Sunday, 4 March 2012

11 years

My baby girl is now 11


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And what does every girl want for her 11th birthday?

A dinner in Paris with her 2 best friends.



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Georgia had a fantastic night & was very spoilt when she woke up to a mountain of presents.
Once I have finished cleaning & my house is back to normal, I will share some more pics.
Right now I can hear 3 girls giggling like mad while playing board games.
I love the sound.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

All of the plans are changing

Ok, so all of my plans for this week have gone out the window.
Mr P turned up for a mid week 24 hour visit & I have been doing a lot of de-cluttering around the house.
Because I would like Mr P to stop being an interstate truck driver & get a job that where he will be home every night, I don’t think our plans of buying a bigger house are going to be happening. If he changes jobs, it will mean a big pay cut. Worth it though for the families sake.
We had thought that we would be moving this year. I have dreamed of buying a bigger house for a long time. We brought our little 3 bed, 1 bath house over 9 years ago. Our kids were very little & now they are nearly teenagers, the house feels like it is shrinking. I know it’s not, but it just feels that way.


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So if we are not selling, I have to do something. I need to get rid of the clutter that we have accumulated over the years.
I have been carrying around a cardboard box all week.
It has become my new friend.
I have been filling it with junk & rubbish.
I have started at one end of the house & I will not stop until it is all done.

It is liberating & I never thought that I could have so much fun with a cardboard box.
Tomorrow, I am hitting the kitchen.
The kitchen that was here when we brought the house was tiny. So, we doubled it. We built the dining room in & made it a long kitchen & our back patio is our outside dinning room.

From this…

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{excuse the mess, we were renovating!}



To this…



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But now the kitchen is overflowing again.
I just have too much stuff.
I can not possibly build an even bigger kitchen so all the extra pots, pans, etc are all going to be taking a trip to the local second hand shop.

I have been blogging lately about taking charge of my life & the first step is to organise my home to make it beautiful again.

If you don’t hear from me for a week, I am buried at the bottom of a pile of stuff that has fallen out of the cupboard.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Cherish Yourself, there is only one of you

Cherish yourself

Cherish
1. to treat with affection and tenderness
2. to keep fondly in mind

Why is it that we as women {sorry to all the male readers} do not cherish ourselves as we do our family & friends?
Do we not think we are worthy enough?
Do we think that we are not worth the time & effort?
Why is it that we become all to consumed in our roles as  wives, partners, girlfriends, daughters, mothers & friends……..that we forget to cherish the most important person in our world….YOU, ME, US.

Some things that I do to enjoy just being me is I put on some great music






or I will run a bubble bath & have a long soak with a good book or a few gossip mags.



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Now I can hear some of you already saying, “But I have kids & I am just too busy.”

ARE YOU?
Are you too busy to put yourself first?
You can not be the best YOU until YOU put yourself first.
When the kids are in bed, why not run a bath?
What is the worst that could happen, you might enjoy yourself?
When you are doing the housework, put on some smooth music like Jack Johnson & you will feel your mood lift straight away.


I love to have oil burners & candles on all the time. Smells can relax you straight away. Coconut takes me back to all of our beach holidays, Frangipani makes me feel as though  I live on a tropical island & vanilla just makes me relaxed & mellow.
I can hear some of you saying, “But I have kids, I can’t have candles & oil burners.”
The next best thing is a spray bottle filled with water & a couple of drops of oil of your choice.
Spray it around the room, on the furniture, curtains, etc.
Not only will these scents calm & relax you but they will also help to calm & relax your kids.
I love to spray my sheets with a mix of coconut & vanilla before going to bed. It is my little ritual.



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Why not spend a couple $10 on a bottle of beautiful scented body moisturiser?
Not an anti aging, anti wrinkle concoction but a bottle of a beautiful fruit or flower scented moisturiser that smells divine. While you are sitting down watching the TV of a night time, apply it all over. You will immediately feel relaxed. Even if you have little kids, do this while they are having a daytime nap & you will notice that you are more relaxed when they wake.



Why is it that we spend a fortune on our kids clothes & toys but we feel incredibly guilty when we spend any money on ourselves. As I said in an earlier post {Coloured Jeans are so hot right now}, it is easy to still spoil ourselves with a new outfit while maintaining the family budget.
A new top, or some cute shoes don’t have to cost the earth but seriously…don’t you deserve them?


It is the little things that we can do to cherish ourselves to make us better Mothers, wives, partners, daughters, girlfriends, friends.

Cherish   yourself


Coloured jeans are so hot right now

{this is not a sponsored post & all views are my own}


There has been many conversations on Facebook this morning about coloured jeans.
I brought myself a pair of hot pink ones a few months ago from


I love them, I think they are fabulous but i have to say that I am a little nervous about wearing them.
I did a little research on line & I think I may have found how to wear them without standing out like a circus clown.



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{Did you see the prices??????}


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Now, I did noticed that the hot pink ones that I brought do not seem to be in any of these pictures.
I really wish that I had brought the purple ones.
But then again, I like to be different.
Now put your sunnies on before looking at this next pic, these are my pink ones.


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I did not adjust this pic in any way. This is the true colour.
I did a little more research (yes, I headed to Pinterest)



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This is not me but I want her legs!



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Ok, I think I get the idea. To wear coloured jeans, they look best with plain colours. You do not want to overload you body with too much colour. Coloured jeans look best with neutral colours such as black, grey, white & navy.
When the weather is a little cooler, I am going to wear my hot pink jeans with style!
{I think they look fabulous with heels!}

I have to show you some bargains that I picked up at Big W on the weekend


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A beautiful floral scarf for $7. Jeans $9 {yes!!!! $9 jeans!!}. Handbag on sale for $15.

What a cheap outfit!
I think that any woman can look fabulous on a budget. You do not need to spend a fortune to look good. I also think that confidence plays a big part in looking good. If you walk with your head held high & a little swish of the hips, you will always look fantastic! Well, that’s my opinion & I am sticking to it.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Pondering

With children's birthdays, comes time to think about how life flies by without us even realising.
With both of my girls having birthdays in March it really hits me all at once. By the end of next month, I will be the mother of an 11 year old & a teenager.
I am waaaayyyyy too young to be the mother of either.
I am still trying to figure out who I am yet I am watching my daughters grow so quickly that it is a little frightening.
How can I help them decide on what they want to be when they grow up, what subjects that want to study to help them get closer to their goals when at 32 (ouch, that hurt), I am still trying to figure out what I want to do.
I was only 19 when I gave birth to Kiara & Georgia was born just a few months after my 21st birthday. They were the 2 most incredible things to ever happen in my life.
I know that because of having children so early , that I grew up a lot quicker than most.
Now don’t get me wrong, I would not have changed a thing. I have 2 incredibly beautiful, smart, thoughtful children who make my heart burst with pride every day.
The thing is that I know that it will only be a few years until Kiara is begging me for driving lessons & Georgia will be saying that it is not fair that Kiara gets to go to parties & she is never allowed to do anything. I know that it will only be a few years & Kiara will replace her love of sports with a fascination for boys.
It all just seems to be moving too fast.
Those little babies with their bright blue eyes who looked at me with the most utmost confidence that I would protect them, they have grown & I know that I have to let them.
Kiara is already making the most grown up of decisions. She has already faced peer pressure & walked away with such confidence that makes me envious.
Georgia is showing that she is growing up as well. She has had a tough couple of years dealing with her Daddy being away so much & I am so thankful to her fabulous teacher who has made her see that she has someone on her side.
He is the most wonderful teacher. He was also Kiara’s teacher last year & I know that I have him to thank for making Kiara do her best & expect nothing less. I don’t know if he realises just what he does for kids. He shies away from any recognition of his hard work. Although, he seems to enjoy his job as a teacher so much that he probably does not even look at it as work.
Having a great teacher in my kids lives helps so much.
It is just like the saying

It takes a village to raise a child

For the last 6 years, I have raised my girls by myself. With hubby away most of the time & our families moving away, it has been really hard. I know that our families say that they are only a phone call away but that does not replace “being there”.
I know that with the help of a fabulous teacher, the job is not quite as hard as it has been.

I know that my girls & I are incredibly close, closer than most Mothers & daughters. We have an incredible bond because they know how hard it is for all 3 of us. We don’t live a life of roses, we also get stung by the thorns. They do know however, that I am their Mother & they treat me with incredible respect. I am not talking about keep their rooms clean or putting their clothes away, I mean the fact that they do not raise their voice at me, they do not speak to me in a harsh way, they respect me & I respect the fact that they are growing. I give them their freedom but I give it to them in ways that I know they can handle. I let them choose their own style, their haircuts, the music they listen to, I let them be themselves.
However, I control the important things in their lives. I do a drive past of any new friends house before I will agree to let them go. Kiara has now learnt what is ok & what is not. We will drive past a new friends house & she will now say that she doesn’t think it is a good idea. You can just tell. I have taught her enough that she now knows her own gut instinct is the right way to go. I am so glad that she has all that figured out before she is a teenager next month. One thing that I have learnt is that teaching your children that their intuition is the most important thing that they should ever listen to. She not only knows right from wrong but she can now feel it.
I really believe that you have to pick your battles with children. Who cares if they don’t like the same food as you when they are little kids. I can promise you that as they get older, they will eat. They will get hungry. If they want to eat mac & cheese every night, let them. Trust me when I say that one day, might be weeks or months, they will get bored. They will then try something new.  Who cares if they only want to dress in a princess dress or only wear a superman cape & shorts. Is it really worth fighting with them about?
I can promise you that when they are the same age as my kids are now, you will wish that you didn’t spend so long fighting over the little things. The little things are nothing in the grand scheme of things. Some days now, my girls will drive me completely bonkers. They leave mess everywhere, I have to ask 5 times for them to clean the dishwasher. I have to remind them 20 times to turn off the light when they walk out of the room. But I have learnt that yelling at them does not work, getting mad at them does not work. I pick my battles. When one of them has mowed the lawn for me, who cares if they have left their shoes in the hallway……..they just mowed the lawn! Not because they have to do but because they know that I have to do it every week & they want to do something nice for me. Who cares if they have left a plate on the sink instead of putting it in the dishwasher…they just did their homework without being asked & were so proud that they came to show you their work.
I really believe that you need to pick your battles. If you are always hard on your children & yelling at them constantly, they will tune out & you are wasting you time & energy.
I can tell you that we have so many fun times in my house. We can have hours of giggling, laughing & joking. We have some incredibly hard times as well. But when we laugh together, the bad stuff disappears.
I will cherish all the years that I have been able to listen to them laugh. As some of you know, I have a hearing disability & I am gradually losing my hearing. I don’t know what I will do when I can no longer hear them laugh so I make the most of it now so that I will have the memory forever.
Today, if you do just one thing, laugh with your kids.
Trust me, it is priceless

Paris goodie bags, no lollies allowed! But they will love them!

Here are the Dinner in Paris goodies bags for Georgia’s 2 friends to take home after the sleepover.



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From left to right.
Mechanical pencil, Shabby Chic headband, Eiffel Tower earrings, Lip gloss, Flower resin ring, Face washer cup cake  with mini make up brushes, set of 3 combs & nail care kit.
The total of the contents is $10 & with only 2 girls invited, that’s not bad.


I made a few of the gifts myself.


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The Shabby chic headband was quick & easy, Just a fabric yoyo with a slef covered button & sewn on to some thin black hat elastic.



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I made the cupcake by rolling a face washer & placing inside a cupcake wrapper. I then just added small make up brushed to the middle of the face washer. I then made a sticker using the Paris ooh la la Party pack.



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The Eiffel Tower earrings were made using charms that I brought from a discount store & the ring was made using a blank ring & resin flower (Tutorial here)



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I also used the goodie bag thank you tag from the Paris ooh la la Pack & glued it on to a paper bag from a discount shop.

So the RSVP’s are in & now I just have to finish Georgia’s outfit & organise the food.
I have a lot of ideas for the food.
I can’t wait to share them with you all.

Just to let you know, I am a “no lollies in the goodie bags” type of Mum. Georgia is the type of child who as she is eating lollies, you can see the eyes widen & the hyperactivity start. I know the nightmare that comes with taking the lollies off her after a party & I have said no to goodie bags before. I think that it is an individual choice but we eat enough sweet things at the party that I would rather give gifts in the goodie bags that are going to be used & loved.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Dinner in Paris, Parisian Chic accessories and an invite (or 2)

Georgia’s “Dinner in Paris” is less than 1 week away!
She is so excited & has been talking about it non stop!
Yes, I gave in! She went to school with 2 invitations in her bag to give to her 2 best friends.

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Seriously, how cute are these invites!
We laminated the invite & the ticket to Paris so that they survive a day in a school bag.
I found a whole Paris themed party pack on Etsy that you buy the PDF file, it is sent to you via email & you print off how many you need.

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When Georgia saw this she had a pink fit!
With the exchange rate, it cost less than $10!! Bargain!
I can’t wait to decorate the whole back patio with all of this.

I thought that for a great Dinner in Paris, you must have the right accessories.
I have just finished making these for Georgia to wear on her big night.

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The fabric is called Georgia Love so it was meant to be!
Every girls has to wear pearls & lace when in Paris, right?
Now she has a faux pearl necklace with detachable shabby chic flower brooch.
A shabby chic yoyo headband.
And a shabby chic ring.

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I think this party will be all of her dreams come true.
Well, I am off to finish watch the Oscars & make some party bag favours for her friends.
I know I said that I banned kids parties years ago, but 2 friends isn’t really a party, right?

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday snapshots

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Painting some glass vases for the “Dinner in Paris” next weekend.




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The newest version of planking!
Georgia must be going a little crazy from all the rainy weather & decided to put on a wetsuit.
Just what everyone should do, surf on the kitchen bench!!
Crazy!




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Kiara cooked bacon & egg sandwiches for brunch.
Oh so yummy!!!




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I have been working on Georgia’s shabby chic quilt for her birthday.




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While hanging out the washing, I came to the realisation that when the weather is grey, I wear a lot of grey! And stripes it seems!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Friends come in all shapes and sizes


What type of friends do you have & what type of friends do you like?

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We all need friends for different reasons.
I have all different varieties of friends.


My closest friends are actually the ones that I know are there but we give each other space. I think that it is a little like love. You have to give each other space in order to grow closer.
They are the ones that I call my best friends. We have been friends since we were kids. We have kids around the same age & we are at the same stage of life. We have all been married for many years, we are going through or about to go through those teenage years with our kids. We always have & always will be there for each other. They are my life long friends.
Many of them have moved away for work reasons & some have even moved back. Those that visit when in town know that my door is always open for them. I miss them more than anything when it can be months & even years between visits but I know that we will always be apart of each others lives for ever.

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Then there is what I call the “every day friends”. You see them at the school when you drop the kids off, you wave & have a chat if you bump into them at the shops. You have kids that have a friendship with each other & you become friends with each other.  You like to be friends with them because it is a way of social interaction without getting too caught up in each others business.



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Then there is the “new friends”. People who you have met through work, sports, etc. Sometimes it is a friendship that grows without you even knowing. You have not known them very long but you feel like you have known them forever.



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Now, we even have “social media friends”. They are the newest form of friends. You may never meet these friends but they are always there. You just have to log on to find them. They may have been friendships formed through Facebook, blogs, etc. You have something in common with these friends. You either bond through hobbies, interests or through talking about everyday things. I have made a lot of these friends over the past 12 months who sometimes know me better than I know myself!



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Then there are “those friends”. We all have them. Those friends who throw themselves into your life & you have no idea how they did. They do not know boundaries. They are all too smothering. They are always there, always trying to be more involved in your life than you wanted. They think that they are your only friend. They want to tell you everything about their lives. You have nothing in common with them but they still think that they are the biggest thing in your life. They want you to spend all of your spare time with them  & somehow they start making decisions for you. They tell you that you are going to do something with them but they don’t ask. You know that they do not have power over you but they some how become so controlling that it is easier to give in. When you do say that you are busy or it is not a good time, they get upset.

I personally think that it is time for me to stand up to those friends. Tell them that no is my choice.
I tell my daughters when I can see that a friend is not being a true friend to them so now I am taking my own advice. I tell them to let someone know when they are being too smothering. I am now taking my own advice.
Life is busy, life changes for day to day & moment to moment.
Who cares if you are busy or not, we shouldn't have to spend time doing anything if we don't want to. Why do we feel as though we have to make excuses. Maybe I should just say, "No, I don't want to."
I will no longer feel guilty for saying no because they did not feel sorry for being controlling. I am so mad at myself to think that I have let people affect my life like this & make me feel like this.

I will cherish those friends who do not question our friendship & they never need to ask if they have done something wrong because I have said I can't make it to something or do something with them. They know my life & I know theirs. We amy go months without speaking but it also means that we have a lot to catch up on when we next speak. There is no awkward silences.



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A scarf swap, you don’t need to be able to sew.

Here is Australia, we know that winter is just around the corner.
My fave thing about winter is scarves & boots.
So, I have been thinking about hosting a scarf swap.
Anyone can participate.
You could buy, sew, crochet, knit…..whatever your skill.
Imagine going to your letterbox one day & finding that you have a fabulous scarf waiting for you!

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I think that to make sure that everyone ends up with a scarf that they love, each participant would need to answer a couple of questions about what they like.
So if you would like to participate, send me a quick email with your name, postal address & the answers to these quick questions.

1. What is your fave colour?
2. What are your 3 fave hobbies/interests?

Those 2 questions should be able to give your swap partner an insight into what you like.
You can give more info about what you like or don’t like to help your swap partner even more. It’s up to you but please answer those 2 questions.
email address       sewcooklaughlive@yahoo.com.au
I would like for this to be a secret swap. You will not know who has you & your person will not know who has them.

Now this is a fun swap but so that everyone gets the most out of this, there is just a couple of rules.

*you must be over 18 to participate*
*scarves must be brand new or handmade*
*all participants must have registered by the 17th of March 2012*
*all scarves must be in the mail by the 21st of April 2012*
*scarf swap is open to Australian residents with an Australian postal address*


I am giving this much time for the swap so that no one has to rush & it can be done in your spare time.

I have done a tutorial before on an easy but fabulous scarf that you can sew if you need some inspiration.

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Here is a few other scarf tutorials that I have found online.

{click on the pictures}
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Well hello there! Have you met my fave shops before?

I am a shopping addict!

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There I said it!
Don’t worry though, my whole family knows already.
And what I love to do is support fabulous Australian businesses.
Here is some of my fave online Australian businesses..

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For all your sewing needs.

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For all your crafting needs

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For all those needs of a holiday escape in your own home.

These businesses are run by women.

GIRL POWER!!

So go on, get your shop on!
Support some great Australian businesses & shop, shop, shop!!

{click on the above pics to take you to the online stores}