Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Travel tips?

I'm packing my bags and heading to NYC later this week. And then San Fran.

I'm excited. 
And nervous.

Nervous and excited. 

I haven't travelled much internationally. Have you?

What are your best travel tips to get through a long haul flight?
What's your can't live without thing you have to pack? 
Or are you a packing ninja? What's your tip to maximise minimal clothing?


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A little while ago...

The Hen Men from meerkatfilms on Vimeo.

I was driving to work, it was rainy and cold and the bleakest of bleak days. 

It was an ordinary day - until I spotted an elderly man, leaning hard on a sign post, waving. I thought his car must have broken down, so I slowed right down, drove on, and then continued thinking about him. I quickly did a block, came back, pressed my hazard lights on and pulled over to him. Winding down the window my mind was racing:

Who was this man? 
Why did he have dirt on his back? Leaves? 
Where was he heading?
And why had no one else stopped?

In the moments it took me to decide to drive back to him, I had thought - if this was my grandfather, or my father, I would hope someone would pull over and help. 

I called out and we had a conversation - from which I determined that maybe he had dementia. 

My beautiful grandmother had lived with dementia. I was familiar with what dementia does to the mind and the behaviour of those with dementia. 

I asked him if he had any money - to which he told me he had fifty cents. He wanted me to take him to the other side of the city to visit a friend, of whose address he couldn't recall. 

All the time, my mind was travelling so many different ways, and I didn't know the best way to look after this man. If I picked him up, I wouldn't know what would happen. I didn't know his history, he wasn't hostile, but I didn't know anything about him. I gave him my umbrella, told him I wasn't able to give him a lift - and then hooted up to the local nursing home, pulled up, ran in and breathlessly asked if they were missing a man.

They were, and so I drove two staff down the long road, searching for that man.

I knew what he was wearing, knew his stature, knew his accent - but in the very short time it had taken me to get back - he was gone. 

I then decided we would go and search the local train station. 

Thankfully, he was there. Mercifully. Happily. Amazingly. 

He gave me a huge hug (I was worried he was going to be mad I had thwarted his getaway), and then we parted ways. 

I was happy to be able to take him back to a safe place - I had had thoughts of him walking away into the city, by himself with just fifty cents, and no recollection of where he was going or where he was from. 

Which brought me back to The Hen Men. 

Nursing homes are hard places - for everyone. Isn't this a beautiful and simple way to add meaning and value to someone in a possibly dark and lonely place? 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Hot boots for cold days

Lately I have had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. 

This is to do with the fact our house is colder than an icebox, and I can't bare to get dressed because my pyjamas, doona, blankets, flannel sheets and all the other layers I've piled on are too snuggly. 

So I've tricked myself. I've bought a couple of new pieces of clothing, and they're enough to motivate me to get out of bed and hurriedly get dressed. 

But the totality of it is - I actually have to know in my head what I am going to wear - from top to toe, every piece, before I will peel back those bedcovers. 

It's sad, I know. 

But I found these Ziera boots - and my goodness! As a big footed babe, these are the bomb!! As I've talked about previously, it's not easy having large feet as a woman, so the Ziera range is genuinely one I love checking out each season. And this post isn't even sponsored. 

The Lana boots are super cute with long skirts, or fitted pants and feel just as comfortable. Such a cute, cool ankle boot that will work hard in your wardrobe, these are high on my 'wanted' list. (as seen in top image)

I am crushing hard on this biker style boot with attitude. They push all the kick-ass style buttons for cool street-style with the ultimate comfort. I am digging on the versatility of these boots, Riley has some serious cred. 

Basically, there's not a boot I don't love this season. These Liza boots bring old-school back with style. I love the detail of the laces, that soft grey colour adds some extra interest. As someone with a long, narrow foot, I do love a lace-up so I can get a firmer fit. Call me old fashioned, but that's the way I like to wear my footwear. Comfortable, stylish and on-trend.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Nit Patrol: You are under arrest

Tiny lay in my bed on Friday morning and then started scratching her head vigorously. She then proclaimed, "Mum, my head is so itchy."

Alarm bells rang. Well not really, but in my mind, alarm bells were ringing, lights were flashing, there was no ticker tape parade, I was in a state of emergency. 

I grabbed Matt's phone for the torch, and shone it bright. I couldn't see anything. But only because I needed my glasses - so grabbed them too. And then I grabbed Matt's torch again, and started the search - which didn't actually take long because I found Tiny's hair pets within a matter of seconds. 

"Quick Tiny, into the bathroom."

And then nit patrol started.

She was in the shower before you could say, heads, shoulders, nits and towels, nits and towels. 

Thankfully, because of my glamorous life as a non-mummy blogger mummy blogger I had been sent some nit stuff, some time ago - and had held onto the comb, fearing this day would come. 

I worked that conditioner through her hair like sands through the hourglass. And then I worked that comb through her locks like... Like a tight steel-toothed comb through a kilo of nots in a ball of wire. Not easy. Oh dears. 

Tiny was patient. Wrapped in layers of towels. We ruled that nit patrol. We combed and combed, and wow, I don't know if I have ever written about how much I hate parasitic creatures (does anyone love them? Does their own mother even love them?), but yuck. We got so many of those disgusting hair pets out, it was impossible to count. 

Four days later and we've done two more nit patrols. Last night's nit patrol we counted each as we got it out, gave it a name and wrote it down, before we sent it off to a water resort. A dark and hot water resort. 

Tiny in subsequent patrols was particularly wiggly 

Sayonara Kevin, Jen and Ben (they were twins), Sheneke, Trevor, Carrie, Larry, all of you. So long and farewell, and no thanks for coming, and don't return. 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Workwear Updates

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but sometimes my workwear is a little zzzz, boring. And the only thing to remedy it is to find some smart separates or ace accessories to update my look. 

But let's not get confused. I've tried corporate, and I'm not it. I look like a wolf in sheep's pinstripes. What I'm talking about is looking smart, while still retaining my own style. 

Today I'm sharing 5 pieces to make your workwear more wow than whoa. 

1. Update your jewellery: A simple - and can be - inexpensive way to add some pow to your wardrobe. You could opt for a new statement necklace for some visual delight, or I love these Window earrings from Bianca Mavrick. Simple design in punchy colours, that can instantly lift your outfit for days when you're struggling to get out of bed, let alone into the office. 

2. A statement top: I bought this Heron Blue top from Nancybird for myself because I loved the design, but I also love that silk transcends the seasons, layers well and plays nicely with others ;) - I can wear this with jeans, a smart pant, or a skirt and feel dressed for style success. Plus because of the beautiful design, you need little other accessories, so you can throw it on and be out the door in record time. In fact, I have a few different tops that are similar, because they are such an easy, no-thinking required addition to my wardrobe.

3. A white shirt: For the last year or so, I've been experiencing a strong penchant for white shirts. Prior to this, I detested the shirt. I felt like I was wearing Matt's clothes. But now I've found my white shirt groove, and have them on high rotation. They're a smart staple for any working woman's wardrobe. You can wear them in a number of ways, and by far, I think it's the hardest working piece in my wardrobe. I love this Poplin Popover shirt from Country Road. Classic style at its best.

4. A show that does the talking: I am a massive fan of Habbot shoes ('scuse the pun, but they are my weakness, my good habit) because they are beautiful quality, their customer service is impeccable, and the shoes - my goodness. They are THE BEST! I have a few pairs, they're not cheap, but my mother always told me to spend money on shoes, and I can tell you - these have withstood a lot of wearing, a lot of seasons, and each pair is still going strong. I've got a mad crush on these hot pink Dodgers, but am equally sure these Hearts heels are going to be mine. 

5. A sharp jacket. That's not a jacket: Do you know how long I have looked high and low for a jacket? A long time. But I don't suit conventional workwear style jackets. I just wind up looking ridiculous. But I found this Elk Alpaca Blend Zip Cardigan and think it's the perfect winter alternative. It's still got that structured line, while remaining a little more relaxed than its uptight suit jacket contemporary.

What are your top workwear tips to go from boring to roaring?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Taylor Swift is my home girl

Have you seen this yet? 

I've got it on repeat. I am addicted. The song is great. But combined with the film clip? 


It's like a mini-film. Genius. Taylor just keeps getting better and better. And this clip makes me want to take up some kind of martial arts. 

Plus the Mariska Hargitay cameo is pretty bloody awesome. Watch out for her. I love that woman. 

On becoming the mother of a 10 year old

This week the Doctor turned 10. 

I can barely believe we welcomed him 10 years ago. I can't imagine life before him, and I can't imagine life without him. 

He is the best gift I have ever been given (and so is Tiny, of course).

In those early heady days of first becoming a mum, I remember through the haze, struggling to feed, and finally walking in our front door with him curled up in my arms, the tiny body of a newborn, and being struck by the gravitas that I was responsible for his survival. 

I felt ill-equipped. Totally out of my depth. 

I was happy to be responsible, but the reality of being responsible for this small being was quite overwhelming. 

And so I started to learn to become a mum. And I loved it, despite the lack of sleep, the intense learning curve, the fact that I lacked the ability to shower most days before midday, let alone eat breakfast (I remember my sisters being disgusted at my Weet Bix being a sludgy mess, they couldn't believe I would actually eat them that way!). 

I don't think I was particularly good at it, but as the Doctor grew up, so did my confidence. 

We'd go on daily walks to the park, we'd go train spotting, we'd walk to the train station and meet Matt after work - where the Doctor's legs would pump furiously and he'd be SO happy to see the trains, as were the commuters to see this bonny, chubby rosy-cheeked boy exhilarated by the engines pulling in and going off. 

Such were our days. 

The Doctor filled my days, sometimes I cried, some days were so tough, but most days we had fun. Climbing, playing with the ducks, following the shadows, eating play dough (him, not me), setting up train track after train track. My heart is heavy thinking of those days, because my goodness I do miss them. They were uncomplicated, happy and innocent. 

But I'm not here to cast my mind back to coulda, woulda, shoulda, I'm here to say, being the mum of a 10 year old is a gift. I can barely believe we're here. But I am so glad we are. 

Happy birthday my beautiful child. May we always be close. x