Put your hand up if you’ve got Netflix? Now keep your hand if you love it and you’re a tad addicted to binge watching TV serials? Yeah me too. Here’s my top five:
Pretty Little Liars: Who killed Ally? Who is ‘A’? The story is far fetched, the girls are pretty and the drama is constant; what more is there? This one is my guilty little pleasure to watch when hubby isn’t home. I’ve only watched the first the first two seasons so if anyone out there has watched more, don’t spoil it for me!
Orange is the New Black: People have gone mad for this show, apparently it is the most watched show on Netflix. Based on the true story of Piper Kerman who was incarcerated in a female prison it’s both dramatic and funny. Oh an all the cool kids refer to it simply as OITNB.
Friday Night Lights: Hubby and I binge watch this one together. It’s based on an American high school football team; the culture of the whole thing is quite amazing but really I love it for the characters and the great storylines.
Making a Murderer: I have to confess, I haven’t watched it yet but people have been raving about this show based on a true story. I hear it’s the TV equivalent of the Serial podcast and I loved that so no doubt I’d enjoy this one too.
Utopia: I’m not sure if I find this show so hilarious because I work in local government; God it’s funny because it’s true! It’s also an Aussie show featuring some great Aussie talent so we really should support that!
What are your favourite shows to binge watch on Netflix?
If you didn’t know me and saw me walking down the street you’d probably say I’m a pretty fit and healthy person. Because here’s the thing; I’m skinny. I don’t say that to brag, it’s just a fact; thin, petite, small, whatever you want to call it, I’ve always been that way. But here’s the other thing; I’m not fit, nor am I particularly healthy. No I don’t have an eating disorder (I promise!) It appears I’ve just been blessed with a super fast metabolism or something which means I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, without gaining any weight. You hate me know don’t you? But honestly, it’s not as awesome as it seems. Because I can eat crap and get away with it, I do. Because I don’t need to exercise to maintain my weight, I don’t. But as a result that means I’m pretty unhealthy and super unfit. And I’m tired, all of the time and I’ve often wondered if my constant tiredness is due (or at the very least linked) to unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. I’ve known I needed to do something about it for a long time but I never do, or I always start only to give up after a few days. You see it’s very hard to get motivated when you can’t actually “see” any results.
I recently took a trip to my GP to get her opinion on the whole tiredness thing. I’ve always battled with low iron so we’re trying to get that under control. She also referred me to a sleep specialist who I went to see last month. He’s booked me in for an overnight sleep study in August (there’s a bit of waiting list) to see if there’s anything else going on there. I’ve always had trouble falling to sleep and I’m a very light sleeper so he suspects even though I might be in bed for 8 to 1o hours each night I’m not really getting the quality, deep sleep I need. Truth be told staying in a sleep clinic over night, hooked up to wires with people watching me sleep through a window kinda freaks me out so I’m using this as my motivation; lets see if I can get this tiredness issue under control before I get to the point of needing to do a sleep study. Can I get rid of this constant tired feeling by making changes to my lifestyle instead?
Let’s face it, I’m never going to give up chocolate or run a marathon; I don’t want to and I don’t think I need to either. I’m going to start small and build from there. Here’s some goals I’ve set for myself:
Increase my water intake: This one should actually be pretty easy for me. I like water and apart from a juice in the morning and a small soft drink with dinner it’s all I drink. I used to be pretty good at drinking plenty when I was at work, I’d have the drink bottle on my desk and sip throughout the day but I’ve noticed since I’ve been home I forget and don’t drink as much.
Make smarter snack choices: When I looked at my eating I realised my biggest downfall is snacking. Fast metabolism equals constantly being hungry which means lots of snacking. And I always go for the convenient choice- whatever I can quickly grab from the cupboard. So I guess the answer is I need to get rid of the crap in my cupboard and fill it with healthy choices. I figure if I don’t have it then I can’t eat it can I? But the problem is I’m very fussy, which limits my choices, which leads me to my next point…
Try new things: I’m a plain eater and pretty fussy. As I get older I’ve started to try more things and often surprise myself because I find there are things that I actually like. I need to live by the rule I’ve always given my son “If you don’t like it that’s ok but all I ask is that you try it”.
20 minutes of exercise everyday: That’s what “they” say you need and I think that’s totally doable right? So I’m going to start there, with a brisk 20 minute walk each day.
Now that I’ve written it all down and shared it with the world I’m hoping that will make me more accountable.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has had similar issues…do you have any tips for me? Any suggestions I could try?
I’ll keep you all posted on my progress; here’s to a healthier me!
One thing I really love to do with my four year old son is rediscover movies I loved as a kid. We watch them together and I’m always surprised by how much of them I remember; they always take me right back to my childhood . Here’s five of my faves we’ve watched together and he’s loved:
The Wizard of Oz: (1939) You just can’t beat it. When I was little I would always skip the part where the twister came because it scared the bejeebers out of me! So yeah, I did the same when I watched it with my son (no shame in that). I totally remembered all the words to the songs too and had them stuck in my head for weeks afterwards! “We’re off to see the wizard….”
E.T: (1982) I just knew the lil man would love this one; especially the part where the bike flies at the end (he thought that was “super cool”). He also couldn’t stop laughing at the part where ET accidentally gets himself drunk hmm.
Mary Poppins: (1964) One of my absolute favourites as a child. I was a little let down by the graphics rewatching it as an adult…I don’t remember the background when Mary is dancing on the rooftops with the chimney sweeper looking so fake lol. I guess everything just seems more amazing when you’re a kid.
The NeverEnding Story: (1984) I totally wanted a headpiece like the ‘Childlike Empress’ and a dragon just like Falkor when I was a kid. Seriously, the NeverEnding has all the elements needed for a childhood favourite; fantasy, mystery, action and dragons!
Bedknobs and Broomsticks: (1971) I actually wasn’t sure if my son would like this one but he did. We watched it on repeat for a few days. His favourite part was the same as mine as a child- where the bed dives under the ocean. I was surprised when I watched this again to find it had some quite adult themes in it- the war, Hitler, witchcraft etc, I don’t remember any of that…it probably just went straight over my head when I was a kid as I’m sure it did with my boy.
What were your favourite movies when you were a kid? Have you rewatched them with your own children? Were they as good as you remember them?
This post has been forming in my head for many weeks now- different ideas all swirling around but not quite coming together. It all started when I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (which I spoke a bit about here). Then I binge listened to the follow up podcast series Magic Lessons and this week I read this post by Stacey and it all kind of started to fall into place. If I was Oprah I’d say I had a series of ‘a-ha moments’. So now I’m going to try to put it all down in words, lets hope this makes some kind of sense….
I’ve always been a bit of a creative soul. I was the type of kid who liked craft, reading, writing stories and drawing. My favourite subjects in school were English/Literature, Art and Photography. I took drama classes for many years. As an adult I’ve continued to be drawn towards the creative- jewellery making, typography, photography, and blogging/writing to name just a few of the things I’ve dabbled in.
After high school I did the ‘practical’ thing and enrolled in university to study the Bachelor of Business. A year later, feeling bored, uninspired and dealing with depression and anxiety, I dropped out. I remember the day I walked out, I went straight to the newsagents and brought a bunch of photography magazines to read on the train ride home. I knew if I was going to tell my Mum I’d dropped out of uni I needed a plan and that was it- I was going to become a photographer.
A few years (and a whole other university degree and career later) I finally did start a photography business with my sister only to shut it down a few months later. Why? Because we discovered that once we started charging people money for our work, it stopped being fun. The pressure to get the photos perfect was too much. So it turned out maybe I didn’t want to do what I thought I wanted to do after all….
It feels a bit like I’ve always been searching for something…something a little more than what I have. Not in my personal life because I have a wonderful marriage, a happy home and family life- things are pretty damn good there. I thought maybe I needed a career change and have dreamt of starting my own business; but it turns out I really didn’t want to do that either. And you know what? I actually love my job, I love the place I work for and the people I work with. There are also many different opportunities available to me there if/when I’m ready. So what’s the answer? I love writing and blogging but I have stopped and started and reinvented this blog so many times over the years because I constantly fall into the trap of comparison and thinking that if its not making me any money then it’s worthless. But then the other day it occurred to me ….creativity and career are not synonymous. They can be two totally separate things and they can exist side by side and I think for me that maybe that is answer. I don’t need to making a living from my creative pursuits, but I do want to create. I need to create, because that’s what my soul needs. I need to make the time to get back to doing that. I need to write and draw and snap pics for no other reason than because I damn well want to. Because I love it (I really do).
Does this mean I’m giving up on any grand dreams I may have? No. Of course I would still love to be recognised for my work; to publish a book (I should probably start by writing it) or have a ‘successful blog’ (whatever that is) but what I now know is this; if that never happens it doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to publish a book to be a writer, I don’t need to host an exhibition to be a photographer, I don’t need a piece of artwork hanging on a gallery wall to be an artist. I just need to do it, to do it for no other reason then because it makes me happy and to do it for no one else but me. That will be enough.
Maybe it all sounds a bit wanky; I always cringe when I read back over my own writing but whatever, it’s my truth and I’m speaking it. Maybe Elizabeth Gilbert said it all when she wrote:
“There is a famous quote that shows up, it seems, in every single self-help book ever written: What would you do if you knew that you could not fail? But I’ve always seen it differently. I think the fiercest question of all is this one: What would you do even if you knew that you might very well fail? What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant? What do you love even more than your own ego? How fierce is your trust in that love? You might challenge this idea of fierce trust. You might buck against it. You might want to punch and kick at it. You might demand of it, “Why should I go through all the trouble to make something if the outcome might be nothing?” The answer will usually come with a wicked trickster grin: “Because it’s fun, isn’t it?” Anyhow, what else are you going to do with your time here on earth — not make things? Not do interesting stuff? Not follow your love and your curiosity?”
Being someone who has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for many years, I am all to aware of the myths surrounding these conditions that exist out there. If you are a sufferer I’m sure you will be able to relate and if you’re not, then I hope this helps you understand a little better.
5 Myths about Anxiety:
If you suffer from anxiety you are weak: On the contrary I think that people who suffer from anxiety are really strong. If you are someone who experiences anxiety or panic attacks and are still able to face each day…well that takes a lot of strength. Being brave doesn’t mean not being afraid of anything, the true definition of bravery is being scared of something and doing it anyway. Having anxiety can often mean facing your biggest fears each and every day. Now that’s strength.
Only women suffer from anxiety: Completely untrue. Just like every other mental illness it affects both women and men. One of my closest friends who suffers from anxiety is a male. Anxiety does not discriminate, it affects people of ages, sexes, backgrounds and races.
You’re exaggerating about the physical symptoms of a panic attack: Nope. The physical symptoms of a panic attack are very, very real. I actually know quite a few people who have called an ambulance the first time they experienced a panic attack because they legimately thought they were dying. The physical symptoms of a panic attack vary from person to person; from pain in the chest and breathlessness to faintness, heart palpitations, sweating…the list is endless.
Medication is the only way to control anxiety: Medication is one form of managing anxiety but it certainly isn’t the only way. Counselling, talking, learning to manage thoughts and symptoms through techniques such as meditation and deep breathing are all other options that can be explored and in fact need to be if you want to manage anxiety long term.
If you take medication for anxiety you are weak: As my Doctor once said to me “If you had diabetes would you take insulin? Yes. So why is this any different? Anxiety is an illness and sometimes it needs to be treated with medication.” I am not saying everybody who suffers from anxiety should take medication; it is a case by case basis which needs to discussed and decided with your doctor. But for some people yes, it can get to the point where medication is required and that’s ok.
It is my hope that the more we talk about these things, the better people will understand and myths and stigma that currently surround anxiety will no longer exist.
Are you a sufferer of anxiety? What other myths do you want to clear up?
I love a good podcast. Here’s five of my current faves I recommend you check out:
Serial: If you haven’t heard about Serial then you need to do two things; 1) Crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under and 2) Download Serial now!
Season One focuses the real life murder case of Hae Min Lee which occured in 1999 in Baltimore. Sarah Koenig (who’s voice is as addictive as the series) pulls apart the case piece by piece over twelve weekly episodes. Be warned, it’s highly addictive and will suck you right in! Serial Season Two is also out now and is based on the case of Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier who abandoned his post Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years. I’m not finding it as addictive as the first season but it’s still a very interesting story.
Let It Be: The very first podcast I ever listened to was ‘Slow Your Home’ by Brooke McAlary, so when she recently teamed up with one of my favourite bloggers, Kelly Exeter, for this new podcast series I knew I’d love it. Brooke and Kelly discuss some big topics- judgment, rejection, legacy and success and get you thinking about ‘what it means to do less and be more’.
Magic Lessons: If like me you’ve read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and loved it then you’ll also love this follow up podcast where Elizabeth guides a different creative through discussing their process, doubts and struggles each week. If you’re the creative type you’ll find it both interesting and helpful.
Hamish and Andy: If you want a good belly laugh you can’t go past Hamish and Andy. These days I miss out on listening to them on the radio so their podcast is the perfect way to catch up on all their shenanigans.
So you want to be a writer? If you’re a writer or interested in becoming one, this is the podcast you need to listen to. Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait (both successful authors and journalists) offer tips and advice and discuss the latest news and trends in the world of writing and blogging.
Do you enjoy listening to Podcasts? What are your favourites?
There are quite a few so called ‘controversial parenting topics’ I have tended to steer clear of writing about in the past; breastfeeding, controlled crying and discipline to name a few. But today I’m going to go there…I’m going to talk about co-sleeping.
We’ve never really done the whole co-sleeping thing in our house; it’s not that I’m against it or anything, it just that it doesn’t work for us. I’m a really light sleeper and we all know what sleeping with a kid is a like- knees in your back, getting hit in the face, snoring in your ears, being squished right to the very edge of the bed…I end up getting no sleep whatsoever! Our son doesn’t get up during the night and come to our bed and he doesn’t ask to sleep with us; I guess maybe because it’s just how it’s been from the start. We never had him in bed with us as a baby and he was in his own room from about three weeks of age. He did however go through a stage recently where he wanted me to sleep in his bed with him. I was in two minds about it. He was going through a lot of changes- finishing day care, starting kinder and I got the feeling he just needed that extra comfort. But I knew once I started it would become a habit and habits are hard to break. I wanted him to sleep easily and to feel safe but I also wanted my own time of an evening and time with my husband…I didn’t really know what to do!
I remembered a story I saw on Sunrise a few months ago about a family who all sleep in the same room. I guess the story was unique because the couple had something like six or seven young children. They had a king size bed in the middle of their master bedroom surrounded by three bunk beds. My first reaction? That’s crazy! So I turned up the volume to listen. Turns out the family had recently returned from a year long trip. They had spent the past twelve months sleeping in very close quarters in a caravan and when they returned home being separated at night was causing major anxiety in the children. So they came up with the solution of co-sleeping to the extreme and it was working for them. Having that many children they also found that when they were all in separate rooms they had to get up countless times during the night and everyone was suffering from lack of sleep. Being in the same room, everyone started sleeping through the night or if any of the children did wake they were easily settled with a quick cuddle. It all kind of made sense. Of course Kochie asked the question I’m sure you’re all thinking (I know I was), if they were sharing a room with all of their kids how did manage to be intimate? “Well there are plenty of other places to have sex then in the bed” they answered. Good on them I thought!
So I tried to just stop worrying and go with the flow. I began to lay down with my son to get him to sleep each night and then would slowly creep out once he was asleep. Of course then he started waking in the middle of the night wondering where I was so I would crawl back into his bed at some ungodly hour of the morning and he would sleep while I would lay there awake, hanging over the edge of the bed. I tried to just go with it, really I did, but it just wasn’t working, in fact it seemed to be only making things worse. So I talked to him about it and explained that his bed just wasn’t big enough for the both of us and Mummy wasn’t getting any sleep. There were tears and I did feel bad. We made a compromise and for the past few weeks I have been sitting beside his bed and holding his hand until he drifts off. If he wakes during the night (which seems to be getting less and less frequent) I do the same. It seems to be working…for all of us.
I guess my whole point is that you’ve just got to do what works for you. Sometimes that may take a bit of trial and error to figure out and that’s ok. I think this applies to everything in parenting. If you want to co-sleep, do it, if you don’t then don’t and don’t judge others for the parenting choices they make- we’re all just trying to figure it out and do what we think is best.
What are the sleeping arrangements like in your house? Do you co-sleep, bed hop or do you have a strict ‘sleep in your own bed’ policy?
Two weeks ago we headed off on a week long family holiday. I’ve finally found the time to sit down and tell you all about it!
Where did we go?
Port Douglas; it’s a beautiful beach side town situated in Far North Queensland (FNQ), about a 45 minute drive from Cairns airport.
Where did we stay?
We stayed at the Reef Rendezvous which is a couple of minutes drive from the centre of town. We picked up an awesome deal on Groupon which included 6 nights in a deluxe two bedroom villa, buffet breakfast every day plus a few other extras for under $900. We were really happy with our stay. The apartment was neat with all new furnishings and everything we needed (including a kitchen). One of the pools (there are three at the resort) was right outside our back door, which was very handy. The staff were friendly and helpful, breakfast was delicious (with plenty of variety) and overall is was just a really nice place to stay.
What did we do?
Port Douglas is the type of place where you can do as little or as much as you want. You can spend your days relaxing by the pool or at the beach or head out for some adventure. We did a mix of both and managed to pack quite a lot in.
One simply cannot go to FNQ without seeing a crocodile, so on day one we headed to a place we were guaranteed to see some; Hartleys Crocodile Park. We took a tour of the crocodile farm, went on a river cruise (where we spotted loads of crocodiles), watched the crocodiles getting fed and then fed a few ourselves (yep!). It was lots of fun and the lil man was in his element!
Later than afternoon we met up with Rob from Port Douglas Weddings for a family photo shoot (my birthday present from the boys this year). Rob was great. We went to a few different locations and he gave us some helpful tips for our stay (places to eat, where not to swim etc). We’re so happy with the photos, here’s just a couple of my faves:
We spent the morning at Mossman Gorge (less than 15 minutes from Port Douglas) exploring the Daintree Rainforest. It was simply beautiful. From the discovery centre you take a short 2 minute bus ride to the walking tracks and Mossman Gorge itself. Unfortunately we couldn’t swim in the gorge that day due to the heavy rain overnight but it was still amazing.
In the afternoon the boys played a round of golf at Palmers Sea Reef course in Port Douglas. Future pro golfer right here…
We headed into Cairns for the day for a bit of shopping, lunch and a swim at the esplanade. The boys had a go on the Go Kart track and my brother in law was staying in town for work so it was a great chance to catch up with him too.
My favourite day of the whole holiday! We took a ride on the Cairns Sky Rail and Kurunda Scenic Railway. I’ll admit, before climbing aboard the Sky Rail I was shit scared. The Skyrail travels high up in the mountains above the rainforest; you’re literally floating amongst the clouds. I’m claustrophobic and afraid of heights (quite a combo). But honestly? Once we were moving my fear was totally gone as I was distracted by the breathtaking views. Photos just don’t do it justice. The whole trip takes about 90 minutes allowing for two stops and a wander around at each.
The Skyrail is a one of a kind experience and seriously a must do if you’re in the area. And if the weather is bad, don’t let that deter you. It was raining the day we went and it only made the rainforest more lush and beautiful.
At the end of the line, nestled amongst the mountains, you find yourself in the town of Kuranda. We spent the whole day there; there’s heaps to do. We went to the Butterfly Sanctuary where we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful butterflies…
And Birdworld where we got to meet and feed some truly colourful birds…
We also spent some time wandering around the markets that Kuranda is famous for. We then climbed aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway for the ride back to Cairns. You spend about 90 minutes travelling through some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever seen…
(Please note: I travelled as a guest of Sky Rail and the Scenic Railway, the boys received discounted fares. We were also gifted family passes to the butterfly sanctuary, koala sanctuary and bird world. I was under no obligation to write this post and all opinions and words above are my own.)
For our last full day in Port Douglas we hired some bikes and cruised around town. The lil man was very happy that we hired a tagalong which meant he didn’t need to peddle and hubby had to do all the work!
Amongst all of that everyday we managed to enjoy lots of swimming in the pool and relaxing at our villa.
We loved it! Port Douglas and the surrounding area is an absolutely beautiful place. It’s family friendly, affordable, warm, and offers loads to do.
Keep your eye out for accommodation deals on sites like Groupon, Scoopon and Last Minute. It’s also a lot cheaper to travel during the wet season like we did. We were a bit unsure about doing this at first but honestly it mostly rained at night and was still hot everyday.
Leave your hair dryer and straightner at home ladies, the weather is humid which equals frizzy hair. Just embrace it!
Check out the Adventure Mumma website for absolutely everything you need to know about travelling to FNQ. I stalked Kate’s blog and instagram account for weeks before our holiday (and while we were there) for ideas on what to see and do. She also recommended our fantastic family photographer Rob.
Make sure you read the signs and get informed about where you can and cannot swim. There are crocodiles and stingers in many spots!
So there you have it; a wrap up of our amazing family holiday in Port Douglas.
Have you ever been there? What did you think? And if you’ve never been, have I now inspired you to go?
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you’re having a wonderful day and enjoying the long weekend whatever you are doing. We’re currently away on our annual Easter trip with friends and the egg hunt is about to begin!
This week has really passed by in a bit of a daze. We returned from our week long holiday in Port Douglas (I look forward to sharing a post with you all about this next week) with a mountain of washing. That was done and promptly repacked for our Easter trip.
On Tuesday we said goodbye to our beautiful dog Bonnie and a sadness filled our house for the remainder of the week. I think it is going to take a very long time to get used to not seeing her in the backyard every morning when I open up the blinds. Thankyou to everyone for all of your kind words and support, we really appreciate it.
Somehow amongst all of that I managed to squeeze in a bit of reading…not the book kind but the bloggy kind (of course). I read a couple of interesting articles about marriage that got me thinking. This piece by the FIFO Wife where a man defines an affair; “I was emotionally invested in someone other than my wife, and I gave my time to someone else instead of her and our marriage, now that is an affair” was pretty powerful. Also this piece by Sarah from Zinc Moon about the idea of a spouse being a possession (in the wake of the Billy Brownless comment) and the comfort that comes from belonging to someone. I have to say I agree with what Sarah had to say. What do you think?
School holidays start this week- I send all the parents out there strength and patience…but seriously don’t forget to enjoy your time with your kids. Personally I’m planning some fun outings and to spend some time at our favourite place. Oh and there will be lots eating Easter eggs I’m sure; I figure the faster we eat ’em the faster they’re out of the house, right?
In celebration of Easter (aka- the festival of chocolate) today I’m dealing with a very serious issue on Fast Five Friday….those poor chocolates that we so dearly loved but have been discontinued and no longer available to us in Australia. Here’s my top five:
1 Vice Versas: Do you remember the ad? “They’re brown, they’re white, no no they’re brown, they’re white.” God they were so good!
2 Dove: I think you might be able to still get a block of dove chocolate in some places?? But if you can I haven’t found it…so please share, this used to be my favourite chocolate and I miss it!
3 Marble: The perfect blend of white and dairy milk chocolate mmmm.
4 Crave: They used to sell these at my high school canteen and I’d buy one everyday. Upon researching for this post I discovered that Crave is actually a Whispa chocolate bar with caramel…does this mean you can buy them in England?! If so, ship me some over now!
5 Snowflake: I first tried this chocolate bar at the Cadbury factory in Tasmania when I was a kid. You haven’t been able to buy them for years but then…..all of a sudden last week I saw one on the shelf in Coles!! I was so flip out excited (and yes of course I bought it).
Do you remember these chocolates? Any others that you love that you can’t buy anymore? Wanna start a campaign to bring back Vice Versas?
Happy Easter everyone, may your bellies be filled with chocolate all weekend long!