Thursday, February 4, 2016

Raising a Daughter has its Challenges!

Raising a daughter was nothing like I thought it would be. When we found out our first born was a girl I was over the moon excited. A girl was just the best news. She was a gorgeous baby with big blue eyes and red angelic lips. Everyone wanted to hold her and cuddle her. I recall the first outing hubby and I took without her though. She was about 5 months old and we were invited to an engagement party. Free food and entertainment, we scored!! Claire was left with my mum and she screamed non stop! My mum called me an hour  after we left and reluctantly asked me to come back. That was really the beginning of our hardships mixed with joys.

As I said, Claire was a such a gorgeous baby and we would get so many complements on her big blue eyes and how well she developed from a baby into a toddler. She crawled for about a week then realised it wasn't so fun and so decided to walk. She was walking just at the end of nine months. Which was amazing and fun for about a week. Having a baby who is walking around at 10 months isn't what its cracked up to be and when you aren't prepared it's even harder!!

I remember at about 12-15 months I was recording Claire's words in my journal ( I don't think blogs existed back then, or at least I had never heard of them). I was filling up the pages fast. At her 18 month update appointment, the nurse asked me what kind of words Claire was saying. I listed some and she looked at me like I was joking. I bet she was thinking, " Oh no, one of these parents who think their kid is saying these things when they aren't". I wasn't bragging, Claire was my first and I thought it was "normal". But now the nurse was giving me that look, so I asked if that was normal or was she behind? The nurse looked at Claire and said, " How are you Claire?" Now I can't remember exactly what Claire said, I do have it written down in my journal, which is somewhere. But the look of shock and surprise on the nurse's face was priceless when she answered her. I wasn't lying, she really could talk your socks off and express herself very well, even at that age. I felt like saying, "Told you"! But again, I wasn't bragging it just was what it was.

Now, I could say all this is amazing stuff continued on, however, as Claire grew up life got more challenging for me. Leaving her at preschool was an event! It was so heart breaking because she would run to the gate and scream like she was being chased by a murderer! It took about 6 weeks for her to chill out when I left and a couple months before she just walked in and didn't run back out again. I would often call when I got home (about 30mins later) and the teacher would say she was fine and one wouldn't know it was the same girl who had put the performance on earlier.  That was how it seemed to work for Claire, put the performance on for mum and see what it took to make her crack. She was a smart little girl. She was keen to argue and question our rules, a lot! Like a real lot! Putting her in time out was a horrendous experience. Disciplining her was a challenge and I had to get really creative. I would always tell myself it will get better when she gets older, but it just got harder, and harder, and heart breaking. She did very well in her school work and she excelled in creative writing, but home life was not all hearts and roses. I went through periods where I didn't like being in the same room as her because of the challenges she put me through. As I had more children, she would go through moments of joy and helpfulness to the complete opposite.

My mum encouraged us to take her to a child psychologist when she was about 10. I was in denial a bit because I justified her behaviour as a creative mind, when really she was manipulating and over powering. How did things get to here? Counselling worked for a little while, but then things fell back into challenge zone again.

Things came to an over powering peak when she was 12. She hated the first high school she attended. She refused to get out of bed, and she hated me. I was to blame for everything and if anything went wrong in her life, I was blamed even if I wasn't in the room or near her when it happened. It was emotionally and physically exhausting. She was no longer a child and I couldn't physically pick her up and move her to her room, or hold onto the door. She was becoming physically stronger than me and the psychological manipulation was harsh and hard to keep up with her. I was told by a counsellor, you have to be several steps ahead, which I could potentially do if I didn't have 3 other children to tend to. Motherhood at that time was hard. Really hard. We decided to changed her schools, hoping this would help her enjoy school. She was actively involved in choosing the new school and her cousin attended and they were in the same year, so we thought this would work out well.  But at this new school she met a friend who was toxic. Well, I should say this toxic friend sort her out. Claire was well accepted at this new school and climbed the social ladder rather quickly. This girl was keen to hang with Claire on top of this social hierarchy. This girl was a nice natured girl to anyones face, but had a taste for adventures with no boundaries nor respect for adults, even her mother. Though we did what I figured most parents did. Have all the sleep overs at our house. Have the girl and the other friends at our house so I could monitor things as much as possible. But I can't monitor them at school, or places they would lie to me about going. Claire's behaviour got worse. So we decided to have Claire see another counsellor and things got better for a couple of months, but then Claire was a victim of cyber bullying at the hands of this "so-called" friend. This cyber bullying was not just a run of the mill situation. We  had to get police involvement along with the school and the toxic friend was suspended. All this drama  turned things south again. She still somehow thought it was a social requirement to remain friends with this girl. Even though she had done this horrible thing (amongst other things).The toxic friend also couldn't leave Claire alone, not necessarily to continue to be nasty but because of this stupid social hierarchy thing! Something had to be done, so we got her to see another psychologist (the one she saw before had moved on to a different clinic). This psychologist was amazing. She had Claire really understand accountability. It was hard on me because I wondered what was wrong with me and my relationship with my daughter, that she couldn't learn those things from me? How did things get this bad? Thankfully, Claire cut herself from this toxic friend and has learnt strategies on self worth and knowing how to determine good qualities in friends and people in general. The psychologist  also helped her see that I am out to help her not hinder. That while she has treated me badly in the past, I won't hold it against her and that Claire is first and foremost my daughter, whom I love and will love forever.

While all these challenges were taking place I had plenty of mums telling me how raising teen girls is so hard. Though most told me that life gets better around 15 or 16 onwards. For me personally, I couldn't see that potential. I always thought life with Claire would be challenging,  for the rest of my life, even if she moved away from home when she got older!!

However, the past 12 months I am happy report have been great. The past 6 months though have been the best. In fact, today was a day I never thought would happen. Claire and her friends spent the day with me. We didn't do anything amazing, I had to go to Costco so they came a long. We chatted and laughed about silly things. It was a girls day out, and it felt so nice. I'm sure this sounds cheesy, but Claire took a photo of us and captioned, "Out with the Squad". Two years ago, that just wouldn't have taken place. I would have been told off for sitting near her and her friends and mocked for trying to be in the photo! She would have demanded things instead of asking then we would embarrass ourselves by arguing because I wouldn't be treated like that. I may not have even got into Costco, I might have left because I couldn't cope with her nasty attitude. Anyway, it seems it is not like that anymore. It seems that we really are progressing forward. We do actually enjoy each other's company and share personal space. It's a really nice feeling, and I like it and I want to hold onto that forever.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Currently Crushing on Fashion Finds World Edition #3

The following crushes are not sponsored. I share what takes my eye. I hope you find something new to crush on too.

I have crushed on these shoes by Noa Levy Aran, of Israel, who owns the Etsy store, ABRAMEY. Gorgeously designed and handmade, she also sells statements necklaces. Crushing on:

THE LEATHER STORE - has to be one of my all time favourites. Handmade leather hand bags by Becki Simms of Bristol England UK. I favourited this store on Etsy years ago and still love what she makes. I will keep my crushing list to a minimum, but i could easily list her whole store!! You will see why!! Crushing on:

MIMIIMADEIT has some very comfy looking styles. The owner, Arta of Rig Latvia, created this line of clothing after having two children and realising her body had changed. Currently crushing on:

I am very much taken by the deigns at A PIECE OF PIE by Sarah Murray of the South Coast, NSW Australia.. They are very unique and she creates clothing from up cycled materials, which when you are talking tea towels could be unsuccessful, but she manages to do it well. Currently crushing on:

On another note, if you need socks for the special guy or dude in your life, then KEMBE CLOTHING  could be the answer. Apparently there is a hashtag if you want to share your #sockswag! Why not?! Currently crushing on:

Jewellery is a very competitive craft to be part of. So many people can make jewellery, but it really comes down to what can you do well that no body else or very few people can do, which is easier said than done. That being said, I do have some favourites I would like to share with you. Well, I kind of have lots, but I will start small!!!

If you have some cash to spare, you might like this ring from PEBBLE AND POLISH of NYC, USA.

Loving the colour and texture of these earrings from ARTNSOULJEWELS, Minnesota USA. 

These cute wooden stud earrings made by JUNEDESIGNCO in Devonport Tasmania, Australia. 

The whimsical filigree designs of FEDERIKAS, are unmistakably fascinating and eye catching. 

I hope you have liked what I have put together this week. I will continue to share my Finds into 2016. If you would like your work to be share, contact me. 


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bacon Okonomiyaki Sushi - It's a Thing!

So I totally love Okonomiyaki with a bit of a passion. The combination of Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise and the Okonomi sauce is just a perfect marriage made in heaven. So I got to thinking. I love bacon, I love avocado I love these two sauces so how can I expand on this? I first made a salad and this was just perfection. But it got me to thinking, about sushi. This could totally work with I made it.

The best advice I can offer is to make the bacon just before assembly. I can't imagine this being as delicious if the bacon sat for a while and became chewier, but each to their own right? This is too easy to make.

cooked rice with sushi seasoning mixed through
nori seaweed sheets
cooked bacon - mine was from Costco the American style strip bacon
avocado skin removed and sliced
wild rocket
Kewpie Mayonaise*
Okonomi sauce*

*You should be able to get Kewpie mayo in Coles or Woolies in the asian food isle. As for Okonomi Sauce, if its not at either of these supermarkets your  local asian supermarket should stock it. Its is a Japanese product and its in a plastic bottle with orange lid and usually in a plastic bag.

Set up you nori sheet as you normally would. Add the sliced avocado, then the bacon, then wild rocket*,  followed by the mayo and sauce. There is no set rule, but this is how I did it.

*I strongly implore you use wild rocket or rocket. It has a lovely flavour and just adds so much more than plain lettuce.

This is super tasty on its own but if you're like me and like to mix your wasabi with your soy sauce, then I recommend you do this:)

Happy for you to pass this on, but please link back to me to show credit. This really needs to become #athing!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Unfortunately my timing is not always on point. I was hoping to have my Craft Finds post up and running at the beginning of Dec, but so many dramas to deal with, which happens when you have lots of kids and that is another post for another time!! Shopping local is really important, but even more so is shopping from small businesses. As I sell craft of my own, I love to support other crafters and artists whenever possible. These businesses, unless stated, I have not purchased from them but like what is sold. So here is a list of my current crushes,.

Kelaoke - making jewellery can be easy to some, but making something unique can be hard. I love these necklaces and woven wall hangings at Kelaoke. She is Aussie and sells via Etsy and her items are truly one of a kind and her love of her craft truly shows in her detailed pieces. New items are added, but check out her Instagram page for all her designs. I am currently crushing on the..

JoeyDesign - something a little different. This girl is a very talented illustrator who sells her designs via cute stickers, cards, softies, and has recently add her own Boho paintings.  She designed some very cute stickers for my daughters 11th birthday party. I have loved this shop ever since. Currently crushing on..

Reclaimed Timber Mandala Artwork

Alfie and Olive - this talented young girl happens to be my niece. She makes vintage style baby bonnets in stylish modern fabric. She is currently located in Bristol UK, but posts internationally. Currently crushing on the William Morris Cotton print with denim.

Pepper Ink - vintage inspired and custom made temporary tattoos are very popular at the moment. Pepper ink is an Australian company with some amazing designs suitable for tweens onwards. Currently crushing on:

Speaking of temporary tattoos, in a different style I love the colour and vibrancy of the temp tattoos from MissyMinzy.  You can also find cute wall art, greeting cards, and brooches. Currently crushing on :

Louise De Masi - I fell in love with Louise's work some time ago now, but love what her talents can produce.  I particularly like her Australia fauna, but there is also now birds of UK and USA in her Etsy store. Currently crushing on :

How cute are the vintage style shower caps from Pure Heaven Naturals ? I also like the floral body butter for the lips, hands and heels. Pure Heaven Naturals are locally hand crafted in small batches.

I am also selling some cute stuff too! My button is just to the right of the post with the crochet flower.

Looking forward to sharing more finds with you in 2016. If you would like me to share an item or two from your independent business, contact me. I will not only mention you in a FINDS post, but you will be listed in the directory, which is located via the tab at the top of the blog. Currently there is not charge for submissions. I welcome businesses all over the world. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Currently Crushing on STYLE FINDS - AUSSIE STYLE #1

I love finding new places to window shop, or screen-shop since I do a lot of it online these days. I often stumble across websites that I wonder if other people know about them. So I thought I might compile a list of sites that I have recently found and share them on. Today;s list features Australian businesses. I thoroughly believe in shopping local as much as possible. I do shop overseas, especially handmade items.  But when and wherever possible I love to support small Australian businesses.  Unless stated, I haven't purchased from these stores, I just like browsing their sites and hoping one day I will get back and purchase something.

MisterZimi - an Australian business that sells gorgeous clothes for women. Has a bit of a boho vibe with bright colours and patterns. Not for big ladies, as in 16+. Sizes range from 6-14, although they do sell shoes. Prices range from $95 to $180. My current crush is on the Santorini Tina Dress.

Bohemian Traders - as the name suggests, a modern bohemian fashion line, that is reasonably price in terms of the upper middle end of the fashion budget. Though they do have great sales, but be quick!! I personally have not yet purchased from here, I have been a bit slow on the up take with their sales, but I plan to in the future. They offer international postage and I am personally in love with the current Vintage Embroidered Shell Top, as shown below but in all the colours!!
 Bohemian traders also offer accessories and gift certificates.

Little Tienda - again another bohemian style fashion brand but from a Mexican perspective. Sizes range from 8-16 (please refer to their size guide).  They stock clothes, shoes, and handbags. I'm crushing on the SeƱora Las Flores dress.

Blue Bungalow - love the look of this Aussie shop. I came across in on Instagram. Variety of garments, footwear, and accessories and with affordable prices. Many under $100. Sizes range from 10 to 16, which is a bonus for the likes of me!! There is a lot to see on this site. Other than clothes, they also stock a range of accessories, lipsticks, and candles. International postage is available. I am crushing on the Ink Border Blue Dress and the Pearl Ankle Strap Sandal.

Ankoa - another bohemian style clothing line, but the patterns are slightly unique and different to the others I have listed. Another Aussie business that offers International postage that offers clothing, bags, and jewellery. Currently crushing on...

Mathilde Dress Red Poppy

Boom Shankar - I am a little reluctant to share this site because i love it so much!! I was shopping the other day and lady in front of me was wearing a gorgeous and comfortable looking summer dress. I enquired where you scored it from. She told me and said that 6 other people that day asked her the same thing. She told me that it is the best website and always uses. Thanks random lady, I am totally converted!!! Sizes range from 8-16 and some items are cotton stretch for comfort and sales are amazing. Currently crushing on heaps of things, but I am narrowing it down to...

Maxi Skirt Geo

I will be listing many more fashion sites for all members of the family, craft, homewares, make up and more. Hope you find something new, interesting, and your reliable place to shop. If you have your own business, anywhere in the world that ships worldwide, get in touch i would love to hear from you and discover your treasures. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Smoothie A Day Keeps....

You feeling really good throughout the day I must say! I have always enjoyed smoothies but traditionally for me, smoothies contained yoghurt or milk. I never thought of a smoothie just being made of fruit before. Over the past year and a bit I have realised my body doesn't appreciate dairy. So I have had to adjust to taking dairy out of my diet, which has been hard because while I can easily give up milk and yogurt, ice cream has been a big challenge. I do like chocolate but I can take it or leave it most of the time!!

I have embraced the almond milk, and will endeavour to make my own one of these days! I still consume cheese, but no where near as regularly as I once did. I will have it once a month if that and then I will be cranky with myself afterwards as I my body cramps up and responds to its presence in my system.

I have embraced the smoothies though and dairy free homemade ice creams, which I will also share with you.

1/4 cup Blueberries
Two small white peaches skin on chopped
2 mint leaves
1/3 of a small pineapple skin removed and chopped
Add about 1/2 to 1 cup of ice cubes
Add water to taste preference

Blend up in blender on pulse then liquify or puree if you have that function.

Watermelon - about 1 to 2 cups chopped
1/3 of a small pineapple skin removed and chopped
4 strawberries
table spoon of chia seeds
2 mint leaves
ice cubes and water
 Blend it up baby!!

Watermelon, about 1 to 2 cups chopped
1/3 of a small pineapple skin removed and chopped
4 strawberries
2 mint leaves
ice cubes and water
Blend it good, blend it real good!!

1/2 a small pineapple skin removed and chopped
2 mint leaves
1cm to 1.5cm nib of fresh ginger
1 tbs chia seeds
ice cubes and water
Blend it all up and refresh yourself!

1/2 small pineapple skin removed and chopped
1/2 large banana
2 mint leaves
4 strawberries
ice cubes and water
Blend it and blend it and blend it!

1 small very ripe pineapple skin removed and chopped
2 very ripe pears
ice cubes and water
Blend it and blend it!!
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