Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Say Hello to Circusmum - all the Way from London

As part of Digital Parents Blog Swap I had the opportunity to "meet" the lovely Tinuke and discover her blog.  Below is her post which I'm super excited to share with you all to give an insight into life living in London.

Hi my name is Tinuke, I'm 29 years old and have a five year old daughter called Princess.  Nope it's not her real name though I admit to having been tempted to add it to her birth certificate when we went to register her! My blog is called Circus Mums because I feel that when I started the blog some three years ago, I was trying to juggle so many different acts at once.  I was new to motherhood, trying to figure out my career path, trying to find time for friendships and socialising, trying to be a good partner and still trying to figure out my place in the world.  To be fair, most of those balls are still up in the air, three years on.



We live in London and try to make the most of the great, sprawling, historic city around us.  The juxtaposition of old whitewashed stone architecture with shiny, steel and glass modern buildings is breathtaking when you walk around the The West End, The City, The Docklands, or even through some urban areas.  We can spend ages in museums, being transported back in time, filling our daughter's head with new facts or fuelling her imagination, exploring art galleries or watching plays.



With all the buildings around, it may be surprising to know that we don't lack green spaces!  Princess loves park land and nature so we spend a lot of our time exploring local parks.  We're lucky enough to have some amazing, well maintained and extremely child friendly parks in North London which we visit regularly.  We also have amazing wet lands and the River Lee which forms the Lee Valley walk, runs within minutes of our home, so within a short car or bike ride, we can leave the hustle and bustle of A-roads and retail parks behind, replacing them with canal boats, locks and wild life.



Bringing up children in London, in my opinion, is really what you make it.  Yes it is an expensive city to live in, I read recently that the average house price in London has risen to £458,000 (AUD$826,000) which is a massive strain for the average family and also the reason why we'll probably rent for the forseeable future.  But there are so many activities which are either free or close to it!  The majority of museums and galleries are free to enter, as are shows and activities put on by local borough councils.  We keep an eye out for offers, buy food that is in season and we savvy with our spending (by we, I mean my partner, I am a compulsive shopper....)  We make it work and love where we live.



Please feel free to say hi and check out my lifestyle posts over on my blog, circusmums.com for a slice of my London living and a chance to delve into my world.  Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my quick take over of Purely4kids.


Monday, 12 May 2014

The House is on Fire, all the family is out, and you can grab 5 more items. What are they?


Even as I’m writing this I’m thinking about how utterly unprepared I am if this were to happen and the house were to actually catch fire.  Probably because I’m one of those hopeless people that tends to bury her head in the sand rather than deal with anything remotely scarey or confronting.

I’m also assuming here that the pets are part of the family so of course Truffles the cat and Krypton the dog are already safe and well.



So, my top 5 things I would grab.  Of course photos, which actually also means I have to grab the computer because I still have so many photos on my computer that I haven’t sorted or saved to a disk or stick thingy.  Which means I have to take my phone too because that is also full of photos.  Oh dear, does that mean I’ve used up 3 of my 5 things already???

What about my Foxtel IQ box?  What if I miss the episodes of the Real Housewives of Melbourne or episodes of Revenge that I haven’t seen yet???

And of course I have to take my teddy bear.  Not because I have this weird fetish for soft toys but I’ve had this bear since the day I was born (no, I’m not going to say how old it is, let’s just say it’s bordering on antique though).

Hmmm, so that’s my 5 things.  That doesn’t sound very exciting at all really.

Now in reality, would they really be the 5 things I grab or would I just run around like a lunatic grabbing random things I can reach like the coffee machine – OMG, the coffee machine, I can’t leave that behind!!!!!!!!

Taking part in Clairey Hewitt’s blogging every day in May.

What would your Top 5 things be that you would grab.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Happy Mothers Day

Is it a sign I'm getting old when I realise that not only is nearly all my time spent running around after my boys, but that it actually doesn't seem to worry me that I have very little time just for me?  Or is it just a sign of being a mum and enjoying it.

To all those mums out there "with very little time for themselves" I hope today was a special day for you and you were able to enjoy the day with your family.


Happy Mothers Day.

Amanda

Taking part in Clairey Hewitt's Blogging Every Day in May


Saturday, 10 May 2014

My First Car - The Mitsubishi Colt

I think we all have a soft spot for our first car.  Mine was a little red Mitsubishi Colt.  I actually wanted a VW Beetle but my dad refused.  He insisted that the first corner I turned around I would roll it. Go figure.  Considering my parents were paying for the car I didn't really have much of a say, so the Mitsubishi Colt it was.

Dad bought it off a little old lady and it was pristine inside, a neat reliable car I remember him saying.  Of course it didn't really stay neat for very long once my girlfriends and I piled into it.  I remember lipstick melted in one of the little trays, a cigarette burn on the seat, Hungry Jacks wrappers on the floor, and random pairs of shoes......

I was still living in Adelaide at the time and it was the perfect little car to zip around the city in.  I just loved it. Of course there was no CD player or automatic windows, but I remember that it did have an air-conditioner and I thought that was so special :)

A little why later I moved up to Cairns in Far North QLD and believe it or not, my little colt came with me. I look back now and think how lucky I was.  Mum and dad decided to come up and help me settle in, and they drove that car all the way from Adelaide to Cairns.  I think it took them 4 days to get there!!!!

So my little colt then spent the next 3 years sunning itself in Far North Queensland.  It became home to the odd green tree frog, squished numerous cane toads - who doesn't love that "pop" sound they make (no hate mail please - trust me, if you lived amongst cane toads you would squish them with your car tyres too), and never skipped a beat the entire time.  Oh, well except for the time when my then boyfriend (now husband) put diesel in it instead of petrol and it spent the next hour bunny hopping up the highway, but lets not talk about that.


Yes - this is the one responsible for the Diesel incident

From FNQ with it's cane toads and crocodiles, it was time for the little Colt to head back to the big smoke and off to Sydney we went.  Considering it was getting on in years now I thought it best if I treated my pride and joy with an all expenses paid holiday - so onto the back of a car carrier it went and a few weeks later it arrived in Sydney safe and sound.

I have to admit, it was a little shell shocked when it first arrived.  Having dealt with the, let's say "casualness" of Cairns to then be thrown amongst the peak-hour nightmare of Sydney - there where many a time where my little Colt wanted to just pull off to the side of the road and have a little freak-out moment.

But it soon picked up the pace and was flying around Sydney with the best of them.  Unfortunately, it developed a rather antisocial behaviour of billowing thick black smoke out the back which used to cause me great embarrassment.  And so, after one fateful trip to the shopping centre (think large multi level car park during pre-Christmas shopping) and being unable to find a park, and then being unable to see due to excess amounts of billowing smoke we have the slightly embarrassing moment where a lovely security guard taps on my window and says "Hi, here, why don't you just park your car over here" right under the large no-parking, tow away area sign.  Hmmmm, time to say goodbye to the little Mitsubishi Colt that had served me so well.

So after much hugs and and a very teary goodbye, it was time to farewell my little Colt in favour of a Ford Falcon that my boyfriend thought was a much more suitable car........let's not go there.

Let me just say this - in case you were wondering what FORD stands for, it's either Found Off Road Dead, or Full Of Rust & Dirt.  But I digress, I've had a few cars since my little Colt, and none have ever served me as well, or travelled as far (the Ford Falcon and the Ford Territory of course couldn't because things kept dropping off them and they kept breaking down - damn it, there I go again on my anti-Ford rant).

Having some fun Blogging Every Day in May with Clairey Hewitt.  What was your first ever car?

Amanda

Friday, 9 May 2014

The best ice cream flavour is.....

I'm not much of a sweet tooth. Give me a packet of bikkies and some dip or a to die for antipasto platter and I'm set for life. But, if I had to pick a favourite ice cream it would have to be coffee.

Mind you, I'd never turn down any excuse for coffee, even if it is in ice cream.

Having fun Blogging Every Day in May.

So, what's your favourite ice cream?


Thursday, 8 May 2014

What Inspires You

Taking part in Blogging Every Day in May has proven to be both challenging and rewarding.

It's been challenging because it's been hard to literally blog every day - and also to keep up to date with all the other wonderful blogs taking part in this challenge.  I promise I am going to a better job over the remaining weeks.

It's been immensely rewarding though to as it's allowed me to think about things I otherwise probably wouldn't have given much time to, such as today's topic....I'm inspired by.



I've looked at this as more of a general thing, rather than being inspired by someone in particular.  Dont' get me wrong, there are some wonderful people that inspire me to do better, to be better, but I also get inspired from the little things.

The sun shining brightly in my house (which can be a bit dark and dreary on a cloudy day), can be enough to motivate and inspire me for an entire day.

Seeing the smiles on my boys faces inspires me to get up and get moving with them.  To turn the computer off and just have some fun time.

An interesting quote, a song, even a book I'm reading are all enough to fill me full of belief that I can do anything I set my mind to.

How about you, where do you get your inspiration from?

Amanda

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

How Important is Having A Mentor

I hate to admit it, but I've never actually had a mentor.

I've worked with a lot of people I admire and respect.  I've learnt from them, I've been guided by them, I've taken their advice, but I wouldn't really have ever termed them a mentor.

I suppose that's because I've always assumed there was a more formal note to it if they were a mentor.  It was a more teacher/student relationship.

Maybe these people were my mentor more than I realised.  I certainly learnt from them, and I certainly respected them.  More often than not, they were my boss, maybe that's why I never considered using the term mentor.

I certainly believe there is much merit in having a mentor.  Someone you can turn to for advice to help guide you, who wouldn't want to be part of that.

Maybe someday someone will look towards me as a mentor......far out, what just happened, that was a bit serious for a moment there.



Having a blast with Clairey Hewitt Blogging Every Day in May.

Do you have a mentor?  What invaluable lessons have they taught you?

Amanda

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Ten Years On

I don't really want to think aboutn10 years from now, not unless 50 is the new 30.

OMG when did that happen.  When did I become old. No, I'm sticking with the original comment - 50 is the new 30.  It's 10 years ahead and I'm now in my early 30's, woo hoo.

Okay so it may be a bit creepy that as a 30 year old I have a 23 year old son, but its my future so I can embellish can't I?

Just like my new found fave blogger Emily from Have a Laugh, I'm not one for setting goals or plans.  My goals are often things like:

1.  Try to only visit Dan Murphys once a week so they don't think I'm a complete alcoholic
2.  Get out of bed and make it to the coffee machine without falling over
3.  Live long enough to see Collingwood win another grand final
4.  Remember to pick the boys up from footy training



You get the picture.  So because I'm next to useless when it comes to setting goals, it means 10 years down the track isn't something I've really thought about, in fact, that's all a bit scaey really.

That means I would have a 23 year old, a 19 year old and a 14 year old. Wow.

But seriously, 10 years time.....we would be healthy, wealthy and wise.....what more could you wish for :)

Amanda

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Joining Clairey Hewitt for Blogging Every Day in May

Monday, 5 May 2014

Balance and Harmony

According to the Zodiac calendar, the life of a Libran must contain balance and harmony for all to be right with our world. I ask you then, why would a Libran have 3 boys?

What household with 3 boys is balanced and harmonious?

Do footballs sail through the air harmoniously? I don’t think so.

Are cricket bats swung harmoniously during backyard cricket in between screams and fights over whether a no-ball was just bowled??

Are disgusting boy smells assisting the balance in my house?

Is the pile of dirt sitting on my laundry floor that has fallen out of every piece of clothing my boys own filling me with harmony?

See where I’m going with this people?



Apparently us Librans are not the best decision makers either. We are often too busy wanting to keep everyone else around us happy and not rock the apple cart. We’d rather avoid confrontation at all times. Well that’s all well and good too, but what if you are married to a fellow Libran. It can often mean something as simple as what to do on a Saturday night rapidly turns pear-shaped.....

“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
“I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
Jump forward 3 hours.....
“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know, what do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

By now of course it’s Sunday morning, and guess what, we did nothing on the Saturday night.

Or another of my fave conversations......

“Do you want me to take our steak or chicken for dinner?”
“I don’t mind. You choose.”
 “Well what would you prefer?”
 “I don’t mind, you choose”
 “But, do you want chicken or beef?”

Fast forward 3 hours, nothing is cooked and I’ve generally reached that point where I’m ready to shove both the chicken and beef somewhere where it will never be found!!!!

Seriously, I think about what to cook every bloody night, can someone else make a bloody decision for once!!

 Ah yes, life as a Libran is so balanced and harmonious.

How do you feel about your star sign.  Does it fit you?

Amanda

Sunday, 4 May 2014

My Earliest Memory

It's possibly one of my earliest memories, and it's certainly one of my strongest.

It's memories of spending time with my beautiful grandmother.

It's memories of sleepovers during school holidays when I was young. Of sneaking into her room in the mornings and my grandpa bringing us breakfast in bed.

It's memories of butterfly cupcakes and lemon meringue pies.

It's memories of sitting up late watching the Don Lane Show and drinking cups of "tea" - mine was Milo.

It's memories of dressing up in clothes from a time long gone, of trying on jewellery and feeling like a princess.

It's memories of outings to the shops and being taken out for lunch.

It's some of the fondest memories I have.



Inspired by Clairey Hewitt and Blogging Every Day in May.

What is your earliest memory?

Amanda

Saturday, 3 May 2014

That A-Ha Moment

Today it's all about changing tracks as part of our Blogging Every Day in May and for me it's an A-Ha moment.  Well not necessarily a moment, more like 2 hours - I think???

It's about recalling a song that evokes memories, not necessarily your favourite song (which of course in my mind is anything from The Boss), or even a good song apparently, but a song that evokes memories.

Well here it is folks......Take on Me by A-Ha.  Who?  You know, A-Ha that Norwegian band from the 80's that had that dreamy lead singer Morten.  

And why is this special for me?  Because it was the first time I was allowed to go to a concert with my besties all by myself, no parent....woo hoo.  I had of course been to a few concerts before, still trying to work out how I didn't physically die of boredom from Dire Straits, but they were always with my parents, A-Ha was different, I was with my girlfriends.



When you grew up in Adelaide as I did, you have to understand that we didn't have the big mega-stars come to visit us, but OMG if you were a fan of John Farnham, well he popped into town for a concert every second weekend.  

I still remember not speaking to my mum for at least a week because she wouldn't take me to Melbourne to see Wham.  Didn't she understand, it was George Michael!!!!  And they would have been dressed in fluro and singing Wake Me Up Before You Go Go!!!!!!

Anyway, I digress.  Take on Me was not necessarily my favourite song from my youth, but it was special because I actually got to see it performed live by Morten himself, swoon, and I knew all the words, and got to sing a long with my girlfriends and have a bloody good time.  So for me, that's a special moment, my first every concert with my mates.  

My eldest is now 13, and I took him and one of his brothers to see Pink last year.  He loved it.  But I know when he goes to that first concert with his mates, he'll love that even more.

What is your Changing Tracks song?

#chbloginmay

Amanda

Friday, 2 May 2014

My Favourite Movie

We all have a favourite movie, and I have to admit mine is a little out there but when it came out I'd never seen anything like it.  I am of course talking about Pulp Fiction.  Ooooh, I can hear the gasps of shock already.

I still remember as if it was yesterday the first time I saw this movie.  I say first time because i have now lost count of how many times I've seen this movie, definitely when children are no where around of course. I don't think I had ever laughed so much in all my life.  And not that I find guns, drugs and blood anything to laugh at but it was such dark comedy and so over the top that I just loved it.....still do.

And who can forget the infamous dance scene between John Travolta and Uma Thurman.



I have to admit I have another fond memory from this movie.......hee hee.....I was asked for ID at the cinema......and I was in my 20's.  Good times.

Now would I recommend this classic to everyone, probably not, yet even though I don't like movies with blood and guts and excessive violence I think the fact that this was just so well written meant I didn't even really notice that side of the movie.

And yes, I have a whole stack of warm fuzzy movies that are much more appropriate that I have enjoyed over the years but if I'm to be true and state my favourite, well Pulp Fiction it is.

Ramblings about my favourite movie are bought to you by the lovely Clairey Hewitt and her #blogeverydayinmay campaign and linking up with With Some Grace for some Friday fun.





What is your favourite movie?

Amanda

Thursday, 1 May 2014

April - The Month That Was

I'm taking part in the International Blog Swap  Day with Digital Parents or #IBSD as it's known (although be careful, Irritable Bowel Syndrome tends to make an appearance with that hashtag too).  As part of this I stumbled across Snowing Indoors who had this great idea of looking back on the month that was so I thought I would steal borrow the idea.

In addition, I've set myself the extremely scary task of participating in the Blog Every Day in May thanks to the lovely Clairey Hewitt - phew it's all happening.

So to start off the month of May, I'm looking back at what we got up to in April.

Lego was played with.



There were bush walks.



Cricket was played.



Bikes were ridden.



Easter concerts were prepared for.



Visits to the CBD were taken.....on a bus!!!



Museums were visited.



Putt Putt was played.



Phew, what a busy month....of course helped along by school holidays.



How was the month of April with you?