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Christmas + Stress = A Perfect Combo To Consider Divorce (obviously, I’m joking)

One of my lovely Insta Business Besties (that’s code for someone you met on Instagram that you ‘click’ with and you have a lot in common and the rest is history), well… she asked me to write a blog about my lead up to Christmas.  Seems she (just like me) was stressed out with work, appointments, kids and the silly season aswell.  So without further adieu I present to you Kazza’s Lead Up To Christmas AKA – The Shit Show! 

One highlight of December is the 21st of December – Gravy Day. YouTube search How To Make Gravy by Paul Kelly. It will be your favourite Christmas Song in no time. Shirt from https://confettirebels.com.au/

Like most people or working parents, or maybe not even working parents – like most people Christmas is stressful.  God knows why!  Do we cause this on ourselves, is it society?  Is it the government? (joking) I used to think life wasn’t stressful.  In fact, I used to think that if you are stressed out in life – you caused that problem for yourself.  It wasn’t anyone else’s fault you are stressed, you caused it! All of it!  What a fucken idiot!!!  Clearly that point in my life I didn’t work for myself, was busy or have kids that made me stressed or have a husband that makes me lose my mind sometimes and I had absolutely no bills or financial pressure.  At all! Safe to say, my outlook and my understanding of stress (and life) has 100% changed.

My husband – J, is pretty helpful around the house.  USUALLY.  He isn’t that handy but let’s just say he knows what he can and can’t do – even with tutorials from YouTube.  So when he said he has 3 weeks holidays – I did what most wives do, I wrote a list.  I called it a Wish List, speaking from experience it works well.  J’s last day of work was Thursday 18th December – which worked out perfectly because I was still trying to make up for lost income from when Billy was in hospital so I had a few days left of work.

Before I go on – I must confess – at this point in my life.  I am exhausted.  I’m fed up with pretty much everything and nearly everyone.  I’m tired.  I am SO emotional.  I don’t know why I was so emotional I put it down to being exhausted and lack of sleep.  Being in hospital with Billy and away from home for 5 days was obviously a major point of why I was feeling the way I was. 

This is me and Billy on the 23rd December – 2 days after he got the all clear from the Specialist Doctors that he can go for a swim after his appendicitis rupture. It was like Christmas actually came early.

Let me define ‘emotional’ .  You know that feeling you get when you know something shouldn’t make you cry but you cry anyway.  I cried in Fred Clause, (a corny Christmas movie).  Now I cry in a lot of movies – actually I cry in nearly every movie I watch.  The night before we watched Home Alone and I ALWAYS cry at the end when Kevin’s mum turns around and Kevin runs into her arms and then Kevin waves out the window to the Old Man Neighbour when he’s hugging his granddaughter and walks in his house with his son.  That gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME.  But I didn’t cry that time.  I cried in the bit of Fred Clause when Vince Vaughn got all the elves dancing.  Yes, that bit!  WTF is wrong with me?  Why cry then Kazza?  “I don’t knooooow”.  A few days later I cried watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, I can’t remember the exact details – but an old lady won $50,000 dollars and her granddaughter was there giving her a hug at the end!  Stupid little things like that – and before you even THINK it!  NO, I am not pregnant and YES I am SURE. I am not pregnant. Absolutely NOT!  I checked.

Sounds about right

So with all this exhaustion and my husband finishing work 4 days earlier than I did – I was a little pissed off that he got to do ‘nothing’, which he said that’s exactly what he would be doing.  NOTHING!  This is when my exhaustion went to anger.  It went there pretty fast mind you.  When leaving for work on a Friday morning – I asked him if he could put the washing on – nothing to drastic, he says to me ‘Babe, this is my first day off in ages, I’m going to do nothing’ Oh righto then. *insert up yours emoji here*  I get in my car, slightly rev my engine up the driveway and go to work.  I didn’t hear from J all day.  Funny that (helps that for half the day I was out of phone reception, but that’s not the point)  J is also lucky that I have a friend that has her own office.  She was doing some paperwork that afternoon and no appointments so I hung out with her and helped her do a couple of things.  I didn’t come home until about 5pm.  I’m never home at 5pm and when I got home – dinner was made and the washing was put on, hung out and taken in!  J did not say a word about what he will and won’t be doing on his holidays since that day. 

Marriage – isn’t it grand?

J isn’t all that bad – by Christmas Day all was forgiven. All was forgiven before Christmas Day actually. Marriage – it’s fun!

I finished work the day before Christmas Eve – I have no idea how I did it – it was like I was in a trance.  By that time the Christmas stress was well and truly settled in. I did cram a lot into a week though.  Two hospital appointments for myself *sigh* I have something stuck in my body, which is a bit full on (a blog entry about that will be coming up in January) Hopefully it will spread some awareness about woman’s health.  Last minute Christmas gift shopping, a trip to Bunnings and Officeworks.  Those 2 shops are like a vortex – I can NEVER leave with what I came in for.  I made it a priority to workout with my Personal Trainer.  On training night I was feeling so unmotivated and thought about not going, but I got out of making dinner and knew it had to be done, so I went.  I figured I have a few days to sit and rest.

When you have kids – no one ever mentions the teenage years. It’s always baby, toddler then school and how cute your kids are when they are in those stages of their lives.  Which is true, they are cute years.  Everyone jokes about WHEN your kids will be teenagers. No one actually offers or says any ‘advice’ about having teenagers. Because the people that do offer advice about teenagers, are still in the ‘cute kid’ stage of their lives.  People laugh and say ‘oh, my kids won’t do that when they are teenagers’ WRONG.  They probaly will and they will do it twice, just to be sure!  We were all teenagers once, half the shit teens do these days is worse than what we did – drugs are more common to find and get, social media and access to the wifi is every parents NIGHTMARE (teenager or not), drinking is more acceptable (apparently), Snap Chat and TikTok become obsessive – refer to wifi is every parents nightmare and  the list goes on and on.    

 However, in saying those thing – having teenagers can be very handy!  Having teenagers that work is even more handy.  Both my teens have apprenticeships – one a plumber and the other commercial cookery (chef) J and myself think it’s important to have a trade, so they have something to fall back on – even if they don’t use their trade once they are qualified at least they have it and because they work and earn their own money – they saved me at least $200 and that, my friends is the silver lining!  They bought me a present, their Dad, their little brother and each other presents!  All with their own money.  It worked out perfectly! Seems having teenagers are somewhat useful and this is now the new normal for Christmas and birthdays.  Welcome to adulthood Children. 

If you are a fan of my blog entries, you would know from the last entry that I do a Christmas Eve Late Lunch/Kids-Eat-Us-Out-Of-House-And-Home Dinner. It was pretty good, the eldest had a work trial in the morning and I was very surprised Mr 16 was at home for the day.  By mid-afternoon the table was set to go. Lollies, chicken, turkey, dinner rolls, chips, dip, ham, pasta salad, cheesecake, chocolate.  The works.  The boys loved it.  They came in and out of their rooms and sat together and then went on their way, then half an hour later they would do the same again. Christmas Day, we went to my Brother In Laws, it was great and the Queensland weather was perfect!  Boxing Day was THE best – the teens weren’t home (not that that was the best, but it was 2 less people to worry about and nagging me)  Mr 9 was playing his new PS4 game for most of the day.  I think we all went to bed at 10pm because we lost track of time.  Days like those are the best aren’t they?  That means holiday mode is well and truly turned on!

The Annual Christmas Eve Feast. Complete with real mistletoe and featuring a teenager on his phone (sigh) The other teenager’s phone probably ran out of battery or he’d have it with him. We do have a rule of having no phones at the table. But this day got a bit loosy goosy

 I have officially finished working for 2020, my last day was yesterday and it was the worst.  Well, maybe not THE worst, but close to it.  I clean holiday rentals to help my friend out in the busy periods .  It’s good money but please not. If you are ever staying in a holiday rental, leave a beer or a box or chocolates in the fridge – the cleaners will be most grateful, especially on a hot day.  Sometimes we don’t get paid enough to clean up mess that the holiday maker should of done themselves, as in that little PDS that you sign when you collect the keys.  Just be kind!  The cleaners will love you for it! 

We are off camping in a few days – that shall be fun.  We haven’t gone camping in about 1.5 years. You would think the world is ending with the amount of crap, I mean ‘all useful and much needed equipment’ J has packed.  I am sure he has packed everything that is required, but he has a tendency to ‘overpack and overreact’ when it comes to things like this.  Camping should not be hard – this is what I tell him.  Keep things minimum.  I’m more worried about not having enough food to feed the children.  Could you imagine going away for 5 days and not having enough food to feed your family?  Seriously, my worst nightmare.  Ever!  I mean I would be able to go without food, but I would cut off my arm and leg if it meant my kids could eat and not whinge and bitch about being hungry. 

Then, by the time we get back from camping it will be a new year (thank GOD), then book lists and back to school stuff will happen and another year will fly past.  Hopefully 2021 will be MUCH better than 2020 – goodness knows lots of people are happy to see the end of 2020.  Pretty sure the last and first thing I am going to do this year and next year is pick up teenagers from their NYE parties. Or give them money for an Uber to get home.  That sounds much more sensible doesn’t it? 

2021 Mantra ^ More adventures. Drop your favourite camping spot in the comments if you would be so kind.

Thanks for sticking around in 2020 – I’ve had fun!

Childhood Christmas Memories and How My Crush Popped My Santa Bubble! (being gullible didn’t help)

Christmas is 5 DAYS away.  5 sleeps! This house is in countdown mode (well, not everyone) My husband is counting down the work days when he’s finished work for the year, 1 teen has no concept of time (still) and the other teen works in hospitality so he’ll always be shit out of luck.  I must say Mr 9 is the most excited.  I just want to stay home, bake things I only do once a year and watch Christmas movies, again!

I do love Christmas.  Growing up Christmas and Birthdays were my favourite.  I was lucky, we had a small family. My Dad’s family lived in Victoria and didn’t really visit.  My Mum’s side, Nanna and Grandad lived in Scotland until they moved back to Australia when I was 18.  So there was just the 5 of us – like a lot of people that grew up in the 80s and 90s, we didn’t have a lot of money, I know my parents used to fight about money (or lack of) a bit, but every year for Christmas we would get everything we needed and it was a massive deal.  Just like birthdays.  Every birthday my Mum would have the dinner table prepared full of party food – lollies, chips, party pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, coloured popcorn (the kind that would make you spew if you ate too much) and all the fun food you could think of.  If it was a birthday that day, we would walk through the door after school that day and the dining room would be decorated with balloons and streamers and the table a kids dream.  We never had parties with school kids, not sure why I think because we moved around so much.  Me, my sister and brother didn’t seem to mind though. 

Might not look like much. But days like these were my favourite growing up.

Christmas was the same.  Party food, but a little bit more fancier.  My Mum was the Customer Service Manger for Franklins for years so she got a discount when paying for the groceries each week.  She also got first pick of any food that was reduced to clear.  Mum just bought whatever she knew we would need at the reduced price and then freeze it until Christmas day.  Pretty sure none of us got sick from any of that freezer food, we didn’t care and just ate it anyway. 

Waking up Christmas morning was the best.  We weren’t allowed to open our bedroom doors or we would get in big trouble.  Dad would make little traps or tie string across our bedroom doors so we couldn’t get out/.  Mum and Dad would get up first, make their tea and coffee then tell us to come out of our rooms.  Then we would run to the lounge with Mum and Dad sitting there looking at each other and knowing their hard work had paid off. We would take turns to open the presents – that’s something I like to do with my own family now.  It’s special.  I am the middle child (eye roll) I have an older brother who is 22 months older than me and a younger sister by 8 years.  As a kid I was gullible as fu*k.  If you told me that the sky is going to turn purple forever and stay that way I would 100% believe you.  I believed I was adopted for a whole day before I asked my Mum if she was my real Mum.  My brother Steve got in massive trouble that day. I was also a dobber and a cry baby!  Far from what I am now.  So of course, at Christmas I 100% believed in Santa and his elves like in the movies. 

Obviously, it doesn’t sound like oranges. Or does it?

Don’t laugh, but I believed in Santa until I was in grade EIGHT!! Yes grade 8.  I was 13. I remember the exact moment aswell.  I was at school, that day our grade got asked to go to the channel 9 TV studio to film and be on a game show, you know those corny shows you see early in the morning with kids in their school uniforms?  It was one of those shows.  Only the smart and well-behaved kids got invited to go.  Me and my friends didn’t get asked so we had to stay at school.  It was during lunch time and the bell had just gone for the last period.  Fairly sure it was also the last week of school.  Anyway, I was getting my books out of my bags in the locker room and this boy that I had a massive crush on, Matt was next to me and says ‘I’m going to tell my little sister that Santa isn’t real tonight’ Ummmm what?

In my head I think I was having a panic attack and asking myself.  Santa isn’t REAL? What do you mean Santa isn’t real?  I asked him what he meant, he explained that his sister was a little brat and she got everything she wanted.  That kind of thing. Then I asked him the most stupid question and thank god he already thought I was weird!  You ready?  I asked him this and this is no shit.  I asked him… ‘if Santa doesn’t bring the presents then who does’? YES I REALLY SAID THAT.

I can still remember his face looking at me weird, like I believed in Santa or something.  Thank goodness he laughed then he asked if I was actually listening.  I wasn’t I was freaking out inside because I thought Santa was a real person. Then I laughed it off and told him that his parents would kill him if he did that.  He agreed.  Then he said he probably won’t do that, but it would be funny if he did.  Then we got our books and walked to class talking about something completely non-Christmas related!

And that was that! 

That my friends, is when my Santa Bubble popped. POP!  I was sad.  I loved the magic of Santa.  All of it.  Because I had a younger sister it was easier to believe. My sister and I would talk about Christmas all the time and play games about Christmas and Santa’s workshop.  We also went to church and they did lots of that stuff.  It was the best.  I think when my friend popped my Santa Bubble I was scared I wouldn’t be able to play games or Christmas wouldn’t be that fun anymore. Which, now as an adult I realise that wasn’t true.  I also thought it was weird that Santa and my parents had the exact same writing and they knew exactly what I wanted without me ever writing a letter sometimes.  See, magic. You must also remember I was a very gullible kid – this helped with my belief of Santa.  A LOT.

Not sure when my brother or sister found out Santa wasn’t real, but I can bet it wasn’t when they were 13 and at school. 

I have no photos of me and my family at Christmas time when I was little. But I have carried on the tradition on Christmas Eve with my boys. Excuse my son’s face. Clearly under the influence of soft drink and Christmas Spirit. Also, I have no idea how to cut ham!

I think after that Christmas my parents clued on that I knew Santa wasn’t real.  It was weird, because we never said anything to each other.  Unless, something was spoken and I just choose not to remember that stuff. Again, magic!  Christmases were still the same, until I turned about 17/18.  My sister is 8 years younger than me, that’s a fair gap. Every Christmas me and my brother would all get excited, just like we did when we would have been her age.  Once you get older and try and path your way in life I have realised that Christmas gets trickier.  Kids or no kids.  My brother left home and joined the Army when he was 18.  I left home when I was 18 and pregnant by 20 and the rest is history.  Well, it’s not history there’s many Christmas memories had by all. 

If you’re keen for some more Christmas stories – read through my earlier blog posts, there’s a cracker one about how I stopped Christmas for an hour on Christmas Day about 5 years ago.  That was fun! Well it really wasn’t because I thought my kids were absolute arsehats for finding their presents, opening them, re wrapping them and then lying about it.  Fun!

The look of kids when they pretend they are excited about a present – when the fact is – they knew what it was all along. Not gullible, just sneaky.

However you celebrate Christmas in 2020 – here’s some helpful tips. In no particular order!

  • Keep your alcohol and water intake the same.  Or not #yolo
  • If people ask you if you need help, say yes.  Delegate that shit
  • Don’t leave your wrapping until Christmas Eve, unless that’s your thing then leave it until Christmas Eve – whatevs
  • Be kind to yourself. Always
  • It’s the thought that counts. Always
  • Find a Christmas Song playlist and dance in the house
  • Have some paper bags and extra rum balls or rocky road extra for any cousins you may of forgotten.
  • Do not pop anyone’s Santa Bubble.  Never
  • Believe in some sort of magic
  • Not everyone likes to celebrate this time of year for whatever reason and that’s ok, maybe ring/text them and ask if they are ok. Or pop over for a quick visit just to check on them

Or, if you or someone you know needs help, please call:

Lifeline 13 11 14

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

Other than that my friends – have a safe and fun festive season. 

Final note – I feel it’s important that I should mention that I gift my brother these creepy elves for gifts every now and then. He hates them. We gave him a Furby a few years ago. He loved that thing! Christmas. Fun for one and all!

A Burst Appendix, A 9 Year Old, Mum Guilt & When Is Ugly Crying Going To Be Acceptable?

I’ve been a parent for 18 years, raising 3 boys.  When you become a Mum or even when you’re pregnant, I remember people telling me “parenthood is the most wonderful thing in the world” and it is. Well, not 100% of the time, but for most of the time.

Over the weekend, I learnt a few things  – Mum Guilt is 100% real, I cry (a lot), Motherhood is an Emotional Rollercoaster and  I found out how tough my kid is.  My youngest, Mr 9, Billy was pretty sick this week.

What we thought was a bout of gastro turned out to be appendicitis.  I thought only adults got appendicitis.  WRONG.  Heck, I didn’t even know what appendicitis really was, expect my Granddad’s brother’s exploded on a Whaling Ship in the 1950s.

 7 days ago I woke at midnight with Billy, dry reaching over the toilet.  There was an email sent out from his school teacher earlier in the week saying a gastro bug was going around so I assumed it was that.  He had Friday off school, was eating a few things so didn’t think much more into it as he wasn’t really complaining either. Saturday morning, he started vomiting and he wasn’t walking properly because he said his back hurt.  That was a little concerning, so we went to the doctor straight away. Please tell me I haven’t been the only person to bring a bucket to the Doctors office?  I was hoping my GP was rostered on and good thing she was.  We seen the doctor pretty much straight away, she felt his tummy and then sent us down the hall to get an ultrasound.  Having had a few ultrasounds in my time and knowing that the sonographer can not actually tell you what the problem is (if any) I thought I would ask if he had any signs of gastro, knowing that it clearly wasn’t gastro by the way my GP was concerned.  Then she confirmed it had something to do with his appendix.  Back down the hall to the GP she rang the hospital, wrote a letter and off went.  We stopped off at home first to get my husband to drive us to the hospital.  We grabbed a pillow for the ride (which happened to have a Christmas pillow case on it) and his teddy Gordie.  An uncle gave Gordie to Billy when he was born.  For some strange reason Billy isn’t really into teddies, but Gordie is a constant sitter on Billy’s bed and seems to have a knack of coming to special events and holidays.  So when grabbing a few things for Billy’s bag I shoved Gordie in there.  I’m so glad I did.  He’s never left Billy’s side.

We got straight into the Emergency Department at about 11am Saturday and Billy’s surgery was 5pm that afternoon.  Amazing right?  In the ED the surgeon explained that there was ‘gunk’ around the appendix, which I didn’t realise until later that that meant that his appendix had in fact burst.

I’m not sure if it’s my age (late 30s) or if I’m just at the part of my life where I give zero fu*ks about much, but considering we were in a hospital, emotions get the better of most people I was trying so hard not to cry in front of Mr 9.  I hadn’t seen my husband since he dropped us off earlier that day.  We figured that it’s better one parent being with Billy rather than 2 and at that point we didn’t know his appendix had burst and thought it was all straight forward and only in the hospital for 1 night (as we were told that’s normal)  I soon discovered that I wanted my husband with me more than ever.  For both me and Billy.  All day I had tried not to cry to stay ‘brave and strong’ for Billy but to also stay strong for myself.  But I caved.  Apart from having 3 C Sections and a repaired hernia I’ve never been in an operation room.  Until Saturday. Billy joked that it will be like Grey’s Anatomy (clearly didn’t lose his sense of humour during his ordeal) When we got to theatre we met the theatre staff and Billy was prepped.  They put a gown and hair net on me, which I thought was weird because at any minute I knew I was going to cry.  Like Ugly Cry – I was sure of it.  But I was trying so hard not to cry because I didn’t want Billy to see me cry because I wasn’t the one about to have surgery on a burst appendix at the age of 9. 

The staff were all ‘fun’ and Billy was laughing but at the same time shitting his pants because all he knew was that he was going to count back from 10 then wake up and I’ll be by his side and won’t remember much.  The moment the theatre nurse told me to give him a kiss, seconds after he had been knocked out.  The tears started, not uncontrollably, but pretty damn close.  I am tearing up now even thinking about that moment.  It hit all the feels.  Every. Single. One! 

One thing people don’t tell you about being a Mum is Mum Guilt.  That shiz is REAL! Every Mum can tell you about something in their lives where they’ve had a dose of Mum Guilt. For example –  not being able to have the day off work for the kids swimming carnival or sports day, sending your kid to school or kindy without their lunch, thinking you packed it in their bag and they had to eat jam sandwiches from the school office that day.  Little things like that. 

Mother’s shouldn’t feel guilting, we go through ALOT and some days we are just lucky that we have kept the kids breathing and feed.  But Motherhood can be a total bit*ch and we cannot help it. The weekend my Mum Guilt was a classic of – should of, would of, could of.  I should of known that Billy didn’t have gastro and it was something worse.  I would of been able to go to the GP quicker and I could of not gone to work on Friday so I could see that it was worse than what it was. Then all this wouldn’t of happened.  Doesn’t work like that though!

 Now I’m no doctor and I couldn’t of possibly know any of that.  How do I know that if I had went to the Dr on Friday that she would of said that it was gastro, I don’t.  As I left Billy (while I was Ugly Crying) and the surgical team on Saturday for his operation I knew that my Mum Guilt should get stuffed.  I was hugged by the surgical nurse who told me a story about how she sent her son to school after he said he wasn’t feeling unwell and then told later that day that his kidney stones needed to be removed.  Mum Guilt!  She felt it as hard as I did. 

I must admit I watch WAY to many medical shows and lots of weird shit was going through my head while I was waiting for the operation to finish.  I was craving a hamburger and chips, I found a snack bar, was eating it and it was the most horrible burger in the history of horrible burgers.  Dead lettuce, the thickest end of a tomato and no cheese.  So I sat at a table in Southbank surrounded by Bin Chickens and I cried.  Not for long, but long enough for me to realise that I should probably pull myself together.  I almost went back to the burger place to give them a piece of my mind but I didn’t.  I went to Happy Pops instead and got an icecream.  The icecream I picked had diary in it, so that was fun, eating that when you’re dairy intolerant.  Then sat on the grass looking at the time for the next 20mins while my stomach grumbled at the fact that I just ate dairy.

The operations was to be 1 hour. I thought by the time I walked back to the hospital it would be near 6pm, the time it was to finish.  So that’s what I did.  I waited. It was now 6:40pm.  I finally got the phone call, but in the meantime I seen the surgeons on their way downstairs.  They explained his appendix did burst.  I started to cry.  Then thanked them a million times.  I got to the recovery room I cried.  Technically I was still crying from talking to the surgeons but this time I was Ugly Crying.  Again.  Seeing your kid hooked up to drips and his teddy bear next to him with bandages, hair nets and a mask on.  Makes the heart melt. 

The next night, Billy had trouble breathing and had a temperature.  He got sent to get an xray.  He didn’t really know what was going on, nor did I. Seems when you have your appendix burst your lungs can collapse and that’s exactly what happened. 

During our hospital stay Billy cried, he got angry, he got frustrated, it was an Emotional Rollercoaster for both of us. By day 3 post operation he finally came good – was back to his cheeky self.  Thank goodness.  This made me think how lucky Billy and our family are.  Not only to have an amazing hospital and hospital staff and access to health care.  Thankful that my Billy will be home for Christmas as there are many kids that aren’t as lucky and have to spend Christmas in a hospital.

As I write this, Billy is currently playing in the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia Room.  It’s heaven for Billy.  There’s a PS5.  Someone donated to the hospital a PS5 – how amazing is that?  Billy also got a blanket from volunteers.  There’s thousands of blankets that volunteers make and the hospital give them to kids that have to stay in hospital for a period of time.  Then there’s a program where kids can hire iPads and Nintendo Switches to keep them busy while they stay in bed.  All these things I had no idea about. I’ve been lucky that none of my boys (until now) actually needed to stay in hospital for longer than 1 night.  If you or your family ever stay in a children’s hospital – ask about what is on offer – seriously it will ease your mind and you might even be able to get some well earned sleep. 

We get to go home today.  I think.  If not this afternoon, then definitely tomorrow.  Whatever day it is – I’m just glad we get to go home and sleep in our own beds, see my husband, my 2 other boys and Sargeant, my dog. 

This isn’t the best way to end 2020 but I’m most grateful that Christmas will be at home and next time there’s a fundraiser for the Queensland Children’s Hospital at Woolies or on the tv – this family will be donating.  Hope you can do the same.

Have You Been To An Aldi Special Buy – No? Here’s Some Tips

Aldi Special Buys are fuc*en stressful!

Note from the Editor – I love Aldi.  Aldi is where we do our fortnightly food shop.  It’s great.  I love it.  Pack you own items, be fast to put it in your trolley and then go back and return your trolley.  Oh and the kicker, the food is great quality and much cheaper than Woolworths and Coles!  #aldiforlife

This is correct – can Aldi please bring back Pop Tarts?

I went to an Aldi Special Buy and I don’t think I want to ever go to another one ever again.  Picture this. 

Husband:  We should get a new vacuum Babe, you deserve it. 

Me: That’s a good idea, I’ll read the reviews

Husband:  The sale starts Saturday

*Disclaimer – I’m a cleaner and my husband saying I ‘deserve’ a vacuum is because he hates my work vacuum because he doesn’t know how to empty it nor does he know how to use it correctly. 

I read the reviews and they were good and for the price, it was a bargain.  Here’s a hot tip for all the non married people in the world or for all the single people in the world.  When the wife or husband says “we” it does not necessarily mean YOU or ME.  In my experience as a married woman it means ‘one of us’.  Given the fact that it was me that was going to use it every day for work then of course I would be the one to actually go buy it.  I reluctantly said I would go get it.  What I didn’t know was that it was on sale on a Saturday.  At Aldi.  If you are an active Aldi shopper or a shopper at all, you know that Aldi is crazy on Wednesdays and Saturdays – those are the Special Buy days. 

I go shopping fortnightly and on a Wednesday at Aldi. I haven’t been working for the last few months so I would drop my son off at school at then go to Aldi.  Totally oblivious to Special Buy Wednesday I was ready to leave the car, with my trolley token and begin my shop.  It was 5 minutes before opening time (8:25), by the time I crossed the car park, got my trolley I would be ready to roll.  However there was a situation.  Just as I was getting out of my car I noticed heaps of people lined up, I’m seeing at least 50 people all lined up before the doors opened.  It was at this point I returned to my car and sat there for 10mins.  What the hell is going on?

While I was in the car – I googled the Aldi sale that started that day. There was a lot of wooden kid toys – like doll houses and doll house furniture and for something totally not related to dolls houses or kids were DeLongi coffee machines and the most loved appliance in our house, the humble air fryer.  Flashback to May, I made my husband go to Aldi the day before Mothers Day to get the air   fryer that was on sale that day.  Although I had no idea how crazy the sales were at that time.  I just said the opening time is 8am so told him to get there before then.  My Husband is pretty clicked on to these things it seems, news to me as he never does any sort of shopping.  This is the same Husband that does absolutely NO Christmas shopping unless he knows exactly where to go and he knows exactly what product to get.  Yet, his presents are top notch.  So annoying.  The morning he went to get the air fryer he was out of bed, dressed, had his coffee and in the car by 7:20.  He said he was 3rd in line and 1st to get an air fryer.  Yes, this is the same man that never goes shopping.  Ever.  But somehow nabs the most wanted present for Mother’s Day.  Although, secretly, I think he did all that because there wasn’t a Plan B for another Mother’s Day present.  Husband said he loved it – loved the thrill of racing people and ‘power walking’ to the back of the store to get what he came for.  My experience was the total opposite. 

The morning I went to get the vacuum, I woke up at 7am, was in line by 7:35.  This is under the ‘direction’ of my Husband (eye roll) Surely it can’t be that bad?  Oh it was.  It was all that and more.  By the time I lined up I was the 6th person in line.  I text Husband and he said and I quote “oh dear, you might miss out”  What the fuck? I’m the 6th person in line?  That was when I started to stress out.  At the same time I was messaging my bestie telling her that I was freaking out because of what my husband said.  Then she said the same bloody thing!  What the fuck?  I went to her for support and she totally sent me to the wolves.  Well, not really.  But this whole situation had become very stressful and there was 5 mins until they opened the door.  Then to add to my stress levels, I was thinking about the protocol of what to do when you actually get in the store? 

Do you run, do you jog, do you power walk? What’s the procedure?  Then when you grab the item that you’ve been standing in line for 40 minutes for do you just grab it and stuff everyone else?  And what if you go on the wrong side of the aisle and there’s 1 left and you and someone else go to grab it at the same time?  So much crap like this was going through my head.  It’s very stressful.  Tell me you can relate?

Finally, the doors opened and it was Go Time. I walked faster than usual while driving my trolley.  I totally fluked it and got the correct aisle.  Low and behold, there it was.  The $99 vacuum that I had been stressing about for the last 1 hour.  I quickly put one in my trolley, then I turned around and a massive wave of people came towards me.  I say about 6.  All with trolleys. They were either buying the vacuum or the steel cap boots that were also a Special Buy.  At that point I really couldn’t give a shit what was going on.  I wanted out!  Pronto!  There was a lady calling out to her friend Sally, who was on the other side of the aisle calling out to her friend, a baby crying, a toddler that had walked away from their parents and the Dad was yelling at her to come back as they were looking at something.  I was the first person to leave the area, go to the register and get the hell out of there.  The checkout lady asked how I was going?  I said better now, that I’m leaving.  She told me that on a Special Buy Saturday a guy was lined up at 5:30AM for a TV!!  5:30 in the morning.  2.5 hours before opening time.  For a TV.  Now, I love a bargain, but I am definitely not committed to getting up that early and sitting in a line for a TV or a phone or a burger.  I have however, lined up for a Powderfinger cd and a few concerts at The Arena in Fortitude Valley but that was in the 90s – the world was much better then than it is now.  But kudos to that man that got his tv.  He would have been as happy as I would have been when I was 16. 

My first Saturday Aldi Special Buy was a success.  Excluding the major stress levels that I went through in 1 hour.  I got home by 8:20, had myself a nice breakfast and then started the day.  It was a stress free day.  Funny little confession though – I didn’t use the vacuum until about 1 month after I bought it.  I’m not a fan of the hose, but it does the job that it is intended too. 

I don’t mind packing my own bags – My my was a check out chick manager and she taught me all the tricks and tips

So, if you ever have to go to an Aldi Special Buy day be that either on a Wednesday or a Saturday – I wish you ALL the luck in the world.  Like seriously, ALL the luck.  Maybe have a shot of vodka before you leave home or send you husband or a teenager.  Teenagers are brutal, they give zero shits about anything, am I right? Wonder if being in Aldi would make a difference?  Actually, it would.  I take that back.  Or just be like me, get there early, be totally naïve, wing it, get your item and get the heck out of there and drive home.  What was the worst that could happen?  It could be like those horrible videos you seen on the internet where ladies are fighting over wedding dresses and toilet paper.  Then the police get called, their hair is a mess, they have black eyes and they are going absolutely nuts. Then you’re an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons and then end up on A Current Affair and the local or national news or the Today Show.  Whatever you do to get your Aldi Special Buy I am sending many, many good vibes from the universe to you.  You will need it! 

Happy Shopping friends!! 

Fu*% You Internet Trolls

Internet Troll Definition: (as from the Urban Dictionary: A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issues. Such arguments can happen on blogs, Facebook, Myspace and a host of others.
The best thing you can do to fight an internet troll is to not answer. Or report them.

“God, Jeromy won’t stop posting about Larry’s bad spelling in that conversation.”

Block and Delete

I have been on this earth for 39 years and within the last 2 weeks I have come to the conclusion that the world sucks.  Not the whole world, but a fair chunk of it.  It’s not actually the world either – it’s the people in it.

2 weeks ago I made a comment on social media, which was my first mistake.  My comment pretty much said Australia is a great place to live because of how we have a great health system and we have access to Centrelink. What I said was positive and in no way directing it at any sort of people. Now, apparently saying that makes me a racist.  I shit you not.  I got slammed by 3 ‘girls’ – Trolls. Then, my comment and my Facebook profile got shared to a Bad Girls Advice page – one of the Trolls thought they would let me know, how kind of her right?  Not.  Next thing my phone is going nuts with notifications on my business Facebook business page.  Call me naïve, but I have NEVER ‘stalked’ someone’s Facebook profile to the point where I found their business page (from a shared post on a private profile) Then write (I quote) “Don’t support this business – this woman is a racist” in the review section of the business page.  They then find more public posts from TWO years ago and comment on those.  This happened about 4 times.

4 Trolls, 4 bitches.  I was legitimately shitting myself; I was shaking and angry.  Lucky my bestie wasn’t busy that afternoon because I have never typed messages so fast in my life. I didn’t know what to do, so I screenshotted the comments.  Blocked and reported them to Facebook. I did that to each comment/post.  I deactivate my business Facebook pages for 2 weeks under the thinking that they will probably be trolling someone else in the next few hours. One Troll found me on Instagram.  It was then when I started to have a slight panic attack.  Seems a bit extreme doesn’t it? A panic attack because a few people wrote some unkind and untrue words on your business page. Until this happens you I don’t think you actually know how to feel and what to think.  I blocked and reported the Troll that found me on Instagram, these guys didn’t find me, as in my personal Instagram page – they found my business page.  Which mean a hell of a lot more to me than my personal page. 

FYI – there is NO way to deactivate your Instagram business page, even for 1 day, you can’t hide it or make it private either. Seems ridiculous when Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same people.  With the support of the bestie, Husband and my 2 teens I didn’t go on my Insta account for about 3 days until I calmed down about it all.

How dare they do this and WHY?  I did some reading about internet trolls. This is what I took from it.  When there is 1 troll, 99% of the time they have Troll friends, who are just like them and once they find someone they pounce.  You could be the Queen of England or Princess of the Ball and they will eat you alive.  They also have a fake profiles which is what these girls had. They also love attention of any kind.

 I didn’t even know what a Bad Girls Advice page was.  I have since educated myself and it’s pretty much a Facebook group that is full of ladies and they ask advice and from what I understand nothing is off limits and I mean NOTHING.  

Grandma ^ had it sussed

Facebook shut down the group years ago but their are about 6 ‘sister groups’ that are just like Bad Girls Advice.  It’s mind boggling really.  Personally, I don’t have time to be on Facebook groups and talk about my sex life, or how my nanny is rooting my neighbour or if this is a good Kmart Hack or why my nipple has bumps and leaking.  Seriously.  Kudos if you like that sort of thing but I don’t have time for things like that nor do I like taking on other people’s problems.  Goodness know I have enough of my own.

I still have Get Lick’d Iceblocks and my cleaning business page on Facebook hidden.  I’m still a little uneasy about it all. I know I have blocked them and surely over 1 week later they have unfortunately moved on to someone else.   

My name is Karen, which within the last year has sucked. Have you seen all the Karen Memes on the internet?  At first I liked it as they were all light humour and not offensive, but within the last 6 months the name Karen has become someone that demands to speak to the manager because they have a complaint or Karen’s hate everything in the world.  Meaning they complain and aren’t happy with anything.  It’s really not nice – I have come to the conclusion that Karen is a rank, that’s why you see no babies named Karen.  I’ve actually changed my name on Facebook to Kazza just for all the smart arses.  I know I don’t have to, but it’s not worth the drama. 

I had a conversation about internet Trolls with my family at the dinner table last week.  I’m almost 40 years old and if I didn’t have the brain power or the confidence to not take shit from Trolls then it would have been a different story.  When kids are online and a Troll targets them I could not imagine how they would act.  What would they do, would they tell an adult or are they too afraid to tell their parents what they said because they might get in trouble?  What if a kid from school bully and trolls them online and they have to see each other each day during class?  That’s scary.  Teenagers are both arseholes and hormonal at the same time, mix that with the internet and a Teenage Troll is easy to become.  What’s not easy, as I found out as an adult is how to deal with them.  It’s easy to delete and block but when your brain isn’t fully grown it’s going to be harder for you to know what to do, and if you’re a teenager that has trouble talking to your parents for whatever reason, have no friends to talk anything through it’s going to be a zillion times harder to deal with than dealing with Trolls as an adult.  

Goggle these names Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett and Jessica Laney, both teenagers who took their  own lives due to cyberbullying and Trolls.  They were kids and they killed themselves because of other kids.   

By the time our kids have kids it will be worse?  Unless, can it get better?  Can it get better? 

ONE MILLION CHILDREN BULLIED EACH YEAR. One Million!

 I am nervous about the idea of my Facebook page be reactivated.  I have to reactive it in a few days or Facebook will delete them.  Just the thought of someone that doesn’t even know me thinks they have the right to shame all my hard work and for what? 

I’m hoping the people that read my blog aren’t Trolls of any kind and if you are a Troll you need to check yourself because you make people’s lives bullshit. Yes, it’s easy to delete and block but it messes with your brain, your ability.  Of course, if my words and comments were offensive and hurtful then it wouldn’t of bothered me to much.  But it wasn’t it and if you see or come across a Karen Meme and it’s legit not funny, don’t share it to your Karen friends – they won’t like it.

Yes have an opinion.  Heck, isn’t that what social media is about?  But if you have an opinion that is different from your own, don’t be an arsehole and put words into the other persons mouth, this just makes you look like the fool.  Just be kind for fucks sake. Teach your kids to be kind.  It’s really not that hard.

These guys get a bad wrap

The world already sucks but surely the minority is bigger than the majority.  Within the last month the world has changed.  I really hope it has changed for the better – for the sake of our children and our grandchildren. I am hoping in another 39 years the world is full of lollipops and rainbows and if it isn’t then I’m going to live off the grid and going to create my own community – pack your bags everyone is welcome.  *No, not a Cult, just a bunch of likeminded people that currently dislike the bullshit happening in the world and prefer not to engage in any of it and instead sit in sunshine, hang clothes on a Hills Hoist, grow our own vegies and animals, have a massive flower garden that provide honey for our bee hives and there’s a massive tree house for the kids and there’s a gym and an iceblock stand with the best tasting iceblocks in the land (oh wait I already have that)  Like the Woodford Folk Festival – but live like that forever. The only Trolls that are welcome are those weird little coloured ones that have rad hair and are always happy.

The Rona Effect!

Covid19, or as I like to call it The Rona, has changed the world as we know it.  I’m not the first person to wish that ISO wasn’t over and won’t be the last.  I have loved it.  My work hours decreased dramatically within 2 weeks and I was sad.  So very sad.  I, along with million of other Australians were losing income and jobs.  I’m self employed, should have WAY more superannuation then I currently do and I the thought of not working scared the life out of me.  No work.  No pay.  I was shitting bricks.  Then got mad at ScoMo (the Australian Prime Minister) for not putting the country in lockdown.  Then the reality set in.  The Rona is pretty fucking serious.   Long story short – my business is on hold and I am currently, like million of other parents I am home-schooling my primary school son.   The first few weeks of home schooling were great, me and Billy hate it now.  The school work gets done – but holy moly there’s always an epic shit fight.  My other 2 kids are in high school so they were pretty easy because they knew what work they were to do (not that they actually did all their work)  God Bless the lives of teenagers.  

It was more than 24 days and we made Mum Friends. We made it. Or did we?

So between home-schooling the children, dealing with Centrelink, on top of the usual Mother/Wife juggle.  We decided to move house.  I know right, what an idiot, we actually broke our lease and that has turned into a massive cluster of fucks which seems to be very ongoing.  But on the positive side, we have massive back yard (we haven’t had a backyard for about 4 or 5 years), the kids aren’t in each other faces all the time and I have more places to hide #mumlife.  It’s actually perfect. We are still slowly unpacking and sorting, but life is good and I like that the it’s the simple things in life that can make you realise that your life and situation isn’t all that bad – until you deal with getting your bond back, because some real estate want to cause you to have a midlife breakdown. 

I have also learnt is that I am 100% addicted to Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve been watching it for months, even before ISO.  I never got into it when it first started, I think I was to busy running around after my demanding toddlers at the time.  I am hooked and have come to the conclusion that everyone you love either ends up dying or leaving.  Except Meredith, I think she lives on forever.  She certainly does age well.  God bless you Hollywood!

Am I right or am I right?

When we were packing to move, I became a “tosser”.  As you know I am a huge fan of reduce, reuse, recycle.  I got rid of so much in my house.  Although, hardly anything went in the rubbish bin and most of the goods were either donated or sold on Gumtree or Facebook.  I was brutal.  As a family, we don’t have a lot of “stuff”, although my husband does have more clothes than me for some reason.  What he doesn’t know is that when I buy him new clothes I always donate 2 of his old clothes.  Hopefully he doesn’t read this and wonder where all his “favourite” shitty shirts are.  The only thing I found the hardest to donate or sell were Billy’s kids books, that’s weird right?  But he has a lot of books and I’ll be keeping them for him and his brothers for when or if they have their own kids.  It feels good to ‘detox’ your belongings and give them new homes.  I’m still find crap I should of donated while I am unpacking.  It’s definitely a good habit to have.

Let discuss home fitness workouts! How good are they?  I have fallen in LOVE with them.  I do like going to my gym, but there’s something about being a ‘sweaty, red faced, tomato looking hot mess and not feeling like you are being judged while walking to your car vibe’ inside your own house.  Feel me?  Thank god for YouTube yeah?  I found this awesome chick Heather Robertson on there.  She has a gazillion videos and she doesn’t talk through them which is excellent.  I also have pretty much everything for a home gym.  We can thank my teenage boys for that.  The only thing that is needed to motivation.  I’m pretty motivated in the mornings – but if I skip a morning (like today) – I try and do double time the next day.  The gyms are opening in a month and this may sound crazy, but I’m not sure I want to go back?  Although I think I’m the only one that doesn’t want to go back to the gym.  Might as well make the most of my home gym and find a local bootcamp and go there 3 times a week as I would the gym.  However, I go to one of the biggest gyms in my area and only pay about $11.  Decision decisions!  Is anyone else nervous about going back to the gym because of The Rona or is that just me? I know they will have Health Laws to follow, but I worry that those won’t be followed – well, they will at first but give it a few months, will they still be getting followed?  Hmmm tricky.  Also, if you have any tips about not being a member of the gym and still keep fit, let me know I might need them.

Clearly my dog HATES my workouts. Look at his little face
This is my kind of living. Never mind the child on the trampoline

This is what else I have learnt whilst in ISO and not running around like a headless chicken:

  • My kids are annoying.  Like, I love them a lot but holy cow – they can press my buttons.  Well, they can press each other’s buttons – it was only about 2 weeks ago I gave up.  I stopped yelling and ‘nagging’ them.  Instead, I gave up and let them go nuts at each other.  Then for some out of this world reason they work their shit out.  I learnt that from my husband, not sure where my husband is getting his parent tips from but it worked.  Ok, it worked for about 1 week, ok maybe 3 day.  Then they all hated each other again.  Was like clock work.
These guys can be total dipshits sometimes. But I had a pretty good Mothers Day, so I’ll keep them. For now
  •  Moving house is stressful and somewhat a nightmare, but the feeling of living in a new environment, finally having space of your own.  I have a room for Get Lick’d Iceblocks now, it’s like going on a holiday.  Which is great because no one is actually going on holidays.  A massive back yard that fits a trampoline, a lounge room that’s isn’t the size of your rug (which you originally thought was massive when you bought it) and storage space.  It really is as good as a holiday.  Although the bullshit to get your bond back is another issue.  If only I could say something about that.  Sigh.
Moving. A prick of a job. But worth it in the end
  • Baking – I was baking.  I baked for 1 whole day – although my main motivation to do the baking was because I had to use all the butter, milk and eggs before we moved.  I found TEN cans of condensed milk in my pantry.  TEN.  Why the heck did I have so much of that stuff?  I think I was going to bake condensed milk biscuits, which is super easy, but I am positive I wouldn’t have wanted to make 1 million cookies.  Who knows.  Anyway, I made about 200 cookies in one day.  It was epic and they lasted about 1 week #boyseattomuch 
  • We became friends with our neighbours, we have always said g’day or waved and had brief conversations with our neighbours but ISO made us friends.  We lived in a quiet little street  for about 3 years .  Because of no after school activities or sports I would enjoy the afternoon sun with a sneaky glass of vodka and orange sitting on the driveway and Billy would ride his bike.  Then the other kids of the street would come out and ride their bikes aswell.  Me and the neighbour would have ‘Bike Chats’ while the kids rode their bikes and we yell ‘caaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr’ when a car comes.  Good times.  Highly recommend getting to know your neighbours and drinking vodka and orange on your driveway. 
Cheers
  • I hate shopping.  I mean, I never liked food shopping anyway, but The Rona and all the stupid Food Hoarders made me want to curl in a ball for weeks.  Seriously, my usual fortnightly shop looks like a hoarder’s food shop anyway.  I would get at least one-person comment about my trolley every shop I did.  I used to laugh and joke with them, but it kept happening for some reason – like I had a sign on my head.  The next person that said something, I asked them if they would like to pay?  Then THEY laugh!  Dude, it wasn’t a joke.  Now, it’s back to normal ‘looking like a hoarder food shop’. 
  • My dog loves me more because I’m home and I am 100% happy with that. 

How did you cope during ISO or are you still in ISO?  I know there are a few readers that read my blog from countries outside of Australia, hope you are all doing well.  I wish you, your family and your health well.  Australia seems to have come out relatively ok (so far) with the effects of Covid19. However, I personally believe that it must get worse before it gets better.  Unless the worst has already happened.  I really have no idea.  But I do know that myself and my family have picked up great cleaning habits, me and the kids may have all lost our minds at each other.  My husband is a champion for not realising that I have donated a lot of his belongings and I will love life more when my youngest goes back to school next week and I actually have time to think.  I’ll be thinking about (and planning) what is next for Get Lick’d Iceblocks, I thought last year was a great year.  2020 may have turned into an epic shit show but whatever is left of the year 2020 I am going to make it awesome. Hope you can be along for the ride. 

Stay safe and wash your hands

X

#TeamHarryandMeghan

The Royals, you either like them, love them, hate them or really couldn’t give a shit about them.

Me, I’m half half.  I’m not a fan of the ‘older generation’ of royals.  If that’s even what they are called?  The younger/my generation of royals – I’m here for it.  The little posse of William, Harry, Kate, Meghan are my favourite.  Fergie gets my vote aswell, she gives zero fucks that she isn’t really involved in the royals anymore and I’m all for that.  There’s an awesome meme of Fergie at Harry and Meghan’s wedding. She appears to have a strut, holding her pair of shoes and just doesn’t give a fuck. I want to be like that – like in my everyday life!  She totally owned the situation.  Whenever I see that meme – it makes me laugh.  I won’t mention her ex husband Andrew – he should just drop off the face of the earth.

I couldn’t find the meme that I love – but this one is just as good. Actually, it’s not. The other one is much funnier – but this one will do.

My Nanna and Mum were fans of the Diana – I remember my mum had a book of Diana and Charles and I used to look through it when I was little thinking it would be the best life.  Like every girl, who wouldn’t want to be a princess? Princess Diana’s wedding dress was amazing, the vail, the 80s hair, the church – I loved everything about it. 

I was going to out a photo of Diana and Charles wedding here – but Diana in bike pants is WAY better.

I remember the day Diana died. It was one of those moment in life you remember where you were and what you were doing. My friend Jess was over my house and we were watching movies, then mum came in and told us to turn it off because she wanted to watch the news.  It was everywhere on the tv.  This was in 1997 – when I say everywhere on the tv, there were only about 4 tv channels and every channel was reporting the death of the princess.  Me and Jess just sat there watching the live news crosses to Paris.  It was a massive deal.  Jess and I couldn’t deal so we went for a walk to the park.  It was a weird feeling.  Someone you’ve never met, yet you have loved and admired from afar has died and you felt lost.  But you’re not lost – just sad. It’s a weird feeling.  Then you feel stupid cos you are crying over someone you have never met.  Then the images of the flowers at Buckingham Palace, that stuck in my mind for some reason.  I think it was then I came to the conclusion that shit things happen to good people. 

I didn’t really follow the royals after Dianna’s death.  Not that I was a ‘follower’ to begin with.  However, I as an adult and a fan of House Of Cards, I am pinning Dianna’s death on the Queen.

I’m in my late 30’s so I guess we grew up with William and Harry.  I’m Team Harry.  Always have, probably always will be.  Can he do no harm?  He’s funny, he has swagger, had a few crazy girlfriends (who hasn’t) Did a nudie run in Vegas.   Meanwhile William was being the smart, conservative older brother (there’s one of those in every family right?) Then William met Kate and their love story began.  Oh Kate, how I love thee.  You are all class.  Kate and William’s wedding was the first royal wedding I watched.  It was 2011 and the day after my middle son’s birthday.  I was 7 months pregnant and I cried like a baby. Which is not unusual for me but being pregnant it was total crying chaos.

William and Kate. Both like a fine wine

Fast forward to now (ish) and to when Harry met Meghan.  They fall in love.  They marry and oh my gee – that wedding was THE best.  The gospel choir, Charles walking Meghan down the aisle, the guest list, the giggling to each other during the service, the dress.  Oh my that dress.  The flowers, ok ok – I’ll stop –  clearly I loved all of it.  Then came baby Archie.  Then comes the decision to leave all royal duties.  I say fuck yes to them.  I love that they chose to leave their living situation.  Not that their living situation seemed like the worse situation in the world, but to stand up in front of the Commonwealth, the Queen and the rest of the world and say that they would like to no longer be associated with the royal family and go out on their own.  That is massive news. 

Straight to the pool room with this photo

Some might argue that Harry and Meagan have a ‘tough’ life.  Traveling the world, lives in mansion/castle, they can do ‘whatever they like’ and have a massive bank account blah blah blah. WRONG.  Now I’m no official royal news reporter, but let’s discuss.  Meghan left her life in America, gave up her career, left her family and friends all for love.  No, she didn’t have to do all this, but when you find true love you stick to it and you end up living happily ever after.  Which I have no doubt these guys will.  There is so much hate for Meghan and I would want to run away aswell if I got called all the things she has been called.  The joys of social media and the internet right?   

For the record, I think Harry should always keep his beard.

Harry and Meghan are in their 30s, recently married, have 1 young child, are in the world eyes, always, constantly criticized.  Just like the rest of us (not royal people), they get judged weather they do the right or if they do the wrong thing.  So when they told the world that they would like to live a ‘normal life’ people went nuts.  Now, when I say normal, I am 100% be sure that Harry and Megs won’t be struggling to pay off a mortgage or racing down to the shops at 8pm at night for nappies and formula for baby Archie or they will have to budget for their friends and families birthday and Christmas presents.  Nothing like that – word is they are looking for a mansion to live in and are getting paid a shit load of money to talk at functions.  Most of these functions are for people in the ‘millionaire/billionaire’ clubs but hey, they have to earn a dollar somehow don’t they? I’m sure there will be many job opportunities for them, and all those job opportunities will be better than ours.

I didn’t understand the huge deal about them leaving the royal family.  Queen Lizzy wasn’t very impressed was she?  She stripped them of their royal title and that was that.  To be fair, Harry and Megs should of given the Queen a bit more notice about what their plans were.  But who am I to tell them what to do.   Fucken YOLO

I say good on them for wanting to live a ‘normal’ life.  To stop and smell the roses, to enjoy life with their child (and even future children), to earn their own money and to have things that we (normal people) might take for granted.  They also aren’t the first royals to leave the family either, hopefully not the last.  If you haven’t realized, I’m the sort of person that will tell your chase your dreams, to be your true self and to not worry what other people think.  Hence my support for these guys.  I’m happy for them.  Obviously.

Shit yes. Meghan Markled – perfect. Good luck Ryan

What do you think about Harry and Meghan?  Like them?  Love them? Not a fan?  I, personally think they should move to Australia, or at least buy a beach house in Queensland somewhere and you know I would stalk them down to give them a life time supply of Get Lick’d Iceblocks.

2020 – Make it your bitch!

2020 – Holy Shit, how the hell did we get here?  2020 – that’s the year two thousand and twenty.  The world has been alive for 2 thousand years.  It blows my mind thinking about it.  I also think about how old I am in a few years and that blows my mind even more.

Every year we hear the same “New Year, New Me” quotes and I am totally ok with that.  I love that a new year means you can shift your mind set, sit down and write down what goals you want to achieve that year.  It’s perfect.  A new year mindset can be an amazing thing.  A fresh start if you will and what a great time to start.  A blank page, the start of a new book, a new year. 2020

In a nutshell

The year 2020.  What’s install for you?  Do you prefer to use the word goals or resolution? I personally use the word goal.  My thinking is that because it’s a short word it has more impact, the word resolution sounds like a fancy lawyer word and less achievable than the word goal.  Different strokes for different folks. I have also discovered that people have a word for the new year.  ONE word that switches their mindset for the year.  That word will obviously mean something to them.  For example, Money that could be your word.  Money might help remind you that you need to earn more money, or make you want to save money.  There is no right, there is no wrong.  You pick a word that will mean something to you. That will matter to you and that will make your year easier. I don’t think I want a word.  I’m more of a ‘stick motivational sentences around the house person’.   All these words and goals are to make yourself accountable.  To remind yourself how awesome you can be as a person, a business owner, a friend, a mother, a girl friend, a wife – whatever you are or whatever is relevant in your life.  It’s a new year – anything goes right? 

Credit to Pinterest for this image. I couldn’t find the artist of it. But it is actually perfect. Except the cleaning point, that’s my day job and I do enough of it.

Then there’s the whole vision board – I love the thought of a vision board.  If you don’t know what a vision board is, let me explain. A Vision Board is a board that you make that have words, photos and pictures on it that either inspire or motivate you.  Sort of like your goals – but a visual version of them.  I did a vision board about 5 years ago, it was my first vision board.  I remember having a picture of car – it was a Jeep.  I wasn’t wanting a Jeep, I just wanted the new car and this reminded me that I wanted a new car, regardless of the brand of car.  There was also a beautiful picture of a beach from up North Queensland way.  I don’t remember much else that was on the board. But at the end of that year I actually got a new car AND we planned and went for an epic road trip holiday and visited Airlie Beach.  I can’t say that the vision board was 100% responsible for my actions that year – but I do remember looking at it where I could see it every day and feel motivated to go to work for my family and have a goal. Kind of like magic (not really)  I am always telling my kids to have a goal and to make goals, small or big. I think it’s important.

My goal/s for 2020 are pretty simple and usually the same as everyone else.  Save money, lose weight, be more active, spend more time outdoors, limit screen time blah blah blah.  I won’t bore you with my personal/family goals – but will bore you with my business goals.   Sorry not sorry.

2020

Goal 1.  Everyone in business wants to be bigger, better and stronger than the year before. So…I want Get Lick’d Iceblocks to be bigger, better and stronger than 2019. Obviously.  I’m already excited for the year ahead.  If you think Get Lick’d Iceblocks is going to be the same as 2019 I am here to disappoint and excite you.  2020 is going to be most exciting. Not sure what the hell is going to happen – it’s the 3rd day into January and I have nothing booked on my calendar.  Yet! You get the point though.

Goal 2 – Network more and attend networking events.  Networking events can be so nerve racking.  I’ve ventured to a few small networking events, but with the big ones, I get scared and nervous and then just chicken out and don’t end up going.  I also tend to make excuses about why I shouldn’t go.  For example – it’s on a weekday, it’s on a weeknight.  It’s a 30 minute drive away. It cost too much.  All can be valid excuses but I really need to quit the excuses and GO.  Meet new people, laugh, get out of the house and share the great business that is Get Lick’d Iceblocks with fellow business owners.  If you know of any networking events in Brisbane let me know, I’ll swallow my nerves and try to come along. 

Goal 3 – To have a paperwork trail and spreadsheets.  I hate working on the computer.  Sitting at the computer and completely wasting time I can do, but making and creating work and spread sheets I can not. I have pulled up my big girl pants and going to do it.  I am yet to make a list of what I actually want/need to document – last year I was so airy fairy about recording figures from markets, sales and orders.  This year I will be recording every Get Lick’d Iceblock that sells, every flavour that doesn’t sell.  All orders will be saved an into a folder (not printed on paper).  There’s heaps more to document and you bet I will document it. I keep reading and listening to people that say “document everything and know your numbers”. This only means, by 2021 I will be a wizz at documenting documents and maybe unnecessary documents.

Goal 4 – For Get Lick’d Iceblocks to attend a large event.  I have no idea what this will be or when it will be. If you know me, I like to live on the edge. I also believe in the Universe and how the Universe seems to throw you opportunities where you say yes and then figure the rest out later and that is exactly what I will do.

Upon my research on goals, I have found that some people like to have their goals in order.  As in, they number their goals one to ten and work through them like that.  Not me – I’m just happy to kick some arse. 

Ain’t that the truth

Do you have goals/resolutions, a word of the year or a vision board for 2020?  I’m going to get started on my vision board this week. Goals are different to a To Do List aren’t they?  Maybe one of my goals is to actually to the shit that is on my To Do List.  God knows that list is never ending. 

That means YOU

Whatever your goals are for the new year ahead.  Big or small.  I hope you grab them by the horns and you achieve them to the absolute best of your ability.  Then, when you have achieved them or even one of them, celebrate it.  Do a happy dance, pour yourself a drink and sip it slowly, go for dinner, shout it from the rooftops. Or maybe you won’t do any of those things cos that’s not your jam.  But remember – you are setting your own personal goals for a reason.  Don’t let 2020 go by and you get to the end of it and realise you haven’t done anything you put your mind to because you thought it would all come to you.  Make 2020 your bitch! 

I cancelled Christmas for 5 hours on Christmas Day and shit got real~

How good is Christmas?  It’s the most wonderful time of the year isn’t it?  Of course it is – that’s if you have learnt to stress less and just go with the flow.  Now, at the ripe age of 38 years, I think that Christmas is amazing.  As I have grown older (and wiser) I’ve learnt that Christmas is what you make it.

The Annual Family Christmas Photo – 2014

 If you’re new here I have 3 boys – my eldest son is 17, then 15 and the youngest is 8 years old.  When my older 2 boys were round 12/13 years old they found a box of wrapped presents that were from Santa in the spare room.  Every kids jackpot win right?

Kids being kids, they opened nearly all of these presents.  In their defence, the presents did have their names on them, so they opened them.  Makes sense right?  Totally – that’s if you’re a tween and give zero fucks about consequences.  Which, at this time in their life, my boys did.

 Come Christmas Eve and Mr and Mrs Clause put out the presents. You soon realise that either your list has gone to shit or you do infact favour one child the most as lots of things are missing.  You also realise that you have no more shits to give as you have been working right up until Christmas, got caught up in the ‘Christmas Stress’ so you just take yourself to bed with the thought that in the morning everything will be fine and will work itself out.

Introducing Christmas Morning 2014.  Shit went down!  We all woke up with so much excitement, which is usual on Christmas morning.  Now, call me Old Skool but when I was little me, my brother and my sister all took turns opening our presents.  It’s actually a brilliant idea. I have learnt by doing this that the kids actually appreciate the gift/s that they are opening and take a minute to take it all in.  The boys pull sticks on Christmas Eve to see which one is going first.  Makes more for the excitement.  

Pretty much spot on

The present opening began.  I knew they were getting good gifts and their faces did not show any sort of excitement.  None – you know like when Richie Rich gets a new Rolls Royce and has thousands of dollars in the glovebox at cos and it doesn’t phase him at all.  Then when someone looks in the glove box they think it’s the best thing in the world and Richie Rich couldn’t give a shit cos he’s a self entitled prick.  Well, it was a lot like that but for some reason there was a hint of attitude.  If you know tweens then the attitude is THE worst!   It was then we realised that they have opened the gifts before this day have hidden them in their rooms.

 So I called it.  I stopped them from opening presents.  They stopped opening their gifts, I lost my shit and sent them to their room for about 40 minutes.  I need time to calm down, WE needed time to calm down.  While I was calming down, I Googled a letter that I remembered seeing earlier that month about how you don’t ever stop believing in Santa.  It’s the ‘magic’, the thoughts, the giving, the gift of family and friends at Christmas that makes Christmas special and just because you don’t believe in Santa and know that Santa isn’t real you need to keep that magic alive.  Not only for yourself, but for your family (and their little brother, who was 4 at the time)  I think I was pissed off and sad that they found out that Santa isn’t real by snooping through the house. 

Christmas Day – one of the best days of the year. Or is it?

Once we all cooled down the youngest opened his present while the other 2 watched. We then went on about our day.  It ended up being a fab Christmas – it was our first family Christmas – just the 5 of us.  We didn’t have to go anywhere, didn’t have to see anyone.  Everyone was in bed by 7pm.  Was perfect.  The older 2  learnt their lesson to never open presents before Christmas again.

That was the first time we had a ham. We’ve had a ham every year since that year. Chest hair not included

Now, what happens next you may judge, you may not but remember raising kids is a hell of a job. Some of my friends call it an Urban Legend.  Some call it the best parenting move in all of the world.     Also remember I raise my kids to know that what is given to them is earnt (except on Christmas and Birthdays) and there are consequences to actions – they knew this while they were opening their presents in the spare room a few days before Christmas.

We kept the present that were from Mum and Dad (us).  They didn’t open them on Christmas Day.  Instead  -the older 2 boys got their Christmas gifts from me and my husband on the last week of the school holidays.  Yep ONE MONTH LATER. No it wasn’t late, no we didn’t forget.  We gave it to them when we thought that they deserved it –and they did.  They deserved it and they also realised that what they did was a major fuck up.  But they pulled though and got their presents – which were clothes (that they wanted), a pair of shoes (again what they wanted) and go cart vouchers (yep – what they wanted).  Lesson was well learnt –now years on they don’t even think about opening a present for birthdays or Christmas.  5 years on nothing like this has ever happened.  Not even with the youngest, seems at a young age you learn what not to do from your older brothers.

Well worth the wait and lesson learnt.

Do you love or hate Christmas?  Most people have a Love Hate Relationship with Christmas and December don’t they.  I love the food, my Mum makes trifle every year whenever we visit and the boys know that at Christmas I buy food that we wouldn’t normally buy.  Heck, I spent $200 last week on ‘holiday food’ to get the family through until mid January so I can avoid the shops.  My husband loves that he buys a carton (or 2) of beer and the kids get to drink soft drink (which doesn’t happen a lot during the year).  I used to think that making biscuits, rocky road and all things sweet was the best until I was doing it every year and ended up hating the thought of doing it.  Although I did make rocky road this week.  I’m a sucker for tradition. I can’t bake cookies in a shape at the best of times (they always go flat or spread), not sure why I thought baking reindeer and tree shape cookies would be any different. 

Handmade cards make me all warm and fuzzy

I do love making and giving (and receiving) handmade gifts – it’s my favourite, not just at Christmas but for Mothers Day, birthdays anything really.  Handmade gifts are the best.  Yes you may spend twice as much getting all the craft and then finding time.  Oh my, to find time to do craft is exhausting am I right?  Everything takes time doesn’t it? So. Much. Time.  But at Christmas it’s different because everything is sparkling, there’s lights in the house, outside the house. There’s so many events and the shops are a nightmare.  Speaking of shops – people make handmade gifts to NOT go to the shops.  That’s why we make gifts – to avoid the shops at all costs. That’s right isn’t it?

Speaking of shops – how easy is it for Husbands?  Like seriously – how easy have they got it at Christmas?  We, as either the Mum’s or the ‘main’ female of the household are flat chat. We’re lucky we don’t have a large family, but still there is so much organising and planning, especially if you go away.  Then there’s ‘bring a plate’ for Christmas day, the list of presents for who and what, the budget, work (because you have to work, cos well, life) and the list goes on.  All the Husband’s have to worry about it what time they finish work on the last day for the year, making sure they  have enough beer and making sure you don’t lose your shit cos you’re doing everything. 

My husband is pretty good at keeping me calm and making sure I don’t go overboard or flip out at Christmas.  Any other time of the year, not so great.  But he (along with many other husbands) live the life at this time of year.  I thought it was just my husband that doesn’t do much – but how wrong I was.  Seems I have 3 friends and their husband’s are the same as mine at Christmas time.  What a life! My husband does this AMAZING thing where he would be in a circle socialising with the family – then he would just disappear for like 3 hours. Gone. Not to be seen.  Turns out he would be sleeping in the spare room or on a couch or anywhere he can lie his head.  It’s like his party trick – it’s amazing.  Mum’s imagine if we did that?  That party trick that would be the best party trick in all of the land – could you imagine Mum’s disappearing from kids and family and sleep for 3 hours?  I did actually do it last year – it was pretty good. 

Seen this shirt in my travels this month. No, I did not buy it – I am a responsible adult. Ha

  Although, my kids are old enough to “look after themselves” for a few hours, I usually find I haven’t drunk enough to warrant a 3 hour afternoon sleep #firstworldproblems.

Despite all my ‘whinging’ I do love Christmas – I love that in my day job I get to see my clients Christmas trees and houses all pretty and decorated (I’m a cleaner) I also love seeing to do lists on fridges – it makes me happy that I’m not the only one that goes bat shit crazy about a To Do List. I love the looks on my kids faces when they get their ‘joke’ present.  We started a Joke Present between my kids.  They pull a name out of a hat and then they buy for that brother – I give them $5.  Yep, $5, we all know you can’t buy a lot with $5 – but you would be surprised. It’s not allowed to be food.  They open this gift on Christmas Eve.  A few years ago we started a tradition.  We don’t have a lot of traditions, we are usually a ‘go with the flow’ family.  This tradition involves food – how unusual.  Because in Queensland (and the rest of Australia) its hot as fuck in December we usually crack out the blow up pool and have a small feast.  Nothing fancy, it’s pretty much chips, crackers, dip, potato salad and sausages cooked on the bbq and bread rolls – followed by my signature ‘ice cream cake’  which is a tub of 4 litre icecream, chopped chocolate honeycomb, lollies, biscuits and whatever else they fancy.  Mix it all in and re-frezze.  The kids love it.  Then they exchange presents and then usually a Christmas movie, leave food outside for the reindeer, letter to Santa.  Then bed. 

Whatever you do and however you spend your Christmas Day and holidays – make sure it’s an enjoyable one.  Be responsible, have a Destinated Driver, be good and just enjoy the break (if you get to be so lucky).   Christmas can also be a sad time of year for people.  Missing a family member (s) or friend at this time of year can be fucken tough.  Remember, if you need help and/or you need to speak to someone because you are not OK – that is OK.  Please be sure to reach out and ring Lifeline or Beyond Blue those line are always open and there’s someone on the other side to listen. Please don’t feel that you aren’t important or that you don’t matter. Because you certainly DO matter and people do care.

Merry Christmas Friends!! 

YEAR ONE

Get Lick’d Iceblocks is ONE.  One year old Wednesday 22nd September.  Happy Birthday Get Lick’d Iceblocks! <that’s me blowing my own horn>

Did I think I could make it to 1 year in business? Yes.  Did I think I wouldn’t? Also yes?  Have I learnt alot?  Yes.  Have I learnt everything?  Shit no.  Is that enough with the questions? Yes

Perfect sunnies, iceblocks in a woolies cake and an iceblocks onesie! ONE

When I had the idea about Get Lick’d Iceblocks – I thought hard, I researched hard and put so much brain power into the idea to make my business unique and different from the rest.  To my surprise it worked (and is currently working).  With any business, providing you love it, you are consistently thinking of ideas and grand plans.  Your brain never ever stops.  Well, it does.  Eventually.  But most of the time it doesn’t.  And when (and if) it does stop, it usually stops when you’re in bed.  Or does it?  Mine doesn’t, I need a little notebook and pen in my head that automatically writes all my good and bad ideas down.  I then tend to remember those ideas about 2 days later.  There’s probably an app for that right?   I should probably start using my phone more instead of pen and paper aswell.

Anyway, back to the birthday celebrations – consider this a personal THANK YOU to you and everyone that has had themselves a Get Lick’d Iceblock.  Maybe once, maybe twice or maybe you haven’t even had one – which is totally fine because you support me in other ways – like reading my blog, liking my social media account and sending me messages of support.  I see you and I thank you.  Happy Birthday Get Lick’d Iceblocks (again, blowing my own horn) 

Thanks for the support Friends x

I feel I should tell you what I have learnt in the last year.  Is that corny?  Yes,  sorry again with the questions!  If you refer to previous blogs about my lack of Time Management, you will realise that that is not a good idea.  I have learnt a lot – who wouldn’t?  Shit, we, as adults learn new things every day about life and our day jobs, let alone what you learn in a business.  I’ll be hear all day and night boring you.  How does a Top Five sound.  A Top Five of accomplishment that I am proud of.  Don’t be fooled, there is definitely more than 5 accomplishments with Get Lick’d Iceblocks I am proud of within this year.  Writing 5 just seems like an easier and non boring way to tell you what I have accomplished in 2018/2019.

In no particular order of preference –

1:  The Get Lick’d Launch Party  – now the launch party was not as exciting as I thought it would be, but it turned out perfect.  It was at the Which Craft Beer at Albany Creek (perfect space)  It was on the first week of the school holidays (rookie mistake), which was a bit of a shame as most of my friends couldn’t be there.  But the friends and family that were there was enough and I’m so grateful they came and made the effort to support this crazy little iceblocks business.

The Original Get Lick’d Iceblocks Trike.

2:  Changing Get Lick’d Iceblocks biodegradable plastic wrapping to PAPER.  This move is something I am so proud of.  Yes, plastic looks better than paper (depending who you are).  But we all know paper is better for the environment, breaks down and can be recycled.  I’m yet to source paper based, waterproof ingredient stickers  – watch this space.  When I launched Get Lick’d Iceblocks, I did a lot of research into packaging, at the time biodegradable wrappers suited best.  Then, once I spoke to people (you guys) about my product.  I decided to change to paper.  The positive feedback has been amazing since changing to paper.  People love it.  I love it. 

Plastic is not fantastic
Paper for the win.

3: Finding my new cart and bike on Gumtree.  If you follow me on my socials, you will know I’m a big fan of reduce, reuse and recycle.  I also love a good bargain. Who doesn’t right?  Backstory – I bought a bike, a cart, umbrellas and moulds from a guy named Steve, who happened to be the manager of Rivershore Resort at the Sunshine Coast (that place is amazing by the way)  I ended up sending him a photo of the cart all revamped, he was so happy it went to someone that appreciated a bargain and someone that could keep the iceblocks dream alive, as he was sad that life got in the way when they had their iceblock business.  The cart is 100% revamped, check out my insta – you’ll see pics there.  The bike is still in the process of being done.  Hopefully done by Christmas.  *side note – the Original Get Lick’d Iceblocks Trike is still for sale*

The day I got my ‘new’ cart. Can’t wipe the smile off my face

4: Going to markets and events.  I’m used to attending markets and spending money – not so much BEING a stall holder and taking money.  My first market was with LifeStyle Mecca, the very next day after I launched.  But my first ‘official’ market was Chillin’ At The Hills, this was their debut market aswell.  It’s a perfect spot for a market.  It’s at Bunya (in between Albany Creek and Arana Hills) at the sporting grounds there, on the Jinker Track – Great location. I did 2 more after the debut market in November and unfortunately, due to a few surprises from Mother Nature and then the weather got colder, I haven’t been back. Hopefully I will this summer. That’s the thing with having a seasonal business.  It gets tricky when the colder weather begins, then things out of your control happen – like rain/storms. 

My first market at Chillin In The Hills for Christmas

5:  Being in school tuckshops.  Now, this makes me happy.  I absolutely LOVE Get Lick’d Iceblocks being in schools.  Being in tuckshops never crossed my mind until someone asked me if it was an option.  I thought ‘why not’? Why not indeed.  Get Lick’d Iceblocks are currently in 5 school across Brisbane and hopefully more in the before the end of the year.  The thought of children having a choice of great tasting food in their schools is something I am proud to say I can help with. 

Well, that’s it – that’s 5.  Definitely not in any order, but a Top Five none the less.  I’m so proud of where I am right now.  Proud of how far I have come and more importantly excited about where Get Lick’d Iceblocks is going.   I have no doubt this summer will be more eventful than the last.  I also have no doubt that I will give it my all. 

I’m going to go a bit crazy here and add another highlight to the Top Five.  I don’t have any positive feedback about it – that’s only because it hasn’t happened YET!   You guessed it – It’s the Get Lick’d Iceblocks Carnival Event.  It’s happening on Saturday November 9th 2019.  If you haven’t heard, it’s going to be a hoot – lots of lawn games, nature craft, planting seeds, colouring in competitions, shade, a photobooth, iceblocks and FUN!  You may even see a dressed up piece of fruit! 

Lock it in the diary – going to be fabulous and fun!

The Get Lick’d Iceblocks Carnival Event is collaborating with local business owners  – if you are a local business and would like to be involved and think your business would suit this event, send me an email.  The more the merrier.  Invites are going out very soon.  

I would ask you to help blow out the candles, eat cake (that is most important) and meet me at a local pub for a drink, but we can keep it for the Carnival Event.  I’ve also decided to change what I eat and not drink alcohol for the month of September (that’s been heaps of fun) In lieu of that, a comment below or on the ‘gram would be suffice!