ihearttuesdays has moved!

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ihearttuesdays has moved, and had a wee makeover!

Don’t worry, it’s not a full blown reality TV show make-over, you’ll still recognise us. Just a fancier version!

There’s lots of new stuff going on, as well as a new look (style and substance!). I have posted my first ever blog link-up: a place for other bloggers to add links to their own posts. It’s like a bloggy mixed tape! The theme is “handwritten”. And hopefully I’ll be posting more often, so we can see more of each other! Yay!

I won’t be adding anymore posts to this site, but I will post a few reminders to get you over, just in case you forget before it closes down for good.

So please, click here to visit the new site and I’d love to hear what you think!

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My five favourite words

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Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

I love to write. I love the way words fit together to create pictures and meaning. As soon as I could write I needed to tell stories and draw pictures with words. I wanted to be Enid Blyton, then Ann M. Martin.

Self-consciousness, self-confidence and all the other baggage that comes with growing up saw me stop writing and it wasn’t until I was pregnant with T that I reignited my love and found my words again.

Here are my favourite words. And much like myself they aren’t particularly fancy, or complex. But I like to think that they are clear and telling.

Publish
I’m so lucky to get to write as part of my job. Sure, it’s technical, procedural and often quite dry, but I love that I get play with words all day. And just like with blogging, at work there is a lot of sweat and stress that goes into finally hitting that ‘publish’ button each month.

Mumma
My boys call me Mumma. Not Mum or Mummy. It’s a sweet throw-back to T’s baby talk that has stuck and that his younger brother has also adopted. And it was M’s first word! I dread the day that self-consciousness sets in and they no longer use it, so for now I relish every one.

F&@k
Swears. I’m not big on cursing and with two boys under 5, I’ve learned to relax the cuss. But gees Louise, a well-timed f-bomb is so powerful and so effective at communicating just how cranky I am (in adult company, of course). And it’s so versatile: it works as a noun, an adjective, a verb (cheeky) and an adverb. Bless you f&@k: keep on keeping on.

Sauce
I’m on a diet. Urgh, just saying that out loud is so depressing and trite. But to put it simply, I’ve been treating my body like crap, and it was catching up with me. Okay I know there is NOTHING worse than hearing people harp on about clean eating and kale and quinoa, so I’ll leave it at this: I feel great but I miss sauce. I want all the sauce. Sauce.

Feminist
I love this word because to me it signifies strength, ferocity and unfinished revolution. It is a title that gets a bad rap from some men and women, but its is one that I wear with pride.

This post was written as part of a blogging challenge devised by the brilliant Polka Dots & Frocks for the Blog With Pip alumni. This cue “Five favourite words” is hosted by Pinknits blog. To read the other amazing entries, visit here.

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Things I collect

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Photo credit: Flickr

Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

Confession: I’m not a collector.

I display all of the traits of a collector: I adore nostalgia and enjoy hearing and seeing other people’s collections, and I love the thought of scouring op-shops on the hunt for that one special item – one man’s trash is another one’s treasure and all that. I love the drive, the quest and the unwavering obsession of it all: the thought that the desired item is out there somewhere, maybe in the next record store, or garage sale, or under that pile in the council clean-up.

It is a combination of things that have halted my inner scavenger. With two small children I am time poor (not to mention cash poor), space poor and I have a gorgeous husband whose idea of cleaning is to throw out anything that is not bolted down (Note: This is not a complaint. I am the opposite so if it was left up to me we’d be on ‘Hoarders’ by now).

I still marvel at the collections of others. To me they represent devotion – an unfaltering love and dedication to a cause. I love running my fingers along the spines gloriously smelly collections of books, and I am in awe of the organization (and slight obsessiveness) of my brother’s Lego figurine sets. One of my best friends had (and still has, I believe) a truly awesome badge collection I was completely jealous of as a teenager.

My favorite collection ever has to of been my grandmother’s. She had the most amazing collection of decorative spoons, I loved to pour over them after school. I’d go through the boxes, laying them out in rows along her big floral quilt. I could spend hours arranging them by size, categorizing them by style or age, or just pull out my favorites. I loved the ones with moving parts – the beauty and craftsmanship of the little miniatures, but my absolute favorite was the tiny version of the Big Pineapple. What is cooler than a teeny pineapple on a teeny spoon?

If time, space and opportunity were no object, I’d love to collect Blythe dolls, or nesting dolls, or brooches, and maybe one day I will. Perhaps in another life if I had a daughter, rather than sons, I might have collected them for, and with her. Maybe as my boys get older we will find, or develop a shared obsession, or one day I might be blessed with a grand-daughter who will pour over my trinkets with me.
This post was written as part of a blogging challenge devised by the brilliant Polka Dots & Frocks for the Blog With Pip alumni. This cue “Things I collect” is hosted by Leaf and Petal blog. To read the other amazing entries, visit here.

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I heart Gingers

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Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

We knew T had ginger hair before he was even born. I was between contractions and the midwife looked up smiling “I can see your baby’s head. And it is very ginger!” My husband and I looked at it each other bewildered: sure, we had joked about it during my pregnancy, but we hadn’t truly expected that our baby would be a redhead.

It had become a bit of a family joke during my pregnancy that my baby would be “a tinge o’ ginge”. My flame haired brother was sure that it would be the work of karma: payback for years of nicknames and jokes at his expense. My sister-in-law was certain that it was inevitable, given the number of copper tops that were scattered throughout the family trees on both sides.

After he was born I became quite sensitive about his hair. I wanted to protect him from the inevitable taunts and teasing and all of the nicknames and jokes that my brother had endured. I would tire very easily of the comments I’d receive from strangers as I’d manoeuvre his pram through the shopping centre aisles. The allusions as to whether my milkman has red hair, and the softly spoken “Oh well, it might change colour, you never know”, used to grate me the most. To me (as with all new Mums) he was perfect: why would i want to (literally) change a hair on his head?

T is now four and it’s impossible to imagine him as anything other than a wild haired ginger ninja. My aversion to the attention it gets has nearly disappeared (I do still flinch at the R-word, though). His vibrant locks are truly part of his personality: the crazy, curly ginger mop, that he refuses to have cut despite having a level of frizz and height that Cosmo Kramer would covet. It matches his cheeky smile; the one that flashes across his freckled face right before he sprints away on his skinny bruise-spotted legs.

I thought one redhead attracted attention at the supermarket, I was in for a surprise when his brother M was born. I heart gingers – and I wouldn’t have my boys any other way.

I’m sure they will both feel the sting of redhead jokes. I’ll admit to kinda loving Fanta pants. But I know myself and those around them (especially their uncle) will teach them to laugh and how to rise above it. Otherwise they can always quote these two famous lads, with whom I give the final word.

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…but it tasted good

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Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

As a parent you always try and make healthy choices for your children. I’ve always thought that it’s important to provide wholesome meals not only for their growth and nourishment, but also to develop healthy relationships with food – particularly before the junk food and fast food industry creeps into their consciousness through advertising and peer-pressure.

I’m not a great cook, and I’ve been thrown into the deep end recently having taken on more cooking as my foodie husband has taken on more travel in his new job.

Aside from the tofu incident of 2013, I have been pretty happy with my developing skills….

Leave it to so #2 to shatter my culinary confidence. After refusing a homemade and healthy lunch, M sneaks away to enjoy his favourite snack.

His verdict: “Meow! Yum yum, Mumma.”

I guess it must’ve tasted good….

This post was written as part of a blogging challenge devised by the brilliant Polka Dots & Frocks for the Blog With Pip alumni. This cue “…but it tasted good” is hosted by heikeherrling blog. To read the other amazing entries, visit here.

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An amazing find

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Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

It was the cheeky glint in his eye, that certain twinkle of knowing something that I didn’t, that first attracted me. A cocked eyebrow and half a smile sealed the deal. He was trouble, but something in his eyes also told me that he was sweet. I could tell from his faded jacket that he’d seen better days (as if the white handwritten sticker proclaiming “50c” wasn’t proof enough).

His name was Ferris Bueller, and we met at a second hand VHS sale. I loved these sales, Video Ezy’s trash was my treasure. It was all so innocent: in the days before Blu-ray and DVD and the Internet. Before the slow death of the video store, before downloads. Back when each sturdy plastic cover was a mystery, as there was no Google, no IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes to check to see if something was worth my time. Usually I’d go for trashy, terrible horror films or straight-to-video TV movies starring some B grade actor I’d recognise from Beverly Hills 90210. I’d pile them up, walk out with change from $5 and foolish optimism that I’d stumbled upon something amazing.

I loved him from the start. Ferris was everything. He was confident, popular and good looking, without being arrogant. Adventurous and rebellious, without being radical. And I was a teenaged girl: he was adorable.

I adored the 80s vibe. The quintessential American high school with lockers and jocks and cool kids. The broken wall between the actors and viewer (I’ve always loved direct to camera dialogue. Always. I wonder what that says about me?). The Beatles references. The philosophy:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it”.

My generation’s #yolo.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was mine. It was the first film that I discovered (albeit accidentally) and adored myself, not because someone else had shown me, or because it was in Smash Hits magazine. I didn’t care if my friends didn’t love it, I thought it was fantastic. My own little amazing find. But the real gift that Ferris gave me, was the introduction to my true cinematic love: John Hughes.

This post was written as part of a blogging challenge devised by the brilliant Polka Dots & Frocks for the Blog With Pip alumni using the cue “An amazing find”. To read the other amazing entries, visit here.

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Not a pregnancy announcement

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Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

During my first pregnancy I wrote a pregnancy diary for the Newcastle parenting website ‘Bubs About Town’. The year was 2009: Kevin Rudd was our PM, Miley Cyrus was still suitable for children and I took my pelvic floor for granted. Sure I was uncomfortable, freaking out about the impending labour and seriously missing Camembert, but it was such an exciting, amazing time. We didn’t know what we were in for (if I did I’d have slept for the full 40 weeks), but we were just bursting (me literally) to meet our baby. Writing the online diary really reignited my love and passion for writing, gave me some wonderful opportunities and was probably the first step in finding the courage to start this blog.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to revisit “Holly’s Diary” and post some of my favourite excerpts on Ihearttuesdays.

If I could tell my pregnant diarising self anything, it would be to savour it and to enjoy your changing body. Take more photos of yourself: you look beautiful. And your boobs: they will never look this good again. So enjoy them too.

Cut to five years later and we have a boisterously cheeky, absolutely hilarious four year old and, after an even less comfortable pregnancy (*cough* ten pounder *cough*) a few years later, a mischievous 18 month old. My life now is so very very different from when I wrote these pieces.

I hope you enjoy them, and I especially hope they don’t make me too clucky!
Find entries from my diary by selecting the tab above.

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Taking Stock – February 2014

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Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

As inspired by the ever-inspiring Pip Lincolne, here is a snapshot of my world, this February 2014.

Making: Invitations to my Mum’s 60th birthday party

Cooking: More than usual as house chef husband is away for work

Drinking: Not enough water

Reading: “Bewitched and Bedevilled: Woman Write the Gillard Years”

Wanting: My 4 year old to get better. He’s already had a sprained ankle, impetigo and head cold since Term 1 started.

Looking: At potential wedding photographers with my beautiful sister-in-law

Deciding: To stop feeling guilty for taking time out to exercise

Wishing: For peace for the families of Luke Batty and Maddie Tippett

Enjoying: That feeling after I finish a workout

Waiting: For word that our mortgage insurance has been approved.

Liking: Dark rainy afternoons that mean I can ‘trick’ my boys into going to bed 20 minutes early!

Wondering: Whether our renovations will ever start

Loving: Lena Durham – I just finished ‘Girls’ Season Two. Wow.

Pondering: What shall I wear tomorrow?

Considering: Going for a run tomorrow

Watching: ‘Great Gatsby’ (finally!) and wondering what Baz Lurhman’s dreams look like

Hoping: That my husband finds balance and confidence in his new role

Marvelling: At Leonardo Di Caprio as Jay Gatsby – how could I forget what a brilliant actor he is?

Needing: To go to bed early … and yet I never do

Smelling: A square of dark chocolate from my secret stash. Ssssshhh … don’t tell anyone.

Wearing: A gorgeous Rummage Style top made from vintage material

Following: @iamnewcastle on Twitter and remembering what an awesome freaking city I live in!

Noticing: How much playdoh is stuck down the cracks of my floorboards

Knowing: A pretty terrific secret that just wants to jump from my mouth, but I’ll never tell!

Thinking: About all the events at the Newcastle Writer’s Festival that I want to attend.

Feeling: Deserving of the impending weekend.

Admiring: The brilliant Linda Drummond whose Twitter hashtag #SPCsunday started a revolution!

Sorting: Laundry. Always.

Buying: Ice-cream for my tonsilitis suffering husband.

Getting: Into my exercise routine way more than I’d ever thought possible.

Bookmarking: Clean eating recipes that I will probably never cook.

Disliking: How we seem to have lost our sense of empathy.

Opening: Too many tabs on my laptop.

Giggling: At my cheeky boys chasing each other through the house like a pair of crazies!

Snacking: On raspberries. My expensive habit.

Coveting: A Blythe doll. A ridiculous luxury … but I want one!

Helping: Is hard with those that won’t help themselves.

Hearing: INXS, having jumped onto the TV movie bandwagon like everyone else.

What have you taken stock of this week? I’d love you to share some of your own…

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Saying farewell

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It’s quiet, dark and cold.
I have to keep reminding myself that it’s her lying in the hospital bed. The tiny figure that’s curled beneath the crisp sheets is that of a small child. That stray foot that keeps escaping from the sheet: with its fine skin and arthritic joints, betrays its owner’s identity. This is not how I will remember her.

So quiet. I make polite small talk to break the silence.The weather. Who’s winning the tennis? Apparently Nanna fancied John McEnroe. My relatives talk about other relatives I don’t know, and places in Dungog that I’ve never seen. There’s so much I don’t know about her beyond just being my Nanna.

She was different to my friends’ grandmothers. My unique, beer drinking, filthy joke telling Nanna. We once discussed the Doug Anthony Allstars, she thought that they were funny and had nice voices, but were a bit naughty for her. Nan didn’t go to bingo: she ran the bingo,for the oldies, she said. As my uncle remarked later, she didn’t realise that she was an oldie herself.

My favourite childhood memories of her are of afternoons spent playing gymnasts balancing on her fence top while she watched from her verandah. Whenever my brother and I visited she’d have a new brain teaser card game or puzzle for us. My brother was always better at the tricky ones.

She bought me a Polaroid camera for my birthday when I was about 12 and ignited my love of instant photography. Her other favourite birthday gift was strands of scratchies, one for each year: laps covered in silver crumbs as we scratched for our prizes and tried not make too huge a mess. And every year my brother and I would compare our meagre winnings and joke that Nanna must keep the all winners for herself.

He and I say our goodbyes. Kiss her, hold her tiny hand. And leave, waiting for the call.

Nine days later I sit between my husband and brother at her funeral. Orchids and lilies adorn her casket. She grew her own orchids: far more beautiful than the ones I desperately grabbed from the supermarket and took to her on my final visit. I’d never noticed how beautiful orchids are, and wish that I’d asked her about them.

I learn more about her in my uncle’s eulogy and at her wake than I’d ever known. That she didn’t swim because she’d nearly drowned as a girl. How her parents separated and she stayed in Dungog with her father while her mother and sister moved to Newcastle. That her father was a bookmaker and after she left school she worked with him and in pubs and hotels.

I can’t begin to imagine what that world must’ve been like for a young girl – but I bet she was able to hold her own more than I could’ve. What she must’ve gone through when she found herself unmarried and pregnant with my father in her early 20s, or when she found herself single again when he was a baby. How hard it must’ve been working in noisy, smokey pubs and raising three children.

How I wish I’d asked her more about her life.

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Cup of tea with me – Blog with Pip

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Hey! Did you know that ihearttuesdays has moved! For the most up to date posts in a schmick new blog you should totally go here!

If you are visiting my blog from Meet Me At Mikes, you don’t need me to tell you how freaking amazing Pip Lincolne is. She is one of those people with contagious joy and enthusiasm for everything she touches, she is so admired and great at what she does. And while she could be content to bring us all daily blogs, crafty goodness and just enjoy her own adorableness, Pip decides to share her wisdom with the Blog With Pip e-Course. What a good egg!

I’ve just finished up the course, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Sadly my blog in its current state is not a fair reflection of all she has taught me, but rest assured, I am working behind the scenes on ihearttuesdays to make it bigger and better – watch this space. It has also given me so much invaluable motivation and inspiration: both through the course and seeing the great work that my fellow bloggers have done. If you are looking right now for awesome blogs that showcase the wisdom that Lady Pip has imparted, then without haste go back and check out some of the brilliant blogs for my fellow students. Go now!

As this round of the course wraps up (although I’ve just booked myself I for the extension course – feels like I’m starting Summer School!) here is a little bit about me, for those readers who aren’t my family and who don’t know me….

Who am I?
My name is Kim and I live in Newcastle, NSW with my husband and two ginger-haired sons. I work part time in the public service and my day-to-day job involves writing resource material for the reference library. I love it because it means I get to write every day: my job title is Author – can you believe it?!

Doing
My favourite things to do are writing and playing with words, reading and spending time with my beautiful boys. I’m outnumbered by blokes so I have learned to enjoy building and demolishing Lego towers and wrestling.

Going
I am a bit of a homebody, so my favourite place to be is home, surrounded by the hurricane of mess and noise that are my sons. Having said that, I wouldn’t say no to a darkened movie theatre and a box of popcorn bigger than my head! I am looking forward to exploring the world more, there are so many things I want my boys to see.

Eating and drinking
Cheese and wine. Is there really anything else? Chocolate. But that’s it.

Inspire Me
I am inspired by strong, smart women and anyone that follows their dreams. I have major brain crushes at the moment on Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham and Marieke Hardy. I am equally inspired, frustrated and obsessed with politicians and politics and anyone that writes words that take my breath away.

Teach me
Where do I began? I am a wannabe editor, crochet hack and I wish I knew how to cook. I am trying to learn how to run (yes, apparently some of us need a hand with it) and how to be organised and not have to go to Woolworths every day. Every. Freaking. Day.

Read
I’m not sure if it makes me a bad Blogger, but I don’t read many blogs. I love Meet Me At Mikes (der), I have a blog crush on (and met at a Newy Tweet Up) the amazing Pink Patent Mary Janes and I am in awe of young punks that have got it together, like Tavi Gevinson.

So that’s a little about me. Tell me something about yourself!

If you are interested in the Blog with Pip course you should totally go here. Now!

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