Tag Archives: opinion

The Konjac Sponge Review

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The Body and Facial Sponges I purchased.

I suffered from Eczema and Psoriasis as a child. It was hideous. I remember the baths in Pinetarsol and my mum slathering me in creams to relieve the pain. Luckily it seemed to be a childhood thing and I grew out of it by the time I was about 12/13.

Except, I didn’t. It reared its ugly head again in my mid 20’s and I have been fighting it ever since.

I have tried diet changes, steroid creams, high doses of antibiotics that left me nauseas but I needed to fight the infections I had developed, magic potions and lotions – you name it, I’ve pretty much tried it. I stick to a pretty dairy free diet as I have had that pin pointed as a contributor but I also can’t help the odd cheese or chocolate indulgence. I am always searching for the relief answer, even having my Mirena IUD removed as my new doctor told me it wouldn’t be helping my skin situation.

My worst affected areas are my lower legs and ears. My ears are constantly becoming infected and I have been on many courses of antibiotics. The swelling and infections in my ears has also left me with affected hearing and I have significantly reduced hearing in my left side. So please, always talk to my good side!

As I browsed the Waikato Home and Garden show last week I came across the Konjac Sponges and the lovely lady selling them. She and her sponges promised a world of benefits and I was all in to hear it. Let me first start by praising her selling tactics and her gentleness of them. Not once did I feel forced into trying these. Not once did I feel I could not just say no thank you and walk away. In fact, she went so far as to suggest only buying one sponge and cutting it to be used on my different affected areas instead of having to commit to her 3 show special.

I bought the 3 show special. What can I say, it was a better deal! I walked away with a Lavender body sponge, Lavender facial sponge and a Collagen facial sponge (because I’m all about the anti-aging!). If you are interested you can find the sponges online here and also read the promises of each sponge for yourself.

I have been using the sponges exclusively for the last week. To give them a good go I have ditched the creams and have only been using these sponges. I have used the lavender facial sponge each morning and night gently on my ears and the collagen sponge on my face. I have showered without any soap or body wash on the affected areas of my legs, only using warm water and the Lavender Body Sponge. At the end of my showers I have been turning the tap of and then using the Lavender sponge to gently remove excess water from my legs before pat drying with a towel. And that’s it!

I will honestly continue to use these and will post a two week update next weekend. To me I am seeing a significant difference in the condition of my skin. I am also experiencing less tightness and aggravation of the skin, and my itchiness has reduced somewhat.

You can find the sponges I purchased online at At1 Konjac Sponges. You can also find more information and read about them on their Facebook page.

I have attached my one week results below. I warn you the aren’t pretty so stop scrolling here if you prefer not to see.

Mel x

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Top Pic, before. Middle and Bottom, After 1 week.
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Before : After week 1
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Before : After week 1

44 Things I Want My Daughters To Know

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There are so many things I want to teach my girls that my mind threatens to explode. Half of it they are far too young to even understand yet but the life lessons I want them to learn are always front of mind for me. Some are simple wee tokens of advice that have served me well, others are bigger lessons that I need them to understand. I know I can’t save them broken hearts or hard lessons but when the time is right I will pass on my pearls of wisdom.

Things I want to teach my daughters

  1. Always make eye contact when speaking with someone. It is respectful and good manners.
  2. Live to eat. Food is delicious and there is so much to enjoy and discover. Don’t eat just to live.
  3. Never judge people. You don’t know their story and you haven’t walked in their shoes.
  4. Learn to say NO. You don’t need any reason except that you want to say no.
  5. Read books. Lots of books.
  6. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously.
  7. Tattoos are permanent. Think it through, trust me.
  8. Don’t settle in a relationship. You deserve a prince who captures your heart and protects it as if it were made of glass. Wait for that man.
  9. No matter how old or young you are, if you are drunk, ring me. Do not drive. Do not get in some ones car. I will not be mad at you and I will get out of bed for you.
  10. Don’t sleep around. Just don’t.
  11. It’s not the quantity that matters when it comes friends. It’s the quality.
  12. Don’t be afraid to do you. Be proud of who you are and be you with confidence.
  13. A naked face can be liberating. Don’t be afraid to show it.
  14. Always have wine in your fridge. For when I visit.
  15. Buy the shoes, the handbag, the perfume – you deserve them.
  16. Be a good listener. Really hear people when they talk to you.
  17. People always remember how you make them feel. Make them smile.
  18. No one is any better than you, and you are no better than anyone else.
  19. We are all in this together, be kind.
  20. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Apologise when you should.
  21. Don’t be afraid to fail. Take a deep breath and try.
  22. You can be and do anything you want to.
  23. You can also do absolutely nothing all day except eat chocolate and watch tv. That’s ok too but only every now and again.
  24. If you’re not married to him, use protection. Safety first.
  25. Just because it zips, doesn’t mean it fits.
  26. Wine/beer and pizza is a perfectly acceptable meal.
  27. Tights are not pants and you are better than track pants. Unless it’s Lazy Sunday and then anything goes.
  28. I don’t care if you choose to love women or men. You are still you and dad and I will always love you.
  29. If they make you cry, they aren’t worth your tears.
  30. Have the courage and strength to walk away. Sometimes things aren’t right for us and we must accept this.
  31. Childbirth is painful. Few things are comparable. Except bikini waxing, that’s kinda the same.
  32. Always have something you do just for you.
  33. Your youth will fade, so may your looks but your mind is forever. Keep it sharp.
  34. Never lose your sense of humour.
  35. If you have to, try the weed but stay away from the hard stuff.
  36. See the world. Go on adventures.
  37. Stay at school. Go to university. Education is your weapon.
  38. Never go to bed angry.
  39. We need the cloudy days to appreciate the sunshine.
  40. When nothing seems to be going right, turn the music up loud and dance that shit out.
  41. I am always on your side. I’ve got your back.
  42. Even if I am not here, I am always with you.
  43. Everything will be ok in the end.
  44. Something as simple as your breath, your smile, your laugh – completes me. To me you are everything.

Mel x

I Am Not Super And That’s Ok

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As a female from the moment we come into this world we are told we can be and do anything. That we must fight for our equality in this world and we must assert ourselves as strong, competent, multi-tasking and able females. That we are the Queen of our own jungle, a lioness and the world must hear us roar.

Then some of us become mothers and we feel the need to up our womanly super powers. To juggle motherhood along with every other thing we could want to achieve in our lives. To chase the next dream, cross the finish line of the race and to tick the goals off our life check list. There are affirmations all over social media and we share inspiring quotes between us. It is a firm message that we can and must conquer the world and we can do it all with a baby on our tit and another on our hip.

I am guilty of overloading. I am guilty of not being strong enough to say no. I am guilty of trooping on and not asking for help despite feeling crushed by the weight of my commitments. I worry that admitting I am not coping will open me up to be viewed as weak. That people will realise I am not made of stone, I am not super, I am not juggling motherhood and life with ease. I read one of those glorious meme’s the other day that said ‘We are all losing our shit, some of us are just better at hiding it than others’ and I thought A-FREAKEN-MEN!

I think most women whether they are mothers or not can relate to the pressure to succeed. The pressure to prove ourselves and to have our shit under control but I want to chuck it out there that it is ok and perfectly normal to fail at ‘adulting’ every now and again, and to take refuge in a pillow fort. Not only is it normal but it is deliciously therapeutic. Take a long bath with those fancy ass Lush bath bombs, eat the whole king size block of chocolate, drink all the wine and throw yourself a big old pity party. Then get back to it.

Learn your limits. Assert yourself and your ability to say no. Don’t feel ashamed of saying no. It’s a powerful word and you need no excuses. Once you have mastered the art of using the big N-O life tends to take a turn. I’ll be honest, it’s hard as hell at first to just say no without following it with rambling justifications but the truth is you don’t need to do that. So repeat after me – no, No, NO! Let’s all be a little self-indulgent now and again and not feel a damn bit guilty about it.

While I will continue to raise my own little females with the positive affirmations of being able to conquer the world, I will also teach them the importance of putting themselves first. I will carefully guide them through the need to be selfish every now and again and that there is no weakness in asking for help. It takes great strength to admit so. They are indeed beautiful lionesses but they don’t need to be alone in their jungle. Support networks are crucial and if there is one kingdom I want them to build, it is that one.

Last week almost broke me and if admitting this helps someone else realise they need to call a time out and look after themselves then that hideous selfie was worth it. Call on your support systems, admit you need them and make sure they bring the wine!

 

Mel x

 

I Was The Perfect Mother Before I Had Children

I was going to do it all. Drug free all natural birth. Breast is best. Cloth nappies over disposables. All organic produce as first foods. Playgroups, music classes, anything that would kick start their educational journey. Mother Madonna, you’re looking at her. That was the plan anyway.

Reality is it didn’t go to plan from the start. Both pregnancies were hard. I was sick, I went into preterm labour, I was a high risk case. I had to birth at the hospital. I had to have the steroids after going into labour preterm. With Trilly I had to stay in hospital for 8 days while they made efforts to keep her in there. It was a success and I baked her for a few more weeks. Both births were long and tedious, I demanded an epidural after 30 hrs of labour and no one can tell me I didn’t deserve it. It was heavenly. The epidural with Trilly only worked down one side but there was no way in hell I was risking doing it again and it not working at all. Drug free and natural it was not but the end result was still the same, I have two healthy daughters and I am here too.

All through my pregnancies people would tell me what a good cow I’d be. I mean of course I would, I had gigantor boobs! Obviously they would work fabulously right? Both girls I persevered, I saw the lactation consultants, I fed through tears and bleeding nipples, I gave it all I could. And mostly off only one side because only one side worked! I was defeated. I had a broken gigantor boob. I felt broken. At 6 weeks both girls went on to formula. The change in them instant. They were finally being fed properly. It broke my heart and I felt a failure but it was best for us.

As for the whole organic produce and lean meat diet I planned to feed them when the time came as hard as I damn tried Trilly blantantly refused to eat any food. Miss has always been a see food, eat food type of kid but Trilly still survives mainly on yoghurt and ham sandwiches. We encourage her to try new food, to just taste it please but the arguments are exhausting and believe it or not she’s healthy. I will often feed her up on a banana before bedtime because I can’t believe she survives on so little. She’s growing and thriving though and isn’t that the main thing?

Cloth nappies are great but I can honestly say I didn’t do it. I didn’t realise I’d have to deal with scrapping the crap down the toilet and soaking shitty nappies. Naive I was at the reality of saving the environment and the convenience of the disposables won. I could say I’m ashamed but I honestly don’t feel any guilt on this choice.

I tried mum/baby classes. I gave them a good whirl. Trilly did gym classes from age 2 to 4 before kindy days took over. Miss and I used to hang out and even though we didn’t go to any classes that turned her into a baby genius she still developed and learned at the same rate as any other child her age. She didn’t lag behind, miss milestones or suffer from lack of stimulation on her tiny brain. Both my girls are perfectly normal. Perfectly average even. Perfectly where they should be.

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The first time Miss met Trilly
In a world full of everyone’s advice and opinions it gets confusing to find your own path. To find the right way that works for you. Your mind boggles at the options and your heart hurts from the judgements. What works for them may not work for you. They say not every child is the same so it only makes sense that not every mother is and we can not all parent our children identically.

Do what works for you, your child and your family. You will never catch me saying someone else’s way is wrong if it wasn’t right for us. We all do what we have to do to get through. Spend less time worrying about what others are doing and you will be so much more confident in your own parenting decisions. Love your child, raise a good human and make the world a better place.

As I sent Trilly off to school this week and said goodbye to my years of early parenting I can’t help but reflect on the decisions I made and the children I have raised so far. They have manners after years of ‘what do you say?’ being the first response to their questions but they still fart and belch as much as the next kid. They are children, they are fine and they are mine.

I’m going to take time to pat myself on the back because despite almost failing at every prechildren idea I had of parenting and not quite being the Mother Madonna I envisioned they are still children to be proud of and unbelievably proud of them and me I am.

Mel x

Thou Shall Not Compare

I love Instagram but today Instagram has given me total mum envy. Maybe, not even mum envy but just general got your crap together envy.

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Those aren’t trendsetter outfits but they sure are cute kids

My Instagram feed is full of gorgeous homes, stylish Mothers and their matching children, wardrobes full of shoes that are only attainable in my dreams and women I find inspiring. The last part of this is not my problem. The last part is why I check Instagram. It has also been a place I’ve made friendships that have grown beyond the app and this is my absolute favourite part of social media. The fact that I now say things like ‘oh, I met her on the internet’ makes me giggle a little bit but I swear to god I do meet people the old fashioned way too.

One look at my Instagram feed and you will see I am not likely to appear on the featured accounts list anytime soon. I am not stylish. My children do not wear matching outfits to me. I do not get sent free products daily and my house is not from the pages of a home decorating magazine. Shit, a win for me is to actually get dressed in the morning, check in a mirror before I walk out the door and find two clean bowls to give the girl’s breakfast. Safe to say I am not winning Mother of the Year anytime soon. The biggest downfall of my account is probably my completely average photography skills.

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My ‘Mum Uniform’ consists of jeans, top knots and sneakers

I have been far too involved in this unattainable idea of Instagram perfection that I have actually been thinking what I have is not enough, when what I have is everything. The funniest part is despite knowing Instagram is just a snippet of people’s worlds and the sole purpose of the app is the gorgeous imagery, I have been comparing myself.

I want to be that stylish mother. You know the one that effortlessly throws on an outfit and looks so in vogue you think they belong in the magazine. I am not that mother. I am not even that woman. I am the woman that will spend $50 on my child’s dress but will cringe if the dress I’m lusting over is that price. I’m a tight ass but only when it comes to me. Sometimes I convince myself that I am worth it and then I experience a week of buyers regret and contemplate taking the item back. It’s bloody awful. I cannot afford to be that stylish mother. I need new aspirations. I’m actually unsure this mother is real because I am sure behind that perfect photo and that perfect outfit, she loves a good pair of tights or fleece trackies as much as any of us.

I want to be that Mother that makes motherhood look effortless. I am not. I am that frazzled mother you avoid because she has that hint of crazy in her eyes that you don’t want to invoke. Most days I am one peanut away from a nutbar. I get through this motherhood thing by the skin of my teeth and feel like I’m completely screwing my kids up every step of the way. I’m not. They are fine. I’m just irrational. I am definitely not that effortless Mother. The effortless Mother is also probably a mythical creature because I reckon when the camera isn’t snapping she’s losing her shit as much as the rest of us.

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Let’s play spot the trend in our lounge

A few months ago I convinced myself that I ‘needed’ things for our house. I could not survive without a freaken fiddle leaf fig or a quote art print that constantly reminds me how happy our house is. I became a Kmart pilgrim because I was determined to have an Instagram worthy house. I won’t lie I love a good Kmart bargain but I didn’t need half the crap I bought. I succumbed to believing a light-box would complete my life but it’s still sitting on the window sill I put it on the day I bought it. The hexagon wall planters I insisted were necessary are now the resting place of the dried up hanging vine I planted in there and forgot to water even once. Our house is ours, we own it, that’s something to be proud of, the fact it started to look just like everyone else’s but on a much cheaper scale, not so much. So it’s out with the crap and back in with the personality.

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The Light Box, not on the window sill

I love social media. It is an extremely powerful tool. I have made friends and connected with people I would never have met otherwise. It is so helpful when trying to build a successful brand however today I decided I need to step back. Appreciate everything that we do have, be proud of all we have achieved. Celebrate the fact that despite not being that effortless and stylish Mother, I am still a good one. That my house may not be magazine worthy but it is ours. That I may not be able to afford that latest lamb wool blanket everyone is picturing but my life will go on without it. And last but not least, I DEFINITELY do not need anything else from KMART.

Mel x

Why Is It So Hard To Make Mum Friends?

Thank goodness for sisters, and I'm lucky to be blessed with three.
Thank goodness for sisters, and I’m lucky to be blessed with three.

I think I am a shy mum. I say ‘shy mum’ like it’s a real thing because I don’t ever recall being this shy in social situations before I was a mum. Sure I’m not ever going to be up there on a stage in a play or anything but I don’t ever remember being so unsure of myself it made me somewhat introverted.

I don’t have a lot of friends but I know a lot of people. I know people well enough to say a passing ‘hello, how are you?’ in the street but it doesn’t often go beyond that, especially with other mums. I’m that mum that sits in the corner at kindy pick up or chats to that one other mum I know and that’s all. I’m sure I come across as snobby, stand offish and maybe even rude. I promise I’m not. I just don’t know how to go about talking to you. The groups of mums at kindy and school remind me of highschool cliques, where I’m on the outside and not too sure how to break in.

I strike up a conversation or someone starts speaking to me, we chat a while, we agree we should have a play date, for the kids of course! We meet up, the kids play, we drink coffee and that’s it. We may say hello again at kindy or school pickup/drop off, one of us will say ‘we should have another play date’ but we won’t. Why is it so hard for me to forge a relationship with a fellow mother? Why does adding Motherhood to the mix change it all?

I’ve had some great Mum friendships. I’ve thrown baby showers for friends, I’ve baby sat their children and entrusted them with mine and then it all stops. I keep putting myself out there like I know I should but almost all my mum friendships seem to fizzle out. I’m not saying I don’t realise how busy other mums are but as soon as I stop inviting people for coffee etc it’s all over. Are all mum’s just like me and struggling with this sudden onset of shyness?

Being a mum can be a lonely job sometimes especially those early days at home with a new born. I thought once my girls were at kindy and school I was sure to find some mum friends I’d click with. I tried a coffee group when Miss was a baby only to leave in tears because I was so much younger than the other mums and felt completely out of my depth. I am not going to lie, in those days Facebook was my saviour. Facebook is still my saviour. Mums seem easier to talk to on those Facebook groups, hide behind a screen and we are all friends’ right? Is it because of the screen that we are now intimidated by the face to face contact of real life friendship?

I say at the beginning I am a shy mum but I can assure you that once you get to know me I am not. I guess you just need to get to know me. I promise I can be a great friend; I can even be quite funny and entertaining when I want to be. I won’t compare our children, I won’t tell you mine have always slept straight through, if you parent differently to me I won’t judge you and may even pick up some tips, I will help you out when you would rather give your kids away than deal with them and I will learn your favourite wine and keep it handy.

I’m really not sure why I find this mum friendship thing so hard, I have had many conversations with the couple of mum friends I do have and we all seem to come to the conclusion that perhaps we are all just shy mums?

Mel x

The Third Child Decision

My Girls and I
My Girls and I

Trilly, my youngest, starts school in September and I keep being reminded that I’ll ‘be free’ again. I feel like I should be excited at this prospect. People keep saying I won’t know myself and how great it will be. Yet I’m feeling dread and anxiety.

I’ve gone backwards and forwards on a third baby for years. Hubby has always been a firm no and so this has made the decision easy for me. However, he has recently done a turn around and agreed to one. Now, I’m not sure.

I’m not sure if I’m doing it to fill a void I feel coming or because I really want that third. I’m not sure if I’m prepared to go back to sleepless nights and nappies. I love our current family dynamic and I know it’ll all change and I worry I won’t be happy. I worry and feel I’m being selfish by not rejoicing at the chance to welcome a third child.

Miss and Tilly with their cousins, Aja and Skyla
Miss and Tilly with their cousins, Aja and Skyla

I held my new Niece recently and my ovaries didn’t ache and my uterus didn’t explode. My heart didn’t long for a baby but I cry when I see my nephews. So I’m going to admit right now. I want a son. I love my two daughters, I’d never replace them, I’d never change them but I long for a son.

It makes you feel like a first class w**ker when people are struggling to just have a child and you are torn up inside at the risk of another with the same genitalia. I realise you can’t choose. You get what you’re given. People are always reminding me of this and I’m not naïve enough to not understand it but I want a son and I’m unsure I’m willing to change our family dynamic for a third daughter.

Before you judge me. Before you make assumptions about me as a mother. Of course I’d love a third child no matter what and I know once I held them the love would be instant. I am not going to lie however and say I wouldn’t be disappointed. In fact I’d almost be temporarily heartbroken. I know this and I am aware of this so I must be honest about it. I would accept a third daughter and feel blessed for any child at all but I will also deal with a feeling of loss. Loss for a son that will never be mine.

I write this because I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure mothers before me have felt this way. I’m sure they have felt horrid about it and even hated the fact they thought and felt these things. Motherhood is life changing. It is a life long commitment. We are allowed to have hard thoughts and reservations about it. It is nice to know we are not alone.

My two little loves
My two little loves

Mel x

Please Mind Your Own Mummy Business

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A Girls Day Out brings the excitement

‘Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.’

It’s the last day of school holidays and we have a bit of a tradition in our house where the girls and I have a girls day out together. So today we went to the Mall for lunch, a bit of shopping and a movie. It’s all very exciting for my two little divas.

Our day was great fun. The movie was thoroughly enjoyed. Lunch of sushi and Yoghurt Story for dessert received a big thumbs up. There was only a couple things wrong with our perfect day and they were because of other people. Fellow mamas that to be honest, I always expect more of.

When we got organised this morning, the girls dressed themselves. They do a good job of it and as long as it’s weather appropriate I generally just go with the flow on their choices. While I was applying a little make up in the bathroom Trilly had decided to apply her own red lippie. I chose my battles wisely and to be honest the fight to take the lippie off would not have been worth it and so we left with her gorgeous ruby lips on show.

We were waiting in line for our movie tickets when I overheard the lady with two gorgeous children behind me say to her friend ‘hardly an age appropriate outfit’. I only assume it was directed at us because we were the only other people waiting in the queue and she was right behind us. I brushed it off. Maybe she wasn’t speaking about one of my girls anyway and the girls didn’t hear so no real harm done.

Eating our sushi in the food court was a different story. A charming lady deemed it appropriate to let me know that lipstick on MY 4 year old was disgusting and inappropriate. I normally have words, many even but I was speechless. I was speechless for many reasons, the first being it’s none of her business. Again, I am assuming this woman is a fellow Mother (because she had children with her) and as a mother she should know better. Trilly heard her words and what riles me the most is that she had no right to make my 4 year old feel the way her words did. Trilly insisted I take her to wash off the lippie because ‘she is disgusting’ with it on. Trilly cried, her shoulders slumped, her confidence visibly knocked.

The offensive red lips
The offensive red lips

While I am a firm believer that we are entitled to our own opinions, there is our opinions and there is cruelty. I’d like to know what this women was hoping to achieve. Would she have been upset had the roles been reversed and she then had to console her young daughter? Did she consider the windfall of her actions and did her words provide any enrichment in the lives of either party? As a mother does she think 4 is too young to have to try explain the harshness of the world and some of its people? Did she even consider my 4 year old daughter sitting there or was she just so hell bent on letting me know her opinion of my mothering skills?

To the woman in the food court I’d like to say to you, please think before you open your mouth. The words that come from it have the ability to build someone up or tear them down, especially a child. Perhaps worry more about your own life instead of inflicting your opinion on those that have not asked for it. I will mother my way and you can mother your way. I will not judge you and I’d hope you would not judge me because at the end of the day we are on the same side. Just doing our best to raise the best little humans we can.

Mel x