So, I’m sitting in the car repair shop. They said it would take 1 hour but it is now nearing 3 hours and I have the shits! Luckily they have really good coffee (it’s also a Mercedes dealership so they bloody well should). They also have WiFi (bonus), but there is only so much “playing” you can do on an iPhone – right? Then I spy the magazine rack and my anger begins to diffuse as I discover my very first Girl Crush.
I believe it was Harper’s Bazaar. I picked it up and soon enough came across an article on Roberta Armani. I don’t know why I stopped to read it as I just assumed she was as vacuous as some of those born into famous/rich families, however in this case I was pleasantly surprised.
In my anger – prior to coming across this article – I had asked “the guy” to wrap up the car clean even though it was a free part of the service….c’mon it was 3 hours later and I was trapped with no way to get home, no way to get back and still a little confused on when I would be able to escape. But here I found myself wishing and pleading with the universe to make them take their time so I could finish up this fabulous read.
What was so enticing about this article? I think that can be summed up in her words:
“If you look for happiness outside yourself it will be a weak kind of happiness. You can meet the most amazing man, but if you are not centered and happy within yourself, the man will probably disappear. I am trying to fall in love with myself”.
That was just her take on finding a partner. Being the niece of such a big name and working for Armani I just expected some sort of sense of entitlement. There was none and the more I read about her the more I began to recognise my very first Girl Crush!
Possibly if I wasn’t in such a strong marriage, I may have started to reconsider my sexuality!!
I later read an article on Deborah Mailman in the Woman’s Weekly where she stated that she “got to a point where I had to deal with my own demons and insecurities and talk myself into being kind to myself and start loving who I am, warts and all. I guess it’s called growing up. I just think as women we have to start being more kind to ourselves”….are you sensing a theme here?
I have to say, I do think I have had girly crushes before. If I really look back I think my very first girl crush must have been Olivia Newton-John, but she was everyone’s around the time of Grease. I think I’ve dabbled a bit with Miranda Kerr and Megan Gale, but although all of these women have amazing things to say, I think those crushes may have been a little superficial as they already seem to have that self love, self knowledge and sense of purpose. Maybe I’m more attracted to those who are still searching for that self acceptance that seems to allude the rest of us mere mortals.
I personally have come a long way in my pursuit of ‘falling in love with myself’ and building my confidence. I have recognised that I love flawed people. Does anyone really like someone who appears to be perfect? What is there to like about perfect? It is boring, dull and annoying. So, if this is the case, why wouldn’t I love my fabulously flawed self? Maybe I’m directing my affections toward the wrong place, maybe I should be crushing on me.
Have you had a girl crush? Tell us who it was and why in the comments section below.
Till next time….
We are headed to New Zealand next year for a wedding and as the fabulously organised parents that we are, we have the bookings done and dusted. The last remaining hurdle though is figuring out babysitting details for the night of the wedding. So, as I am not a huge fan of leaving my son with a stranger, I asked the lovely Julie Warner from Julie Warner Travel Plans to help me with some ideas on finding babysitters when you’re on the road.
As I suspected, the tips were really good, so good in fact that I decided to share them with you 🙂
Finding Babysitters When You’re on the Road
Finding babysitters when you’re travelling presents unique challenges, whether you’re a parent who just needs a night out or you’re looking to find a babysitter on a regular basis. You need to find a childcare provider for your little one, but you have to do so in an unknown community. When you don’t know what resources are available to you or which businesses and people are worthy of your trust, how do you even begin to search for a quality childcare provider?
A good starting point is to check with your hotel when you make your reservation to see if they offer child minding services or can provide you with a list of recommended babysitters. Always ask about what types of pre-screening the hotel has in place for babysitters to qualify to be on their recommended list. Allow time when you arrive to meet with the candidate/s so you can assess personally their suitability for your childcare requirements – gut feel always plays an important part in these decisions, make sure you trust yours!
Do some on-line research, there are various babysitter sites available covering many destinations around the world that allow you to search their databases, advertise a position and view profiles of potential candidates. If you have a selection of candidates before you depart, conducting interviews via Skype will allow you a good insight into the best match for your family’s requirements. This could be a good way to introduce your child to the sitter so they are familiar with their face and voice so meeting them in person won’t feel like they are strangers.
You can also check out local parent bloggers, family related companies/services/magazines and reach out to them on Twitter or Facebook for a local recommendation.
Check your destination’s local phone book for a babysitting agency or child care service before you leave on your trip. If visiting friends or family, use word of mouth and ask if they know someone suitable or can refer you to a reputable agency. If in a more remote location, try contacting the local playgroup, pre-school or primary school and ask if they have any staff that offer babysitting services or can recommend any local sitters.
Five Questions You Should Ask At A Babysitter Interview
To ensure you hire the best possible candidate for your child, it’s helpful to be prepared. Here’s a list of five questions you should ask at a babysitter interview.
- Ask what experience your babysitter has had and whether she has any experience with a child in the same age group as yours.
- Ask for references that include past babysitting jobs that a candidate has had.
- Find out your babysitter’s schedule and availability, making sure it coincides with your needs.
- Find out if your babysitter has had any first aid training and is familiar with what to do in case of an emergency involving your child.
- Ask what type of philosophy your babysitter has in taking care of children and that you are comfortable this will work with your child.
- Above all else, whichever way you locate your babysitter, allow plenty of time beforehand in your selection process so you are comfortable with your choice and can actually relax while you are away from your child. Perhaps schedule a short visit before your main outing to allow your child to meet and start building some trust with the sitter. This will also give you an insight into how they interact with each other and a greater level of comfort when you are away for a longer period of time.
The final and most important step – Go out and have a good time!
Do you have concerns with hiring babysitters? Tell us more in the comments section below.
Till next time….
Seriously what is the go? Why are kids band-aids so small? Yes, I am not completely clueless, I understand kids are little, but their war wounds certainly are not! And that is the riddle of kids band-aids.
Recently JT (3yrs) came a cropper after falling from a swing. The surface they use at parks these days do an absolute number on kids clothing, let alone their skin, see evidence below….
Anyway, I digress. Once the initial shock and howling was over, his first request was to put a band-aid on it. Not a problem says Mum (that’s me). I can fix it with a kiss and a bandage cause I’m a really good mum…..
Evidence that I’m a really good mum – I did a pretty good job with this little gouge which is healing nicely 🙂
So, we get home, put some special mum ointment on it (that’s antiseptic to you) and we pull out our hoard of bandages. Now herein is where the band-aid dilemma lies – which size? You see, none of the padded parts in my stash are large enough to cover the area. I can find some big brown material style bandages but they just won’t do (heaven forbid the bandage is useful and not adorned with Wiggles, smiley faces or dinosaurs). Seriously, try telling a screaming child that the big brown thing will work much better than Wags the Dog and you’ve lost before you’ve even started.
Nevertheless we soldier on. I pick out the biggest ones we have and place two of them on the graze. It looks good, it covers the whole area, but the reality is that the sticky bits are attached to the broken skin – ouch!!
This is about the 4th time JT’s poor little knee has been bashed and banged about, so this is not an unusual occurrence for kids (particularly boys). So, I ask again, why are kids band-aids so small?
If you have found the solution to the riddle of kids band-aids, please share your insights in the comments section below.
P.S. I am aware that band-aid is a brand name, but it has also become synonymous for plasters in Oz. It is therefore in this form that I use the words band-aid to cover all adhesive bandages.
P.P.S. All injuries were sustained in the line of duty, that of being a little boy. Events occurred falling off swings, foraging in the “tall tree woods” and racing to get to the beach before his father 🙂
Till next time…
I believe date nights are as good as a holiday. Kind of like a mini holiday treat where you get to reconnect, talk at leisure and concentrate on each other. There are no children to distract you, no daily complications to grind you down and no ruts to fall into. It is just a time to celebrate the life you have together and that is one of the many reasons why date night is so important.
They say a change is as good as a holiday. I think it could be said that date night gives you that much needed change from the daily grind. What kind of changes you ask? Well think about it, when was the last time you were able to be spontaneous together or enjoy each others company without interruption? What a lovely and indulgent change it is! And don’t underestimate the anticipation of the lead up and excitement on the day -some say half the fun of the holiday is in the build up towards it, so suck it all in and enjoy.
My husband and I are hurtling towards our 10 year anniversary (no doubt you will hear plenty about this as we plan our celebrations) but big milestones are begging to be celebrated aren’t they? It’s often when you are plodding along in the marriage on a daily basis that you need a small time out to reconnect with your soul. True, this could be found at a day spa, a shopping trip or even reading a good book outside under a tree, but nothing that I’ve personally experienced beats date night!
My husband and I realised the necessity of date night not too long after our son was born. So, after a couple of years we instigated a monthly date night to refocus on ourselves and have some (what we call) “selfish time”. We call it “selfish time” and are self confessed selfish people, but in reality, date night is so very far from selfish. Taking the time to rejuvenate and keep the marriage alive is probably the biggest and best gift you can give to your children and to each other.
Recently, my husband and I had a date night, well actually it was a date weekend – even better!! We had missed a number of dates over recent months due to other obligations, so, when the opportunity came up to have two full days together we jumped at the chance. Admittedly we spent a small fortune and our next date night will have to be a much less glamorous affair, but boy was it worth it!
Two full days to eat, drink and be merry, it was bliss! There is nothing better than a fabulous sunny day in Sydney. Waking up to views of the harbour, finding fabulous food (don’t worry I am thankfully not intolerant to seafood and Sydney has spectacular seafood), strolling through the Rocks and browsing the designer label shops. The fact that hubby updated my Gucci handbag just topped off an already sensational day.
Back at the hotel you can’t go past the members lounge. In our case it was the Intercontinental where we sipped champagne on the level 31 balcony, chatted over canapés and took in the spectacular views. Back to the room to watch movies, take baths and whatever else takes your fancy must also rank as premium bonding time – but enough about that!
Giving your mind time to unwind does wonders for your own health which is an added bonus to the multitude of pluses date night provides. Relaxing, planning, togetherness, are not usually words that you associate with being part of a family, so taking time out to add those activities into your schedule is an absolute MUST!
So what is holding you back? Get out there. Enjoy each other and come back to your family rejuvenated, refreshed and renewed – just like that post holiday glow 🙂
By the way, I do not apologise for not updating my status, adding a blog post or sending Instagrams over that weekend and would suggest that you do the same….just saying.
What obstacles get in the way of your date nights? How do you overcome them?
Food chemical intolerances can complicate your life, but none more so than when you need to eat out. It is hard enough to restructure your whole diet and relearn everything you know about healthy eating, but trying to convey the message to wait staff, friends or family can be a mission! So, how do you survive special occasions with food intolerances?
My husband and I have made the lifestyle choice to eat out on most weekends. The variety on most menu’s is limited for me and it can sometimes be like playing Russian Roulette, however it is a time out we both enjoy. An added bonus is that my son also learns how to behave in this environment, practice his table manners and if he’s lucky there will be a play area for him to run around in.
As I said previously, the options open to me are generally slim pickings. Some restaurants can be difficult if they do not have knowledgeable staff or a psychotic chef who thinks you will steal their recipe (yes seriously!!).
On some magical occasions I can find something sensational. We have found many gems where the restaurants have created dishes for me, tweaked the menu or the poor waitstaff have grilled the chef (pardon the pun) on all ingredients till their feet have worn out going back and forth to the kitchen.
Weddings are another minefield. Recently, I had to call a reception hall so I could work out an appropriate menu. I loath to do this which is weird because it shouldn’t be something to worry about, but of course you do. Why? Because for some reason you don’t want to be a ‘pain’. Considering the alternative though, you go ahead and you get through it.
I love a great wedding organiser. Not only did I want to be one when I was younger but they really do work for their money. This particular wedding organiser spent 1.5 hours on the phone with me to find something, ANYTHING, that would be suitable for me. We finally managed it though and that girl received a glowing reference from me.
The hardest part of a wedding though for me personally is the free flowing wine. I have overcome the hurdle of the preservatives (why exactly do they put them in there – for the pleasure of the hangover maybe?). There are some great drops out there that reduce the preservatives in the wine which are in convenient purse size bottles, however I still have that little issue with the actual grapes they put in there 🙁
With intolerances it is the build up that is the enemy and also the reason why they are so hard to diagnose. I can have a glass or two of red wine without a problem, however if I pair it with another intolerance item such as tomatoes I will be as sick as a dog for days. So the problem with wine specifically is that the more glasses you have the more build up you have that pushes your defences down. Now anyone that enjoys a glass of wine or two would know that the alcohol also comes into play and takes your best intentions and throws them out of the window. So, the fabulous idea you had of stopping after the first glass or two seems to get overridden with the new idea to let your hair down and party!!! Oh, and don’t forget that obligatory glass of champagne for toasting – I’m in heaven and hell at the same time.
The absolute worst though is friends and family. The main reason is that you just don’t want to put them out or be a burden. At least at a restaurant or wedding you are paying for the service and quality of food, however friends and family are usually casual or spur of the moment affairs. If they are more formal and planned you still feel ill at ease because you have a list as long as your body that you are unable to eat! It also took you FOREVER to find some decent tasting recipes yourself so how are they going to deal with it?
Although there are many hurdles in dealing with your food chemical intolerances, there are also ways to survive and I have put together a list that has helped me in the hope it may help you:
- Get over it! Ask, ask, ask about all the ingredients.
- Seriously, for a moment of embarrassment or awkwardness is it really worth a week in bed?
- There really are some pluses such as actually liking what your served when you have had a dish specifically prepared for you.
- There are some places where you are completely stuffed! In these cases the key is to plan – the problem is to remember! Make a note in your
- diary, pack some snacks or even a main meal if required.
- Know your boundaries and make a decision. There are times where my willpower and reasoning just won’t hold up and I have made the decision to
- indulge “just a bit”. Obviously I won’t bend on things that turn me into Linda Blair from the exorcist (you know head spinning and projectile
- green….well you get the picture) but I will reschedule the next day and accept that I will be less than par – kinda like a hangover but one
- helluva lot worse.
- When your family and friends know that eating and drinking the wrong things can make you sick for a day or several weeks, they want to ensure
- they provide for you. Don’t think of yourself as a burden. All they want is for you to enjoy yourself with them and fretting about food all day
- is a much bigger burden on them than asking for some alternatives to be available.
- Remember, there may be some slip ups, but you have come so far. A sick day here and there rather than almost every day is a big accomplishment.
Have you ever had to deal with dietary requirements (personal, friend or acquaintance)? Tell us about your experience.
I had a chat with my husband last night over this question – have I lost my empathy? The answer thankfully is no!
What prompted me to ponder this question is that I have made incredible inroads with my anxiety disorder. I no longer break down into an uncontrollable crying mess when others I love are suffering. This to me seems harsh and very cold because this is how I have previously gone through their dilemma with them. I was essentially “living” the horror with them and literally feeling the pain. Now I do understand that this reaction is not healthy, but when you stop feeling for them in this way, it somehow feels inadequate.
My husband was extremely proud of me and explained that what I was doing was in fact being strong, supportive and empathising as it should be done. So essentially, I understand the pain and what they are going through, but am identifying with them because I have felt the same or similar emotions that they are now experiencing. I am not engulfing myself within the emotional pain and making myself sick over how they must be feeling.
It was not only nice to hear what he had to say, but it also allowed me to broach another subject with him – the fact that I was worried I wasn’t providing enough support for him. Owning your own business can be very stressful at times and his stress levels can run very high. Once again, because I wasn’t overwrought with worry, it seemed to me that I wasn’t “being there” for him. That maybe I wasn’t sharing his pain as much as I should.
What a weird and wonderful thing an anxiety disorder is!
It’s a new and strange feeling being able to stand back from a problem, fully understand it and “feel” for the person without drowning in the emotions. It feels like I’m seeing things from a distance because I am no longer falling into my own inner slump….like standing on the outside rather than being in there gloves and all.
I think I like this, it’s kind of freeing. The strength and resilience within is liberating. Being able to set myself free from a problem and see it objectively, look for solutions and act on moving forward must be a step in the right direction. Have I lost my empathy, no, I’ve just become a better friend, mother and wife 🙂
Have you lost sleep over someone else’s problems?
Have you ever over invested in someone else’s pain?
Have you ever suffered from an anxiety disorder?
New Central Coast Properties – new house and land for under $320,000 with returns of $430pw. These results are not available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or SA. If this is something of interest to get your Portfolio started or add to an existing Portfolio we will have photos soon.
If you want more information contact Robyn 0418 447 815
Women are supposed to automatically tap into their parental intuition as soon as they become mothers, however I am not so sure I was given that gene. My husband on the other hand seems to have tapped into his. Last night for example, he “intuitively” knew that my son was putting reams of toilet paper down the loo – how was this possible? I dismissed it at the time, but sure enough this morning I find my son in the bathroom unraveling the paper straight down the toilet so he could get to the ‘telescope’! When I asked my husband how he knew, he just said “I don’t know, I just had this feeling“.
I have a friend who amazes me when it comes to intuition. I remember being at a mutual friends house one time where her husband was on the balcony with her two children. They were not visible to us, but mid sentence she swans out of the room and scolds the children for climbing the balcony rails. Now, I’ve heard of (and possess) eye’s in the back of your head, but x-ray vision!?!? Her husband didn’t even have time to react before she instinctively knew the kids would try to climb up. This woman is clearly connected to her intuition beyond my comprehension.
My Mum also possessed this “power”. Many of my friends parents did too. How on earth did they know what you would do before you had even thought about doing it? How is it possible that those mums knew EVERYTHING? You can’t even put it down to past behaviours or even knowing your child, these people seriously have some eerie psychic shit going on.
Even though I think my intuition may be a bit skewed, I’m not saying I am a bad parent. In fact, I’m pretty damned good if I do say so myself! I think though that my parental skills are mostly based on knowledge and learned behaviour rather than intuition. You see although I was the ‘baby’of 7 children, my mum used to mind anywhere up to 30 children at my house as I was growing up. I therefore have years of experience in dealing with children of all ages so much of it comes as second nature, but intuition, I’m not so sure mine is that finely tuned.
Are my parenting skills based on common sense rather than intuition? Do I rationalise everything too much? Am I too scared to rely on my own gut instinct? Do I fall into the trap of over thinking things. Do my anxieties go into overdrive and cloud my judgement (as you know by now….I worry, I worry a lot!). To sum up, how do I know whether I am making a decision based on anxiety or intuition or even instinct versus intuition?
With these questions in mind, I did as I always do….research, research, research!
Instinct versus intuition is a much easier puzzle to solve. I think my instincts are sound. The actions I do in an instant without thought are in fine working order, but the intuition side is still a little muddled. So, after wading through quite a few ‘airy fairy’ accounts of what intuition is, I found one that stated that intuition is where you are able to perceive something that is not plainly evident, where you can see beyond the obvious. Ok, so I can think of many times in the past where I have used my intuitive skills with friends or with clients. I can think of times where I’ve slapped myself upside the head because I didn’t listen to myself, but can I think of moments where intuition kicked in with my son?
As I pondered this question, I came across an article that explained that sometimes the less you analyse the pros and cons when it comes to decisions, the happier you are in the long term. The longer you mull over the decision, the less satisfied you are. There are many times where my anxieties take over when it comes to my son. Like every parent I want the world to be at his feet so I think about things that can go wrong, but for the most part, I just do what I do not in fear but in love. Maybe that is the answer….I do use my intuition. I do what feels right. Looking at the evidence in front of me, whatever it is I am doing, I am doing a bloody brilliant job of it, so why mess with it by over analysing it? 🙂
How well developed is your parental intuition?
Do you have a story of when your parental intuition kicked in?
If you’re fortunate enough to have customers who are rooting for you and your business, you’re probably going to need to train yourself to politely thank them for their ideas and not implement them. If you try to implement every bit of input from your customers, you will quickly lose focus, and you could easily lose a lot more than that. The discipline you need in order to politely reject suggestions from well-meaning people varies widely depending upon your circumstances.
It’s likely that 99 percent of customer suggestions are made with nothing but your success in mind. I think most customers really do want to see you succeed, and most of them would be very proud to say they played a role in it. That’s why if you’re a candle maker and you haven’t been advised to branch into scented candles, you will be soon. And if you’re running a retail bakery, I have no doubt that your customers have made numerous suggestions for diversifying your menu. While some think you should celebrate the decadence of pastries by not even pretending to be concerned about calories and fat, others are probably suggesting you offer more diet-conscious options. Listening to customers is important, but no company has unlimited resources to implement all of the suggestions they receive.
What’s a business owner to do? Thank the customers for their input and then stick firmly to the vision set forth in your business plan.
If you’re worried about offending or even driving people away, explain (firmly) that the growth of your business during its first few years is based on a precise plan. Then, add that you’re keeping any and all suggestions in a file for consideration in the future.
It’s important to differentiate between ideas and feedback; although they’re related, they’re different. If you ever find yourself unsure of which file something a customer has told you belongs in, here’s a quick and simple test. Imagine that you’re a dentist and you’ve just launched your own practice with anxiety reduction as your primary differentiator. Is your customer suggesting that you play a different kind of music? If so, that’s feedback on a part of your business meant to appeal to a specific segment of customers. As feedback, you’d be wise to carefully consider it. But if what your customer is telling you concerns changing the parameters used to determine when a tooth is preserved rather than extracted, that’s something that impacts the core of your business, and it’s an area where your customers are expecting you – not one of them – to be the expert. It’s an idea, and it has the potential to steer you off course and cause you to lose focus.
Do you agree that it is important to say “no” in your business?
Do you ever miss the person you used to be? I’m not just talking about the ability to bounce back after a big night, or to fully function on 4 hours sleep (although this would be delightful), what I mean is the traits you used to have.
Having gone through depression and ongoing illness for over 10 years, I seem to have lost a big part of myself. I remember one of my good friends describing me as having lost the twinkle in my eyes. Somewhere in all that was going on at the time I lost my sparkle.
My husband was telling me the other day that he had met this woman that reminded him of me – “you know the way you used to be”. He went on to describe a vivacious, chatty (oh yeah she could talk!!) and bubbly lady who had all the traits that I once possessed. This was not a hurtful comment, it was true, we both know I have changed a great deal and the reasons behind that, but it did get me thinking.
What happened to the girl that travelled Europe at 18 all by herself? The girl that was told a number of times that she lights up a room when she enters? The girl that would turn up to a party and know almost everyone who attended by the time she left? What about that girl that was ever so reliable and if she started something, then she would follow through?
Did the demon anxieties take over or have I just grown up? Have I become cold, cynical, untrusting? As you know I do suffer with anxiety issues. I worry, I worry a lot! I was once carefree and now, I seem to spend more time caught up in my own dramas and those of the ones I love. It is very difficult to break free of a mindset that you spent what seemed like an eternity in. Being sick all the time has a tendency to break you down and I worry that I have not only let it take over my life, but now as I am trying to move onward and upward that it is still holding me back.
As I embark on my journey in designing my new life, I would like to get some of that old girl back. It is sooo very easy for me to fall into old patterns, but new habits need to be formed. I spoke recently of living in gratitude and I now go to bed each night listing the things that I am grateful for today. Luckily I wake up to my sons hugs and kisses (you know its the only way mummy can wake up) so instead of the sinus headache setting the tone for the day, I get to wake up enveloped in love.
My husband luckily loves me just the way I am. I don’t wish to speak on his behalf as his story is not mine to tell, but I think it would be safe to say that it has hurt him along to way to watch some of those things in me die. I hope that as I move forward I can gain some of that back and take charge of the person I am going to be. Not just for me, but also for him- going through something like that with someone is extremely taxing and there is a helplessness that nobody (let alone a man) finds easy to deal with.
So what is it that I miss the most? I think it is the energy, being constantly on the go and having a very full social life. Also, the reliability and dependability – you could always count on me.
So how far have I come? I’ve discovered the causes of my ill health, I’ve taken charge of my diet, dropped the weight and maintained it helping me to claw back some of the energy that I once possessed. I’ve done a style workshop, went shopping with a stylist and feel more confident when I stride out the door. I raise my son to know that ‘where there is a will there is a way’. My husband and I have implemented date night to reconnect each month and we will finish building our pool later this year providing incentive to return to the “party house” we used to be (well a little different – that picture now involves a gaggle of kids in tow).
So, do I miss that person I used to be? Hell yeah! But I am determined to make the future person a slightly different and better version.
What do you miss about the person you used to be?
What is it about our youth that makes us look back longingly?
Have you been through something that has completely transformed your life?