Writing my blog is a bit like a conducting a relationship. Sometimes I pay it a lot of loving attention, visit daily and am totally absorbed by it. Other times I need a little bit of space to attend to other things, refresh and renew. Yes, blog and I have had a bit of much needed space, and absence certainly has made the heart grow fonder.
Two things. Firstly, fiance noted the love triangle developing between myself, blog and him and requested some quality time. I think his words were something to the effect of:
Fiance: 'You're on the computer too much, why don't you turn it off and spend some time with me of an evening. Hey I know, maybe we can watch the sport together!'
Nic (thinking quality time and watching sport = oxymoron alert!'): 'Uh huh! Ok but does that mean you'll come with me to salsa classes one or two nights a week?'
Secondly, I've had a good run after 18 months as a stay at home mum, but as much as I love blogging, it isn't paying the bills. So in early May I returned to the world of work 3 days a week. After that little shock to the system, and taking some time to adapt to life juggling work and family, it's time to blog once more!
So it was really appropriate that Heather from My Travels with 4 Kids tagged me for this meme....'Repost your first ever blog post'. The rules are that I need to repost my first ever post, then tag 5 other blogs to do the same. What a great exercise to review where I've been, where I'm heading and how my blog has evolved. In fact when I first signed up to Blogger I had no idea what I wanted to say and took 6 months to write my first post (no surprises there!). So here it is:
Learning the Art of Homemaking (originally posted 7th September 2009)
I've been responsible for a £10 million pound marketing budget. In one quarter I juggled and delivered 22 marketing direct mail packs on time. I once project managed an event that involved 70 members of staff over a period of 6 weeks, working 12 hours a day. And yet managing a home has been by far the hardest thing I've ever done.
I now have a new found admiration for my mother who at the tender age of 22, had a 16 month old and a new born, kept a fastidiously clean and tidy house, and kept us clothed and fed on a shoestring budget. I believe that Homemaking does not come naturally to most women. It's a skill, an artform that is learned just like any job role. In my mother's and grandmother's day women were expected to take on the role of full-time housewife once they were married. Their education revolved around learning home duties. Now women have more choice and education revolves around developing a career.
My mother dropped by with some books I had stored at her house since I had moved to London. Amongst them was a book titled The Collin's Book of Household Hints and Tips. 'Oh no', I protested, 'this isn't mine, it must have got mixed up with my books'. 'Oh really?', my mother replied with fake nonchalance, 'it must be one of your grandmother's. Oh well you may as well keep it since it's here now.' Hmmmm, are you trying to tell me something mum? A 'quick' flick through revealed some interesting and alarming advice. You're meant to clean the fly screens on your windows at least once every three months, mirrors can go for a month between cleans, but toilets and floors should be cleaned everyday! I'm still getting around to clearing away the dishes from last nights dinner!
So now my new education begins; learning the art of Homemaking. But first I guess I better get out of my pyjamas and attack those dishes!
Haha I think I may have lightened up just a little since then!
Thanks to my fellow mummy blogger at Finding My Weigh for passing on the Honest Scrap Award to me! The Honest Scrap Award is 'for bloggers who put their heart on display as they write from the depths of their soul.' Finding My Weigh is a true 'Honest Scrapee'; I love reading her posts on post pregnancy weight struggles and trying toddler times, so check her blog out if you haven't done so already.
Ok so now I have to list 10 honest, random and interesting things about myself, so pull up a chair, grab a glass of wine and get a pillow to rest your head, it's gonna be a long night because...
....1. I'm a mull-it-over type of person. Some people have an uncanny ability to think and speak on the spot but when I try this, all I get is deafening silence and the sound of the the wind whistling between my ears. Not surprising then that one of my most used lines is 'let me think about that.' It's the reason why my blog posts take an age to write. I write some, I google trivial crap (read: procrastinate), I write some more, I delete everything I've written and start over, I read some blogs, I write some more, I sleep on it overnight, I search through iStock images (read: procrastinate), I write a bit more. Then finally a week or so down the track a blog post is published. It's also the reason why it's taken me two weeks to compile this list, so....
....2. I asked fiance to help me out:
Nic: 'Tell me something about myself that's interesting or random.'
Fiance: 'Hmmm well you've travelled heaps?'
Nic: 'Yes but that's not really what I'm looking for, anything else?'
Fiance: 'I dunno you've never really done anything that random'
Nic: 'Uh huh, ok thanks and never mind!'
So there you have fiance's contribution to my list. I lived in London for 7 years which is a perfect base for globe hopping. My favourite city of all time is Florence for the architecture, art and that amazing sculpture of the Statue of David.
3. I love music with a passion. In days of yore (pre-baby that is), fiance and I averaged at least one music gig a week, sometimes more. I've seen Joe Cocker perform inside the Tower of London, stood less than a few metres away from Prince watching him perform Stevie Wonder covers at his after show party (pure genius!), and seen INXS play at my small local town hall before they were famous. If they invented a time machine the first thing I would do is transport myself back to the Woodstock and Glastonbury Festivals of the late '60s. Fortunately I've been able to see some awesome comeback appearances by artists like The Who, Paul McCartney, The Police and Blondie that I was too young to see first time round.
4. I once had a very cheesy piece of 5 minute fiction published in an Australian women's magazine. My short story about a woman who meets the man of her dreams in the supermarket (barf barf) paid the princely sum of $270. Originally titled 'The Shopping List', the editor changed it for publication to 'Aisle of Love' (cough, splutter, double barf barf!). I haven't tried to repeat it since which is probably just as well for an unsuspecting public, and Dame Barbara Cartland's crown as the queen of Mills and Boon remains safe for the time being.
5. I have a small tattoo of a lotus flower on my behind. I was first inspired by the symbolism of the lotus flower after seeing the movie about Tina Turner; 'What's Love Got To Do With It'. The following quote appears in the opening titles:
'The lotus is a flower that blooms in the mud. The thicker and deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms.'
That quote really struck a chord with me, and the idea that such a beautiful flower survives adversity and grows toward the sun really motivates me to keep going no matter what life throws my way.
6. As a starry eyed teen I harboured ambitions to be an actress or a singer despite being painfully shy and of nervous disposition. I tried drama classes but suffered stage fright every time I had to perform (a case of the old wind whistling between the ears again!). Career fail? Yep!
7. I'm a comfort eater. If I'm stressed or bored I have the frightening ability to inhale food.
8. I'm a bit of a worrier, always have been ever since I can remember. Significant others have been known to refer to me as stressy pants, panic pants and stress head. What can I say other than I'm a gemini and it's in our nature to be flighty and prone to nervous energy!
9. I studied dance (classical, jazz and tap) for 10 years. Although I never had the physique (my ballet teacher told me I needed to lose some weight when I was 11, gotta love the early 80s for a complete lack of political correctness!). I would clomp around the class while others pattered gracefully but still I loved it and only started losing interest when I discovered boys and partying!
....and finally one from Google....10. On my blogger dashboard, my blog title is automatically abbreviated to 'Diary of a Domestically Challenged Ho....'! On that note I'm going to maintain a dignified silence!
Now for 7 bloggers that I feel embody the Honest Scrap spirit;
And finally a big thank you to Jane over at World of Mamay Jane for giving me the Beautiful Blogger award, now twice bestowed. So just incase you're on the verge of pushing up z's and that pillow is feeling more and more comfortable, I'll link to my previous post for this award Sharing the Beautiful Blogger Awards Love
It's Friday Follow and here are two awesome blog hops:
Check out Friday Follow hosted by One2Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades and sponsored by Tooth Soap! Hop on over and enter your blog URL in the Mcklinky. Follow the hosts (the first 3 on the list) and as many other blogs as you like. Don't forget to display the Follow button and sponsor button on your blog!
Brenda over at Mummy Time is hosting FlogYoBlog Friday so hop and over and get your McKlinky on. Enter your blog URL and a 100 word description if you so desire, then follow Mummy Time and as many other blogs as you like.
A British survey by Mother and Baby magazine found that parents prefer to sing their little ones to sleep with pop songs, and have trouble remembering the lyrics to more traditional lullabies and nursery rhymes. Am I surprised? Quite frankly, no. Having trouble remembering? I don't think so. It's a ploy. A chance to regain some sanity you see.
To explain, as I write my son is watching Yo Gabba Gabba on TV, which means one thing; for the rest of the day I'll have 'Yo Gabba Gabba Yo Gabba Gabba' stuck in my head. I'll catch myself singing it when putting the washing out, or humming it while turbo charging through the aisles at the supermarket. As if that's not enough, within the course of a day my son watches more than one show, so at any given time I could have a whole swag of kiddy jingles rattling around inside my grey matter. It could be: 'hot dog hot dog hot diggity dog hot dog hot dog hot diggity dog (thanks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!), 'There's an animal in trouble, there's an animal in trouble....what's going to work? Teaaaamwork' (hope I can repay the favour one day Wonderpets!) or, not forgetting our British counterparts, 'Yes my name is Iggle Piggle, Iggle Piggle Iggle Iggle Piggle' (you're oh so polite aren't you In The Nightgarden?). And don't think the Australian shows get off lightly, I'm talking to you Wiggles and your 'Hot potato hot potato'!
It doesn't stop with TV shows either. Yes that's right, I'm naming and shaming! Mr Fisher and Mr Price, you know who you are. My son has one of your Yankee Doodle Dandy playing ride on toys. If I go about my day singing 'Yankee Doodle went to town riding on a poneeeee stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroniiiiiii' one more time, I think I'll go insane. And lets not even go there with your Laugh and Learn Piggy Bank: 'Ohhhhh I'm a piggy bank with coins big and small in lots of colours you can learn them all...oink oink!' Incidentally Fisher and Price, surely you can afford to put more than one female singer on your payroll, must all your toys sound the same?
So is it any wonder that at the end of a day of singing robots and cartoon dogs, oinking piggy banks and ride on cars belting out old revolutionary war numbers, that parents of the world just want to get a little of their own back?
What sing-to-sleep pop songs made it into the top 20 you ask? Take That is at the top of the list with Patience. I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry makes it in at number 3, while Guns and Roses' Sweet Child O Mine is sitting high in 8th position (I might need to enlist the help of fiance to play some air guitar if I sing that one!). You can read the full article and top 20 here Rocking it. No more lullabies for babies?
Anyway I have to go, Young Einsteins is about to come on and I don't think I can take another tune at this point....'the puppet show the puppet show the puppety puppety puppet show'....arggghhhhhh!!!
Not really the type of lines I should be writing but I just discovered a whole new world of blog button making! And, like my son when he discovered that he could push our kitchen chairs from one end of the room to the other, I'm feeling pretty clever with myself! Feel free to borrow said button if you're flagging and in need of a kick up the blogging proverbial!
Hey all happy Friday! It's my favourite day of the week....not just because it's the gateway to the weekend and I can partake in a little vino, it's also blog hop day! Brenda over at MummyTime is hosting a nifty little blog hop called FlogYoBlog Friday. Here's the low down...
FlogYoBlog Friday is hosted by Brenda of MummyTime (http://www.mummy-time.com/). Rules: 1. Follow her blog (only if you want to. No pressure. She is link #1 btw). 2. Grab the FlogYoBlog button and post it on your sidebar . Thankus. 3. Link up your URL below. 4. Take time to check out the other linkyers/bloggers. 5. Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger. And get to know them. Pay it forward ya know. 6. The list will remain open for linkyers on Fridays (Sydney Time). 7. A new and fresh link list will be up every Fridays. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week. 8. And lastly have lotsa fun!
As for me, I promise more posts to come very soon. From the school of 'bite off more than I can chew', I've been helping set up a new Playgroup formed from all the mum's in our local new parents group. But it's all systems go now, which means I'm free to blog again. Yipeeee! On that note, I came across an interesting post from Wannabe WAHM - Posting Everyday: Can it really increase your traffic
Which is why I gotta go now, I have some posts to write! Oh, and a little glass of vino to guzzle!
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I can't get enough of series 2 of She's Got The Look, airing here in Australia at the moment (friends in the US will already have seen it last year). With such a focus on youth culture, it's great to see a shift toward valuing beauty at any age. But what's really got me riveted is the behaviour of some of the contestants; it's a showcase of claw sharpening and neuroses at its best! Like beauty, it seems that insecurity and drama are also not only the domain of the young. When I first started dating my younger fiance in my mid 30's, I remember him being surprised at the time, wise cracking 'Gee I thought once a woman reached her 30s she (quote) "had it all together" (unquote)'. Errr no, not as the contestants of SGTL prove, and as I reminded him only a few months ago when I howled down the phone to him at work because I lost a gift voucher worth $100, sobbing hysterically 'bbuuuuttt I I I waaasss gggoing to to to buy a pair of ttttrainers wi wi with it!!!' Anyone would think my puppy had died!
However, in spite of their insecurities, there's no denying how fabulous these women all look (alas, when god was giving out attributes, and the contestants of SGTL were first in line for 'genetically blessed with youthful genes', I was too busy looking the other way, eyeing off the line for 'a love of food but a metabolism that will never burn it off'!). After watching an episode, my inner yummy mummy wants to break out and I feel inspired to put a load of lippy on and run around the house all pouty lipped in my stillettos. But I'm more of a schlumpy mummy at heart...it's track pants, jeans and flip flops, comfort over style for me (apparently I seem to have forgotten I'm no longer at university!). So unless they develop a TV show called 'She Got The Schlumpy Mummy Look', I'll just have to stick to sharing my neuroses with fiance! Lucky him!