Thursday, September 29, 2011


I'm 40 years old today. Happy Birthday to me!

But before we start freaking out about how high that number actually is, I want to say I'm okay with it.

Turning 40 had me wondering why this number is so hard for some people to reach with all the midlife crises and what not. Personally, I am happy that I've come this far, because quite frankly, the alternative sucks.

There's been those fickle moments too. Giving the mirror more time than it deserves, studying the extra lines accumulated over the years. Wrinkles I'm proud of. Part of all the 40 thoughts has been, what does 40 look like these days? Because when I was 20, 40 sure looked old. Women acted mature, had grey hair, wrinkles, wore plaid suits and stockings. (And perms, but that might have just been an 80s thing.)

I don't think I look like that type of 40 year old, I definitely don't think I act 40 (definitely less mature than what I think I should be). But then on other days, I feel every bit my age. Recently, I discovered my health age (28 years old), and I did a little happy dance because it sounds more like how I feel.

And then I got thinking about that question: how old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?I think I'd agree with my health age. Mostly. (But loved being 26 - the age of the photo above.)

Sipping drinks from the fountain of youth was such a trivial thing in my younger days, but now I see how serious this beauty business is. No-one living in Hollywood or in the Good Looks Business look older than 30, and it turns out squillions* of dollars are spent attempting to turn back the clock. Plus, when you realise how young 40 is, you realised you want to have another 40. And then some more.

So I want to share some tips for living to 100. Nothing magical, just common sense really. But something I read a while back**, that has stuck in my head (and in my blog draft posts). Lucky you, because it's the best gift I can give you too!
  1. DON'T RETIRE. Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic desease skyrockets after retirement. The alternative? Stay active, grow a vegetable farm, volunteer in your local museum, church or retirement village.
  2. FLOSS. EVERY DAY. This keeps your arteries healthy apparently. All stemming from  the reduction of gum disease causing bacteria thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflamation of the arteries (the major risk for heart disease). Who knew? Plus, you get to look after your teeth which will need to be extra healthy for all those extra years you plan to live.
  3. MOVE. Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists. Like the oil change in your car - you don't have to do it, but your car runs better with it. Plus we all know that exercise improves your mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass, and bones. All this with your very first session!
  4. EAT A FIBRE RICH BREAKFAST. Not only eating breakfast, but a good one helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day. It also reduces diabetes which is an age accelerator.
  5. GET SIX HOURS OF SLEEP. Instead of skimping on less sleep to add more hours to your day, sleep more to get more years out of your life. Those who reach 100 made sleep a top priority in their lives!
  6. CONSUME WHOLE FOODS, NOT SUPPLEMENTS. Strong evidence suggests that people who have high blood levels of certain nutrients age much better and have a slower rate of cognitive decline. There is not one shred of evidence to suggest that of this happens through supplements!
  7. BE LESS NEUROTIC. Rolling with the punches is going to make you live longer. Less internalising and more focusing on the good stuff! Hanging around positive people sure helps too.
  8. BE A CREATURE OF HABIT. Strict routines are good for us - yay! Same activities, waking and getting up at the same time... it all helps. As we get older we bounce back less from a late night which weakens the immune system leaving you more susceptible to flu viruses or bacterial infections.
  9. LIVE LIKE A SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST. Members of this denomination live on average ten years longer than the average [American] person. One of the basic tenants of the religion is that it's important to cherish the body that's on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol, or overindulging in sweet treats. Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. They stop work one day a week, and they're also very focused on family and community.
  10. STAY CONNECTED. Having regular contact with friends and loved ones is key to avoiding depression, which can lead to premature death. Some psychologists even think that one of the benefits elderly folks get from exercise is the strong social interactions that come from walking with a buddy or taking an group exercise class.
There you have it: the not-so-secret ways to live longer.

Have you hit a big number recently? Has it scared you, or have you taken it in your stride? How do you live your life? A minute at a time, or carefully so as to make the moments count for the long haul?

* this isn't an exact amount. More like a guestimation.
** This article was found in the U.S. News & World Report, October 2009. And I've worded it the way I'd say it. (Plus it's a much shorter!) But if you want the whole article, you can google it, or if you request it, I have a scanned copy to email you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011



I've been pondering whether I even post this recipe after going sugar free just under two weeks ago. But seeing I baked these muffins before that time, I'm doing it. After all, not all of you have decided to do what I'm doing. (And besides, they really were delicious.)

Monday, September 26, 2011


My five year old son picks me flowers. And it's just the sweetest thing. He comes in after some time in the back yard, usually with a small offering.

This time it was purple flowers. Anything purple. Looks like we have a bit of that colour in our garden at present...

And showing him how grateful I am for his little gifts, I put them in little vases so we all can enjoy them.

What cute things do your kids do for you?

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I blame the weather on the fact that I'm still wearing black. It was only 15 degrees today, and admit I was hoping to wear more colour.

You see, I've been totally inspired by Felicity @ Gifts of Seredipity (who, ironically, was inspired by me) to take some gorgeous snaps of her wardrobe. So much colour, and so much spring inside. I love taking a peek into other people's wardrobes, and looking at her collection, I'm dying to wear bright clothes for warmer weather! (I just don't think Melbourne has gotten that memo yet.)

And look who's up to his usual tricks! Madison kept timing his bike ride to come around around the same time as the camera takes it's timer shots. He's getting it just right now!

I confess since buying these pontie pants, whether one should wear them on their own, or always under something? I've leant towards treating them like tights rather than pants, because I've seen some scary looking, er, jeggings out there (and didn't want to be scarying anyone). But as for the quandry, I've always worn long tops or tunics worn over them. They've been such an amazing winter staple, and I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of them. And is there anything better than an elastic waist?

Perhaps the weather will get warmer and I won't have to keep pondering this while wearing a pair of shorts.

At the moment I'm so in love with this violet eye shimmer with no dark eyeshadow. I definitely don't look as tired. Which reminds me, when am I going to start reducing my sleep debt? My youngest lad is almost two and a half... (sixteen more years to go?)

Did you ponder how to wear tights during the cold weather (or was it just me)?

Why don't you linky up your Fancy Pants post below (yes, you need to have a photo in an outfit!) and add a link back to me in your post. You can also include button below. Then pop over to visit other bloggers who are dressing up this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Kymmie wears: TUNIC & PONTIE PANTS, Witchery. BLAZER, Ojay. WEDGES, Nine West. SCARF, Myer. RING, Diva. Madison wears: TSHIRT, Piping Hot.

a day in the life of us

See this girl? She's so awesome!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


It was my mum's birthday last week, and I had the perfect gift for her. You see, she loves sugar. And she'll be the first to admit that's she a sugarholic. (Or is that chocoholic?) Either way, she's a sweet tooth.

But no, I didn't buy her chocolate. In fact I was thinking of a book called The Sweet Poison Quit Plan. I knew she would love it. In fact, I was so interested in it, I wanted a copy too.

So I read it. In two sittings. I couldn't put it down. It was so interesting.

One tends to shut off when you hear for the millionth time that too much sugar is bad for you. But I'd never considered it poisonous. My motto is 'everything in moderation'. But most people don't know what moderation is. Turns out I don't either, as I eat far too much sugar.

So after reading the book, I decided right then and there I was going to try this theory. So, cold turkey, I stopped eating sugar that day.

It was a challenge, because it's hidden everywhere - even in my soy milk.

By the end of the first day I had a whopping headache. Sugar withdrawal apparently (it was mentioned in the book).

On the second day, nothing could stop my hunger. I was famished.

But by third day my stomach was no longer bloated, and I had no desire to eat sugar. Plus I realised that I felt fuller quicker. My body was no longer blocking my hunger signals (yes, sugar does that).

The fourth day had my skin looking clearer than it has for a very long time.

By the fifth day I noticed an obvious reduction in the cellulite on my legs (yes, instant results!).

And without trying, I have lost two kilograms. I haven't changed a thing. Except cut out sugar.

Here are some facts from the book:
  • Sugar was once such a rare resource that nature decided we didn’t need an off-switch – in other words, we can keep eating sugar without feeling full.
  • In the space of 150 years, we have gone from eating no added sugar to more than a kilogram a week.
  • You would need to run 7 km every day of your life just to not put on weight as a result of eating that much sugar.
  • Two decades ago 1 in 14 adult Australians were obese; that figure is now 1 in 5.
  • The ‘natural’ sugar in one glass of unsweetened fruit juice per day for a year is enough to add just over 2.5kg your waistline.
  • The more sugar we eat, the more we want. Food manufacturers exploit our sugar addiction by lacing it through ‘non-sweet’ products, such as bread, sauces, soups and cereals.
Today, I made a chocolate and almond flourless cake which I reduced the sugar to half a cup. After just one slice, guess what? I had a headache. (Too much sugar!) I also didn't enjoy it one bit. This has been a reality check, and I because of this book, I'm onto something. And I couldn't recommend the book higher.

Could you go cold turkey and not eat any sugar?

Have you tried something new this week? It might be as major as cutting out a whole item of food in your pantry, or as small as eating a smaller slice of cake.

Why don't you join in? All you have to do is follow me, add your Try Something New post below and add a link back to me in your post. You can also include the lovely button (below). Then pop over to visit other bloggers who have done something new this week.

a day in the life of us


It's the last day of the five day challenge.

And things I've learned about maxi dresses this week?
  1. A maxi dress is two pieces in one. It's a dress, it's a skirt. AND there's not bulgy bits cutting your middle in half. Don't buy a maxi skirt when a whole dress will do both.
  2. Black is more forgiving. I can't say that I washed this dress every night like the last challenge. Did you notice? (Me neither.)
  3. The Challenge? I could wear this maxi dress all month because it goes with everything in my wardrobe. Don't dare me, I might just do it.
  4. The more basic the cut, the more versatile. Do I need to say anymore?
  5. There is nothing that doesn't go with black. Even navy blue and dark brown. I love to break the rules.
  6. You don't need a big wardrobe. Key items are more important. I really don't have many clothes, but what I have, I wear a LOT. Just goes to show that we can use all of our clothes more when we put some thought into it (not too much though otherwise it's hard work!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


What do you do when you have to take the kids to the pool, and it's freezing outside? (And you know you have to wear a thin cotton singlet maxi dress?)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


So, you've gotten a two-for-one deal today, because the maximum temperature in Melbourne ended up being 28 degrees (!!!). Yet it's still spring, so the mornings are still Oh So Cold. I started with this...

And by 3pm today, this is what I wore...

Monday, September 19, 2011


So, do I look untouchable in this, or just unfriendly? Probably the latter. I was in a hurry to take these pictures, and the angles are all wrong!

Anyhow, you get the drift (plus you know I'm a nice person, right?).

Besides, the tribal accessories rock! My favourite combo...

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I didn't mean to start another five day challenge so quickly after the last one, but with the warm spring weather we've been having, I wanted to wear this dress. And thought, why not wear it a lot this week?

Dress? You ask. It looks a lot like a skirt. But it's a maxi dress. And I'm going to try to make it different every day for the next five days.

This one was bought for $20 at JayJays. I have to say that when I walk into this store these days I know it's not marketed at my age group (and the fact that the website has a GIRLS' and guys' section surely doesn't help), but the well priced clothing still keeps me going there.

Friday, September 16, 2011


So, if you ever wondered what it was like to be in my head, this week you might have wanted to get out. Pronto.

You see, I'm a big researcher. And when it comes to those important decisions, I just can't seem to make up my mind.

And the latest of [in]decisions? It's schools. The choice. The pondering. The prospectuses. The application forms.

Yet all this indecision has me grateful. Can you believe it? (Something good had to come out of it, I guess...)

So this week, I'm grateful for:
  1. Options. How is it that I have at least six schools to choose from? And all within close proximity to our house? Private and public.
  2. Good reputation. When deciding which school to send my son, I've been looking at their reputation. (And would you believe it, they're all good?)
  3. Uniforms. The past few weeks my five year old son has been obsessed (yes, obsessed) with what he wears to kinder. It has to be skinny jeans, baseball cap (on backwards, of course), and a cool top. (Criteria? A top with a picture or writing on it.) He even has new sneakers which he hardly takes off. The minute he is at kinder he is comparing notes with his little boy friends ("Do you think this top is cool? Yeah, your top is cool!" I do not lie). He refuses to wear his kinder shirt (not compulsory) and have his hair any shorter than shoulder length. If I can find one good thing about my boy starting school next year, it's that he won't be too cool for school. He will look like everyone else - in school uniform. I'm sure the lack of school uniforms in America is connected to their First Amendment, but I really like the compulsory school uniform thing we have here in Australia. Really. I do.
What are you grateful for this week?

This week the insanely adorable Brenda from Mira Narnie is hosting Maxabella's gratefuls. So head on over and join in this wonderful positive tradition.

Happy grateful day!


Just a few things we talked about this week at our place*. What did you talk about?

*One of my favourite places to visit is Life in a Pink Fibro. Allison has started doing this, and I love it so much, I'm doing it too.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


There are so many things I've done in the past two weeks that could be considered new, and different. Even, unusual.

Like last week's White Tee Challenge. Where I wore the same tee for five days, five different ways (don't worry, I washed it every night). It was lots of fun and great way to shop one's own wardrobe. I'm a big believer in using what you have, rather than buying new stuff. Because despite thinking you have nothing to wear, you know it's not true.

Or perhaps completing the Global Corporate Challenge last week. I've stopped wearing a pedometer after four months of my tight fitting clothes looking a little strange with that pedometer bump protruding out of my middle regions. I kind of miss reporting my steps each day, but I'm satisfied in knowing that I do on average 12,047 steps each day without even trying. (I think I can thank those energetic lads of mine.)

Some other step trivia includes:
  • My personal best step count was 23,394 (yes, that was a very busy day).
  • I walked 856km in four months.
  • In my organisation, I was fourth ranking.
Not too bad for an amateur walker.

But this week's Something New happened just tonight.

Would it surprise you that I'm a stickler for The Rules?

Like when we were renovating, we had no kitchen benches, no sink, no oven and no stovetop. My husband casually mentioned the words "takeaway" and "tv dinners" while the kitchen was being finished.

It sent me into a flurry.

Of course, most people could think of worse things, but it certainly is hard for me to get my head around it.

Why, fast food means minimal nutritional dinners for my kids, money we didn't need to spend (um, did you just read we were renovating our kitchen?), and setting a precedent. TV dinners means eating in front of the telly, which means we don't eat around the dining table, talk or bond as a family. We don't think about the food we are absorbing, we don't communicate in any way, and we get into bad habits.

After all, we spent my teenage years around the dining room table. We'd groan, we'd complain, because we really just wanted to watch TV.

"It's good for us as a family", my mother would say. "Besides, when else do we talk?"

She was right. Because I really do have lots of great memories sitting around the dining room table.

Like teasing our step dad, or laughing at fart jokes (I have brothers), we'd complain about the weird vegetarian thing that mum had just dished up, and we did lots of learning and discussing there too.

Now it's me making multiple requests for the kids to come to the table, rounding up the husband, and warding off comments about the "iffy" meal.

So, why am I scared about TV dinners? After all I loved them so much when I was growing up. When we stayed at our grandparents over the Christmas break, they even had trays we could use to eat out breakfast while enjoying commercial cartoons (we never had this sort of TV in Darwin).

Now, the kitchen renovation is over. Apart from tiling and painting, I've had a functioning kitchen for more than a month. And the whole time we had take out just once, and never had a TV dinner.

But tonight, I was working, making calls. Hubby is away, the kids were ratty, and In The Night Garden was on.

It must have been a moment of weakness when I heard myself self say: "C'mon kids. Let's eat our haystacks in front of the telly".

You cannot imagine the whoops of excitement.

And I know I've just put a rod in my back which is enough to know I'm going to be very sorry later on.

What happens in your family when you relax the rules?

Have you tried some new this week? It might be as simple as eating dinner in front of the television, or changing your routine or mindset.

Why don't you join in? All you have to do is follow me, add your Try Something New post below and add a link back to me in your post. You can also include the lovely button (below). Then pop over to visit other bloggers who have done something new this week. 

a day in the life of us

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I cried.

You see, there's been some problems with Noah's learning and development. On his second birthday he hardly spoke a word. To say we'd been slightly concerned is an understatement. But a recent visit with the Maternal Child and Health Nurse had me close to freaking out. Because I had another appointment the next month. To investigate further.

The prognosis was slightly better, but we visited a hearing clinic to make sure his hearing was okay. And at the next Maternal appointment has me holding a referral to an Occupational Therapist (because the Maternal Child Health Nurse won't be seeing him again until he's four).

So here I am. Hoping. Praying. Waiting. Teaching. And everytime he gestured at an item, I said it.



"Yes, that's right. Ball"

But then he never said it again.

It didn't make much sense. He crawled at six months, walked at 11 months, and is as bright as a spark. Just not in the area of communication. He pointed and said, "Eh" for pretty much everything.

Not long ago he was looking for me in the house, and was getting stressed. So he pulled out of the laundry basket the dress I wore the day before and took it to show to his Daddy.


Doesn't that show some initiative? Doesn't that mean he knows who I am?

Apparently not. He didn't look me in the eye enough. He didn't build blocks. He had no interest in sitting long enough to listen to a story. He didn't say enough words.

But then weeks later he said, "Choo choo" when he saw Thomas on the TV. He suddenly became interested in the bedtime ritual (books!). Then he said, "Doggy" and "Woof Woof". Finally, he said those magic words: "Mumma".

And slowly it's developed. The word formation. The repeating of words. The volunteering of them, even.

"Bekpas." He says as he points to his cereal bowl yesterday.

"Yes, breakfast."


"Yes, Makka Pakka."

It's early days, but with each word that is added to his small repoirtoire, there is a celebration that happens in my heart (and prayer of thanks). Which recently has been every. single. day.

Have you ever worried about your child's progress? What did you do about it?

Monday, September 12, 2011



Two years ago a friend forwarded me some junk email that I actually read. So glad I did, because the email contained this recipe. Often with an unknown source, recipes like this could be a total waste of ingredients, but this one is definitely not. In fact, it's so good, I feel badly for not paying for the recipe. Of course, it's a hoax. (But you can still read the story below. Totally entertaining!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011


After wearing a tee shirt all week (see the one piece, 5 days, 5 ways challenge for all the low down), I'm so relieved that the weather held out from freezing point until yesterday. I'm rugged up and cozy. Because it was freezing outside and raining (no Melbourne, thank you).

I love this coat. It's cotton and linen and ever so soft. When my mum and step dad visited in winter last year we had this amazing outing at a divine place called Sassafrass where I discovered what is now my favourite little boutique. Now, I know what you're thinking - boutique sounds expensive. But no, this one isn't. And it thrills my soul just a little bit! And because the clothes are a little bit different from what's happening in most of the chain stores, it's like my very own little secret.

In fact, it was so affordable, my mum coaxed me into buying not one coat, but two. And that other coat is pictured here.) Seriously, the best buys ever!

Come to think of it, it's been a while between visits. Perhaps I should make a plan to go by there again soon...

Now I'm weighing up the odds. 

Do you have a shop that's like your little secret, and it sells things are that suit you perfectly?

Why don't you linky up your Fancy Pants post below (yes, you need to have a photo in an outfit!) and add a link back to me in your post. You can also include the button belowThen pop over to visit other bloggers who are dressing up this week.
Thanks for stopping by!

Kymmie wears: JACKET, For TwentyOne. JEANS, JeansWest. BOOTIES, Miss Shop. RING, Diva. EARRINGS, Diva.

a day in the life of us

See this girl? She's awesome too!


Friday, September 09, 2011


So glad you've popped over here from Maxabella Loves... I'm one honoured chickie who is super excited to host this week for Bron who's having a little blogiday.

Now, if you were here in real life, you could join in on the gobbling up that's been going on nearby here, because it's Food Club weekend! We made (and ate) lots of scrumptious finger food, and because you couldn't physically be here, I'm bringing the food to you.

And so apart from Food Club (which is always at the top of my list), I'm especially grateful for...

  1. The word "no". It must be Open Season - that time of year where lots of important volunteer jobs need to be filled for 2012. In the past week, there have been far too many requests come this way. While I'm so flattered, I find it hard to say "no". Firstly, because I know that that person has to ask a few Someone Elses before someone accepts, Secondly, I'm one enthusiastic energy bunny, but mostly because I like to please. But Hubby (who is the world's greatest reality check) has helped me to discover a new word. And you know what? Saying "no" is easier than I thought it would be. (And gets better with practice.)
  2. Eva Cassidy. When one of my closest friends visited last weekend she came loaded with a gift (because it may or may not be someone's birthday soon). It was an Eva Cassidy CD which I've pretty much played over and over this week. Because, it might just be the best CD ever! It gives me voice envy like never before and I might put in a request to the fairy godmother if I could be naturally, er "blessed" with vocal chords like hers (she grants three wishes, right?).
  3. Fuel. As I headed home from Food Club tonight, I noticed the fuel light in hubby's car was on. Now you see I was rushing to get home because I was late for a very important date (um, gratefuls!). I promptly called hubby to ask how long the light had been on to which he replied, "a very long time". And you wouldn't believe it. As I pulled into the driveway at home the car started to chug, making me extra grateful that I'm not on the side of a dark road waiting in the freezing cold and rain for roadside assistance right now. (Plus, I'd rather be home reading your gratefuls!)

Happy Grateful Day.
What are you grateful for this week?
Join in with Maxabella loves (and me).

 Add your Grateful post to the list below (and please, we love you, but it really does matter that your post is one about being grateful, not just a random), and pretty-please add a link back to the list. Then pop over to visit other bloggers who are spreading a little sunshine...



Just a few things we talked about this week at our place*. What did you talk about?

*One of my favourite places to visit is Life in a Pink Fibro. Allison has started doing this, and I love it so much, I'm doing it too.


So, today is the last day of the one item, five days, five ways challenge. And what better way to finish than with some black and white essentials?

I feel a bit relieved this whole challenge is over (for instance, I can go back to wearing nil makeup all week), but funnily enough now I have enough ideas to do another five day challenge with the same tee. Of course, I can say this bravely in the safety of knowing I'm not doing this same item again. But this challenge has made me think hard about what I could do to give this top a different look each day without the same old, same old.

Also, it was a great way to recycle my wardrobe and think outside the square.

It wasn't even too bad washing the tee every night. I only went out once with a semi-damp top. And thankfully, it was a warm day.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


While this all white look is so fresh, crisp and all the rage this spring, it's not for the fainthearted. Or for anyone who puts their scraps in the compost bin, or refills their tomato sauce bottle, or who might be a bit clumsy, or works with dirt, or has children...

Most people, actually.

Because when I took out the scraps and refilled the tomato sauce bottle (yes, I was doing those things in this outfit), I was kind of On Edge. You know, worried about all that leftover food or bright red getting on my Cricket Whites.

Because last time I wore an all white suit (before I had children, obviously), it was at a friend's special 'do. Hor'devours in the garden, formal dinner by the ocean, that sort of thing. By the first round of canopes, I had red grape juice on my sleeve, and bright green pesto on my light pink blousy top. And when soup was served, I leaned over for the salt, and put my whole sleeve in it. (Did I mention it was pumpkin?)

I was a class act that day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Don't you just love Melbourne to bring on the different seasons all for this week's 5 days 5 ways?

Shorts one day and jeans and jackets the next. I don't know which way is up... but one thing is for sure: I'm warmer today than I was yesterday (thanks to the cool change and hail)! The day started with so much sunshine and potential...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Here we are, day two and I've gotten some feedback on what you would wear with a white tee. What a relief! I'm on the right track according to you girls. And I confess, am very relieved!