Wednesday, December 14, 2011

{review} Bioeffective Gel | Using mother nature

As soon as I became a parent I was suddenly so much more conscious of everything that I used within my home.

I was paying attention to what is in soaps, cleaning products, the additives in food, everything.

Each year I become a little more anal about it.

Each year I seem to add another thing to list, another thing that I can bring back to nature, that I can keep simple.

We grow our own veges, there are very few that are store bought.

We eat free range and organic meat.

We bake our own bread, and the farmer has big plans of making our own flour (he is a hippy kind of agronomist, so his clients have some back to basics high class produce that we can easily get out hands on).

We keep it simple. We like to use what the world is giving us, before introducing anything else.

So, when I was asked to review Bioeffective Gel, I was pretty excited about it.

Basically, these clever people have studied the Russian conifer tree's extraordinary natural healing powers, developed a way to extract and preserve these natural 'live elements' from the conifer needles, and bottle it to produce Bioeffective Gel!

My 3 kids are pretty rough and tumble, Wommy and Mousie in particular. There is not a day that goes by that they don't have a cut, scratch, bite or graze.

So far, over the past week, we have used this on:

* The everyday cuts and grazes on little hands and knees.

* The dermatitis I get under my wedding rings from washing up (two days and it totally cleared this up!!!! I am a bit excited about that).

* Mosquito bites, when they are still a red itchy lump, and the ones that have been scratched and are all, well, yuck.

Pretty much every ailment that has walked through the door, I have thrown the Bioeffective Gel at! And each time, it has done a brilliant job.

It also contains Aloe Vera, natural Vitamin E and olive leaf extract, which makes it great for minor burns and cuts, not to mention sunburn of it ever decided to warm up this summer!

I am super impressed with this product, but I have to say, the smell isn't great, and the colour may turn you off. But if you can look past that, you will love it too!

I will be stashing tubes in my handbag, The Prado, and The Farmers Hilux this week. It's my new essential.

Bioeffective Gel can be found at Chemmart and other pharmacies Australia wide, just look for the shiny bright green box (it's rather pretty) for $19.95.

Do you like to use the simple things that nature provided us with?
Or do you think I'm a control freak? ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011


Tomorrow marks another year since my mum passed away.

Another year down.

So many more to go.

I am posting this today, as I'm not sure I will have the strength to do so tomorrow.

On the 13th of each December, I like to do something fun. With my family. With my kids. And I usually end up back on that grassy area, with the plaque and the angel, and reflect for a while.
It's where I feel closest. At peace. Free to share any emotion I have.
It's hard to go out there. Kills me actually, that drive.
But once I'm there, and once I leave, I feel so much better.


Grief affects everyone, in some way or another. And every person experiences it differently to the next.
We can never judge our neighbour for the way they feel it. Deal with it. Handle it.


The wounds, they stop bleeding.
But the holes that are left are never filled.
As the years go on,  the everyday pain lessens, but the holes, they become more apparent.
Gaping open at the most inappropriate times.
There are not enough bandaid's in the world to cover them up, and keep them closed.


A certain song.
A smell.
A phrase.
A flower.
A date.

All so beautiful, yet so painful.


Missing. Every day missing. Every year missing. Every moment missing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

But what are the relo's thinking of us now?

So, The Farmer and I don't get out very often.

Which is not really surprising, because lets face it, when you have 3 kids, one of which has no idea of the term sleep, and you have spent the last two years living at freaking BOGAN GATE, (the place is as bad and the name) and you have to drive half an hour just to get anywhere decent.

So when we do go out, we make it good. We make sure we have a RIPPER of a time.
And, there is usually photographic evidence of just how much alcohol fun we have had.
We have fun, we laugh, we pull dumb faces to cameras. We take selfies. We ENJOY it!
That's the reason that there are no photos of us in our house. Loads of the kids, loads of the extended family, but us, together, NONE!

This has never really been a problem. Never made me cringe. Until yesterday.

You see, my MIL writes a xmas newsletter, of sorts, each year. I lovely catch up of the year that has past, a recount of how much all of the grandchildren have grown. Photo's. It really is lovely, and it gets posted around to the world, to the family in Germany, and all the friends in between.

The MIL bangs her head against brick walls all year trying to get photos of everyone being lovely to add to said newsletter. I do all I can to escape it. I'm not a fan of the pretend smiles because a camera is in my face, I prefer the candid shots. So, she has to hound us and get us to email some photos throughout the year.

Which we comply too. But we never really think of where they might end up.

This is what she had to choose from this year, in regards to The Farmer and I:

Yes, we are stupid. But at least we have FUN! As The Farmer says, every time I cringe, "Darl, that's the time we got trashed and danced all night at Kylie's Wedding, rather the time we stood at her reception and pretended to smile at the camera".

So true, Farmer, so true.

But still.... I still find it cringe worthy that THIS has gone viral through the snail mail, to people we know and people we don't...

A shameless selfie by The Farmer, because his arms are longer than mine. And for the first time ever I look taller than him. I do like that.

In my MIL's defence, its probably the best of the best that she had to work with!

My New Years Resolution you ask?

To take at least one sensible photo each year!

If you think I'm joking, and that we do sometimes be sensible and take a decent, normal, photo, just wait until I show you my wedding photos! Then you will understand... Ahh the memories.

Do you get added to, or write your own xmas newsletter catchup?

Do you take sensible photo's?

Or are you too busy being a dumbshit like us? 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chalk and Cheese

I've been doing a lot of planning this week.

Attempting to make plans for Xmas, and holidays, and crafting, and the like.

That's one thing I am really good at. Thinking about making plans.
Actually putting them into place is another thing.

That's the great thing about The Farmer.
I tell him all my pipe dreams, all my plans for one day when I feel doing it, and then, over time, he kinda makes them happen.

I'm the thinker, he's the doer.

I think a cubby house is a great idea. He finds one and we build it. OK, he builds most of it, and I just help occasionally. With the heavy lifting which I am hopeless at and the giving of instructions on how it has it to be.

I want to make our own bread, and The farmer buys a bread maker and uses it more diligently than I.
In my defence, I do occasionally use it, when he hasn't already done it.

I want to make MORE truffles, and he gets me all the ingredients.
I do start making them, but as I leave them to cool, in my pms state, decide that eating it straight from the bowl is a much better option.

The Farmer and I, we are nothing alike.
But they say opposites attract. That's definitely the case here.

He See's a mountain, and wants to climb it. I see a mountain and wait patiently underneath with my camera and a good book until he gets back.

So, our holiday plans are hard to plan.
To me a holiday is when I get to do sweet nothing.
To him, holidays are for doing EVERYTHING you can imagine.

But, we have a destination, which is a great start. (Anyone in the Port Stephens area want to do coffee, call me).

You will be bale to find me with one of these in each hand.

Are you and your partner kindred spirits?
Or chalk and cheese?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Icing sugar is nothing like Cornflour

Last week, we were getting into the throes of  ' damn you bank hacker we are starting to run out of enticing food'.

Like Old Mother Hubbard, my cupboard was bare.

I pulled out my best Continental Ad move, and opened the crisper drawer to see what rolled out at me that I could turn into a meal.

There wasn't much, but with my not much and a random recipe base that The Farmer had bought one day and I stashed in the back of the pantry because it looked like shit, I was saved.

Honey Chicken Stir Fry was the special of the day.

I followed all of the directions. Truly I did. And it did not do anything that it was meant to and looked, well, odd.  It was meant to crisp up. Instead it just formed this bleh looking gravy.

I wasn't impressed. The kids thought it was awesome. I bowed out and had Ethiopian. I think The Farmer ate it, but I think that had more to do with the fact that he bought the recipe base and felt he needed to look like he had done a good thing.

Fast Forward  to last night.

The ingerdients were looking pretty dismal. By dismal I mean not a single vegetable other than half a spanish onion in the house. I managed to find an ancient pack of mixed frozen vege's from the depths of the freezer, and made a plan for tuna mornay.

I was making the white sauce and it was taking forever to thicken up. I had decided to use cornflour this time, as I'm pretty sure that's what your meant to use, and I never have it, so was getting rather cranky with how shit the cornflour was at doing it's job.

Fast forward half an hour and it still wasn't happening. It smelt like it should, all nice and onioney, but it wasnt thickening!

Que the taste test.

Insert my almost vomiting into the kitchen sink.

Washing it down with this is the only thing that could have made it worse!

WHAT THE HELL? I have made this time and time again, without fail. In fact, its the only sauce I can make. I cant even make instant gravy.

I put it all down to the cornflour. It was the only constant in both meals. I picked up the jar that I had it stored in, and shook it a bit. Yep, all fine there.

I smelt it. It smelt kinda... sweet.

When I tasted the sauce, because it tasted nothing like it was meant to or like I was expecting it to, I didn't register anything other than shit.

As it turns out what I was tasting was sweet sweet icing sugar.

I learnt a few lessons.

1 - things may not taste the way they look
2 - when you take things out of the packaging, LABEL the freaking jar!
3-  a good cook always tastes the food!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

{review} 1-2-3 Crawl-Along Snail from Fisher-Price : Stock up on a few of these!

Have you seen this?

Is he not just the cutest little bug you have ever seen?

This little creature is the 1-2-3 Crawl-Along Snail from Fisher-Price and we have been lucky enough to have him visit our house over the past few weeks.

He was intended to come out when my 6 month old nephew came to visit, but as soon as I opened the parcel, Mousie (2) decided that she had to have a turn too. And I really couldn't blame here. This snail is COOL.

Flick the switch and his smiling face will light up and he lets out a weeeeeee before busting out the tunes. The downside to that is I have had 'If your happy and you know it' stuck in my head for the past two weeks.  BUT, he is thoughtful and has a volume control, and even gives you the option of turning him right off!

This little snail is made for interaction, with one side of the shell being a mirror, and a little lady bird on the top that slides back and forth.  Not to mention the gorgeous bright colours and lights.

We discovered one really neat trick to this little snail. And it is a trick that in my opinion, puts him to the top of the Christmas list for all my favourite little people, and little people yet to come.
Under his neck is another little slider, and this one allows you to lock and unlock the snail.
When he is locked, he is stays put, and rocks back and forth when touched, which is so much fun for little people enjoying tummy time or just learning to sit up.


If you unlock the snail, the child can send him scooting along and chase after him!

The recommended age range for the 1-2-3 Crawl-Along Snail is 3-36 months, and our household has proven that a 6 month old boy, and a 2 year old girl, can both have equal amounts of fun with it!
I just love toys that grow with the child! And this one is value for money.

The 1-2-3 Crawl-Along Snail from Fisher-Price can be found at Kmart, Target and other toy stores.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday | It looks worse than it is.

Its another rainy day, another inside day. Don't these days just drive you utterly mad sometimes?

It has taken forever to get to this...

Because, Cherries are pretty tiny. And even smaller once you take the seed out.

Today I have learn't that it takes a lot of cherries to make a pie.

And that it makes your kitchen look like a crime scene.

But I will get over it tonight, when I am eating it!

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cauliflowers : The first instalment

Kids say the funniest things.

My little Wommy often comes out with some hilarious stuff, and today was no exception.

After a crazy morning of a million phone calls trying to find a trampoline within a 400km radius of our house, I finally succeeded.

(more on that later.... maybe)


After the crazy long trip, with 3 kids on tow, who had not had a nap, who were going fighting and screaming and trying to take seat belts off, and playing with the electric windows, and trying to open the doors, not to mention the hidden trampoline in the back, I was starting to think that jumping out the door myself was a perfect idea!

Then I tuned back into the kids in the back, as the crazy sounds had subsided, and I was getting worried.

What I tuned into was Wommy, telling the girls to shhhhh because he had a story to tell them.

This is going to be good, I thought. The kids has an imagination like nothing I have ever met before.
And he didn't let me down.

In fact, it was so good that I don't remember/ didn't hear much past the opening line.

"Once upon a time..... There was a cauliflower"....

That was it. I was gone at that line.

I love it!

I think he went on the eventually get up, but I will get back to you on that.

Stay tuned for the second instalment!

Have your kids told you anything lately that has made you belly laugh? 

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Handmade Christmas after the world takes on Laura

Man am I glad its Friday!

It's been one of those weeks.

Should have stayed in bed all bed and let the utter shit wash straight over me. Yeah that.

But, anyway... In true Laura style, rather than dwell apon the fact that we are currently skint thanks to a bank hacker, and that I have way too many crazies in my family, I am going to dance in the rain rather than cry because it's pouring. (And funnily enough, in metaphor and in not, its damn wet here!).

Due to our new found financial situation, and the shitty weather that has turned my driveway into a lake, and the awesomeness that is pupil free days on a Monday, I am pulling out the craft boxes. Or at least a couple of the 15, 50 litre tubs of beautifulness in the forms of fabric, and buttons, and ribbon.

I have no plan what to make, so am going to jump head first into Pinterest to get some inspiration.

Perhaps I could make some of these to give to my loved ones? Yes, that is what you think it is. A vulva necklace. worst.etsy.find.ever.

The only problem with that is, it seems, that people like to wear their own bits on their necklace, and I'm not quite up to anyone sending me a photo so I can make a mould from it.

And I am totally using these gift cards!

To all of my family and friends, I apologise in advance. Please direct your present hatred to the dickhead that has purchased more movie tickets overnight than I have in my entire life, and made overseas purchases on who knows what,  and booked airfares that I could have used to get to me to #DPCON12!!! 

Oh and does anyone know why you need to pay Skype? Because they did that too.

Have an handmade gift idea that tops the one I have just found?

Please, do share. Your links are more than welcome in the comments.

You know what they say, 'Tis the silly season.

No vaginas were harmed in the making of this post.  

Brighten my week. Click here, then click over there and vote, and help get me into the top 25. Yep, I am using sob tactics. I will soon revert to blackmail. Dont let it come to that ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A letter to Mousie

Dear Meghyn May.

Happy second birthday baby doll.

I'm rather shocked that we have made it this far, to be honest, considering the severe lack of sleep we have had since your arrival. But I do like that have got to spend so much time together. In fact, its pretty much every moment of the day and night.

Seriously Mag, eyes open the moment you were born? We should have taken it as a sign of things to come. 

But it's OK. I get it.

Daddy always tells me you are JUST like me. A mini Laura. He is usually not being kind when he says this, you are generally in the middle of a tantrum. Over something ridiculous. Or because someone has said no to you.

But it's OK. I get that too.

Because you know what? As much as I will never admit it to anyone, I see so much of myself in you that I'm not sure if I should laugh at it or cry. We are two pea's in a pod Megs, and that's pretty cool. Even if you have inherited all of my argumentative, odd, eclectic, and head strong traits.

Don't ever stop smelling flowers. Or leaves. Whatever you makes you happy.

It means I know you will always stand up for what you believe in. And what you want. Even if it means arguing your case for 5 years. You will get it. Eventually.  It means that I know you will never be run of the mill, you will always be an individual, a leader not a follower, creating your own paths in life, and doing your own thing, because it makes you happy.

It also means that many people will never understand you, but those that do, will love you forever because of the person that you are.

I will love you forever, because of the person that you are. My mini me. My little Laura. My Megs. My Maggie. My Mousie. My Mooseguts.

My Meghyn May.

You light up my life. You add sparkle to my days.  You make me laugh, and make me cry. You have the most impeccable manners for someone of your size.

Watching you grow this past year has been a delight. Each day learning more and more.

Don't ever let that bright smile fade my darling.

Thank you for coming into our world. I am grateful for your presence each and every day.

I am looking forward to this next year with you My little Megs. Turning 2 brings such bright things to your life. So much to learn. And explore. So many smiles to be had.

I love you my darling girl.

Love Mummy.

If you have a moment, I would love for you to vote for Six Degree's of Laura in the Cirlce of Moms top 25 Aussie mum bloggers. Thanks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

{Guest Post} A night in with kids? | Making it fun & easy

Make more time for this

And take a break from this

The lovely Laura and I have a few things in common. Trying to manage an active household while taking some quality time out is one of the biggest challenges most of us have on a regular basis. It's so silly when you think about it, we all sleep under the same roof and spend more time with each other than anyone else but yet booking in quality family time can sometime seem like an impossible task.

Why Family Time is SO good!

Every individual needs to feel part of something. A close family provides each individual with solidarity and reliance on each other. Children need to feel they belong, that they can rely on someone and feel safe.

Providing positive images of family behaviour and family values are instilled in children at a young age. Making family time fun and interactive can only ever have a positive effect.

Use this time for family discussions. Talking openly and honestly about feelings, problems, or subjects outside the home will make your children feel comfortable to approach you about almost anything.

Early evening activities are the best!

With Summer almost here and daylight savings providing us that extra and oh so nice hour of light and warmth you and the kids can spend some more quality time together doing early evening activities. Whether it's supporting you kids when they go to the tennis court, going to the park playground, a family cycling adventure, going for a family swim or spending some quality time playing a board game outside in the backyard, either way not having to worry or stress about shopping, creating and serving a meal for the family would be a huge relief. That's where the fine folk at Delivery Hero have you covered. Stick to the world’s favourite pizza takeaway or go for something a bit healthier like a Vietnamese dish or sushi. The most important thing about your family time is that you don’t spend time doing household tasks like cooking or cleaning. Put your feet up as a family, and enjoy a night-off together!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Speak Out} Kissing Frogs

Sometimes you have to do the hardest thing in the world in order to set yourself free. To set your soul free.

Sometimes, it is unthinkable.

And it is the hardest thing you will ever do. Even though you know it is the right thing to do. But at the same time it remains hard. Soul crushing, heart breaking hard.

But then, you soon realise, you can breathe. You can take a breath of fresh air, and fill your soul right back up. Fill yourself with life again.

No one, NO ONE on this earth has the right to take your soul away. To turn you into a shell, essentially dead, yet still breathing. Still alive, but not living.

Once apon a time, there was a little girl with blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.

She had a beautiful castle at the back of her yard, with big red and white striped barber pole legs, a little verandah, and a garden bed with the tallest flowers in the world growing in it, reaching up to the sun.
She spent hours and hours playing in her castle, dreaming of her prince charming and awaiting his arrival.

This blonde haired blue eyed girl grew up. And met boys. Lovely lovely boys. Lovely boys who would fall over their feet to do anything she wanted.

But, as we know, the nice guys never the girl do they? What is it with that?

The blonde haired girl grew bored with the nice guys far to early, never appreciating what she had, could have, and would have.

Then she met this guy. Who seemed to be a nice guy too. And he was. For a while.

But then, as if overnight, someone cast a spell on him. Turned him into a fire breathing dragon, who locked the blonde haired blue eyed girl up in their house while he breathed his fiery breath all over her.

The house was nothing like her castle that she spent countless hours playing in. And he was not the prince charming that she dreamed of.
But he was there. When her whole world was falling apart he was still there. When she losing her mum, he was still there. He was a constant. Sadly, so was his attitude.

The girl with the blonde hair lost the sparkle in her eyes, and replaced it with sadness.

At first the world thought the girl wasn't coping with her mother being unwell. That she was rebelling. That she was a horrible horrible person. That she was nothing but a bitch.

Time went on. Some things change and some stay the same.

Then the world thought the girl wasn't coping with the loss of her mother, that she wasn't handling it as well she shoulda/coulda/woulda. But they didn't see. Couldn't see. That she was fighting another battle behind closed doors. A silent war, that she was not prepared to let anyone know about. And that no one noticed. She hid it too well.

The sad blonde haired girl, who was now sometimes carrying bald patches, and sometimes couldn't bear to open her blue eyes, to the reality, and in fear of tears falling from them for the world to see but not understand, fell into a lonely world. A world where no one could be trusted. A world where she was alone. A world where bad things happened, and good people let it.

One warm summers day, the angry dragon man took it a step it too far. The blonde haired girl had never seen blood fall from her face at the hands of another. She had endured everything else, all the things that were strategically done so that the everyday eye didn't see, but blood, falling her cut lip, into the bath tub, was the wake up call she needed. It provided her with strength that she didn't know she had.

She packed up the blonde haired baby, and with courage she didn't know she had, she told someone. She told someone that helped her more than she could ever have imagined. She told someone that showed her that the world wasn't what she thought it had been turned into. That she could still find her castle. And her prince charming will still come and rescue her.

And he did. 

You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. But no frog should ever treat his princess this way. And no princess should ever have to live through it.

Today, I am Speaking Out about domestic violence.
I have left out the gory details, mostly because I have worked too hard to put them behind me, to stop them defining me, to stop them being a barrier in my everyday. And because, well, I just really couldn't be bothered being dragged back down by them.
That's the thing with domestic violence. It stays with you forever. And post traumatic stress disorder is a bitch.  

I say NO to domestic violence, and I urge you to do the same.

If you see someone that needs help, SPEAK UP, so they can speak out. Too many people watch it happen, and do nothing about it.

Oh, and they all lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {or not so wordless}

Todays Wordless Wednesday is brought to you by: Great Friends.

Two of our great friends were married recently, two of our babes were in the bridal party.
An amazing day, with amazing people, and amazing wine.

This shot is amazeballs. Makes me cry, really, every time I see it. Love that boy xx

My two, at the front, and their new friends. The 'big boy' looked after my little boy all day. It warmed my heart how grown up he made my Wommy feel. Such a lovely kid. And Schnorbie, gorgeous as always. Need I say more?

The bride and groom, and my Fam of 5. The farmer doing some strange mouth thing :/

My Goosey, after she pulled out her hair, and had done a few laps of the dance floor, and my Schnorbie and I, grooving, after a few wines.

And that my friends.... Is love.

I know this was meant to be wordless wednesday, but my words seem to overflow when it comes to pictures of my kids. Apologies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nuffnang Blog Awards, Here I come!

Dear Nuffnang.

I just checked my calender and it appears that I'm totally free on the 16th of December, which, funnily enough, is the same day that 500 totally awesome bloggers from the Asia Pacific are are heading to the Putrajay Marriott in Kuala Lumpur! (for all of you stalking, that didn't pass geography, that's in Malaysia), for the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011!

I heard on the grapevine that they are all joining bloggy forces to honour the best in the blogosphere, and as I will not be being honoured, I would make a damn good honourer! Although, I do fully intend to pretend that I am there on super star / royalty status, you know, killer heels, dark sunglasses, schmoozing. All that Jazz. I do however promise not to trash the room!

Now, you have asked me to list my reasons for wanting to go to this awesome event, that is being sponsored by Volkswagen Malaysia and Putrajaya Marriott.
You actually asked for 3 reasons, and I'm not so sure I can narrow it down to just three.
Buy here they are, ranging from most extreme to least. Buckle up (like your in a herbie).

  • I was totally born for overseas travel and red carpet events. Not that I ever get to attend any red carpet events and have only ever travelled overseas once, for my honey moon, with kids in tow, but that's beside the point. I was born for it. And a girls gotta start somewhere!

  • The chance to be in a room with so much awesome talent (hello 500 bloggers!) fills me with excitement. The chance to meet people who's words often touch my heart, make me belly laugh and sometimes cry, is uber amazing, and I intend to get as close to each one as possible, in the hope that some of the awesomeness rubs off  -onto me of course.

  • Until recently, I have been a closet blogger. Not even The Farmer knew that I blogged, until I was offered a sponsored post from Nuffnang. I figured that I had better let him know before he started wondering the money came from. He still however has no idea what a blog is, (but likes when he gets a mention) and can't understand my love of twitter, or why we need to attend things like this when we can just tweet it. Men!  A trip to Malaysia will  show him. And totally shut his questioning mouth!

  • Did I mention that I am free on the 16th of December? And ooze rock star / Oscars appeal? mmmhhhmm.

  •  I could cross a few things off my 30 before 30 list, and it would also allow me to cross one of the things that was on my mum's bucket list that she didn't get to fulfil, that I am slowly trying to work my way through.

  • And the biggy - Nuffnang, I lived at Bogan Gate for 3 years (go on, google it, I am for real), and still live in the sticks where the dresses in my wardrobe would be met with funny stares if I was to ever wear them here. Please. Have mercy on me. GET ME OUT OF HERE!

Here is a little taste of Laura on location.

Here I am, sipping cocktails at the bar

And doing an excited little bed bounce. Either that or I have just woken, hence the hair.

And that is me, after I just jumped in the pool, probably after the above cocktails, or I have decided to do a really great impression of a whale.

See you there.

Love Love

Laura xx

Original image source - without the addition of my dodgy stick self.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

{review} Animal People by Charlotte Wood

This post is part of Product Talk, by Nuffnang

Last night I curled up into bed with my "smart technology", E reader/iPad/Kindle...

Doesn't have the same ring to it does it?

Lets try again.

Last night I curled up into bed with a book. A real life, paper pages, ink words book.

There is something comforting about reading a good book. The smell of the pages. A new book with the fresh crisp pages like clean linen, or a well loved book that you found amongst the dust in a second hand bookstore, with yellowing pages that have been turned many times before, and words that have had affairs with eyes before they met yours.

Drifting you away to another place, introducing you to people unknown.

Animal People by Charlotte Wood did just this for me.
With her amazing abundance of descriptive words I was instantly transported to urban life. I could almost feel the warmth. The film of sweat on my body.

Image from here

Animal People follows Stephen, a character from Wood's previous novel 'The Children' through a day. A single day filled with twists and turns that have you hanging at each corner.

The story of Stephen, with a goal for the day, to break up with his girlfriend, Fiona.

Throughout the course of the day, however, he finds himself doing some pretty major soul searching, without even knowing it.

I found Stephens human/animal comparisons fascinating, and truly loved exploring each layer of the story, of Stephen's thinking, as each element of his day, and himself, unfolded. It has left me wondering of my own 'animal people' status.

Charlotte Wood's love and passion that has been put into these characters leaves you knowing them, understanding them, connected to them in a way. I found myself really rooting for Fiona, hoping that Stephen would change his mind, not go through with the break up,  yet at the same time I was feeling really sorry for Stephen, especially when he shows completely other side of himself, the softness under his complexities.

The way the words are written, the story is weaved, is a true art, and I think it's a story that I could read many times, and still walk away with a different feeling. A different meaning. A new understanding of something that I missed before.

If you have not read 'The Children' don't be turned off Animal People. It is my first 'Wood' novel also, and I adored it!

And the best part?  You have a chance to adore it too! As I have a copy to give away!

All you need to do is leave a comment and make sure you have joined this site! Easy. However, if you want more entries join me on Facebook, and tweet about the comp.

Entries will be drawn by, or one of my blonde minions, sometime on the  23rd of November.

Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses

Friday, November 11, 2011

The passing of a one horse town icon. May he Rest In Peace.

I strongly believe today should have been a public holiday in my former, one horse hometown.

An icon, from my childhood, was today laid to rest.

The man that made the best milkshakes in the world, and sold lollies by the cent.

Whilst I could not get back for the funeral, and say my goodbyes, here is my tribute to him.

Dear Bill,

I was saddened this week to hear of your passing, although I am sure it was a blessing. Seeing you in the hospital saddened me no end, and walking past the closed doors of your shop saddened me even more.

I wish my 2 youngest children could have experienced your gentle nature, as I and Schnorbie had, each time we walked past, or called in. Sometimes with carrot's from the vegie patch, sometimes for $1 worth of mixed lollies, and sometimes just to say hi.

I will always remember feeling so rebellious, by defying my parents and sitting 'on Bills step' when I knew I probably shouldn't have been. Although, I will add, that I was never a pain in the arse, and never spilled anything, and never made a mess, and never graffitied the door. I swear!

I think the saddest part of today is that such an iconic person, in that small town, is now gone.
Everyone knew you. Or had heard of you. Or was suggested that they stop in for a milkshake (which were DAMN good).
Every child had been bribed with a bag of mixed lollies at some point in their life.
Every daughter was told not to hang out on the step, like the undesirables.

Every person that has ever lived there, has a memory of you, from their childhood. Even my pop! And as Schnorbie say's, he was born back with the dinosaurs.

I guess, because you had always been there, and never seemed to age a day, we all took it for granted that it would stay that way. That you would always be there. Hanging your head out the door to say hi, or telling us to move along, or giving us a spare bike tyre when we got an unexpected flat.

One thing is for sure, you will always be the heart of that place.
You will never be forgotten.
Thank you.


May your one cent lollies be in abundance, and the milk always icy.

The shop that never ever changed. The same signage is still on it today!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's just not Tuesday

I am writing this post while I am awake, at sleeping hours, but unable to sleep. On Tuesday.

Today has not been fun. It has not been grand. It has not been Tuesday.

Yesterday, after talking to the darling Pumpkin, who was totally pissed   a little upset, I made a decision to drive to her boarding school and take her out for coffee. Whats 100km's between sisters right?

I woke up and did not want to get out of bed. So I didn't. The farmer took schnorbie off to school and got Wommy and Mousie ready for the day.

At 9am, I decided it was time to make an appearance. Out of guilt more than anything.

I then decided I really didn't want to get dressed. So I didn't, and bummed around in my PJ's instead.

At lunch I contemplated getting dressed, knowing I would need to leave soon after. I still didn't.

Then we got a huge storm, and the power went out.

I should have taken all of this a sign. I usually listen to the universe, but today I didn't even notice it's voice.

I jumped in the shower, got dressed, was unable to do my hair because I had no power, so threw it up in a band and pulled off my best hobo look, and went on my merry way.

I got maybe half way to the many horse town.

I was on a stretch of serpentine road, when I came to a van in front of me, driving slow. Driving ALL OVER THE ROAD. It was busy today, really busy.

I slowed right down, keeping a good distance from this beat up car as it spent time on the wrong side of the road, so when the inevitable accident happened I had enough time to brake and not get caught up in it.

I watched, wondering if there was going to be a safe time to pass this car. Wondering what the hell the driving was thinking. Squinting into the car to see if maybe he was asleep.

I finally got to an overtaking lane. I was still a bit unsure about overtaking, all I really wanted to do was pull up on the side of the road and let this car get waaaaay ahead of me, but there was no where to stop.

I started to pull into the overtaking lane. Holding my breath. Keeping an eye still on the stupid van in front. As I came up beside it, he tried to side swipe me. Completely throwing his van into me. I hooked the wheel. I completely lost my bearings because I didn't even realise I was facing back the direction I came. I sat there, hands still on my steering wheel, shaking. Thanking god for my Pop always telling me to watch the other cars when your driving.

I heard yelling. LOUD. I looked out my window and there was a the van, in the middle of the road where it shouldn't have been. I could see the two occupants standing on the road. One of them coming towards me. Shouting. Carrying something.

When the car was driving in front of me, I could see something hanging out the passengers window, and couldn't work out what it was. Now I knew.

The man walking towards me was carrying a bloody shotgun!

Have you ever noticed the size of those things? They are huge. they are not pretty. they are scary as hell. I feel sorry for all the animals, the kangaroo's and rabbits that I even witnessed shot with one of these.

As if by magic. By sheer will. By a stroke of luck, or my guardian angel, a highway patrol car was travelling a few cars behind me, and saw the whole thing and had the lights and sirens blazing before I could even vomit. Which is all I wanted to do. And soon did.

Shock is a fucked up thing. Shaking uncontrollably, vomiting, ears popping, stomach cramps and uncontrollable bowel movements, did you know that even your finger nails change colour?

The police were wonderful, as they begged me to go to the hospital.
They checked over my car, and made sure I hadn't damaged anything while I was channeling my inner Fast and The Furious, and that my tires were still safe. They gave me juice. And they arrested to morons.

The funny thing is, at the time, I wasn't scared. Or maybe I was. I don't really remember.
What I do know is, that right now, its been the scariest day of my life.

Closing my eyes is scary.

One thing is for so sure,  I am going to go back to listening to the universe. I don't know why I chose not to today, when it was practically screaming at me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saving myself from myself | A smokers journey


Sponsored by Nuffnang

My name is Laura and I am a smoker.

A smoker who is trying to quit. And man, is it hard.

It's not so much the cigarettes that are hard to quit, it's the breaking the habits that I have surrounding them.

I have a coffee, and I have a smoke.

I chat on the phone, and I have a smoke.

I get stressed, and I have a smoke. Or many.

The Farmer and I are on a quitting journey. He is much better at it than me. I think it's because he works. So doesn't have as much time to spend on the phone or drinking coffee, and probably isn't as addicted to those habits as I am.

We made a pact, when we bought the town house, that it was to be a non smoking area. So far this has failed. Que the stress related smoking.

BUT we have made some achievements on our quitting path, and are on the way to keeping our promise to ourselves, and really, its more of a promise to our children. We never want them to have to look after us, to care for us because we have Emphysema - best case scenario, or bury us because of a stupid lifestyle choice that we made. And that is the reality of it. A lifestyle choice that we have made that is slowly harming us, potentially killing us.

We have dramatically cut back. The Farmer can do the whole cold turkey thing. I simply cannot. But when I cannot, he cannot. Its a vicious cycle and has caused many an argument.

I come from a family of smokers. Sometimes I think it is in my genetics. But I know it's not.
I have watched many of them quit. And many of them try. And many of them fail.

I have friends who use the 'I know such and such and he smoked since he was 14 and it never killed him'.
He was lucky. And I bet he never knew the full potential of his body, because lets face it, it may not kill you, but it does have a dramatic impact on your health,and in turn, the people that love you.

Is it really worth it? I think not.

I am beating smoking, before smoking beats me.

Join me on the path to quitting. Visit the Quit website for some great resources, plans and advice. I love the 3 step plan. It shows you how much money you are wasting, and what's going into your lungs! And then helps you work out a plan. Or visit your GP. There are many ways to quit smoking, you just have to find the right one for you.

Now to find a way to break my habits. Be warned, they may be replaced with blogging. That wouldn't be so bad would it?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The weekend is so close I can smell the Vodka!

Today I am filled with excitement and anxiety.

I am packing up the most important people in my life and sending them to visit to g'parents while I pack myself up to head off the big smoke.

Country Mouse visiting my city counterparts. It doesn't happen often.

This weekend I am pulling out my heels and pretty dresses and heading to Sydney for my first EVER concert. (Yep, I do live under a rock. really really) *By first I mean first that I choose to go to for myself, not because its a gift for someone else.

My best gay friend that isn't actually gay will be picking me up at some undisclosed time, and then we are meeting up with some other dudes, some of which I know, some of which I do not, and I am being Laura for a whole weekend.

A whole weekend of eating dinner as late as I want.

A whole weekend of getting out of bed when I please, and going to bed late because I wont be woken through the night and wont be woken in the morning!!

A whole weekend of having a big ol' bed all to myself!

A WHOLE freaking weekend to be nothing but Laura.

Laura who likes to sleep like a starfish and not get up before 9.
Laura who likes her music loud, her dinner late, her showers long, her coffee with half a sugar and lots of milk, her sheets untucked, her pillows fluffy, her feet over the side of the bed, her Vodka with juice and her drinks with laughs.

I am hoping to convince to my travel buddies that a trip to some markets is essential, and maybe hit up Jimmy Choo just to torture myself. Fingers crossed.

I am looking forward to catching up with this Laura. It's been too long. I hope she's still as fun as she used to be.

What are your Sydney suggestions for a Laura without kids? The only pre req is that they have a bar!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I think I just learned to {heart} my body

I'm going to be honest here, and say that there are so many things about my body that I want to change, that when I first heard about this, I was all "HELL FREAKING NO!"

Then I watched my Twitter flood with amazing, gorgeous women from around the country stripping down and bearing all.
Reading their stories touched me in a way that all the 'Love your body' ad campaigns did not. And never could.

These women are fabulous. And Gorgeous. But with their photo's came the stories of how their bodies had changed, from their ideal. Yet they are so beautiful.

I think it comes down to the age old tale, of the grass is always greener, of different perspectives and idea's on what the ideal is. On what beautiful is. On what perfect is.

I felt empowered by these women, all baring their insecurities for the world to see.
But at the same time, I felt much like a fraud for even contemplating showing the world all the things I want changed. All the surgeries I would have if the bank account could fund it. When the point is to LOVE my body.

This morning, I chose to embrace myself. Even the bits I hate.

Even Laura who has just gotten out of bed, after being up all night thinking about writing this post, and then was awoken again by kids freaking out over a thunderstorm.

But, as I was intensely studying every shot I took, the memories came flooding back.
The memory that was made with each and every mark, scar, lump, bump and stretch mark.

And I started to feel a little liberated.

When I look down, all I usually see is my disgusting, stretched stomach.
This morning I remembered the story behind each and every stretch mark. And started to love them a little.
I remembered just why I look like the saggy baggy elephant, when Mousie was born, tearing a muscle in my stomach that can only be repaired with surgery, so now it kinda hangs, one side lower than the other.

The boobs no woman should have ever been blessed with.
They simply are not practical, and yes, as Glowless said, F stands for Faaarrr out they are huuuuuge!!! 
They no longer sit where I would like them to, and pretty much have a mind of their own, but they have managed to nourish all 3 of my babies and give them a great start to life.
And occasionally, just sometimes, you find a dress that they look KILLER in! But only sometimes.

This is the shot, that has really left me shaking. That makes me feel nauseous. That I really can't believe I even took, let alone am about to show the world.
But his all about embracing me. The me that I am, not the me that I want to be, used to be or wish I was.

Lumps, bumps, scars and stretched. This is me.
My body has done some amazing things. And for that, I need to give it a little more credit, and be a little more proud of it.

It is so easy for me to sit here and admire all the amazing semi naked women floating around the inter webs today, but it's so much harder for me to sit back and applaud myself for joining them.

Here's to the sisterhood ladies.
To embracing ourselves.
To our uniqueness.
To our journey.
To our individual beauty.

I think I may kinda {heart} my body now.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Wearing Red, Sharing Empowerment | A day for Daniel

This weekend I will be wearing red.

This weekend I will be helping to empower my children, and yours, by participating in the Day For Daniel walk.

This morning the kidlets and I made our television debut!
We stood up ( and ducked down and danced around, you know what 2 years olds are like) and talked about just WHY this day is so important.

And we looked nothing short of idiots I'm sure. But it was for a damn good cause, so what the hell.

Today I ask you, if you know of a Day For Daniel walk taking place, please join in. Please wear red. And please pop a measly $2 in the box and grab yourself a wrist band, or pen.

It doesn't take much to empower our children. To help to keep them safe. You have just been willing to do not much, rather than nothing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Only In The Country

Last week, I was picking up my babiest sister, AKA, pumpkin, from the train station She regularly escapes boarding school and comes to stay and annoy the shit out of me.

I had to make an unscheduled stop, just to take a picture of this!

I'm sure I looked the dodgiest bitch on earth as I pulled into the driveway, parked, got out, snapped the picture, and then drove off again.
And the pumpkin of course was dying of embarrassment!  Apparently that's just not cool to 16 year olds. Pfft, what to do they know anyway.

I occasionally take my kids to McDonalds. But ever say I have taken my sheep.

How about you?

Whilst the one horse town can be dull, there are some experiences you can only get here.