winging it mum

SNAP clean!!!!

To say I struggle to keep the house clean is an understatement!!!! These days I blame the kids on the state of the house, when in fact they don’t mind cleaning up (at this stage in their lives). It’s me; when it’s a small mess I procrastinate and then it becomes a major mess and I feel too overwhelmed and under qualified to do anything about it. I want to improve in this area and need to for the sake of my kids and teaching them these life skills.
My lovely friend Bron before Christmas put up on Facebook a 12 days of Christmas cleaning challenge. I jumped onboard and each day I did a cleaning task that I had been wanting to do but had been putting off. Great concept. I am goal orientated so this kind of thing usually motivates me! This challenge worked because it was a short project do-able as a short-term goal.
In a nutshell:
I am frustrated by mess!
But possibly more frustrated with the speed at which something can go from clean to messy!!!!!
So I figure why bother? Am I alone here?
The other day I dropped Jas off at kinder and I literally threw the kids out of the van and slammed the door! Why? Because our van was a disgrace! It was so messy inside that I didn’t want anyone to see it! With the crazy changing Melbourne weather we had accumulated half our wardrobes with jackets, cardies, sun hats, shoes etc. Combined with Kinder craft and snack containers it was terrible!!! For Jas to get to the door she had to trample on everything almost risking her life!!!! When we got back to car and I put Elijah in the car and I SNAPPED!!!!
Plans to shop were put on hold (deeming this to be a major SNAP!!) I drove home with a crazy look in my eye – I was a woman on a mission (whoa whoa)!!! I had 2 1/2 hours to revolutionize our car!!!! I was going to need every minute of that!!!!! Elijah was my apprentice! Yes, he is only 18 months but he is a quick learner;) and more than happy to vacuum anything and everything and play in the van with me.
With great pleasure I threw everything out of the car! Grabbed the vacuum and no dirt, sand, dust, slime, snot or half eaten biscuit was safe! It was an eye opener the things you find! But satisfying! Instantly things looked better.
Determined to not only clean but to revolutionize (remember) it didn’t stop there! I got the interior car cleaning pack and used products I had never dream of using before or knew existed! And I got a glimpse of what the van looked like when we bought it!
I was determined to pack away all the items taken from the van properly ie not just move the mess from one place to another. Then I had to return some of the items back to the van! The pram returned. The accessories eg rain cover and sun cover (which can often be used in one day) I decided to put in a crate. I also decided to make some emergency kits and leave them in the crate too. There is now an emergency nappy kit: with 3 spare nappies, wipes, bags, and a pair of undies. Then there was an emergency supplies kit with sunscreen, band aids, paw-paw cream, deodorant and women’s products;).
Time check: 10 mins til pick up time. I went in and freshened up as SNAP cleaning is a fast paced, sweat inducing activity. I strapped Elijah into the van and smiled as I drove to kinder! I raced out of the van only to sssssllllllloooooowwwwwlllllyyyyy get Elijah out hoping someone would admire my clean van;) I thought that was a satisfying 2 1/2 hours! When Jas came back to the van she was shocked and smiled and vowed to help us keep the van like this forever!
As this event took place a few weeks ago I can happily say that the van is still clean as Brett has been using it to drive to work!!!! I miss seeing my clean van now;)
Are you a SNAP cleaner? Or what does it take for you to get cleaning? Or do you have any ideas to help inspire me?
Em xx

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Birthday Brilliance!

So last week it was my birthday. I was looking forward to it and had been fortunate enough to get LOTS of detailed insight into the day and the plans on behalf of Jasmine. She too was extremely excited about my special day! This excitement must have been shared by Elijah; however he chose to express his feelings by waking at about 3:30am and being up for at least 1 1/2 hours for no reason and even waking up Jas (they share a room and normally Jas sleeps through everything). Jas said “Mummy can you take Elijah to your bed!”. So I did and put him in bed with us and he just wanted “duddles” and to chat! Definitely felt his love but as a result felt exhausted and like I had indeed aged!

Exhaustion aside I was lucky to experience some Birthday Brilliance. By this I mean people went out of their way to make me feel special through their gifts and expressions of love. I want to share some of them with you as I have been challenged and inspired to give in a new way for Birthdays and other special events.

BIRTHDAY BRILLIANCE #1

Brett started at Christmas time a new tradition with Jasmine and I love it. They go to Daiso to buy my present. Daiso is a Japanese discount shop and in Australia everything in the shop is $2.80 (unlike the $2 shop where you get dearer things these days). Jasmine is allowed to go in there and choose anything she wants and Brett will guide her a little if she is too overwhelmed etc. She uses her own money and its great. For Christmas I got a pink drink bottle (which I sadly have smashed at the gym!). As I opened my present I said “what is it?” and she looked at me with bright eyes and said “I don’t know!”. Upon opening the package I found two magazine holder/boxes. She was attracted to the hearts on it – very cute!

BIRTHDAY BRILLIANCE #2

SHEER BRILLIANCE!!!!! Brett again was the mastermind behind this. He and the kids made a video for me! Most of the footage was taken on the weekend, when I wasn’t around – like when I was at the gym, or in the shower and out at the shops. Ha and even when we were around the breakfast table and as I prepared zucchini slice in my PJs with Bed hair! You definitely have to watch this! Ignoring my horrible PJs top and bed hair!!! Or have I now made you focus on this:)

This gift is a winner: I love Brett’s thoughtfulness, I love Jas’ honesty and I love that Elijah is just doing what he does normally 🙂 Brett just put it together using iMovie and luckily he can do this kind of thing quickly and brilliantly! There was a lot of footage that didn’t make the clip and that was just as cute and hilarious. I love this gift. It will be a snap shot in time that I will always be able to look back on and smile at. In my sleep deprived state it reminded me that it was all worth while and that my kids are adorable!!! A nice reminder after a bad night;) I also love that Brett combined something he enjoys doing and made it into something I would love.

BIRTHDAY BRILLIANCE #3

My lovely mother in law Chris and Father in law Col gave me a very thoughtful gift. Part of my present they were giving me was money. Chris loves to play around on the computer and made me a voucher. The voucher was for the OP Shop! Ha ha knowing how much I love OP shopping and that no such voucher exists she made one for me. It also said or the money could be used to put towards sewing lessons which I also am wanting! I love that she took the time to make it and was touched by her thoughtfulness!

Thoughtful gift idea

BIRTHDAY BRILLIANCE #4

Mum had offered to have us over for dinner so I didn’t have to cook! Ah love her! Something else that I love about Mum is that she always asks us what do we want for dinner? I told her I would love something cooked from one of my favourite cooking books “Cooking with Poo”. Poo is a Thai lady has a cooking school in Klong Toey a slum in Bangkok. Her story is inspiring and encouraging and her recipes and food is awesome! So Mum and Jasmine hit the asian grocer got the ingredients and Mum cooked me Thai! It was great and I love Mum’s sense of adventure and willingness to serve as she expresses her love to me!

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Birthday dinner!

These are just a few examples of people thinking outside the box and making someones day a special one! People acknowledging their love for someone in a special and unique way! Using their skills and abilities to bless others. I hope this inspires you to think outside the box (like it has me!) when it comes to celebrating with family and friends!

What Birthday Brilliance have you experienced? Or do you give Birthday Brilliance to others? Share some stories with me!

Em xx

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Little less conversation a little more action!

Do you ever feel like the words in a song sum you up at a moment in time? Or are there some lyrics that spring to mind just when you need some encouragement? Recently the classic Elvis Presley song “A little less conversation a little more action” has come into my head (need a refresher click here). I can assure you Elvis and I aren’t referring to the same kind of action;0

I am a self-confessed “ideas” gal. I am a dreamer, you know a blue sky thinker. My mind is constantly dreaming and scheming up new concepts and particularly business ideas and/or things to do. My greatest flaw though is that I don’t really do anything with these ideas. They may just be a fleeting thought or they maybe something that I chew over and try to nut out the details of and then well leave it there.

At the age of 17; I set myself a 5 year plan.

My 5 year plan:

  1. I was to complete my VCE with excellent result
  2. I was to get into University to complete a Bachelor or Business in Catering and Hotel Management
  3. My course would include a cooperative year (industry placement) in which I would live overseas and work.
  4. I would travel the world
  5. I would work at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

I achieved all these goals! They were all working toward my career ambition of running a chain of five-star hotels – which I didn’t end up doing but I can happily say I still love 5 star hotels and now prefer staying in them from time to time;)

But where has this driven and focused woman gone? – I hear you ask!

It’s true and something I have asked myself. For a few years there I rejected my need for planning and goal setting and I pursued a life of being a spontaneous and a fly by the seat of my pants girl. Then I became a mother and I found that both my need for goals and spontaneity would serve me well. As I work hard to bring in routine and structure to my kids lives (despite feeling like I am failing whilst doing this half the time) I am thankful for the drive I have in my character. My ability to think on my feet and love to mix things up has definitely served me well as I try to defuse situations and make it to the end of the day in one piece! Can you see how your journey has shaped you and helped you to deal with your current situation?

But I think I have fallen into the trap of maybe winging it too much! I actually started a blog previously and the theme of that blog was “to improve my ability to follow through” and to start to help me to improve in this area. Ha you can check it out here and happily note that this died very quickly – ironic really:) Then began this blog where I am to embrace my winging it nature but also strive to be faithful to the other side of me and to plan to get things done.

A little less conversation a little more action! Come on baby I’m tired of talking (followed by catchy music!)

Ok theme song popped back into my head so I better get it back to the point.

On Pinterest recently, I stumbled onto a beautiful and simple goal list (to see my original inspiration click here you won’t be sorry this is a great blog!). This list was so simple to make and definitely something that could help me to actually get back to achieving some specific goals and not just the one of surviving the day. I love that you can set different time frames in which to achieve your goals but am a little daunted by the fact I need to set 6 goals. I want to achieve these and so I haven’t made them impossible or not too easy that there is no challenge. Be fair to yourself and remember that Rome wasn’t built-in a day (more song lyrics hey!). I have made these goals personal ones for me and not for the kids etc because I feel that I need to look after me and not solely focus on them all of the time, although I will involve them in the journey.

Give it a go. Set yourself some goals and let’s see how we go!

Em xx

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my goal list for March - design from Cornflower Blue Art

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Craft hurts!

I think I am a “want to be crafty and creative person“. I love and appreciate craft. I am really good at buying it too:) Craft hurts me in a variety of ways. It can hurt when I realize I don’t have the ability to turn my vision into a reality; as my limited skills hinder me. Craft can hurt our bank balance, as I have a fetish for pretty fabrics etc. but to balance this out I do also by second-hand pillow cases, tea towels, tables clothes and doona covers and repurpose them too! Craft can hurt when you’ve spent ages doing something and it can break before you’ve even recovered from making it. Craft can hurt your loved ones as they watch you struggle or you annoy them with questions or continually ask them for their opinions. Craft can hurt the appearance of your house; as a project can overtake a space.

Yet knowing all this I still love craft!

I go through waves with my craftiness. At the moment I am in over drive as I am a new addict to Pinterest (more on that another time) and I have a huge to do list forming of things I want to make or do etc. For sometime, I have been wanting to make a card table cubby house. During our recent hard garbage collection, I picked up a card table off our nature strip – ha we didn’t put it there but it was a welcomed gift;). So this was a sign it was time for me to give it a crack.

I am probably half way through making this. It’s been fun I have just been using bits and pieces from my sewing cupboard and this to date is a project I haven’t needed to buy extra things for – yay! So on Monday night I was getting some sewing done after I put the kids to bed. I had done some machine work and needed to finish off some loose threads which I do by hand (a great tip from Kylie my sister-in-law). I decided to do this in front of the TV. When I am not using my needle or pins etc I actually pin them into the arm of our couch – it’s an old forgiving couch;) However, on Monday evening, I rested it on my knee. All of a sudden I had to jump up and do something and I had completely forgotten about the needle on my knee until I felt it push into my foot!!!!!!! YES CRAFT HURTS!!!!!!

Yes, I stood on my needle! The needle was pushed into the skin between my big toe and index toe (no idea what the term is for our second toe is so I’m going with index like we say for fingers – let me know if you know what it’s called). This happened very fast and my reaction was to give an instant blood curdling scream, which my kids surprisingly slept through, Brett miraculously heard (as he was in his new study area – remember his Valentine’s present) and came rushing to my rescue. I told him I had a needle stuck in my foot. So what would you do next?

This is what we did:

  1. We looked to see if we could see the needle – result negative
  2. Brett got tweezers and tried to hunt for a needle point or something a mist my screams – result negative
  3. I felt the needle was still in my foot and so suggested a trip to the emergency department of our local hospital – we delayed acting on this knowing that we’d be there for at least 6 hours or so before being seen
  4. I suggested Brett crawl around the floor until he found the needle – result no needle
  5. I proposed we go to emergency – again we delayed acting on this
  6. Brett googled how to get a splinter out of your foot, to which I said “type needle” as I was sure others would have done this! – result Brett read about removing splinters 😉
  7. Brett got a bucket of hot water and put TPC in it; hoping the needle would come out after soaking my foot – result almost needing to go the hospital with a scolded needle foot
  8. I begged to Brett to scan the floor again for the needle – result Brett found the needle stuck hard into the floor which I had obviously pressed in with all my weight
  9. Sigh of relief as there appeared to be no needle in my foot, therefore no emergency department visit needed – result me soaking my feet and thinking about what could have been
  10. Going to bed with pins and needles in my foot (figuratively speaking!) and hoping it was all over – result fell asleep rather quickly considering

Yep, craft hurts! Since this happened I have been told of other sewing needle stories, even of needles travelling up the blood stream etc. A more horrifying but hilariously written craft tragedy had even been published last weekend in The Good Weekend section of The Age. So I am not alone! To date, I am believing we found the whole needle (despite not checking to see if it was a full needle that we found) and I can move on with my life. I haven’t done any more on the cubby as yet but plan to;) and now I have a new project on my craft to do list – a pin cushion!!!!!

Have you been hurt by craft? If so how?

Em xx

25 pin cushion tutorials - which one to choose? via blog babble

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large-scale reenactment – no one was hurt in the taking of this photo;)
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