Hey folks! It’s the weekend again! Not that it really matters for me – the days also have melted into one. BUT, I can still be excited because it does mean that Evs is home for the next two days and he can help alleviate some of my boredom free time.
I am plodding along and literally waiting for baby to arrive. My due date is in about a week (Easter Monday in fact), so every post could be my LAST. Duh duh DUH.
(Yep, I like to be dramatic somewhat).
Despite my lack of internet, I have painstakingly gathered some links that I have read over the last week and that caught my eye. I hope you enjoy them too!
For those people who aren’t really into heavy breakfasts – typically with either some sort of grain or bread – Maria over at Econest has some ideas to switch it up without getting all blah. Bonus – sugar-free as well.
I was looking at this list and thinking I should have known half of these things while I was in my corporate job. A great post for any professional woman with career tips from the most successful women in the world. My favourite – “Forget the ladder, climb the jungle gym”.
A beautiful post that reminds me that everyone’s love language is different. So Evs might not be a classically romantic guy, but he shows love in a different way.
I am really, really wishing I could go along to this – but alas small thing called a baby will be here. Melbourne peeps – if you are free – I’d highly recommend it. These girls are amazing.
With Winter coming upon us (and thus the shorter days and lack of natural light!) and the urge to take better photos (it’s half the reason I don’t post many recipes – Instagram can only do so much lol) – I’m considering building my own light box. Here’s a great tutorial on how to DIY one of your own.
Did you hear about Lululemon’s recall on their new line of yoga pants because they were too sheer?? Jimmy Kimmel give us his (hilarious) opinion on it through this video about the yoga pant shortage.
Also, given my sporadic blogging – for the first baby news you’re more likely to catch me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Holler for the weekend!! It’s an extra-special one because, yep, you guessed it – it’s my BIRTHDAY! (Well, yesterday but I’m celebrating all weekend long!). It’s a funny thing about birthdays, that no matter how old we get, there is always that tiny spark of excitement about it. And no amount of being blasé and tyring to act cool that it was “just another day” could stop that feeling.
I WAS meant to have a day off yesterday, but had to go into work which was made slightly better because my manager bought me cupcakes and Evs treated me to lunch. Dinner was low-key with the family at the local Thai restaurant and, OMG, more cake.
We’re hosting a low-key BBQ at our place on Sunday afternoon, perfect summer weather (maybe with a touch of summer thunderstorms) and lots of food, friends and laughter.
But, I’m also taking some time out this weekend for myself. I’m feeling exhausted, more mentally than physically to be honest (although sleeping in this heat has been terrible) and am desperate need of a break. So, in the spirit of me-time, here are some links for you too:
More so than ever, I’m turning into a fan of being ACTIVE, rather than dedicating time to exercise. These days, the ability to just keep moving is enough to satisfy my bones and I enjoy it a lot more. This post from Sarah Wilson explores the idea of the current message of “Exercising making us fat”.
I haven’t been on a huge chocolate bender for a while, but this sugar-free chocolate is tempting me back onto the wild side.
One of my favourite blogs I discovered about six months back was Vienda Maria. In fact, I’ve linked more often than not to her posts here because they resonate so much to me as I try and seek a more simple and authentic life. Part of that is figuring out what I want to do with this blog and sorting through my head to find the answers. As part of my birthday gift to myself, last week I bought her newly-launched ebook – “The Build Your Own Business Blog” (um, only $8! What can I say – I’m a easy person to shop for! ) and am already loving it. Don’t let the word business throw you off, it’s perfect for anyone wanting to grow their blog and perfect for newbies like me that have no clue when it comes to things like SEO haha.
“Success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women,” – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. I am so guilty of this. Especially in the workplace where I have (now looking back, quite embarrassingly) sacrificed myself for likeability. I’ve let people walk all over me and convince me that things were MY FAULT and I’ve agreed with them, because I wanted them to like me. This article explores the truth about women and likeability.
While I can’t confess to fully feeling like this, I have many friends who live the life of an expat. Perhaps, it’s the same when I return to India and things feel nothing has changed and yet everything has. This post about finding the answer to Where Do I belong? is a great read.
Ohhh. I had to agree. I HAD to. Even when 4 out of the 6 shows listed here are some of my favourites – they really need to SHUT IT DOWN (Especially Glee *sob*).
This girl. Where do I start – besides having a banging blog and life (I mean who would NOT want to live on the beaches of Goa??)- she also has another food blog that makes me drool every time I wander over. These garlic-coriander pull apart rolls are something out of this world. You must try them.
Ok, I am off to get the house in some sort of order before people start arriving (I mean I have a DAY, but who can be bothered cleaning in this heat!) and think about the menu.
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my sister about a baby shower. She was of the mind that I should just combine my upcoming 30th and Baby shower together. I had what you call a very non-adult reaction (whisper – “tantrum”) and refused to even entertain the thought. I mean, a girl deserves to celebrate both monumental events separately no??
(To be fair – I did combine my 24th birthday and engagement party back in the day as well)
All I knew was that I wanted some kind of theme and for it to be fun. So my sister and I came up with the idea of a carnival/circus theme and she took it from there.
I have to say – it was more than what I had ever expected. She put a lot of hard work and organisation into it and apart from giving her not-so-subtle hints for some things, she did it all on her own.
There was a lot of sugary treats, which I tried to limit because it made the baby go nuts, but I’m not going to lie. Coloured popcorn is THE best invention ever.
I had no idea what to wear and spent a good half and hour throwing everything out of my closet because I wasn’t organised enough to buy a new outfit and nothing fit. I finally found this dress that I bought in Hong Kong when I was working there back in 2011 (oh wow – has it been that long already???) and managed to squeeze my gigantor boobs and massive belly into it. I kinda liked it and felt it went with the carnival theme too.
There were some healthy snacks in there…somewhere. Funny how we didn’t get any pictures of them!
The requisite dodgy baby-related games – I’m clearly so ready for parenthood after these.
A bit of fun after the guests had gone home….I LOVE photobooths.
In fact, I’m planning one at my 30th again.
SO MUCH FUN.
(Haha you can see where I had Happy New Year written on the chalkboard before.)
All in all I had the best day – it was light hearted and fun. I was surrounded by friends and family that I cared for and got many awesome gifts – so many cute onesies! This kid is set.
There was a moment on New Year’s Eve, once the clock had struck midnight, when I was alone.
I stood by the window of my bedroom, the sky illuminated in the distance with the shining coloured lights of the fireworks over my beloved Melbourne city. Everyone was downstairs, the sound of laughter floating up, glasses clinking.
I held my own glass of champagne (non-alcoholic of course and it tasted like balls!) (Just to be clear – NOT that I’ve ever…errr…ok stopping) and slowly sipped as I stood there. The baby kicked in protest of the bubbly liquid and my hand found the curve of my belly to savour the feeling.
The prophecy of 2012 as the Year of the Dragon being one of tumultuous change had come true. I was thinking back and I remembered 2012 being one of confusion and fogginess. I was – am still - at a crossroads with my career, I felt unfulfilled and sensed potential in myself that trembled at the whisper of making it real. I travelled – notably Sri Lanka – which perhaps came at a time where I put too much pressure on myself and that was just the thing I needed.
I felt like I was being swept away in this current of life and I couldn’t do anything about it except let it take me along. I felt defeated and small, my yearning to have a life of my choice slipping through my fingers.
Then – I made a choice. I wasn’t going to stop my life for the fear of others. It was a big decision and one that I honestly haven’t completely fulfilled yet – but for me I took the biggest step. I had been thinking of starting a family for a little while, and Evs, was just waiting on me. I always had a reason not to – I needed to lose that last 5 kilos, I wanted to get a promotion, we needed to travel more. Then I realised that I was chasing happiness in things that deep down I knew wouldn’t change a thing.
Being pregnant, preparing for this baby, took up most of 2012. I learned to accept my body as it changed. I’ve cried like my heart was breaking. I’ve laughed with the delight and wonder of experiencing something so new for the very first time.
I can’t sum up 2012 eloquently – too much happened – both good and bad. The world, prophesied to end, went on.
Am I selfish to say that I’m glad to see the back of it??
2013 offers me a new start. A blank slate. And how can I not embrace that?
Last year, I made a vision board to visualise my goals for the year. In the cockiness and glow of the new year, I feel like I went a little overboard.
Yes I quit sugar. (And fell off it again).
Yes, I (am) start(ing)ed a family.
Yes, I tried to be more assertive (and wimped out on more than one occasion).
But, I didn’t achieve everything. And that’s ok.
This year, I still intend to make one – but my heart feels like I need to simplify. Focus on the core things that will make me happy. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older that I feel like I don’t need so many THINGS to achieve, but more a general sense of wholeness.
I know I am an escapist – whether it be to books, blogs or other countries.
And so I have chosen a word that I will live my year by. I want this word to envelop me, to guide me and to lift me up.
With courage comes confidence. With confidence comes courage. The courage to chase my dreams, be the best person I can be, to not give up. To face the unknown of motherhood and LIFE with courage. To find my tribe of like-minded people that I can be courageous with, be myself with. To find a mentor to guide me.
I want to feel like this when the fireworks go off again and I stand by that window:
I wrote in my very first blog post that ‘hope, like happiness, is a decision which we make’, and I couldn’t advocate this more. This year I consciously made the decision to move more confidently in the direction of a life that made me feel more authentic, passionate, and creative. It was a choice. It was a standard that I had set for myself, and as Tony Robbins says “we always, always, live up to our standards”.
This year I learnt that anything is possible. Things happen if you make them happen. It’s all about hustle and heart. When we have a deep desire to create something in our lives which uplifts and supports, the Universe will always conspire with us to make it happen. Miracles and magic are everywhere. The key is to be open.
I am going to let myself believe in miracles, in intentions, in GOOD THINGS HAPPENING – but most of all I am going to believe in myself.
PS. I was sent a great e-book from a wonderful woman Shannah, about simplifying and structuring which I am currently reading that is giving me some ideas how to put some structure around my intentions because I do truly suck at that. I’ll do a full review of it soon and may have some copies to give away as well – so stay tuned!!
PPS. I’ve started up the FatMumSlim Photoaday challenge again for January. See here for full details and if you’re interested to join or follow along, I’ll be posting my pics on Instagram and my Facebook page.
If there was one word to describe your intentions for 2013 – what would it be?
When I think of traditions, I inadvertently go back to those that made my own childhood. Some I have no idea why I did them, some I relished and looked forward with uncontained glee and others I reviled and have now turned my back on.
In this season of celebration and holidays, it seems like traditions are everywhere. Some families do a big Christmas, some have a casual affair. Some make a traditions of heading to the shops at 2am on the night before Christmas Eve and eat ice-cream as they watch the crowds of shoppers file by. Some sleep through the festivities or head to the mountains to wait till it’s all over.
The thing about them, no matter what they are, is that they create memories. Memories that can be looked upon with fondness in those moments when we feel a little lost.
Sitting here, my hands over my growing belly, feeling the baby kick me once again, I wonder what the traditions are going to be that he/she cherishes. What are going to become those memories?
I didn’t think I had any, but as I remembered the years past I realised that somehow – Evs and I had carved out our own. Things we had done year after year had become our traditions.
Our traditions now include midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Given that we both aren’t massively religious, it’s one of the one times we do go to church. For Evs, being part of the church community on Christmas Eve brings back memories for him from when he was a child. For me, I love the sense of joyfulness and belonging that one night gives him, and in turn, me. Ever since the year when we slipped into the back of the church and stood beside strangers, even while I fumble with the words to respond to, muck up when I’m meant to kneel and say “Amen” or that I accidentally threw out the communion wafer one year – it’s something we do together.
After mass, we pull into our street and sit in the car for a few minutes. The street is dark and quiet, save for the few houses that have put up lights outside. Our own Christmas tree lights up in our window, adorned with the decorations that we bought the first year we moved into our first house. That year, I had wanted Christmas to be special and while we lived surrounded by unopened boxes and mismatched furniture – we had our tree. Over the years, the lights have slowly died leaving only blinking points of orange and blue, reminding me that we need to replace them. Maybe we will. Maybe we won’t and those flickering orange-and-blue lights will become part of our traditions too.
It’s past 1am, but we exchange our gifts to each other. We always do it on Christmas Eve. The others we will open when we meet with family in a few hours. But, that moment, it’s just us.
This year we make gingerbread cookies after giving into my cravings since I had tasted them at a friend’s house a few weeks earlier. I had messaged her for the recipe and she obliged, yielding in soft, spicy cookies that Evs and I ice into the wee hours of the night.
We have a tradition of Christmas lunch with Evs’ parents (this year, lunch was at my sister’s and then a belated Christmas lunch on Boxing Day with Evs’ parents – but it was still the same) – there is always champagne and boxes of chocolates. There is a platter of fine deli meats, cheese and antipasto, prawns with garlic aioli which helps our hungry bellies be prepared for the main dish which is always a buttery, creamy lobster.
Once our stomachs have stopped hurting and heaving for a moment, we go for round two which consists of traditional Christmas pudding with homemade custard.
Tradition also decrees that we have a Christmas barbeque, but we go vegetarian at my sister’s this year and it is not lacking. In fact, I’ve bookmarked one of the recipes for a repeat performance at our traditional New Years Evs barbeque at our house in a few days.
Our traditions also include family. From both sides, where more food prepared with the labour of love appears and is eaten, belts undone, pants loosened and plates saved for later.
Gifts are given – small, thoughtful and just what we needed. The older generation settle down around the couches to snooze and chat, the TV quietly on in the background, while the those who are still able to move head down to the lake where we throw a Frisbee and relive our childhoods again on the swings.
It’s simple and it’s quiet and I think back onto these traditions with a full heart. It blows my mind that this time next year, I’ll have an almost one-year-old. I savour these moments that show they will be the last of of when I am just the parts of me that I have grown to accept – a sister, wife, daughter, friend.