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DIY shabby colour dipped dining table

shabby colour dipped dining table_2

I found the inspiration for this dining table on Pinterest months ago.  Unfortunately though the link was broken and there was no tutorial so I had to work out how to do it myself.  I’m so in love with how it turned out and want to go paint all my furniture now!

 

What you need.

Timber table (I found mine on gumtree for $80)

Sample pot of your chosen colour

Sandpaper

Paintbrushes

Clear timber varnish (I used Bondall Monocel in ultragloss)

 

Step 1. Remove legs (or tape around top). Lightly sand back legs until smooth. I screwed mine onto a piece of board to hold them upright whilst I worked. (Actually I got Andrew to do this, but you know, same same.)

 

shabby colour dipped_dining table

 

Step 2. Paint at least two coats of your colour, lightly scuffing back in between coats.

 

shabby colour dipped dining table_

 

Step 3. Sand paint back to reveal timber underneath. I concentrated on edges and highlighting other imperfections

 

shabby colour dipped dining table

 

Step 4. Take a break to play monster trucks.

 

shabby colour dipped dining_table

 

Step 5. Wipe down legs to remove all dust and spray a coat of varnish.  Leave to dry overnight. Scuff back with a fine sandpaper. Wipe down and repeat.  (I put 3 coats of varnish on mine).

 

shabby colour_dipped dining table

 

Step 6.  Re-attach your legs and admire your work.  Now I just need to find some chairs!

 

shabby colour dipped dining table_3

 

shabby colour dipped dining table_1

 

What do you think? Have you tried refashioning your furniture?

0

Sugar free choc-peppermint bliss balls

These delicious sugar free choc-peppermint bliss balls really need no introduction. Full of good things and they’re delicious.  Trust me, they won’t last long with toddlers around.

 

peppermint chocolate balls 2

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pepitas

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 cup honey

2 teaspoons of peppermint essence

small amount of water to get the right consistency

 

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until mixture starts to form a dough like consistency.

Roll into balls and place into the fridge.

Hide them from your little people so that you can eat them when they go to bed!

 

peppermint chocolate balls

0

Yoga practice and pregnancy.

So after writing the other day over at The Kindred Collective about how I’d really got into the habit of ‘going with the flow’ of this whole motherhood thing and specifically not resisting all the changes that each stage brings (like last time), I’ve caught myself really resenting the changes that are happening in one area of my life…

 

Yoga.

 

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I feel like I’ve only really ‘found my place’ with yoga this year. If that’s even a thing. And not that I wasn’t enjoying it before, but more that it was very much a solo thing for me before and any progress felt very slow.

 

This year? I’m teaching in a studio that I love with people who feel like ‘my people’. I have (had) a regular home practice and could really feel the difference. I’ve been doing extra workshops and was even looking into further study.

 

And then… I started not feeling like myself. Which turned out to be a welcome but surprise pregnancy.

 

At first the changes to my yoga practice were minimal. Other than the fact that I was more tired than usual, I could still do everything I would usually practice.

 

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But now that I have a substantial bump and get lightheaded from low blood pressure my practice has had to completely change.

 

I visit child’s pose more regularly. Every pose is modified to make room for an ever-expanding belly. Anything that involves lying on my belly is just not possible and every transition is much much slower.

 

But the hardest part?

 

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Getting my ego out of the way and being ok that this is my yoga practice now. I have to fight myself out of feeling like I ‘haven’t really practiced’ when I leave a class and I haven’t actually left the floor for any of the standing poses. I need to let go of doing headstands and handstands and forearm stands, because whilst I can still technically do these things, there is more chance of injuring myself and I know the risk isn’t really worth it. So why is it that I still feel the need to resist the change?

 

I guess it’s because it feels like the start of all the things I know I won’t be able to do for a while. And whilst I can write about the need to surrender to motherhood (and in most areas I have), sometimes I just find it so damn hard to let go when it means I can’t do the things I love anymore.

 

What about you? Is there something you used to love doing that you miss now that you’re pregnant/ a mother? Did you find yourself resenting the change… even just a little bit?

 

The tights and tank featured in this post were gifted to me by Queen Bee Maternity (and thank god they did – none of my yoga pants were working for me anymore and I’m not really into #nakedyoga – ain’t nobody who wants to see that!)

6

How do you deal with toddler tantrums?

toddler_tantrums

The tantrums around here have completely escalated lately, to the point where we are having them at grand mal proportions. And yes I’m mostly talking about the toddler variety, though there have been a few adult versions as well in response to certain renovation ‘disasters’.  (Let’s not mention how laying the flooring on the stairs went. It’s done now, moving on…)

 

Tantrums I get. I don’t like them of course, but I totally understand wanting to push against the word ‘no’, especially when it must seem like it is only said to stop things that seem like fun.  I know that toddler tantrums are just a part of learning that no matter how much you flail your arms and scream that sometimes you won’t get exactly what you want, when you want it. Hell, we sometimes even forget this lesson as adults!

 

But the rage… I don’t understand the rage that completely takes over my (mostly) sweet and calm boy. It’s like he becomes possessed by it; hitting and kicking and screaming so much that his face goes bright red and I don’t even recognise him.  And he is not one to just lie on the floor either.  He will run, slam doors and continue trying to get whatever it is he thinks he should have.  Which makes the whole ‘ignore it’ tactic pretty ineffective.  Unless of course, you’re happy to ignore said child as he breaks things and hurts himself.

 

Yesterday it was over a Peppa Pig drink bottle that I didn’t buy. Today it was because his ice-cream ran out.  The day before last it was because we wouldn’t let him sit on the table.

 

Often they coincide with the refusal to have a day nap but sometimes they are also triggered by his determination that “I not need sleep Mummy!”.  And each time the only way I’ve been able to calm him, is to literally body lock him against me and rock and shhh until he finally passes out.

 

I feel like the tantrums are only ramping up as we head towards three.  Please tell me he’ll be over this by the time baby brother arrives.  (Lie to me).

 

And in the meantime… what on earth do I do to survive toddler tantrums? Hit me with your tips!  Distraction? Time out? (assuming I can find some sort of padded secure space to be the time out area). Take up drinking…?

 

 

3

Multitasking – friend or foe?

multitasking

 

We all multi-task. Well except for maybe Men – i’m only kidding of course they drink beer and watch the footy, so there’s that. (ha!)

 

But seriously, multitasking. I do it all day long. I make lunches whilst also making breakfast, and coffee, and shamefully probably washing up dishes from the night before as well.

 

I rarely watch tv without doing something else; reading, working on the computer, scrolling social media on my phone.

 

Whilst driving I’m usually listening to a podcast and if I could work out how to do another something whilst sleeping I would probably do that too.

 

It makes me feel more productive. But does it really help?

 

Like when I’m cleaning the house. Does it really make me more productive when I half do every job and don’t really get to the bottom of any single one? By the end of an hour it is not uncommon for me to have put a load of washing on, half vacuumed the house only to have stopped to pick up toys, emptied clean washing onto the bed but not actually put anything away and put all the dishes into the sink to soak (only to never come back to them later).

 

Clearly multitasking when I’m trying to clean the house does nothing but leave me feeling like the whole process is useless because I never actually get anything done. But what about in other areas?

 

Am I actually helping myself or making life a whole lot harder? I’ve decided to do an experiment. I’m simplifying. Slowing down. Focusing. I want to see if doing one thing at a time actually makes me feel better and I have a sneaky suspicion the result will be feeling less rushed, and I’m hoping the whole thing will result in a general feeling of more time.

 

So what about you? Are you guilty of multitasking everything? Do you think it actually helps you get more done and have you ever taken the time to notice how it makes you feel?

 

Want to join me in my little experiment in finding out whether multitasking is really our friend or our foe?

6

Wholefoods Chocolate Crackle Recipe

I really struggled to title this post and in the end I’m still not 100% with happy with calling them wholefoods chocolate crackles. It sounds so awkward and ugly.

 

 

I tossed up between choosing terms such as ‘healthy’ and ‘sugar free’, afterall there is sugar in them,  it just happens to come in the form of honey.

 

And the word ‘healthy’ differs in meaning depending on who you are and what information you agree with.

 

Some people don’t agree that coconut oil is healthy as only recently it was avoided as it is a form a saturated fat.

 

Others are still looking for low fat (blegh! And to think I used to be one of them!) while others still think of food in terms of numbers.

 

Anyway it seems maybe I’ve just been thinking too deeply about what should really just be titled DELICIOUS.  And for the record in my books they’re all good because they contain whole foods and I know everything that went into them.  Oh and they pass the toddler test so that’s all that matters isn’t it?

 

chocolate crackles

 

Ingredients

2 cups of puffed rice (health food ailse)

1 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup honey

3 tablespoons cocoa or cacao

 

Method

Mix rice and coconut in a large bowl.

Melt coconut oil and honey and mix through cocoa.

Mix together and spoon into muffin cases. * If you prefer your crackles to be covered more just add a couple of extra spoonfuls of oil, honey and cocoa.

Refrigerate until set.

Try and hide them from the toddler so you get to eat some yourself!

 

chocolate crackles (2)

2

Make your own Maternity Clothes – DIY Stretchy Maxi skirt

I’ve got a secret to tell you. I’m a bit of a scrooge when it comes to clothes.  And when I know they have an expiry date, I’m even worse, which is why dressing when I’m pregnant is a little bit difficult.  This time I’m attempting to make a few of my own maternity clothes (also a part of a new years resolution to make more things for me, something that’s you know, only taken until September to happen.  All in good time!)

 

As much as I love the maxi skirt I made  earlier this year, now that I’m a fair bit bigger, the high waist is really not working for me. Enter the DIY stretchy maxi skirt.  Perfect for pregnancy as well as that awkward “I’m not pregnant anymore but still don’t fit anything period”.

 

You’ll need about 2 metres of fabric depending on your size (just check you can wrap it around your waist with room to spare – can you tell I’m all about the precise measurements?)

 

Make sure it is stretchy (jersey knit or something similar) so that you have plenty of room to get fat grow.

 

1. Measure your hips and add 5cm.  Divide that measurement by 2 and you are going to cut that length on the fold. Keep the scraps to make a tie cord, or you could just buy a length of cord for a few dollars.

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2. Fold right sides together and down the long length (this will be the back seam).  You could overlock it if you like but jersey knit won’t fray so I didn’t bother.

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3.  To make the waistband, fold over 2cm twice and stitch the top and the bottom all of the way around (we’ll snip a small hole for the cord).

4. To hem, simple fold over 1cm twice and stitch the bottom only.

(It doesn’t really matter which way is which as long as your pattern is facing up).

IMG_7593

5. (Apologies for no image – I think I got too excited to have something new to wear!). Snip a small hole in the center of the front and thread your cord through.  (If you’re making your own, cut three lengths from the scraps and plait together, tying off the ends).

stretchy maxi 1

stretchy maxi

How did you manage to dress yourself whilst pregnant without spending lots of $$? Did you make your own? Thrift? Know of any secret bargain places I should check out?

8

First impressions of our own making

first_impressions

Don’t feel sorry for me. There still was a lot of love at problogger. Photo courtesy of @katie180.

 

I’m sure you’ve all been there.  You’re at a social occasion and you don’t really know many people, so you look around for someone new to talk to.  Yet everyone seems so engrossed in their own conversations that you don’t know how you would even join the conversation without being completely awkward.  Or maybe you do try to approach someone and the first impressions you get from them leaves you feeling like they’d rather eat their shoe than have to talk to you any longer.

 

Which got me thinking…

 

How much are our first impressions based purely on our own shit; our own insecurities and issues, rather than what the other person actually thinks?

 

This was me at problogger last weekend. Yes, in comparison to last year I felt way more comfortable and mostly got over my feeling of being a very small fish. But there were still a couple of people who I would’ve loved to talk to, but I just couldn’t get over the feeling of being that little bit irrelevant to them. Like somehow the fact that my blog has a small following compared to theirs somehow makes me less worthy to talk to? I told myself they seemed a bit standoffish, that they weren’t interested in talking to anyone other than those in their clique niche.

 

But really, I have no idea what they were really like. Maybe they did just have resting bitch faces and all of my impressions of them were based purely on my feelings of inadequacy.

 

So then I was thinking (it’s funny how much thinking you get done when you don’t have a little person around to think for) … how many times do we do this is real life as well?  How often do I waste opportunities to connect with people because my impressions of them is negative but only because of my own issues?
And then the real question… How the hell do you get over doing that? How do you stop listening to your own insecurities and just take people as they are; resting bitch face and all?

6

Spring cleaning my diet (post Problogger)

spring_cleaning

So I pretty much spent most of Problogger ridiculously full and it’s probably a good thing I am pregnant otherwise I would certainly be having a food baby after two big days of eating learning.

spring_cleaning2

But I would be lying if I said that two days away are the only reason I need to do a spring cleaning of my diet.  After 3 months of morning all day sickness where I’ve just been eating anything that makes me feel better and then another month of being sick with the flu where nothing made me feel better, my diet has been pretty ordinary.  And I’ve been feeling it.  Tired. Sluggish. Lump-like. Oh wait, is that just pregnancy?

 

So I decided I would take on a bit of a Spring detox, just to do a bit of a reset to get back to healthy eating. Nothing crazy because … you know, pregnant lady here needs to eat every five minutes and certainly isn’t going to be able to survive on juice. Oh and the fact that I’m also feeding a 2 year old and a beer and steak fan, means that anything too drastic is likely to last about 5 minutes.

 

So what’s my plan? Wholefoods.  Real food. (Whatever you prefer to call it.) Basically food in it’s completely natural state (eg. an apple – duh!) or with fewer than 3 ingredients (if it comes in a packet it has to have an ingredients list 3 items or shorter).

 

It’s pretty simple really, and mostly what my diet looks like when I’m eating normally . Except every now and then we get lazy and convenience packets tend to creep their way in and before we know it we have all these things in our pantry that have far too many questionable ingredients (what is a humectant anyway?).

 

But I also know what I’m like. I know that I plan these things (mostly in my head) and then by morning tea the next day I’m already eating the first thing I can grab because I typically organise Eamon’s lunch and somehow forget to make my own.  So I knew I needed a real plan to make sure I could at least make it through the first day.

 

1. Cull the pantry of anything with questionable ingredients. Anything with more the 3 ingredients has to go (you could just pack them up for now if you’re uncomfortable at throwing away food).

2. Stock up at the Farmer’s market. The fewer times I have to visit a grocery store where my pregnancy brain will convince me to buy exactly what I don’t want to be eating anymore, the better.

3. Make a menu plan. Again this helps to reduce the number of times I have to shop, but also because I’m more likely to resist eating crappy food if I know dinner is going to be delicious.

4. Pre-prepare snacks It’s like my stomach only has two settings at the moment. Full and so completely empty I must eat RIGHT NOW! So you get what snacks have to ready to go, right?

 

Any other ideas for me? How do you plan your week to make sure you eat healthily?

6

The contradiction of taking time for ourselves

taking_time_for_ourselves

I’m writing this from the Gold Coast where I’m staying for two nights for the Problogger conference.

 

Two nights (and days) without having to prepare meals. Two nights where I don’t have to get up when a little person calls out.  Two days where I don’t have to clean or organise anything. Two nights (and days) where I only have to think of myself.

 

And how do I feel…?

 

Excited, a little apprehensive (it’s a big two days of learning that I came away from feeling very overwhelmed last year) and also… a little bit sad. (and maybe a touch of guilt – though I’m trying my hardest to squash that one)

 

This is longest I’ve been apart from Eamon since, well ever. I’ve left him overnight before but usually I’m back fairly early the next day so it hasn’t felt like a big deal before.

 

And it’s a total contradiction isn’t it. I’m an advocate for taking time for ourselves as Mothers. Whenever Andrew goes away I’m always saying how I’d love to be able to do the same, maybe not for as long as he does, but to be able to take that time out that makes you really appreciate the time you are there.  Its always the first advice I give to my friends who are Mothers when they feel they aren’t coping – “take some time for yourself”. Yet here I am feeling a little uncomfortable now that I have it.  Feeling a little bit lost, like I’m missing something (or someone).

 

So I’ve decided to take my own advice.  To keep pushing the guilt away and to see the small case of the sads as a good sign. It’s obviously a sign that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be in life, if the moment I step away from it, home is exactly where I want to be.

 

Tell me I’m not the only one who desperately craves time for me but then feels a little bit lost when I do get it!?