February is the month of love and so I thought I would bring you a list of a few things that I am loving this month:
I was given this serum for Christmas & it has changed my life. I was getting a lot of acne that just wouldn't go away and this serum has magically improved the acne situation. Acne still arises but it's far less than before, they clear up more quickly and the scars from previous acne have all but gone after only 4 weeks of use. It may cost an arm and a leg but is worth it if you have acne prone skin.
My pharmacist put me onto this nasal wash. It is magic for sinus infections and won't cost you an arm and a leg!
These chocolate chip cookies - Lulu and I added tiny marshmallows as well as chocolate chips - yum!
Forever 35 podcast. Beauty tips that you never would have guessed that you needed and general life discussion.
I have been sucked into the Elementary vortex on Stan. I do like this re-telling of the Sherlock Holmes story with a female Dr Watson.
What are you loving this month?
Zelda hasn't slept through the nights since being sick. It has been a long few weeks. She's up on average 3 times a night sometimes more. She'd go to sleep straight away at bedtime, but then wake again a hour or two later. We'd go in, give her a bottle and a lengthy cuddle until she was asleep again. But she'd be crying again an hour or two later, not just small cries that might resettle but red faced sobbing cries. Once again, we'd go in, give a bottle & cuddle and wait till she fell asleep deep enough not to wake when put back in the cot. Only for her to wake in another hour or two and so on until morning. AGH!! We wrongly assumed it would just get better. But it hasn't.
I popped into Afghan Traders the Friday before Christmas to pick up some Za'atar and got talking to the Naturopath that works there. You can have short (15min- fairly generous really) conversations with the Naturopath FOR FREE, where they will dispense advice and vitamins. When Zelda was sick she had Giardia and she was still getting a high number of poos per day along with a sore bum. The Naturopath suggested she take a probiotic, echinacea and an omega 3, 6 & 9 oil. Lulu suggested Zelda take Rescue Remedy Sleeptime. The Naturopath said it was worth a try.
So we tried. Zelda hated the echinacea but takes the probiotic and the omega oils in her bottle each night. I also added a vapouriser/diffuser to her room with a low nightlight. And she got down to three wake ups a night. But with a flexible bedtime between Christmas and new year she began to be hard to get to sleep at the beginning of the night - something that had never happened before - AND the wake ups were increasing.
This time I Googled 'baby sleep problems' and read all about the helpful night nannies that will come to your house and sort out the problem for you if you live on the coast. Dreamed of a sleep school holiday. Then just found some simple advice that we've all heard before, like sticking to a bedtime routine. Stories, then bottle then in bed awake by 7. Also a colleague suggested that maybe Zelda didn't need a day nap anymore (AGH!).
That night I tried the new routine and after an hour and a half of back pats (she tries to go off to sleep on her tummy but if you leave the room she screams as if someone is trying to kill her so back pats help calm) then sitting by the door but not leaving, I gave up. Nick then gave it a go for another half hour. Then she was asleep. Two wake ups in the night.
No nap the next day and the next night she went to sleep while drinking her bottle. We heard from her once at 11pm, then nothing until morning. Success.
No nap again the next day, asleep on the bottle but three wake ups in the night.
Over the last week we have slowly been able to get her to go to sleep in the cot, but need to do a few back pats and stay in the room until she is asleep. But it's progress. We're not holding her until she falls asleep any more. She's on her way to becoming a big girl.
The wake ups continue, some nights just one, others three, but at least the beginning of the night is getting better. She snores a little and we have a follow up with the ENT Specialist soon. Hopefully he might be able to pin point some reason why she wakes.
The stretch of road between Port Augusta and Coober Pedy tends to be thought of as a big stretch of nothingness but on our recent road trip I realised that it has a little more to offer than nothing. There are a number of gorgeous pink lakes, seen below in the photos I took quickly through the moving car window.
To break up the drive, we spent the night at Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy lies along the Stuart Highway, about 800kms north of Adelaide and about 800km south of Alice Springs. The town's claim to fame is that it is the largest opal mining area in the world. Opal mines surround the town. Some are working mines and other's are abandoned - so be careful where you step! Coober Pedy's other claim to fame is it's underground houses. The underground houses maintain a consistent temperature all year round, not needing air conditioning despite plus 40 Celsius temperatures in summer.
When in Coober Pedy we stay at the always lovely, permanently stuck in the 1980s hotel/motel, the Desert Cave. The decor might be a thing of the past, but it's clean and it has an old glamour edge to it. You can just imagine what it was like when it first opened. So fancy! An oasis in the desert.
Last time we were there (back in 2013!) forked out the big bucks for an underground room (you have to stay in one at least once) but this time we cheapened out and went for an above ground room. For dinner we went to the hotel restaurant and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meal. Yes, it's expensive but you are in the middle of nowhere, of course it will cost you more than an equivalent meal in a city. Expect to pay more. The town itself, quite desolate does have a pretty element to it at the golden hour.
More pictures of Coober Pedy here.
Happy Holidays! Things have been a little quiet on the blog because they have been a little crazy in real life. The last dying moments of 2017 threw us a few curve balls but we have emerged to fight another day. Blogging will continue in 2018, if a little sporadic to cope with school, daycare, work and our own small business. Here's to a new year, new possibilities and new opportunities.
Lulu peeked over my shoulder as I was making this and already wants everything in this kids Lush gift guide! I've said it before and I'll say it again, Lush has the best gifts for kids! Gifts that you never need to buy new storage for. Gifts that dissolve in the bath. Gifts that simply disappear after having too much fun. Gifts that make your cupboard smell AMAZING while hiding them from the kids.
This year we are loving:
- Snowman - always a favourite
- Luxury Lush Pud - packed with lavender this will calm the little ones down after a busy christmas day.
- Christmas Sweater - It's far too hot for an Aussie Christmas sweater so grab one of these instead.
- The Magic of Christmas - wave this wand to make all your christmas dreams come true. This one may promise more than it can deliver but worth a try.
- Snow Angel - After being angels all day, the kids can slip into a bath with one!
Does anyone else stress about the small suff? Sometimes it as seems very overwhelming. The house is a mess, there's so much washing. Why have the flies decided to congregate in my kitchen? Paperwork has covered the kitchen table for weeks now. We've changed the sheets once since coming home from holidays. There's no time to gym or blog or for Nick's bike riding. Life is so short (we had a huge slap in the face reminder about that at work this week) but all these little things get to me too.
Things has been crazy, crazy crazy. The kids have been sick. Zelda was in hospital overnight (how do our kids manage to get wacky toddler illnesses? Guillain Barre, Glandular Fever?!), Lulu had an emergency room consultation. Lulu is on the mend, but has been absent from school and she really misses it. Zelda still seems unwell, but neither of us can face an emergency room trip again. I am fully aware that this makes us terrible parents. But here we are.
On the upside, we were home from hospital before the tuna steaks and oysters I'd bought a few days prior went off. Priorities people. And in other news, I did get to the fundraising screening of Bad Moms 2. It was as funny and inappropriate as I thought it would be. Do yourself a favour and go see it.
Until the end of November, Casa Nostra Restaurant will be collecting cash donations online and in the restaurant on behalf of ANZGOG's 'Save the Box' Campaign.
There are 7 different types of Gynaecological Cancers. Despite this, there is no Government funding into the treatment, research or financial support to those affected.
Each day, 15 women will be diagnosed with a Gynaecological Cancer and 4 will die.
Around 4 years ago, one of those 4 women was their beloved mother, nonna, mother-in-law, aunty and friend, Carmela Giardina. Carmela was first diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2012. She was treated throughout the years of 2012 and 2013, until the disease went into remission. However, due to a lack of specialized treatment and the serious nature of her illness, the cancer came back more aggressive than ever.
Carmela sadly passed away in March 2014.
You can make a difference by donating as little as $5.
All funds collected until the end of November through the Casa Nostra 'Go Fund Me' account will be donated directly to ANZGOG's 700 members; its doctors, scientists, nurses, data managers, social workers, allied health professionals and laboratory researchers; helping to support research and treatment.
$1500 will fund a woman's specialized Gynaecological Cancer treatment trial for a year.
You can also donate at Mixed Lollies or Wildfire Blooms.
It's up to us to make a difference for our women of the future.
Halloween is fairly polarising in Australia, you're either into it or you're not. When I was Lulu's age it wasn't a thing at all but Alice Springs has a high number of USA residents and over the years it has become even more popular beyond the expat community. Lulu had Halloween dress up days at daycare and has seen too many Doc McStuffins Halloween episodes not to be excited about Spooky Day. For the first time she's asked to go Trick or Treating. I've talked her down into just going to the Yiperenye Shopping Centre Halloween afternoon. It has trick or treating between retailers, face painting and craft. What more could you want?
Jasper, rainy one day, sunny the next, then snow! In town for a friend's wedding, we woke up the first day to drizzle and very skies, perfect for reading and playing indoors followed by a trip up to Miette Hot Springs. The Springs are even higher up in the mountains than Jasper so the rain up there was snow. Snow on our heads in the hot springs was quite the treat. As we left the change room of the hot springs there was a machine that you put your bathers into, it spins really fast and bather are no longer soaking wet - genius! Every public pool should have one!
Jasper the town is just beautiful. Surrounded by mountains, you see them from every part of the town. Friends had organised for us to go camping but the snow changed our plans. I had been a little anxious about camping next to a lake with a 17 month old who doesn't stay still, loves water but has no concept of how dangerous water is! So I was not sad in the slightest that snow cancelled the camping trip. The Jasper Inn was much more to my camping tastes. A cozy fire in the restaurant with a glass of wine is just fine by me!
As a treat post-camping I had booked us two nights at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Since camping was cancelled, the Fairmont was still lovely as it did give us a taste of being outdoors with the accomodation being cabins set around a lake. Green space galore, a playground, pool, kids club, and a babysitting service makes the Fairmont perfect for families with kids. Nick and Lulu took out a canoe and rowed all around the lake. We took advantage of the babysitting service one night. While the kids were looked after in the cabin, Nick and I had sushi at the very tiny (8 seats!) sushi restaurant inside the main lodge. You get to watch the chef closely and hear all about how the fish is sourced, which is the best choice of fish and see the magic happen.