Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Time for a Tree Change!

In a couple of weeks, we are making a huge lifestyle change. We are moving from a 4 bedroom modern home with a formal lounge, media room and family room to a much smaller 1920’s cottage and I can’t wait. 

When people found out we were selling our house, a common response was ‘is everything ok’? Of course it is! We are turning another leaf, doing something we’ve wanted to do for ages. We are renovating a colonial home, we are moving away from where we both grew up into a different area and we are escaping ‘estate’ living. 

I can’t wait to hear the rain on a tin roof again, the feel of walking on timber floor boards, to hear the creaks of the old house. I’m looking forward to rugging up in winter with only timber walls being between us and the cold. I’m looking forward to only having one lounge and one toilet instead of two and three. It will be cosy, we will have less of an excuse to sit in separate rooms and I have less of a house to clean! 

I can’t wait to research the history of the home, and replace some of the old charm features that have been taken away over the years. I can’t wait to wake in the morning with a cup of tea and wonder off through my gardens and gather clippings of magnolia, roses and gerberas.  To  me, happiness is not about the size of my house but the amount of love in my home. 

I’ll keep you updated on the move, as I talk to contractors handling the construction dumpster rental and teardown, to the renos and furniture transformations too- maybe you can help me pick colours! It’s certainly not one of my strong points.

Have you ever made a huge lifestyle change? How did it go?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why we love our local council

I absolutely love discovering things to do locally, especially if they're free. Last week I took Elliott and my mum to the Ipswich Nature Centre. Mum and I hadn't been there since I was a kid and our memory of it was a few animals behind some wire fences. Well, we were pleasantly surprised. Timber board walks stretched throughout the park, there were beautifully trickling streams and ponds where little birds ruffled their wet feathers and swans would be upturned, feet kicking in the air while they searched for food on the bottom. There were emus, kangaroos, wombats, spotted quoll, a huge enclosed bird avery full of bird life, flying fox, goannas, dingoes, bilby, snakes (yuk) and what Elliott loved most, the farm animals. Elliott couldn't get enough of feeding the goats, he loved looking at the little goslings snuggling under their mummy and he got a big suprise when the rooster let out its 'cock-a-doodle-doo'! Oh gosh, you should have seen his face.

I so often hear people complaining about what the council isn't doing right or that they're spending their money on the wrong things, but I would just like to say how impressed I am at the amazing, well kept and clean facilities that my local council has available for families. I happily put some gold coins in the collection box because it is these things that make outings so much more fun and affordable. I'm looking forward to taking Elliott over the road to the awesome park and having a coffee at the amazing Queens Park Cafe. I'd heard about it but didn't realise how big and lovely it was.

Good on you Paul Pisasale, a wonderful Mayor doing wonderful things for Ipswich Families.

What makes your local council awesome?

Elliott & Oma looking at the birds

The Emu coming to say hello. Looks just like the Emu in Elliott's book 'Energetic Elliot'!

Linking up with Jess for IBOT

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A home with treasured memories

My wonderful mentor said to me yesterday during my monthly session “selling a house is one of the most stressful things you can ever do in your life” and I completely agreed. I’ve done it once before, probably far fewer times than others have done, but yes, I can definitely say it is, and emotional too.

We finally bit the bullet and decided to sell and move onto our next chapter of life – to renovate and old girl, put some money in the bank and start preparing for baby number two down the track. My house has never looked so absolutely spotless. We had the professional photographer over and I said to hubby, “Isn’t it sad that we put so much effort into our house, only to go and sell it?” I remember we did the same to our house before this one, we put in new gardens and painted inside. I vow that at our next house, we will renovate and do everything we want to, not for anyone else but ourselves! When I was cleaning the house on the weekend and getting it ready for the photos, it really struck a cord and I had a few teary moments. We built this house, we were here when we got married and we were here when we brought Elliott home.  We have some wonderful memories in this house and in 10 years time I’m sure we’ll go for a drive past and show the kids where we once used to live and show them the park that Elliott used to play in, it's likely Elliott will not remember at all. But, it’s part of life and I’m sure our next  home will be filled with wonderful memories and family moments. It’s going to be tough when we leave and if it sells quickly, we could be out of here before we know it, then it will hit home. At least we will have the renovating in the other house to keep our minds towards the future. 

What treasured memories do you have of your past homes?

Linking up with Jess from Essentially Jess for IBOT

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Queenslander who loves the cold!

I've always said that I'd rather be cold than hot because it's much easier to rug up and get warm as opposed to keeping cool. There's nothing better than cozying up with a hot drink in your trackies or even better, in front of a beautiful fire place toasting marshmallows (just like me in the photo, in my PJ's). Funnily enough, I love the cold and the winter months but I live in Queensland! Go figure!

All of our favourite destinations and past holidays have been in winter to cold places. Tasmania the last two holidays prior to Elliott being born and New Zealand South Island before that. The best experience I ever had in the cold was at the top of Mount Wellington in Hobart. I was 13 weeks pregnant with Elliott, we drove up there to have a bit of a look, it was blowing a gale and with the wind factor it was well below zero. We saw a group of people inside the shelter that was on top of the mountain, but for some reason, I just had an overwhelming urge to stand on the lookout near the edge and just let the strong icy wind blow in my face. I was rugged up well, triple layers, beanie, scarf...but it was the most invogorating experience (that's me in the photo on the top of Mt Wellington). The weather is cooling down now here on the outskirts of Brisbane and I love the morning freshness.

No, cold weather is not nice when you have to get out of a hot shower or get out of a nice, warm and cosy bed, but when you're rugged up nice and warm, cold weather is one of my answers to relaxation. It is weather that says to me "slow down, keep warm, chill out and relax and enjoy the sun on your face when it's there."

What is your favourite season and why?

Linking up with Fi from My Mummy Daze for Stories of Me

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Stop the evil ageing spell!

Image Source: LittleJo

Today I went for my annual skin check (when did you last have yours?). I was told by the doctor that I have very good skin and was very happy to hear it until he remarks "oh, and this little spot here, that’s an age spot". What!???? An age spot? Not any special name like everything else has, an ‘age' spot.  So now, in addition to my ‘age’ spot, I have grey hairs shimmering through, eye wrinkles forming, stretch marks (I’ve had them for a while but thought I’d add them to the list)....ahhh!!! Is this part of getting older, part of being a mum or both!!  I want my 20’s back right now!

For years I’ve used a semi-permanent hair colour, it washes out in 24 washes and is simply  to keep my hair looking vibrant and healthy. But now, I have to upgrade to a permanent dye because my grey hairs peep through after only a few washes! I have now had to purchase some anti-ageing face cream and eye cream in the hope that they will flatten out the little eye wrinkles that are starting to appear..ahh! Let’s not even get onto the stretch mark issue.  I was lucky enough not to get them on my tummy when pregnant with Elliott, but, I have them on the side of my thighs and on my bum and I hate them with a passion. No matter what I do, no matter how much special cream morning and night, special and expensive oils, it seems that I cannot conquer the stretch mark! 

And last but not least, I don’t get asked for my ID anymore. I did a few years ago and loved it, what a compliment, but now I don’t. What is going on?  Is this the dreaded curse of the 30’s?  I’m 31 in a couple of months, so does it all go downhill from here? Can’t I just be like the celebrities who seem to look better as they get older, not the other way around?  Stop this evil spell!!!

Tirade over.

Friday, March 01, 2013

My Year of Outsourcing!

The invasion of fruit flies in my kitchen and dead fruit flies on the bench and floor does not worry me because I surrendered  to my long awaited dream of hiring a cleaner, she comes fortnightly which is just enough to take the pressure off and make my house look shiny and new. We put every effort into maintaining the tidiness ourselves until she comes again. It's pure bliss, especially waking up on a weekend with a pristine house. 

I may come across as being ultra organised, but really, I’m not! I've gone downhill and as much as I've tried and tried to balance things and do absolutely everything, as you know, sometimes that just doesn't work. You see, I used to be ultra organised and that's why I caved in and hired a cleaner. It was to keep me sane in my hectic life as a business owner, blogger, mummy and wife...oh yes, the Multitasking mummy (I fear I may have to change my name). 

I saw the light when I attended a webinar run by my wonderful and amazing mentor, it was called 'Being Productive'. After listening to this webinar, I knew that I was as far away from being productive as I'd ever been.  I’ve heard references to 2013 being the year of the Video, the year of the Snake...this year I decided it's the year of Outsourcing! Why? Because I want more free time to be spent with my family and dare I say it, I want to fit in a little bit of ‘Eva’ time as well. I need to relax more. I feel as though I have seen the light! 

My next outsourcing attempt is hiring an assistant to help me a couple of hours a week with my basic admin tasks in my business so I can focus on the major stuff, lets face it, I'm only one person and I can only do so much. My goal is to be productive, not active! I made a list of all of the tasks that I do, categorised them and worked out the critical ones that I need to focus on as a priority and the ones that I can have someone else help me with.  Oh, I can’t recall the number of times Mr G has come home from work asking ‘how was your day?’ I remember thinking to myself, ‘my day was good, but what did I actually achieve?’  For the first time, I don’t feel lazy, I feel efficient, I feel productive and low and behold, I see a hint of relaxation on the horizon coming my way!

How do you make time for yourself and your family?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stories of Me - The First Day of my New Business

Image Source

I've had so many 'first day's, my first day of school, my first day as a wife, my first day as a mum, my first day at my new job, the first day of Elliott in daycare but the most recent 'first day' which was the start of a completely new, life changing journey was the first day of my own business working from home.

It was the 15th of October 2012 and my business had formally opened its doors. Elliott was in daycare, I came home, made my morning coffee and sat at my office contemplating my new career. So many different things ran through my head that day, how great it felt to be able to work from home, the huge challenge I had before me, wondering if I should have taken this huge risk instead of returning to a paid job working for someone else which would have been much easier (but less enjoyable), were businesses going to use me, were people going to like me, could I do this business owner thing? I was a bag of mixed emotions, excited, nervous, scared, motivated, determined. I was intimidated by all of the big players out there that had been in business similar to mine for a while, they were so good, so professional, so in touch, so successful! Could I get there too? I knew I wanted to and I still do. 

Lots has happened since that first day, just over three months later as I write this I have a number of clients, I have written a number of proposals and have a number of people interested in my services.  I'm even considering having to hire someone to help me out if all goes to plan because I simply can't keep on top of everything myself and set aside valuable time with Elliott. It's great, it's addictive! I'm even hiring a cleaner for the first time in my life, who would have thought! 

Life is full of first's but isn't it great to look back and see how far you've come?

My Mummy Daze
Linking Up with Fi at My Mummy Daze for "Stories of Me"