Monday, June 30, 2014

SnapKnot
Courtesy of: SnapKnot



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Be A Creature Of Habit.

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day fourteen

Three healthy habits

Hahaha ok sorry I'll admit I wrote this one three days ago, I needed the time to think about healthy things I do frequently enough to call them habits. I figured showering daily wouldn't cut it, though personal hygiene is very important.

I drink a lot of water. This is a fairly new habit and one that took a vacation when I did but for almost twelve months now I can say that I have had at least a litre of water a day. At least, most days it's more. It may not sound like much but considering right before I started I was dehydrated by diagnosis from my GP it's a big step for me. I fall just short of the old recommended 8 cups a day but my motto for most things is some is better than none.

I get a lot of vitamin D the good old fashion way by sitting in the sun. Even in the middle of winter when the air outside makes you think it's snowing two counties over if it's a sunny day I'll get out and lift my face skywards.
It's refreshing getting warm sun on your skin, especially in the colder months, and the fresh air doesn't hurt either.

This is really quite hard. I have healthy things I do but I'm really forgetful so I can't truly say they are habits.

I have a bottle of multi vitamins on my kitchen counter, I may remember to take one a week.

I go through phases where I'll look at myself in a mirror and make myself find something I like about myself, but I have self image issues so that happens less than it should.



I guess the third healthy habit I have is that I don't say the F word around my daughter. That would be the three letter F word not the four letter one I bet you were all thinking.
I haven't stopped calling myself fat but I don't say it around my four year old impressionable daughter and I'm always on to The Husband to stop saying it too (no he never calls me fat). I don't want her to grow up with the self image issues I have.

What are your own healthy habits?

Skye



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Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Elephant In The Fridge.

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day thirteen

What's inside your fridge?

Let me tell you what's not in my fridge. Mess! Hear me out. I'm forever cleaning out old food from the fridge, every week when I add the new shopping, but for a while I didn't actually 'clean' my fridge. When I finally did I was disgusted at how dirty it was. Food spilt on the shelves, leaks from bottles it was gross. The problem was I didn't realise it was happening, it just happened. You know those spills that you swear you'll come back to when you're not trying cook dinner and entertain the kids all at once but then completely forget about? I think we had a few of those in there.

I gave it a huge clean out before we went on our holiday and now I notice everything. If someone spills something they are made to wipe it up, immediately, and everything has it's place.
I'm in love with our fridge now. Right after cleaning it I'd go to the fridge just to stare at it.

It was really easy to do as well. Spray a towel with my miracle cleaner AKA the vinegar and dishwashing liquid concoction then empty out each shelve and wipe them down and put it all back. It took me fifteen minutes!

I was contemplating decorating the shelves with coloured contact like in the attached image (found at thepreppyleopard.wordpres.com) but I never got to the store to get any. It's easy and cheap though if you rummage through Kmart selection of contact then just cut to fit your required surface. If you need to remove it just soak in hot water.





Skye


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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Reading is a rendezvous with your soul.

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day twelve

Your favourite childhood book

Reading and books have always been huge in my family. From as early as I can remember we've always had a library in our home. No matter where we've been I remember there being a library of some sort. I'm not exaggerating either our last family home had a granny flat out back, it didn't house our gran but it was a pretty impressive library and get away for my Dad. My Dad LOVES his books and he passed that love on to my sister and I too.

I don't remember which kids books I loved but when I was old enough to read my self and throughout my early teen years I absolutely adored The Babysitters Club collection. I still have my whole collection, which isn't complete, and plan to pass it on to my daughter who will hopefully love it as much as I do.
I think it lead me towards my first job in early childhood education.



I may not remember my own favourite childhood book but I certainly have one now. Room on the broom by Julia Donaldson. It is super fun and the kids love to read along and act it out as we go.


I also happen to be a huge fan of the works of Dr Seuss with 'oh, the places you'll go' being my favourite.



I'm a huge advocate for reading to children, not just providing them with books but actually sitting with them and reading to them. Everything from the Sunday paper to the yellow pages will help their little minds grow.

What are some of your favourite children's stories?

Skye



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Friday, June 27, 2014

Yummmmm!

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day eleven

Ten favourite foods

Personally I think today's topic is a little boring so I'm changing it around a little and will tell you some of the best meals I've had and the restaurants I ate them at. It's not that much more exciting - mainly since I don't get out much and when I do I'm a creature of habit - but bare with me.

These will not be in order of most loved but in the order that they come to mind.

Mississippi Mud Cake - Hogs Breath Cafe, multiple locations: yes dessert totally counts as a meal. I love this mud cake. It could be how it's served, on a bed of cream with a scoop of ice cream on the side and the cake heated through. It is to die for. When The Husband and I eloped to the court house we stopped at Hogs Breath for dinner that evening. Mississippi Mud Cake is my wedding cake.

Caesar Salad - Pemberton Millhouse Cafe, Pemberton, WA: I have ordered a lot of Caesar salads in my life, it's the only salad I eat, and I usually have some negative experiences. The lettuce is old, the lettuce is mainly heart, the dressing is too chunky, they put anchovies on when I specifically asked for it without. The Millhouse cafe got it right in every way. The lettuce was fresh and leafy, the dressing was perfect, the bacon bits were real and crunchy, they left off the anchovies, it was delicious and the view from the caf├ęs verandah wasn't half bad either.

Poached eggs - Aragorn Cafe, Ludlow, UK: As with my Caesar salads anytime I order poached eggs they're usually not at all tasty. Too rubbery, too runny where they shouldn't be and not runny where they should be, to much vinegar was added to the water. The Aragorn Cafe in Ludlow made my Mothers Day this year. Their poached eggs were perfect. Round, not rubbery at all, runny in the middle and so so yummy.

Jacket Potato with BBQ Pulled Pork - The a Dukes Head, Leominster, UK: I cannot say enough good things about this meal. I had it four times on my recent holiday - it would have been five but somehow a restaurant in the middle of potato growing country ran out of potatoes- and each time it was fantastic. I've tried to replicate it since being home and although it was good it was not as good as The Dukes Head.

Butter Chicken - Chutney Mary's, multiple locations: I have an issue with lumps in my sauces which is why at home I sieve everything. Chutney Mary's butter chicken has lumps but it's so good I barely notice it. Add a naan bread and it's the best Indian I've had.

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger - Burger a Edge, multiple locations: you may be seeing a pattern in which I'm very fussy about my food. Burgers are no exception. I usually don't eat them as most people out big chunks of onion in the meat patties. Burger Edge burgers are awesome. So tasty, big and they only come with onion if you ask for it.

Churros - San Churro, multiple locations: I was first introduced to Churros on my visit to America. Disneyland have churro stands throughout the park and you get one thick long churro for about $3.50. San Churro do six Churros plus two bowls of melted dipping chocolate for $14.95 and I don't have to suffer through a 20 hour flight to get them.

There you have it my seven top meals eaten out, sorry I couldn't quite think of ten.

For those of you who are interested I'm working on a post about saving, budgeting and finances for when this blogging challenge is over, so stay tuned.

Skye


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Have Left My Heart In So Many Places!

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day Ten

The best trip of your life

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page" - Saint Augustine

I have seen only a small part of the world and long to see more so picking my best trip yet is going to be quite difficult.

Until 2003 I had never been on a plane, Ever! Since then I've flown to New Zealand twice, the UK twice, France and of course my inaugural trip to the United States.

My first trip in 2003 is certainly a contender for best trip ever. I cried upon finally reaching my hotel room in Boston, seriously I didn't make it pass the hall way. I closed the door and collapsed in tears against it. I left three hours earlier than needed as the hotels fire alarm went off and although the corridors were empty I panicked grabbed my bags and checked out, turns out it was a false alarm. I spent $100 on a taxi fare instead of about $8 on a train fare because I was worried I'd get lost. I don't regret this though as my taxi driver was amazing and gave me a history lesson on the twenty minute trip to the greyhound station. I was shy, young and scared. It took me ages to open up to my fellow camp counsellors. The food was strange, the kids were strange, the weather was humid, the Mosquitos never slept, the moths were HUGE and the spiders looked robotic.

Despite all of that I loved the experience. The camp had a lot of administration issues to start with which caused a few people to hate it but I can't fault it. The whole experience made me grow as a person. I discovered a new stronger more confidant side of myself and I met some fantastic people. It doesn't hurt that I also spent two weeks after camp at Disneyland, Los Angeles.

After that I took two trips to New Zealand. Now New Zealand is a beautiful country but there was nothing spectacular about either trip so they were great trips but not the best of my life.

In 2007 I went to the UK. I was visiting a good friend and happened to meet my soul mate, The Husband! I spent a lot of time in Scotland, and I fell in love with the country. This trip could be the best of my life because if I hadn't have taken it I would never have met the man who owns my heart and soul.

There was a few years between trips for me but this year my family and I went back to the UK and to France. It was an amazing holiday. I got to meet in-laws I hadn't yet met, I caught up with good friends and got to see them settled and happy with families of their own. I got to see my children interact with cousins and uncles and aunts and spend quality time with their Nana and Grandad. I saw my husband relaxing and happy as he caught up with his brothers and sister. I did a lot of shopping and I got a small break from reality. Oh and I visited Disneyland Paris!

I think each of my three big trips are tied for position as the best trip of my life. I love to travel and each one has allowed me to see a new part of the world while adding something important to my life.

Where have you been? What have you seen? Which trip is the best of your life?

Skye


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Have I Forgotten Anything?

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day nine

What is in your bag or wallet?

As most mums will understand I haven't carried a handbag in over four years. Once my daughter was born whatever I needed got put into the nappy bag.

I used to have a rather large collection of handbags, so I could match one to my outfit, now I've gotten rid of nearly all of them with only a messenger bag, one handbag and a tote bag remaining and two of those were kept because they're disney merchandise.

I kind of feel naked or like I'm missing a limb if I go out somewhere with out the nappy bag as it's been there on my shoulder for so long.

The problem is despite it being so big it still never fits everything I need or should I say everything the kids need.

We have a change of clothes for both kids.

Nappies, change mat and wipes for Mr Two.

A drink for each kid.

Snacks.

Tissues.

Lip gloss.

Roll on perfume.

My purse, which itself is empty 99% of the time.

Sunglasses.

Toy cars.

Barbie/princess dolls.

Paper and pen.

Mentos - the fruit mix.

Keys.

Hair clips and ties.

Then whenever we get where we are going I usually acquire The Husbands wallet, keys and sunglasses too.

I have no idea what style of handbag I'd be interested in when I no longer need a nappy bag and in fact I also have no idea when that will be.

Just out of curiosity at what age did you stop needing a nappy bag for children?

Skye





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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I know I can, I know I can...

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day eight

Five Current Goals

This is an easy one. I've recently touched on some of my current goals so it's possible you've heard some of these.

Goal 1: Get my drivers license. I'm getting there. Driving more and am more confident but with The Husband working 6 days a week currently then having football on Sundays it's hard to find the time to practice stuff like reverse parallel parking. I'm progressing though and am confident I'll be able to put a big red tick next to this goal by September.

Goal 2: Learn Hungarian. Again I'm getting there though my progress is happening at a snails pace. I'm thinking it will be well after Christmas before I've made significant progress on this goal.

Goal 3: De-Clutter the house. It may seem like a small goal but when I say we have a lot of stuff I'm not exaggerating. I plan to go room to room and finish in the shed which is our death row of belongings. Usually if it's put in the shed it's never used again. I want this done by Christmas but I'm thinking it'll be done within the next four weeks while my hoarder mum is away house sitting. So much easier to throw stuff out when no one is around to notice you doing it :)

Goal 4: Cut down on sugar. I'm no health freak and although I've tried my fair share I don't believe in dieting however I consume a LOT of sugar. Surprisingly I don't drink soda so no coke or fanta or sprite. I used to, don't worry, I was very fond of a nice cold coke I've just managed to cut it out. However I can't stop eating chocolate and when I have a cup of tea I usually have more than three sugars, I also love a lot of chocolate in my hot chocolates. Sugar on my cornflakes, and on my porridge. I'm hoping you get the picture. My diet has a lot of sugar in it. Last week I cut down and with my usual weekly exercise I lost a whole freaking kilo! That's huge for me as I usually only manage around a 300gram loss a week if at all.
This will take time as I'm a really fussy eater but I've seen the results so I'm hoping I can make it happen sooner rather than later.

Goal 5: Get organised for Christmas before December. This is a yearly goal for me that started about three years ago. I hate the huge financial hit Christmas always had on us and now with both kids birthdays in January plus my mums in late November those three months are quite stressful. My yearly goal is to either have money put away or presents bought, usually by October, no later than November 25th. I've got my list written so now I just add a gift in to each weeks budget. Fingers crossed I make it again this year.


Setting goals is a great way to achieve what you want from life, even if it is something as small as de cluttering your house, I highly recommend setting your own if you don't have a set already.

Skye




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Monday, June 23, 2014

Make your own kind of music...

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day Seven

Your five favourite songs

Ok I'm starting to see a pattern here which means you're also going to see a pattern here.

I cannot pick just five songs. I love multiple genres of music and within each I have my favourites so that is what I'll share with you today.

Classical
The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. If you are familiar with classical music at all you may know 'Spring' which is by far the most popular of this set of concertos. http://youtu.be/aFHPRi0ZeXE

Espana by Chabrier. This such a fun piece, the rhapsody is great for lifting spirits. http://youtu.be/VvlD7XYbI_U

The Brandenburg Concertos by Bach. Number three is the most popular but all six are great listening if you like your classical music. http://youtu.be/hZ9qWpa2rIg

Canon by Pachalbel. It's a beautiful piece, very popular for weddings.

Piano Sonato #16 by Mozart. I'm not usually a fan of solo piano pieces but this is beautiful to listen to. http://youtu.be/Ma-jkZxNars

Rock
Baba O'Riley by The Who. Often referred to as Teenage Wasteland I'll admit the first time I heard this was while watching a Dawson's Creek Episode. It's great to let go to. http://youtu.be/gY5rztWa1TM

Fat Bottom Girls by Queen. Queen could quite possibly have their own section, I'm a big fan. Being a 'fat bottom girl' myself I've always loved this song, it always puts a smile on my face.

I want you to want me by Cheap Trick. Now don't judge me but I first heard this on Dawsons Creek too - to be honest I loved the music from the show more than the show itself - it's another that's great to just let go to. http://youtu.be/EYa6NoIn7bs

Black Betty by Spiderbait. The original was by Ram Jam but I love rocking out to spider baits version. http://youtu.be/nU1VfYYKMDk

Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson. The man had talent what can I say. I love a few of his but you'll be surprised to hear I don't like Thriller...quite possibly the only person who doesn't :)

80's
I'll set you free by The Bangles. Certainly one of my most loved 80's bands and this song is great for giving your lungs a work out. http://youtu.be/0Bg6LCg73XE

Jessie's Girl by Rick Springsteen. It's boppy and it's fun what's not to love? http://youtu.be/u2T7wKdQsTo

Centrefold by The J. Geils Band. Same as above. It's boppy and fun. Pure 80's gold.

Karma Chameleon by Culture Club. I'm probably the only person alive who still loves this song. I can't explain it, I don't even really understand it but I do love it.

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes. Who doesn't love this song?

Disney
Colours of the wind - Pocahontas http://youtu.be/pk33dTVHreQ

I'll make a man out of you - Mulan

Kiss the Girl - The Little Mermaid

Something There - Beauty and the Beast http://youtu.be/yNXedmlcYKs

Let it go - Frozen

Other
Under the sun by Michael Weatherly.http://youtu.be/kdpSFIAH_T8 for the official video or http://youtu.be/pnKDXfoT4zA for the lyric video.

Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen. I love the entire Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

If you wanna be happy by Jimmy Soul. I heard this when I saw Mermaids and I've loved it ever since. http://youtu.be/Qh9ZZgDqzAg

February Song by Josh Groban.

World Spins Madly On by The Weepies.http://youtu.be/L4sa2HoXpsE



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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Whose afraid of the big bad wolf?

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day Six

What are you afraid of?

This could possibly go quicker if the question were "what are you NOT afraid of? Honestly my shadow gets me at times.

I will willingly admit that at 31 years of age I am still afraid of the dark. Though I like to say it's not the dark I'm afraid of but the stuff I can't see. My very active imagination is my worst enemy once the sun sets. Scary movies I watched years ago will pop into my mind, episodes of criminal minds will taunt me, news features of cars flying through house windows while the family sleeps keep me on edge.

For some reason my mind thinks that bad things will only happen at night, in the dark!

I'm also afraid of being tested. It's the main reason why I haven't gotten my license yet. I don't take criticism well. It leaves me all deflated and feeling like a failure when I wish it would push me to try harder.

I'm afraid of thunder storms.

Naturally I'm afraid of spiders too, I mean really who isn't?

Im afraid of leaving the house without the kids in case anything were to happen to me.

Is there anything unusual that you're afraid of? Any other adults out there afraid of the dark too?

Skye


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Saturday, June 21, 2014

A moment in time...

30 Day Blogging Challenge

Day Five

Your Proudest Moment.

Proud is an adjective defined as a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one's own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated.

Continuing with the pattern I've set I don't think I can name one moment as my proudest. For starters I have two children and bringing them into this world will count as two of my proudest moments. Think about it for a minute. I MADE them, it's so bizarre that the Husband and I created two little people. I know it's done a million times a day every day all over the world but these two little devils in disguise we made. That's a proud moment for anyone.

I have others though. The moment I stepped out of my comfort zone and flew half way around the world on my own.

That day last week when I really didn't want to get on the treadmill but I did and power walked my butt off for 2.5 kms.

I'm proud of my ability to always look for a positive in any situation.

I'm proud of my Husband because he is simply the most amazing man and father I've ever met.

Thinking about it I'm probably most proud that I had the strength to put my happiness first and despite criticism from my own family I left my ex husband and followed my heart and soul to the man who had every part of me at first glance.

What are some your proudest moments??

Skye


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Friday, June 20, 2014

Working class

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day four

Your dream job.

Well I no longer want to fly fighter jets. Ok I lie I'd love to fly fighter jets but my fear of planes falling out of the sky is holding me back, you know along with the lack of brains that are required for that job.

My previous work experience includes early childhood education, hotel management and housekeeping and teaching archery.

Out of all of those the only one I'd go back to is archery.

But we're talking about my 'Dream' job not jobs I have experience in.

If I could do anything at all I think I'd like a different version to what I currently do. I'd love to be a lady of luxury with the money available to indulge my hobbies while caring for our kids. The Husband is pretty awesome and doesn't want me to go back to work but understands that an extra income would be more than handy.

Therefore my dream job would probably be what we are aiming towards. I'd love to own a pub or free house somewhere in the UK.

For a laugh here is a list of jobs I've wanted to try at some stage in my life:

Figure skater
Cheerleader
Actress
Seamstress
Dancer
Doctor
Deep Sea Oil Rig worker
Coroner
Detective


As you can see I have a lot of interests. What would your dream job be?

Skye



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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Don't Quote me on this...

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Day 3
Favourite quote

If you read the 20 facts about me which I posted yesterday you'll know that I have trouble picking 'just one'.

So here are a 'few' of my favourite quotes:


Quote one:

"I'm cookie dough, I'm not done baking yet"

Back in the day I was a huge Buffy The Vampire Slayer fan, kind of still am really. Buffy says this to Angel in the last season and it resonated deep with me. I think I'm always going to be cookie dough, that I'm always going to have something I'm working on. No one is perfect but we can strive to be the best version of ourselves and I think a project like that takes time.


Quote two:

"The point is, Gentlemen, not that they lived happily ever after but that they lived!"

I adore this quote. It is the last line from the Drew Barrymore film Ever After and I think it is beautiful. It kind of fits with the reason I started my blog too. If you're constantly looking towards the end you're missing what's happening now. Don't worry so much about getting the happily ever after just live your life then one day you'll wake up all old, wrinkly and, grey and realise that while you were living your life you were living your happily ever after.


Quote three:

"If you can dream it you can do it"
Walt Disney

Don't let your fears hold you back. If it's in your dreams it's with in your reach. It may take hard work but nothing worth while is ever handed to us on a silver platter. So push yourself and live your dreams.

Skye



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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Getting to know you, or rather Me.

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 2

20 facts about you...

Wow ok so this may totally bore you all, I'll try my best to think of interesting stuff.

1. For years as a child I wanted to grow up to be pilot. Not just any pilot I wanted fly fighter jets!

2. This will explain my childhood wish to be a fighter pilot. I have a love affair with all things military. The history, the uniforms, the pageantry and the amazing men and woman who serve.

3. The first time I flew I was 20 years old and I flew to Boston (with stops in Auckland and LA, seriously long flight).

4. The reason I flew to Boston was because I was spending the summer as an archery instructor at a Girl Scout summer camp.

5. I was a Brownie, Girl Guide, Ranger and Junior Leader in the Girl Guides Association.

6. I am Bi-Dialectal. This basically means that through no conscious thought my accent will change at any random moment. Often people with this have a different accent for a different group of people. My own accent doesn't like to be pigeon holed and will change of it's own will when ever it pleases. Usually it's English, sometimes American and every now and then I'll actually sound like the Aussie I am.

7. I am Disney obsessed! I'm not exaggerating, in fact saying obsessed could be down playing my feelings. I work out to disney classics, will happily let my children watch the same film over and over, wore Mickey ears walking around Disneyland, have a Mickey Mouse quilt on my bed, a display cabinet over flowing with collectables. Well you get the picture I hope, I'm just a little in love with it all.

8. I LOVE the smell of coffee but I LOATHE the taste! Honestly I have tried a few times to become a coffee drinker because I feel like I'm missing out on something not being in the coffee loop - what I don't know - but I only ever manage one mouthful. In fact I once made up an entire pot of my sisters good mocha blend in hopes that the chocolate would help, that entire pot went down the drain.

9. I don't have a favourite colour. When I was in high school I had a huge crush on Scott Wolf - he played Bailey in Party of Five - his favourite colour was green so my favourite colour became green. I painted my room green in case you were wondering how severe that crush was. When I was 18 a friend gave me something pink it was her favourite colour and she had it everywhere. All it took was that one item and suddenly my favourite colour was pink too. Five years ago I was out shopping with my cousin whose favourite colour is red and I realised red is a Christmas colour and I love Christmas - seriously it's right up there with Disney - so red became my favourite colour. Then you may recall just a few months ago I discovered splice of life Lime, it became my favourite colour. I am currently in between colours so if anyone has a suggestion I'm open to hearing it.

10. I've had my nails done professionally once. It hurt more than child birth and I have not gone back for more.

11. I've always felt like I was born in the wrong era. Perhaps a past life is clawing at my soul and calling it back or maybe it's my vivid imagination allowing me to see things in more ways than most.

12. As well as being in the wrong time I've always felt I'm in the wrong place. Australia has no hold on me. I yearn for places I haven't been and people I haven't met.

13. I am of the firm belief that fruit should never be put in chocolate. It's down right disrespectful to spoil your chocolate with all that healthy goodness.

14. I don't understand people who put butter/margarine on a peanut butter sandwich.

15. I also don't understand why people would want to eat fungus, sorry mushrooms, wait no I had it right with fungus!

16. I can never pick 'just one'. I can't pick one favourite animal, one favourite song, one favourite movie. Might be why I have issues picking a favourite colour...

17. I love to sing. I've been in a few school choirs, sung for state premiers and celebrities and random strangers thanks to a pretty great -seriously strange- school choir conductor.

18. I'm an Aries therefor I'm bossy and think I'm a great leader; probably because I am. Really I could run my own country because if my leadership skills ever failed me my stubbornness would pull me through.

19. My favourite tv show - yes I can pick a favourite in this category - is NCIS. It's the only tv I watch.

20. If being a fighter pilot didn't work out I also wanted to go to Hollywood to be an actress. I'm not sure how that would have worked considering I'm the most shy person I know.


If you have any interesting facts about yourself you'd like to share I'd love to hear them.

Skye



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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Who am I?

30 Day Blogging Challenge, Day 1

Your Blog Name...

An easy one to start the challenge with.

Living while Renting kept swirling in my head over a period of a couple of weeks. I'm sure it was around an inspection day as I usually get really anti renting when I have to prepare my home to be inspected.
It wasn't only the inspection though. I was simply getting sick of having my life on hold. I had this mentality that I shouldn't spend money on the house be it new furniture or plants for the garden because we rented and when we finally, one day, found ourselves in our own home we'd lose the money we spent on plants - those buggers don't come cheap - and whatever furniture we have accumulated may not fit in the new house.

It seems silly thinking about it now but it's how I thought for a long while. In my mind any spare money we managed to come across I figured should go directly to savings or paying off debt.

So one day I found myself in a particular cranky mood and I thought 'I can't be the only renter in the world and I can't be the only one who feels like this' and since I enjoy writing I figured I'd start a blog and if I managed to help just one person, or even just put a smile on someone's face with my odd ramblings then I'd be happy.

Since our recent holiday our personal goals have changed. With our dream now to be in the UK we won't be buying or building anymore furniture as we'll be selling everything when we move. Despite this we still rent and we still want a life while we work towards our dream so I'm going to continue to try and bring decorating ideas, DIY projects and family activities for a small budget to my fellow renters and others on a budget.

Skye


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Monday, June 16, 2014

Change It Up.

There's a saying - a change is as good as a holiday. This may work with rearranging your furniture or finding a new job but for other things a holiday is needed so a change can happen.

Have I lost you yet?

Let me explain. I am forever rearranging furniture and the change of scenery is great for a month or so until I rearrange it again: we've been in this house three years now and I've rearranged my bedroom furniture at least five times. Looking at something new every now and then is good for you.

Though often we need to change ourselves and that's when getting away from it all comes in handy. We can tell ourselves we need to change and want to change but actually doing it is the hard part. Getting away and seeing how things CAN be is a great motivator to actually do it.

For four weeks we lived without clutter and with minimal internet access and it was awesome. I realised I don't utilise my time very well and that we have way too much 'stuff'. I kind of knew this before the holiday but actually getting away from it motivated me to do something about it.

I will make no excuses for the amount of time I'm on Facebook and have no qualms about it at all. Facebook connects me, for free, to friends and family who I love dearly and live hundreds of miles away either on the other side of Australia or the other side of the world. Let me tell you national and international calls are not cheap!
Despite my love affair with Facebook I will admit I no longer spend ages just scrolling through my news feed, multiple times a day, now I check it then find something to do.
It may seem like a strange thing to say but I find it really difficult to do anything with my two children around. I have hobbies - sewing and perfumery- and if I so much as think of fabric or essential oils my kids start fighting like a civil war just began. This in the past kept me in the living room or outside with them playing or looking on and doing nothing for myself while they were awake. Funny enough it never bothered the kids when I had to cook or clean, they'd just continue on playing, but the minute I tried to do something for me war broke out.

I'm sure any parents reading along know exactly what I'm talking about.

It left me feeling disappointed in myself at the end of each day. Sure the kids were fed, the house was clean and they had fun but I didn't DO anything. And the argument 'but you played with your children that's most important' doesn't work for me. Yes absolutely it's important to play with your kids and I love spending time doing just that but it's also important to do something for you each day as well not to mention kids also need to learn independence.

So I've been back two weeks and I'm utilising my time better, the motivation I picked up while away is holding strong. I exercise and have Hungarian lessons at rest time, I read when the kids are outside, I prepare dinner after breakfast and I've even managed to sneak in some sewing prep without that civil war breaking out.

Apparently all my kids needed was to see me motivated too.

Now about the clutter.

We have a LOT of stuff. I won't try to down play it,we own a lot of crap. And in fact a lot if it is just that, crap! My mother - who if you recall lives with us - is a hoarder. She's not quite at the stage where we need to call in a TV crew but she loves hanging on to random stuff for random reasons and she is also into the habit of buying something simply because it's cheap. Honestly she came home once with a bacon cooker because it cost only $2. It sat in the cupboard for a year before I threw it out. She hadn't even opened the box.
I realised a couple of years back I was on my way to becoming like her, a big no no in my book, so I was slowly improving my own habits. I used to hold onto boxes that my perfume came in because they were pretty. Each time I did a spring clean I would manage to throw out something I'd been holding onto for years and then right before our trip I did a major clean out and got rid of a heap of stuff. But we still have too much so this week I'm taking no prisoners if I haven't touched it in the past 6 months it will be finding a new home.

My wardrobe while away consisted of what I could fit in to half a suitcase. Five shirts, three pairs of jeans, three pairs of shoes, three jumpers, you get the drift, it wasn't a lot but I managed, and I was happy and I never once said "I have nothing to wear"!
So the day after we got home, when I had all my holiday clothes clean and ready to put away I went through my wardrobe and threw nearly everything out. Summer clothes were put away but only if I KNEW I would wear it come summer. I'm one of those people that holds onto items because it's still good and it may fit next season, or because it had a memory attached or simply because I liked it - even though I may not have worn it for a good three years, or more - this time round it ALL went.
Now my wardrobe is clean and stays that way. My drawers aren't over packed and I don't have a thousand pairs of shoes sitting around collecting dust. I did the same to the Husbands wardrobe too.

The next day, day three of being home, I attacked the toy room. For four weeks my children entertained themselves with only a handful of toys and their imaginations. It was brilliant. So the toy room got a tidy up. They still have far too much but I'm on a mission, I'm watching and if it's not played with by the end of the month it's going to the op shop.

Honestly if you can do it without the holiday I recommend it. De clutter you will feel amazing for it. We have stuff that we'll never even think of getting rid of. My Disney collection and the Husbands Lego collection being the main ones. But for everything else, well, do I really need 6 mixing bowls of varying sizes??

My original aim when writing this very long winded post was to let you all know about a challenge I'm starting, another way I'm utilising my time. It's a 30 day blogging challenge. Each day I have something different to write about and I'll try to make it blog related as much as I can.

It starts tomorrow so stay tuned.

Skye






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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lost In Translation

Ever since I was a kid and learnt about all the different countries and the languages they spoke I've always wanted to learn another language myself.
In the 7th grade I was ecstatic to hear we would be studying French. In year 8 it was Japanese. Both languages were taught by the same teacher. Lucky lady knew two other languages on top of those and there I was barely passing each subject.

Over the years I've accumulated a German dictionary, a French dictionary, a teach yourself French cd and book set, a Korean dictionary (work related, I taught an autistic Korean boy and thought it may help) and a Hungarian dictionary.

As of today I am fluent in English.

I can read and understand a little French, I only know how to say bless you in German - Gesundheit, but I think everyone knows that one - and I'm not sure I really ever took in a word of Korean.

This time round learning Hungarian I'm happy to say I've found a great teacher AND it's free AND it's learn at my own pace AND it's working. Though as I told a friend the other day after a week at it the only sentence I can expertly say is "Nem ertek jol Magyarul" which funny enough translates too "I don't understand Hungarian"

Seriously though it is working because consider it, a week ago I couldn't even say that, not only that I didn't even know how to pronounce the Hungarian word for Hungarian: Magyarul- hint: the g has a d sound - so after a week of only a few hours reading and watching the tutorials I now know a little grammar and a little vowel and consonant pronunciation...The Hungarian alphabet has 44 letters 14 of which are vowels!

The site I'm using is 101languages.net and they have around 50 languages to choose from including Spanish, German, French, Irish, Hebrew, Greek even Russian and Icelandic. Chances are if you've thought about learning a language this site has the course for you. Each course has been developed by the United States Foreign Service Institute and the course is structured around repetition. So you go over and over everything until your brain has soaked it up. They all come with a guarantee that you will come out fluent in your language of choice if you dedicate yourself - though as my Dad pointed out you have the same guarantee with everything in life. However if you are motivated and truly want to learn a language I highly recommend giving this site a go.

NB: the link to the 101languages site will take you to the Hungarian page. All other language courses can be accessed from this page. I had a few issues finding a home page for the site.


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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Where's my map?

I knew it would happen but knowing something is going to happen doesn't always make it easier to deal with.
We've been away for a month. Living in our personal version of paradise. A beautiful English country cottage, in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farm land and not much else. We woke up to horses grazing 15 meters from our windows, got stuck on the driveway as a farmer herded sheep from one paddock to another, the kids slept better than ever and we were living clutter free.












Now we are home. The neighbours are noisy, the kids are not sleeping and the closest we come to a horse is the unicorn pillow pet in the toy room. I'm not going to even start on the clutter.

Settling back into reality is hard. It's being made even harder however by the long list of things I need to do in order to get us back to paradise. I'm lost! I honestly don't know where to start, if I should start and if not how long I should wait before I start.

Let me explain....

I need to get my drivers license. Yes I am 31 years old and without a drivers license. I have my reasons. It scares me, well other drivers scare me. I'm actually more confident and comfortable when I'm driving than when someone else is driving me now so the situation is improving. The other issue is I dread the actual test. I get nervous and I know I'm going to panic and screw it up. I have until September though as that's when my permit expires - I won't mention how long I've had this one - and I'm determined to get it done.

That is first on my list but after that I'm not sure.

I also need to learn Hungarian. Weird choice you may say but again I have my reasons. My dad is Hungarian so I'm able to claim Hungarian citizenship and therefore a Hungarian passport which will make me a member of the European Union but only if I'm fluent in Hungarian. Having Hungarian citizenship will make it a LOT easier to enter the UK as EU members have no restrictions - yet commonwealth nation citizens have to jump through hoops - meaning when we are ready we can pack our bags and just go.
I'm going to try and teach myself mainly with help from my dad and some online forums I've found so financially this shouldn't hurt the bank.
I also suspect it may take me some time so do I concentrate solely on that until I'm fluent or do I attempt to learn a language while studying something else?

Which brings me to the last major thing on my list, study. I want to do a business management course and maybe hospitality management also. I'm thinking of throwing in a barristers course some time too. All of this will help me get a job both here in Oz and in the UK so it will be worth the outlay but do I start now, wait till next year, learn Hungarian first, wait till we have some savings in the bank again - because right now we are broke as broke can be - where is my road map to life to tell me where to go?

It's not the first time I've felt lost. Being an adult is one big maze and whoever was meant to give me my map didn't turn up to my 18th birthday. Until now though I've never felt a sense of urgency, never felt like I had a time limit.
It's mostly self imposed. We want to wait till both kids are in school full time so we have three years and we'd like to hit as close to that time frame as possible. I just feel like I'm getting old, running out of time to realise my dreams. In three years time I'll be 34. It's not old but if we don't make it in three years then when we do I will be old.

I actually think I'm having a midlife crisis! Has anyone else felt like this at 30?

Skye


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