Weekend Rewind: the year gone by celebrated. to a bigger & better one!

So it was my turn last week to turn a year older, to which I say Hoorah! YUP. This year was a funny one. The countdown began quite a few months back, possibly due to the fear of turning a year older. Then I forgot about it all. But suddenly remembered at the start of the month. And it became more real once Husband man asked me what I would like for my birthday! And BANG! Just like that, the fear set in. Two weeks leading up to the dreaded 17th, I was in denial. All of a sudden I wanted to forget it. I didn’t want to celebrate. Which for me was new. I love birthdays. Even if it’s a quiet cake and wine…I still love the effort and act of celebrating one.

Anyways, I let it slide. I talked myself out of the crazy thoughts I had about growing older. Much to my perfectionist personality, it was a time I reflected on the year gone by and my achievements. There was a whole lot of questions that came across my mind, many to which I had a simple ‘no, not achieved yet’ as an answer. But to my delight, I also had as many ‘yes, I have done that’, ‘thankful for having achieved that’ and ‘YES! grateful for the opportunity to do that’ replies.

Once that was on paper (I’m still old school, paper and pen girl when it comes to talking myself into or out of something), I felt better! And then I was happy to get to the 17th! But of course, I am not the queen, and there’s no public holiday for me…so off to work I went. It was a good day though, my patients were all alerted to it being my birthday, so it was all smiles!

My birthday though lasted a week…

It started off very well! at 6.30am, as bubs and I, half eye open drag ourselves to the kitchen for breakkie, there it is! Birthday goodies! YIPPEE! who doesn’t love birthday goodies…

IMG_5194It was opened faster than it was probably wrapped! That beautiful bag I have been eyeing for a while..Oh husband man! You delivered. Good man, you watched and felt my urge for that bag!

So off to work I went, bag in tow..(oh YES, there was no need for waiting here)

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It was a loooong day at work, but made much better with this bag, and this bright orange blazer I picked up from my recent travels to Singapore (it’s a ZARA!). Ended the night with dinner at home and a glass of wine!

Then came the weekend treat! Another surprise planned by hubby and bestie! We visited the Port Philip Estate Winery in Red Hill, Victoria. Amazing views, lovely three course meal, and time spent with the people I love most, husband, my little girl, bestie and her husband.

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So that was my birthday this year. It was quiet, nonetheless, and funnily, one of the best I’ve had. Perhaps, it’s the realisation that many a times, it’s not the success we’ve had so far or the failures we’ve gone through, but more the attitude with which we go through it all that matters. Learning from the past, making improvements to go through it all, with a new take on life. Perhaps it’s the wisdom that comes with age. Perhaps…it’s that glass of wine I had just before writing this post. Perhaps! Perhaps! Perhaps!

What does your ideal birthday look like? Drop me a line!

xox monica

laugh..laugh out loud.

IMG_5105Laughter is a funny thing isn’t it? (no pun intended)! It’s got a way of spreading joy through the room. I am a natural laugher..(is there even such a word?). I laugh quite easily, and if I must say, often quite loudly. When I laugh, it’s a whole-hearted laugh. Occasionally also doing the roll around, the fist hitting the seat action and wide opened mouth showing off the back of my throat…YES possibly all at once as well! (what a scene isn’t it?)!

I have always been this way, as far as I can remember I used to do it even as a child. My parents sometimes had to tell me off or at least to get me to close my mouth. BUT when I do that, i don’t feel like I’m laughing anymore. That is a smile to me.

Now, I often do it with my little girl. She has learnt to laugh like me! OH YES…! I find it so hilarious when she tries to mimic me, as she is at that age where she learns everything by watching us. Is that a bad thing? Not when it comes to laughing I say.

I think it’s good to know how to laugh things off. Whether a joke, an uninvited comment or an annoying situation. I think it is a great skill. It helps change your mood. It helps lighten up the situation. And it helps you move on to the next step, finding a solution to a problem rather than dwelling in it.

In saying that, it’s just not possible to laugh off a problem all the time..but at least it can help take you to a happier place, when you’re ready.

So I say…laugh! Laugh out loud. Laugh as though no one is watching. It is contagious, so go on and spread the joy!

Do you laugh often? Are you a laugher? How do you express yourself when something is funny?

xox monica

because we can all do with some down time, sometimes.

Our body is a real machine. It allows us to do so much..but like all machines, it does need some down time. And this machine of mine recently decided it’s time for some maintenance work! It doesn’t do this very often, as I often oil and keep it well. But when it does, it’s a full service! Plus, it’s a time I find that I am forced to rest, and have a bit of down time.

So what do I do to keep busy during this time?

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# rest rest rest. Which I suppose is what you’re meant to be doing? Thankfully the little one is well enough, and I can ship her off to care while I recover for the day.

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 # play dress up. Nothing fancy, but I do like to dress in a comfy colourful outfit. It makes me feel alive!

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 # put on some lippy for a little lift.

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# go for a walk around the local neighbourhood. Find a quiet cafe, read a good magazine and drink tea!

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# read..read…read…I love it! Reading takes me places.

# drink more tea. Yup I move from black tea to spiced tea to herbal tea.

Now to that comfy hoodie?

Shop my style here:

Sleep Poncho – Leopard @ Target

Pewter flats, Gino Ventori @Mountfords

Distressed jeans, Lee Cooper @Big W

Have you recently been unwell? Winter cold? What are some of your pick-me-ups that helps you get through the recovery phase?

Get well soon, if you’re feeling down at the moment!

XO monica

I count you TWICE…

Being a parent brings with it many wonderful emotions. The joys, the wonders, the occasional anger and frustration, the laughter and the sorrows. Coupled with my hormonal roller coaster!!! spells a very sooky mummy! Great! Just GREAT!

I was just having a conversation with a friend over the weekend, who is now a mom to a gorgeous little girl. And as we were doing what moms do, exchanging notes…we both said this almost simultaneously, ‘Isn’t it funny how we think our child is always the best?’…whoops! yup, self-confessed dotting moms!

But this got me thinking about my little girl, now a beautiful two and a half-year old. First of all, where did the time go? Honestly I know all parents would say this! but really where has it gone? I was home with her on maternity leave for almost nine months, watched her every move, and breath almost (except the times when I was able to convince myself that she is sleeping safely in a safe environment)! so really where has it gone? I know we’ve celebrated two birthdays, and she’s now speaking words and sentences I am amazed at each day. But the more I look at her, the more I count my blessings for the time, although gone by, has resulted in this beautiful child standing in front of me, blossoming into this talking, occasionally disobedient little thing!

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This wooden plague that sits proudly in her room, says a lot about her. As all children are a blessing, I believe mine is my blessing. She shows me many things only she is able to. She comforts me in ways only she can. And she loves in a way only she can.

I am pretty sure there will come a time between babyhood and toddler-hood that a parent will stop to wonder how did that baby you birthed not very long ago, transform into this little human being. Pretty sure this thought will come by..

And I think I am at that junction now.

Standing here watching her go from a baby to a toddler, wondering this. Wondering if I can stop time. And if I can….HOW!

But for now, I am appreciating every moment. Every bit of her. Every hug. Every cuddle. Every cry for ‘mom’. Everything. Soaking it all in, for I know time will not be waiting for me. So I’ve got to grasp it, not let it slip through my fingers. And count my blessings…TWICE.

For moms of toddlers, do you often wonder how that tiny little baby you birthed not too long ago, is now a real person, standing in front of you? Do you often wonder where the time has gone? 

Thanks for reading!

XO monica

doing something for yourself…because it’s important!

Last Friday I attended a workshop organised and run by the fabulous ladies from Put Your Heart Into It. It was held in a beautiful Haymes Paint showroom in Southbank, Melbourne. This workshop was their Mothers Day DIY workshop, and on offer was the opportunity to learn and paint a wooden wine box using Haymes Paint, learn the art of floral arrangement and a session on making organic skin care. And the best part of it? For $95, with all material included, you get to take home all you make for the night! Oh and of course, there was wine and nibbles to add to the fun of the night 🙂

When I signed up for this workshop, what excited me most was the fact that it was something I got to do for myself. As a mom, a wife, a working woman, there really is not much time left for yourself…I often find, I am getting through each day with so much to do, and so much left to do, that there is hardly ever much time to get out and do what I enjoy most. So when this opportunity came up, I felt it was a good one to get to, not only to learn new skills which I can and will definitely be putting to great use creating some lovely things around the house, but also to meet new people, have some laughs and enjoy a good night out.

And this was evident when I walked into the house, and hubby said…

‘You look like you’ve had a good night!’…Indeed I have!

I painted, got my hands messy, arranged some beautiful roses, made some skin care, met some new friends, had a glass of wine! What more can you ask for a Friday night out? Happy mummy!

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Painted a raw wood wine box using the beautiful range of colours supplied by Haymes Paint, turning it into a flower vase (multiple uses for this beautiful box) & made a bottle of facial moisturiser using essential oils.

So what I want to put out there is this..sometimes you do need to do things for yourself. Whether its attending a workshop, a night out to the movies or the theatre, or a night in with some girl friends. You need to do it for yourself! It’s good to recharge once in a while, it keeps your engine running smoothly.

I certainly will be doing more of these, after the one I attended last week, I have now realised how much I need to have some time out like that. It was refreshing…INSPIRING.

Have you attended a DIY workshop or a workshop of any kind and did you enjoy it? How did you feel after having that time out for yourself? 

Would love to know…also to encourage other moms or busy woman out there, to have some time out for themselves.

Leave some love below! Thanks Lifeastylers…

an innocent request. a heart warming moment.

What was an average after work day, with the evening routine of dinner, bath time, reading and worship time, turned out to be one of the most beautiful nights with my toddler. We were both enjoying each others company when she asked..’Mummy can you draw me here?’ using one of those sketch boards, she handed it over to me, waiting in anticipation for mummy to draw her! Given that drawing was never really my thing, I hesitated! and said…’maybe you can draw you?, mummy can’t draw!’

But she refused. And then asked…’mummy can you draw us? you and me? please mummy? like when we play together…?’ and at that point, my heart sank. I stopped and wondered what I was going to say next? But at the point, I didn’t say a thing. I picked up the sketching pencil and drew US. Because that was what my little girl wanted. Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset So here is my masterpiece! Sweet! I looked at it and burst into laughter and said ‘sorry bubby, mummy can’t draw, this is the best I can do!’…but what she said next, is what warmed my heart.

‘That is very beautiful mummy, just like you and me, and when we go together, we wear a pretty dress, and hold hands’…’Thank you mummy…’

Being the sooky mummy I am, I had tears welling up at the corner of my eyes. Really, what was I fretting about with this request? This girl wasn’t going to judge me..she just wanted me to draw for her. That’s all. Nothing more. All she wanted was for her mummy to draw and spend time with her. And I am glad I did just that.

So it was a good night. Needless to say, I better start brushing up on my drawing! Next request could be more challenging…like ‘mummy can you draw a picture of daddy?’…Not sure what will become of that image!

What has your little one done or said recently that just shows how innocent they are? Share you special moments if you would like to…these babies are just special, aren’t they?

LAS stylefile: how I wore, what I wore?

The cool change has now  set into Melbourne. The days are getting shorter and the nights come too soon. I do love the change that comes with winter, the layering, getting all rugged up sitting in front of the telly a little bit more, hot soups! green tea, chocolates, and the rest that go with it. BUT what I don’t do well with is the lack of colour. My brains just don’t really like it. The grey, the gloom..my way of dealing with this problem of mine? bringing some colour into my wardrobe. I know the darker colours seem to always creep in by autumn/winter, and same way it does into my wardrobe, but I try to keep a little colour going somewhere, somehow…

So, last week, I did some online retail therapy, just a wardrobe update really! And got me self some pretty things, I visited the blue bungalow site, and went clicking. Rest assured, the pretty parcel arrived very soon after, and some lovely new pieces added to the racks!

I sported their beautiful jersey tunic in the Chartreuse, which can be seen here. It was bright, bold and beautiful. The shorter front and longer back length made it perfect to be worn with a pair of leggings for me (perfect for women that are a little heavier on the bottom half). The sleeves can be worn at full length or ruffled up to half way when indoors and it is slightly warmer. The loose fit allows for a relaxed feel and make it comfortable to run around in, for some work or for mummy duties.

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I also paired it with a beautiful animal print scarf, which I purchased a while back from Myer, similar ones still available. Brought my ever so faithful Mimco leather bag out, and to keep warm and dry, I put on a pair of Jane Debster knee-high boots in brown from Sandler, purchased last winter, but you may like something similar here.

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Off I went for a work meet, then to run some errands. And those colours? made me a very happy girl…:)

How do you cope with the darker winter colours? Leave me some ideas below, I would love to hear.

Xx Monica @lifeastyled