Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My 'Currents'

I felt like changing things up a little tonight.  Doing something I haven't done before on my blog.  Letting you in on what I am currently doing.  What my 'faves' are at the moment.  What I'm being inspired by lately.  What I'm digging and what I am not.

So, here we go.  Let's give it a try shall we?

Eating...  Soup, soup and more soup.  Winter is in full swing and I am trying to kick a head cold so any soup I can get my hands on is going in my belleeeeeh.  Chicken and sweet corn mostly though.

Drinking...  Water, Lemsip and more water.

Practicing...  Not getting myself emotionally involved in things that I cannot control.  This has been hard the past month.  I shall continue to practice this more.

Mastering...  Roast pork crackling.  We had our lovely neighbours over for dinner last week and they said that my crackling was the best they had ever eaten.  Yessssss!  I have finally got it down pat :) 

Learning...  That when I tell my children to, "Stop! Someone is going to get hurt!"  That usually within the matter of 30-60 seconds, someone does.

Trying...  To make my weekly dinners in advance.  Well, I'm going to try to anyway ;)

Inspired by...  My Zutter Bind It All machine.  I have been making the cutest mini albums (will post pics

Playing...  With the brand new Little Moments app by Fat Mum Slim (totally in love with it).
Finishing...  Project Life for the first half of 2014.  It seems I am always playing catch up but I don't mind as I love working on it in big spurts.  I get more done this way.

Reading...  The Fault In Our Stars.  I just bought it and the boys are going to the movies tonight so I plan to go to bed early and start it... I'm told I will need tissues.  So good thing that I already have them next to the bed from this head cold.

Wearing...  Lots of knits, scarves, thick leggins and boots.  It's been freeeeeezing here the past week.

Wanting...  A good massage and a pedicure.  I always say that I'm going to take time out for me to go and treat myself but never do.  This week I AM!

So there you have it.  My current 'currents'.  I would love to hear what others are up to, reading, listening to, playing with, etc.  What is inspiring you a the moment and what are you wanting in life life right now.

Cheerio cherubs,
Bells :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Polly! Scraps Twilight Kit Mini Layout

Helloooooo!  How are we all?  A a tad chilly in Melbourne at the moment and I'm about to head off and watch my 8 year old play footy this morning.  Brrrrrrrr rugging up warm and slightly resembling the Michelin Man with all my layers LOL.

But first I wanted to share with you an insert that I created last night for last week's Project Life layout. It was made with the Polly! Scrap Twilight Pocket Life Kit and was a cinch to put together.

I really don't do much traditional scrapping these days. I prefer to just stick to my pocket page style and add an insert if I have lots of photos for the week.  But sometimes there are just those kind of photos that just beg to be 'scrapped'.  These three photos used here were just that!

I kid you not, this 8"x8" page took me about half an hour, if that.  I really love how bright and cheery the Basic Grey Highline die-cut flowers are and the "Right Now" was perfect to make things 'pop' a little.

I chopped up some of the included papers to make small pennants/flags and added some foam tape behind them some to add dimension.  I bought a cute little Typo stamp last week and decided to use the triangles in white ink to give a little bit of a chalk board feel.  Finishing the layout off with the cute Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine cardstock sticker which was exactly what I want both of my boys to always remember...  Be happy, be bright, be you!

Happy Sunday peeps and stay warm :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Week 21 Polly! Scraps Kits

Well, hello there lovelies… I feel like it's been ages since my last post and looking back, it actually was. Where is the time going? Is it speeding up, or is that just me?
I wanted to share with you all my excitement at being a guest designer this month for the fabulous Polly! Scrap Kits. I honestly could not be more thrilled to bits. Their kits are just delightful and I always have so much playing with them each month.
Here is my Week 21 that I shared on the Polly! blog using the gorgeous Tropical Twilight kit. You can see my full post here, how I put it together and see lots more photos of my layout.

Nighty night my memory keeping friends and happy scrappin'!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Week 10

Geez, it seems so long ago that I finished this layout but I'm only just getting around to posting it now...  Okay, I get it...  I've been slack! LOL  So let's get to it shall we?

For this week I used the February Studio Calico Sugar Rush Project Life kit.  What a lovely kit yet again that made the layout very simple to put together.

Of course I had fun playing with my Close To My Heart Flip Flaps again.  I could honestly use them in every layout and funnily enough, I think that I HAVE on every page this year.

I really love the photos of the boys playing football at the park.  I wanted to include them all so used PicFrame to put three photos into each 4x6".  I saved them to my Photostream on my phone, opened them up in iScrapbook on my iMac and added some Ali Edwards digital words to the bottom of each pic before printing them.

So there you have it, my Week 10 finally blogged and in my album.  I'm almost finished my Week 8 and working on Weeks 9 and 20 simultaneously...  Sometimes I enjoy doing a few at a time as it keeps things interesting and  I find I knock more out, the more I have on the go.

But for now it's back to watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with my Mr 8 (he's slightly obsessed with them and has been since he was 2).  While I watch it with him tonight for the billionth time, I'm taking a peek and having a little play with the amazingly gorgeous Polly!Scraps Pocket Life kit that I just received; it really is soooooo cute!!!  Can't wait to create with it.

Happy Saturday night

Friday, May 23, 2014

Working on a mini album...

This week I have been cRaZy busy so I've decided to work on something a little different. Something nice and quick and relatively easy.  A project that is simple and doesn't take much effort is perfect for me to fit in between all the running around I had planned.

I'm using Close To My Heart Skylark range which you can check out and purchase here.

For the binding I used my newest little gadget that I got for Mother's Day, my Zutter Bind It All from CraftOnline...  OMG I love that little machine.

The little rosette I made by hand following a YouTube video tutorial.  I didn't have any flowers that were in the colour I was after so I just decided to make my own using matching papers.  I can't find the original video I watched however, there are literally tons available.

I will be back with more photos of the finished album later sometime next week, but here's a sneak peek of the front cover...

Wishing you all a happy Friday...  YAY it's almost the weekend WHOO HOO!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Week 7 and Reality TV...

Is anyone else slightly addicted to Real Housewives of Melbourne?  I can't get enough!  Honestly, I think I have a serious addiction to these reality tv shows.  Or is it that it's an easy watch; one that you don't really have to concentrate on.  I love sitting and Project Life-ing and catching up on my recorded episodes when the boys are sound asleep.  It's my 'me' time and I love every second!

Watching these women bicker, bitch and spend copious amounts of money intrigues me.  Majority of the time I sit there cropping, journaling and embellishing with my jaw on the floor.  I get gobsmacked by the behaviour of some cast members.  I quite often shake my head at the things they say.  I find myself gasping at the way they 'get all gansta' and "tut-tut" at the backstabbing that goes on.  Real or not real, I'm addicted.

I could finish layout after layout watching my trashy reality shows, not thinking, just watching cray-cray women and being thankful for my gorgeous girlfriends... :)

So that's how my week 7 came together, whilst having a Real Housewife catch-up session.  I was sticking, cutting, gluing and making it all look pretty while watching Melbourne women attack each other over their cocktails and dinner.  I'm surprised I didn't stick my fingers together at some stages...  These women can be brutal!

Playing with pretty pinks and teals kept me calm.  At some points I wanted to use my Typo washi tape to stick their mouths shut...  Well, just one particular 'rude and vulgar' housewife that has an expensive tennis court ;)  WOW, can women really be that nasty or am I just naive and living in the land of crafting, rainbows and unicorns lol.

In saying that, I don't condone any of this behaviour, even though I can't help but watch it all play out on my screen.  I'm not sure how much of it is 'real' or scripted but one thing I do know, when I'm caught up in these episodes I tend to create some pretty cool layouts lol...  This one came together so easily and I think it was because I was too busy concentrating on the Chinese whispers that this group of women were playing.

So while I excitedly wait for more episodes to be aired, I gather my supplies and edit my photos so that my next marathon session can produce me some more 'non-thought-about' layouts.  Here's to reality tv getting my creative juices flowing and these housewives making me feel grateful for my happy, drama-free life.

Happy days peeps, happy days!

Products List

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Week 4

I'm going back a little here as this was a week that I just couldn't find my mojo on.  When that happens I usually take a break, leave that page and come back to it when I feel more inspired.  That kinda didn't happen for quite a few weeks lol.  But...  I eventually felt inspired by this layout again and got the urge to get cracking, and here it is...

I used some ephemera that I had lying around to add to this layout.  A Minecraft swing tag from a cute little piggy that my Mr 3 got as a present and a Lego Movie mini catalogue that was in a Lego box we bought.  I think adding these little extras on my pages adds some great interest for those looking through my albums, especially the kids.  They love finding tags from their toys or a wrapper from something they like to eat in my Project Life pages.  I'm hoping it will spark some fond memories of their childhood in years to come.

The little envelope is from a Studio Calico Project Life Kit, I honestly can't remember which one (sorry).  It was perfect for me to print out and insert the instructions for a 'Pay It Forward' project that I am taking part in. I also just had to include a photo of my gorgeous friend who lives interstate and I had a girly phone chat with during this week.  I want to remember how close our friendship remains even though we now live miles apart.

So into the album she goes, another week finished.  Even though I skipped it and went back to it, it's done and that's the important thing.  I think by leaving it and coming back to it when I was ready, made it much more enjoyable to finish.  There's nothing worse than having "Project Lifer's block" lol.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that sometimes suffers from it.  Maybe it's just a way of our creativeness telling us to take a break and come back when we feel the time is right...  And most times, timing is everything ;)

Happy Easter peeps and hope your belly's are chocky full... I'm off to top mine up now hehehehe!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Liebster Award

Guess what? Simply Bella just won an award!!!

How excited am I? The lovely Sue from The Making Table has chosen to nominate my blog for the Liebster Award. I could not me more honoured or grateful... My little ol' blog? Really? Thank you so much Sue; I really am touched.
So, what is this award? Well, technically it's not an award, but I'm thrilled all the same to have been nominated. It's more of a chance for newer bloggers with under 200 followers to get their name out there by accepting their nomination and completing a little bit of a challenge. You can read a little more about it's origins in this post I found here.
So here's what you have to do...
  • Firstly, accept the nomination from your nominee (you do not have to)
  • Answer the 11 questions that they have asked you in a blog post and share this
  • Then nominate another 10 bloggers that have less than 200 followers
Firstly, here are the 11 questions that Sue has given me to answer...
1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up.
I wanted to be a Solid Gold Dancer lol. Do you remember that show? I would watch it as a young girl on a Sunday night eating my dinner and then venture off to play dress-ups in my Mum's bedroom and dance in front of her mirror to all of her disco vinyl.
2. What is your favourite breakfast?
I'm not much of a breakfast person, never have been, a coffee or a veggie juice is more of my thing. But I do love a good Sunday brekkie of poached eggs, spinach, bacon, grilled tomato and mushroom... Mmmmm mmmm
3. Describe your dream garden, if time, space, climate and money were not an issue.
Without a doubt, a tranquil Japanese garden with lots of maples, ponds and the sound of water flowing and soothing wind chimes... Ahhh I can just imagine sitting in it now :)
4. Who is your dream celebrity to have dinner with? (past or present)
Oh that would definitely have to be Freddie Mercury!
5. Name something you wished you had learnt but haven't yet.
To play the piano... Maybe one day I will take some lessons.
6. Name one of your all-time favourite movies that you have watched so many times you know all the lines?
There's so many, but I can't go past mentioning Dirty Dancing and Grease... Who doesn't love those movies!
7. What is your favourite fruit?
Watermelon for sure! I could eat it until the cows came home lol.
8. If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Mmmm that's a tough one as I've never really had the travel bug nor the urge to travel (mostly because I have a fear of flying). But if that weren't an issue I would say Disneyland. My inner child would beside herself with excitement.
9. Lipstick, lip gloss or lip balm?
Lip gloss
10. Describe what "you-time" means to you?
Uninterrupted time to scrapbook till my little heart's content.
11. If you could choose 2 super powers, what would they be and why? (ie. invisibility, self healing, speed, strength etc)
To be able to heal others and for obvious reasons; no one ever wants to see their loved ones unwell.... And the ability to create calm in an instant and in any circumstance; ooh now THAT would be so handy as a Mum lol.
Now I'm off to have a think about who I am going to nominate and will be back with a post in a few days announcing my chosen bloggers and a list of questions for them. Thanks again Sue for nominations me and giving me the opportunity to answer your fantastic questions (had me thinking on a few lol).
Cheerio peeps and have a great day! :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I chose today to share this...

Today seems like the most appropriate day to write and share this post. I've been sitting here contemplating whether or not I am courageous enough to do this... Whether I feel knowledgable enough, educated on the topic enough or even strong enough within myself to write this... The first two I believe will possibly never be the case but the last I feel that I need and WANT to be! So I am going to try... Bare with me :)
A few short months ago my world was different. My life was plodding along, my days were busy, life was a little tough, stressful, all those 'normal' things we complain about. The same mundane routines that pull you down, the same fun friendships that lift you up. That's just life yeah?
Then in a short instant, things changed. A conversation with a childhood friend, one that I've known since the age of six to be exact, one that I will cherish forever, changed things for me. I mean REALLY changed things...
She asked me a question that no one else ever had. One that deep down in my soul I'd asked myself, time and time again. One that I'm SO eternally grateful that she did ask... The question that all parents want to answer with confidence and pride. One that made my whole head spin and turn my insides out. Something inside of me knew that I couldn't answer it with the boldness I usually possessed. I answered fearful, can't say confidently, but definitely truthfully! Someone whom I wholeheartedly trusted, asked what I so needed to be asked... And I answered honestly! She knew...
What was the question? That question that changed my life? The one that changed my world that I knew only minutes before? Made every light in my head switch on brighter than an oncoming train in complete darkness?
"So Bells, how is your little man doing? How is he developing?"
BOOM!!! That oncoming train hit me.... HARD! All of a sudden I was circling with my own questions I already had in my head. Every single thought I'd already had was surfacing and hitting so intensely that I couldn't breathe. But... I answered! I answered with the same honesty that she so graciously showed me. WOW!!!
That was the first moment I realised that my little gorgeous 3 year old man had Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Did I already know this? Heck yes! Did I have a name for his quirky little characteristics? Heck no! He was just my 'unique' little meatball that I knew was a little different than my first child.
I felt guilty for always comparing his development to my eldest son, so therefore would push those thoughts away. "Every child is different", I would tell myself. My first was the 'angel baby' that most mothers speak of, so this was my second that was going to give me a 'hard time'.
I had often sat and wondered what I did differently. I 'parented' both the same. Okay, the second obviously got less of my time, but why was he such hard work? Was it me? Why was I not coping? Why did I feel so stressed all the time? Why did his tantrums and whinging sound like nails down a blackboard to me? Why did I fall into bed at night in an exhausted heap? Why was I struggling to be a Mum to this beautiful little boy of mine?
Ahhhhhh relief! Uncannily enough I felt relief from that one question my beautiful friend asked and I had answered honestly. I could breathe again... Admittedly it was through uncontrollable tears, but I felt a weight gone. With her incredible knowledge, own personal experience and amazing support, I probably would have not gotten through that initial 'shock patch' (that I like to call it) and moved forward with gusto. She had turned my 'Mummy intuition' into overdrive!
Next step... Diagnosis.
I honestly, looking back now, already knew what the outcome would be. After hours and hours of googling and researching I had to stop. Yes, Google can be a great friend to us all, but in circumstances like this, it can be your worst enemy! I had to pull back from it for a bit, it got WAY too intense.
I won't go into the nitty gritty details of how it all went but in the simplest form for those that would like to know... Here it is.
  • GP appointment for refer all to Paediatrician.
  • Paediatrician appointment to assess whether there is enough concern to refer for an official assessment.
  • An official assessment with a team of therapists, in our case a speech pathologist and psychologist, to give a final in depth written diagnosis.
  • Then, with an official diagnosis in writing, back to the paediatrician to discuss starting therapy with specialists.
The above process was my experience to get a diagnosis, so I want to share that yours may or have been different.
So that's where we're at... We started therapy in Feb and currently seeing a Occupational Therapist and Speech Pathologist.
This is all new for us, VERY new! It's all quite daunting, to say the least, the very least. It's been honestly, the toughest challenge that I have ever had to endure. I am not one, and let me make this clear, that ever strays from having a positive attitude towards anything. I've had my share of ups and downs over the years and staying positive has always gotten me though. But I'll be honest, this was hard!
This was, to be quite frank, the most confronting process that I have ever had to face. A pure stranger (paediatrician) tell you that he had 'more than enough concerns to move forward with an assessment for Autism' was earth shattering for me. As a mother, I'm sure I can safely say that, that no parent EVER wants to hear that their child is going to face 'challenges' in any form.
I sat there for an hour in his rooms, listening intently and watching every single 'test' he did with my child with my heart in my throat. I held back tears of heartbreak, tears of frustration that I couldn't answer for my baby, the questions I knew my boy COULD answer but just didn't know how to find the right words to use. It was torture!
Those first few weeks of diagnosis were an emotional blur but I can still clearly remember how gut wrenching it was and how much my heart hurt to watch it all and come to terms with what was happening. My baby was struggling and I had been struggling to help him.
That brings me to the now... How my world has changed. How our days are different now and how those 'stresses' I thought were so important a few months ago, are now things I don't even consider worthy of taking up my time.
I now, after overcoming my initial emotions, can sigh a big sigh of relief and feel comforted by the fact that I'm honestly and truly BLESSED! My baby is not sick, he is perfectly healthy... He is absolutely amazing!!!
He is ridiculously intelligent and shows that in so many ways. He has an amazing ability to retain information and recall it in ways that astound me. Yes, he gets frustrated to the point of 'major melt down mode' I call it. But hopefully, with my understanding, love, devotion, strength and patience, (some days my patience is not always there LOL) we can DO THIS!!!
He just turned four on Sunday. We celebrated with a trip to Scienceworks to see his favourite interactive robot Nao followed by a train ride to Southern Cross Station, just so we could just sit and 'trainspot' (another favourite past time of his). It was EPIC, as his big brother would say!
So, yes my world has changed... Not in the way I expected or would have ever imagined. But you know what? After countless hours of thinking, soul searching and asking why... I can now confidently say that I wouldn't change a thing! This IS my new world and I couldn't adore it more!!!
It's all still raw, still very new. I'm still in a place that I find is very emotional, but I'm told that that will get easier.
But uncannily enough, I WANT that emotion to stay with me. I don't ever want to get numb to it. I want it to drive me to push further, try harder and be stronger. I want it to always be present and make me do things like write this post. After all, that's the emotion that made stand in front of that oncoming train, let it hit me and then wipe my self off to be the Mummy I know my son needs to help him 'SHINE'!
So today, I chose to share this post as it's Autism Awareness Day! I want to thank everyone who has been there for us along the way in this new adventure of ours. I want to share my utmost gratitude to my friends and family that have supported me in my times of tears and frustrations, listened to my stories and laughed with me and held me up through the tough days. You ALL mean the world to me and I honestly would not be able to do this without YOU! Love and hugs my gorgeous ones, forever and always xoxox
Please be the 'light' that autism needs and help those affected by being...
That little more patient with a Mum dealing with a tantrum in the supermarket.
A little more kind to that 'quirky' kid who can't help but fidget that's standing next to you.
And a little more aware of how sometimes, someone's world is a little different than yours.
I could go on and on... But you know what you need to do... ❤️
Here's to being 'unique'! I think it ROCKS!!!! xo
Kye :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dentist appointment = Tooth Hurty

'Tooth Hurty'... 2:30... Lol get it? Maybe it's just the pain medication getting to me now hahahaha! Should I even be blogging right now? Lol
Well it was actually 2:50pm to be precise, my dentist appointment that is, and boy was I packing my dacks! I'm the worst in a dental chair and yesterday was no exception. It's a bit sad when your 8 year old is holding YOUR hand and telling you to be brave :(
The end result... A fractured tooth that needed to be removed surgically in four separate pieces, the removal of a few splintered bones pieces, a few stitches later and a very relieved but quite sore Mumma.
Anyways, this now brings me to my reason for blogging about it... It's the perfect excuse for me to stop for a minute. To sit for a second and have a rest. To be a little kinder to myself for a moment. Lately I've found I'm running around after everybody else, taking care of others, helping those that need me. But for the next few days I have decided that I will look after me... I need a little bit of TLC and I'm going to give it to myself!
I'm going allow myself to rest. Allow myself to do some blog reading, do some blog writing. Drink my soups and lie on the couch and let my little Mr 3 continue to give me kisses on 'Mummy's sore mouth'. I'm not going to stress about the housework, I'm SURE it will still be there when I'm feeling better. I'm going to recharge my batteries and let myself rest!
Sometimes a girl needs to allow herself to be a drama queen and a sooky la la and right now I am owning both like a BOSS! ;)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Project Life 2014 - Week 5

Yes, you read that correctly... Week 5. Well, where is my week 4 I hear you ask? Half completed, in my album and I have no desire to complete it at this stage. I'm not exactly sure why but I just REALLY struggled with that week, it's lack of photos, what kit/colours to use, I just couldn't bring it all together. So I decided to 'move on' and 'move forward'. I needed mojo and with that layout it just wasn't happening for me so I turned the page and viola... Week 5 came together for perfectly. My mojo was flowing again... YAY!
Does this ever happen to you? What do you do to overcome your scrapper's block?
This was the first week back at school with lots of fun things happening. We got an invitation for a birthday party at our local swimming pool which is absolutely fantastic and has a wave pool. I think I had more fun than the kids, swimming, playing and relaxing in the sun.
We have been singing a song in our house that is from YouTube so I wanted to include it in the layout. I took a screenshot on my phone and included a QR code of the link so that we can watch it whenever we like. I just hope that these QR codes stay around in the future or my PL pages won't be as interactive as I'm hoping lol.

Another Flip Flap to include my big boy starting grade 3... WOW where has the time gone? I've just noticed too that the 'start' flair that I used was also positioned incorrectly in the photo above. It actually should be on the Facebook insert but awww well, not to worry. I usually attach them outside of the page protector so that's why it got moved around when I took the cards out for the photo. I don't like photographing my layouts in the page protectors as I find they sometimes give a glare.
Another Flip Flap from Close To My Heart.
And Ali Edwards digital overlay.
A new phone app I had fun playing with for this photo called PopAGraph
A nice bright and fun layout that was a reflection of how the week was for us, hot summer days filled with happy times.
So skipping a week worked well for me... I'll go back to it when I feel the urge and hopefully it comes together as easily as this week did for me. Mental note: work on what makes me happy and feels right at the time and the mojo will flow!
Cheerio peeps :)