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Friday Favourites

Welcome back to Friday Favourites, the post where I share what I've been lusting over this week. A short post this week due to study pressures. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Decor

I have no idea where I would put this storage unit, it doesn't match our house AT ALL but I want it. I need it. I love the colour and texture. 

Pin

This office is my favourite pin this week. Everything is amazing. The colours, little easel and those two phones - beautiful! I wish I could style like that, perfection. 

Fashion

These shoes by Pin Up Couture from Beserk are everything! The colours and the style are life.

Food


The soon-to-be-mister has been cooking up a storm again this week! My favourites were Japanese Pork Curry and Stuffed Capsicum (couscous, onion, carrot, cashew cheese).  Amazing food! I should start sharing his recipes, they are so good.

Quote

I need this quote this week with starting studying again, trying to fit everything in, my illness rearing it's ugly head and causing me more time off work, and life in general.

Home Life and the Weekend

It's been absolutely hectic this week. My latest unit started on Monday which I posted about here. The kids and I have done some Father's Day crafting ready for this weekend to surprise the soon-to-be-mister. I'm hoping to post about both of these in the coming week; my study plan and Father's Day crafts with kids.
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Studying

My (hopefully) last unit of my Bachelor of Accounting has begun.

I'll be real here and confess that this is my third attempt at this unit.

The first time I didn't grasp the concepts at all, I had begun working full time and was still learning my job. It was a huge transition from not working for seven years to working full time. In hindsight, it wasn't terribly smart to begin studying at that time.

The second time I didn't commit as much as I should have. I missed some weekly assignments and didn't resit the exam when I had the opportunity to. I just wasn't feeling it. I think at some point the soon-to-be-mister was away as well.

This time I am prepared! I know what I'm getting myself into. I know what I did wrong. I know what I need to do. I actually feel really motivated this time.

Stay tuned for a post about how I have prepared my study planner. As for now, I have to get back into today's reading and questions.


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Friday Favourites

Decor

I am currently helping to renovate the Principal's office and one requirement is a Sit Stand Desk. I am in love with this desk from We Are Minimal. They are an Aussie business, one requirement we have when purchasing furniture. 

Pin

I am so living by this pin this week. No apologies. I try and get all my makeup off before bed but the mascara and eyeliner just will not budge. I know I should buy better makeup remover BUT it's time saving to not remove it all. It's kind of a challenge to see how long I can make it all last. 

Fashion

Mustard and yellow are colours that I know can be difficult for some people to wear, however my olive skin works well with them. I look fresh and healthier in yellow, something I definitely need with my sleeping schedule. This top from Review is currently sitting in my basket just waiting for the right moment. 

Food

We are on a vegan diet this week and this looks amazing, I need it in my belly. I'm sending this to the soon-to-be-mister right away. Yum!

Blog

I love planners, owning them and reading about them. Petite Mélanie has beautiful and helpful bullet journals. Definitely check it out if you love planners. 

Quote

Getting back into blogging is hard at times especially regarding comparing successes. I need to follow this quote

Home Life 

I have shared what a day in my life looks like. Not as hectic as other working mothers, I definitely have support. My hat goes off to every mother out there, working in or out of the home. 

Podcast

The crime podcast to end all crime podcasts is My Favorite Murder. Karen and Georgia tackle hard subjects with humour. They ride that fine line where it isn't offensive. Definitely worth a listen. 

This Weekend

I'm not actually sure what we are doing this weekend. This week has been a whirlwind, Friday has come around so quickly. Not that that's a bad thing though. I hope you have a great weekend!
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Sunday Hacks For A Productive Week

I hate mornings. If I had my way I would sleep in until at least 8am. Mind you, I'd stay awake late so I'd still be running on less than eight hours sleep. I love my sleep so there are things that I do on Sunday that helps to ease the stress of mornings. 

Wash Everything

We only do washing on the weekend unless the sheets get super dirty or something is badly stained. This way we don't have to worry about the clothes drying and rushing around hanging them out or bringing them in. There's four of us but typically we do seven loads of washing every weekend (2 x sheets, 2 x towels, 2 x darks, 1 x lights). Some things need to go on a long load (towels and kids' uniforms) but most goes on a short load of 30mins. I like to use the dryer for towels so they stay soft but the rest gets hung out (unless it's wet season, then everything goes in the dryer). The soon-to-be-mister and I do the washing together. Mostly. I hate hanging washing out or folding it but I find that folding the washing together while watching a show isn't too bad.

Organise Weekly Clothes

We have great fabric hanging storage with six shelves for the kids' school clothes. Instead of putting their school clothes away in their drawers we put them in each shelf, leaving the last one for jumpers and long pants. Every shelf has underwear, socks, shirt and shorts so it's easy for the kids to just grab what they need to wear for the day. It gives them some responsibility, reduces arguments, and makes mornings so much easier.

The soon-to-be-mister and I lay our clothes out the night before. If I'm wearing my typical 'work uniform' (a Living Dead Clothing dress) then I skip this step. It doesn't really make much of a difference in the morning as they're all there in my nicely organised drawers. However, if I know I'm wearing something with a lot of jewellery or make-up then I'll lay everything out the night before. Again, so I can sleep in a bit but still get dressed up. Even if it's one minute more of laying in bed, I'm taking it!

Plan For The Week

Meal plan, weekly plan, schedule pins, weekly blog schedule - all of the planning! We use a meal planner stuck on the outside of our pantry door. It's great as we can see it whenever we enter the kitchen. The soon-to-be-mister goes through recipes, fills in the meal planner then writes out a shopping list to take with him to the shops.

I REALLY need to get back into weekly planning and that will have to happen when I begin my studies (next week!). Planning helps a lot with reducing my anxiety levels by being prepared and knowing what is happening during the week. I love spontaneity, however since having kids it has to be spontaneity that I am leading. Just like change, I don't like anything that isn't directed by me. 

I use Tailwind to schedule pins and I have my monthly blog schedule and start drafting my weekly posts if I haven't already started. Again, this helps with my anxiety levels. I also find that if I don't do this on a Sunday then I spend a lot of time on the computer rather than with my family during the week. I like my family so this is not ideal.

Weekly Shopping

Grocery shopping sucks. Online grocery shopping does not suck. Waiting for the online grocery shopping to be ready to pick up sucks (sometimes days). So grocery shopping ends up not being online, but thankfully the soon-to-be-mister does it. I'm the type of person who will always forget something, the most important thing. Even when I have a list. Hopeless.

Weekly shopping helps reduce grocery costs compared to shopping every day. We still go to the shops (I should say 'shop' - we only have Woolworths) to get milk, bread, fruit and veggies during the week but no meals. Meal planning also helps reduce costs so get on that on Sunday before going shopping.

Take Rubbish Out

I make sure I go around the house and empty all the bins ready for collection on Monday morning. This includes emptying the fridge, a chore that sucks but feels so good afterwards. This should be done before meal planning and doing your shopping list so you know exactly what you have and what you need to buy.

Taking the rubbish out is symbolic; taking out last week's crap and starting anew.

Long Shower/Bath

I love having a long shower at the end of the week. Again maybe a symbolism - washing away last week to start fresh. I do a coconut and coffee body scrub, shave everywhere and put a purple conditioner through my hair. It's so refreshing and a great way to end the productive day.

Relax

After all of the above, it's important to relax and spend time on the couch chilling doing whatever you love best. Love to read? Read, read and read. Love to watch movies? Watch those movies! Love to knit? You knit that thing. Love to nap? Nap away! You do whatever you want to do because you've earned it!

I hope this helps make your week easier and productive. Did I miss anything? How do you prepare for your week?
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A Day In The Life Of A Working Mum

I was a stay at home mum for seven years. As a working mum I now regret that I spent my time wisely studying full time rather than bingeing TV shows and sleeping. I should have really taken advantage of daycare and been lazy af. I didn't though and I'm glad I completed most of my degree during that time.

I wasn't looking for a job when we moved to Katherine but went to a job interview on a whim. I got it and now couldn't imagine not working and making money. I honestly don't know how we survived on one wage, expensive rent ($430 a week) and two kids in daycare. We did it though and still managed to have holidays interstate.

The soon-to-be-mister goes away every now and then for work. Last year we worked out that he was gone over three months in total. This year he went away for three months in one block and hopefully that will be it for the rest of the year. Somehow we manage every time he's gone but I make sure to put a hold on studying while he is gone. I recognise how fortunate I am that I can do that, there are many amazing mothers out there who study, work and raise kids alone. How they do that I have no idea, my hat goes off to them.

While the soon-to-be-mister is away I'm a lot more strict on our routine, we have a lot of structure. Dinner, bath time and bed are all scheduled. If the schedule is off I notice I get super irritated and the kids suffer. No one wants a cranky mum. No one likes being a cranky mum.

I notice the household is a lot more relaxed, less stress and less structured while the soon-to-be-mister is home. To a degree I don't clean up as often, dinner, baths and bed are all done when it suits us rather than by the clock. I still like the kids to be in bed by 7:30pm, however that is not always realistic and I don't get too stressed if they head to bed at 8pm. I'm not sure which works better for us, the kids don't really seem to be much different at home either way. Not that I notice anyway. Maybe that's my coping mechanism or maybe it's reality.

Here is a day in my life, specifically Tuesday 21st August 2018.

I am a night owl but I tried to get to bed early last night. I actually tried to go to bed the same time as the soon-to-be-mister at 9pm. However I decided to watch Sunday's episode of The Block and there were way too many ads so I ended up getting to bed at 10:30pm. Earlier than usual still!
5:50am - Alarm goes off. Nope that and reset it for 6:50am. Go back to sleep and dream about stalking Paul McCartney.
6:50am - Alarm goes off. Check emails and pretend that I shouldn't already be up and missed exercising yet again this morning. I can hear the soon-to-be-mister getting the kids up and ready for school. Begrudgingly get out of bed and into the shower. I am not a morning person.
7:10am - Get dressed and finish getting ready.
7:15am - Push the kids out to catch the bus. Lufflump missed it so looks like I'm driving him in. It's only an extra five minutes so it's really no big deal. The soon-to-be-mister leaves. He took my car as it had no petrol in it, he doesn't have to drive as far as me and is happy to fill it up for me. He's a good egg.
7:20am - Chill for a bit and make sure my bag has everything I need.
7:30am - Feed the cat so he doesn't escape. He's an inside only cat because he'll run away otherwise. Leave with Lufflump in the big car. Driving the soon-to-be-mister's car means I can listen to Spotify on the way to work. Today's playlist is Classic Acoustic. Pump it and sing along. Loudly and badly.
7:35am - Roadworks. Argh, I did not plan for this and would have left earlier if I'd known. Oh they are just setting up, it's even more frustrating.
7:50am - Drop Lufflump off and head to work.
8:00am - Make it just in time. Write my To Do list and get working.
10:00am - Drive a colleague to get his car fixed. Stop off and get coffee from Maccas. It's super convenient and not as bad as it sounds.
11:00am - Emergency at work. We band together, it's times like these that I really enjoy and appreciate my colleagues. Leave and do a favour for a colleague.
12:00pm - Work, work, work.
1:15pm - Get lunch from the canteen. It's so tasty and healthy!
2:00pm - Head out to shop for the office and new building. I love upgrading and project managing, even the stressful moments are worth it at the end. Plus I got a free mini rug/placemat. I love it!
4:20pm - Collect kids, leave work and drop colleague off at his car. Head home. Roadworks again but this time they are working not just setting up. Lufflump asked to put a song on and I realised it's Hardcore so I decide to educate the kids. I put on a Happy Hardcore playlist on Spotify. We all dance like we are at a Rave until Lufflump falls asleep. This kid could sleep during an earthquake.
4:50pm - Home. Sesame goes off to a friend's house and Lufflump has a breakdown. The soon-to-be-mister and I finally get what it wrong out of him and help him through it. The soon-to-be-mister gets ready to leave for the shops and his night of sport.
5:30pm - Home alone and start to watch crime documentaries while pinning on Pinterest, checking Facebook and relaxing. Sesame comes home. She decides to use the TV so I head to the bedroom so she can watch in peace. Sesame has a bath and Lufflump has a shower.
7:30pm - Realise that time has flown by. Go to the kitchen and realise that I can't cook what the mister has planned. So I get the kids fed. At their bedtime. Great. Clean the kitchen up ready for dinner.
8:00pm - Cook dinner with the soon-to-be-mister with a white shirt on. Why do I do this to myself? Change so I don't make more of a mess of myself.
8:05pm - Beg the kids to finish eating so they can go to bed.
8:20pm - Kids clean their teeth and head to bed. Change Sesame's sheets and put on washing. Kiss the kids goodnight and talk about what is happening tomorrow.
8:30pm - Keep cooking together. Discuss what happened in our day together. I love moments just us two were we really communicate and connect.
9:00pm - Eat our delicious dinner (Kale Black Bean Burrito Bowl) while watching Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. I chose it to relive View Askew movies. I love Kevin Smith and how clever he is plus the casting is pretty good too.
10:00pm - Put the washing in the dryer and tidy up a bit.
11:30pm - Realise the time and head to bed. I know that sleep won't come for at least half an hour. This is why I don't like mornings, I struggle to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
I'll share in another post what I do to (try) and make mornings easier. It's all about being organised and finding what works best for you and your family.
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Katherine Races

Saturday August 18th 2018 was the day to get frocked up and head to the Katherine Races. The weather was amazing and the atmosphere just as good. The horses were strong (and didn't get hurt) and the jockey's fit.

I've been to the Doomben Races in Brisbane years ago and there are some stark differences between Brisbane and Katherine. Possibly the same differences when comparing city races to country races.
In Katherine you will find people that are dressed to the nines and people who are wearing their everyday clothes. Do not be surprised if you see cargo shorts, singlets, thongs and denim alongside suits, dresses, fascinators and heels.

If you head to Katherine Races and want to buy drinks you'll have to buy drink tickets first (in the pavilion next to the bar) then buy your choice of beverage at the bar. There's beer, UDL and champagne. What I learned this year is that they refund the drink tickets if you have any left over. The last two years I've given mine away so this year I felt like I'd won. As far as I know soft drinks, water and food are bought at the food trucks located behind the pavilion. This year they had wood fired pizza, carnival food, fish and chips and chicken and chips.

There's limited seating so bring blankets or stalk chairs from the main marquee and take them to where you want to sit. Every year I forget this and my feet regret it. There also is limited shade, supplied by beautiful trees, if you choose not to sit in the main or paid marquees.

The atmosphere is friendly and fun. I met so many new people this year, friends of friends and strangers while waiting at the bar. It's probably my favourite thing about Katherine, we are a friendly town. Rough but friendly.

Last year I entered Fashions on the Field with bright pink hair and a unicorn headband (that was pink and looked a bit like a sharp penis) so I decided this year I'd enter again looking more normal.
The Fashions are held in between the races and is kind of a big deal in the sense that everyone flocks to watch. Anyone can enter and it's a bit of fun for the day. Those entering and watching are so supportive as well. If you can enter, do.

Now onto what I wore. My headpiece was the only thing that was new and the most expensive that I wore.
Jumpsuit - Bariano no longer in stock but similar here.
Clutch - Colette Hayman no longer in stock but similar here.
Headpiece - Just Looking Boutique similar in black here.
Shoes - Black Guess heels.
Earrings - Colette Hayman no longer in stock but similar here.
Bracelets - A mix of black and gold bangles bought at Tree of Life and Colette Hayman.
The Katherine Races are enjoyable, friendly and fun. Even if you don't like horse racing (I saw my first race in my three years going this year) it's a must do.
This post was not sponsored in any way. I bought my own ticket and drinks.
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Friday Favourites

Decor

We are currently looking to upgrade our bed to a King size and this West Elm bed is EXACTLY what I want. The soon-to-be-mister will want it too when he sees it. It'll match our mid-century decor. Retro all the way!

Pin

I procrastinate. A lot. Like I'm really good at it. I'm aware that it's probably not the best thing to be really good at which is why I'm frantically pinning about being more productive, organised and a bad procrastinator. I'm definitely not procrastinating about not procrastinating. That's not even a thing, right?

Fashion

The Katherine Races are on this weekend so I tried on this Cooper St dress in pink in a size 6 and it fit! It was super tight but it did up. Small wins! I can't find it online but I do love it in red and I'm tempted to buy it in a size 8 though. Gotta be realistic, it was difficult to sit down in the 6 and that was on an empty stomach. It's such a beautiful cut.

Food

I'm craving carbs at the moment and these potato fritters look amazing. I don't cook either and I'm pretty sure I could pull these off. Yum!

Blog

Suger Coat It is the bomb. Melissa helped me a lot with my last blog, is the nicest person and her blog is full of helpful tips that everyone can use (not just bloggers, although there are awesome blogging tips throughout it). Please check it out, you won't regret it.

Northern Territory Business

I wrote about the Pop Rocket Cafe this week to highlight a wonderful Katherine business. They do sushi now so a sushi work lunch is on the cards!

Quote

I'm preparing to dive headfirst into study again and this quote needs to be posted everywhere I look. It's so true. I need to shut down the negativity that is stopping me from reaching my goals. 

Home Life 

This week has been hectic with work and getting sick. It's been a lot cooler so I'm able to wear layers. It gets hot from about 9am so layers are a necessity. I've been trying to share more on my instagram, it'd be great if you could go follow me there, thanks!

Podcast

I am obsessed with the Casefile podcast. It's an Aussie podcast that delves deep into a range of crimes, not always murder and not always in Australia. The research team does an amazing job as does the narrator. 

This Weekend

This weekend the Katherine Races are on and I can't wait. Any excuse to have a fun day with friends and getting all glammed up. 
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How To Get Back Into Blogging

I used to blog back when I was a SAHM. Then I stopped.

There was no good reason for me to stop blogging. I didn't become busier. I didn't have less content to share. I simply lost my blogging mojo. I stopped as I fell out of love with my blog. I changed, I grew, the blogging world grew but my blog didn't.

I'm back blogging (obviously) and have all the motivation I had back when I first started blogging back in 2011. These are my tips on how I have to get back into blogging.
Whether starting fresh means starting a new blog like I did or refreshing your current blog through design or differing content it's important to feel you are beginning new.
Shake up your content. 
Write about what you love or know whether it's what you previously blogged about or not. Growing apart from your first post or first year is natural, we all learn and grow. Life changes and your blog should change with you.
Change your blog's appearance.
If the ideas are flowing like before and the content is similar then I suggest changing your blog's appearance. It could be as simple as colours or font, or as complex as a whole new theme. There are great free designs available if you aren't keen to spend money on your blog. My previous blog was custom made and I've done this blog myself with a free theme. Full disclosure - it took me a while to get it exactly how I wanted but I hadn't done any background work on websites since early 2014.
Start a new blog.
If shaking up your content isn't enough of a fresh start then don't be scared to start a whole new blog. It may seem daunting especially if you've built up a following and that's ok. Starting a new blog isn't for everyone and nor should it be. If it were then there'd be all these beautiful, interesting dormant blogs floating around the interwebs. Starting a new blog is ok too though, of course I would vouch for that as this is my new blog with my old one dormant.

The reason I decided to start fresh with a new blog was simply because my old blog didn't feel like me anymore. The content, name and journey was past Amy's not current. It's still live as I love trawling through it every now and then to read how life was when the kids were little. It's great for our family to go through especially as we live so far away. As much as I love it, I didn't feel like I could continue to grow with it so I started fresh.
Photo - calendar
Whether your goals are small or big, short term or long term a plan is necessary.
Know your goals. 
Identifying your goals and how to reach them is important whether you want to blog for yourself, friends or a wider community. Break your goals into short and long term but be realistic. Don't go overboard with too many goals or go too big too quick. Mind map if necessary. Actually, do anything that works for you.
My short term goals are to blog consistently, to set up a schedule that is realistic to keep. I have a tendency to go balls to the wall leading to burn out and eventually falling out of love with blogging.

My long term goals are to increase traffic over the year from nothing to more than my previous blog. I plan to do this through Facebook and Pinterest. I realise it takes effort and again the plan is to not burn out. Ride that fine line on the right side and keep my head above water.
Draft ideas immediately.
Every time you have an idea draft posts even if they simply have a title. Dot points also help so you don't forget when you are less inspired. I am finding that this is really efficient and I can do it anytime I have an idea even on limited time and regardless of where I am.

If you aren't near a computer or phone then never underestimate the power of pen to paper. Buy a notebook and pens you love to use that are good quality and carry them in your bag or car. You'll look really important too and be the envy of stationery lovers (aka me).
Use calendars.
Online or paper calendars - use whatever floats your boat. Map out when you want to blog and what topic. For example my monthly plan is on the calendar at the top and bottom of this post. I love pretty visual calendars and the one I'm using this month is from Shining Mom.
There are thousands of bloggers out there with differing levels of success. Beautiful blogs with amazing content and photos by bloggers earning a living off their blog. They aren't you though, they don't have YOUR voice. Support the blogs you love rather than compare your blog.

Changing how you view other people's blogs will change how you view your own blog. You won't be happy with your blog you envy other blogs. That doesn't mean you can't admire them, admiring is not envy. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.
Pinterest
Never underestimate the blogging community, it is amazingly supportive. I have made long term friends through blogging, people that I know will build me up and vice versa. There are many different platforms to be involved.
Facebook groups
My favourite Facebook blog groups for networking and supporting other bloggers are;
- Bloggers Supporting Each Other
- Blogging for New Bloggers
- Boss Girl Bloggers
- Blogging Network
Pinterest
Pinterest is surprisingly good for networking and sharing content with bloggers. I admit I'm just starting to uncover the true ability of Pinterest (though I'm an avid pinner of pretty and helpful things). There are a heap of boards for bloggers. I predict many of my hours will be spent perusing these boards and discovering new blogs.
IRL meet ups
I have fond memories of meeting fellow bloggers through events advertised on other blogs and Facebook. My advise is to jump at any opportunity to attend blogging events. It can be scary at first but one thing to always remember is the community is supportive. I'm so glad I beat my anxiety and attended events.
I am a firm believer that blogging should be enjoyable. Blogging should not be a chore or you'll end up stopping again.
I hope that the above has helped you to get back into blogging. I'd love to hear any additional tips, advice or experiences if you have any.
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