Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Diary of a single mum...Christmas Shopping...xo

I must admit I have been super organised this Christmas with buying presents (yep 8 sleeps to go and it done!) and having them all wrapped (again yep 8 days to go and its done!) Ok so I'm tooting my own horn. But every other year I have left things until the last minute. Especially the wrapping. I have to have wrapping perfect and in theme.

Anyway this isn't the point to my post, although I felt like I needed to brag ;)

Now my son is 2 I have noticed a massive difference since last Christmas. Last year I went to the shops and put him in the pram and loaded it up with bags and all sorts of goodies. Managing to do it all without a hassle. That experience is long gone (insert sad face). Now I have to have that struggle to bend his body with sheer force to get him to sit in the pram. I have to put on a massive song and dance to get him to forget that I have strapped him into a control seat where he cant roam free. Along with this I have to swiftly move to ensure he doesn't fidget and get his arms out of the pram straps (which no matter how tight I make them he manages to get out of them! How?) So I have this painful system now. I can't let him walk with me as that is just an accident waiting to happen. So I get him in the pram and go go go!

I start browsing the shops. My son seems fine, calm, distracted by the colours and lights, along with people watching (a child after my own heart) then we get to the toy section in Target. This is where World War 3 is about to erupt. There is nothing I can do. He wants to touch everything. If he can reach it, he will get it. If he gets it you are buying it. You think prying a small toy matchbox car would be simple to get back...nope. There is $10 well spent. I then think 'well he is distracted', maybe this $10 has bought me another 30mins, maybe an hour.

Two minutes later that optimism has been squashed, destroyed by my son screaming for the Peppa Pig book he sees to his right. He wants it, his arm is out reaching for it, and his vocal chords are warming up...he wont back down. Nor will I. However I still have things to do, items to get. An experience I often enjoyed was turning into my worse nightmare in seconds. I move the pram away, put the book out of sight. But no. He is relentless he wants that book and he wont forget it. I distract him. I pull focus to the car clutched in his tight embrace. Nope he wants the book. Ok so how about a swap. Lets give him the book and take the car. Act of compromise. Sure 2 is the right age to teach him a child compromise. Parent fail...he got both. Both hands were now full and I got 15mins before he decided to started throwing things on the ground and wanting me to pick them up. I was done. Over it. I wish I could have blinked and we would be back home.

How has this nightmare happened? Will it ever get easier? Will he learn to listen to me? Can I teach him compromise? All questions I need answers to, I need conclusive evidence it will be ok, I emphasise 'conclusive'. I hope these are just a part of this "terrible twos" stage.

This now brings me to online shopping, my new shopping experience. I can do it when my son is asleep. I don't have to carry bags. I don't have to even open my wallet. Its all there with a click of a button (ok there are many dangers to this too but they aren't to do with my son!) My day of shopping is now online sitting on the couch surfing the iPad, and its worth it, I can even have a cup of coffee whilst I shop still. If my only other option is my Target experience then online shopping it shall be for the time being....xo

Diary of a Single Mum...Boys first night away...xo

This one is quite a personal post to me and something I felt I needed to write down to help deal with what I was, and am, feeling, and in hope that it might resonate with other single mums the day you have to say goodbye to your child as they go to dads for the night, or day or week.

Only a few weeks ago my son began to have his first overnight stay at his dad which is now a regular once a week thing. I was feeling so anxious about it, and nervous (they are practically the same thing however I believe I felt both) I know his Dad loves him and cares for him...but the responsibility aspect makes me nervous. So when my son comes home at night I know he is safe, and anything that may happen in the night I will be there. Maybe its a control thing. However its just make me feel at peace knowing my little man is asleep in the next room.

So a few weeks ago (when I began to write this post) I got food poisoning. It was not fun. I was exhausted and had no energy left. The first day I was to drop my son off with his father ,to not see him until 5 o'clock the next day, I was beyond tired and really hadn't hard time to process (which meanwhile the 3 weeks prior I have done nothing but feel sick about the whole thing) I then went to work and struggled to function, or even type a simple email. I actually left early that day and came home and slept. My little man being away from me was no longer at the forefront of my mind.

I went out that evening for a few hours (even thought I felt unwell), after having a 2 hour nap I decided I needed to be busy and not be in the house. I don't know why, I just felt like I wasn't going to cope (ridiculous hey?!) I went out and realised I was being an idiot. I wasn't well and I should probably make the most of not having my son there to care for to actually recover.

I came home that night and it felt weird. The cot was empty, I really missed him. I felt lost. When he has stayed with my mum on the odd occasion I know he is only a phone call away, however now I couldn't get to him. He felt like he is another world that Im not a part of, or allowed into. I felt sad. However on the other side I got to sleep in an extra 30mins the next morning and just had to get dressed, put on some make up and away to work I go. No drop off points, not waiting for him to be collected by his father. Just straight to work. Something I hadn't done for 2 years!

I was finally able to enjoy that freedom I have barely experienced in the past 2 years. How crazy is that? I haven't had the freedom to just go out and do what I want to do in 2 years. I forgot what is was like to come home from work and just sit on the couch, or go to the gym and being able to complete a full circuit class, or just going to a friend 'hey lets catch a movie' This was just as much a weird experience for me as my son being away overnight once a week.

Its only been 3 weeks since this routine started and its safe to say I'm adjusting well. All my friends and family have been telling me that I need this freedom, I need time to myself. I just didn't understand. I felt I could do it all. I would work with what I have, and what I need to take responsibility for, and I was ok to give up these 'freedoms'. But since that first uncomfortable week of adjustment. I actually enjoy having a night off. I know that he comes back the next day and I know I have one night a week I can be an adult. Clearly I can be an  adult more nights then that but there is so much more planning involved...a topic again for another day.

I know I probably sound silly, having anxiety with my son leaving to be away 1 night a week. I feel ridiculous even writing this. But its how I felt and if I am deemed a 'crazy obsessed mum' well so be it...

Signing off 'crazy obsessed mum' and damn proud of it...xo

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Diary of a Single Mum...Birthday Party or lack of one...xo

So my little one is turning 2 this Sunday! What the hell?! Wasn't he just born? He is becoming more and more of a little person and less and less of a baby (insert sad face!)

For his first birthday I had a cute little animal theme party. I made the number 1 birthday cake (image below), and yes it was from the infamous Woman's Weekly cookbook 1988 edition, I ordered animals masks, blow up jungle animals, matching napkins and plates. It was simple, yet there was a "theme". These days I feel like every birthday needs a theme.

However come his 2nd birthday I am so disorganised, I am all over the place, I don't think I have flipped over the month of August in my calendar. At this point in time the thought of baking a packet cake makes my anxiety levels sky rocket!

Why have the kids birthday parties become such a big deal. They don't remember. I don't remember my second birthday party. I have seen photos of me eating cat sitting their watching other kids run around me. Im sitting on a bench, as are other kids (who I don't even know now!) and there is simply coloured balloons and streamers and party food. I have no doubt I loved it, but did I know it was for my, did I know what the cake looked, did I know what time of day it was no...all I had was the photo album (below image is not my photo by the way)

But then last weekend for my friends little one we travelled back to the wild wild west. When Flynn the Brave had all his friends come out to play...he opened up his teepee which was right next to the saloon with the jail in eye sight! I mean it was amazing. The cake had been shot with Arrows with a Teepee protected by a glass jar (but I'll call it the earths native force field). The birthday boy had the most gorgeous headdress and shoes to match, and his parents look amazing. They were you modern day Native American family. They did a great job! I loved it and just thought "I wish I could do this". But I year in our new home...and we will welcome out Native American Family friends, along with all those who love us, to come celebrate in the theme my son and I decide (who are we kidding he will be 3 (WTF?!) and still wont remember it but I will!).

For now it will be a BBQ with close family and friends...a small gathering to ensure my boy doesn't miss out. I will ensure he gets to eat cake and run around with all the kids that will be in the background of all his photos (Hopefully these friends will be life long, as opposed to stills in a photo album, for my son to fact I know they will)

Anyway better plan the food and all other requirements...and no doubt I'll wake up at 5am thinking about this cake but all for a good cause....xo

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Diary of a Single Mum...Dating...xo

Ok so I am finally ready to start this whole new concept to me called "dating". It s a foreign concept to me as I have never really "dated". I met my ex young, when we broke up I pined over him, and wasn't over him to invest in dating anyone...a few hook ups here and there..but no dates. Then we got back together, bought a house, got married, fell pregnant and lived happily...oh that last part never happened. This brings me back to dating...

First of all talking over text is easy, you can be anyone, say anything you want, be someone you aren' can be mysterious, funny, cute...although there is that massive risk that they read it the wrong maybe text isn't easy?! But you can't get your heart broken if you haven't got past the texting can you?! But you can still feel rejection??

REJECTION does anyone cope from rejection, I have had guys not text me back, text me to tell me that they didn't feel that connection on the date or just simply ignore me in all respects which makes me feel even more ugly and atrocious with nothing to do I get back out there without a reply to a simple text?? I'm screwed!

I have been on the odd date up until was great we laughed, we chatted and time flew but he and I both knew that we had nothing in common (still a text to say he didn't feel anything kind of connection still hurt...even though I agreed! ouch!) I had one where he was so cute and successful with absolutely no personality...he said he would contact me and I didn't want him too, he didn't, again felt rejected. I tried Tinder just to see if I was "attractive" to the opposite sex or not...I got a lot of interest there...for sex of course, so I don't think attraction came into it. I think having a vagina did! So that was again not successful.

I tried the internet dating thing...I had heard about this one that was free and how "everyone" was meeting their boyfriends through this site. Well what the heck?! Lets give it a go.

Wowee...I got all these random (and I highlight the word "random") people contact me and tell me they want to "meet me"; that was a button you could press...I had all these people wanting to "Meet me" but not one spoke to me. I had a few email me and one was really sweet, nice, had a great body so we chatted/emailed through this site, and he got my number. He was forward and no bullshit and called me. A boy calling me how scary...haha. Anyway he rang me and we asked how our weekends were and then he proceeded to tell me about his 'specialist appointment' and was reluctant to tell me what is was for, at least I thought it was reluctance, more hesitation, which lasted all of 2 seconds in which he proceeded to tell me about how he had this lump and it might be cancer but it should be ok...and the rest of the conversation trying to (well it felt like) talking him off a ledge. Wow. So I couldn't wait to get off the phone. He text me to see if I wanted to catch up and I played the whole "I'm not ready for dating at the moment, I have too much on in my life at the moment and my son comes first" Shameful I know using my son...but I have some right don't I being a single mum?!! He replied saying 'How sweet I was' and 'loved my honesty' and 'whenever Im ready he is there'. Nice but no.

6 months later he text me and I felt that I needed to be open to dating... I had friends telling me to get out there and I wasn't "out there" Tell me what does it mean to be "out there"? How do I get "out there"?

He text me one night (at a reasonable hour) "Hi Gorgeous" Oh what...someone thinks I'm gorgeous. Well he had great muscles, was sweet, and direct, so maybe I should give this guy a go. We started chatting on the phone 1 time a week and it was not the easiest of conversations...he would talk but it was always depressing, or just strange. I felt like I needed to be open minded. I was being told to be more "open minded"

He told me about his cancer scare (again) and I tried to act concerned and surprised but realistically he had a small lump cut out...(disclaimer: don't get me wrong its still serious but when you have lost someone to cancer and someone tries to drum up sympathy by telling you they were close to death if the hadn't got that lump gone then and there, is doesn't site well with me). We had absolutely nothing in common...all that he had going for him was that he was nice to me. He told me he was really into fitness but his most expensive pair of runners were $15 from Rivers...RIVERS. Don't ever tell me you bought something from Rivers. I hear screams of fear coming from my closest when those ads come onto the TV. Again I was remaining open minded. He then continued to tell me he had really big feet and couldn't find runners that fit. I really didn't feel a connection, but I felt like I had to go on at least 1 date, so I did.

We met for a this was an internet date so I had only seen photos. He rocked up in jeans with runners (the $15 runners!!!!) and was wearing an old leather bomber jacket (I didn't know they still existed) and I'll be honest...he looked a bit like a serial killer. He was so awkward. I had to lead the way to the cafe. I had to ask for a table, and I had to drive the ordering. I got a coffee pretty quick as I wanted the date over, I even manage to notice how cute the waiter was. On the date he managed to mention his $15 runners (again) and even mentioned Rivers (again my closest was screaming). I felt horrible, I felt sorry for him. I didn't know what to do. I wanted so badly to look at my watch, but he wouldn't take his eyes of me. We started talking about football and mentioned that one of the AFL players was gay and he said he didn't "get Gay people" and he wasn't comfortable with it (What???!) He told me that he didn't like it and then told me he thought his brother was gay. He told me how he was going through his brothers drawers one day and saw things (I didn't ask what these 'things' were) and I just kept thinking "You have to be kidding me?" and thought "What a perfect opportunity to stand up and storm out" but I just felt so sorry for this man, in his Jerry Seinfeld Jeans and Runners and old man bomber jacket, so I stayed. When I asked him the question "If your brother was gay would you still talk to him" and his response was "I don't know" WHAT?!!! How do I get away from this? How long has it been? Can I leave? Can't look at my watch he is staring right at me. Help!

He told me gay people cant play football. They apparently throw the football funny (he actually demonstrated...I nearly died...of laughter!) I couldn't take it anymore. A little more small talk went on. I finally looked at my watch (only an hour had past) and he said"Do you have to go?" and (again shamelessly used my son as an excuse) I said "Yeah".  I got up rushed to the counter, he paid (I felt so was only a $3.00 coffee but still). As we walked out he started telling me about the time a wall fell on his leg...(seriously) and all I was thinking is "DO NOT WALK ME BACK TO MY CAR!!" Finally I could tell he was planning on walking me to my car (when I had established we had parked in completely opposite locations) so I stopped and said "lovely to finally meet you" and walked as fast as I could in the rain to my car and drove off home as quickly as humanly possible, without getting breaking any road rules of course!

So if that is what I have to look forward to maybe I should stay single and become a crazy cat lady (even though I don't like cats)....xo

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Diary of a Single Mum ... "The beginning of the Terrible Twos"...xo

"The Beginning of the Terrible Twos"

Everyone has heard of "The terrible twos" a quote I use to believe was simply used as a throw away line from parents as some sort of excuse for their child misbehaving, and their lack of wanting to discipline them, or more being able to discipline them. I often thought these parents didn't have control of the situation and just wanted to believe in this 'so called' excuse called the "terrible twos"...well I can safely say its not a throw away line...its a hellish, exhausting, draining nightmarish (for the parent of course) phase of life that the parent goes through when their child is 2.

Definition of Terrible Twos: "When a child, male or female, is close to, or at, the age of 2 starts to realise that their parents want to stop them from having fun. They have begun using this word 'no' that doesn't sound like fun, and knows that if they kick and scream for long enough (especially in public situations) they will get what they want to save us from that sheer embarrassment"

Last week my friend was in town from Sydney and a mutual girlfriend of ours organising a coffee catch up which I was really looking forward to, yet exhausted from the lack of sleep, and energy, I had lost from a full on week at work (I work full time by the way!) and a full on week being a mum. I decided to walk to the cafe as it was only a 5 minute walk away. My son decided he did not want to go in the pram, he would not have it, we weren't leaving the house otherwise. I was running late and thought "why not", "he can walk" so I grabbed his hand and thought to myself "how nice is this my son needs me... he is holding my hand" when he was probably thinking one step closer to freedom. I have got rid of the pram, soon I will rid this woman's hand and I'm free!

We finally got to coffee, once we had walked across every different land surface possible, cutting pedestrians off because there is a pothole over there that we must walk on. I was so happy to see my friends, yet already ready for nap from getting out of the house to the local cafe. Usually my son is quite shy, he will spend a good 15mins hiding behind my leg until he gains his confidence. Time I had to get settled and know he wouldn't leave my side. That time my friends is gone. As soon as he walked in he was off and sussing out the legs of the stools by the coffee bar, sussing out the doorstop and managing to break it, weaving in and out of table and chairs, getting into the kitchen! I turned my head for 5 secs to ask my friend how she was and he was gone, the doors were shut so I knew he was somewhere, but where?! It was so nice to get up from my chair and having people looking at me pointing all in the same direction to tell me the location of my sons whereabouts. Yep I felt like a failure. I felt the judgement, or pity from them that I was doing a had job. I wanted to hang my head in shame, but  smiled courteously and held my head high...albeit heavy by this point. Shame is heavy...

I bought him breakfast, a baby chino to buy time for him to sit, which he did, but I had to manage that as well. I had to cut up his cheese on toast, and ensure he didn't spill his baby chino everywhere. So again I had still not managed to really ask my friend how she had been and what she had been up to (sadly to say if you asked me what we spoke about I couldnt' tell bad is that?!)

He finished his food, he was done, my coffee was cold and he was off again.

The stairs, again another different type of land to walk on, another challenge to be able to do something by himself. I was lucky waiter took to him thought ht was cute and loved that my son followed him at times. So much so he felt he could pick him up and give him a hug. I have SO many problems with that its not funny, but it gave me 2 minutes to try and drink my coffee.

45mins and I had to leave. I couldn't sit and relax, I couldn't partake in conversation I failed. I don't know how to go out to have a coffee anymore. Another one of those thing I use to take for granted that I wont anymore. I left feeling defeated, sad and alone. This is becoming the story of my life. Maybe my next coffee catch up will be in 2017 with whoever will still be my friend, or even remember my name a hibernation seems my only option.

Maybe I need to consider a lead?!!...xo

Diary of a Single Mum...xo

I've decided to start writing about my adventures of being a single mum, so as a part of this blog i will write tips and tricks of how to feel good, but there will also be a part called "Diary of a Single Mum" which will be my way of expressing what I am going through. Maybe some will say its my own therapy, maybe it will provide therapy to others. At any point it's something I want to do...take it or leave it.

Being a mum is the best thing and hardest I have ever done. That is just a general statement for any parent but double it and that is what it is as a single parent. I dont have someone to share the trial and tribulations of raising a child. Its new to me, as it is every first time parent and the 'other side' (when I say that I'm refering to the Seb's father and his corresponding family) is quite a challenge especially when they think 'hating me' is ok and that 'Its my fault, they are all the innocent victims'.

Anyway I am digressing... Simply I want to write down what goes through my mind being a single mum dealing with all these new and wonderful things I am encountering on a day to day basis. So join me on my adventures, or misadventures, being a single mum and trying to feel good doing it...xo

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Jennifer Garner finally says something most mums are scared to embrace...well I am...

Today scrolling through my facebook feed I saw the title "Jennifer Garner confirm baby bump" and I thought to myself...'Again?'

But thats not at all what she was confirming and it was quite heartwarming to hear what she said to Ellen about it when she was asked the question...

(This image was posted on magazine covers saying "Bump Watch?")

She mentioned she gets asked about it all the time, with people congratulating her on baby number 4. She confirmed she was not pregnant but she did indeed "have a baby bump, and will always have a baby bump"

I thought it was cute that she said her baby bump was called" Violet, Sam, and Sera"

Many women work hard to get back to their pre baby body. I know I have tried hard, well as best I can with minimal time to exercise, along with my addiction to chocolate. And I have lost the weight, I fit the clothes I fit before my son was born, but my body has changed. I have more cellulite then I did, I have spider veins (yuk!) and my stomach just wont go back to flat. I know if I dropped carbs and worked out everyday I could get abs of steel, but thats something I just don't have time for and having a slight bump is ok...I think those of us who hate the "bump" need to be ok with it and not be so hard on ourselves...

I often hate when women say 'but it shows that I made my baby'...I don't care, I don't want that excess skin. But realistically I wouldn't give up for son to have the flat stomach I once had and thats just the fact of the matter...xo

Watch the interview here : Truth about the Bump care of The Ellen De Generous Show.

Enjoying a good TV series...not as easy as it use to be...

So its no secret I love my TV, and get stuck into numerous TV the moment its Downton Abbey, Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Reign, The Vampire Diaries, The Mindy Project, Brooklyn Nine Nine, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Melbourne, OC etc and the list goes on...

Pre baby I had all the time in the world to be up to to date with all these shows. I could be involved in talk with friends about when Emily would finally seek revenge on the Graysons, or what will happen next to Chuck Bass,  and will Ross and Rachel ever end up together. I had watched all 10 series of friends like 8 times over, all Will & grace seasons at least 6 times, and good old Gilmore Girls have been on rerun in my DVD player about 4 times now.

Now once my little one was born, he didn't do much...babies don't. And you don't have a huge amount to do except feed the baby and watch it sleep so I had a lot of time to watch TV. So much so I managed to watch seasons 2-5 of Mad Men in 2 weeks! Madness.

Now working full time with a almost 2 year old I am way behind. For instance Sons of Anarchy are on their final season and everyone is talking about it. Yet I'm just at the start of season 3. Now its not a show you can have on in the background, like you can with a comedy such as they Big Bang Theory or The Real housewives, so finding the time when the little one is asleep (and without chores to do) is hard. So going at the rate I'm going I will have watched the final of Sons of Anarchy by June 2017.

This predicament has lead me to more trash TV then I use to watch. This is where The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and OC, even Melbourne, has come into play. These heavily botoxed, overdressed for a cup of tea, millionaire women live a life of luxury. We watch how their "friendships" pan out. I highlight "friendships" as I think they are forced to hang out for the purpose of the show. I don't care. Their luxurious mansions, numerous sports cars and exclusive fine dining gets me hooked....they of course throw in a good bitch fight and I'm in heaven! These women just seem ridiculous, and their issues even more ridiculous, but I wouldn't mind living on the beaches of Los Angeles sitting by the pool side sipping cocktails whilst looking over the neighbouring rich people near by. Ah the life.

The Real Housewives of OC (Seasons 9 Cast)

The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills (Season 2 Cast)

The great thing about this show is you could miss a full 10 mins of dialogue and still know whats going on, and who has managed to upset who. This is the TV I can handle whilst my little one is banging blocks and I'm stacking the dishwasher whilst hanging clothes out to dry.

Now I can hear you all saying...seriously...but you may enjoy reading a good book, or sitting outside drinking a cup of tea in peace, reading the paper, or simply surfing the net. No matter what you hobby or guilty pleasure is, there is one thing I can say for sure it will be limited by the time baby comes along. Don't let it go though. Just make sure you make time for it, and the time you do get to do what you love to do, you make it count...ok a little melodramatic in relation to TV but you understand the point I'm trying to make...

Now since my little one is asleep its back to catching up on Sons of Anarchy and wondering whether Jax gets Abel back....shhhh dont tell me ;)... X O X O Gossip Girl ;)

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Trying to get 'beauty treatments' whilst with a little one...

Its definitely hard being a single mum...I feel like Im leading 2 lives and they don't seem to go together very hand I'm a mum...I change nappies, sing 'wheels on the bus' on repeat, dance, clean up toys, do laundry, cook, the list goes on. On the other hand I'm a single woman ,working full time trying to work on a career, as well as start dating again (eek! Still not sure about that concept but I'll get to that one day)

Now to me this what I look like as a mum (but my hair is in a lot worse condition along with my uneven skin tone)

This is what I feel I should (hope I would) look like as a woman developing her career and going out to meet gorgeous single men...

Ok I don't look anything like JessicaAlba but I would like to imagine I did...

Anyway the things I use to do a regular basis to keep myself maintained is going to the beauty salon and getting my eyebrows waxed among other things. Its not a proud moment but its something I feel I need to do to keep myself in good condition. Whilst pregnant I kept this up. There was no way that I was going to have a baby untidy...

Now continuing this after baby is hard enough but  to try and still be the girl I was once was before baby, before marriage, and divorce, I need to find time to ensure I stay maintained (I feel more comfortable saying this then saying that I get a brazilian I'm sticking with maintained...)

I am happy to say I have managed to do this in effort to help me stick to the career driven, single girl, I once was. In the beginning this was easy. When my boy was a baby he simply sat in the pram and didn't do much...but now he is more of a toddler then baby making this a whole new experience which I can't wait to share with him on his 21st birthday amongst all his friends.

Last week when I went to my appointment my little man was adamant to sit on my stomach and watch as the lady waxed and plucked my eyebrows. She even gave him a paddle stick and he proceeded to try and help. Oh and my favourite part is whenever she ripped the waxed he would say "uh oh".

Here I am lying on a bed wanting this moment over, having my son squash my stomach, while I go through such a painful experience (now its nothing like childbirth but  lets be honest its not a great  experience either)

I cant believe my life has come to this. But I continue to try and merge these two worlds together. Like any woman I want it all.

Now for my knight in shining armour...I'm waiting...xo

Monday, 6 October 2014

Quick, Easy and Cheap dinner for one...

Being a single mum and trying to stay healthy is really hard...when you are tired our of your mind its so easy to hit up the packet of chocolate teddy bear biscuits over an apple...or soft drink over water.

Tonights special of the day is stir fried rice with veggies for under $2.50 and cooked in under 5 minutes...

Simple take a 90sec microwave bag of brown rice (Coles have one at $1.00, there is a really good one from sunrice with brown rice and quinoa but thats around $3.28) A small bag of frozen veggies (Bag of 5 is around $5). Pop the veggies in microwave to steam then add to a fry pan with a bit of oil and garlic. Cook the rice in the microwave and add when ready. Stir in soy sauce for a minute whilst stirring veggies through and bang you are done!

Now there are many alternatives, you could buy bulk packets of frozen vegetables and create your own portions. You can make more rice and creates serves for the rest of the week.

You can add meat by cooking that up in the pan prior to the veggies and get that added protein and iron.

The world is your oyster!

Oh and that soft drink you are craving...try mineral water (75c Coles Home Brand 1.25 lt) with a slice of lemon! Yum!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Homemade Museli...

           I am just loving my morning muesli these days and I find it filling and satisfying...and most importantly rich in flavour. The other bonus to it is that it is much more affordable then buying it off the shelf and by making it yourself you know what is in it... so here is the recipe...simple and easy (which is the way I like to bake or cook)

3 Cups of Coconut Flakes (these are hard to find but health food shops have them, otherwise there is shredded coconut at Coles or Safeway which also works)
3 Cups of Rolled Oats
1 Teaspoon of Chia Seeds
1/2 Cup of Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 Cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of mixed nuts (which I tend to crush up into small pieces, or slices)
5 Table Spoons of Coconut Oil (melted)

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees fan forced
Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl leaving the oil until last as these gives helps toast it and give it that sweet flavour. Its a much healthier option then sugar.
Spread it across 2 trays.
Put in the oven for 10 minutes and then check as it toasts quite quickly. Shuffle the muesli around to try and bake the other side of the flakes and nuts.
Give it another 10 minutes and it should be done. Its more up to you how toasted you want your muesli to me. I find 20-25 minutes in total tends to make it quite nice and crunchy
Let is cool (and by the way your kitchen will smell amazing)
Put it in an air tight container to keep it fresh and it should last for a couple of weeks depending on how much you eat of it and how many days per week.

Final Touches
I usually pack 4 -5 Tablespoons in a container and take it to work with Jalna Sweet and Creamy Yoghurt (as I am a sweet tooth..there are low fat options...most supermarkets stock this brand) and you can either use defrosted frozen berries or fresh. Coming into Summer the Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries are quite affordable and I definitely recommend fresh over frozen. However again its flexible and up to you.

Other things to note...if you don't like nuts or seeds then don't use them. If you want dried fruit mix in sultanas or dried apple once the muesli has cooled out of the oven.


Monday, 29 September 2014

Tips to the perfect fake tan...

So the sun is beginning shine and the weather is getting warmer (Yay!) but the legs are white as a ghost (boo!)

So I have been desperately trying to try and self tan so I can wear my skirts to work. I often get laughed at for the patches, or orange tone I seem to develop. I don't care usually as, well, its better then blinding white legs, but after I applied tonight I thought what are the the critical things you need to know to get the perfect tan...

I know you should exfoliate prior to tanning to get rid of all dead skin cells. I also learnt that a bit of moisturiser before application, especially around knees and elbows, helps the tan to build up in those areas creating those orange spots on your joints...however after doing a bit of online research I learnt a few things and worked out I have being doing a few things here is a summary of what I have learnt...

First, Prep I usually exfoliate in the shower and shave my legs (as I know if you shave when you have a fake tan it reduces the longevity of the tan). What you should do...

1. Exfoliate (Check). Sources say often the body scrubs developed by the fake tan companies are the best. The apparently tend to be stronger and best for removing those dead skins cells. Also it is important to ensure your scrub isn't too oil, if its left on your skin it can make it hard for the tan to take.

2. Shaving time. Now here is what I didn't know. Apparently you should shave the day before (or at least 12 hours before application, and 24 hours prior for waxers). This is due to the face that just shaven skin is quite sensitive and reactive to the tanning formulation.

3. Avoid Deodorants, Perfumes and oils as perviously stated. It creates barriers for the tan to take.


4. Apply moisturiser to dry areas such as knees, elbows, and heels (check) apparently it helps  the tanner from saturating those areas.

5. Wear loose fitting clothing to allow tan to be able to set properly. Night is the best option as it allows time to set without clothes rubbing it off (unless its a hot night then maybe best not too so that it doesn't stain your tip!)

Second, Application...ready to go. So pretty self explanatory I thought, use a mit, apply it evenly (not so easy) and not so much on joints...but this is what I learnt that I now know I'm have not been doing right at all (hence over tanned feet...eek!)

1. Apply tan with the use of a mit ( it avoids tan on the hands and showing those obvious "I tanned myself" signs) and rub cream (they recommend creams are the best but I'll get to that) on the large areas of the body first (I hate using the word large when talking about the body, but you know what I mean) then focus on smaller parts of body, such as feet (That might be the solution to my over tanned feet problem?!)

2. Use the best product that suits you. There are numerous brands and types on market, St. Tropez and Bondi Sands are my favourites (I usually find St Tropez is cheapest at Chemist Warehouse for under $40, and you can find Bondi Sands at Priceline for about $19.99). With Dove Summer Body Glow being my favourite daily tinted moisturiser (Also really cheap at Chemist Warehouse for under $5). Generally creams are the most moisturising option, however they are usually non tinted and need to be applied with extra care to not miss any spots. Sprays are apparently better for topping up tans as they can be tricky to manoeuvre, and those without a 360 degree nozzle hard to get coverage in those harder to reach areas. And finally theres mousse which is the most popular as they usually have built in bronzers allowing you to see where you have applied. I personally find it gives the best colour but is the hardest to spread evenly.

3. Choose the right I thought being white as a ghost use a dark shade, as opposed to a light to medium to get my legs tanned ASAP. Apparently I was wrong.  If you are fair and want to go dark, do a couple of applications of a light-to-medium shade and develop a more natural looking tan.

Third, Maintenance...usually I use the Dove Summer Body glow moisturiser on a daily basis and obviously pat dry after the shower.

1. Whilst in the initial first 8 hours, while your tan is developing, avoid light clothing as it easily rubs off on the clothes, or will create a nice patchy look.

2. Do not shower 6-8 hours after application. The longer you allow it to develop the darker the tan needs to be

3. Exfoliate about 3 days after you have tanned. Exfoliating dead skin cells as this point helps the tan fade evenly.

4. Pat Dry after your shower to avoid tan coming off prematurely.

5. To make sure your tan endures you need to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and apply moisturiser daily. There are tan extended products on the market that you can try. One is the Reef Coconut After Sun and Tan Extender which is relatively inexpensive at $10.50 from Priceline.

Now my tan right now wont be so great, I have learnt I have already done a few things wrong in the process. However I now know what I need to do to ensure I have a more natural looking least I hope...xo

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Lipstick marks on your coffee cup...

Monday morning is fast approaching...and so is the first morning coffee to kick start your week...

Now again I'm slow to the party and have just discovered lipstick...I know, I know its been around since our mother's time, and our mother's mother's time, and so on and so forth...but I always had a fear of it...
Lipstick on the teeth, it wearing off and looking like I just had a massive night and am going home in a saturday night walk of shame, I always felt awkward re applying lipstick! However everyone else is doing it. It looks hot on all/most girls (as long as the colour is appropriate with the outfit! I must admit I have seen ladies make that mistake a time or two!)

However my biggest thing on a weekday morning is applying my pink lipstick (1 of the 12 shades of pink I have) and feeling like my lips have life...I go to work have my breakfast, check my emails and by 8:30am I have my coffee in hand..and after that first sip my lipstick is gone and the cup now has a sheer pink gloss surrounding it...there goes my lipstick. And I don't care what L'oreal, Revlon or Maybelline's marketing manager says...they aren't longer wearing when you have a cup of coffee...or more importantly that first champagne at a party...

Until now...I was looking amongst a few blogs I follow through numerous social media sites and came across the trick to not having your lipstick rub off on your coffee cup, or champagne glass if so the case. So here it is...

When you first go to take a sip...ever so slightly (and VERY discretely apply a bit of salvia along the edge you are going to I am not saying give the coffee cup a great big pash...I mean a slight, lady like quick touch of the tongue before putting your mouth on the cup to sip your morning coffee...this seriously works. It's completely up to you... but having my lipstick last longer and not having to reapply straight away has made my day!

I wanted to share this little beauty secret to you all as I have found it invaluable. You can choose to have pretty lips beyond you Monday morning coffee or scoff at me and say "how disgusting"...I will leave it up to you...but give it one try....just a little...xo

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

ChezPrudence...affordable, and adorable, baby wear (and toddlers too)...

This is just a quick post/boost about a friend of mine who is so creative and talented in everything she does. I just couldn't resist telling you all about her. She is a mother of 2 stunning children and is just naturally good at everything she does (I know I usually hate those kinds of people that are great at everything, but you can't not like Polly and the creations she brings to life.

My little one is wearing a Big Letter S on his little belly and it makes my heart melt. I actually find it hard to put it on him. I know as soon as I put it on something gross is bound to be smeared all over it within 5 mins....but its too cute not to wear either (Mum dilemmas?!).

These are great gift ideas for new mums, first time mums, as well as any of those little ones we adore so much.

Polly...I hope you don't mind I have taken some creative licence and put some of your images up. I just wanted to share ChezPrudence to make sure people don't miss out on such gorgeous little people clothes...xo

She has made so many cute make sure you check out her store on Etsy ChezPrudence...xo

When Life Gives you Lemons...

Ok I'm back... and alive again after being quite ill most of last week and weekend :( Don't you love it when you take annual leave from work and then become sick as soon as you stop. Its just doesn't seem fair.

Anyway my little family of 2 are back to full health and back on track (except for one who is beginning to show signs of the "terrible twos"...back to that later)

So thinking about my health I try and keep as healthy as possible. Don't get me wrong, I wont say no to cake or chocolate, however being a single mum, and working full time, I need to ensure I look after myself.

One thing I have been doing religiously now is making a hot water with lemon every morning while I get ready for work, as well as add it my mineral water at night; to sweeten it. Now I have never really looked into the benefits of lemons and what they can do so I though I'd start now...

I have heard of things such as:

"A cup of hot water gets your metabolism going in the morning"

"Lemon helps colds and flus"

"Its cleansing for the body"

I have often heard of this "lemon detox diet" which I don't buy into. A day not eating food, as opposed to 3 in a row, and only drinking lemon water, just doesn't seem right. I mean if I died tomorrow I would want to ensure I enjoyed my food...

So I did my research and here is what I found...

  • Supports the immune system: The juice of half a lemon in a glass of water is rich in vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system and assists the body in fighting colds and flu. 
  • Aids digestion: As lemon juice is similar in atomic structure to the stomach’s digestive juices, it has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. (Gross!!!) The digestive qualities of lemon juice can also help relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn and bloating...this will definitely help ladies when you are pregnant and suffer all these wonderful things..I mean when you get to "enjoy" the experience of all these great things (I'll let you be the judge)
  •  Repairs skin: Lemons are great for combating skins ageing (Woohoo! Jack pot!) Apparently lemons are rich in vitamin C and that is really what creates collagen synthesis, which is wonderful in terms of keeping wrinkles at bay. Vitamin C is required in the synthesis of amino acids into collagen. The collagen then works with the connective tissue to hold things tight and protect our skin (Forget Botox Ladies...Lemons are the way to go, and more cost effective)
  •  Reduces appetite: Lemons contain pectin, a soluble fibre commonly found in citrus fruits. Pectin helps stave off hunger as the fibre creates a feeling of fullness, which results in the suppression of hunger cravings. By feeling fuller for longer, you’re less likely to snack or make poor food choices (I have yet to experience this as I like a good snack most days...guilty pleasure some may say)
  • Cleanses the urinary tract: Lemon juice is a diuretic, meaning it encourages the production of urine. As a result, toxins are released at a faster rate, helping to purify the system and keep it healthy. Lemon juice can also change the pH level of the urinary tract which discourages the proliferation of bad bacteria (Ok this was a pretty gross fact but in terms of health its good to know so I felt I should include it in my findings)
  •  Freshens breath: The antiseptic qualities in lemon juice help kill off bad bacteria in the mouth by acting as a disinfectant. A glass of lemon water is also a healthier morning wake-you-up than coffee.  (Ok so I'm doing ok for my morning ritual...although I still have my morning coffee)

  • Protects overall health: High levels of potassium in lemons can help brain and nerve functioning and control blood pressure. Lemon water can also ward off stress and depression. 
  • Promotes healing: Ascorbic acid, vitamin C, promotes wound healing in the body and is an important nutrient in maintaining healthy bones, tissue and cartilage. It also calms inflammation in the body.
  • Detoxifies the liver: Lemon water acts as a liver cleanser by assisting in detoxification. It purifies and stimulates the liver by encouraging the production of bile, an acid required for digestion. So simply add it to your Gin & Tonic, or Vodka Soda, and basically your liver is fine (Ok I made an assumption but I like the sound of it so I'm going to go with it).

  • Low in Calories: Lemons are less in calories to most fruits, carrying just 29 calories per 100 g, the value being one of the lowest in the citrus fruits group. They contains zero saturated fats, or cholesterol. However they are also a good source of dietary fibre. 

So there seems to be many benefits to Lemons. So as the saying when life gives you lemons...take them and feel amazing, both inside and out! (or simply pour yourself a G&T)...xo