Tuesday, January 12, 2016


This is the time of year that a lot of New Year's resolutions start circulating and other such plans for the future.  I must admit I am one of those that start to think about the next year ahead when December rolls around but know that New Year's resolutions are a bit of a faff and that if you make them you are pretty doomed to fail at them.  Anyway, I wasn't planning on doing a 'New Year's' post like this, because really, who is interested in reading about my plans for the year.  BUT then I realised that I so enjoyed reading about what my friends Stephanie and Kiki have in store for the year, (which weren't lists of resolutions by the way, but rather goals...which I thought was a WAY better idea) that I thought I would make a little list of my own. 

So here goes....

Lose Baby Weight.  I can't believe I just wrote "lose baby weight" down....particularly because my 'baby' is 2 and a half years old.  My back has been really bad since I've had my daughter and as a result I've found it virtually impossible to exercise without increasing the pain.  Over the last few months I have had orthotics in my shoes and these are making some difference so finally I have been able to exercise.  I also was given a bit of a shove into getting rid of the excess me because I couldn't fit into my jeans (boo hoo!) when I was having a bit of a clear out of the wardrobe, so immediately I signed up to the Lose Baby Weight challenge.  There are so many delicious easy recipes to make and so much support from other women doing the challenge via their Facebook group that I am finding it really easy.  So far over 3 weeks I have lost 3 kilograms (which sounds way better in pounds.... over 6 and a half pounds!) and lost centimetres off all my measurements.  It's been fabulous!  Plus I'm feeling a lot better and getting fitter.  Weirdly my exercise consists of me marching up and down the hallway (in time to dance music) because I can't get out of the house to exercise, what with the kids, but now over the last two days I have also started to incorporate some jogging on the spot into this because I obviously will need to up the exercise to burn the calories, but I also have found that only 3 weeks of walking has vastly improved my fitness.  Normally a 'lose weight' resolution is never successful, it's something that is imposed on you by guilt after stuffing yourself with turkey and pudding over Christmas, but I started this the week before Christmas.......and despite Christmas and New Year's I still lost a kilogram a week.  I know I can stick at this because I am actually enjoying it and really seeing some results!  Yay me!  (Note....above is one of the 'healthy' recipes...a Chocolate pudding made in mug with caramel sauce! and below are Vegetarian nachos!!)

Take care of myself.  As a mum, particularly one with lots of kids, you can sometimes fall in to the trap of losing yourself.  You are so wrapped up in caring for your kids and your partner that you just keep coming last.  For example, I had a haircut just before Christmas.  Before that I had a haircut 9 months before.  Before THAT haircut it had been 12 months since I had seen my hairdresser.  This is terrible!  My poor hair!  And trust me, I have pretty crazy hair now that needs lots of attention.  I used to have fairly straight hair but since having my last 3 children it's just got curlier and curlier.  It's also really thick and there is a lot of it.  Henceforth I NEED to go and get it cut every 8 to 12 weeks AT LEAST.  Soooooo......this is what I plan on doing from now on.  Making sure that I take care of myself, get that haircut, go and have a remedial massage when my back starts getting too sore, take time out to rest even.  This year I will have my 3 boys at school (the eldest will be starting high school and the other two are both off to school for the first time!) and I will be putting my daughter in day care a day or two a week.... so there will be time now to finally have some time out for myself.  Whether that means I just get to do the food shop without the screaming, or actually get to go see a movie that I really want to see...I'm not a hundred percent sure yet....but it's going to be great whatever happens.  I just know it.

Get involved.  I'm a real introvert.  Really.  All I do is stay at home.  And the truth be told I actually don't have a buddy.  I have buddies overseas, the bestest best buddies a girl could ask for, but I'm yet to meet them and unfortunately I can't just catch up with them for coffee.  My dear friend from school, who I see probably once every six months, lives about an hour and a half away, so catching up with her is also difficult.  And then there is the excuse that life gets in the way, which it does, particularly when your schedule is dominated by those of your children.  Anyway, this year I am going to join the parents group at my boy's new school, be one of the 'reading' mums and go out of my way to make some friends.  Arrgghh.  It sounds so sad and pathetic....you know...that I have no friends...but I would not be alone in this.  I went to a school in the city and since then the students have all scattered to various parts of the GLOBE...whereas here where I live, in a rural town, it's not uncommon that people just stay and you can know someone your whole life.  Moving out here about 8 years ago was the best decision I ever made, but it has meant starting over friends wise.

Find myself.  Well, not that I'm really lost but the Amber that used to exist doesn't really exist anymore.  I used to always sing in a choir.  I'm actually classically trained.  Did you know that?  Probably not.  I would like to get back into that because the other day, when I was wasting time on Facebook, I ended up watching a video of a choir singing and I promptly burst into tears.  I know.  Freak. I was probably hormonal, but I realised how much I MISS it.  This year the little local dance school (that my son was dancing with last year) is now opening up adult tap classes, and having done tap in the past I thought I would sign up.  Fun AND good exercise!  They are also opening up the classical ballet classes too, which I think would be fabulous for my flexibility and my back.  I am also toying with the idea of selling Intimo again, which for those of you who don't know is a direct selling company that sells the most gorgeous lingerie.  I did it for a couple of years and did enjoy the company.  The women involved are amazing, you know, incredibly inspirational, plus I always feel like I have a purpose if I can contribute financially.  Plus the little bit of extra cash would be nice too. 

Keep writing.  Writing is who I am so I intend to keep posting here, although without any goals to become 'the next big thing in blogging'.  I also have a book idea that I might dabble at.

Travel!!  Yes.  This is the year that I get to travel!  I know, can you believe it!  My husband is going shearing in England in May this year for about 6 weeks or so, and although I'm going to be on my own with the kids for over a month (and yes...hating it, I must admit) I will be heading over to be with him towards the end of his stay and NOT taking the kids!  We will be having a proper holiday (as long as he's finished shearing...fingers crossed!), just the two of us.  And considering we haven't had a holiday since our honeymoon..... I can't wait!!!!

I hope you have some good plans/goals for this year!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Things You Should Pack When Visiting Australia

As a follow up from a post I did here on Ten Things You Think You Will See in Australia I decided that I would have no doubt (!) really tempted you to come visit us here 'Down Under'.  I will just quickly point out that in that post I wrote that you won't see any people wandering about with hats with corks on them.  WELL....... today I actually saw a guy wearing one!!  And he was walking down the street in my town!  He was an old dude, so maybe that's forgivable....but really....it was a pretty major fashion faux pas.  Also, just to add, the corks really don't keep the flies off.  A few corks dangling down is not going to stop flies from sneaking through and landing on your face.

Anyway...back to the point.

If you decide that you do want to come visit (and even come and visit me specifically!)...then here is a little helpful list of things to bring, that I have put together for you to help you survive!
Mosquito repellent.  If you're visiting during the summer then mosquito repellent is an absolutely must.  I was away up north at Wakool over the New Year period and I got positively EATEN alive and over a week later I'm still itching. 
Sunscreen.  Don't be caught without it.  The sun here gets hot hot hot.  Although I'm sure it gets hot everywhere else too, but here it certainly gets a nasty 'bite' to it, and I've noticed that over the last decade it seems to be getting worse.  I like this "How to Apply Sunscreen to a Child" because this really does apply to me when I'm trying to get it on my kids.  It's such a tedious thing....particularly because I have to repeat the steps three times.
A hat.  A broad brimmed one is the best, so it shades all sides of your head.  A peaked cap works too of course, just make sure you use that sunscreen you brought along and put it on the back of your neck.  Oh, and don't forget your ears.
A swimsuit.  Unless you're coming in the winter, then yes, a swimsuit is a must.
Sunglasses.  I just bought my husband some sunglasses for Christmas actually.  He did not own a pair at all and actually hasn't since I've been married to him which is 6 and a half years.  I knew they probably wouldn't suit him and he would have to go back and change them to suit his face (because unfortunately I couldn't take his face into the store with me when I was picking them out), but I knew that it would then force him to HAVE to go into the shop himself and pick a pair that did.  The lengths we have to go to just to get our partners a pair of sunnies!  Anyway don't forget yours when you pop on over.
Boots.  If you are planning on visiting the countryside, say wandering about the bush, or maybe you are thinking about coming over for a working holiday and think that farm work might be for you (!), then a pair of boots is a must.  Elastic-sided boots are really comfortable and you can get some great ones here, so don't bother bringing some over (because they will be heavy in your luggage), buy them here.
Camera.  Australia is so wide and varied.  So many different things to see and do.  So many different types of landscapes to experience and take photos of!  So definitely don't forget your camera...even if you have to take out the mossie repellent to fit it in your bag!