, benches and bathrooms. 

Have you and your family gotten sick lately?  What are your tips to help the household get through it?  

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The story of the travelling pork roast. 

We are very fortunate that we live close to both sides for families. This means on a Sunday night you will find us at Mum O’s house enjoying a Sunday night dinner.

Last Sunday night Mum O cancelled dinner as she was going to be away and wasn’t sure what time she would be back. I decided I was going to cook a pork roast, complete with crackling, and roast veggies.

Hubby and Miss 6 did the grocery shopping on Saturday morning and purchased everything we needed. Sunday morning I dried out the rind and returned to the fridge to continue drying out.

Once we got back from Hubby’s football game I pre-heated the oven to 240, boiled the kettle, pouree it over the pork, dried the pork, lathered it with olive oil and covered the pork with salt flakes.  I wanted crackling!!!


I decided to watch a Facebook video I’d been meaning to watch whilst the oven came up to temperature. As I watched I thought I saw a flickering light out of the corner of my eye. I then thought maybe the fan from the oven was blowing the tea towel on the oven and returned to my video after checking what temp the oven was at – 200. Ok – not long to go. 

I the saw more flickering and decided to keep my eye on the oven. Yep!  The oven was sparking and then the temp started dropping!  My oven died right when I was cooking a roast!!!  

Plan B – take roast to Mum O’s and cook it there!  So my baking tray and I headed off in the car with my laptop and diary to do some work whilst it cooked and some “quiet time” from the kids. Win/win!

Mum O had just arrived home so once I had her ok to intrude, in the roast went. After all my efforts getting the piece of meat ready the crackling didn’t crackle!  Off it came and under the grill it went. Came up a little burnt but tasty enough. 


Once it was all cooked, I grabbed a towel and took my roast home again!


Did I enjoy it – sure did. But now we need to decide whether to repair our oven or purchase a new one.  Should I cook a roast for the first meal in our new oven should we go that route?

If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please give it a like. If you have anything to say, leave a comment, I’d love to chat. If you think it would be of benefit to someone, please share. 

Just what the Doctor ordered…

Ever since the school bell rang at 2.50pm on the last Friday of Term 2, I was dreaming of today. The only day in the school holidays where we were going to be able to stay home in our pyjamas all day. And I mean all day, showering and putting on a clean pair of pyjamas. 

The kids woke early so I set them up with some morning telly and headed back to my warm bed. We then ate breakfast at around 9am. 

10am saw the kids crack open Connect Four and then we all played The Game of Life. Mr 4 lost interest in this one. I opted to live my opposite life. No marriage. College education and career as a Rocket Scientist and kid-free. Purchased my dream country home – the only part of the way I played the game today that I would love to do in real life lol!


Lunch saw us indulge in a cheese platter. So yummy!


Mr 4 and I headed off to our beds. He had a lovely long nap. I was going to nap too but I “accidentally” binge watched the balance of The Handmaid’s Tale – whoops. 
We reconvened for a game of Monopoly Jnr. A little tanty from Mr 4 because he wanted a “Chance” card 🙄. 


I tried a new recipe tonight for dinner. It came up on the Aldi Facebook page recently and it had me at garlic + chicken + cream. It was delicious. I served it with rice because despite telling our kids thousands of times that mashed potato is just mashed up chips, they still won’t eat it.  Here’s a link to the recipe

Today took a little planning. When I said it was the only day we could have a pyjama day, I meant it. I’ve worked through the holidays so we were out the door by 7am on the Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday. The Thursdays were taken with plans already and last Friday we had swimming lessons still for Mr 4. Swimming for Miss 6 and Mighty Kickers for Mr 4 on Saturdays and football for Hubby on the Sundays.  I was determined to keep today free. 

I was unexpectantly home this last Wednesday as Mr 4 had a tummy bug. I cleaned the house and did all the washing.  As I was moving between tasks I was thinking to myself how grateful I would be on Friday, having all this done. Nurturing the house on Wednesday so it could nurture me and my family on Friday. I was grateful and our home certainly nurtured us. 

We’ve showered and put on our clean pyjamas and the kids will be going to bed shortly. There have been tantrums and minor injuries and the usual tears that come with sibling relationships but there have also been lots of cuddles, love and laughter shared today too. And that has been nourishment for this tired Mumma’s soul!

Have you managed a pyjama day lately?  Was it really needed/overdue?  Tell me what you love doing on a pyjama day. 

PS – watch The Handmaid’s Tale through SBS On Demand – wonderful series!

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The Man Cupboard

Hello!  It’s been a couple of weeks, but I’m back again. 

It was the Hubby’s birthday last week and I had been thinking for a while as to what I/the kids could get him. It then dawned on me that I rarely use the desk in the lounge room anymore preferring to either work in my studio or home admin on the lounge or dining table. I decided to remove the desk and shelves and buy my man a cupboard, going halves with Mum-O. The cupboard compliments the other already in use in the lounge room. It is from IKEA and is from the Liatorp series. 


I took the day off work (so sneaky – Hubby thought I’d gone to work and I had to tell him white lies all day!) and got Dad round to help me construct the cupboard. 2 hours later the cupboard was built and Dad headed off home to let me get on with making it look pretty. 


Hubby doesn’t really collect anything now, but in his younger years he collected Midori Illusion Shakers, Jim Beam anything, Ford items, Coca Cola items, Manchester United items and Converse items. 


I started out with the middle shelf as the petrol pump at the back was the tallest item to be decorated around. I then purchased my Hubby the Ford book for his birthday and used a combination of symmetry and height to display the balance of the items. 

On the top shelf I placed his Red Bull collection and some miscellaneous items, again utilising the height of each item to determine the layout. To the right I placed a photo of him in his current football (soccer) uniform and some photos of him in his heyday.  I was having trouble getting his medallion to stand up so used some 3M strips to hang it on the back of the cupboard. 


The next shelf down I placed his Midori Illusion Shakers – collected from night clubs circa 1998. I decided to dress this up with a framed Cheers sign, cocktail glasses from the kitchen and we bought him a cocktail recipe book. 


The shelf below the Ford items houses his Jim Beam collection which will be a growing collection as he still likes to drink this today. I again adopted a mixture of symmetry and height to display these items. 


Overall, Hubby was excited to see this when he got home from work, thrilled to have his items in the lounge room again, and shocked I’d managed to trick him into thinking I’d been at work all day 😀!


My tips for creating vignettes/shelf displays:

  1. Odd numbers work well. I don’t know why, they just look good. 
  2. Vary the height of items, working from tallest at the back to shortest at the front. 
  3. Stick to a theme. 
  4. Less is more but if going with more, consider layers/textures. 
  5. Use colour in your decor items to blend in/compliment the colours already used in the room. 
  6. Consider a level of symmetry. 

Have you redecorated a room in your house lately?  Tell me all about it!

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Overwhelmed. Some things I know. 

On 4 May I was involved in a minor car accident. I was fully stopped to turn into our street and a car rear-ended my car.

 

Whilst I have no physical or psychological injury from the accident something has changed in me. I have been highly emotional and more tired than usual. 

No, I am not pregnant! Lol.  Maybe it’s a moon cycle/stars aligning or not aligning thing. Who knows. 

There have been many tears shed in the last month over various things. Some minor that would normally have minimal impact on me. So to combat this unusually emotionally high period I have tried to keep things simple and do some basic things I like/enjoy or have needed to do. 

It started with a full body massage two Saturday’s after the accident. I always hold stress in my back from my shoulders all the way down to my bottom. I was sore. So sore. I cried from the pain whilst the massage was taking place. The lightest touch hurt. I returned home to an empty house. I had a long soak in the bath and then went to bed with a hot water bottle, anti-inflammatories and the TV series, The Queen (very good!). I pretty much stayed here for the balance of the day. 


Tea. Tea is so good. It can be invigorating. It can be calming. It is something that I make as a habit. It is also something I make to spoil myself. The ones out of habit tend to be tea bags in a coffee cup. The ones I make to spoil myself are usually loose leaf teas in a tea pot with a special mug/tea cup and saucer and a little jug of milk. I try to take the time to sit and really enjoy it. 


Declutter. Our house is pretty good at the moment. So, I’ve been working my bottom off in the office to get usual work done asap and then I’ve been turning my attention to archiving files and turfing old briefs. Getting rid of the clutter. So good. No one else seems to care, but it makes me feel better. 

Reading. I haven’t read much for myself lately but I’ve been reading short chapter books with my daughter. Her reading is coming along so beautifully, she’ll be reading solely to me without help soon. I can’t wait. 


Kicking a ball around. Fridays are days for my son and I. I will miss these when he starts school maybe next year, if not, definately the year after. After swimming lessons we have short window before lunch and nap time to kick a ball around outside.

 

My husband. He truly is my best friend and my biggest support. He has held me when I’ve cried. Listened to me ramble on. Taken the kids when I’ve needed time alone or time to study on the weekends. 

My other best friend. She’s taken my calls when I’ve rung. Sent me motivational text messages. Held me when I cried. (Gosh I’ve been emotional).  She is amazing. 

Keep things simple. Unfortunately for Mr now 4, his birthday has fallen during this time. He was undecided about what he wanted to do for his birthday and settled on a party at home. I kept it very simple. One trip to Big W for decorations. One trip to Spotlight for balloons. One trip to the cake shop for fondant.  Two grocery shops to split the cost over two pay periods. Hubby took on the entertainment and outdoor tidy up.  I did the food and cleaning inside. Mum-O offered to also do some nibbles. It was a very easy and relaxed affair. Mr 4 had a great time. We got to speak to the guests. It was a great afternoon. Just don’t let him near the hot-waxy candles!


Take offers of help. If people offer, accept graciously. People do genuinely want to help. When I offer, I mean it. We are having friends for dinner this Saturday. They offered to bring something. I would usually have said ‘no thank you, but on this occasion I’ve asked them to bring a red wine to go with the beef ragu I intend making. My knowledge of wine is limited, especially red wine. They hold knowledge here. Now I won’t be apologising for the wine and I’m sure it will complement our meal perfectly. 

Take time. I am an introvert. I need time to sit and be alone with my thoughts. I can’t function well and be all that I want to be unless I have that time. This past weekend has seen me out Friday and Saturday nights. Thankfully both Saturday and Sunday during the day were quiet days and allowed me to recharge. It also meant the kids got to hang at home, create dance routines, play with the new toys, rest etc. 

I’ve probably rambled a bit too long.  I guess in short, I am trying to take things easy and be kind to myself as I go through this phase. There are no new organising jobs at home at the moment. My assignments are progressing a little slowly at the moment.  I really must submit one this week. There may or may not be a new post next week. We’ll see. I will report back. 

Tracey xx

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Studio • Design

My Design Studio is at the rear of the playroom. I’ve shared a few pictures of my studio when in use before as I didn’t want to share it until it was finished but I’ve come to realise that this space is going to continually be evolving as my course progresses/finalises and I start my business.

Currently, I am using the Linnmon/Finnvard desk from IKEA and Örfjäll/Sporren chair from IKEA. 


The shelving to the left of my desk has been there for a few years and is easily adaptable due to the bracket system. It is fine for now, but as more equipment is needed, I may move to cupboards. I’m just not sure what my needs are at the moment and don’t want to invest in storage that I may need to change out. 

On the wall I have a KikkiK vision board and Kmart peg board to hang inspirational images/items. The vision board is bare at the moment as I’m in between assessment tasks. 


Under the vision and peg boards I have installed the Fintorp rail with metal buckets attached to store my lead pencils and pens, coloured pencils, textas and paint brushes. Super handy and easy to keep tidy. 


To the left I store my visual diaries, boards, portfolio, various types of pencils (watercolour, charcoal, metallic etc), rulers, set squares, paints, fabrics, pencils etc. I’m not 100% happy with this set up but it works for the time being. 


On the shelf above I’ve got all my course material, text books and inspirational images. All my design magazines are in the lounge room but may come on here soon. 
Dad collected the brick you see pictured from a building site many years ago. A convict brick with an imprint of a heart in it. 


There are some other items that don’t really belong in here on those shelves but until I get up to date with our photo albums, they’ll need to stay there. 

Under the desk I store a bin for paper off-cuts ect on one side and a dog bed for our Gemma on the other. She loves to join me in here, especially when we’re home alone. Initially it was next to my desk but I kept rolling over the bed (not Gemma) when I’d get up. We are both happy with this solution.


On my desk you’ll see a lamp, a vase that sometimes has flowers in it, a vase I’m using to store tall paintbrushes and rulers. I also have a coaster because you can never drink too much tea in my book and a little dish for my rings when I’m working. For some reason my watch and rings come off when I’m working. I also have a plate depicting a scene from Holland, my dad’s birthplace. 


So that’s it!  That’s where you’ll find me most Thursdays and as many times I can manage it through the rest of the week. 


Do you have a space to call your own at home?

Mother’s Day 2017

“What would you like to do for Mother’s Day?” asks Hubby. 

I start to think. What do I want to do?

My wish list:

  • A relaxing morning. 
  • A peaceful day with no arguments. 
  • A nice meal with the sun shining down on us and the kids able to play nicely together. 
  • Cuddles and kisses. 
  • Pots of tea.
  • Perhaps a little Nanna nap under a blanket. 
  • A clean house for the day without me picking up after everyone. 
  • Visit my Mum whilst Hubby plays football. 
  • Peace.
  • Oh and did I mention PEACE!

After I replied, my hubby said:

“You know the only way that I’m going to be able to achieve that is by taking the kids out for the day without you.”

He’s right of course.

But the thing is that society has built Mother’s Day up as a Hallmark event. Everyone puts on their Sunday best and heads out for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and is expected to behave perfectly for Mummy.

A couple of years ago I remember both my children chucked the biggest tantrums just before we were heading out to what was supposed to be the “perfect day”. The 20 minute drive saw me in fits of tears, my “perfect day” ruined by their tantrum. Then came lengthy delays just to get to the venue due to traffic and then having to put on a front in front of thousands of people that I was in fact having a “perfect Mother’s Day”. Pressure!

Please don’t get me wrong. I love my children more than life itself but, parenting is exhausting. Mediating arguments, being asked questions constantly and meeting their needs is exhausting. Running around after them, picking them up, being tugged on. It’s exhausting. You don’t get to do what you want to do because their needs come first.  Which is fine. It’s expected. They need our love, our support and our guidance but meeting the above often means neglecting what we want and sometimes, what we need. 

So this year what did I do?  I did everything that I wanted to do, but over four days. Genius right?!?!?

I spent time alone with my daughter over afternoon tea on Thursday afternoon and then I helped at my daughters school on Friday morning with the Mother’s Day Stall.  I got to hang with some really awesome Mums! 


I then got to spend some time alone with my son. We headed to daycare and my son painted my nails #blessed 😉. 

Saturday I went to the shops, ran a few errands, enjoyed my favourite meal at my favourite cafe and then had a full body massage (which was actually very painful and resulted in tears from the pain of it, but was something for me), enjoyed a long soak in the bath whilst watching a TV show on the laptop and then went to bed with a hot water bottle over my sciatica and tried to study whilst laying on my side lol!

Sunday morning saw the kids sleep until 7am 🙌🏻. Presents were opened and some eaten (well played Daycare with the hand made chocolate). 
Breakfast in bed followed with the bedroom door closed = peace. 


A pot of tea ✔️

A trip to the movies


Afternoon tea with my Mum


As I’d done all the activities I wanted to do over the past few days, I was much more relaxed and easy-going yesterday!

We are truly lucky to get Mothers Day. We whinge and whine about our kids sometimes/a lot depending on the day, but we are lucky to have them. I know women who have tried and can’t have kids. There are women who have lost their child through miscarriage/labor of through illness. I suffered a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. It’s awful. So whilst I won’t get the “perfect day” all in one day, I am lucky to get to celebrate the day at all.  Lucky that my hubby was happy to take the kids when I needed him too and let me spread it out as required and I got there in the end.  My kids are happy they got to spoil me and isn’t watching their happiness worth it!

And I’ll leave you with this. 


Big hugs to you Mumma’s xx

Simply Organised. Simply Beautiful. is 1!

Well, that went fast! 

A year ago I was procrastinating completing an assessment task and happened to create a blog!  Terrified and excited putting myself, my family and my home in front of you all to see. 


I’ve shared my home, my KonMari “journey”, my family and my studies with you and thought I might share a bit about me with you!

Let’s start with the obvious:

My name is Tracey. 

I’m married and just clocked 10 years.

We have 2 kids – Miss 6 and Mr 3. 

I’m studying interior decoration. 


I love decluttering and organising. 

My favourite colour is blue. 

Some things you may not know:

I’m a legal secretary at a Sydney law firm 3 days per week. 

I love pasta, chocolate and sweet white wine. 

I used to play the clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxaphone and would love to pick one up again. 

I also used to be a lead singer of the school band and community band. 

I enjoy watching DIY/Design shows. 

I snort when I laugh sometimes. 

I drive a manual car. 

I don’t like my handwriting. 

I can be very sarcastic sometimes. 

I love setting the table properly. 


I am an introvert. I’ve only recently learnt this about myself. I thought I was an extrovert. Maybe I was when I was younger and changed…

I happily go to movies and cafes alone – probably to do with the above. 

My favourite season is Spring followed by Autumn, Summer and Winter. 

I love reading. 

I love sharing with you.

What’s to come?  Well I have 6 months left to finish off my interior decoration course and then next year I will hopefully be able to move into business creation. I may also have time to really get into my KonMari’ing, more DIY around the home etc. 

68 blog posts have been written. There’s over 250 of you over on Facebook, a handful on WordPress and just over 200 on Instagram. Now 50 of you are my friends over at Facebook which means 200 of you have come across my page and decided to stay and I am amazed and grateful! But this is not a one-way street – please don’t be shy! Please comment or share as much as you like.  I’d love to get to know you. 

I’m so glad you’re here! Xx

It’s white again!

Because I lead a very exciting life I decided to do something completely out of this world Tuesday when I was unexpectedly home for the day with Mr 3 who was sick. 

Beth over at BabyMac often shares a #OneThing post every now and then. It’s that one thing that needs doing that you’ve been putting off. 

I have quite a few #OneThing’s and decided to tackle one of them Tuesday. Giving our white dining table really good clean.

Bought from IKEA 6 years ago, the table has done really well. Daily breakfasts, nightly dinners and occasional lunches. Assessment tasks, homework and craft sessions. 

So, I did a little test patch of some gumption with a chux cloth before picking Miss 6 up from school and it worked so as Miss 6 did her homework (🙄) I lightly rubbed the table with gumption and wiped off. I then gave it a good wipe over with spray’n’wipe and walla!

3/4 done

 

Done!

So, one #onething ticked off the to-do list!

The weekend that was…

Oh weekends. The time of the week we all crave for.

How was yours?

Our weekend was a time for me to study, Hubby mowed the lawn, worked on the cubby house and the usual washing/drying/folding/tidying/cleaning that NEVER ends. 


Sounds pretty typical?  Mr 3 got sick. He only wanted his Mummy. Whilst I didn’t get as much study done as I want to, I did get lovely cuddles with my boy. Silver linings?

I cooked up a yummy chicken and bacon pasta. 

  • 500 g chicken thigh sliced into cubes
  • Bacon sliced into pieces
  • 600 ml thickened cream
  • 1 brown onion
  • Garlic, crushed to taste
  • Handful of mushrooms sliced

Get a pot of water boiling and then add the pasta and cook as per packet instructions.

Whilst the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken. Remove from pan. Cook the bacon. Remove from pan. Cook the diced brown onion until tender then add the garlic and the mushrooms. Once they’ve softened add in the cream and the cooked chicken and bacon.

This all came together at the same time. I drained the pasta and then added the chicken and bacon sauce to the pasta pot and served.  It was delicious. 

We also gave these a try


I don’t normally grab things like these from the supermarket but felt like trying something new. Quite tasty and Miss 6 liked the macaroni cheese balls the best. 


We decided to have a family movie night and we gave Moana a go for the first time. Miss six is very sensitive to movies and is easily scared. This was why we didn’t see it at the movies. With a few scary moments size, it was a movie that she really enjoyed. I thought it was fantastic. A good measure for me as to whether I really liked a movie or not is whether or not I blacked watch again. I’d like to watch this one again.

Sunday morning saw me in the studio Brighton early to get some study done in order that we could spend some time as a family out of the local food festival. Local restaurants come out to share their produce with the community. When joyed some loaded fries and a beef and pork slider from juicy goosy. It was lovely to run into my brother and his family and sit together to enjoy our lunch and vocal talents of a local performer. It was just beautiful weather and it was lovely seeing my niece nephew.



After naptime at home for my son and some more study for me, we then headed out to watch my hubby play football (soccer). I need a more comfy chair for this activity and I’m thinking I should get this:


I mean it may be a little OTT but when our kids start playing and their games are 8am in the middle of winter, I’ll be very grateful. Mothers Day is coming up…

So tell me about your weekend, pretty typical or did you do something out of the ordinary?  I’d love to know!