Hello again!

I had to turn the blog off for a while.  Judging from the the amount of messages (0) and tweets (0) I received, you all missed me terribly. 

Why did I hide my blog?  Well, it turns out some dickhead knuckle dragger in the US thought it’d be a great idea to pretend to be me!  Yep.  So if you come across a hacker with no respect for the English language who is using my photo as theirs,  it’s not me.  For one thing, I can spell.

Although to be perfectly honest, a tiny part of me is excited that someone – anyone – found my photo irresistible.

Onwards now…

I’ve caught myself talking about my blog in the past tense, as in, “I used to write a blog.”  While that’s certainly true, it did feel wrong and I’d love to get back into it.  There’s something so fun and immediate about blogging that I need to make more time for it.

Anyway, in case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing, which you’re not, here it is:

  • Adjusting to life with 3 children.  I absolutely love it.  I’m tired, I’ve aged, I have no waist, and I’m going grey (“Only 30% though!” my hairdresser told me yesterday, thinking she was helpful) but I’m so happy we have our little Lara.  She’s a peach.
  • Trying, and failing, to get a bigger house.  Oh Sydney, you’re fabulous, but you’re also a bit of a bitch.  After being outbid every single time, we’re biting the bullet and we’re….dirty word time… renovating.  I believe the word I’m looking for is a cross between “yay!” and “faaaaarck!”   We’re putting a second story on the house.  What could possibly go wrong?
  • Working!   I’m part time again after maternity leave, and I’ve got to say, you could not find nicer people anywhere.  Seriously.  And they’re smart. And they love what they do.  And yes – they’re possibly reading this. But I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true.
  • Telling people all about the launch of my new skincare business, and then not launching my new skincare business.  But it’s COMING!  Just not at this exact moment.  It’s online, and as you’d expect, you can’t launch an online business when your website dislikes everyone who touches it.  So we’re un-glitching which is now officially a word.
  • Laundry.  So much frigging laundry.  How does a family of five, with one of them half the size of my leg, generate so much washing??  It’s outrageous.  It’s enough to contact the Daily Mail about.
  • Counting down to season 3 of Outlander.   If I could, I’d have it on a 24 hour loop and not get up from the couch.  Except maybe to eat Minstrels.  And Nutella.

Outlander 2014

So that’s me.  How are you?

A New Venture

I’d been feeling a little lost.

I’ll save the details for another post, which is bound to be an award-winning read. But in a nutshell, my maternity leave is finishing soon.  Am I really making the most of my skills? Am I doing the most I can for my family?   How can I bring in extra moolah without more time away from my baby?


Now this might seem unrelated, but about six months ago I was told off by a Polish beautician called Doris.  She sat me down as if to break me some very bad news.  Was she going to tell me that I’m adopted?  Or dying?  Adopted and dying?

She gave me a scolding. To paraphrase, she said my skin was shit and she was going to give me homework.

Errr… OK Doris.  Cheers for that.

Her homework turned out to be just what I needed.   I’ve learnt a whole lot about skincare and I could literally talk about serums all day.

Then, in a remarkably fortuitous moment, I got a random email from a friend of my brother’s in the US.

She is a consultant for the fastest-growing skincare company in the US, and it’s being launched in Australia.  She made it sound like an incredible opportunity.  Would I like to know more?


I was skeptical.  This isn’t something I do.  Is it even legit?  Plus I’m already going back to work soon, I’ve never sold skincare before, I’ve got freelance work coming in, I’ve got three kids, who would buy skincare from me?   And isn’t it weird selling to family and friends?  And – arguably the most important question – will I look like a dickhead?

Why do we automatically tell ourselves we can’t?  Is this a female thing?  My husband is always telling me, “Of course you can do that, they’re no smarter than you!”  Why can’t we be our own champion? All those reasons for not doing something new should be reasons to try.  I’m always telling my kids to take the scary option because you’ll get more out of it. Shouldn’t I take my own advice?  As for selling to family and friends, the products are fantastic.  If they want to buy them, why not from me?  I can get them discounts!  And wouldn’t it be nice to be paid for recommending something I like?  And if I do look like a dickhead, well at least I’ll have great skin.


I said I’d like to know more.  Dana and I talked (and talked and talked…!) and I did my research.   She’s one patient woman, that Dana.

It’s completely legitimate, the main point of difference is the products are available only through consultants.  It’s like a modern, online version of Tupperware (which I have a strange penchant for) but for your face… sooooo OK, nothing like Tupperware.

I said yes because I couldn’t think of a compelling reason to say no.   I’m one of the first Rodan and Fields consultants in Australia and I’m really excited.  I know full well I’m not going to make a lot of money quickly. But plenty of people have been really successful doing this. Why not me?   I’m smart.   I’ve got plenty of skills, I learn quickly and I want to do well.  I’m not on my own, I’ll have support.

And my skin is going to look fabulous with products not tested on animals.  You’ll totally mistake me for Giselle Bundchen.


Here I am, crawling along the beach. Ha, tricked you!  It’s Giselle Bundchen!

There is so much potential here, especially with it being new to Australia.  I’ll be my own boss, setting my hours around my job and family.  It’s all online with my own website.  I’m not hosting skincare parties – although I could if I wanted to.  It’s huge in the US, why not here?


So that’s my news.  I want to build a team of motivated people who are up for this as well.   I’ve already got one fabulous woman (Hi Rowe!) joining me, and she’ll be creating her own team too.  If you’re in Australia, the US or Canada, and you’re keen to know more, I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment below. Pre-launch has just started.  We’ll have fun, I promise!

So Hot Right Now

I’m now 40. Or, as my son likes to tell me, “nearly 70.” That gives me the right to talk about when I was young through very rosy glasses.

When I was at school, it was social death to be really vain. If you were caught pouting in the mirror, you were “up yourself” and would spend the rest of the month living it down.


This has nothing to do with Justin Trudeau.  I just like him.

It was a rather posh girls’ school with a remarkable gene pool.  There were some girls who were really into themselves, and for some reason this seemed to work for them. I don’t know why, but for some there was this anomaly which meant they were super vain, but totally forgiven.

For the rest of us, we bounced around trying to look like we really didn’t care how we looked. Of course we did care, but we kept this to ourselves.

If you were in a bikini and caught sight of your reflection, it was inconceivable that you’d think “whoa – how hot are you!?” and made sure you took a photo. Like I said – social death.

But times have changed.

I had this conversation with a friend recently. She showed me the Facebook profile of someone they work with. She’s young and absolutely gorgeous. Lots of her photos only show from her shoulders to her knees, and she’s barely wearing anything. So there’s a photo of her boobs and perfect torso getting out of a pool. Then there are several very posed, near naked selfies taken in a bathroom mirror.  There’s zero mystery, put it that way.


Justin!  When others do this, I want to puke.  But when it’s you…

If you want to take photos like that of yourself, knock yourself out. I just don’t understand when this became normal. I know people say it’s empowering and I get that to a point, but if we’re honest isn’t it more about showing off? When did it become OK to be this vain? Am I overreacting?

I know from personal experience that getting your clothes off can make you feel better about your body. I travelled around Japan when I was 21, and you can’t be a prude there or you’ll make no friends. You can’t give a shit about being naked when you’re nude, sitting on a tiny wooden stool, scrubbing yourself for ages (ages!!) from head to toe in a room full of strangers before your communal bath.

But that experience was a great lesson in just being comfortable in my skin – something that doesn’t come naturally to me.  Anyone, regardless of size, should feel happy wearing a bikini or sunbaking topless if they want to. Or covering up if that makes them happy. No-one should feel any shame in how they look, which I appreciate isn’t always easy (hello new mothers like me who are eating too many scones).

But that’s a different beast. There’s being happy with what you’ve got, which is fantastic, and then there’s making sure everyone can see just how sexy you are because you’re so hot, dammit.

Taking this further is it’s now normal for school kids to send racy photos of themselves to each other. Apparently now if a boy sends you a photo of his penis, it’s a sign he likes you and you should be flattered.

That’s a bit sad isn’t it? Couldn’t he just buy her a Mars bar or something?  And yes, adults do this too.  But they (hopefully) have a better idea of their digital footprint as well as being – you know – adults.


Oh Justin. I’ve tried, but I just can’t look away.

Schools are coming under fire for telling girls not to do this. When the time comes, I’ll absolutely be cautioning my kids against it. Just as I’ll be telling them it’s unacceptable to forward these photos on – and the fact we’ll be having this conversation is awful.

I hope that when my kids are older they won’t buy into all this. Right now they love mucking around taking silly photos of themselves. They think you have to actually say “selfie!” when you press the button.

Clearly it’s a different culture now.

If you know me, or have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m normally very much in the “do what you like” camp. Do you think I’m being harsh? Oh god – am I getting old?? Let me know below.

Should I just have another scone? (I’ve got date scones from Baker’s Delight – OMFG!)

A Baby in the House

If you’ve packed up and schlepped home, tired of waiting for some rubbish I’ve written, I completely understand.  It’s been 7 months, after all.  And let’s face it, since 2012 the posts have hardly been regular.

But if you are still here,  a big hello!  I admire your patience and want some.

Things are great here and I hope you’re happy too.  I went and had a baby at the end of last year so, in no particular order, I’m:

  • Completely, utterly, madly in love
  • Marinating in baby spew
  • Tired
  • Eating multiple biscuits without realising it
  • Grateful
  • Sore
  • In love
  • Disorganized (I’m totally going to blame this on the baby for the next few years)
  • Unfit (see previous point about apportioning blame)
  • In disbelief
  • Getting nothing done because I’m staring at a baby
  • Repeatedly folding teeny tiny singlets (vests in UK!) and telling myself that’s getting stuff done
  • Poorly dressed
  • Not showering nearly as often as I’d like to
  • Slightly dazed
  • Smelling the baby
  • Yawning and hoping my nostrils don’t flare
  • Marveling at the women before us who didn’t have disposable nappies at their disposal (oooh see what I did there)
  • In love
  • Talking about the baby to anyone who will listen
  • In love
  • Loving maternity leave
  • In love
  • Fat
  • In love
  • A mother of 3!

Go me!

And if you happen to have just had a baby too, go you!  Oh alright, go everyone!  With or without babies!  We’re all just so freaking fabulous!


Home from hospital and a few hours away from mastitis dammit.

Although I just have to say, my current clothes situation is far from fabulous.  I’m currently wearing terry toweling shorts from Target, smelly mismatched sports socks and an old torn, stained, polo shirt of my husband’s.  Sorry Tom, but yup, I’m absolutely re-shaping your shirts so they have boobs.

Our new little girl is  simply delicious.  I can’t believe my luck.  Our other 2 kids are beautifully in love and it’s a wonderful thing to watch them coo over their new bub. I’m enjoying the love fest between them.  Long may it continue… although I’m not holding my breath once she starts toddling and develops a taste for mass destruction.

When I first started this blog, we had just moved to London with a 3 and a 1 year old.

Now we’re in Sydney with our 3 kids (I love saying that!) who are 9, 7 and 3 months old. I’m at home with them for the year and couldn’t be happier.

FullSizeRender (3)

Because sometimes a onesie simply will not do.

I’m off to change a nappy and pinch myself.  And if you have big news too, I’d love to hear it!

10 Things I Know About Having Babies

Our third child is due in November.  Our other kids will be 9 and 7, and with that bit of a gap there’s an element of “going back” going on.

Going back to nappies, going back to not sleeping, going back to starting solids, going back to having no brain and leaving the house topless, etc.

Which is great, because I’ve wanted this third child ever since we met our second.

And because of this, things are different.  I know more this time.  And in the spirit of self-help books which I completely ignore, here is my list of Top Things I Now Know About Having (not making, that’s a very personal list) Babies:

1. While I’m really uncomfortable and feel like a whale already, I’m savouring every kick, nudge and bump.  It’s incredible and I feel so lucky.  Plenty of people would love to experience this and haven’t been able to yet.   If you’re one of them, please ignore Michelle Bridges and her smug “I’m so healthy that’s why I’m pregnant” bullshit.

adam hills

2. You can and should prepare yourself for labour.  If you’re at all interested in my advice, this is it: read everything you can about active birth.  If you’re preggers, that is.  If you’re not expecting to give birth any time soon, your time is best spent elsewhere.

Anyway, do that and you’ll go into it feeling a bit more prepared, and there is less chance you’ll freak out on the day.  A great labour is possible.  Unless of course your baby has other ideas.  They’re unpredictable like that.

3. Going back to work after maternity leave can be an emotional roller coaster.  Anything you can do to lesson the stress is good.  It’s insane I know, but that’s why we’ve got the baby booked into day care already.  I’m taking 12 months maternity leave and when the time comes, I don’t want the stress of no decent care.  And this is a new day care centre near my kids school, so drop-offs will be a cinch.

While I’m talking work, let me state the obvious and say that mothers work for different reasons.  Some love it, some hate it but feel they have to – whatever.  Do what works for you and don’t get caught up in the “stay at home mummy” vs the “working mummy” rubbish.  OK?  OK.


4. Setting up some kind of nursery is a joy.  Not only that, but having it done before your baby arrives makes you feel really organised.  I have no idea where we’re going to put this baby, but that’s another story.

I’m trying to copy my husband’s super casual, relaxed approach and not worry about it. It’s not working.

5. Newborns are beautiful and you’ll spend hour after hour staring at yours. They are the ultimate time wasters.  You’ll love it fiercely…

6…. but it might be seriously hard going.  If you’re having a hard time with your baby and you happen to be reading this, I’m giving you a big virtual hug.  It can be tough.  Telling people you’re having a hard time doesn’t mean you love your baby any less, or that you’re not a good mother.  Accept any decent help that’s offered and if you need some more, ask.

7. Whether you have an “easy” baby or not depends mostly on the baby and not on the parenting abilities of the mother.  Please don’t tell a new mother that calm babies are the result of calm, patient mothers.  It’s completely unhelpful and reminiscent of Michelle Bridges.

Likewise telling a new mother about the importance of routine and “understanding your baby’s signals.”  That new mother is trying her best and you’re making them feel like shit.

Want to be really nice?  Tell her she’s doing a fantastic job.  They’ll never forget you saying so.

8. This house has never been an organised, tidy haven of calm.  I have friends with kids who have freakishly tidy homes, I have no idea how, and it must lovely – even for a couple of days.  Now that we’re starting again, though, I just don’t see it happening and I have to get over it.

For every Pinterest photo of an immaculate, styled room there is a disproportionate number of real rooms that are not immaculate, styled, clean, tidy, tasteful or pretty. These are rooms where life is lived and we should all (I’m including myself here) stop stressing about them.

9. We all love our children, and it’s great to have other stuff going on too.  Don’t tell everyone you know every single little tiny thing your kid does.  I know I sound mean but I’m doing you a favour and telling you it’s boring.

You’re a mother and that’s wonderful. You’re also still you.  You’ve changed, absolutely, but your friends (I’m mostly talking Facebook here) don’t need a daily run-down of your baby’s poo.  They just don’t.  No-one does.

Unless one turns out to have a two carat diamond within its contents, or an ancient scroll missing from the Dead Sea.  We’d all want to hear about that.

10. The time will fly and before you know it, they’ll be at school.

OK so it might not be the most profound, complete list, but it’s what I’ve come up with while having a tea and several Tim Tams.   I don’t even like Tim Tams, they were for the baby, so it’s a really selfless act on my part.

What would you add?

When Lost, Strike a Pose

Being really athletic and outdoorsy people, who wear gratuitous lycra and look awesome in it, my friend Karin and I arranged an early-morning bushwalk on the weekend.

Nothing too taxing – just a quick 5km walk from Wahroonga to Bobbin Head.  I’d been told it was really easy – all downhill and you just have to stick to the fire trail, following the creek.

How hard could it be?

You know what’s coming, don’t you?  I don’t know why I’m even bothering to finish this post, it’s so obvious we got lost that you can stop reading right now.  You could make yourself a cup of tea, learn Spanish or roll your socks into pairs instead.

Alright, you’re still here and I’m committed so I’ll keep going. “Lost” is a strong word though, so I’ll just say “our exact whereabouts were in question.”

Anyway, we started the walk and was all going so well.  The track was obvious.  Suddenly, the track disappeared.  It was a bit like magic except nothing at all like magic.


We scrambled over slippery rocks and inched our way along the creekbed.   We knew we’d somehow lost the track but we didn’t fancy back-tracking.  Besides, we had a bag full of chocolate (it was a huge 5km walk, after all) and for the first time in a long time, I was walking with Karin and not getting a leach somewhere on my person.  It was a great day.

Sure, we lamented not having a map and compass.  But then, neither of us can use a map or compass with any degree of confidence.  So you could argue that we were better off carrying chocolate – which we were – clever!

And what do you do when you’re lost in the bush?  You have a photo shoot.


Here is Karin, doing a great job looking lost and frightened.


Another shitty Winter’s day in Sydney.


My bump! With a star burst! Clearly this is indicative of a truly enigmatic child.


I took this as proof that the track really did disappear. Here is Karin, looking for it.

Sliding along the creek rocks on our arses wasn’t working for us at all.  We found a track that went straight up a hill, so we decided to climb.  Did I mention Karin has the legs of a gazelle?  So while she raced up the hill with the agility of a mountain goat, I lagged behind like a rock-climbing hamster.  My legs are still sore.


Catching my breath, while pretending I don’t need to.


We made it!!

Karin’s sense of direction is better than mine, which isn’t saying much, and before long we found ourselves walking home.  Seriously late.  And sore.  And tired.

But laughing.  And feeling pretty lucky to have access to such a beautiful, yet unreliable, trail right on our doorstep.

News! (Because The World Needs Another Baby Blog)

Regular blogging and a desk job do not mix for me – hence the sporadic and random blog posts for the past… oh… 2.5 years.  Personally when I’m not at work I really don’t fancy sitting at a computer.  This isn’t helped by the fact that my lounge room, where my computer is, is freezing.  Seriously,  I can’t feel my fingers right now.  I would get a laptop but they all look a bit evil (“Let’s remotely blow up a city!”).

Apologetic rambling aside, that does lead me to a rather nifty segue.  Next year I won’t be at my desk job.

I’ll be on maternity leave.

Yep.  Preggers.

I will absolutely look like the model on Ripe's Facebook page.

I will absolutely look like the model on Ripe’s Facebook page.

I’m 16 weeks pregnant with our third child and couldn’t be happier.  I also can’t imagine being bigger than I am now, which is pretty daft considering I’ve done this twice before.

Our kids are 8 and 6 and I always wanted another.  To do this and maintain a happy marriage, you really do need your husband’s buy-in.  For various valid reasons, I didn’t have it.  I tried – I took maternity clothes and baby bits to London and was all, “Look!  We can have an English baby!  Can I get a HURRAH?!” and he just couldn’t be convinced.  This went on for a few years, then when our daughter turned 5 I tried to let it go.  As many of you will know, that’s not easy.

I tried to move on.  I took up running.  I paid a draftsman to do our renovation plans; I told him exactly what we wanted, he ignored it and we’re still going around in circles.  I did the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation for exactly 4 weeks. I miraculously hit my goal weight and stayed that way for exactly 4 days.

Then last year my beautiful husband, after all these years, came around.  “I really think we should have another baby,” he said as though it was all his idea, “We’ll regret it if we don’t.”

Now we were a Smug Fertile Couple whose two children came easily.  Not this time.   Despite the heading at the top of this page, I’m no longer in my mid thirties.   It took us 9 months to fall pregnant, which I know for many people isn’t long at all.  I really do take my hat off to those who have faced, or are currently experiencing, fertility issues.  That is one tough gig I’ve thankfully only had the teeniest, tiniest taste of.

Anyway here we are, with a baby due in November and three kids’ birthdays in one fortnight.  Yeah!!  We can’t quite believe it. We’ll be parents of three!  I’ll get to roll my eyes and crap on about how much harder the third child has made everything!

So that’s our news.   Please join me in sending this baby “please eat like your brother and sleep like your sister NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND” vibes.  A new baby and a renovation at the same time. How hard can it be?