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.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Heart Eating/ Hate Cooking; Easy Peasy Recipes

Eating is one of my favorite pastimes;  infact,  as soon as I've finished the last spoonful of my delicious portion chances are that my mind is already wondering about what's next for me to devour.


I hate cooking.  Okay,  hate is a strong word,  but I cook to fulfill my growling stomach, and not because I eeeek *enjoy it*.

Let's just say that if it's my turn to host a dinner party,  I usually "whip up" tacos,  or a BBQ or cook yourself your own meat on a European/hot rock inspired experience.

There's definitely nothing gourmet about it;  unless I get ambitious and plonk a piece of parsley into the sour cream for garnish!


I need to eat and my husband isn't always around for me to snap my fingers and be waited on hand and foot.

I'm not sure what it is about it that I really dislike; maybe it's the fact that you have to be shock horror organized with a shopping list.  Or because there's fancy pancy ingredients that are required for experimentation that I never have in my cupboards.  Or because I'd rather be face down totally engrossed in a true love story over a recipe book.  Or maybe it's because I want something that I can whip up in seconds;  and the thought of having to marinate the night before or prepare in advance sends shudders down my spine.

Nope; I want food and I want it now.

So I thought I'd create a little segment for like minded people who heart eating but hate cooking with basic old mundane ingredients that you find in your cupboard or fridge; like plain flour, milk,  oil and butter and not cornflour,  sesame oil, balsamic vinegar and all things la de da.

Yup,  plain,  simple,  practicable,  edible and ready to eat in 20 minutes tops from raw ingredients to consumption.

First up is my idea of "stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new".

Check out this easy peasy recipe on Jess' s blog for chicken and sweet corn soup. 

It's perfect for lazy rainy Monday nights so that you have left overs for lunch,  something warm for your belly,  you can grab a cooked chook on the way home from work and eat the skin to satisfy your belly rumbles before you get home and it's super easy! 


***note; no random ingredients.

***I swapped raw chicken for a cooked chook from the shops because I'm super lazy.




***ready in 10 minutes.

***literally cut up chicken,  open cans of corn,  chuck in,  boil,  stir in flour and egg.


Do you heart eating but hate cooking?

Do you have any easy recipes to share?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Monday, 19 May 2014

Life has Taught Me

Life has taught me;

-to create your own opportunities by thinking big and and not being afraid to voice your ideas and follow through with your actions.

-To be truly happy you have to come to an understanding with yourself that you matter and your opinions, values and feelings should be heard.

-Stopping and appreciating your natural environment does wonders for your health.

-Your health is precious and must always be a priority in your life.

-It's okay not to be happy all of the timeEvents and circumstances that are out of your control are bound to happen throughout your life but they will make you a stronger and better person and you will grow to trust your ability to cope in the face of turmoil.

-Some things just plain suck.

-The depth and genuiness of your relationships is what adds value to your life.

-Be kind and open minded to other people's differences.

-There is great power in the breath

-A job is just a jobIf you're not happy then leave.

-At first love doesn't take effort but over time the quality of your relationship requires the commitment of two people communicating, growing and comprising to make each other happy.

-Life's too short to hold grudges.

-Regret is a wasted emotion.

-Contributing to something bigger then your own existence is rewarding.

-Step outside of your comfort zone.

-Set goals and work hard to achieve them.

-It's okay to say no.

-Have fun and try not to take life too seriously.

-Be frugal with your moneyyou can always earn more.

-Use your energy on the things that make you happy.

-Make time for yourself.

-Busy schedules are overrated.

-Try not to compare yourselves to otherseveryone is on their own journey.

-Be honest.

-Stand Up for yourself and what you believe in.

-If you're not happy then do something about it.

-Be kind to yourself.

-If you're unhappy with your weight; change your lifestyle.

-Be patientyou can't have everything at once.

-Create opportunities.

-Never settle for anything less then you deserve.

-Live within your means.

-Don't over commit.

-Let people know of your gratitude.

-Stay in touch with your friends.

- Show appreciation towards people who help you on your journey.

-Love yourself.

-If you really want somethingmake it happen.

-Don't take parenthood for granted.

-There's always someone worse off then you.

-Don't bitch.

-Fight for the things you love.

-Do something you love.

-Sometimes there's nothing you can say or do to make someone feel better; sometimes they just need to know that you are there and you won't think any differently of them.

My experience with depression,  while difficult and terrifying,  really has changed my outlook and appreciation for life.

We really do only live once so it's important that we value ourselves,  those around us and our health and that we try not to become bogged down in the petty little unimportant nonsense of life so that we can use our energy to live life according to our values and grab life by the balls!

What has life taught you?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Saturday, 17 May 2014

A Career, A House and A Family

A successful career,  owning your own home and nurturing a family; is it all possible?

How do people find a balance between all three?

We live in a time where it is expected that both genders participate in the workforce.

Just like once upon a time everyone expected that women wanted nothing more then to be the stay at home domestic goddess for their family;  people now expect that you will attend school,  finish year 12, complete tertiary education and chase the fulfillment of a career and rising through the corporate ladder.

To aspire to being a stay at home mother at a young age can be mistaken for having no direction and real aspirations in life.

But,  this is where things become even more trickier; while chasing your career at some stage you are still expected to start a family.

The age at which society accepts that you're ripe and ready for child bearing is a grey area;  under 25 and you haven't given your career enough energy but over 30 and you're womb is a ticking time bomb.

Add in the great Australian dream to be a home owner and BAM you have a financial confliction between paying a mortgage,  raising a family and chasing that career satisfaction and acknowledgement.

Can you own a house, be a full time mummy and have a career?

Is it financially viable?

Is it emotionally tolerable?

Who does it benefit in the long run?

With the average mortgage tipping $400,000 plus in Australia,  repayments are roughly $1500 a month, plus bills,  food and a lifestyle;  can you really do it all on one wage so that the wife or husband can stay home full time to care for their children?

Is it easier to rent and raise a family so that you don't encounter the financial burden of a mortgage?  But then again,  rent is expensive too.

Is the primary caregiver being forced back into work places just to be able to make ends meet?

Something has to give.

The house?  The career? The family?

Do you manage on one wage to support a growing family but go through life living on the bare essentials?

Do both parents work which inevitably means less time and energy with your children and more pressure to run a home,  juggle work,  pick ups,  drop offs, social calenders and last but not least your relationship and Foundation for it all?

There's little wonder that people are so stressed when being torn to decide when is the right time to start a family,  having to juggle finances with family commitments and everything in between.

But what's the alternative?

You ship your husband off to the mines to earn the big bucks while you become a single mother for the time they're away?

You rent for life?

You don't have children?

You struggle from pay cheque to pay cheque?

You both work?

To live the life society now expects something has to be sacrificed.

Again and again we see marriages break down because people simply don't have the time and energy nor finances to have it all.

Is having a family a financial burden?

Society appears to be making it that way.

It's stay at home on one wage to raise your children or both work and put children in super expensive childcare to pay the bills.

Some would say well then don't get a mortgage in the first place but who really wants to rent forever?

Is being able to afford to stay at home to make it all work now a luxury?

But we also know just how darn difficult parenthood is too so many choose to work a day or 2 just to escape the house in search for an adult conversation.

It's a little scary to think that being a full time stay at home mum may no longer be a choice for many families as they know in advance that when push comes to shove there's a mortgage and bills to pay. 

We also know that country kids are much more likely to jump into parenthood much earlier in their lives compared to the city folk.

Why is this?

Is it because they're bored and there's nothing else to do?

Perhaps it's because many are fortunate enough to have homes provided for by their family run farms which reduces the financial commitment to owning your own home.  Without this to factor in,  it provides the opportunity to have children younger,  and to be able to have the choice to stay at home.

But for those who have to start from the ground up can they have it all?

Maybe the better question is;  can they have it all and be happy?

To be honest;  I think it's the minority of people who do.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

What The #!@$ Days.

Some days are just what the days.

You know those days when you're just so mad or so frustrated that you feel like a kettle about to boil and like steam is literally about to come whistling out of your ears and you just want to pour yourself all over someone?

Yup,  what the days.

What do we do to stop ourselves from seriously burning someone?

Draw back hard on a cigarette?

Blow your steam and storm on out?

Throw your hands in the air like you just don't care?  A whoop whoop? 


Or just breathe and ride the wave,  while letting your stormy waters simmer back down to room temperature so that you avoid blowing the circuit?


Swear and curse on the inside but breathe.

A hot tip is to place your hands on your belly and breathe in feeling your belly protrude and then push out through your nose and repeat until your blood stops boiling.

Beware this does take some time to perfect and can take many incredibly deep breaths for the boiling over the top feeling to subside.

If all else fails leave the room and let your kettle cool. 

What tips do you have for managing one of those breaking point moments?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Tips for Restoring Furniture - Guest Blogger!

You know the saying, one person's trash is another person's treasure? Well today I'm super excited to have Lisa on my blog; an avid treasure hunter who really can jazz up any piece of furniture and make it look brand spanking new!

I have been admiring her ability from a distance for a while now, awwing and arrring over her various thrifty challenges, but now I have decided to grab life by the balls and try my hand at my very own projects!

My husband is a tad nervous that this new found desire to redo furniture is just another thing on his to do list when I grow tired of sanding, but hey, happy wife is a happy life - huh? tee hee

Take it away Lisa.

Hello lovely readers from Unspoken conversations.

My name is Lisa from The Thrifty Challenge and Kirsty has been telling me about a beauty of a big old table she found that she wants to upcycle and restore. Since I’m kind of obsessed with fixing up old furniture I’m here to share some tips about how I tackle a furniture restoration project.

1. Source yourself a beautiful piece of furniture.
First comes finding the perfect pieces of fix up.  At the moment I’m not working that much so I have lots of free time and a very limited budget so I’m always sourcing pieces from gumtree, garage sales, my parent’s hoarding furniture stash and best of all freebie furniture from the side of the road. If I drive past something amazing, there is no way I’m not going to stop and put it in my car. In fact so far husband and I have only bought a bedroom set, a couch, 6 dining chairs and an outdoor table from shops. Every other item in our house is second hand and I love it that way.  I am very selective about projects I take on and always look for furniture with lovely details and in fairly good condition. The item has to be special and have a use before it’s worth my time to fix up.

In the above shots you can see a bookcase, chest and filing cabinet I got from the parents, an ottoman found on the side of the road and a built in wardrobe that came with our house. 
2. Scrub and clean
Remove all dust and excess grime from the furniture item so it is clean and ready to work with.
3. Get out the sander
Give the furniture a good sand so it is easier for the paint to stick to the wood. This is also the time to remove all hardware (drawer handles etc). I also used a 3M wood filler to fill in any holes and scratches so the paint can be applied evenly. Once you have applied the wood filler sand it back and make sure to remove any dust leftover so the furniture item is ready for paint.
4. Prime and paint
Primer makes the paint adhere to the wood without you having to sand it too much- lots and lots of sanding is painful work.  For the primer (and also paint) I used an angled paintbrush and mini foam roller. I brush the paint on with the paintbrush and then if I need to smooth it, I use the roller.
I always give two coats of paint for good coverage as I really like my furniture to look well finished. I always use enamel paint for furniture that will be getting lots of use as it is much longer lasting.
5. Add some extra details to make the furniture more unique.
While paint is great and makes a huge difference, sometimes it’s fun to experiment a little more and use items like wallpaper and fabric.
Once this lovely display cabinet was painted turquoise, using thrifted wallpaper turned it into an amazing little item.

To make the drawers of this filing cabinet more exciting, I used fabric and mod podge. For more details, click here.
These are some basic tips and each piece of furniture is a unique project to tackle. Furniture restoration takes some time and patience but having special and different items in your house is worth the effort, that and making your house feel like a home when you don’t have many decorating dollars to play with.
Hopefully this post is useful for Kirsty and all you readers out there looking to turn your old furniture into something fab and fresh. Email me at thethriftychallenge@gmail.com for any specific advice you’d like or check out my blog, www.herthriftychallenge.blogspot.com.au for access to all my diy and restoration projects.

Lisa x

Sunday, 11 May 2014

So Quick To Judge

Ask yourself;  are you happy?

Life is about making decisions that make you, and your loved ones happy.

Everyone has a different path to happiness.

There's no right and wrong way to live your life; you're the person in charge of your decisions and destiny.

Sometimes we re quick to judge people's chosen paths. We live in a time where there is no real "norm" to follow when it comes to living your life.  People are faced with the difficult balancing act of juggling a career versus the decision to begin a family.

At times it can feel like there's a very thin balancing line between the appropriate age to reach certain milestones.

Either way,  in some people's eyes you'll always be either too young or too old to be starting a family.

Some people will choose to begin parenthood early on in their book and leave traveling for later on in life once their children have left their nest.

Others will focus on their career and seeing the world first before settling down.

Some may never settle down at all.

There are people who will focus on setting themselves up for the future and others who are happy living day by day.

But the point is,  is that so long as you are happy with your decisions,  then we shouldn't be too quick to pass judgement on others.

Happiness means different things to people and your chosen path might not be the chosen path of others.

So if you choose to have children young;  beauty,  that's fantastic,  what fun parenthood must bring, that's your choice and you'll be supported with that decision.

If you choose to travel, chase personal career fulfillment and property first,  awesome,  that's what brings you happiness.

If you choose not to have children at all,  yay,  the world's your oyster and you can write your own story.

You should never be made to question your decisions because someone else believes their path is the right way.

We just need to keep an open mind and be happy and aware that everyone has different agendas, priorities,  reasons,  heartaches, decisions and pursuits and that's okay.

The journey through life should always be about what makes you and your loved ones happy and that is all that truly counts. 

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


You don't have to love life everyday but there is something in everyday that can bring you joy.

That is what the #100happydays Challenge has taught me.

Some times I'm concerned with being happy that I forget to give myself permission to find love,  joy and contentness in the little things.

When I look back through my daily happy snaps I realise just how much food,  green tea,  scarves,  candles, exercising,  my husband, chick flicks,  precious couch time,  baths and my bed mean to me.

It's okay that my life isn't full of frills all of the time.

It's okay that I struggle with my energy levels,  tiredness and full time work demands.

It's okay that I'm content with this little happy place between my party days and mummy hood.

It's okay that such simple pleasures bring me so much joy.

There's going to be terrible days,  frustrating times and moments when you question everything,  and that's okay.

That's my little epiphany.

What do you think?

Is there so much focus on happiness that when we hit a rough patch we panic?

Can you find something in everyday that brings you joy even if life overall has it moments?

Here's a few snaps from my #100happydays.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Mental Health; The Story Behind My Scarves

My weakness is scarves.

We can be on the tightest of tight budgets when we're saving madly for something we've got our hearts set on and all it takes is for a cute little piece of carefully crafted material to capture my eye and before i know it I'm walking out of the shop with it wrapped around my neck!

My fetish started 3 years ago when I was struggling with depression.

Selecting a scarf to take home and add to my rack was my reward for slowly returning to work.

You see I had almost 3 months away from work when things spiralled out of control as depression decided that I needed to learn to put my health first the hard way.

Getting back on the work horse was one of the hardest challenges that I have ever had to face.

While I needed the time away from work to accept my feelings, seek the help I required and to allow the medication to take effect, it also gave me ample opportunities to convince myself that I could no longer cope with my professional responsibilities and to deem myself utterly useless (however these thoughts were through the negative lens that depression is so good at making you see).

Once my medication had a chance to kick in and bring back some control in my life my next challenge was to face my anxiety of returning to work.

Fortunately for me,  my workplace at the time created a return to work plan over 10 weeks,  where I'd slowly build my hours back to full time.

As my reward for facing up to work and my own fears and anxieties, I would buy a scarf,  and each week I'd receive the retail therapy kick and have a physical reminder of just how far I had come in my recovery (as I really struggled at times to see my progress especially when I went from being such a busy perfectionist bee to having to celebrate the small wins like just rocking up to work! )

Before starting work again I could barely get out of bed and had days where I wouldn't shower so you can see how challenging it would've been to wake up,  get dressed, eat breakfast, catch public transport to work,  follow instructions, perform your duties and make your way home after 3 months of hibernation, doubt and fear where you lost all ability to function in your normal routine.

Needless to say,  once my confidence in my ability to cope with basic tasks returned, my anxiety levels started to decrease and I realized that I could infact, function in society as a normal human being... one day at a time!

My scarf rack also grew and I was able to choose a scarf to match any outfit.

Now, 3 years on,  I look at my scarf rack with pride,  knowing just how far I've come since depression first touched my life.

They are a constant reminder of my battle and my ability to continue living even when things aren't smooth sailing and they bring me so much joy knowing that such a small amount of money all of those moons ago,  could really help me through such a tough time.

Sometimes it truly is the little things in life that make you grateful.

Have you ever had a similar experience where you've used something as a reward to return to health?

What's your shopping weakness?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xx

From Ruin to Renovated; Our Little Big Project

Renovating is strangely addictive.

On one hand it's expensive,  exhausting and can feel like social exclusion but on the other hand it's incredibly rewarding seeing what you can achieve with your money, effort and visions.

The decision to renovate usually isn't one that you jump into without thinking about the pros and cons and every other option out there; do you bulldoze and build?  Do you buy new or start in the market with an old gem that needs some polishing?  Do you make minor improvements for investment purposes or do you go the whole hog and totally transform a property? What is the market value of homes in your area?  How much can you spend without over capitalizing?  What is going to increase the value of your property to maximize profits?  Can you do the work yourself?  How much is it going to cost to employ tradesmen?  Can you even be bothered?  Have you renovated before? 

Decisions,  decisions.

My partner bought his first home at 19. It was a little prefab home in a small country town,  but it was a foot in the property market door and the repayments were less then paying rent.

It became his Bachelor pad,  and if walls could talk they'd be a tale or two to tell.

When he moved to Adelaide the house was rented out and our investment property became our focus. We had big dreams to add value to the house by turning a shed into a granny flat with an en suite and transforming the run down, overgrown backyard into an amazing outside entertaining area with French doors from the lounge room.  With no prior renovating experience under our belts we were pretty naive to just how big that task would be but we chipped away and bought our vision to life. 

And that is where our love for renovating blossomed. 

Well, more to the point,  our love/hate relationship.

I'm not going to lie and paint rosy colored pictures of how fun and easy the task of renovating is,  because truth be told it's a he'll of a lot of work, but it's the challenge and the trials and tribulations that make you want to go back for more! 

So when we moved back to the country after the big city life we had some decisions to make; do we renovate or do we bulldoze and build on the little piece of land with a broken down house that Mick had bought many moons ago? 

It wasn't an easy decision.

We had builders come and inspect the property who estimated that the changes that we wanted to make would cost in excess of $80000 for labor and materials. 

While the loan is relatively small for the property market meaning that we have room to spend without over capitalizing $80000 is a hell of a lot of money! 

So then we were left scratching our heads wondering if we should simplify our plans to renovate, bulldoze or DIY.

My husband happens to be super handy and has a trade in metal fabrication which meant that he felt comfortable replacing major structures with metal and building the shed,  verandah and extensions himself.

Knowing that we could do the majority of the work ourselves, in our own time swayed our decision to give renovating a crack without blowing out our budget. 

Our plans include knocking out a wall and chimney between the kitchen and lounge room to create an open living area,  installing byfold doors to continue this area into an outdoor entertaining space, turning the existing bathroom into a passage way and transforming a little outside bedroom space into the main bathroom that will double as an en suite for the main bedroom. 

Our plans also include a new kitchen,  build in wardrobes and a shed.

At the moment we have submitted the measurements for a shed and verandah for architects to design our vision so that we can submit them for council approval. 

We're both excited to be taking on the renovation challenge again,  and to transform our little shack into a rustic,  industrial themed home,  with red gum timber from the farm,  open planned living and an entertaining area that will have many tales to tell in the future.

We can't wait to have a home that we're proud of and that we can fill with laughter and children!

Join us on our renovating adventure.

Here are some images of the challenges that lie ahead!

Have you ever renovated?

What tips do you have for others?

Would you do it again?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx