Saturday, 20 September 2014

beyond the blog

linking up with Bec at Bloggers Bazaar
linking up with Sonia, Kelly, Sonia and Bron

This week has been tough. Sick kids (three of them!) have meant I'm finishing the week running on empty, and then you might have noticed if you follow me on instagram that we surrendered Steve's Triumph today.

I've made no secret of the fact that money has been hard over the last year. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel; well, not quite, we're in a position now that every spare cent will go towards paying our bills off over the next five years, but we've kept our house, kept our cars, and done the right thing by the people we owe money to. Sometimes, being a grown up is hard work.

my messy desk
I've had a craft cupboard in the kitchen for a few years now, but I've had a craft room upstairs for the last year, so I decided it was time to move stuff from the kitchen to my room last week. And then on Wednesday, I decided I needed to finally sort (and maybe even use!) the Studio Calico kits that I bought last year. Shuffling through everything in the kits sparked my desire to do more, and actually create, but Wednesday marked the start of 3 ill children, so nothing has happened yet. Maybe after the school holidays.

As I'm scrolling through my feedly list every few days, I tag a lot of stuff into Pocket. And I even go back and read articles every few weeks.

Loved this post from The Nerd Nest about busting through creative roadblocks

10 myths about scrapbooking from Simple Scrapper

I'm starting to look for ideas for slightly structured activities for Sophie, so this post from Childhood 101 is heading into the must-do list

I struggle with the balance of me-time and kid-time, so this post from Life Your Way touched a nerve

Breakfast is a big issue for some members of this house, so I'm constantly looking for easy ideas. This buttermilk maple french toast isn't necessarily easy for weekdays, but I love the Baking Bites blog, and have never had a recipe failure yet.

I can not rave about By Regina enough! So much of what she writes speaks to me in a way I had never considered before. I loved this post on the Love Languages of Blog Readers (and totally got the references!)

from The Polka Dot Chair
Forget that this is a sewing reference, it is true of so much we do in every day life. I've said to Steve a few times in the last week "buying cheap doesn't help us if you need to change it to make it work for us", I think he's finally getting the message!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

work in progress wednesday

Back in May, the craft group that I'd been attending each weekly unexpectedly closed down. I had just been starting to get into a groove with my crat again, so I was kind of at a loss as to how I would make craft work again at home.

A couple of weeks ago, I got fed up with not purposely making space for craft, so whipped a quick text message off to my sister-in-law, Caitlin {who is probably going to freak out at being called that, but what else do you call your brother's girlfriend?} and organised for her to come over the next day (Wednesday, the same day craft group used to meet)

I didn't do anything that first week, just pushed paper around, looked at my stash of clear stamps, discovered that my StazOn was dried out, and gossiped about all sorts of kid- and craft-related stuff. Then last week, I decided it was time to baste the triangle quilt. And once it was basted, I pulled out the sewing machine. Sophie was struggling a bit (turns out she was probably starting to get sick), and I don't expect to get much done this week, because she actually is sick now, but it felt good to sit at the machine, and sew some straight lines.

Caitlin is hosting the Aussie Work in Progress over at LittleWhiteDove today, and then she'll probably be eating cream bun with me, because what is a craft day without indulging in yummy treats?!

Little White Dove

Monday, 15 September 2014

for 8 you get pottery

gosh, the kids are young here!
This jetty is closed now. A hugely popular spot for wedding photos that was damaged in the 2011 floods, and has been closed for assessment and repairs since late 2011.

man, I loved that dress!
Steve has asked me no less than 3 times in the last week when our wedding anniversary is. He even asked when the footy grand final was. Because, unbeknownst to me at the time, his first wedding was also in September.

I haven't worn my wedding ring for years - babies and carbs will do that to you. But I do love it.

I only recently threw out the top of the cake (and if I hadn't, I would have lost it last week when Sophie accidentally kicked the plug for the freezer out!) Chocolate mud cake is pretty fabulous, though.

Once upon a time, I had this crazy idea that we would renew our vows after ten years. Now, we've decided that we're going to do something just for us. We're in planning mode already, because there's no doubt about it, we're both here for the long haul.

Friday, 12 September 2014

the truth about blog life balance

I often see questions from women in the facebook blogging groups asking how others "do it all"

My mother's generation has a lot to answer for, because while I believe strongly in feminism giving women "choice", the reality of the situation is far different to what they lead us to believe!

It took me a long time to discover the truth - I've been a parent for 16 years, and a blogger for 7 years, but I think it's only been in the last twelve months that it has truly hit home.

Social media makes it far too easy to see the highlight reels from other peoples lives, and we often find ourselves lacking when we look at our entire life that way.

You can't see the box of cereal being eaten by the dog, or the puddle on the floor from the toilet-training toddler, or even the crappy driver who yelled at someone on the weekend.

So here is the ultimate truth about blog life balance - there is no balance. You will give up something in order to follow your passion.

There are, however, ways you can minimise the impact on your household.
  • don't multi-task. You can finish your jobs much quicker if you focus on one activity at a time, whether that is concetrating on blogging, or ironing, or mopping.
  • have set times for writing. Sometimes it feels like the world is falling down around your ears, but sticking to your schedule can help you gain perspective in the chaos.
  • remind the family, especially partners, that you're capturing memories for the future. Writing the stoies down means that future generations can hear your voice. If people get something from your writing now, that's a bonus.
  • when all else fails, head outside with pen & paper. This has become my go-to answer lately to get the words flowing and calm the kids. They get to play (even Sophie loves the backyard or a visit to the park), and I clear my head and get the trapped words out.
How have you found blog life balance?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

dear riley, today you are five

"mum, what are you doing?"
dear Riley

today, you are five.

you have found your voice in the last year, and talk non-stop

you love blowing bubbles, and the trampoline

you were excited to see Chloe at the wedding

and you can't wait to share a room with Douglas

you are closest to Natalie, she often cops your temper (and gives it back)

you love bananas and crumbed chicken and mcdonalds

you miss dad when he's working, and mum still pats you to sleep

and you think Sophie is the cutest

you love minecraft and scooby doo and garfield

you are growing up

happy birthday, Mr Bear
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