The successful failure

One of the perks of being a part-time SAHM before Arddun goes to preschool is the time we get to just hang out together and try things.

We were going to surprise Tony with cookies when he returned home from work this week (He’s working longer and longer hours, and has to deal with interesting staff. Not his favourite two things.) Decided to try out a new recipe from a book I’d bought cheap from Borders years ago (American measurements, with metric translations). Was supposed to be brown sugar cookies with a drizzle of lemony icing.

Wasn’t too sure about the recipe halfway through but because I’m no baking diva, and we were having too much fun, I pressed on.

Collage of Arddun with cookies on tray

Cookies are looking good on the tray at least

Arddun profile baking collage

Arddun’s chief role: beater eater

 Sadly, when we pulled the trays out 12 minutes later, everything was le splat. Just too much butter, methinks. And waaay too salty.

I was pretty disappointed. But Arddun just walked over, looked at the trays, said “Oh dear, Mummy!” and then patted me gently on the back. “Oh well. It’s okay. Nevermind. You alright?”

Prompting me to question who had the more adult response, really. What a crack up!

Strawberries and chocolate dipping sauce

When all else fails as spectacularly as it did, go to chocolate-drenched fruit

Arddun eating a strawberry

Happy with consolation prize

Categories: Moments and Milestones | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TTT — Parking, Piccies, Pregnancy

Great parking when I needed it

This piece of gratitude actually came about the week Andrea and Ben were here. I hadn’t included it in last week’s list because going all swoony over parking is, frankly, a little embarrassing. But I think all drivers can relate to that punch-in-the-air feeling when you score the perfect parking space. As it turned out for my cousin’s visit, I scored a parking space riiiight in front of Jollimont Centre (the coach station here in Canberra) the day of their arrival… and then I scored a parking space at the side of Jollimont Centre on the day of their return.

Noice.

Parking around Jollimont Centre

So nerdy, but HAD to take a photo

I was especially thankful to get the second parking space, as that allowed me a good half hour coffee with Andrea and Ben before they boarded the bus. Precious times.

Selfies with Arddun

Arddun is beginning to get curious about photography — probably because I keep taking pictures of her on all mobile devices and now, an actual camera. She hasn’t quite understood the concept of looking through the viewfinder of a camera to take a shot, but I think she’ll get there soon. She is now fascinated with selfies, though. (I’m not altogether sure how to feel about that one.) We had a mini indulgence one recent lazy morning during breakfast, and for some reason I wasn’t quite prepared for how she snuggled up against me to take a bunch of selfies. Heart melted, blub blub…

Selfies with Arddun

Cruisey pregnancy thus far

I’ve heard that second pregnancies are harder on our bodies, and I’ve personally found that to be true. Muscles are looser, which means things get sore quicker; the pelvic pains I got on the last week of pregnancy that made walking difficult is something I’ve now been struggling with since the start. My nausea had hit harder, I feel more tired, I lose energy quicker. I’m sure part of it has to be with age and the fact that I’m running after a dancing toddler, too.

But I am so thankful that my pregnancy is boring. “Boring,” my midwife and obstetrician sagely reinforced, “is a great thing when you’re pregnant. No events. That’s what we want to know.”

There are other pregnant women who really struggle with the big stuff, even the possibility of severe complications leading to death. And I know none of us is immune. I try to remember this whenever I wake up in the middle of the night with blindingly painful leg cramps, the kind that contort your face into The Scream, or when Boy Blob decides to break out dance moves violent enough to cause me to jump. Because all this is temporary, and I know I actually have it real good.

Categories: Gratitude and Grace | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Look, mama! I’m Rapunzel!”

IMG_0648.JPG
You crack me up, kiddo.

Categories: Moments and Milestones | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Addressing my consumerism with distracting fun

I’ve spent way more than I meant to this month.

A couple of reasons…

  • I’ve discovered what glorious fun it is to find great online retail prices, and then slink into brick-and-mortar shops to coyly ask if they’d price-match my finds. (And they all did. All four retailers.)
  • This modern version of bargaining with shopkeepers coincided very neatly with the recent purchase of my DSLR camera, and with it all the accessories. New lens! Camera bag! Nappy Bag to fit New Camera Bag!
  • In a very inspired week, I went about decluttering my personal and business emails and ended up stumbling upon all the Pumpkin Patch sales I had previously assiduously avoided in the Promotions tab. Catastrophe, but the Boy Blob can now consider modeling as a career next Winter.
  • Andrea and Ben came for a week and when three Singaporeans are gathered, there will be good food if not shopping.

I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of tracking my superfluous spending through Toshl – so anything outside bills and groceries qualify. My coffee and babycinnos with Arddun, for instance. Entrance fees for indoor playgrounds, lunch out, takeaway dinner when I’m on my way to a Tupperware sales meeting, clothes and homeware shopping, that sort of thing. It started out as a way to track where the money primarily goes, but along the way I’ve tried to give myself a limited budget per month so I’d be pushed to weigh up my options more deliberately.

And then I came across an article on The Buy Nothing Year.

Okay – I am privately not a fan of the hippie lifestyle. I’ve seen and smelled human beings who have used homemade soaps and shampoos, and have decided I wouldn’t like a bar of it. (Geddit? Bar? Of soap? Boom boom.) I also kill plants remarkably well, so starting my own self-sufficient veggie garden is not going to sail. And I’m not going to walk or bus everywhere. Not with a toddler and a nappy bag and an already achy pregnant body. My time is already precious.

Also, I’m not altogether comfortable about stingeing on others. I get that splurging on myself is indulgent, but generosity and hospitality are values I esteem quite highly too.

Still, there is something to be said about how much those roommates saved, and the behavioural changes that came about from that project. Consumerism is, unfortunately, a large part of city living and I am a city girl at heart. (Actually, consumerism is a large part of First Worlds, period.) This past week, I feel like I’ve been reacquainted with that original spirit which inspired me to start using Toshl way back when.

And so, to add to the tracking of my daily spend, and the monthly budget I’ve set for myself, I’d like to start setting goals for what NOT to spend on.

Which means running out and downloading a bunch of free apps to try! Wheeee!

I’ve looked at habit tracking apps before, but this time I was looking for apps that had to do with goal setting and getting inspired by others. It also had to look heaps pretty but cost me nothing. And so after hunting around, I’ve come up with my shortlist.

New free apps I’ll be experimenting with these next few months

Some budgeting goals I’m refining at the moment

  • Limiting the number of indoor playground visits as the weather gets warmer for Arddun
  • No clothes, bags, cosmetics, bling, shoe-shopping for a month (this includes buying for Arddun as well, which is even harder to curb)
  • Limiting the number of café outings with Arddun (will make exception when we are with friends)

More about The Buy Nothing Project

Categories: Organisation and Obsessions | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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