Websites I Am Always Talking About

I probably don’t frequent as many websites as most people, sticking to Facebook and Google Reader for the blogs that I enjoy.  However when I am talking to people about the things I love I often mention certain websites and am not always ina position to write them down.  The goal of writing this post is for people to refer to my blog for my favourite sites!

The Book Depository - There is a UK site as well as others in other countries.  It is a place to buy lots of different books at greatly reduced prices and there are no shipping costs.  They seem to send the books as soon as they have them available so when I made my first order a few months ago I actually received three separate parcels in the mail – good fun all in itself!  As an example of the possible savings, I bought two knitting books which sell for $45 each here and by using Book Depository I paid about $22 each.

Strawberry.net - I was put on to this site quite recently by a good friend when my skin was suffering from the cold and dryness and I was finding that my products froma rather cheap direct sales company were irritating my skin and not being very effective at all.  Back in the day, before children, mortgages and financial strife I used to use Clinique products and loved them.  I had given them up because they were simply too expensive and I was finding that I used them too sparingly to do any good.  Now I am back to using Clinique, having paid very low prices to get some items and my skin is really showing the benefits and feeling fantastic.  There is no shipping coast and extremely fast service.  Just as an aside, the same friend put me onto Blinc mascara. It is seriously the best mascara ever and lasts through absolutely everything because it actaully puts little “tubes” of mascara around each lash which stay there until rubbed gently with a wet washcloth.  When you rub them off you can actually see the little tubes on the washcloth and there is no residue smudged around the eyes.  Obviously they are very fine tubes and there is no ill-effect on the lashes. To quote Molly Meldrum, if you are a mascara wearer, “do yourself a favour” and try some of this stuff because it really is wodnerful!

CafePress – I am very happy to be the owner of two knitting t-shirts and one teaching t-shirt from this fantastic site.  There are shirts, sweaters and a range of other products with slogans and graphics for almost any occupation or hobby you could dream of.  It is worth a browse just for the entertainment value of what sayings they have on offer. My knitting shirts are “I knit so I don’t kill people” and “Keep calm and carry yarn”.  My teaching shirt is “I teach, what’s your superpower?”  There is some shipping cost but the service is faultless and they are a very good quality product.

Ravelry – Whenever I am talking to someone who is beginning to knit or crochet I invariably ask them if they have been on Ravelry.  It is a networking site for knitting, crochet and spinning and has thousands of members who share patterns, yarns and finished projects.  You can sign up for free and either browse through what’s on offer or start your own Ravelry “notebook” with pictures of your projects and links to the patterns and yarns used as well as where you obtained them.  because of all these notebooks you can search for a type of project or yarn and find almost countless results.  It is very useful for when you want ideas for a particular item like beanies or tea cosies or if you are deciding on whether to use a particular yarn or pattern.  Just make sure you have a spare 4-5 hours to spend browsing if you decide to have a look.

FlyLady – As I get back on my feet quite literally I am using and will continue to use FlyLady.  It is all about organising yourself and your house to take the best possible care of yourself and your loved ones.  I could write pages about how good her system is but it would be far better to just pay the FlyLady a visit and check her out for yourself.


What Would You Tell Your Best Friend To Do

I’ve got a rather nasty cold/upper respiratory tract infection – sore throat, coughing like one thing, head full of gunk, constant headache, aches and pains – in fact I think even my fingernails are hurting.  The trouble is, there is never really a good time to get sick.  There is a lot on at work getting ready for an event that starts next week and of course the demands of this household are never ending.

But this morning I had to bite the bullet, call in sick and retreat to the bed/recliner for the day.  It felt bad doing it because I already had the mental list of things I wanted to get done today and no doubt my memory would have been jogged when I opened up my e-mail and saw even more reminders.   But today I needed to let it all go and I asked myself what I would tell one of my best mates to do and then I did it.  I slept a lot, watched TV, did a bit of knitting and spent a bit of time on line.  I did tidy some things up and empty the dishwasher but I didn’t do washing or heavy cleaning.  I kept up with my fluid intake and the salt water spray for my nose.  I didn’t wonder if I might need the asthma inhaler – I went and got it out and used it.

I’m not better yet but it has been so nice to just not struggle and surrender if even for just one day!


Taking Care of Me

I have to admit that as the start of the school year draws closer I’m feeling very “homesick” for school because it is where I have always been at this time of year.  I am uncertain about what 2010 has in store for me and to some extent I have to literally wait and see what happens.

However there are some things I can do and have been doing to make me feel good and to take care of myself.

  1. I’m working hard on the sleep routine.  I’ve had a couple of late nights with athletics which have shaken things up but in general the sleep is better.
  2. I’ve asked to be referred to another doctor for a second opinion on my ongoing anxiety/depression.  I’ve been with the same doctor for seven years and I’m struggling with the medication I am on.  I had to be bit assertive with the GP to get a referral but it is important so I persisted.
  3. I’m dipping my toe into bible reading and praying about my situation often.
  4. I’m talking to people.  This is a big one.  I’ve had in depth discussion with a couple of people about how things are going to pan out this year and what I can do to make things better.
  5. I’ve gone back to Weight Watchers (again) and I’m giving it a really good go (again).
  6. I’m trying to stay busy with purposeful stuff. I’ve been updating Little Athletics record cards, covering books for Eric, knitting and trying to do things around the house.
  7. I recognized that the first day of school would be a hard one for me because simply put, I won’t be there.  My plan is to drop off the boys and then I’m using the voucher for a day spa treatment that my colleagues gave me when I resigned.
  8. I’m considering things that I can do to get myself out of the house on a regular basis during the day bearing in mind that there may not be much supply work initially.  One of those things was to offer my services for 1/2 day a week in Year 1 at school (Daniel’s year level).  I’ve e-mailed the teachers, offered my services and they will get back to me with a day and time that suits them with the  understanding that if I get called into work I’m going into work.
  9. Yesterday the boys had a big athletics carnival at Ipswich.  I knew it would do my head in sitting on the hill for six hours + so I volunteered as a recorder for one of the long jump pits.  I still got to see both boys compete in long jump and all their track events, I was kept occupied and the recording was one less thing the long jump chief had to organise for each event.
  10. Today I did the grocery shopping by myself, ate a nutritious lunch and had a pedicure and manicure (there was a special offer on).
  11. If all else fails I have lists I can consult for what to do next although more often than not the answer is “laundry”.

So all in all, despite the fact that it is a somewhat sad time for me as school starts without me there, I’m doing my best to rise above the sadness and to keep doing things that improve my situation.


African Stripes

The following post is dedicated to the lovely Fiona who will soon be seeing some real African stripes.

Our house is a bit chaotic at the moment.  Ok, it is very chaotic.  All the books have come home from school as well as reports, portfolios and multiple Christmas cards, hand crafted decorations and candy canes.  The laundry is really out of control backed up.  And we’re off on holidays in the next few days – sort of progressively as some of us are remaining in town longer for certain parties!  So I’ve got a lot to do over the next few days but because I’m knitting this jumper for Eric I get to stop every so often and work on these which I’m calling African stripes.  It is very soothing to pause for a while and just think about five stitches, then slipping one and so on.

Naturally Daniel won’t be missing out.  He’s put in an order for this cowboy jacket stipulating that it must come with the sheriff’s badge!


Blessings and Challenges


Today had definitely had its ups and downs. I’ve been blessed by:

  • see Eric run his hardest in the 100 m and 60m hurdles in a the junior pentathlon
  • seeing Eric thoroughly immersed in reading
  • great company and conversation at my social knitting group this afternoon
  • Anthony tidying up the living area and vacuuming to give me a head start on the housework for the night
  • Scribing a letter for Daniel to his new pen friend in California

However there are also some challenges:

  • A very strained conversation about my work (or lack thereof) and how we can manage just on one much smaller income
  • The great unwillingness and mini tantrums being thrown by one son whenever he is asked to help out with anything.
  • Piles of laundry everywhere that must be dealt with before Thursday (when I’m leaving on a jet plane, la la la la la la la la)

A Perfectly Imperfect Life

I could have gone around my house and taken a whole host of photos like this one and that is despite Mum going on a vacuum cleaning rampage all over my house yesterday. I’m rather late in joining in the Perfectly Imperfect Life Challenge which I found on this blog. I don’t have the SAHM thing together yet but it is a work in progress. I have have days and then I have days. Today has been one of those days. That’s probably why I’m blogging when I could be hanging out washing, washing dishes, feeding the guinea pigs, folding washing or any number of other things.
However on closer examination there are some positive signs. I’m trying to drink my water. The pile of papers from school is right there in one spot waiting to be dealt with. My empty moisturiser jar is there and that did prompt me yesterday to go out an buy some more of it because it is good for me. I can catch a glimpse of a handwritten letter sent to me by one of my colleagues. Even though it’s tipped over I can see my cheery flower that I won during our day at the Ekka. The Post-it note on the left of screen is my MITs (most important tasks) from a few days ago but that is something I am aiming for each night. One the right of my screen I have another post-it with the times for Weight Watchers – another big priority in my life. There’s two frames on the far left hand side with my Diploma of Teaching and my Bachelor of Education ready to be scanned in so I can create my on-line profile to get another job. So there’s some progress. Not much progress today at all but I’ve been to QLAA to pick up all the requirements for Little Athletics Sign On days (do you know how many water bottles it takes to fill a Corolla?) and I’ve been next door and held a new born baby.
This afternoon is a play in the park and a farewell from my beloved class. I don’t expect to get through it without tears but then it will be done and we can do even more moving on.


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