Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Investing in a Bright Future - Property Investment Tips and Tricks


We all know that money is hard to come by, and we work darn hard for it, so when it comes time to part with our cash, we want to make sure that we spend it wisely.

Making the decision to invest in property is one such time, that you spend countless hours wrapping your head around the number of zeros that follow a figure wondering whether you really can afford to lash out, and become indebted to the bank.

And rightfully so. If we think about the average cost of a house now in Australia, I'm guessing that we'd be looking at at least $300,000 and let me tell you, that's not really going to buy you anything extravagant; that's for a patch of dirt, a standard house, in an average suburb.

$300,000; let that amount just sink in for awhile. A 30 year loan. If you buy a house at 25, and make the standard repayments, then you will be 55 by the time you have paid it off; hopefully having your kids done and dusted and heading towards retirement!


If we break it down to the repayments level, then with the current all time low interest rates, you'd be paying almost $1500 a month, on a $320,000 loan, interest only, which means that you aren't actually paying any capital (money off of your house).

$1500 a month for interest only repayments on an average house loan in Australia. That equates to $750 a fortnight or $375 per week.

If you actually want to pay off your house loan within the 30 years, then you're probably realistically looking more like $2000 a month, and $500 per week.

Could you afford to pay $500 per week on your current wage (whether that's combined or single, to be able to afford repayments?)

Just remember, that these costs are only for the house, on top of that, you have electricity, gas, water, emergency service levies, council rates (roughly $1200 per year), food, petrol, phone bills, car registration and insurance, house insurance, income protection, maintenance on the house (as the owner, you have to fix it!), any improvements that you may like to make, a social life, clothes, gifts, travel and so much more!

So how do people afford to buy a house?

Are young people 'shut out of the market?'

How do people 'make it all work?'

My tips

  1. When thinking seriously about buying a house, really consider what type of lifestyle you would like to live. We've all seen the bank adverts with the home owners staring at their belly buttons and playing with matchsticks because they have a house loan that takes up all of their money, and allows them none left over to live.
Do you just want to live life or love it?

Do you still want to travel?

Do you still want to afford being able to go to the pub for tea, or being able to buy birthday gifts, or going back to the footy club for some drinks?

If so, then it's really important to work out your budget, with all of your expenses, and then work out what kind of a loan you can afford.

2. Take advance from a bank or mortgage broker about how much you can afford financially, but use it as just that; advice. Trust me, they want to make money from you, and they will tell you exorbitant amounts of money that you can technically financially afford, but can you really afford to make those ridiculous repayments, and still live the life that you want to lead?

My partner and I were told that we could afford to buy property worth $900,000...if we have taken their advice for gospel then we'd both be working 2 jobs, 24/7 with no social life, probably extremely unhappy, stressed and frazzled, with no overseas trips or anything.

So know your budget, and the lifestyle you want to live, as it'll make it much easier.

3. Shop around; you've all heard what the experts have to say - buy the shittest house on the best street. But know what you want. Do you want a 3 bedroom or 2 bedroom house? Do you want a pantry or car parking or outside entertaining area? Are you willing to invest money and time further down the track for renovating or do you want a property that you can just walk into and it's all done? Once you have a recipe for your house, it'll be much easier to know what you want when you walk into open inspections.

4. Stick to your budget. If you fall in love with a house that is outside of your budget, you need to weigh things up. Do you really want to sacrifice your lifestyle to be able to afford payments? At the end of the day, I don't think anyone wants to become a slave to the bank, with no life, but a beautiful house.  Don't be swayed by a real estate agent. You must feel comfortable when you sign those papers. It is you that has to make the repayments.

5. Do your research. Know how much houses have gone for and are going for in the area that you are looking to buy in. Is it a good area? Are there schools and shops near by? Are you looking at staying in the property long term or are you looking at renting it out down the track? Is the public transport near by? These things are key landmarks that buyers look for if you ever want to sell your property down the track.

6. Think long term. I know that it can be scary thinking long term, but when it comes to property, it really is a must. You may not be ready for kids when you first go into property, but the chances are that at some stage you will probably be likely to have them, which means that you may need to go down to a single wage/lose a whole pay cheque. You need to be smart when budgeting and to factor this is - could you still make the repayments on one wage? 

7. Take into consideration hidden costs - there are many when buying a house. Take for example, stamp duty. Stamp duty can be upwards of $20,000. If your budget for a house is $300,000, then you should be looking for properties around $270,000-$280,000. Realistically, you need to afford stamp duty, the cost of conveyances, pest inspections, mortgage brokers, starting electricity, gas and water accounts, any maintenance that may need doing and any furniture that you may need to buy.

8. Try save for a bigger deposit; the more money you have upfront, the more money you save long term and the better deal that you will receive.

9. Be prepared to lower your standards. No body likes the idea of lowering their standards, but, when thinking realistically, you may not be able to afford that four bedroom, double garage, picket fenced property right from the get go. If you look around you, many people who own nice homes with outside entertaining areas, solar panels, and all of the works and jerks are probably 50+ and have added to the shell of the house that they bought when they were first married! 

10. Enjoy the process. I know most of these tips sound all doom and gloomy and heck..responsible, but at the end of the day, you really should enjoy the process! It is a fun and exciting time in your life. Owning your very own home is an amazing feeling - but just don't let the stress of making repayments and having your loan take over your life - get in the way of buying a house that is in your price range and still allows you to live a comfortable lifestyle.

You will probably need to adopt your life after buying a house - you probably won't be able to afford spending $200 in a weekend on alcohol, but instead, you can have friends over under your outside area, or in your  dining room for entertainment (and they can BYO!)

What tips and tricks do you have for new house owners?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Don't Tell the Guests; Getting Ya Craft On

I am probably the least crafty person that you will ever meant...in fact, I think I missed the imaginative, patience is a virtue, finicky, time taking gene that comes with crafting.

And that my friends, seems to be a minority amongst the brides that I have spoken to.

When people ask me how the wedding plans are going, I'm at the point where I can now say that I just want to get married because I don't care about all of the little things. In fact, once we'd booked in the photographer, celebrant, venues, I'd bought my dress, we had our caterer, music, alcohol, rings and suits, I was ready to rumble! They were all of the 'big things' in my eyes.

Now we're up to all of the little things...making the centrepieces, designing the invites, RSVP cards, table seating board, table numbers, name tags, bunting, fairy lights, and all of those crafty things that take time, energy and patience and well I lack all three!

Lucky enough for me, I have some little helpers that are keen to get involved so I'm adapting the delegating way of life, and palming off as many of the crafty duties to people who enjoy the challenge and fun of stretching their imagination and bringing their ideas to life with glue, paper, lace, hessian, fancy computer programs and the rest!!!

We are just so grateful for four people in particular, who have gone above and beyond our expectations.

The first goes to my gorgeous bridesmaid, Kiah. Kiah was complaining that she was bored, so I quickly blurted out that I had just the job for her, and set her to the task of making 70 jars for the centrepieces, wrapped and drooped with lace, hessian, chalk board paint, chalk, ribbon and everything in between. Not only has she been collecting jars, but she has also carefully washed and peeled the labels off (which alone, is a challenging task!) And has spent countless hours designing different styles of jars, that will grace our guests tables, lite up with tea light candles in them.

Let me tell you, they look very rustic, provide an amazing atmosphere and glow, and are way better then the crappy newspaper jars that I would've created!!!

The second huge thanks goes to an old work mate of mine, who not only designed our save the dates, but has also had to stalk my Pinterest board, to design our amazing invites. Again, if it was up to Mick and I then our guests might've been lucky to get a Facebook invite or a hand written invite on the back of a napkin, but instead, they're getting invites by a professional, who is amazing at what she does!!!

Not only has Sasha created an invite, but she's also added in a small RSVP slip, with an envelope with our postal address and a prepaid stamp, so that our guests tick a box to say yay or ney to coming to our day, plus any dietary requirements, and pop it into the post box so that we can keep a record of who can and can't attend!


The third little legend is another bridesmaid; Samara. For my 24th birthday I was handed a shoebox. Inside was a piece of string and a little note, telling me that for my birthday present she will make me bunting for our wedding.

Bunting is something that I have always loved, but I knew that I'd never be able to make it myself...me and sewing machines don't seem to see eye to eye...in fact, in year 9 home economics, I was the last in my class to finish a bag bag, that I had managed to sew together so that you couldn't open it up...fail.

Lucky for me, Samara happens to be a genius with a sewing machine, and loves spending her time getting her craft on.

We're so grateful for Samara who has given up her time to go shopping for material, to cut the triangles, carefully sew around them and to attach them to string (well at least I think this is the process!) Not only am I excited to see them at our wedding reception, but I am also excited to have them hanging under our outside area at our house after the big day!!!

Our last big thanks goes to my Aunty (and Uncle). Fortunately for us, they happen to own a wedding business. Without my aunties eye for detail, imagination and craftiness, we'd be having plastic chairs, wooden tables, paper napkins, perhaps a chain of fairy lights and well that's about it at the reception. The other day we managed to peer in through the windows of the venue for our reception, and within minutes my aunty had come up with different ideas to bring the place to life!

What a legend!!! She is a trick of all trades, and has even offered to hand sew hessian table runners for us, as well as hanging lights, covering the chairs with fancy chair covers, sew her own hessian material to gap along the front of the bridal table, and so much more!!!

We're super Dooper lucky to have both of their help! Check out their website here...

We're just so grateful for the girls help! There are so many elements to planning a wedding day, and there's so many people involved to help make it all come together and run smoothly, and we're just stoked to have people in our life who are happy to volunteer their time to help make our day special and less stressful for us!!!

Sooo.. what crafty ideas did you have for your wedding?

Did you try your hand at DIY?

I must admit that while I'm not very crafty, it has been a great bonding experience to have the girls around to make some jars, even if my designs are secretly reinvented later and I'm elected to wash out the jars hahahaha

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Saturday, 20 July 2013

My Relationship with my Sister

No matter how old we get, my sister will always be known as 'my little sister to me'.

I feel so honoured and grateful to be writing this blog post today as it's proof that relationships really do change with time, maturity and while not living under the same roof and practically killing each other!

Yes, my sister and I have experienced every emotion that comes with the roller coaster of being siblings.

As kids we got on like a house on fire; in fact, I have precious memories of us going mushrooming, and later walking the streets of our tiny town, selling them to our friendly neighbours for a few dollars so that we could hop on our push bikes and ride on down to the local supermarket and fill our pockets full of lollies. We'd go tad pooling together and carefully balance the yellow ice cream bucket that was slushing with muddy water and cute little tadpoles on the handles of our bike and present them to mum and dad like some kind of trophy. We'd bake goodies with mum, play with our Ginnea Pigs (until Tegan showed one a little too much affection and it's head popped off), got up to mischief, played mums and dads in the cubby house, picked stumps in winter for the fire, and well, just enjoyed each others company.

As the years went on, and hormones kicked in, I could quite honestly say that we grew to despise each other, in fact, I can recall many screaming matches down the passage where we'd yell I hate you, followed by the slamming of two doors, and steam coming out of mums ears.

We clashed; big time!!!

She thought I was the golden child and I thought she was the spoilt little youngest child brat.

Even when we both moved to Adelaide we still didn't see eye to eye.

Despite our outward hatred for each other, deep down I was always the protective older sister, and if anyone talked or acted the way I did towards her, then they would've had me to face!!! Ironic...huh?!

I think the turning point in our relationship was when I got sick with my depression; it was then that we really learnt how precious life was and each other were.

Without a doubt my sister was one of the toughest pillars who got me through my battle. It was her that could get away with the brutal honesty that I needed to hear. It was her that would drive down from four hours away to see me on weekends and take me to do things.

Our relationship grew stronger, and I was honoured to be asked to stand beside her on her wedding day.

It was at this time that I found out that her and her husband were going to make me an aunty.

Words can truly not express how excited and happy I was for my sister when she announced her pregnancy ( we knew when she was 7 weeks pregnant), for she had been told that she'd have a 7% chance of falling pregnant naturally due to her endometriosis.

Tears of joy streamed down my face; my little sister was going to have an opportunity to be pregnant, and I knew that she was going to make the most amazing mum.

Let me tell you that she has certainly proved me right.

Seeing her with my gorgeous niece is inspiring; she loves that little girl like no other.

The feeling of being an aunty is a love that I can not describe; I could eat my gorgeous niece alive she's that darn cute! 

I'm very proud to say that I will have my sister standing beside me on my wedding day.

I love that I can now pick up the phone and talk to her about anything. I love that I can rock up to her house every Wednesday night buggered from work and can flop on her couch, eat her food, cuddle her daughter, and just relax. I love our d n M's, playing board games, lunch dates, giggles and well, I just love her.

So here's to changing relationships and the love that we have for our siblings. Too often we forget to take the time to let them know how much they truly mean to us, and how they inspire us, and fill us with pride.

To my little sister, you fill me with pride love and inspiration.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Don't Tell the Guests; the Bucks Show

My partner is having his bucks show 2 and a half months early....yes, that is probably an indication of how crazy his night is going to be. The boys keep joking that it's long enough for his eyebrows to grow back....eeeeeekkkk!!!

I just hope the poor bloke survives!

Bucks shows; every brides worst nightmare.


It's the night that their partner gets picked on, tied up, tarred, shaved, waxed, painted, stripped, dunked, coated, hammered, hurt, shot at, aimed at, laughed at, and well, just genuinely given crap!!!

It's the night that there is no limits...except of course, the face and hands; anything back the face and hands...

The problem with my partners mates is that they genuinely struggle with the whole line thing; I think they must be tight rope walkers.

They don't really understand wrong from right, and funny from stupid...and well, that's why I'm going to be breathing a sigh of relief once this weekend is over, and my partner is back safely in my care!

So what's in a bucks show? One last night of 'being single?' What, so the last 10 years together didn't count as 'being taken?' Haha really, they are just an excuse to get messy, and to get the groom back for all of the times that they have given you crap.

Except have no fear; my groom is no ordinary groom, in fact, I found myself explaining to him that his bucks night is when he is suppose to cop crap on the chin.

Well, he's got a whole other idea!!! Yup, he's going to the bucks show prepared he tells me. I'm picturing The Pacifier yet with cans of spray paint, lasers and other weapons attached to a belt around his waist.

I kind of explained to him that the bigger the fight that he puts up, the larger the punishments, but he doesn't want to go down without a fight...can you see why I am nervous?

So what are the limits for a bucks show?


No female entertainment?

Private lap dances? Strip club? 

Waxing eyebrows?


Dying hair?

Tar? Wax? Other sticky substances that stick like poop?

Super glue?


Dress ups? Wigs? Female clothing?

Blow up dolls? G strings? 

I guess every group of friends have different ideas of 'acceptable limits'.

Who should be held responsible for the bucks show? 

Who organises it?

As a general rule, usually the best man gets the job of planning a memorable weekend, but at the end of the day, all of the groomsmen usually work together.

Who gets invited? Usually the father of the groom and bride, family and friends.

When is the big event? A long time ago, very brave women let their men have their bucks show the night before the wedding...thank god somewhere over the generations one too many groomsmen spewed/passed out on their wedding day and now the bucks show is usually a month or two before the wedding...well, just usually enough time for the groom to recover!

Where do bucks shows occur? Here, there and everywhere, but preferably not in strip clubs!!!

Why do girls get so nervous?

All of the above!!!

So wish me luck as I keep myself super busy this weekend to stop myself from thinking too much about my poor groom being hammered by his 'friends and family'!!!

Hahaha I truly can't wait for this right of passage to be over, and I hope that I still have a groom to marry!

What do you think is acceptable at a bucks show?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Depression; The Effects on Those Closest To You

Depression doesn't only affect the sufferer, it affects everyone around them.

I should know, I've been there.

The impact that my illness had on those closest to me, still brings me to tears. Even though I am writing openly about it in this blog post, it's something that I struggle physically talking about without my eyes welling up with tears.

I couldn't imagine just how difficult it was for those who love me so much, to see me become a completely different person; a shadow of my former self.

I can't even contemplate how hard it would've been to know what to say to me, and to be worried about saying the wrong or right thing that could have the potential to set me off. I'm sure they struggled with how honest they should be, and whether they should tell me that I needed help, or wasn't coping or that in fact, it was me who had to make the decision to getbetter.

While my memory of the whole experience is quite hazy, I do remember once standing in my kitchen and my sister asking me blantly if I wanted to get better, and if I believed that I could. At the time, I could only cry; getting better felt like an impossible, energy draining task that I already lacked energy for.

How hard would've that been for my sister?

How hard would've it been for my family and friends to know what to do. I was asking to fly home to mum and dads, but obviously my partner didn't want to leave me, and my parents weren't sure if it was the best thing for me. 

The doctors would say one thing, the psychologists another, and the nurses would change their story with each shift. It would've been so difficult to get information about my condition as I am an adult, and therefore the information is confidential, even though I was in no state to process, or even comprehend it.

 Could you imagine seeing someone you love lose the will to live? Or someone you love be in so much inner emotional turmoil and pain?

I honestly can't believe how strong and supportive my friends and family were. Never once did anyone tell me to snap out of it. Never once did anyone question my illness, or doubt me, or hate me. Never once did anyone give up on me, even when I had given up on myself.

My friends sent me flowers, they wrote me letters, they printed photos to stick on my hospital walls. They texted and phoned me, they came to visit and took me on outings, they even dragged me out of bed kicking and screaming abuse to  make me go to events because they knew that that was what was best for me.

My parents and partner took time off of work. They drove me to doctors appointments, held my hand when i cried, brushed my hair when I didn't have the energy or willingness to do so. They listened to me go on and on about how horrible I was feeling. They bought cards to play, books to read, suduko to solve and teddies to cuddle.

Without a doubt my support network were what got me through the most difficult battle of my life.

It wasn't easy. Some of my friends saw counselling. My partners joined Carers. My partner, who stayed strong for everyone else the whole time, still struggles to speak about it now.

Only those closest to me will ever know the intimate details of my depression; I only wished that they didn't have to go through it with me, because it kills me to think how hard it would've been for them. The thing that comforts me is knowing that I would've done the same for them, and knowing that together, we fought the toughest battle and triumphed and our relationships have only strengthened because of it.

The one thing that I have learnt from my depression is that it's so important to stop and ask the carers of the sufferer how they are going. It's so important to give them time out too, and a chance to share their thoughts and emotions. A hug can go a long way.

I am forever grateful for those who stood by me; it would've been easier to bail.

And to my partner, words can not express how incredibly grateful that I am for him. He saw me at my absolute worst, and saw things that people should never see, yet he stood by my side the whole time. 

So today's post is to all of the carers of mental health patients; I take my hat off to you.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Will I Be a Good Mummy?

At some stage I think it's inevitable that a girl is going to find themselves pondering over whether they are going to be a good mummy.

To be completely honest, it is something that I have always struggled with.

I feel as though there's so much pressure out there for women to want children, to love children, to plan their lives around babies, and to love, care and nurture children.

Society expects women to be mothers.

The minute there's a wedding ring on a girls finger,  the baby questions start pouring in!

Some girls spend their life dreaming of the day the they will bring a new life into the world. They can't wait to be pregnant, stay at home and raise a child. But others find the idea quite daunting, and spend more time and energy on their career, relationships and themselves. Does this make that person selfish? I mean, why wouldn't a woman want children for any other reason then because they're only thinking of themselves...right?

I strongly believe that if a woman chooses not to have children, then people think it's because they can't, and not because it's by choice.

In no one am I saying that I do not want children, in fact, the idea isn't as scary as it used to be. But I have never really actually pictured myself with children. I think its because I'm scared that I won't be a good mum. 

There are so many amazing mummies out there who I love and adore. They seem to just step into the role, like a real natural. It's not very often that you hear about stories where mums are struggling, or not sure about the whole motherhood thing. Maybe there are more people out there struggling with the expectations then me who just don't talk about it.

There has been an ongoing joke in my family that I want my children to come out as one year olds. Well, let me rephrase that, not physically mature like a one year old, ouch!!! I just mean with the maturity of a one year old and not just a blob that eats, shits, spews, cries and sleeps hahaha clearly I am not ready!

I suck with little babies; they scare the hell out of me. The fact that a whole other little life depends on you for survival...eek! I can barely look after myself let alone another person haha

I've been told many a times that it will be different with your own, and that things will just come naturally, but what happens if they don't?

I do believe one day I will just feel ready, like the wonderfully beautiful moment that I knew that I was ready to be engaged, and I hope by that time that I have come to realize that I can't be so harsh on myself, but for now, I'm happy to keep practising for when the time comes!!!

Ohhh and don't get me wrong, I love children, in fact my little niece, cousins and my friends children melt my heart. I'm usually the biggest kid out there running around like a lunatic with them. I'm just scared of having my own!!!
Are you worried about becoming a mum?

What tips do you have for others?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Don't Tell the Guests; the Suits

Omg my fiance looks so sexy in a suit lol so much so that I wrote a Facebook status updated about running down the aisle to jump my man and I was promptly told that sex on the alter at your wedding is frowned down upon (haha).

So here we have it; the suits for the wedding.

Where to start?

There's so much more to choosing the right suit then walking into a shop and saying that one.

Firstly, you've got to think of what colours are going to go with the wedding and bridesmaid dresses, as well as the overall tone for your wedding day.

Are you going black tie, sophiscated, fancy smancy, with bow ties or are you thinking more casual and laid back, with greys or browns?

Are you thinking penguin tales, with a top hat and walking cane ala Charlie Chaplan style or are you thinking cream pants rolled up to the knees and an open white shirt?

Do you want the suite to be tight fitting or loose?

Are you wanting pin stripped or plain or zig zagged or rainbow?

Were you thinking of a vest underneath?

Are you going the whole hog with cuff links, belts, shiny shoes, and a tie?

Is the groom going to wear a different coloured tie, or shirt or vest to set him apart from the groomsmen?

What colours are going to compliement the dresses and not clash with them?

Not so simple huh?

Luckily for Michael and I we went to a super helpful store in our regional town and were greeted with super helpful staff that helped us to whip up the boys super sexy outfits!!!

We soon realised that there wasn't much difference in buying the suits over hiring them, particularly with the discount of buying in bulk ($250 to hire the jacket, pants, shirt, tie, shoes and belt versus $249 for the pants and jacket, $60 for the shirt, $80 for the shoes and $20 for the belt, and everyone gets to keep them plus not having to rush them back the next day!)

The staff gave us a couple of options and Mick proceeded to the change rooms, strutting his stuff in vests (which totally did not suit mick), pin stripped pants, plain suits, stripped white shirts, plain shirts, different coloured shoes, bow tie, no bow tie, jacket, no jacket, shirt tucked in, shirt hanging loose, sleeves rolled up, sleeves buttoned up hahaha who ever knew that an outfit was so veristile?

In the end we decided on no tie, opened necked shirt, dark grey jacket and pants, dark grey shoes and a hunky spunky wedding party!!!

Of course, we also had to check to make sure that the suits came in sizes for our little people (Mick's 9 year old brother and our 3 year old Paige boy) and lucky enough, they did; score!!!

It was super exciting to see my sister in her bridesmaid dress next to Mick; for the first time it really started to feel real that out wedding is in 3months time!!! Yay.

What decisions did you have to make when it came to the suit?

Did you buy or hire?

Look after yourself and those around you.

PS I will try and contain myself down the aisle....I did say try lol

Kirsty xxx

Monday, 8 July 2013

Your Stressometer!

What on earth is this chick talking about?

Picture a thermometer, but inside of you, somewhere perhaps near your heart, to monitor your pulse. It's a long clear tube, with a little bulb bit down the bottom, and it is full of a red liquid mixture inside. Down the side there are numbers, and little dashes that represent your stress levels. Written down at the base of the thermometer is completely chilled banana peeled. A centameter up is the saying staying cool, you silly fool. Three quarters down the tube is feeling deterred and a little stirred, half way down the length is gotta breath, I'm feeling flushed, a little up is my hearts pumping, my heads thumping. Half way to the top and your minds racing, you need to start pacing, a quarter to the top you're feeling faint and palms are sweating, taking on too much is what you're regretting. At the very top you've lost control, and you've dug yourself into a stressed out hole.

If you picture this, where would your red dye sit?

Chilled as a cucumber, or ripping your hair out, flustered mustard?

When was the last time that you stopped and checked your thermometer?

Are you more 'stressed out' then you're allowing yourself to accept? Are you sleeping? Are you eating well or munging out on nasty food to make yourself feel better? Are you in control of your life, thoughts, feelings and actions or are you frazzled and out of control?

When was the last time that you stopped and breathed? Or just sat and did nothing unashamedly or not feeling guilty?

Are you under the pump at work? Are you taking lunch breaks? Are you leaving your office? Do you get home on time?

How's things with your partner? Are you both happy? When was the last outing that you had together to spend quality time with each other?

Are you carrying around negative thoughts, feelings and emotions?

Are you loving life and sitting on the chilled banana peeled end of life? What do you do to stay this way?

I love being mindful of my stressometer. It is the one thing that I have control over. Yes, me. I am the only way who can feel my stressometer. I am the only one who can truly see its affects on my emotions, behaviour and thoughts. I know when I'm taking on too much. I know when I need to get something off of my chest that has been bothering me and is festering inside. I know when I'm eating too much crap and feeling down in the dumps because of it. I have a voice connected to the stressometer that allows me to speak up and say hey ' I'm not coping' or 'I need extra help' or 'I need a day off to regroup.'

It is up to me to monitor my stressometer.

It is up to me to ensure that I stay in the chilled banana peeled section, and if I feel my stressometer rising above the I'm feeling deterred and a little stirred, then I must make changes in my life.

For it's not worth anything, and I mean anything, to find yourself suffering from anxiety, because you're stress levels are out of control.

It's not worth feeling your heart racing, palms sweaty, vision blurry, feeling faint, isolating yourself, and geninuely feeling like poo, just because you've forgotten to monitor your stressometer.

Everything uses your energy, even the things you enjoy doing, so it's important to make sure that you keep the things on your plate that make you happy, and help you to destress, instead of filling your plate with eyes bigger then your belly!

What's your stressometer looking like?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Lacey and Leo; a Home Sewn Business

Today I welcome the gorgeous Jenna to my blog. Jenna just so happens to be bringing sewing back, and is proving that gen y's can still use a sewing machine to produce gorgeous fabric creations! You go girl. Hear all about Jenna's little up and coming business today. Hold on to your bank accounts, you are going to want to buy buy buy once you see just how incredibly cute her designs are!!!

Take it away Jenna xxx

The little stud muffin Leo!

I don't remember exactly when I decided I might try my hand at sewing, but I do remember the process that got me there!

I had recently moved back to Port Lincoln after spending eighteen months in Adelaide, and my niece Lacey, (then one),  was obviously using bibs a lot. I was talking to a friend and colleague (Kylie) at work who makes patterns and bibs also, and asked if I could purchase some. I only work with Kylie twice a week, and by the time we got to work together again, I'd had a brainwave. "Maybe I could make Lacey a bib?.... I did home ec at school... (six years ago!).... Surely I could sew a few bits together and make one?!"

As I was living with mum after the move back to the EP, I had access to a sewing machine and a helping hand (a quilters hand!) at my disposal.

The gorgeous Lacey!

 I popped into Patchwork Pear one day, bought a few fat quarters of funky material, then, after a quick trip to Target, I bought a pack of cloth nappies for the backing. Kylie gave me the pattern she uses for her bibs, and after a few slight changes to the size, I was ready to rock and roll! 

At first I had trouble going around the tight corners of the neck and it took me well over half an hour to make one bib, but before I knew it, I could whip one up from start to finish in 10 minutes!

Looking back at those first bibs I made, for Lacey and my cousins daughter, Gia, they are terrible!!! But like anything, you get better the more you do it! 

When my nephew, Leo, entered the world on New Year's Eve 2012, I had a new little doll to play with!! 

Lacey and Leo was born!

I got excited and ordered labels for my products, business cards and stickers with a logo and then came another brainwave.. (Or brain fart, I'm still not sure!)  The bluebird markets were coming up and I thought I'd give it a go! I had under a month to make a stock pile with enough stuff to fill a trading table, and 4 hours of trading at the markets! (Oh dear!) 

A cute little nappy bag!
I put my own sewing machine on lay by and told all family members where it was and could I please have my birthday present 3 months early?! I would go to mums after work and sew for hours, most of the time she was right there with me, cutting, ironing, top, stitching, folding, ironing again! Then I got Aunty Kate into it too! I gave her a stack of pinned bibs and asked her to sew around them for me and I'd complete them, it really was a little sweat shop. But we got there in the end, and I am very grateful for everyone's help!

Funky pram inserts

I had a great at at the markets and made quite a profit which I am very proud of! I have signed up for the baby expo in September, but at least I have three months to prepare this time!

 The Lacey and Leo Facebook page had 60 likes in less than 24 hours, so here's hoping word gets around and my little business continues to grow with my beautiful niece and nephew!

Adorable bibs

Lacey will be a big sister any day now, but unless my sister Beck names the baby "Laverne" or "Lesley" it just won't go! The eldest from each family will have to do!!

Jenna xx

(By the way, my beautiful niece Della entered the world on June 11, 2013. Another precious princess for me to live and spoil)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Getting Smashed or Smashing You?

Do you set out to get smashed, hammered, liquored, off ya guts, plastered or maggoted?

Do you ever find yourself waking up the day after feeling like dogs balls, as you have your head staring face to face with the back of the toilet bowl, a raging headache and you can't keep anything down, thinking why do I do this to myself?

Why is it, that we do do it to ourselves?

Not only is it poisoning our bodies, but Beej is also going to tell also today that it has another serious effect on our minds.

Beej and I were discussing our alcohol intake the other day, and in the wise words of Beej this is what she said that really made me think 'we can't turn to alcohol to feel better and then blame it for making us feel crap'.

Take it away Beej.

The month is upon us – Dry July – and I will be donating to people taking on the challenge and applauding their efforts for raising awareness about cancer and supporting those who suffer the deliberating disease. Dry July is a well known and respected fundraiser, and while the consumption of alcohol isn’t directly linked to the development of cancer, it is little wonder that refusing the drop has been chosen as the challenge to be undertaken – saying no to a drink offer is not exactly considered the norm.

Did you realise, Dry July is also meant to make you stop and take notice of your own drinking habits? In the past and even very recently, in an attempt to reduce the amount of alcohol people drink, the focus has been on how you hurt others – whether it is by driving drunk, becoming aggressive, not being there for your family, drink walking, etc. etc. But what about what alcohol does to you? Yes, health magazines have spoken of the fact that alcoholic drinks are far from nutritious, and are instead nasty little calorie bombs we consume one after the other (yet we fight ourselves over having dessert?). And we’ve all suffered through a hangover and binged on greasy food the next day or not been able to hold anything down at all.

But, there’s something that’s not mentioned enough.

Alcohol is a depressant (which is ironic considering some people can’t have ‘fun’ without it). It slows the function of your central nervous system, blocks messages from getting to the brain, and hence alters your perceptions, emotions, movement, vision and hearing.

As mentioned earlier, the movement, vision and hearing impairment have been focussed on before, but lets talk about your perceptions and emotions. Ever looked at your friends laughing as they walk back to the table and were convinced they were laughing at you? Found yourself getting overly upset at something that wouldn’t usually faze you? Missing home more the next day than you have been in a while?

Like I said – depressant.

When you’re already susceptible to feeling down, the chemical affects of alcohol are only going to make you feel better for a very short period of time, and in the end it is going to leave you worse off. Reaching for a single calming drink after a rough day can be a moment for you to sit and relax, but finishing the 6 pack could have the opposite affect. And if you’re leaving all the sh*t behind at home to spend the night at the pub instead – the sh*t’s still going to be there when you get back – except you’re not going to have the energy to deal with it through your hangover on Sunday, so the problem is only going to compound and be even worse by next weekend. By the time Friday rolls around your need to hit the bottle rises at the same rate as your stress, and it all happens again.

Let me get this out there right now: I’m not saying don’t have a drink. I’m not saying don’t get drunk. And I am certainly not saying that I am a teetotaller. By all means, go ahead, I am not preaching and completely against drinking here - I am just saying – sometimes we all need to make better decisions. If things are rough for you at the moment, don’t be convinced that alcohol is going to make it better. If you can’t remember much about the night before, and you’re finding out horrific stories about your behaviour that have you ashamed – maybe have a think about why you’re drinking to oblivion in the first place. If you’re already under the pump of a deadline – don’t waste a day hungover.

And I am of the personal opinion that if you can’t have fun without alcohol, you’re damn well not trying hard enough.

Deciding whether to drink or not is your personal decision. And that means it’s mine too. Some nights I might get on it with everyone else and suffer the next day but have enough laughs to hold down my bacon and egg breakfast.

But when I refuse the drink, it could be because I am driving; maybe I’m pregnant (I’m not). Usually it’s because I’ve got no room after dessert, or I’m just watching my sugar intake. Maybe I’m just not in the mood – or maybe it’s because I am struggling with something. Maybe I’m saying no because I don't like being in a round, having things bought for me or feeling like I owe someone, or, like for the last few years, I'm trying to save money for something more important (aka dream wedding and honeymoon to Europe would not have happened if I drank every weekend!).

But it is NOT because I am not ‘fun’ (yes I take MAJOR offence to this one). It’s NOT because I am a freak. It is because I know who I am, and who I want to be, and how I want to feel. Cheers to that.

Beej xxxx