Friday, November 23, 2012

A matter of opinon

Unless you're my doctor, family, or a friend, keep your opinion to yourself!

As I am sure many pregnant women will attest, getting every second person’s opinion on your unborn can be highly frustrating. And by this I mean every second stranger's opinion.

In my current state, mine, my husband’s and my obstetrician’s opinion are the only ones that count at the moment. And after that, once the baby arrives, we’ll take opinions and try things out, but at the end of the day it will be our decision on how to raise it, what things to try etc.

Yesterday, some bogan Barbie who worked at a newsagent decided to tell me in no uncertain terms that I was going to have a huge baby and that I would need all the luck I could get. This is pretty much how the conversation went:

Me: Hi, just the two cards thanks.
Bogan Barbie: Sure (scanning and entering stuff in computer). So when are you due?
Me: In six weeks.
Bogan Barbie: (Cue dramatic eye roll) Oh wow, is it your first? You’re quite big; your baby is going to be huge. Don’t they like, grow heaps in the last four weeks?
Me: Yes it’s our first and the baby is healthy, which is all that matters.
Bogan Barbie: Well, good luck, you’re going to need it.
Me: Thanks.

Gee, thanks for that bit of helpful input, are you a doctor that just moonlights as a rude chick that works at an Ashmore newsagency? You don't even know me!

I didn’t tell her that I thought she should go and see a dermatologist for her awful patchy skin and smoker’s lines all over her face. Nor did I tell her that she was in dire need of a trip to the hairdresser. I just walked away.

I’ve also been told by people who obviously just like the sound of their own voices, what sex my baby will be and how tired I look. Well, considering I AM PREGNANT and due in six weeks, I am not surprised I look tired, because I am! You would think that people should be trying to be overly nice to pregnant women and tell them they look fantastic even if you don’t feel or look it.

I had a business meeting this week at the workplace of a good friend of mine and as I walked in the office she said “Hi Ash, how are you? You look great!” – it was just the boost I needed.

I think hitting the awkward phase of the pregnancy has affected me more than I thought it would. It is hard to sleep, sit, get comfortable in any position and don’t even talk about my inability to dry myself properly, shave my legs or do up shoes… and on top of all that I have to endure the comments of imbeciles who think nothing of sharing their thoughts about me or how it is delivered.

The blessing is that I know in a few small weeks, it will all be over and we will finally get to meet Baby V.  

So for now, unless you’re a friend or family member, keep your opinions to yourself (if they aren’t of a constructive nature) because this pregnant woman may just unleash her inner crazy at you – and that, I can assure, will not be pretty.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Art and Craft - Project Nursery.

Coming up with ideas on how to decorate a nursery can be tricky - there are so many things you can do! But as we are not finding out the sex of Baby V until he/she is born, I had to do something that would be suitable for either a little boy or girl while still being bright and cheerful.

So I set out to make my own artwork to decorate the baby's room. I did some research online and found that lots of people used the paint colour cards that you can get from any hardware store and transformed them into gorgeous, framed pieces.

So one weekend I took myself down to my local Bunnings and loaded up on a bundle of paint swatches. I decided I wanted to concentrate on four colour families - blues, greens, purples and yellows.

Paint swatches from Bunnings
Then I went and got myself a 3cm round hole punch from Spotlight. This set me back around $10 (if you are hunting for one go to the scrapbooking area or buy one online). I chose a circle shape, but you can get any shaped hole punch you like.

$10 Fiskars hole punch from Spotlight.
The next step was simply to punch out the paint swatches and categorise the circles into their colour families. Make sure that when you are selecting your colours, that you get at least a dozen different hues from each colour family.

Next I had to ready my frames. I bought four Ribba shadow box frames for $10 each at Ikea (they are 23cm x 23cm). You can get them in either black or white. For this project, I am using the black frame as I liked the contrast it has with nursery wall colour.

Ribba frames from Ikea - set me back $10 each.
The next stage was simply putting everything together. I already had some some glue tape in an applicator (you can get this from Spotlight or any craft store) to apply to the back of each circle cut out and simply overlayed each of the cirles in random colour order on a piece of white paper which I had traced the size of the frame window (the Ribba frames have a white mat around the edge of the window as you can see from the above pic).

Once I had finished gluing I put the paper with the cutouts face down on top of the mat and attached the backing - voila!

The finished product - yellow, green, blue and purple framed artwork.
All together it cost me about $12.50 per frame to complete this craft project, which is great. Now they just need to be mounted on the wall ready to be admired by our little one. It only took about 1/2 an hour to finish each artwork, so it was a pretty efficient project as well.

Friday, October 26, 2012

National Bandanna Day - Oct 26

Today is National Bandanna Day which helps raise important funds for young people with cancer. Please help Canteen raise funds and awareness through the purchase and wearing of a bandanna!

Wearing a bandanna sends the message to young people with cancer that they are not fighting it alone.

If you would like to buy a bandanna please visit Woolworths, Woolworths Petrol, Wendys, Super Cheap Auto, BCF, Goldcross Cycles, Amart, Ray’s Outdoors, Rebel Sport, Newslink, and GNC Live Well or street stalls nationally today.

Your support means that CanTeen can continue to run vital counselling and support programs as well as work to establish special youth cancer centres and services to help young people rebel against cancer.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Model mum Miranda in RUSSH Magazine

Homegrown super model Miranda Kerr poses for a sexy new photo shoot in RUSSH Magazine out today. Since the arrival of her son Flynn less than two years ago, Miranda has put in the hard yards to get back to her catwalk-worthy figure (hey, it's her job to look good, she basically gets paid to work out!). She has always promoted a healthy body image and her book Treasure Yourself is all about being kind to your body and mind - she is a great role model for young women.

I admire Miranda's commitment to healthy eating (she has a certificate in nutrition and sticks to organic produce where possible) and living, making exercise part of her daily ritual of looking after her mind and body. I loved her back when she won the Dolly Magazine model comp and I still do - she has done a lot to put Australia and Australian fashion on the map.  

Check out her pics from October's RUSSH Mag and grab a copy at your local newsagent.


All images are owned by RUSSH Magazine.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Love you long time

Photograph by Lauren Joy Photography

Today is our second wedding anniversary! Just wanting to let my wonderful husband know that I love him more than anything and that I love our life together. We are celebrating two years today, but have been together for 12 and I am so lucky to have spent that time with him by my side xxx

SHE Magazine Body Beautiful feature - October 2

SHE Magazine's October edition came out today (published in the Gold Coast Bulletin) and I was lucky enough to participate in the mag's Body Beautiful feature!

I was joined by mummy and blogger Carly Electric and ex-Big Brother housemate Charne White where we talked body image, confidence and dealing with our body 'issues'. Since falling pregnant I have seen my body change dramatically and it was great to be able to discuss how my body has changed over the years and how I have grown to love my imperfections and be happy in my own skin. I feel like it was important for me to participate in this as I haven't always loved my body and growing up I did feel the pressure to look a certain way.

I just want to thank Liz, Lauren and Chantay and everyone at SHE Magazine for making this such a fantastic, positive experience to be part of.

Here are a couple of snaps from the publication : )

Monday, September 24, 2012

2012 Emmy Red Carpet looks

Some of my fave looks from today's Emmy Awards.
Julianne Hough looked in a stunning Georges Hobieka Couture strapless gown.

There's that colour again - Heidi Klum in a beautiful Alexandre Vauthier designed gown.

Kelly Osbourne matched her lilac-coloured hair to her Zac Posen dress - love her fearless wardrobe choices!

Mummy-to-be Claire Danes looked ravishing in yellow. Dress by Jeanne Lanvin.  

Homeland actress Morena Baccarin looked flawless.
New mum, Giuliana Ranci in Romona Keveza.

This is something different - I don't totally love this look, but I don't hate it either (maybe it's her hair/makeup). January Jones in Zac Posen. 

Ellen Degeneres looks sharp! Love her gorgeous pant suit. Not sure about Portia's choice of outfit however...
Sarah Hyland from Modern Family looked beautiful and age-appropriate.

 Kat Dennings dressing for her curves - love this dress on her.

Alec Baldwin and his new wife Hilaria Thomas made a handsome couple on the red carpet. 

Happy to help

I feel like I have the words ‘fragile pregnant lady’ scrawled across my forehead and have come to accept that that’s not such a bad thing.   

Since my belly has ‘popped’ and it is obvious to everyone that I am expecting, I have had people falling over themselves to help me out.

Last week, I had the feral job of doing a mass office supplies shop at OfficeWorks. I had three bags and a box to wrangle to the car. Unfortunately one of the bags I had fell to the ground, the contents spilling out everywhere.

Immediately a helpful young lad who was walking into the store stopped and helped me pick up my wares and asked me if he could help take my bags to the car for me. I politely declined but thanked him very much for stopping and for the offer.

I don’t know why but even though I know I am pregnant and I know people want to help me, I feel bad accepting their offer.

So I decided to get over it and accept some kindness!

A few days after the OfficeWorks incident, I did some grocery shopping at Ferry Rd Markets. I had 4 bags and a carton of sparkling water and no trolley (because my baby brain forgot to get one as I walked in).

The check-out chick looked at me and said “I’ll get one of our guys to help take your bags to your car for you” and as much as I wanted to say “no, it’s okay” I told her thank you very much. Quick as a flash, she commissioned one of her male co-workers to be my pack-horse and we were on our way.

He even made small talk about when I was due and was I finding out the sex? He then told me about his nine-month old daughter who had changed his life and how he couldn’t remember anything about life before she was born. Very sweet!

This morning was another example – I had our refurbished nursery furniture delivered to our house. I would usually have helped unload the pieces out of the van, but I just sat back and watched as they were unloaded and taken into our house by the painter and her assistant.

So all in all, I have found that I am actually pretty happy to be ‘fragile pregnant lady’ and grateful for the assistance I’ve been given to date. I know I can only milk it for so long, so I may as well make the most of it hey!?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WARNING: Hormonal

I am on an emotional roller coaster at the moment, and I can’t wait until it stops. That is the only way I can describe how I am feeling at the moment, and I can’t even be bothered wording it differently so awful clichés will have to suffice.

My hormones are going crazy, and in turn, making the people around me crazy as they try to deal with my wild mood swings, tears and tantrums. Oh yes, pregnancy can be a b*tch.

The smallest thing is enough to set me off… and don’t even talk to me about work at the moment – that’s just been thrown in the too hard basket.

I think I need to get myself one of these shirts...

I get sent weekly email updates from the Huggies people, detailing mine and the baby’s physical and emotional changes. They are pretty interesting and most of the time, quite accurate.

This week the following two paragraphs are especially relevant to my situation:

You could find yourself feeling more emotional than you usually are, with situations or stories really affecting you. Watching the news can bring on a fresh outbreak of tears, not to mention walking past a new baby in its pram.

If you’ve always prided yourself on being very disciplined about your eating and exercise habits, being 24 weeks pregnant may come as a rude shock. You’re hungry, tired and feeling as if you really couldn’t be bothered keeping up your usual routines. Guess what? You don’t have to. Give yourself a break and ease into what should be a reasonably relaxing time. Pregnancy is not a performance based state, nor can it be graded into high, average or low achievement. Trying to intellectualise your symptoms or why you are feeling as you do will just sap valuable energy from what should be an easy time. So keep a supply of treats in the pantry and reach for them if you’re feeling low.

I especially like that bit at the end there talking about the supply of treats in the pantry – hey if the good people at Huggies say I should be treating myself to make me feel better, then pass me another chocolate chip cookie.

But seriously, I have got to say, I do not love being an emotional wreck. I have been a cow to my husband and my dad, the two men who (sadly for them) have to deal with me day in, day out at home and work. I hope they realise that it’s not the real me, just the mega-hormonal, tired and cranky version of me who really feels pretty rotten about most things in the world at the moment.

All I can say is that I am sorry and I hope you understand – this too shall pass.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Near-naked posing with the bump

SHE Magazine's September edition
On Tuesday I was contacted and asked to participate in a special feature being prepared by the girls at SHE Magazine for the Gold Coast Bulletin. A journalist who works with my friend and ex-colleague Chantay told me that I’d been suggested as someone who might be interested in participating.

The feature entitled ‘Gold Coast women bare all’ is part of the magazine’s October body issue where Gold Coast women discuss body image, health and fitness.

After I was given the details of the interview and photo shoot it took me a little while to decide whether this was something I wanted to do. Then I thought stuff it, you only live once, and it would be a great keep-sake anyway.

I must say I was pretty apprehensive this morning when I was readying myself for the semi-nude shoot – yes you read correctly. Bar a few props I was to do a photo shoot celebrating my pregnancy baring as much skin as possible without being too risqué.
It's not like I was getting full on naked like Demi Moore or Britney Spears did with just their hands strategically covering their lady bits and showing off their baby bumps - I am not that brave!

I wasn't as brave as Britney was for her Harper's Bazaar cover!

I think body image is such a personal thing, but it is so widely discussed! I haven’t always loved my body – it has been a love-hate relationship to be honest! But I think it is an important topic to talk about. I find it even more relevant now that I am pregnant and my body is actually going through something it was meant to… I love seeing my body change and grow with my baby.

The shoot today was fantastic and a lot of fun – I can’t wait to see the pics! Make sure you keep your eye out for the October edition of SHE Magazine in the Gold Coast Bulletin!

Can't wait to tell our baby one day that it was in my belly at the time of these shots!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Can't touch this

Maybe I should consider getting a t-shirt like this one printed...

I recently had an experience, which up until now, I thought would be horrendously invasive and an assault on my personal space.

A stranger touched my pregnant belly without my permission.

Let me paint a picture for you.

On my hunt for something to eat for lunch, I went to a little local kebab shop where I knew the owner made amazing felafel kebabs. She is Indian-Australian and is about four foot tall with a broken accent and she is very sweet.

“Hi, I’d like to get a felafel kebab please,” I asked her. “With lettuce, tomato, a little bit of onion and barbecue sauce thanks.”

When the lady was finished taking my order, she looked up at me and then down at my belly. Quick as a flash she was then softly stroking my abdomen while saying “You’re pregnant – how far along are you?” to which I stuttered “About 24 weeks – we’re not finding out the sex.” She simply smiled and said “Good girl. Now go and sit down and I will bring your lunch out to you.”

Now I always thought that when I got pregnant, that I wouldn’t allow complete strangers to come up and touch me – I am funny about people I don’t know being in my personal space. 

But this lady had such a kind demeanour that even thought her actions took me by surprise, I didn’t react in the negative way I thought I would. I guess it depends on the person and the situation.

My belly has been growing, but it has become such a part of me now that I don’t really notice that I am getting bigger. I find myself going out to check the mail or do the grocery shopping and catch people looking me up and down or staring at me. My first thought is to go “What the hell are you looking at?” before I remember that I am pregnant and they are probably looking at my little protruding belly.

One checkout chick even offered to lift my bags of groceries into my trolley. I stupidly thought “Why?” and then realised that she was smiling at me saying I shouldn’t lift anything heavy in my state. Duh she can see you’re pregnant Ashleigh!  

So I guess I just have to get over people reacting to my pregnancy. Whether I like it or not, people are going to comment and want to touch me, which kind of creeps me out but I do understand that they are just being sweet. But I’d appreciate a little bit of notice before you try and put your hands on me because it's still my body, not yours. 


Monday, August 20, 2012

Making every day a productive one

There is nothing like a bit of productivity to make you feel good.

I love doing mundane tasks just so I don’t have to think/worry about them – getting things done and off my plate gives me a bazaar boost.

I am sure I have mentioned before that I love writing ‘to do’ lists. Today my list consisted of a few things:

  • Book in baby shower venue and confirm preliminary details           
  • Draft baby shower invitee list
  • Change our dog’s address with the GCCC
  • Change my dog’s veterinarian appointment 
  • Contact furniture refurbisher about glamming up some pieces of pine furniture for the baby’s nursery
  • Go to Medicare

I managed to fit this all in while completing a very busy day in the office and sending out multiple stories to clients for approval, billing out accounts and making appointments. All in a day’s work…

Over the weekend I bought paint and brushes to start work on decorating the nursery, organised what artwork and craft projects I wanted to start, which would feature in the room and did several hours’ research on baby products, furniture for the house, textiles and landscaping ideas for the backyard.

What was a little daunting was thinking about actually completing these tasks with a newborn baby. Thank god for time (hey I have another 20 weeks up my sleeve) and the fact that I work with my dad and am able to take some time off work after the little one arrives… maternity leave is a god-send.

Today I also had some other more emotional priorities to take care of.

These included touching base with some friends I hadn’t spoken to in a little while to let them know I’m thinking of them, sending texts and emails to family to let them know how everything is going with the baby and telling them to stop going overboard with presents and embroided clothing for the baby (this was specifically directed at my grandmother who is busy creating gorgeous garments for the baby, whose sex we aren’t finding out).

I also took a moment while driving to work to make a promise to myself to stress less this week and concentrate on my big picture priorities, which is my growing family.

It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to know that I have made the effort and was able to tick several things off my ‘list’ – it sounds strange but I’ll go home tonight feeling much lighter after culling several items off it.

Tomorrow will be a new day and a new list.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

She's just a girl in the world

I think Gwen Stefani is one of the coolest chicks on the planet. I love No Doubt, and grew up listening to songs like "Don't Speak" and "I'm just a girl" - they are still some of my absolute faves. 

GS recently sat down with Harper's Bazaar fashion editor Lori Goldstein and discussed love, lipstick, her boys, fashion and of course, music. She is just so rad, I had to share the amazing photos (taken by none other than Terry Richardson). All credit goes to Harper's Bazaar US (you can read the interview here ).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Marvelous minerals

When I find a great product, I like to share!

Last week I bought Nude by Nature’s Natural Mineral Cover Foundation (15g) in the Light colour and application brush off eBay for $47.95.

I must say, for a mineral foundation powder, its coverage is really good and a little bit goes a long way.

Here is the blurb about the product from the Nude by Nature website.
Remarkably enhance and even out your natural skin-tone with a swirl of Natural Mineral Cover. This genius formulation is sure to impress when it covers redness, enlarged pores and birthmarks and is so gentle you can even use it on rosacea!
Simply buff the Cover onto the skin until achieving the desired amount of coverage and watch the skin glow with this pure, natural finish. You can even use the powder as a concealer by applying with the tip of the finger or a brush to get a more concentrated coverage.
The beauty of this product is its ability to look like skin, not powder, with Kaolin Clay included, this Natural Mineral Cover allows it to mould easily with the natural oils in your skin. With no talcs, parabens and bismuth, you have a product that not only works, but is perfect for the most sensitive of skins.
It also contains SPF 15 ensuring you’re protected from the harsh damaging rays of the Australian sun.
Available in 3 shades - Light, Medium & Dark.

Please note that no, I haven’t been paid for this post, I just really like the product and thought I’d share the love if any of you out there are in the market for a new mineral foundation.

Cheers, AVx

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weekend Warriors

The past week, we have had the most glorious winter weather, so we've been trying to get as many jobs around the house done as possible!

Last week Ben and his dad, Doug, spent the weekend in our front garden completing our landscaping. We wanted steps leading up to our front letterbox (which hasn't been built yet - this will be another weekend project) and we were originally thinking the steps would be constructed of treated timber and then stained.

However, we went for something different and decided on a timber sleeper/river rock combo and I think the results are fantastic. We used the leftover river rocks from the stairs around the edge of the garden bed, giving it a more natural feel than typical concrete edging that you usually see.

Timber sleeper/river rock stairs. Pack of four solar lights were picked up from Bunnings for $25 (we only used 3 here).
Leftover river rocks were used to line the garden bed at the front of the house.
The plants that we put in about six months ago are coming along.
It feels good to get jobs done. I don't know about you, but I love ticking things off a 'to do' list and this has been something we've been wanting to complete for a little while now, so it's fantastic that it is now done.

Next step, as mentioned, is to build and render a brick letterbox. We'll probably start sourcing materials for it this weekend and then lay the slab for it. After the yard is done, next step is the baby's nursery and I already have several projects (art and furniture) planned for this. Excitement!