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Peaches & Maple

Peaches & Maple

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Five for Friday - Feeling good on fat days

I weighed myself this morning for the first time since I decided to take better care of myself in the beginning of the year. Turns out I have lost a good chunk of weight. Woot! However, I'm really not happy with how much extra padding I'm still lugging around, but I'm reminding myself that it took a while for it to get there, so I guess it's going to take a while to work it off. In the meantime, I'll keep doing what I can to feel good about myself. It's not always easy though. Occasionally I look around at slimmer women and I let it all get to me. It starts with a poisonous green snake of jealousy uncoiling in my mind and ends with me sinking deeper and deeper into a suffocating pit of self-loathing. I feel fat. I feel ugly. I feel old, worn out and worthless - I'm only 33 for frack's sake! 
True story.
But then I realise how utterly pointless and damaging that thinking is. What would I say if my daughters ever started talking like that? And I manage to snap out of it.
Here's five things that have really helped over the last four months:
1. Reminding myself that this is only temporary and that I am working towards a healthier body
2. Taking care of my hair and skin - I've always done this anyway, but there have been times when I've looked at myself in the mirror and thought "what's the point?" and been tempted to just let myself go completely. If you're in the same boat as me, trust me, maintaining a good cut and colour and healthy, glowing skin will make you feel better.
3. Playing with make-up - once again, something I've always done from the moment my mum bought me my first bottle of foundation (Covergirl Clean Makeup, I seem to recall). And again, something that has seemed pointless on occasion. But once I take the time to do it, I feel really good. It doesn't have to be the whole shebang either, just a bit of bronzer, mascara and lip gloss works wonders. 
4. Dressing well - I've never worn designer anything and I'm a very casual dresser in general, so I'm happy in a pair of well-fitting jeans and either short sleeved or long sleeved t-shirts and a pair of cute flats or wedges (which I need sometimes because I'm a short-arse!). I like to add a bit of interest to my outfits with a necklace or scarf, an armful of bangles or oversized earrings, a hat, beret or bandanna - but not all at once ;P
Once again, it has been all too tempting at times to just not bother looking for clothes that fit well and just buy something oversized to hide behind, but it feels so much better to know that you look good in what you're wearing - even if you're wearing an extra twenty kilos as well ;)
5. Embracing my body shape - even when I weighed 48 kilos soaking wet, I have always had a curvy body. And I don't mind saying that I love my curves. They have worked very well for me in my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. But I do look forward to being a smaller, curvy girl again ;)
How do you keep yourself feeling good, even if you're not attempting to lose weight?

Cas x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Girl's bedroom makeover: Guest post from my teal girl

 Hi my name is Amelie and this is my room. When we first moved here my room was really ugly. Why? Because it had mouldy green carpet, musky brown coloured walls, no doors on the cupboards and there was dust and dirt everywhere.
This is what it used to look like.

And here`s what it looks like now.
My favourite colours are teal, aqua, blue and pink. I really wanted to have teal feature wall but mum would not let me because she doesn't like feature walls. 
Last weekend mum and I cleaned up my room because it was a pigs-sty and now my room is nice and tidy and I can find things again.
 The best part of tidying up my room was I got to use some of mum's stuff to decorate my shelves.

The next thing we are doing in my room is putting some carpet in which will be good because the concrete is a bit yuck. I also want to paint my dresser teal.

Thanks for reading my guest post, I'd love to hear what you think of my new room.

from Amelie 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

A warm and fuzzy mothers day post

To be honest I've never been real great at holding a job. I've quit several jobs on a whim, I even got fired once (totally not my fault of course), and I've burnt more bridges than I care to recall. It's not that I'm lazy - far from it - and I have tried to put it down to being a creative spirit who doesn't deal well with taking orders from 'the man', but the truth of it is that I've never worked in any job that I was really passionate about doing. Until I became a mum.
Eleven years ago Husband and I sold up our hairdressing business, he went off to uni to learn how to be an I.T. nerd (like he needed to learn anything ;p) and I became a stay at home mum. We lived very modestly in a tiny house a few blocks from the beach, our new baby didn't have all the best toys and baby accessories, but we had loads of support from both of our families (even though they all live a couple of hours away) and we were the happiest little family in the world.
A couple of years later we had our second baby girl, we still lived modestly in a different tiny house, we still didn't have the best of everything, Husband was navigating his way around his new job, I was still a stay at home mum and we still could not have been happier.
From the moment I looked down into the eyes of both my baby girls, one with hers almond shaped, blinking slowly, full of wonder, the other with hers wide, round and staring intently, unwavering, into my own, I knew that I had found my passion.  Even if I never did another thing right in my life, being a mother was something I knew I couldn't get wrong. I finally felt like I had a purpose.
Some people seem to find it hard to believe that a woman can be content at home cooking, cleaning, zhooshing around the house and looking after her family, but I can truly say that I am. Sure, there are the moments of guilt and doubt about not contributing financially, but they disappear soon enough when I really think about the many other ways I contribute. It is what I was meant to do and even though it's not a conventional job and the pay is shithouse, being a mother is the best gig I've ever had and I'm so grateful to my beautiful girls for giving me the opportunity
Happy Mothers Day to all of you mums out there - young and old, staying at home, working, working from home or homing from work, whatever - we all rock and deserve to be spoilt sick today!

Cas x

Friday, 10 May 2013

The burning question

What is the best floor covering for bedrooms?
We've been embarking on a few pricing missions over the past couple of weeks since the renovating mojo hit us again. Even though it's still a little way off we've been thinking about what exactly we're going to put down on the bedroom floors.
We really only have two options in this department.
Option 1: Tiles
Option 2: Carpet
And we just can't decide which we would prefer to go with, so I'm putting it over to you clever gals and guys to help us out.
In case you're new around here or you don't hang on my every very interesting word, here's a bit of background information to help you to help us ;)
  • Firstly, I'll be honest, I'm leaning more towards tiles, but I'm worried that it will affect our selling potential
  • We live in Brisbane which doesn't get overly cold ever
  • We currently live on concrete floors in our bedrooms and tiles everywhere else, which hasn't negatively impacted us in any way
  • We're looking at maybe another year and half before putting the house on the market, ie. this is not our forever home
  • Tiles are cheaper, cleaner (in my opinion anyway) and we've got plenty of experience with laying them ourselves
  • But I'm concerned with how they'll look (typical me, right?) 
  • Although I'm sure with a few jute floor mats and my mad styling skills I can pull it off ;P
  • We live in an area where brick and tile is pretty much standard
  • Good value carpet feels great to walk on but we can't afford anything luxurious
As you can see, I'm just all over the shop with this, so could you pretty please let me know what you think?
Alrighty then, carpet or tiles peeps?
Over to you....

Cas x

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Five for Friday - Weekend renovating to-do list

I would love to tell you that I'll be spending this weekend camped out right here on this couch, but now that we've been bitten by the renovating bug again, that's not going to be the case - even Mother's Day cannot stop a force this powerful ;) The ol' purse is still pretty empty right now so we're concentrating on getting things done in small bite size chunks that don't break the bank, but keep us moving forward. So here's the top five things we're aiming to scratch off the to do list this weekend:
1. Replace skirting boards in the laundry, toilet, and ensuite - I don't even know why this still hasn't been done! We've just been lazy I guess.
2. Replace cupboard doors in our bedroom and hallway - same, just kept getting put on the can't be bothered list
3. A leedle unfinished tiling project - another one that's long overdue - good lord, what is wrong with us?!?
4. Pull up the Grinch-Green carpet in the study - for some reason this room didn't get done when we pulled the rest of the carpet up. We prolly just didn't feel like it at the time and decided to watch a movie instead. That happens quite a lot around here!
5. Chop some wood and get the fireplace ready for our first fire of the season - okay, so it's not a renovating job but I really think we'll have enough on our plates as it is this weekend ;)
This list really doesn't paint a great picture of our motivation levels over the last twelve months or so, but I'm just being honest. I've come to realise over the past two and a half years that renovating happens in fits and starts - for us anyway. Unless you have butt loads of time and money (and let's face it, how often do you have both of those at the same time??), it's a slow process. 

So what's on your to do list this weekend?

Cas x

p.s. I think I might have to camp out on the couch for a while this evening and have a wine or two, just to keep my butt-groove imprinted in it. Because, you know, I'm thorough like that :P

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

How to haggle like a boss

I do like a good bargain, don't you? Especially when it comes as a result of a good haggle.
I scored this plant stand and basket a couple of weeks back at a market that I go to fairly regularly. 

I know that they're only small items and the marked price wasn't that much to begin with but I still got them at a cheaper price. I guess it's because my dad got my brothers and I into the habit of haggling over goods at a young age, so it sort of comes naturally. I also learnt butt-loads about bargaining with people when I worked in furniture sales.
So I thought I might share some of the things I've learnt with you today.

1. You can usually tell whether a seller is willing to play by a certain glint in their eye and a twitch of the mouth, but you'll never know if you don't ask, so I always find it pays to have a go.
2. If the answer is no or the seller is only willing to knock off a couple of dollars, just accept it gracefully and don't get pushy and rude - there is seriously nothing worse and you'll only end up embarrassing yourself.
3. Unless it's already discounted, never, ever pay full price on large items (eg. furniture, white-goods etc.), you might be surprised at how much of a discount you'll get.
4. Be confident, not cocky.
5. Build a rapport with the seller, make sure you smile and be friendly - as they say you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!
6. Start off small to begin with, maybe just a couple of dollars, then work your way up as you gain confidence, you'll get a feel for when enough is enough ;)
7. If in doubt, simply ask if the marked price is the best price they can do for you.
8. Get to know your market stall-holders and op-shop ladies and gents! Have a genuine conversation and share a giggle. I cannot stress the value of being a polite, friendly person as opposed to a snooty bitch should be pretty self explanatory but apparently, for some people, it's not. *sigh*
And that's basically it folks. Give these a whirl and you'll be seeing discounts in no time, trust me!
So tell me, what's the best bargain you ever got, with or without haggling? I'd love to know :)
Cas x

p.s. still deciding on whether to paint the plant stand white or not...I'm kind of liking it natural, feel free to let me know what you think!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Smashing the crap out of you do

After a slight change in our circumstances recently, we may actually get some renovating done this year after all. Over the weekend we decided to start off with a small project that has been bugging both Husband and I for ages. Our mailbox, a whopping great brick structure 2 metres long and 1 metre wide, simply had to go. We really thought it would be a day's work from start to finish, but like all seemingly small jobs it just snowballed. Smashing it down was a piece of cake and really quite fun. Cleaning up was, as usual, a time consuming pain in the arse. The swarms of roaches running in all directions elicited plenty of squeals and jigging on the spot from the girls. But the real kicker came when we got down to the foundation of the thing. For a structural bafflement, it was built with all the solid reinforcement of a freaking bomb shelter. Actually, when we struck the steel framed slab of concrete underneath, we did wonder for a moment whether we might find you know, remains or something under there. Or at least some kind of treasure.
I think maybe some of the neighbours had the same idea, as a few of them were beginning to gather around to help with our attempts to lift the bastard ;)
Finally we ended up breaking the slab up into quarters with a sledgehammer and going through the steel with an angle-grinder. 
Cheers went up as the concrete was lifted away, everyone had a peek to see if there was anything interesting under there and since there wasn't and it was getting dark, everyone went their separate ways. 
Thankfully, we had just enough light left to cement the new mailbox into the ground before packing up for the evening.
Sunday was all about getting a garden happening around the new mailbox. So it was all digging, soil preparation and transplanting  my lavender and a few rosemary bushes from the back garden around to the front. I had to give everything a hard pruning, so hopefully in a little while it will come back nice and bushy and I can get some better pics of it all.
So that was our weekend, a little project blown out to a big project. But, you know what? It's really good to be back into it and I'm very excited about moving forward!

Cas x