FYBF – When Love Trumps Hate

Whether it was a quick detour to get to a client meeting or routinely driving through to work, the majestic mood of Martin Place always took my breath away.

There’s the beautifully restored GPO clock tower with its chime echoing through the quadrangle that also carries the angelic acoustics of many a talented busker.

For a crappy corporate working day, Martin Place and its city buzz would always make me stop in my tracks to be grateful; how fortunate it was to feel so safe in a bustling, spectacular city.

FYBF Love Trumps Hate

I bumped into my heavily pregnant friend at the gym on Wednesday morning.

Admiring her gorgeous, growing bump, it was a nice change after the past couple days of horrific events.

Asking how she was feeling, her usual bubbly face suddenly dropped to a quivering frown. Fighting through her tears was the confession on how the Martin Place siege had emotionally hit her hard.

“I just started to freak out last night,” she cried.

“How am I going to bring a child into this world where there is so much evil and wrong?”

My dear friend had succumbed to pregnancy hormonal surges and what I like to call, “Mama Bear mode”

Oblivious to my gym sweat, I hugged her tight and whispered, “Welcome to the emotional roller coaster of motherhood.”

What happened in Martin Place on Monday morning is an extremely sad reflection to the senseless violence, hate and anger that can exist in our world.

FYBF Love Trumps Hate 7 (1)

This horrible incident – along many others – never fails to make me doubt if I’m cut out for this parenting gig.

Sure, I can feed them and care for them.

But this innate responsibility to protect; the obligation I precariously have in raising confident, strong, resilient children?

It feels impossible.

Most of all, how can I assure them that they’re safe and secure in this world when we are infested by so much sorrow and pain?

We can’t shield our kids forever.

But there’s nothing stopping me to also talk about compassion, humanity and love.

FYBF Love Trumps Hate 6

While our beloved Martin Place was a place of unexplainable horror, it also quickly became a makeshift shrine, with a continuing outpour of flower tributes and cards for the victims’ families, friends and loved ones.

FYBF Love Trumps Hate 8

That in instances like these, I can show my children that love is actually tangible.

FYBF Love Trumps Hate 4

One day when they want to know what makes Sydney – their home – so special and rock solid, I can proudly tell them of a time where we put aside our differences – race, religion, creed – and let those flowers represent how we stand side by side in times of adversity.

FYBF Love Trumps Hate 3

I want to teach them to experience beyond feelings of defiance or revenge.

That instead, they’re instilled with the knowledge that love trumps hate.

Every time.

FYBF Love Trumps Hate 9

As a parent, not only does that gives me hope for my children but also for this world.

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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FYBF – Open Letter to Trevor

Dear Trevor,

I know our relationship is only customer call centre deep. Just this once, let me get hot and heavy with you on the interwebz.

After 10 faithful years and a helluva lotta data download I dialed your number to break up.

I was no longer feeling the love, you see.

Prepared to blindly move on to someone else, even if it meant more drop outs, greater monetary demands from my pocket.

Customer Service Sign Shows Help Or Assistance

I had my departure speech all planned.

Even practicing my usual ranty customer tone:

“Don’t take it personally, it’s not you…it’s your company. They suck. The fact that no one has bothered to call and let me know my contract has expired for almost 10 months? They SUCK.”

I know that in a highly stressed job like yours, extinguishing customer complaints are never ending. Cancellation threats send your head in a frantic spin.

Doesn’t look good on your next performance review, huh?

Anyway, you kept your cool. Apologizing profusely for your collegues’ past mistakes, you were ready to recommit, straight up offering me an exclusive deal.

Helpdesk Hotline Operators Show Call Center And Service

You didn’t even get narky with my nonchalant response.

A girl needs time away to think, you see.

You respected that and said no matter what, you’d be there, waiting for me

Aimlessly I looked elsewhere, over at your competitors. Only to sadly discover long queues patiently waiting to be served by tired, cranky staff.

I was even told to go away and “come back in an hour and ten”

After much soul searching and internet surfing, I realised what you were offering, I couldn’t get better anywhere else.

You called back like you said you would.

We made amends. We sealed a deal.

And I believe you when you promised that right before Christmas, I will have a flashy, new grey iPhone 6 Plus toy.

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I know you don’t celebrate Christmas in your part of India but I just want to wish you an awesome whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year.

I would’ve given you a squishy hug for all your hard work in changing an almost dire situation around. But #awkward, right?

Next best thing was to let your supervisor know what an awesome job your doing. She was taken aback by my fangirl gushiness praise for you.

But hey, just as easy it is to complain, so is giving credit when credit’s due.

So, thanks, Trevor.

My faith in customer service is restored.

Sincerely (and eagerly waiting for her iPhone 6 plus),

Grace

What’s been your best customer service experience? What do you think of the iPhone 6 Plus?

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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Of Smelly Boys and Scented Candles {Air Wick Giveaway}

***This is a sponsored post for Air Wick. However, all opinions are my own and I love me a nice scented candle, anyway***

If the near future ever sees you pay a visit to my humble abode, whatever you do, please ignore its pitiful, neglected state.

I am no Pinterest Queen of Domestic Interior Design.

My house is not conducive to having pretty trinkets, plush rugs or intricate ornaments.

Most have been spectacularly destroyed.

Air Wick Giveaway

The few treasured pieces are safely kept away from twinions’ reach.

Instead, you will find sturdy heavy wooden pieces Balinese furniture and well-worn couches with ominous stains and blotches that have been hanging around since the boys first started solids.

Yup. That long ago.

I know it’s just a phase. One day, I’ll be able to buy nice furniture and curtains again. Well, I’m hoping, anyway.

With this male dominated house plagued with endearing odours of playground sweat, stinky vegemite sandwich breath and flatulence of the rotten egg kind, I rely on fragrances to keep me sane.

Like a bear feverishly collecting food for winter, I keep a stock standard supply of scented candles.

Air Wick Giveaway 3

It drives my husband mad (“You’re going to burn the house down!”) but hey, he doesn’t seem to smell what I smell. Why is that?

Adding to my ever growing collection, Air Wick sent through three of their candle products:

  •  Multicolour Silhouette Candle in French Vanilla Romance
  • Decorative Jar Candle in Cottonflower and Blue Bonnet (Fluffy Linen)
  • Decorative Jar Candle in French Lavender (Unwind Time)

Air Wick Giveaway 2

Scented candles can tend to be either not having enough aroma or be overbearing.

Air Wick candles all have their distinct, yet subtle aroma.

My favourite would have to be the Fluffy Linen because well, who doesn’t like to indulgently lie in clean, fresh, heavenly soft bed sheets?

Lying next to my little boy the other night, gently patting him, I was sure he was slowly drifting into slumber.

A tender moment short lived by a subtle yet obvious puff of air from his tiny perfectly rounded bottom.

“Nunu…did you just do a toot toot?”

*Cue bursts of giggles and laughter*

Some say, no matter where they’ve been, how they smell, you love your children all the same.

So tis a mum’s life of smelly boys and scented candles.

Hosting an Air Wick giveaway, one lucky reader will win the three above mentioned candles!

All you have to do is:

Terms and Conditions:

  • This giveaway is only open to Australian residents
  • Closing date for entries is 10pm AEST Tuesday, 16th of December.
  • The winner will be contact via email on the following Wedneday.
  • 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.

 

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

 

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FYBF – The School Zone Edition

Making like a martini, I’m gonna say it straight up: I dread this time of year.

Even the wonky star on top of our tree is starting to make me stabby.

FYBF The School Zone Edition

I’m emotionally fatigued and physically frazzled.

I’m dreading the one year anniversary of my cousin’s passing.

Knowing that there’s 20 days till Christmas is akin to the last kilometre of the half marathon I ran.

Did I tell you I experienced severe headspins and almost past out?

Yup. Same, same.

Driving home from the gym the other morning, I took the same route I always did, passing the school zone.

Such the nanna driver, I diligently obey the speed limit during as well as outside school zone hours.

I often lecture Mr Surfer to slow down in that particular area.

Whatever it was – bad luck, bad timing, bad brain – I started to pick up speed while still in the zone and BAM! The speed gun got me.

Throwing around some colourful explicits to myself, I pulled beside the road and resignedly handed over my license.

“Was there any reason why you were doing 53 in a school zone?”

Do I have a viable excuse for being an idiot on the road? Well, no. No, I don’t.

Of course, I didn’t say that.

I apologised profusely, openly admitted to fault and stupidity.

Off he went to write me a ticket.

The damage was bad, but not as bad as I thought.

FYBF The School Zone Edition 2

And I’m not even talking about losing 2 demerit points and being slapped with a $182 fine.

I’m lucky I didn’t hit a child.

The silly season can have this underlying gloomy meaning that’s contrary to what it’s supposed to be about.

I hate the fact that, while it’s supposed to be a time of joy, cheer and relaxation, people are frantic. It’s helter skelter; the worse time to be on the roads.

Don’t be a dumb ass like me the other day.

Stay safe on the roads these holidays, peeps.

 Have you ever been busted for speeding? Anyone want to make a $182 donation to the State Debt Recovery Office on my behalf? Anyone else have a wonky star on their tree?

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

Did you like this? Share it:

Scatter of Hidden Gems

Plagued with loss, sadness and sickness, November couldn’t pass by quick enough.

In theory, this could be a post with nothing but wallow and self-pity.

But even I’m sick of hearing about my own woes.

It’s these arduous stages of motherhood when it’s almost impossible to keep the eye on the prize.

Having the twinions sick and at home on separate occasions has been an unexpected opportunity to discover how the little cogs in their heads churn.

Witnessing them rationalize thoughts; deciphering complicated emotions with their quirky individual forms of expression.

Scatter of Hidden Gems

Although, I don’t want this particular era will be marked as an ominous haze. Not only do I want to remember that there were “good bits”, I don’t want to forget what they were.

There was the defining moment at bedtime, when I asked K-Bear how his day at school was. Had he missed his sick brother who had to stay at home?

“Yeah,” was his sad reply.

“Oh…”

“But I got him back, Mama. I got him back…”

Taking count of all the nights my slumber was interrupted with Nunu lying beside me in bed, kicking and digging his bony knees into my stomach.

“Nunu…stop it,” I roll over and moan.

“But Mama, I love you. I love you…”

The innocent proclaims of love humbles me.

Scatter of Hidden Gems 3

As the early morning rays peer through the window, he contentedly smiles in his sleep and I find myself wishing I could step into his dreams, share his adventures of dinosaurs and dragons.

The thing is, I can stay resentful and frustrated with the random relentless coughing spells and the turbulent bouts of fevers that keep me up all night.

In these trying situations, I can continue to profusely demand the intangible prizes – time, freedom, autonomy – that a resigning, tired mother is so deserving of.

Surprisingly, there aren’t any.

There’s a scatter of hidden gems, instead.

To find them – to have them inconspicuously surface – is to surrender and accept the current situation. Embrace it, even.

Scatter of Hidden Gems 2

What hidden gems have your kids helped you discover lately?

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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FYBF – The Flow of Crazy Edition

It’s been constant coughing and spluttering from two little sickies over the past couple of weeks.

Usually I get a little Negative Nelly when illness strikes; all those yucky feelings of frustration, resentment and plain ol’ grumpiness.

After bearing countless rounds of this, I (finally) figured out a few things:

Fact: You can’t please everyone.

Fact: The harder you strive to make sense of it all, the more out of whack it gets.

Fact: Getting upset will not only result in a no win situation but also one that is futile.

Therefore, best to aimlessly go with the flow that be crazy.

The ever witty Amanda from Cooker and a Looker came up with the brilliant idea for bloggers to send in videos of them reading mean comments they’ve received on their blogs.

The result?

Well, see for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed. You might even pee in your pants. Just a little.

Don’t forget the popcorn!

Have you ever received mean comments on your blog? If so, what did you do with them?

Amanda plans to do a round 2 of  so if you want to be involved, get in touch with her to send your video!

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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Compassion Over Judgment

I think that it’s fair to say that, as each child is different, so are the circumstances they’re born into, whether being ideal or not.

It’s one of those questions I often ponder – how is our lot in life determined?

Has the purpose of our existence already been laid out before us? Or do we just wing it along the pendulums of fate, making the most of whatever the Universe offers?

As the distressing story of the newborn found in a Sydney drain unravels itself, I’ve made a conscious decision to reserve judgment, notwithstanding the mother has already been charged with attempted murder.

Amongst the countless messages and comments of condemnation and hate that have accompanied this tragic story, we – the general public – still don’t know what the real situation was.

But social media makes it so easy for us to hastily jerk that knee and make harsh judgments. It seems to be the easier option than to offer compassion or understanding.

Be kind.jpg

Despite desperately wanting to start a family and being promised all the support in the world from a loving husband and my surrounding family, I was still shit scared about being a mum.

When Mr Surfer eventually went back to work and I was left alone in the house with two teeny tiny babies.

Left with the heavy responsibility of how to breastfeed twins on my own was terrifying. The isolation was unbearable.

No one can deny how lonely and overwhelming this mothering gig can be.

Everyone’s circumstances are different. Everyone deals with them differently.

Unfortunately, there are those who are desperately believe they can’t cope at all; that there’s nowhere to turn to for help or support.

A Tasmanian senator has been campaigning for Baby Safe Haven legislation in Australia, where hospitals provide an incubator for parents to anonymously leave behind their newborn.

I don’t know if this is the answer but it’s a step forward in acknowledging the issue and working towards some sort of solution.

In the meantime, I’m going to focus my energy on the health and wellbeing of that little innocent baby boy who thankfully – despite the terrible odds against his lot in life – survived.

Joining Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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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

Did you like this? Share it:

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

 

Did you like this? Share it: