Cops, Robbers and Perfect Skin

optiva range

This is a product review. All opinions are my own.

Are you a patient person?

I like to think I am, but then I like to think a lot of positive things about myself that possibly aren’t as true as I would hope. :)

I do try to be patient. I know that I miss the mark on a very regular basis, particularly when there is a need to get out the door at a certain time, or food is going cold (HATE that), or long meandering sentences are spoken to me when I’m right in the middle of doing something.

So yeah… maybe I’m not that patient after all.

I have discovered recently too, that my patience is pretty much non-existent when it comes to TV. Or particular programmes on TV as the case may be. You see I recently found a new show on Presto, and I am hooked. Not that I actually watch a lot of TV really, and when Renee wrote recently about her Netflix addiction I thought, “that wouldn’t’ happen to me.” However, it appears I’ve found my kryptonite. What started as just a simple and innocent desire to watch something new when on my elliptical trainer (because there’s only so many times you can watch every season of Grey’s Anatomy on DVD back to back- even for me), has become an unprecedented addiction, that’s threatening to consume all my waking hours.

I have found the cop show version of Greys.

Yes seriously.

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Wikipedia even said so.

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We are talking rookie cops thrown into dramatic situations, with complicated love interests and a slightly neurotic female lead. It doesn’t have quite the same devotion to story detail that Greys has, and its soundtrack isn’t as fabulous, but because it’s a cop show, people getting shot or blown up is a little bit more believable than it is on its medical counterpart. Also, the main male character hasn’t been killed yet, so that’s a definite positive. :)

The only thing is, I’m still waiting for the ‘it couple’ to be ‘it.’ It’s taking a long time — Dr Quinn Medicine woman long– and it’s driving me nuts. And because there’s four seasons available on my T-Box, the desire to binge watch all of them right now in the futile attempt for closure, is seriously tempting. Gone are the days when I was content to wait till next week to see what happened (although I still do that with regular TV): instead I have become an impatient woman who is seriously considering ironing all day so I have a valid excuse to commandeer control of the controls.

Thankfully I have somewhat enough self-control to stop myself from becoming totally engrossed in a show, that, let’s face it, will do nothing to make my life better, but it has got me wondering about my complete lack of patience in this regard. Why is it so important to me to find out of McNally and Swarek ever actually get together?

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Of course a few years of watching complicated romantic comedies suggests to me that while it ‘won’t happen over-night, it will happen,’ and it’s with that line in which I segue into the review portion of the post. (Like how I did that? :) ) Because it’s not just dramas of the television variety that have me wanting to see instant results, but also skin care products. And just like I blame Presto for causing me to lose patience with Rookie Blue, I’m blaming this on those little pore cleaning strips that you can attach to your nose. You stick them on, pull them, and wa-lah! Instant change. They are very cool.

Thankfully when I received a range of skin care products recently from Optiva, they came with a ‘you’ll see results in two weeks’ disclaimer so I was content with waiting, and I have to say that I’m pretty impressed. My skin gets quite dry in winter, and pigment discolouration more visible, but using these products I’ve found that I’m not only moisturised sufficiently, but my skin tone is more even.

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It’s no happily ever after on a new addictive cop show, but my skin feels a lot better than it has for a long while, a fact which is actually a lot more satisfying than a frustrating love triangle. You can check out the Optiva range here. (No patience required :) )

So there you have it. Skin care products, Presto and the Greys Anatomy of cop shows; three things bound to teach you patience and give you somewhat flawless skin. (And if you have kids you’ll get a bonus refresher lesson every three minutes.)

Are you a patient person?

Do you find television occasionally too addictive?

How’s your skin?

Happy Social Media Day #IBOT

You too, can look as happy as this lady on Umbrella Cover Day

Did you know that yesterday was International Mud Day?

I did. Only because kindy decided to celebrate it with a barbecue and mud painting, and it coincided with my older kids being off school (they finish a week early) so we could celebrate all things mud together. Miss Ava was  very  excited. (Mostly about the celebrating; less about the mud.)

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It got me thinking how these days there is literally a day for just about everything. As a kid I remember we had Jump Rope for heart Day, Red Nose Day, Mothers and Fathers Day, and Christmas Day. That was pretty much it. (Easter is technically a weekend.) Then I got older and more days started appearing. There was International Women’s Day (also my birthday for those playing along at home), Daffodil Day, and Autism Awareness Day to name a few.

Now there’s nothing wrong with having a ‘day’ to celebrate certain things, or raise much-needed community awareness, but there are also some pretty random ‘important days’ thrown into the mix.

For instance, according to daysoftheyear.com, Sunday was Insurance Awareness Day. I assume that means we are all supposed to sit down and analyse any and all forms of insurance and how they are working for us?

Yesterday, apart from being International Mud Day, it was also Camera Day (snap happy everyone), Please Take My Children To Work Day (a day for the SAHM’s it seems), Almond Buttercrunch Day (because why not?),  and Waffle Iron Day (let’s all take a moment to be thankful for the machines that bring us square shaped pancakes).

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I’m sorry, because I like waffles and mud as much as the next person, but do these things really need a day? It just seems a little extreme to me.

If however, you like celebrating random days, and are disappointed you missed any of these, never fear, because the rest of the week brings you plenty of opportunity for celebration.

Wednesday is Meteor Watch Day, as well as Second Half of the Year Day. Woo hoo.

Thursday sees us celebrating ‘I forgot Day.’ I personally can get well behind that one if it excuses a lack of milk or barbecue sauce in the house.

On Friday it’s Disobedience Day; for the sake of your sanity and the good of society, don’t tell your children. Also, WHY IS THIS AN ACTUAL DAY?!

Saturday you can choose to hop a park, build a scarecrow or have ‘independence from meat’ as part of your day celebrations, and Sunday it’s all about Bikini Day. (Followed, oddly enough by Umbrella Cover Day.)

You too, can look as happy as this lady on Umbrella Cover Day

You too, can look as happy as this lady on Umbrella Cover Day

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Honorable mentions also have to go to Monday the 6th of July for ‘Take your Web Master to lunch day.’ Bloggers, take note. 😉

It’s got me thinking, can we just make up days now? What is the required procedure to get a ‘day’ commemorated? If I put it on the internet is it enough? Because there are a few days I think need to be introduced. Such as:

National Find a Sock Day. I’m over odd socks that never have pairs. It drives me nuts! And I’m starting to believe the washing machine doesn’t eat them, because last week, the odd sock of one of Bridie’s friends, ended up in Bailey’s school bag (along with half an eaten apple). HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!

International No Barking Day. I’m pretty keen for my dog to take part in this. This may also coincide with international ‘no walking other dogs near my property’ day, ‘no delivery of mail’ day, and ‘no whipper snippers in a 5km radius’ day.

National Obedience Day. I’m still bemused that the opposite actually exists. I think I speak for the general population when I say a day of complete compliance with no backchat, questions or rolling of eyes, would be bliss.

Let a writer write Day. And all the writers in the crowd nodded their head and agreed wholeheartedly.

Let the writers write. Then they can all be as happy as this guy.

Let the writers write.
Then they can all be as happy as this guy.

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International Catch a Squid Day. This was a request from Boatman. Obviously it can’t coincide with ‘let a writer write day’ otherwise one of us is going to be very frustrated with looking after kids – unless it also coincides with National Obedience Day and International No Barking Day. Then we might all be happy.

What about ‘International Create a Whole New Day, Day.’ A day solely devoted to creating new days to satisfy any and all needs of humanity, no matter how random or supposedly insignificant.  (Zip Code Day? Why does that even exist?) Because, let’s face it, as much as there as some really important days out there, there are some completely inconsequential ones as well.

Thankfully though, for the sake of bloggers and IBOT, today is pretty good one. Not only is it my Bridie’s Ninth Birthday, (Happy Birthday Brides), but it’s also Social Media Day. The one day of the year where arguably no one can resent you spending all day on Facebook, Twitter, or even better: reading IBOT posts.

Because seriously, what else would you rather be doing anyway? 😉

Did you celebrate International Mud Day?

What day would you create?

How will you celebrate Social Media Day?

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So You Think You Can Dance? #IBOT

Essentially Jess Photographer

If you’ve ever seen me attempt to dance, you would know that it’s not the most graceful event to witness. Picture a drunk giraffe wearing heels, and you will have some idea of the level of coordination and sophistication I display when it’s time to ‘shake my groove thang.’ (Boatman said it’s not that bad. Bless his heart. :) )

Sadly, dancing is one of those things I’ve always wished I could do; in my head I’m one of those movie stars who spontaneously joins a dance off in a bar, and busts so many cool moves that everyone stops to stare and cheer me on. In reality… well see example above. So it’s fair to say that Dance Camp is not the most logical place to find me. In the game of ‘Where in the world is EssentiallyJess?’ the odds on me being anywhere near an organised dance event as anything other than a spectator are slim to none.

The chances of finding me at that event in the capacity of ‘cook’ or ‘photographer’ is even more insane.

So guess where I was last weekend?

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It started out as me sending Taylah to dance camp because she, thankfully, has a style all of her own and is able to dance better than a disproportionate flamingo with the coordination of a land-based walrus. (How’s that for a descriptive sentence?) It then became a request for me to attend the event for a few hours in the evening, in  the capacity of chaperone to fill a need for legally endorsed adultness.

That then morphed into me being required to arrive at the start of camp, and possibly help out in the kitchen if help was needed.

From there I became officer in charge of photo booth shenanigans.

Essentially Jess Photographer

Let’s just take a moment to back up here; as a cook I do ok. I feed my family and thus far no one has died or suffered poisoning on my behalf. I can bake a mean cake, and last week I cooked a very attractive cannelloni dish.

I am NOT a caterer though. Not even close. I can follow directions and look very intently at a dishwasher to see if it’s working (two things I did very well, if I do say so myself), but that’s about the extent of my camp kitchen abilities.

I joked to more than one person that the only thing more random than finding me at Dance Camp, was finding me in the kitchen at dance camp.

And then came my other ‘career,’ innocently started with the question ‘do you know how to take photos?’ Sure I can. In fact I liken my photo taking ability to that of my dance ability; in my mind I am a professional. I just point and snap and produce works of art that adorn my walls. In reality, my photos are good enough for  just us, and occasionally Instagram, and my living room wall mirrors a Taylor Swift song. (Blank Space. Things I learnt because of Dance Camp.*)

Regardless of skill or level of coordination, I am nothing if not a woman up for one very random challenge, and so I figured if I was already wearing the label of ‘dancing cook photographer’ I might us well live up to it. Donning one fabulous neon green hat, I joined in Rock and Roll classes, and can now proudly proclaim that I know sufficiently enough moves to be an extra on a Grease remake.** And I think I kind of rocked it (excuse the pun). Of course I was partnered with an eleven-year-old girl who was very forgiving of my two left feet and more concerned with whether or not I could do a cartwheel, which I’m proud to say I achieved with possibly more grace and success than anything else that weekend.

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The success of the weekend  (in particular the cartwheel and the ability to move my feet whilst saying aloud ‘step, step, rock, rock’), briefly had me considering a change in career. Why blog when you can be a superstar rock and roll dancer, acting as your own photographer, cooking your own masterpieces, and cartwheeling like the best of them? It seemed only natural that I take  The Next Step (boom tish) in creative endeavours, and sign myself up as a Dance Camp captain.

Waking up the next morning and feeling like I had been hit by a truck, with sore arms, feet and a desperate desire to understand how anyone is able to function on less than a full night’s sleep quickly squashed those dreams. Some people are made for music and late nights; I’ll quite happily take being curled up on my couch with my lap top.

And if I ever feel the urge to dance again; well at least I have proof that someone else things I’m not that bad. 😉

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Have you ever been to dance camp?

How’s your coordination?

*I did know about Taylor Swift before Dance Camp.

** That may be a gross overestimation of my skills.

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The Mystery of Fishermans Paradise. A Choose Your Destiny Story

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Some of this story is based on real events. The rest is absolute rubbish. 

On the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula, just outside of the picture perfect town of Streaky Bay, there is a small community of shacks in a place aptly named Fishermans Paradise.
Paradise because it clearly is; views of white sandy beaches, and perfect waves breaking on hidden reefs abound.

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Fishermans‘ because in this part of the country, fishing bag limits can be reached in minutes. (Forty of them, but still).

It is here that you find yourself on a June long weekend, with winter on its best behaviour. You’ve had cool, refreshing nights, followed by breezy sunny days that mean fishing, kayaking and watching the kids play in the ocean, where friendly seals come to visit.

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Come evening, you sit outside with three of your friends, watching the flames of your bush fire dance over long planks of wood. A thousand stars twinkle in the clear night, casting their light as they wait for the moon to rise. The night is black and you can’t even see the ocean a few hundred meters from the front yard, although the sound of the swell occasionally breaks through your chatter.

There’s lots to talk about around the campfire. The absence of satellites in the night sky is a key discussion topic.

‘Probably why we have no phone reception,’ someone (who fails to see the interest of this topic),remarks.

Someone else brings up their discovery of a bong on the beach today, and you are all relieved none of the kids found it.

Wine is poured, and cups of tea, and the fire is continually provoked, keeping the chill of the night at bay.

At some point, you all become distracted by the headlights of a car slowly winding down the road; this part of the world is sufficiently isolated enough that this is an event. Especially at 9:30 at night.
‘I wonder where they have been?’ someone says.
‘Probably the pub,’ someone else replies.
‘You never know, they could have been at church,’ the optimist of the group says.
‘Long church service,’ you respond.

‘Maybe they are out here to bury a body.’
Everyone giggles at the ridiculousness of the statement, until…

The car, already driving slow, stops and lets someone out.

‘Well I guess they didn’t like him.’

The car moves on, slower still, then stops again. The driver and another passenger get out, and together with the first passenger, do something on the far side of the car, hidden in the blackness of the night. You all watch with some curious trepidation; the body comment seems less funny now.

‘Maybe it was them that lost the bong?’ one of your friends suggests.

‘Maybe they are releasing Bilbies into the wild,’ comes another, extremely random pondering.

‘Or they actually are burying a body.’

Moments later, the three climb back into the car, and it slowly begins to wind its way back up the quiet streets, going to who-knows-where, its purpose as hidden as the ocean on this moonless night.

The next morning, you go exploring and find the following:

  • Car trackstyre tracks
  • Animal excrement
  • A large rock loosely placed back into a hole in the dirt
  • Two scattered sticksrock

From this you  conclude that one of four things happened.

You must choose your own adventure. What do you think was happening?

The occupants of the car were burying a body.
The occupants of the car were releasing bilbies into the wild.
The occupants of the car were collecting firewood.
The occupants of the car were looking for their missing bong.

Which adventure did you choose?

In all truth, we have no idea what happened. Or why anyone thought Bilbies were being released into the wild.

This will forever remain, The Mystery of Fishermans Paradise.

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Kimmy, the Panda who Loves #IBOT

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So it’s ‘write a human interest piece week’ for TAFE this week, which also happened to coincide with Kimmy the pet panda from BJ’s class coming home.

As a result, this blog post just wrote itself. 

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She might look happy, but Kimmy’s smile hides her secret pain. This is a bear without a home; a teddy with no one to love her.

When I sat down to talk to Kimmy on the weekend, she didn’t say a lot. But then she didn’t really need to. The haphazard way in which she had been abandoned on the couch said more than her sewn on mouth ever could. It was there that I heard her story.

Kimmy, like most stuffed animals, has always dreamed of being loved. She hoped to have a child take her home and make her their ‘special teddy.’ Her dreams included snuggling in bed on cold winter’s mornings, being dragged to parks and cafes and the houses of friends. She longed to feel the euphoria of being pushed around in a doll’s stroller,  the fear of thinking she was left in a shopping centre trolley, and the satisfaction of being the only one able to calm a tearful kindy kid. Kimmy never wanted much in life; only  to be loved, the way she knows she can love others.

And she is. In a way that some toys never are; children fight over her and beg to take her home. They write stories about their activities with her, and draw pictures of their times together.  She’s gone to sleep overs and church, and football games. She’s played with other  toys, been to Subway, and visited the beach more times than any other stuffed animal ever has.  But none of that can make up for the feelings of displacement and confusion that Kimmy battles with on a daily basis. The constant wondering about her identity, and where in the world, she actually belongs.

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Kimmy is the victim of a nation wide epidemic, sweeping through Australian primary schools. A terrifying situation, the tales of which haunt the sales rack of department stores, and the conveyor belt of toy production lines.

Kimmy, is a class teddy.

Like many other dogs, bears and even the occasional crocodile before her, Kimmy was hand selected by a teacher to be a fun learning tool for a classroom. She spends her weeks trapped inside a special plastic bag waiting for the weekend, when she is farmed out to a pre-selected child; a decision which she has no say in. She is then subjected to a weekend full of ‘interesting’ activities, forced to have her photo taken repeatedly, and occasionally thrown through the washing machine when landing in the home of a germaphobic parent.

Kimmy is often read to and snuggled, and played with for an entire weekend, which, she admits, is great. But she spends all week wondering where Friday will take her – and how well she will be received.  Kimmy has seen the looks that pass over the faces of mothers, when she comes home; the barely concealed frustration of a woman who is trying to be gracious about now having an extra toy to supervise,  and weekend homework to complete. If she could somehow make them see that she doesn’t mean to be a pain, and that all she really needs is someone to love her for a few days, she is sure they wouldn’t be so upset.

Of course sometimes she acknowledges that she loves too much, and there is a hole left in the family when she goes back to school. She tries to be brave, but seeing the tears of heartbroken children is a painful reality of her lot in life, and she’s gradually learning to shut herself off from it.

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For Kimmy, life is not like it is for other teddy bears. It’s unpredictable, unfulfilling, and more than occasionally,  uncomfortable. But despite the fear of the unknown, and her own resultant identity issues, Kimmy is determined to continue do what she knows how to do best: love small children, in any way that they need it.

And she’s doing it well.  :)

Kimmy 2

Have you had a ‘Kimmy’ come to stay at your place?

Are you a fan of class teddys?

Does anyone else feel the need to bathe them in hand sanitiser? 😉

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I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing (Except I don’t mind missing a few things) #IBOT

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This post brought to you from the inspiration of the coolest 90’s play list on Spotify.

Remember when you were like, seventeen, and you saw the Animal Cracker love scene on Armageddon for the first time? And it wasn’t even that the scene was all that great, but the sound track swelled and Liv Tyler was all, ‘baby do you think it’s possible that anyone is doing this very same thing at this very same moment?’ And Ben Affleck was all, ‘I hope so, because otherwise what the hell are we trying to save?’ And your seventeen year old heart almost burst along with Aerosmith’s lyrics, because you knew, in that very moment, exactly what true love was.

No?

Maybe it was just me.

Man, I was sure that song was it. That was love. Because when love (or perhaps infatuation) is new, you can actually stay up all  night, and every little thing is huge. The thought of losing any one moment is just too terrible to bear, and you actually don’t want to miss a thing. (As a teen I was also incredibly swept up by the notion of saving the world, and that particular line delivery, but that’s a blog post for another day 😉 )

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Love is different when you’re grown up isn’t it? More realistic mostly, allowing for more sleep occasionally, and less questionable a good portion of the time.

I have distant memories of being obsessed with one particular boy as a teen, and my mother one day telling me that a boy had called, but she didn’t know who. First up, I was like ‘why didn’t you ask?’ Not just for courtesy’s sake, but I am a little concerned she didn’t rain down the equivalent of the Spanish inquisition upon whoever it was. Rest assured that when it comes to my own girls, I shall!

Secondly, I then rang my best friend to discuss who it could possibly be. After discounting any and all logical assumptions, we both decided it must be my crush. There was no other option, and it was only reasonable that I call him back. (Of course I had memorised his number from the phone book.)

Thankfully, for the sake of my dignity, (and ability to be seen anywhere in his vicinity ever again), he wasn’t home. And no one there asked who I was either – parents seemed much more relaxed back then.

It never occurred to either of us (my friend or myself), that perhaps my existence was a little less important to him, than his was to me.  He might as well have been the only male in the universe with a phone connection for all the conclusions we were drawing. It’s for this very reason that sometime in the not too distant future, I’ll be locking my eldest daughter up for the next decade. It’s the safest option. (I’m obviously joking.)

Oh how I am so glad I’m not that age any more.

Thankfully for Boatman and I, it didn’t take too long for ‘I don’t wanna miss a thing,’ to become ‘Don’t Speak,’ which probably inspired some clichéd eating of chocolate or ice-cream, but I can’t remember.

What I am aware of though, is that while I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing is up there as one of my all time favourite love songs, I’m quite happy for it to be metaphorical.

I actually do want to close my eyes.

I’m happy to miss some things.

I desperately want to fall asleep and stay asleep until I’m ready to wake up, and not because someone needs something, or chooses to hit their sister outside my bedroom door.

And I don’t want anyone to play with animal biscuits on my tummy; crumbs just aren’t cool people.

I will quite happily trade the hype and rush and emotion of good long songs and new romance, for sleep, sanity, and the comfort of my marriage.  And the swell of inspiring music or not, I  think that world is just as worth saving. :)

Do you have a favourite 90’s love song?

Were you a tragic romantic as a teen?

How do you feel about animal crackers?

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Am I Really A Mum?

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So it’s Mothers Day this week.

The day when mothers everywhere are either celebrated or forgotten; possibly a combination of both.

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I’m not quite as down on the day as I was last year, which is good. I’m sure the kids will do lovely things and it will all be as wonderful as it can be. I know that my children do love me. Or at least tolerate me from time to time 😉

There is something that has come to my attention though: Mothers Day sales. Now I don’t get a lot of catalogues in my mail box (to be honest I don’t have a lot of shops in my town), but I have seen a few online, and they have left me shaking my head. At first I thought it was because shops don’t understand (or like) mums, so they try to market all this really mundane stuff at us. But the more I looked at them the more it became clear, that based on the information supplied to me about what mums want, it’s entirely possible that I’m not actually a mother. (Four children who have come out of my body not withstanding.) The catalogues with their market driven ‘proof’ have shown me that I am not the person that this special day is aimed at.

This seemed the place to insert a random monkey image

This seemed the place to insert a random monkey image

For starters: I don’t want a dressing gown.

My mum bought me a dressing gown for Christmas one year when I was a kid and I cried. I’ve never understood dressing gowns. Get out of bed and get dressed is pretty much how I roll. If it’s four degrees in the morning then I just run to the bathroom. Problem solved. I have no desire to own a bulky piece of clothing that I put on to take off again. I don’t get it.

Also slippers. Just… No. All the major stores want mums to have slippers for Mothers Day and I don’t understand why. Is there some kind of slipper over-abundance, that they need to deal with? Is Mothers Day really ‘International Buy New Slippers Day?’ I got slippers once and they drove me nuts because I couldn’t wear them outside. If it’s cold and my feet need warming, I want ugg boots that I can wear out. And no, not down to the shops, (I’m not a complete bogan) but just to the washing line. You know, that place women hang out at for fun? I’ve got no time to change from slippers to shoes to get washing off the line. That’s insane.

On a similar vein to dressing gowns and slippers, let’s talk about pyjamas. Now I’m not opposed to the idea of pyjamas, but since when did Mothers Day become the ‘holiday’ to recognise the thing mothers never get? ‘Here, have new pyjamas, slippers and a dressing gown. You haven’t had uninterrupted sleep for the past 12 years, but at least you’re prepared, just in case it should happen.’ I think it’s a little mean.

I don’t want pyjamas for Mothers Day.

If mothers were an animal, they could be owls. Up all night, and wishing they could sleep all day

The tired eyes, the look of patient frustration… this owl is clearly a mum

More proof that I’m not a mum, is that I don’t like knick knacky things. I’m probably in the minority here, but I don’t like them. I hate having those things in my house. They collect dust and then I have to clean them. Or the kids want to touch them and they get moved, and then they never look like they are supposed to. So no, I don’t want a new vase or a pot or a bowl that you can put things in. I don’t want a candle that needs its own special display case. I don’t desire a statue of a woman and her child, or something similar. I don’t want them. That’s not me. I mustn’t be a mum.

I do not want this

I do not want this

I would tolerate candles presented to me in this fashion.

I would tolerate candles presented to me in this fashion.

 

This may come as a surprise to some department stores, but I already have shampoo, moisturiser, and, ‘shock-horror,’ deodorant. I’m a woman who visits the grocery story and buys these items when I need them. I wash my hair regularly, and maintain a healthy level of hygiene. I do not need to receive a bottle of Pantene for Mothers Day. If I was presented with one, I would be quite happy actually, as I would assume that someone else had done the entire grocery shop for me, and saved  a couple of hours of my time.

Apparently though, mothers don’t buy these things, so the second Sunday in May is the day to bestow them as gifts. It makes me kind of glad I’m not a mum.

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And the final proof that I’m not a mum?

This infographic. The other day when asked what I wanted for Mothers Day I said, ‘sparkling wine and a foot rub.’ That’s all. That would make me happy. Although it’s apparently in the minority of answers, apart from the lumberjack. Which fair enough – I never found one of those in the catalogues.

Lumberjacks for Mothers Day? Maybe not, but the kids would have fun playing with these guys. (And the fact I thought that is proof I'm a mum more than anything else.)

Lumberjacks for Mothers Day?
Maybe not, but the kids would have fun playing with these guys. (And the fact I thought that is proof I’m a mum more than anything else.)

So there you have it. Proof from the powers that be (i.e. major department stores), that I’m not a mum, and will not be celebrating this special day on Sunday with all the other ‘actual’ mums out there. Instead I’ll be commandeering a foot rub, a glass of bubbly, and a couple of hours reading Game of Thrones.

Happy non-Mothers day. :)

Are you a ‘mum?’

What are your plans for Sunday?

No disrespect to those of you who are greatly hoping for a dressing gown, clean hair and something pretty on your mantle. I hope you get just what your asking for :) xxx

Linking with Grace

Failed Pancakes and Mercy #IBOT

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The past few days, I’ve been thinking of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran. It’s hard not to when it’s been on the news as much as it has, and when you’re talking about two young men who are a similar age to you; who’ve grown up just as you have, and yet not how you have at all. I’ve worried, for a long time, that this was the way this story would go, although I’ve hoped it wouldn’t.

To hand down judgement when you can offer mercy seems a ridiculous way to live.

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When I read yesterday, that their crosses had already been engraved… well horrified would be the emotion that comes closest, though it’s hard to put it into words.

When I gave birth to Ava, I had a long horrid labour that they thought would be short and quick. After visiting the hospital at 11pm on Wednesday, she was born at almost 11pm Thursday. When I presented at the ante-natal clinic Thursday afternoon for a pre-booked appointment, they couldn’t find my file, because it was on the birthing floor, complete with two little ankle bands.  They were so certain she would be born Thursday morning, that Ava had already been assigned a hospital number and everything was written except for the details only birth can bring.

It was surreal; almost like a birth note before a birth.

There’s something equally surreal, but tragically so, about a tombstone  before a death.

What an insult.

What a mercilessly callous statement.

But this post is not about the death penalty; I have no mental space for anger at an immovable and allegedly incorrupt legal system. I have compassion for two men who are facing their last hours.

How do you process that? What do you do? What do you think about when the end is close and known?

I’ve had a week where I’ve been angry at myself and my kids; I’ve been short-tempered and then guilty. Irritated and then repentant. So many emotions, but mostly… there’s been frustration. Parenting is hard and exhausting and it often feels like you’re not getting anything right. Like it’s all just one big glop of mess that no one can redeem.

My sister – and I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing this- put  a picture on FB of a gluten-free pancake fail, which, let’s face it, is not cool. When you’re looking forward to pancakes and you don’t get them, it’s a disappointment. I commiserated with her, as sisters do, but then she said something that struck home. Failed pancakes were not really a problem when there was an earthquake in Nepal and two men on death row in Bali.

People, sadly, die; sometimes suddenly – sometimes slowly, painfully, and in the public eye with everyone having an opinion on whether they deserve the right to another day – and too often not only do I complain about the little things, but I spend  a lot of time beating myself up for not being who I think I should. I hand down judgement on myself, and never think to extend mercy.

But if it was my last day; my last hours, what would I do?

Would I remember these days? The busy, constant, endless days. The days where the dishes pile up and the folding grows tall. Would I remember how much I was over it all?

Would I remember the exhausting days? When no thing I do seems quite enough? When my children look at me with that look that makes me wonder where I went wrong.

Would I remember the guilt? All the times I felt not enough. All the hopeless and useless self-criticism that served to do nothing but belittle my extraordinariness. At the end will I agree with my critical self, or find the grace to forgive the fallibility of humanness?

Or maybe I would have the clarity to see that hard days and frustrating days, and irritation with yourself for not being who you think you should, is just like a pancake fail; pointless and inconsequential. That what matters more is not all the times you failed, but the times you tried to make it better.

Like two men  in Bali who’ve tried to make things right.

Failed pancakes and mercy; everyone deserves a second chance. 

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Just Write#5. Dear Facebook…

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Dear Facebook,

We need to talk.

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No, I’m not pregnant, nor is this a breakup. Think of it more as an intervention. You need help, and I’m here for you.

I’ve spoken about you before, but never really to you, and I feel like it’s time.

You are driving me nuts.

Seriously what is up with you? Are you having some kind of breakdown? Are you going through a crisis? Like really, what is happening?

First, you stopped showing me people’s faces; anyone who had updated their profile pic in the last 3 weeks was suddenly landed with your little no face icon. It’s disturbing. I don’t like seeing people with no faces, besides you’re kind of missing the point of something. Your name is FACE book! Without faces you’re just book! And not a very good one.

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Where are the faces of these lovely bloggers Facebook? It’s very disturbing to not see them

Secondly, let’s talk about your algorithm the little computer that dictates what I may or may not like and filters my news feed accordingly. I think it may be broken and I’m going to suggest a few improvements.
For starters, if, by chance I have not liked something someone shared, please don’t continue to show that to me for the next three days. I didn’t feel the need to hit the thumb the first time, and by the seventeenth I’m getting a little annoyed. I don’t care if I may have liked every single thing that person/page has shared before, making you certain that this information is pivotal to my existence; if I don’t like it, I won’t ‘like’ it. Let it go. I’m allowed to have an opinion.
Conversely, if I have liked something, or perhaps even commented on it, I don’t need you to keep reminding me of that either. It was great yes. It inspired a reaction from me. But the moment is over. Move on. There are other things to see.

Again, in the words of Elsa, ‘Let it go.’

Sometimes Facebook, I read an article. For instance, the other day I read about the expectant royals. It was a reasonable article; I won’t say it enriched my life in any great way, but it gave me the information I wanted.
I noticed that you then suggested to me that I might like other articles on Kate and Will. Which is thoughtful yes, but less so when they are the exact same articles! If I’ve already read it, I don’t need to read it again.
And while we are on the subject, I know it’s all about you tailoring my feed to my likes (supposedly anyway), but it’s also a bit stalker like. It’s one thing when it’s funny cat articles, but another when your encouraging me to read what certain celebs had for breakfast. Somethings do not need to be shared. #Justsaying.

Finally, I understand that people seeing the things I like is great from a page owner’s perspective. It’s like free advertising to them. However, I’m a little over it. I have a wide range of friends and interests and sometimes they don’t all mesh. Sometimes I just want to be the nerd who likes every single thing Grammerly shares, without my less grammatically inclined friends thinking I’m odd. Is that so hard?

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Plus you always share the things I don’t want. Like the time I engaged in a conversation about g-string preferences, and something like 17 of my friends popped into say they had seen it. It was great day for Janet and her reach; less so for the privacy of my knickers.
So if you could cut that feature off, or at least let us choose when to use it so that we can like that ‘naughty’ joke without our grandmothers seeing it, they would be nice.

Dear Facebook, I know you’ve got a lot on you plate, and I haven’t even touched the page owner stuff, but do you think you could please, pretty please rectify these problems as soon as possible?
I don’t want to have to break up with you.

Yours sincerely,
Jess.

How’s Facebook been treating you lately?

Linking with Grace for some blog flogging fun!

Just Write #2. A Sad Day for English #IBOT

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I became aware of something rather unfortunate a month or so back. I was quite upset about it at the time and was going to take to Social Media to bemoan the news, but I didn’t. I would like to say that it was because I wanted to be alone with my grief, but really I just thought that most people would shake their heads at me and wonder what I was on about.

It wouldn’t be the first time that had happened.

Anyway, after deciding yesterday that the next two weeks are just about blogging every day, and not over thinking things, I’ve decided to share this sad news, because I think people will benefit from it. Or they will think I’m crazy anyway, and at least then I’ll know it wasn’t all in my head.

The English language has dropped the letters ST.

Shocking isn’t it?

Now before you panic, it hasn’t dropped it in all circumstances; you can still come firST. You can still STab someone in a STable (though I wouldn’t recommend it.) And you can still adjuST to acroSTics written by acupuncturiSTs.

You can not however do that amidst something, or whilst doing something else. That is no longer allowed.

Now I follow lots of word-loving Facebook pages that occasionally lament the death of the English language as we know it, and most of the time I wonder what they are going on about. Of course there is the blatant disregard of a words actual meaning in some circumstances (I’m looking at you ‘seen’ used in the ‘saw’ context), and I don’t know why twerking is allowed to exist. As a word or anything else for that matter, but in general, I thought English was doing ok. Or as ok as a language that is very weird can do.

Really, it's a wonder any of us can use it at all

Really, it’s a wonder any of us can use it at all

And then they went and canned the ST in whilst. Apparently it’s too ‘archaic’. Well to that I say ‘pfft!’ What’s wrong with a little archaism in the written word? Surely it’s got to be preferable to the overuse of the word like?

The thing is, I didn’t realise it until I was informed of the death of ST but I was quite dependent on those two little letters; I thought they made me sound clever. Because let’s face it when writing a written argument the sentence:

‘While the overuse of the word seriously in EssentiallyJess’s spoken vocabulary was intolerable, she was redeemed by her perfect use of archaic expressions in written form,’

does not have anywhere near the same power as when you start the sentence with whilst.

Go on, read it. Argue with me if you dare 😉

‘Whilst the overuse of the word seriously in EssentiallyJess’s spoken vocabulary was intolerable, she was redeemed by her perfect use of archaic expressions in written form.’

Likewise, there is something about amidst or amongst that adds a little bit of class. Can you imagine what will happen in classrooms all over the world, if teachers are forced to say ‘talk among yourselves for a moment?’ The world as we know it, will change.

The world, sadly, already has.

Now according to my TAFE lecturer, the use of these traditional idioms is not allowed, and so, because I am a perpetual rule follower and a bit of a nerd who has been wondering how uncool it is to email and ask how to turn an A into an A+, I have cast aside the ST in favour of good grades.

However according to Google (and we all know how right Google is), it’s all based on location. So if you’re American or Canadian, you’re going to be shaking your head at me, wondering why I would even care about this, if you’re British, you might also shake your head, (unless you’re a little bit old-fashioned, at which point we can drown our sorrows over this destruction of the English language with tea and cake), and if you’re Australian, you probably have stopped reading by now.

Which was the exact reason I never shared my woe in the first place. *sigh*

Anyway, all of that was just to say this: ST is out, it’s all very sad, and before you know it the English language will have dissolved into a whole bunch of ineffectual contractions and overuse of acronyms that sound better when spelt. (LOL anyone?) So if you need me, I’ll be amongst my British ST loving friends, drinking tea whilst researching more archaic terms I can never use again.

Anyone wanna join me? :)

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Do you think the English language is dying?

Do you care at all, that ‘whilst’ is now considered archaic? Would it sway you at all on its use if I said the George RR Martin uses it prolifically in his books?

Have you just skipped ahead to this part so you can say something in the comments and pretend you’ve read the post? I won’t hold it against you? 😉

Just a reminder IBOT will now be closing earlier, at 12 midnight WA time.

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