Grateful for… my humble home

Lately I have been feeling quite negative about my home, my neighbourhood, my suburb.

It’s been a feeling that has been growing for a few years but has really escalated with the saga of getting our little boy into school.  You see, we live on the outskirts of a suburb that has a very mixed demographic.   When we moved here 10 years ago our little cottage was the last house in our sleepy street. Our big block is at the top of a hill. We had a wonderful view, a neighbouring farm and an environmental park across the street.  We had lovely neighbours whose kids would play cricket outside our house, scaring away the wallabies who would come to eat our grass. It was bliss.

But our neighbours have moved, the farm is now a development and the wallabies have found a new home. Things have changed immeasurably.  Our plan was to move before our first child went to school. Enter the GFC and its devastating effect on the building industry. My husband’s industry.  Enter anxiety about money, weeks without work, plans put on hold.

We are far from destitute (fortunately as being frugal is not my strong point) but committing to a large mortgage when our financial future is uncertain is not a situation we want to be in.

So here we are today. Not in the catchment area of the school we want. Anxious about the prospect of sending our baby to a school with a somewhat questionable reputation. (But perhaps I’m a school snob? Possibly a concept that needs to be explored in another post).

All my emotions – confusion, resentment, anxiety, disappointment – have been directed at our house. If only it was 2km down the road!  We can’t sell. We can’t buy. Trapped.

But then I took the time to look, really look, around our house, our home. 

Every significant event in my life in the last 10 years has a memory associated with this house.  I remember when we first joked about the idea of getting married in Fiji, sitting in the dining room of this home. I can tell you the exact spot I was standing in the hallway when my doctor phoned to say was I pregnant with Will. The living room is the backdrop of a vivid recollection of sitting, heavily pregnant, sobbing as my mum told us my grandfather was gone. 

And most importantly, all of my boys firsts – rolls, steps, words, all happened here. In our home.  A place that echoes daily with their cheeky laughter, mischievous play and raucous rough-housing.  

Yes, there’s the daggy kitchen, total lack of storage (think golf clubs living in the laundry) and of course the horrid retro red and black bathroom that I can never get 100% mold free.  But there is also the magnificent bottle tree, the pool and of course the brick fireplace that I fell in love with the moment I walked in the door.

How can I resent such a special place?  This house is our first family home.  It is a place my boys will remember and treasure their whole lives.

I can’t resent a place like that. I can only be so very, very grateful.

Don’t forget to visit Maxabella loves…for more thankful thoughts.

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Neé knows… a spoon full of sugar

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If only there was a little more Mary Poppins magic in the world. I’m certainly not anywhere near practically perfect in ANYway, but here are my little pearls of wisdom this week:

I know I’m super excited about getting Mary Poppins tix for January!

I know that I was bordering on fraudulent when I ticked the box on the census stating I spend 30+ hours on domestic duties. My defence is that I misread the question as “how many hours SHOULD you be spending on domestic duties”.

I know that I was being very generous ticking the census box stating that The Man spends “5 to 14 hours” on domestic duties.

I know it’s a sign I’m finally growing up when no mummy-tantrum was forthcoming the day we pulled up at daycare and my preschooler declared he left his lunch box at home, AGAIN. Mary Poppins would be proud.

I know that belting out Adele’s “Somebody Like You” in the car is amazingly therapeutic even if it does not sound particularly amazing.

I know that I will drive myself, and everyone around me, completely nuts waiting until November to have our school enrollment confirmed or denied.

I know (very deep down) that my boy will be alright no matter what school he goes to. He is such an amazing little human being who is super intelligent, compassionate, strong-willed and so very very loved.

I know that I am so very fortunate in life and need to be more grateful for things like the roof over my head (I’ll explore this further in tomorrow’s grateful post).

I know that I really just need to take a step back and get a little perspective. Perhaps a spoon full of sugar would help…

I’m linking up with the lovely Shae from Yay for Home’s Things I Know.

What’s your favourite piece of Mary Poppins magic?

 

 

Image from We Heart It

Things I know & am grateful for…

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Here’s a little collection of things I know & am grateful for this week:

I know people deserve to be acknowledged for good stuff they do, even if it’s just “what they get paid for”.

I am grateful for my son’s kindy teachers as they take such good care of him & love him almost as much as we do (demonstrated by homemade caramel fudge & choc-chip cookies). I’m very sad he’s moving out of their room next week.

I’m grateful for the folk at work helping me with the massive task of facilitating 3 weeks consecutive training (demonstrated by Ferrero Rochers). So, so grateful!!!

I know nothing says “thank you” better than chocolate!

I (now) know & am VERY grateful that stuff kids say is usually just that. Often nothing for neurotic overprotective mummy’s to lose sleep over *ahem*

I know & am grateful that Vegemite on toast IS a wholesome and acceptable dinner time offering every once in a while.

I know my babies are growing too fast.

I know if I can’t get my son into our school of choice, I will buy a caravan & set up home in the school car park so we are classified as “in-catchment”.

Ok, so those last two don’t  fall under the “Grateful” category but are definitely things I know for sure!

What are you grateful for this week & what do you know for sure?

Today I’m linking up for the first time with Yay for Home’s Things I Know & don’t forget to pop over to the gorgeous Maxabella loves… for some more thankful thoughts.

 

 Image from We Heart It

Grateful that… there’s an app for that!

I love my iPad but must admit I don’t use it as much as I thought I would when I was dropping hints to my husband last xmas (ok it was more like desperate pleading & begging. But it worked!)

I use it to surf, Facebook, blog and there’s a few kids games on it. Basically everything I use my iPhone for – just bigger.

That was up until I picked up a camera connection kit a couple of weeks back. Previously I rarely had photos on my iPad (it’s only a lowly first generation one – sans camera). Since getting this nifty little connection I’ve been downloading my pics straight to the iPad and playing around with some funky photo editing apps.

I’m now constantly playing with my iPad – my kids are my favourite photographic subject, of course, and I love showcasing their snaps. 

I’m still trialing various apps and haven’t progressed past the free versions yet, but these are the ones I love so far:

1. Diptic – handy little app that combines your pics into a single frame. There are a number of layouts you can choose from including some available through in-app purchase. You have the ability to change the colour and thickness of the frame border and do minor edits to the photo eg. brightness.   You can share via email, Facebook & Flickr. 

Diptic is a simple app which I think is great for combining pics with no fuss. I like to use it to share pics on Facebook, as rather than people having to click through heaps of photos, you can showcase the highlights in one pic.

2. Photoshop Express – a nice basic editing app that let’s you crop, rotate, change contrast, exposure and focus. It also has effects like vignette blur, vintage warm and pop (below).  It has 8 simple borders to choose from as well.  You can share via Facebook and PS online. There are in-app purchases for iPad 2 (but being an iPad pleb, I don’t know anything about those ;P)

3. Fotolr Photo Studio – is by far my favourite. It has more features than I will ever use.  You can do all sorts of funky edits to your pics including colour effects, adding background scenes, changing skin, lip and eye colour and even add mustaches!  The frames and text are what I mainly use this app for (great for watermarking blog pics). In-app sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email is possible at a single click (tap).

A very simple to use app. I’ve also just downloaded the Fotolr Album app which facilitates sharing between devices. This will also be very handy as I currently email pics from my iPhone to my iPad.

Now… use them all together and you can do something like this…

As I have previously mentioned, creativity and technical aptitude are not personal strengths. I would hate for my photos just to sit on my camera or laptop looking ordinary.

So I am very grateful that there’s an app for that!

PS. This is not a paid review – I’m just joining up with Maxabella loves… thankful thoughts.

Grateful for…a whole lot

Well this week has been hectic, frustrating and draining but on reflection I find I’m grateful for a lot of things, without which it could have been a whole lot worse.

1. Australia Post – I know. Strange huh?  Never thought I’d find myself saying it but it’s true.  I love shopping online and think it’s a great way to purchase gifts, but this week I left my run a little late. It was a close call but the poster and the postie both came through for me & I received my item today in time for gifting to a very special someone tomorrow!

.la douleur exquise.

2. Consciencous work mates – few & far between where I work, but those few are awesome and have saved me a lot of hassle by covering my training sessions for the rest of the days I don’t normally work. No more last minute babysitters required!

3. Male parental figure at my house (aka The Man) – without whom a certain monster would rule the roost. Not sure why, but I have absolutely no control over Bam Bam. We have a trashed bedroom &  scratches on my arm after today’s attempts to get him to nap which stand testimony to this!  The Man, on the other hand, just says the word & he’s asleep. My theory is that they speak the same language. Go figure.

4. Microwaves – without which I would not still be drinking a hot coffee which was originally made 4 hours ago.

And last, but definitely not least…

5. Red wine & chocolate – no further elaboration required.

What are you grateful for this week? Don’t forget to pop over to Maxabella loves… for some more thankful thoughts.

Beautiful gift image courtesy of We Heart It.

Grateful for… My Bed!!

I’m running a little late with my gratitude post this week due to a rare overnight stay with my hubby sans kids.

You heard right! After much negotiation and logistical consideration, we managed to get the kids taken care of and we headed off for a grown up night out in the big smoke. 

An overnight stay in a hotel affords me two little luxuries: a few glasses of wine (I’m ALWAYS the driver) AND a sleep in. 

No worrying about if the dog gets on the couch in the middle of the night.  No cats fighting in the hallway at 3 am. No pre-dawn alarm clock courtesy of The Man. No live wire kids bombarding me at 5.30am before I’ve had the bare minimum caffeine intake required to facilitate semi-human functioning. 

In short: Bliss!

The only problem is that I can’t sleep in a hotel room bed. I don’t know exactly why but am guessing it’s a combination of a hard mattress, uncomfortable pillows and very suspect bed coverings (I used to work in a DNA lab – I know what can be found on a supposedly “clean”  hotel room duvet!)

Not the hotel room we stayed in!

I wish, along with my GHD & the kitchen sink, I could pack my bed when I go away. My beautiful soft, warm bed, in all it’s king-size watery glory.

I love that no matter how many times I get up in the night, it’s always waiting for me to snuggle straight back in.  I love the guilty pleasure of rolling over into that perfect space in the middle as soon as The Man vacates.

For this trip away I did take my favourite pillow in the hope that it would help me sleep, but alas. Although, now that I think of it, the fact the room was spinning quite a bit when I first laid down may have had something to do with my discomfort?

In any case, I got to stay in bed until the unheard of time of 9am which more than made up for tossing & turning for a few hours early in the piece.

I also was allowed to have a lie-in this morning in my own little bower. Bliss x2!

Very grateful for sleep ins & very grateful for my bed!

What are you grateful for this week? Don’t forget to pop over to Maxabella loves… for some more thankful thoughts.

Image courtesy of  We Heart It

My life of privilege

 I am so tremendously grateful for my life of privilege.

I am grateful that I have a roof over my head and warm fluffy slippers on my feet.

I am grateful for the fresh running water we drink and that my babies have fat little tummies full of food.

I am grateful for our good health and that we are surrounded (for the most part) by love and peace, not war and violence.

I am especially grateful to have had the luxury to treat my child yesterday to such a frivolous excursion as Disney on Ice. Our lives would honestly not be poorer for missing it, but I know my boy’s little heart is full of wonder and magic from the experience.

How could I be anything but grateful?

What are you grateful for this week? Don’t forget to pop over to Maxabella loves… for some more thankful thoughts.

TGIF

I’m grateful a little early this week because I’m feeling extra grateful for Fridays. They are the beginning of my weekend and boy it seemed to take a long time to get here this week!  It’s been a strange and painful couple of days.

I took a little trip down some stairs at work on Tuesday, managing to twist my ankle and bruise most of the rest of me.  It’s been a bit of a struggle, hopping through kindy drop-offs, campus-wide audits and ridiculous amounts of meetings. Plus it’s been soooo cold! I really do believe my office is a portal to the arctic. Thank goodness for scarves and my secret office indulgence, a footrest heater (*ssh*).

So you can see why today I am very grateful for Friday. A home day for me and the boys. We stayed in our PJ’s till 11am and then went out into the sunshine where I set up an obstacle course so the boys could burn off some energy without me having to run around with them. What a lovely start to the weekend.

One thing I’ve realised this week is how much I’ve let our routine slip lately. Time to get organised to make my working week run a little more smoothly. Even though it’s only 3 days, lack of planning (& little accidents) can make our normally chaotic house more so than usual! I plan on using these great menu planners courtesy of  Super Organiser Mum as a kick-start to getting us back on track. I love these matching To Do’s as well. The pinboard is going up tomorrow!

What are you grateful for this week? Don’t forget to pop over to Maxabella loves…  tomorrow for some more thankful thoughts.

Grateful For…

This weekend I’m grateful for Facebook. Yes, I know, strange considering my struggle with a self-confessed Facebook Addiction.

These are the reasons I’m grateful for FB this weekend:

  • Keeping up with exciting developments. Many of my friends are setting up business ventures and it’s great to be able to watch their businesses grow and follow their progress. Two awesome chicks in my life doing great things are Allie @ Miss Fascinator  and Lou Lou @ Inviting Style (shameless plug).
  • Connecting & networking – the whole purpose of social networking afterall. I’ve been learning lots following my favourite blogs & great resources like Digital Parents through their FB pages.

But my main reason for being grateful for FB this weekend is..

  • Keeping in touch with old friends. With busy lives full of children, work and other responsibilities there are so many special people in my life that I don’t see often enough. FB gives me the opportunity to connect with these people regularly and helps prompt me to get organised and arrange some long over due catch ups!

 

What are you grateful for this week?  Don’t forget to pop over to Maxabella loves… for some more thankful thoughts.