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Category Archives: Charmed, I’m Sure

Witty observations about a modern woman’s life.

Project: Bebe

Holy mother of absence – where have I been all your life??

Very good question. The answer is…I’ve been busy. Not just making my own Christmas presents busy. Like…the busiest I have ever been. The reason why? I’ve been growing a baby. Its been the most amazing, wonderful and terrifying experience I’ve ever had. And I’m not even half way!!! Right now, our little Pickle is 16 weeks old and 11.5cm (4.5in) long. Incredible if you ask me.

Despite the initial 14 weeks of horrendous nausea and gagging fits, everything has been going pretty great. Some days I think I’m the only woman who has ever endured the complete and overwelming tiredness of pregnancy. Or the uncontrollable and irrational emotion that changes like the wind. But the biggest challenge for me? I’m now at the complete and utter mercy of my body. Its in the drivers seat of a rally car and thinks its the Stig.

Night time is the worst. It usually plays out something like this:-

10.32pm – Settle into bed.

10.48pm – Body: I’m hungry. Me: No you’re not, go to sleep. Body: I aaaaaam. I need a snack. Me: But I’ve just brushed my teeth. Oh ok. (Get out of bed, find muesli bar, eat muesli bar)

11.15pm – Crazy dreams.

12.39am – Crazy dreams.

3.18am – Crazy dreams.

4.02am – Body: I need something. Me: What do you need? Body: I’m thirsty, I need water. (Drink water beside bed)

4.18am – Body: Now I need to pee. Me: Really? Ok. (Get out of bed, go to bathroom).

4.32am – Body: I need something else. I’m hungry. Me: No you aren’t. I’m not eating anything. You can have some water. (Drink more water)

4.35am – Body: But I am hungry. I’m starving. I’m starving. I’m starv…I’m feeling sick. I might spew. Yep, I’m gonna spew. Nope, I’m hungry again. Pleeeease??? Me: Geez ok, hang on. (Get up, go to pantry, fumble for something in the dark, find half stale chicken crackers, eat 4 crackers, drink more water, go back to bed)

4.46am – Body: Uh oh…I really need to pee again. Me: Seriously?? Seriously? Body: Well you did drink all that water. (Get out of bed, go to bathroom).

5.06am – Body: I can’t sleep. Those crackers have left a funny taste in my mouth. Me: I agree. (Get out of bed, brush teeth, go back to bed)

6.45am – Me: I have to get up in 15 minutes for work. Body: No way! I’m tired. I’m going back to sleep.

7.15am – Me: Darn!! I slept in. Nice work body, now I’m going to be late! Body: Don’t forget that I want 3 pieces of toast for breakfast this morning.

I eventually make it to work looking almost like a real human. By mid-morning I’m actually feeling like a real human. By 3pm, I’m wishing I could crawl under my desk for a nap. But somehow, I manage to get to the end of the day, drag myself home, sometimes make dinner, sometimes curl up on the couch and start the whole night time routine again.

So why not stay tuned for some more exciting and unbelievable adventures starring: My Body. Rated MA+.

Crafty

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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When you handmake yourself into trouble…

Greetings long-lost friends! I hear you saying “where the heck did she go?”. Good question.

Lets flash back to the 14 September where I gallantly proclaim to the entire online world that I’m going to make all of my Christmas gifts this year. My super cool international twin (Sips of Jen and Tonic) gets on board and we decide to set up an entirely new blog dedicated to the cause. We even create a Facebook page to announce all of our wonderful handcrafted Christmas cheer. Fast forward three months and with one week to go, I’m still frantically running around like a turkey with its head cut off. Poor (delicious) turkey. So…where did I go wrong? Let’s find out:-

  1. Publicly declaring this monstrous task. Instead of pretending I’d had a moment of drunken fantasy, it was there in black and white for everyone to see.
  2. Thinking that 3 months would be adequate time to create handmade gifts for everyone – obviously forgetting the fact that making something takes considerably more time than buying something. Factoring in weekends driving here and there to source materials to make said gifts and I was already behind.
  3. Forgetting I had a life with other areas of importance which needed to be tended to. Including a full-time job, a house, friends and family. So throw in weekends full of housework, grocery shopping, birthday parties, family get-togethers and trying to start a new local market, I now was not only behind, I was stressed about being behind.

All in all I managed to make about 20 jars of jam, 5 sets of coasters, 4 kitchen hand towels, 3 circle skirts and a partridge in a pear tree. But I certainly haven’t had time to document and blog about these projects. Luckily there are people out there that haven’t over-committed themselves and are more than happy to share their creative projects with the rest of us on the Handmade Christmas Project blog. If they didn’t, it would be a rather sad solitary bauble on the blogging Christmas tree.

Thank you to everyone who shared my initial enthusiasm, encouraged me and inspired me. Although I didn’t complete my 100% handmade Christmas (yes there have been some sneaky, store-bought gifts), and I made myself majorly stressed about the whole thing, I’m still very proud to be giving gifts made with care and love this season.

If you’d like to read what we did have time to blog about, head over to the HCP blog for a look-see. Let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a really wonderful Christmas. Wherever and whoever you’re spending it with, I hope it’s filled with magic. Thanks for a great year full of truly wonderful reading experiences. I’ve made some amazing friends by starting my blog and you’re all creating your own handmade magic everyday. Ho! Ho! Ho.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Confessions of a food addict…

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been having a tumultuous love affair with food. At times we are consumed by each other, locking ourselves away from the rest of the world and indulgently taking pleasure in our relationship.

Other times, I come to my senses and realise what food has done to me and I shun it, refusing to see it at all. In the past this has been a time of mixed emotions. Food provides me with a comfort, a reassurance and escape. And not just the eating of it either. I take pleasure in the thought of it, the planning of it, the making of it and of course, the eating of it.

I think the biggest self-realisation is, that in all areas of my life, I’m an ”all or nothing” type of girl. I find it hard to do anything half-heartedly. And food is definitely no exception. But as I’m getting older, I find that my food benders are much harder to recover from. And if a recent experience is anything to go by, food is getting jack of my indecisiveness. On the weekend, in a rebellious show of defiance, it gave me quite a nasty allergic reaction and a rather hideous swollen face. Never before have I been allergic to any culinary delight. I did not take the warning lightly…I promise to be a much more consistent lover in the future.

I’m also trying a very considered approach to ‘moderation’. Hmmm, not a word I’m particularly fond of. But while I’m trying a more healthy approach to our relationship, I think a little badness doesn’t hurt every now and then.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to keep calm and still add butter. But I’ll do it in moderation….and sometimes substitute it for margarine.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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The Ultimate Placebo

It seems I have been neglecting you all. If you can believe it, its been almost 6 weeks since I’ve written a post! There has been a good reason, which I hope to share with you one day soon. However, mostly I think it has a lot to do with the Winter Blues. Its been horribly cold here with snow and sleet and rain and ice. Brrrrrrr! All that my mind and body has wanted to do has been sit by the fire and crochet. Or watch old episodes of Super Nanny. Needless to say, that doesn’t make for great post material.

My husband has had a bad case of winter doldrums too. We keep telling each other we need a holiday but we usually just say “yeah, we sure do” and then go right back to watching Jo Frost say “that behaviour is unasseptable.”

So yesterday as I sat in the long-lost sunshine reading the Sunday paper, I happened to stumble across a holiday special to Fiji. I tore it out of the paper and this morning I stuck it on the fridge. When I saw my husband I subtly winked towards the fridge. “That’s weird.” he said. “What is?” I asked. He replied “I was only thinking about going on a holiday to Fiji last night.”  Before he could finish his sentence I was already there, sitting on the beach, drinking a cocktail.

I know this is crazy but today I feel so much better. Just the idea of a holiday has picked me up and I feel like buckets of sunshine are pouring over me. because I’m not one to let a potential opportunity escape me, at lunchtime I hot footed it straight to the Travel Agents! She talked to me about all the options and I expressly told her I wanted a Beachfront Bure. She sent me away with lots of ideas and a tantalising, glossy brochure. Even having that brochure on my desk seemed to brighten my office.

So, who knows if I will ever get my beachfront room with sun-loungers overlooking the rich blue ocean. But today, it doesn’t matter. I had a little holiday in my mind. (And in that holiday, I didn’t get sunburnt).

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Girl Friday in….Her Need for Balance.

It’s not easy admitting the truth about yourself.

If you signed up to get my posts regularly, you’ll have noticed that they have been pretty irregular lately. In fact almost an entire month has gone by without so much as a peep from me. It’s not that I’ve been deliberately avoiding you, quite the opposite, it seems my life has become so hectic, I honestly haven’t had time for you. That’s the truth – Number 1. My life is too busy to blog about.

In the face of a revelation this week, I’ve had to admit a few other home truths about myself.

Number 2. I feel I have to be the best. At everything.

Being the best at something can be wonderful. Actually, being the best at something is….the best! But it’s when you try to be the best at everything, that’s when you know you have a problem. I could blame it on being a Scorpio…we’re passionate, driven, artistic people. But I think that’s just a cop-out. If I try my hand at something and come up lacking, I feel a huge sense of failure.

Number 3. I am like Vegemite. I spread myself too thin.

Wanting to be the best at everything means you try to do a lot. Too much. So much in fact you suddenly realise that you couldn’t possibly be the best at anything, you just simply don’t have any time left to focus and dedicate your energy to anything. And let’s face it, Vegemite is already lacking in fans.

Number 4. Much like a washed up race-horse, I put myself last.

I know I’m not alone here. But why do I feel a huge sense of guilt if I put myself before others? And why is ‘me-time’ now a dirty word? When it comes to my weekend, the two days off a week that should be for me, I’m lucky if I can find an hour to do something for myself. And if I do, there is a voice in the back of my head saying “but that thing for that person, you’re putting it off, how rude!”. These days it feels like if you’re not helping everyone, you’re helping no-one.

Number 5. My happiness hinges on others being happy.

It’s like not being able to enjoy that double chocolate, coated in chocolate with a chocolate on top ice-cream cone because the kid next you can’t afford to buy one. And you know you’ll just feel better if they ate your ice-cream and you saw the smile on their ice-cream covered face. This isn’t a bad thing, but maybe its ok to eat your own ice-cream every now and then. Why? Because you’ve earn’t it, that’s why.

Ok, so far it sounds like all I’m doing is complaining that I have a very busy, rich life, full of people I care about. Heck yes I do. And I’m grateful up the wazoo about that fact. But here’s the thing, every now and then, you have to stop worrying about what people will think of you if you aren’t trying to please them. That if you say no and try to do things that make yourself, and only yourself happy, the world won’t fall apart. And that if you don’t do a favour for someone – you don’t have to beat yourself up for days about it.

That’s all very nice Jen, you’ve realised you’re an obsessive, perfectionist, control freak who wants to make the world happy. But where does that leave you?

It just so happens that this year isn’t just about self-realisations, it’s also about taking action. So for the next five weeks, I’m only going to work four days a week, instead of five (and sometimes six or seven). While it probably sounds like small fry to you, cutting back my working week is HUGE for me. But what’s even bigger is that I’m not trying to fill that extra day. Its blank, it’s for me. If I want to sit in my pyjamas and watch 1980’s movies all day, I will. If I want to climb that mountain behind my house until my legs feel like jelly, oh I will. And if I want to spend some quality time just blogging about it…you better believe I will.

I’m becoming my own Girl Friday. Word.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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The sports that didn’t make it into the olympics.

With the imminent arrival of the 2012 London Olympic games about to grace our screens, I thought it was timely to look back at the sports which did not quite make it onto the olympic world stage…

  1. 80’s Shower Dancing – Passed over for the more popular sport of synchronised swimming, 1980’s shower dancing still possesses every bit of poise, coordination and skill. If you mess up one left elbow to right knee combo whilst blasting Olivia Newton-John’s Physical, you’d not only miss out on a medal but most likely end up getting stitches for a lacerated thigh.
  2. 100m Dash with Full Shopping Trolley to Car in the Rain – If you think the 100m hurdles puts fear into the hearts of men, spare a thought for the athletes which have to brave car parks full of potholes, distracted old lady drivers, heavy rain and the always difficult “where the heck are my keys” struggle at the finish line.
  3. Last Chocolate Biscuit Wrestle – Ok, so this has kinda made it into the olympics, minus the chocolate biscuit (or ‘cookie’ for my international pals). But originally this sport was derived from that moment when two hands collide on the way to reach for the last chocolate biscuit. This then proceeds to a ‘death stare’ show down. To the victor, goes the spoils…or cookie in this case.
  4. Hot Feet Dance – Forget rhythmic gymnastics people. The hot feet dance has been around for centuries. Imagine a beach or pool full of spectators. The sun is high in the sky. You see the water glistening in the distance. You face the judges, put your arms high in the air and begin your routine. A graceful hop, skip and jump over the hot sand or cement will see you triumphant. Lets not speak of the endless competitors who’ve sustained third degree burns on the soles of their feet. Its par for the course in this sport.
  5. Beer Fishing – Alright so technically this could have been a winter olympic sport with its link to sub-zero temperatures. But more often than not, it’s played in the summer months. Once all the ice in an esky has melted beyond 50%, brave competitors must plunge their arms into the freezing icy water to retrieve as many beers as they can. Sounds easy right? Well I know many men who train for years to get this one right. But time and time again, they go back to that esky to perfect their sport. That my friends…is true dedication.
So let us spare a thought for the humble athletes who we see every day, doing their best and training like demons in the hope that one day, these sports may be shared with the world. Just so you know, I’d have won 3 gold medals in 80’s Shower Dancing by now.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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When your chest needs its own postcode.

In 2011, 672 women died as a result of injuries sustained from overly large breasts. That is probably a fictional statistic. Actually I know it is because I just made it up. But surely somewhere, this is the reality. Large breasts can be a hazard.

I can hear at least half of the population saying “So what’s your beef lady? Large mammary glands are the bomb diggity!” And while its true being a Chesty La Roux has its moments, largely they just seem to get in the way.

You know your breasts need their own postcode if you have every experienced any of the following:-

  • Clothes fit you everywhere else, except your chest;
  • You go to great pains to cover them up but they still bust out of your top with more determination than an inmate of Shawshank Redemption;
  • You can lose an entire course of a meal in your cleavage “Oh I’m sure that chicken Maryland was just on my plate…no, wait, here it is!”;
  • When you lie down, you feel like you may choke to death;
  • Going for a jog is an exercise in physics…weight + velocity x gravity = a reinforced sports bra; and
  • People become hypnotised with that space between your belly button and your face. Men, women, children….everyone. Even you. It has this power that humans are unable to resist.

In no way am I trying to give the illusion that my chest is the biggest (it ain’t) or the best (it certainly ain’t). But its been ample enough to cause a few problems along the way. So while I continue to find last nights dessert nestled sweetly my townships, I think its timely to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. We never seem to be happy with what we’ve got…but I’m just happy I’ve got them at all.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Did you hear something? Yeah, like a swoosh.

I think there are two types of people in the world when it comes to ‘clothes management’.

  1. The type who carefully sort their washing by lights, darks, colours, delicates, heavy-duty and woollens (huh?). Always select the correct cycle and water temperature. Pegs on the line with care.  Folds the clothes when getting them off the line. Then irons and hangs them immediately; OR
  2. The type who sorts by light or dark only. Chooses the regular cycle every time.  Pegs on the line with abandon. Then throws everything in the washing basket to remain until needed.

I’ll  give you one guess which type I am. Yeah…Number 2 with a bullet. I try to be a Number 1 laundry person. But there always seems to be far too many clothes and not enough time. I do not know how mothers of tiny little people manage. Seriously, all those little socks and jumpsuits and singlets. It’s too much to think about!

Boltanski’s No Man’s Land

I try to complete all my washing on the weekend…sometimes its ok to hang outside on the line. Sometimes I have to use the clothes airer inside. If it’s an inside job, the clothes can ‘air’ for many days. I just forget they’re there, waiting to be pulled off and dumped haphazardly into a basket.

Then every Monday I’m faced with the same problem. What….do….I….wear? I truly long for my school uniform days. One look, no thinking, just whip it on and away you go. But I have clothing freedom and with that comes responsibility. And ironing. I do iron you know. Every morning when I rifle through that basket looking for something that won’t make me look like I got dressed in the dark in the 1980’s. I just iron what I need for that day. Usually after I’ve showered and standing in a towel. I will confess to also burning my stomach several times from ironing in the nude. NOT RECOMMENDED. I once burned my stomach so badly, I had a long red scar that looked like I’d had some organ removed.

Photo cred: Wikipedia

I also do not own a full length mirror…so some days, whilst the top half matches well, covers well and makes me look like a real life adult worker, the bottom half could be a complete lucky dip. Lately I’ve found myself saying to my husband as I run out the door “Does this look ok? Do these shoes go with this skirt?” He always replies with “I don’t know these things”.  Last week after one of his responses I was so desperate I found myself on top of a dining room chair, trying to look at the my outfit in the dining room mirror. Lucky save, those shoes did NOT go with that skirt. Or the other day, I put on a lovely bone shirt dress only to see myself in the mirror looking like a safari hunter. All I needed was a hat and gun and I could be on the set of Out of Africa. Disgraceful.

Which all leads me to today’s outfit. It was cold this morning and I had the urge to wear pants. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore pants to work so finding a pair that fit, had a working zipper and no holes in them was a challenge. I selected what looked like a perfectly fine pair that met all the criteria. Until I started walking. They make the exact sound that George Costanza’s pants made from Seinfeld. A swoosh, swoosh, swoosh sound. By the time I discovered this, I was well and truly over the ordeal and decided to go with the George pants anyway.

So here’s to free styling your laundry and swooshy pants. Can you hear something?

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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The only time I’ll touch a wild boars testicles.

I make no secret about wanting a few of my own chubby legged kids one day. And today I was given this little nugget of advice. There is a statue in front of the Sydney Hospital in Macquarie Street called Il Porcellino. My friend said that the legend goes if you rub his wild boar grapes, it will help your fertility. After further research, apparently only rubbing his snout is recommended for good luck. Oh well, next time I’m in the big smoke, I’ll be sure to rub his man-junk just in case.

The incredibly harassed pig.

Which brings me to my next topic…the overly fertile women in my life. I’m telling you, it’s an epidemic (of the good kind naturally). One good friend of mine just gave birth to a healthy baby boy two weeks ago, and another five of my friends are set to follow suit in the coming months. So as the next cab is patiently waiting to drop off her fair…which is already a week overdue, I got to chatting to another one of those lovely ladies about the joys of pregnancy. I was going to re-write it from my perspective…but her words are too good not to share as is. WARNING: do not proceed if you have a weak stomach and/or wish to know nothing about the truth of pregnancy.

Without further adieu, I introduce Dee – our topical expert! She says…

  1. Right, so…when you are pregnant you lose ownership of your body.
  2. The life growing inside you that takes what it wants regardless of how much you have to give.
  3. Your body becomes public property, especially during your first pregnancy. Note: it’s not ok to touch other people. Especially if you’re not really sure what their name is, or if they are looking at you as if they are about to kill you but the only thing holding them back is making a messy scene at work.
  4. Your Dr will do things to you and make you feel discomfort you never knew existed.The dreaded strip and stretch, meant to help your body kick labour off when you are at or past due date, actually just makes you realize you do have Spiderman-esque powers and you can crawl up a wall backwards.
  5. Many women take delight in trying to scare the hell out of you with horrific labour stories, and some just like to give you really bad and condescending advice, such as ‘if you think your tired now, wait till the baby comes’ in that ever knowing voice of a woman who excels at whipping up over cooked-meat and packet rice every night.
  6. Pregnancy brings with it bladder weakness, flatulence, weight gain, fatigue, mood swings.
  7. Magazines try to convince you that being pregnant is like an illness and you need to purchase the entire catalogue of baby kingdom or you will fail as a mother.
  8. Maternity clothing is a complete chapter to be dealt with separately, it’s bad, expensive and designed by men.
  9. The actual process of going through labour is designed to push you to your utter limits, your body will do and feel things you can’t imagine possible, but after you have bared all in a room full of people you barely know, done a poo without even knowing and demanded a hysterectomy you will be handed a red, slimy, screaming creature that will depend on you completely make you fall in love and drive you insane everyday for the best part of your life.

Thanks Dee! I’m sure Number 3. was a technique used in the 1600’s as a punishment against treason. “You said what about the King??? Bend over! Its punishment by the strip and stretch!!!”

I was seriously considering by-passing my manly bacon friend above until I read the very last part of Number 9. It was really touch and go for a while there. Rub-a-dub-dub!

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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Lock up your slurpee machines!

It all started 97 days ago. I was new to Blog Town and happened to stumble across LL Cool Jen’s blog….Sips of Jen and Tonic. She’s like the bomb and way too talented. She should have her own column in a world syndicated newspaper.

So when she invited me to go and hang out with her in America…I packed my hip hop hat and was on that plane in a jiffy. (I’m not sure if Hip Hop and Jiffy have ever been in a sentence before, but they are now).

Jen opened my eyes to the culture, to the adventure, to the wonders of her home town. Now I know what I’d look like with rockin’ facial hair.

Please check out our adventures here on Jen’s The Saucy Aussie post.Thanks for the memories girl…we’ll always have Freedom Fries.

AND…if you have decided to become a follower as a result of Jens post…welcome to the team y’all! This is the time when it would be way cooler if background music started playing like a movie soundtrack. Until WordPress figures out how to do that, this will have to do. So maybe press the link below then go back and read the paragraph again.

HERE COMES THE BOOM!

Photo Cred: Salt n Pepa…I mean Sips of J&T.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Charmed, I'm Sure

 

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