FYBF – The Can’t Live Without Edition

TV presenter Tracey Spicer’s article this week about weaning herself off extreme grooming got me thinking about how much I’ve culled my own beauty regime since the days of the corporate office working gal.

All dressed up and ready for the Blogger’s Bruch last Friday, I received a shower of compliments from the daycare teachers when dropping the twinions off.

FYBF The Cant Live Without 4

Feeling a little uncomfortable with the sudden attention, it significantly proving just how low maintenance I have become.

Let’s point out though, that when talking about appearances, low maintenance does not mean negligence.

Back in the day when 90 minute “deep cleansing” facials would also clean out my pocket and eat up my time, I’ll now happily settle with a home beauty mask.

FYBF The Cant Live Without Edition 3

Okay, so maybe  it freaks out the boys. Just a bit. (“Mama, why your face so dirty?” “Stop it, Mama! You scare me!”). Hold back the night terrors.

But hey, it’s still skincare, yes?

There are some beauty routines, however, I just can’t skimp on, one being the upper lip and brow wax. It’s 30 minutes of immense pain but worth the satisfaction that I no longer (well, for around 3 weeks, anyway) look like my late moustached grandfather.

FYBF The Cant Live Without Edition 2

Then, there’s the bimonthly, laborious ritual of disguising my greys.

Having broken up with my last hairdresser (the drama was too much), I’m currently in a drastic limbo situation. Meanwhile, the skunk likeness is uncanny.

FYBF The Cant Live Without Edition

I’ve tried the home treatments but the mess and stress isn’t worth it. Besides, I like the idea of sitting in a chair, being pampered and escaping the world for a couple of hours.

And that’s plenty for me.

It’s not due to apathy or lack of care in appearance, I just don’t need the other stuff, anymore.

As Tracey said in her article, she now has extra time to spend how she sees fit – play with her kids, strum the guitar.

And I reckon that – invaluable free time – that’s what I mostly can’t live without.

What are some beauty regimes you can’t live without?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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Bali Beach Bargain Tragic

Immersing in the sun, surf and sand, the conventional domestic Australian life is a million light years away.

The sense of liberation from being on holiday releases all apprehensions, instead enticing adventure, excitement and cocktails by the pool.

Bali Beach Bargain Tragic

Having your hair tied in plaits decorated with tiny beads by that sweet vendor by the beach (She does awesome massages too! Score!), was a great idea…at the time.

You sashay towards the tropical sunset in that batik dress from the markets, feeling adequately boho chic.  Finally, you feel one with the locals…except that’s not what the locals wear.

Arriving back to the normalcy of suburbia, reality hits: You are a Bali beach bargain tragic.

What is it about beach holidays that skew your fashion sense?

A year since our trip to Bali, it’s finally hit me how many crazy purchases I bought. But this time, I’m not the victim. It’s the twinions.

Mostly thanks to these beauties:

Bali Beach Bargain Tragic 2

This entire time they’ve been sitting at the bottom of the drawers.

Subconsciously, I’ve been trying to shove them right out of existence, ignoring how ridiculously loud they actually are.

This morning, in a vain attempt to get some wear out of them, I tried to convince K-Bear how cool it was to have all these animals on his pants.

He cooperatively put them on, but then looked down and gave me a look of disdain:

“Mama, you have GOT to be kidding me…”

In his almost 5 years, while he rarely protests what his mother dresses him, he wasn’t going to let her pull these ugly overalls, er…this one over his eyes.

As for practical reasons to wear them, there are none.

Guaranteed, I’ll be cleaning up a pee (or dare I say, poo) mess first before I manage to get to those fiddly buttons. Worse yet, the daycare teachers would never EVER forgive me.

Alas, I am a self confessed hoarder. As ghastly as they are, I’ll cling onto them like I am to the twinions’ pre-school years.

One day, they might be donated to charity (if anyone in their right, conscious mind will have them).  Maybe they can somehow transpire into cool cushions.

Or am I just kidding myself?

Have you ever done a fashion faux pas on your kids? What was the ugliest thing you were made to wear as a kid?

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

 

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#FYBF – The “Literally, I can’t ignore this sh*t anymore” Edition

Well, what a social media merry go round it’s been for sexist scumbags!

Just as we’ve spectacularly booted Julien Blanc out of the country, in comes goofy, fuzzy haired, rapper Red Foo spreading his misogynistic message that girls are party killjoys.. if they refuse to get drunk or having sexual encounters being posted on social media.

Oh shit. When did women get so uptight?

So uptight that he has to tell them to “Shut The F*** Up”

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Relax, people. It’s really quite okay, because apparently it’s satire.

Promoting sexual aggression and rape culture is…guess what? FUNNY!

Last week, I came across the Julien Blanc saga when randomly scrolling my Twitter feed and saw the change.org petition to cancel all his shows.

I signed with little hope it would account to anything.

Hello, to my delight, in less than 48 hours his visa was revoked and now the change.org quest continues to stop all his shows in the US.

Thanks to that one sign up, I get notifications about petitions trying to stop other douchebags who roam the interwebz flying the feral flag of sexual violence and rape culture.

While being constantly exposed to these updates make me uncomfortable and angry, I realize awareness is important and so is being proactive.

Simply, I don’t want my boys growing up in a society that teaches them to disrespect women.

And to take the words out of his own filthy song and turn them into a stance for gender equality, “Literally, I can’t… ignore this shit anymore”

Despite claims that his intentions were harmless and the song was just one big joke, I bet Red Foo’s havng the last laugh now, especially with the already 15,000+ signatures on the change.org petition for Channel 7 to sack him.

I’ve signed it.

They only need 9,000 more signatures (at last count).

X-Factor can always get another judge.

 

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

 

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Love Will Prevail

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have people look out for me, especially during the dark times of late.

A few friends from the blogging world have taken time out of their busy schedules to drop me a line, asking me how I am. It means a lot.

I wish though, there was an emotions thermometer that could better define what I’m going through and allow me to answer more adequately than with a vague, “You know, ups and downs. Taking it day by day…”

But yeah, grief’s a bitch like that.

Just when you start feeling an inkling of hope and recovery, the next day it pounces from nowhere, piercing your already broken heart. Again.

Last week it was exactly a year since I saw her last. I remember every word of our conversation, what we ate, what we joked about.

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I think of the tears she wiped from my cheeks when I said goodbye, teasing me for being such a wuss.

“We’ll see each other next year, okay???”

Last Friday, was our 5th wedding anniversary and I look through the photos of my dress, and she’s there.

Wedding Day 1

Knowing she wouldn’t be able to make it, she did the next best thing.

Generously giving up her own time, she travelled all around Indonesia, searching for the perfect batik painter to design the pattern and material for my train. It took her months, she had to make countless trips but she selflessly did it all for me.

Meditation has helped a lot. I’ve mentioned it before but it really has bought some peace.

I spend 15 minutes with a tiny scented candle by my bed and just for that time, I try to put the grief and sadness for her two orphaned children aside and channel all my thoughts to her.

I focus on my love for her, how it remains steadfast and solid. I take comfort in knowing that I was part of her life and she of mine.

It may sound futile. I guess anything that isn’t tangible can be that way.

Even love.

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But in the most tragic and saddest of days; in the darkest hours of grief, it still exists.

Love will prevail.

And yeah, I’m doing okay. I’ll be okay. Never the same, but okay.

Thanks for asking.

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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Healtheries #snackosphere – Nibbles

***This post is the third of a three part #snackosphere blog challenge series for Kidspot Voices of 2014 and Healtheries.  Here’s the first post and the second one. ***

I was never a beach person.

Sand in my togs. Yuck.

And as you can see – no sunbathing or suntan required here.

But I am an ocean lover.

One of the nicest things about being married to a surfer is that some of our most special family moments are made up of the simple pleasures and salt water, air and sunshine bring.

I could watch for hours the twinions being chased by the thrills and spills of the ocean waves.

(Have you noticed it’s the best chasing game? And I don’t have to budge an inch!)

Ocean lovers

Best part after a trip to the sea?

The appetite you’ve built up.

Where nothing used to come close to having hot chips, the twinions now love nibbling on Healtheries Potato Wheels (Burger flavoured).

Calling them “orange chips”, the Potato Wheels have been a much healthier alternative because:

  • 65% less fat than regular potato chips
  • Under 2% saturated fat
  • Wheat & Gluten Free

They’re the perfect portion controlled sized packets. (Key is save them as a sometimes treat).

So, with summer just around the corner (well, it might as well already be here), there’s plenty more days ahead by the ocean to look forward to and some nibbles to enjoy afterwards.

Do you belong to a family of ocean lovers? What are your kidlets’ favourite nibbles?

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FYBF – The Signed, Sealed, Delivered Edition

Today Mr Surfer and I celebrate five years of marriage.

While half a decade isn’t that big a number for many other couples, bear in mind you’re talking to a gal whose nylon stockings lasted longer than all her previous relationships put together.

And being the corporate, suited up stiletto wearing bitch I was, let me tell you…there were a LOT of pantyhose.

I had grand plans to share on FYBF a snippet of our bridal waltz.

Wildly funky and unconventional, it was to the disco hit, “Got To Be Real”.

Wedding Day 5

For those who hadn’t yet existed during the disco era of the 70’s, it’s the song that Carrie Bradshaw made famous again when she walked down the fashion runway and spectacularly fell flat on her face.

Alas, plans are made to be ruined.

Unbeknownst there was already a DVD inside, I inserted the wedding DVD into the slot drive of the iMac, when an unhealthy whirring sound started.

In a state of panic, it briefly crossed my mind to list one of the twins on Gumtree to afford the repairs.  What is even the point in getting Apple Care? Seriously.

We’ll just have to make do with this:

Married or not, long-term relationships can be a bloody hard slog, making every milestone year worth it.

Every day there’s some poignant lesson either about patience (Getting there…slowly), forgiveness (Work in progress) and making (as well as appreciating) sacrifices.

Apparently, for five years, the anniversary gift is wood. Gee, that’s got me stumped. (Geddit? Geddit? Boom boom tish!)

As I have successfully managed to wedge the official recording of our special day firmly up the Apple butt, how about I just reconfirm my wedding vows.

That the promise I made back then is still solid as oak today.

There. There’s my wood.

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What gems have you discovered from long- term relationships?  What would make a memorable “wood” wedding anniversary gift?  Do you know how to eject a stubborn DVD out of an iMac?

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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Staycation in Surry Hills {The Cambridge Hotel Sydney Review}

As they say, “A change is as good as a holiday.”

Doesn’t matter if it’s last minute. Or even down the road.

When The Cambridge Hotel Sydney invited us last weekend for a night’s accommodation in one of their twin double rooms, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

The past several weeks have been rough around these parts and a change of scene (and a break from cooking dinner) was in dire need.

Just around the corner from the hustle and bustle of Oxford St. and a 10 minute walk to the city, the hotel is conveniently located at 212 Riley St. Surry Hills.

Staycation in Surry Hills 2

For us, it was a quick 20 minute drive which was a perfect compromise for a getaway.

After checking in the late afternoon, we took a quick dip at the indoor swimming pool.

And just that hour of splashing around; knowing we didn’t have to be anywhere except where we wanted to be; that there was a nice, clean room with FREE Wi-Fi and comfortable beds waiting for us upstairs was enough respite for me.

Established back in the early 1790’s during the Sydney Cove settlement, Surry Hills is now a unique and beautiful mish mash of the old and new; quirky and classic.

Staycation in Surry Hills 3

With Both Crown and Bourke streets a quick walk from the hotel, there is immediate access to some of Sydney’s finest restaurants and most laid back cafes.

With its endless art galleries, vintage shops, boutiques and bookstores, Surry Hills is perfect for the unconventional shopper who’s happy to browse and simply get lost in time.

Staycation in Surry Hills 5

The next morning, after another dip in the pool, we went for a wander and discovered a cute coffee shop to have breakfast.

Mr Mo’s was a 3 minute walk around the corner on Campbell St and serves the most kick arse coffee I’ve had in a long time.

Staycation in Surry Hills

The twinions scoffed down the muffins, as well as overtaking my banana bread.

Staycation in Surry Hills 4

It was nice to be in an inner city café that was kid-friendly and hopefully we can head back there for another Sunday brunch.

Some things to consider when staying at the Cambridge Hotel:

Parking:

For interstaters driving into Sydney, parking facilities are available at $28 a day.

Pool and gym:

There is a pool and spa located on the second floor. However, if you’re a gym user, patrons of the Cambridge Hotel can use the local Boxing Works studio (equipped with cardio machines and other gym equipment) at nearby Foveaux St. Just ask the receptionist to give you a pass.

Our stay was too short.

Despite being a Sydney local there was so much more I wanted to do and see.

The twinions also decided they didn’t want to leave, wanting to head back in the pool.

Sorry, dudes. Time to go home. Not that we had far to go. But it was already like another world away.

Have you ever had a staycation? If not, where would you have one?

***Big thanks to The Cambridge Hotel Sydney for providing a night’s free accommodation***

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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FYBF – Piranhas in Pirrama Park

Playdates. You know how it goes.

The ping pong texts with “We must catch up soon!”

Any sign of committing to a specific date and venue, everything goes to pot.

Kids get sick. Weather is crappy. Life gets in the way.

Making a quick trip to Westfield earlier this week, I hear a familiar voice and not sure whether it was her, I thought I’d take my chance.

Mumabulous!” I called out!

Bingo!

Not bad for only having met IRL (in real life) a couple of times.

And that was the omen to finally organise a playdate with respective sprogs.

FYBF - Piranhas at Pirrama

Having played the ping pong text with Bele from Blah Blah Magazine for a few weeks now, she was also able to join us notwithstanding the delay from dealing with a poosplosion. (Shit happens…Boom tish).

Weather was sunny and perfect. Kids well-behaved.

Piranhas at Pirrama Park!

Also known as Playdate Tuesday.

So, it brings me to scheduling the next shindig for 2nd of December.

Unfortunately, this one is again Sydney based.

HOWEVER, if there are any FYBF’ers in the other states who want to band everyone in their respective cities together, nothing stopping you!

I’ve sent out an FB invite to bloggers who I’m friends with on my personal account.

If I missed someone, feel free to invite them along!

Hells, feel free to come along sprog-less even!

Venue and time details are in the invite.

Whoot!

Who’s in??

1. Follow With Some Grace.

2. Sign up to the awesome Digital Parents community ( if you haven’t already done so). DP was created by Brenda Gaddi who happens to be the creator of FYBF. She’s also created 4 gorgeous kidlets. In case you’d like to know. Or maybe not. But we’ll share that info just the same.

3. Add your post URL to the FYBF linky. Please only link up one post.

4. Grab the funky FYBF button and post it on your sidebar. Help spread the blogfloggin love.

5. Visit the blogs of your fellow FYBF’ers and share the comment love

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Living with a Flatulence Filled Family {Harpic Giveaway}

***This is a sponsored post for Harpic and best not to be read during food consumption***

Like it wasn’t bad enough growing up sharing a toilet with 2 older brothers, my life continues to be plagued as a mother and wife of flatulence fiends.

FIENDS, I tells ya!

We spend the first couple of years as parents on constant poo monitoring mode.

“Is it runny?”

“Is this yellow colour unusual?”

“Is this the first one for the day?”

Flatulence Filled Family

Then, we go through the dilemmas of toilet training, which doesn’t need further expansion here as our stomachs (and mental state) have weathered enough during that trying stage of parenting.

But how do you handle it when they pop a fluffy? Particularly the Silent But Deadly’s (SBD’s).

How does so much toxic, pungent gas come out of one tiny bottom?

And how do they manage to carry on with their business like nothing happened?

Typical scenario:

Strong foul rotten egg smell inundates the room.

Me: Okay, who did a toot toot?

Nunu: Me! (Big satisfied smile)

The smile is sinister. His poop gas punishes my stomach.

For this innocent 4 year old, a stink bomb deserves just as much praise as letting out the big brown sharks in the loo.

Flatulence Filled Family 4

Not quite, buddy.

So, I ask him, “Do you need to do a poo poo?”

“No” is the casual reply.

There’s that evil smile again.

And more passing wind.

Okay. I will ‘fess up. My bottom doesn’t emit pleasant smells of lavender or roses either. I like to let one rip as much as my boys.

Flatulence Filled Family 2

But, I like to think I leave the SBD’s for the privacy of the toilet. Or under the doona.

Especially when it’s Dutch Oven payback time for Mr Surfer. That’s fair, yes?

You can imagine that scented candles and open windows are mandatory in our flatulence filled home. Not to mention the bathroom products necessary to keep our toilet in (at best) a bearable state.

Bet you’re hanging to come over now!

Flatulence Filled Family 3

Harpic is a well-known, reputable brand that’s saved many an Australian toilet from the ugliest of messes and the most potent of odours.

We’ve been trying out the Toilet Hygienic Plus for the main loo and the Toilet Dual Action Block for the second one.

Our toilets have never smelt so civil and fragrant!

For all the times when the boys (including the big one) miss, there are the Toilet Wipes.

And boys being boys. They ALWAYS miss.

Flatulence Filled Family 5

I have one of each of these products to give away to one lucky reader who could use some extra help for their toilet situation.

All you have to do is:

Subscribe to With Some Grace by Email

Leave a comment on this post telling me:

What’s been the funniest or stinkiest fart story in your home?

Terms and Conditions:

  • This giveaway is only open to Australian residents
  • Closing date for entries is 10pm AEST Friday, 7th of November.
  • The winner will be contact via email on the following Saturday.
  • If the winner does not reply to my email within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen.
  • Entries will be judged on merit and decision of the winner will be final.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No Big Deal

It was a morning like any other. Frantically busy. Already half an hour late, the boys weren’t any closer to getting ready for daycare.

I was in a shittier mood than usual.

Stressing out over something trivial like not being able to find my sunglasses or my husband leaving (yet another) empty milk bottle in the fridge.

I’d been catastrophizing a little more than usual over the past couple of days, making the tiniest, minute issue into something insurmountable.

Trying to calm me down, Mr Surfer’s come back line had been, “It’s no big deal.”

That just made me fume even more.

My immediate retort (with steam blowing out of my head and nostrils) was:

“It’s a big deal to ME. The fact that you don’t think it is, is demeaning something important to ME…”

And I’d let him have it.

Off we parted to get on with our day, me in my usual huff, him shaking his head in complete confusion.

A couple of hours later and several missed calls from my dad and my husband, I arrived home to hear that my late cousin’s husband was in hospital, under critical condition.

It hadn’t even been a year since her own passing in that tragic car accident, my cousin’s two surviving children were now in danger of losing their only remaining parent.

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After speaking to my dad, I called Mr Surfer.

I’m so very blessed that I have a forgiving husband who can also forget my atrocious behaviour so easily.

Having already heard the news from my parents, our phone call mainly consisted of my sobs and tears.

Disbelief. Shock. Utter, unbearable sadness.

He came home from work immediately and held me with the same tight squeeze when my cousin died only 10 months ago.

We were back here again and all I could think of was how this, this pain, this tragedy and awful injustice to one family was the big deal.

Perspective.

We always try to remind ourselves not to “sweat over the small stuff”; that life’s so much bigger and significant than the niggly, trivial inconveniences.

But it’s hard not to get caught up in the daily drone.

We all do it.

The thing is, I don’t even remember what I was specifically upset over that morning.

But for the rest of my life, I’ll never forget the pain for my cousin’s two children who have lost so, so much.

Perspective.

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

 

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