March 30, 2016

Home Tour - Craft Room

When we were building our house, one of the things I was really looking forward to was my child free craft room! I had planned to set it up to give me ample space for my scrapbooking and card making and just a general area that was mine.  Just mine.

It's only a small space between the master bedroom and the ensuite, and being at the back corner of the house, it's far enough away from the kids' rooms so at least I can feel like I'm having time out when I hide there!

What has been happening however, is that my room seems to be the dumping ground for anything without a home.  Boxes of books, old files, school paperwork or old football boots have found their way into my private oasis.  You know, all of the crap that probably needs to be sorted out and thrown out!

A few weeks ago after tripping on yet enough pile of something, I decided to have a clean out/sort out/THROW out, and take ownership of my craft room again! I had wanted to update the room for a while and chose mint and black as a colour scheme.  I'd actually been doing a display at work with mint and black towels and I think that helped me decide on the colours I wanted.

Here is the room before the change, complete with dodgy photo watermark!

And here it is now!  I love it! I had bought the table for $10 from an op shop, and although it's small, it fits perfectly in the space.  The framed photo of Elvis was a gift and I love it!

I bought black containers from KMart and sorted my craft bits and pieces, including my paints and glues, photos, buttons and ribbons.

I was so excited to find this little mint coloured table at Big W!

The photo memory board looks better hung on the wall above my cardstock and patterned papers.

The gorgeous little mint stool is from Pillow Talk, and the kids think it's hysterical and say it looks like a Dalek from Doctor Who or a CrabPot that you throw in the river!  How dare they!!

I love it, and as it's my child free craft room, it's staying!

I hope you enjoyed my craft room tour!  Do you have a special place that you love?

Farmers Wifey xo

February 14, 2016

Chores Again?

Two years I decided it was about time we had a kids chore chart in the house!  My word for 2014 was Organise, and as hubby and I were both working, and the kids had lots of activities on, I really needed to come up with a plan so that the weekly chaos wouldn't take over our lives.

I also wanted the kids to know that we all, as a family, are responsible for the running of the household, and despite their childish thoughts on the matter, I was indeed no ones maid!

A couple of things finally pushed me over the edge, enough to see me running down to KMart to buy a huge whiteboard for the wall, and various coloured markers.

Scenarios like this for instance:-

We would have a relaxing dinner, I'd leave hubby and the kids chatting at the table while I quickly turned the washing machine on.  Moments later I'd return and the place would be deserted think scenes from a movie where the chairs are knocked over in the haste of getting away.  Although MY chairs were not in disarray, the kids had hotfooted it in the hope of getting out of clearing the table and doing the dishes!

The Husband would be gone as well.

Many times they would ninja away, and protest when I found them, as if they had not even sat at the table spilling sauce on my tablecloth only moments before!

Or this:-

I'd give each child one job to do, just one. I'd get down to their level, speak slowly and clearly and happily inform them that they are on broom duty, or they are doing the dishes, or folding the washing. I'd always be calm at that stage because I wasn't asking them to wash the car or work out in the hot sun, so they were quite capable of doing these jobs.

Well, if one kid thought the other was getting a better deal, it was on! They would argue for the time it took to actually do the chores, and I'd be frazzled and not calm because the shit wasn't getting done and someone was crying and someone else said they didn't know how to use a broom the same kid who swore she didn't like corn, after eating it nearly every day for five years.....

Yep, fun times.

So something had to be done. Obviously verbal communication wasn't working so I started to write things down.  If I was working on the weekend, I'd leave them a cute little note with instructions on what they had to do, by 5pm that day. Happy notes, always with hearts that I'm sure made a difference when they were running around getting everything done at 4.45pm. This worked for a while but I think they thought I wasn't serious...too many hearts.

My notes became firmer, with no hearts but clear instructions on what was expected.  I really like this note, obviously written with clenched teeth not calm.

But again, there would be arguments about who was doing what, or who had the best job, and so on. The whiteboard idea came to me in a flash of brilliance one night, while I was wide awake at 2am wondering how to bring peace and order to our house without letting them win!

And it worked!  I hung the whiteboard in the mudroom with the kids names and the days written down, and EXACTLY what each child was responsible for that day.  I rotated the jobs so it was very fair so those who were scared of the broom had to toughen up and learn how to use it, because it was their turn next week! They did the same chores for the entire week, then they would change and do something else, so it was fair and organised.

I think the key was that they needed to see what they were responsible for, and also how much I appreciated their help.  I started three little jars for pocket money but that didn't really work so I made sure they had occasional monetary rewards for school tuckshop or itunes cards.

I also make sure I praise them, and tell them how grateful I am when I come home and their school bags are unpacked and their shoes are put away. It doesn't take much for everyone to help and to be responsible for their own belongings.

I haven't been using the chore chart this term, and the cracks are starting to show.  The whiteboard now has graffiti and I'm tripping over a pile of shoes right in the doorway.  It's time to get tough again!

Do your kids do jobs? Do they get pocket money? Can they use a broom?

Tell me!

Farmers Wifey xo

January 31, 2016

Just Breathe

I had a strange thing happen to me a couple of weeks ago.  It was something that I had often read about but thankfully had never experienced before.

It all started at the end of the school holidays, when hubby was planning a trip back home to NSW, taking the kids for a family visit.  It's a two day car trip, and we usually all go and make the most of hotel free wifi and bakery goodies at most rest stops. This time, however I had to stay home for work and it was the only time the kids could go before school started.

The week leading up to the trip was a busy one.  I washed clothes, dug out suitcases from the cupboard and wrote lists of what they would need, Not because I'm a control freak but because of the time Hubby forgot his wallet only realising two hours into the trip......

(2 hours travelling + 2 hours drive back home to collect the wallet + 2 hours drive back to where we were when the shit hit the fan) = a frosty start to the holiday

The kids were excited to see family and go on another road trip. Usually we drive inland through country towns across the border into NSW and it's quite a nice drive.  This time however they decided they would take a different route and head into Sydney for the day, then drive on to our hometown.

So while the kids packed and made sure they had the essentials....ipods, iphones, dvd players, headphones, dvds, charging cords, car adaptors, stuffed animals, music cds, sunscreen, hats and good shoes (for walking across the Harbour Bridge), I thought about what I would do for my week alone, and I was kind of excited!

I could clean the house and have it EXACTLY the way it was in the afternoon as when I left for work in the morning!

All my washing would be up to date! No digging for clean socks this week thank you very much!

No cooking, that's right! NO COOKING!  Just give me healthy frozen meals! I might grab a pizza one night and some noodles the next!

I could catch up on Game of Thrones, I only have 3 seasons to get through!

I could read all of my untouched house and home magazines and because the house was STILL clean and tidy, I wouldn't feel guilty!

I had my week planned out!

The night before they left I started to feel apprehensive, and I don't know why. I couldn't work out why I was feeling a bit down, the kids were excited and I knew they would have an amazing time!

We all woke early the next morning. The car was packed quickly, and I kissed and hugged them all goodbye. I watched them drive away with their arms out of the windows waving frantically.  I waved too until I couldn't see them anymore. Before I had even walked back into the garage I had burst into tears.

I felt sick and lonely and lost.

It had been three minutes.  I went back to bed and my daughter sent me a text from our front gate -


I don't know why I was feeling like this, worried and lonely - maybe it was because they were going to have a great time and I had to stay home? Or was it that I was worried about them travelling without me?

All I know is that for the rest of the first day, I was a tearful, nervous mess.  I thought I'd keep busy by cleaning, and by midday I had cleaned out the fridge, tidied the linen closet and started to sort out the pantry.

It was then, while in the confines of the pantry that I started to feel unwell, I started to cry and I couldn't breathe.  I thought the walls were closing in on me and my heart was racing. I ran outside and thought I was either having a panic attack or anxiety episode.

I have never suffered from anything like this before.  Seriously I love my own time, I've travelled through America TWICE  by myself and never once felt like I was losing control. I love going to the movies alone. When I was overseas, I was alone but I never felt lonely....I had a purpose, a reason to be there.

I was so anxious that I didn't know what to do.  I knew I had a week until my family were home and I felt helpless.  And confused (Michelle you're supposed to be having FUN!). Did I need medication to calm me down, or a good walk around the farm, or did I just need to relax and breathe?

That first night was hard, but made easier when the kids called and sent through photos of their travels, and the next day I started to feel better, I went to work and it was good to be with people. I went home to an empty house, watered the plants, fed the guinea fowl, and settled down in front of the tv to watch American Pickers, and flick through some magazines.

My routine over the next few days was basically the same, and I was starting to enjoy it! I'd get home from work, get some jobs done, and plant myself on the couch.  I was still missing my family but I didn't feel as anxious as I did on the day they left, and I could count down the days until they would come home.

I was finally enjoying my own time and it was grand.  After their week away they arrived safely home, but I still remember how I felt that first day, and I'm not really sure IF it was a panic attack or anxiety but I can only feel for those who suffer from these overwhelming conditions on a regular basis.

Farmers Wifey xo

Beyond Blue

January 1, 2016

2016 - One Word

Shut the door on your way out's 2016!

Last year wasn't a productive one for my blog.  After several false starts, I just didn't have the motivation to write.  I thought about it a lot but actually doing it was another thing. But the new year brings forth new opportunities, new beginnings and a truckload full of enthusiasm.....I hope it lasts!

I usually start my year by linking with Maxabella Loves and choosing One Word, a word that will hopefully negotiate the year ahead.  Of course I didn't even choose a word last year, which basically sent my blog spiraling into the dark hole where it sat.  Previous entries have included

 Organise and Discover.

I've discovered that I'm not very organised.  Sorry I couldn't let that one go past!

Seriously, I've been thinking about this and what I want for the year ahead.  So many things really, health, wealth and happiness. plenty of clean socks and underwear when I'm late for work, happy, busy kids, no more grey hairs keep dreaming..... I really don't ask for much.

But the one thing that I need, want and crave is


I'm tired all the time, desperately tired.  My mind and body.....tired.

My brain fried tired.

I want energy to make the most out of every day, to get things done, to stop procrastinating.  To get on top of things and be organised (see above).

I want energy to stay healthy, to walk and to enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

I need to increase my mental energy to keep my motivation high, to stay happy and positive and to achieve my goals, whether they be big or small.  

If I wasn't so tired I could get so many things done. But I'd rather sit on the deck and read a book and ignore the elephant in the room that is the housework/paperwork/furniture restoration.

Here's to a good year full of ENERGY!

What's your word?

Farmers Wifey xo

June 9, 2015

My Personal Challenge

I've recently had a birthday. I turned 26,....and a bit more....alright just a bit more.....

Okay I turned 48.  There.

Often with birthdays I find myself wanting to make changes to do with my lifestyle, to eat healthier, exercise more, remove my makeup every night and wear sunscreen every single day.

Turning 48 comes with its own set of challenges.  My body is getting old, there I said it.  I'm no longer a spring chicken, although my Mum still thinks I am, bless her.  My body aches in the morning and I feel tired most days. I'm a little out of shape and not as fit as I'd like to be.

 I need to wear my glasses more often and my skin could be clearer.

What to do, what to do?

I'm giving myself a birthday present.

I'm giving up alcohol for 12 months. Well that's an arrow out of nowhere!

The catalyst for this rash decision comes from the acceptance that I don't bounce back like I used to. When I was younger, I could drink wine, stay up late, not eat healthy but still wake refreshed and ready for anything.

Now after three kids and having worked my way well into my forties, I definitely struggle if I don't take good care of myself.  And that is the point where I find myself now.

I remember having my first taste of alcohol on the way to my school social at the end of Grade 10.  I was 16.  My friends and I had coloured our hair and were rocking the punk look which was popular at the time with tartan skirts, ripped stockings and a sinister sneer.

We sipped on plastic cups full of Green Ginger Wine and acted tough and thought we knew everything.  From that moment on, I had a relationship with alcohol which went from no drinking at all while pregnant and breastfeeding, to drinking nearly every weekend, to months at a time of no alcohol at all while trying to be healthy.

I'm really excited to see how much money I save, and what changes happen by adopting a healthier lifestyle.  I'm a member of Hello Sunday Morning, an online movement towards a better drinking culture, where people can blog about their experiences and give support to others who are also making healthier choices.

I know it's not going to be easy, as truthfully, I love a glass of wine.  Or two....or three!! A girls night out is so much fun if alcohol and karaoke is on hand, but saying that, I've also had some amazing nights out as the designated driver.

So that's where I'm at right now. Here's to a happy and alcohol free 12 months and beyond!

Do you drink or are you a teetotaler?

Farmers Wifey xo