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29.11.10

When I grow up I want to be a something...


The temperamental climate at work has meant that I've been thinking about my 'career' a lot lately. I say 'career' because I abandoned the notion of a Career the instant I clapped eyes on my firstborn. While once I thought 'climbing the ladder' was a purposeful and interesting way to spend my time, nowadays I have a job and I'm happy with that. But sometimes I think 'coulda, shoulda, woulda...'

I'm 'in advertising', I used to be 'in marketing' and then at one stage I was 'in PR'. What I really want for the Tsunamis is that they be A Something.  A plumber, a delivery driver, a doctor, a farmer, a zoo keeper, a researcher... just A Something. A Something that has a bit of meaning, that's a Career, a Vocation.

At my work the expression 'we're not saving lives' is often raised to try to quell the hysteria that builds when we are behind on our mega-urgent, mega-important drop-dead oh-dear-god-are-we-going-to-make-it  deadline... to put an advertisement into a newspaper. (Hmmmm... I wonder what the neurosurgeons say when they are equally as Stressed Out with Very Pressing and Important Matters?)

I'd like the Tsunamis to be able to say "Me? Oh, I'm A..." and launch into a riveting account of their day doing something important. "I saved a woman's house from flooding" or "I helped birth a baby elephant" or "I introduced three new people to the artwork of Bugalugs".

Maxi used to want to work in a museum but now he wants to be A Film Maker and make films about animals (or Zhu Zhu pets judging by his debut film which wrapped about a month ago and is currently in editing). Cappers wants to assist Maxi to make films about animals (not surprisingly she used to want to assist Maxi at the museum). But in her spare time she wants to be An Artist. The Badoo is practicing to become A Kickboxing / Headbutting / Martial Arts Expert. She's but moments away...

Do you have aspirations for your children? What do they want to be when they grow up?


[Image by Ben Heine]

28.11.10

♥ Loving unexpected kindness




Ivy Designs. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "doesn't Maxabella mention Wynona and Ivy Designs every other post? What is this, some kind of blog affair?" 

Why yes, yes it is.

A while ago I purchased some really lovely clothes from Wynona's online store. Some sweet little pedal pushers, a top, some hair things and the dress that The Badoo wore to her Christening. My favourite little girl's dress ever (you can see it hanging above the bed here).

I left a little comment on Wynona's blog to tell her about the dress so she could see a picture of The Badoo wearing one of her designs. I thought that if I was a designer, I would love to see pictures of my customers happy in my designs. I left the comment and thought nothing of it...

... until I got a package in the mail. Wrapped beautifully and brimming with all the gorgeous things you see in my (really bad) photo above. A sweet Peony skirt and matching iron-on applique patch. A little lollipop hairclip. A hairband made of the most delicately patterned paisley fabric. All snug in a lovely Ivy Designs calico bag. And a note saying 'You surprised me with The Badoo's dress for her christening, how flattered am I! So here's a surprise for you gorgeous'.


I can't tell you how touched I was. I just adore every one of the gifts that Wynona has sent and her kindness has stayed with me for days. An unexpected kindness really is what makes the world go round. Thank you, thank you, Wynona!

Have you ever been delighted by a surprise in the mail? And do you sometimes feel like you've stumbled into the sweetest place on earth here in blogland?



27.11.10

This week I'm grateful for... jobs


I went to a mine in the middle of bloody nowhere this week. We took a 2 hour 'mudhopper' flight out of Townsville into central Far North Queensland. Three and a half driving hours north west of Mount Isa. Yes, as middle-of-bloody-nowhere as that! It was rather romantic to experience somewhere that remote and special to meet some of the people who fly in to work out that way. But it was truly sobering to put a 'face' to the seemingly endless number of mine disasters that are happening in our world these days.

This week I'm grateful for...

1. My job - I have it, it interests me, it takes me on adventures a surprising number of times for a basic office worker!

2. LOML's job - because he's not going down into a mine every day.

3. Milk - as one miner put it "you can't afford to be lactose-intolerbullshit' around here. You need to drink your milk or you don't stay healthy.


So, what's making you smile today? Grab my Grateful button from my sidebar if you like (see, over there... I've got a buttton!!), link back your own Grateful post below and then pop over to visit other bloggers who are spreading a little sunshine.  No hurry - we're all about laaaaazy Saturdays. Link is open all week. Happy day to you!



[Image by Tourism Bridgend]

26.11.10

Things I learned this week including that all a boy really needs is a spider


Happy 'less than a month until Christmas' to you! We did Santa letters this week and amazingly the Tsunamis couldn't think of more than 157 things to ask for this year. Their letters were each only 11 pages long. It's a Christmas Miracle.

Aside from learning that my children are as materialistic and greedy as ever, I also learned:

1. The best game in the world for little boys is catching ants and flinging them onto Golden Orb or St Andrew's spiderwebs and watching the 'pet spider' sort out his dinner. To be honest, it's also the best game in the world for little boys' mothers too - I have lost HOURS this week alone....

2. My life is not complete without a personalised wooden stamp from Love to Create. And, as it says on the box, it would "make a fantastic wedding gift" if the wedding couple had already moved into their 'forever' home because what exactly do you do with an address stamp for an address you no longer need to stamp?

3. RikRak Studio is not only the place to go for a showcase of the Beautiful and the Handmade, she is also having an AMAZING Happy Holidays giveaway that you would be nuts to miss out on... NUTS. Get over there! No wait, finish reading my post first and then get over there...!

4. I don't know how I've existed up until now without this perfect bedside lamp...

5. I hate my new "Grateful" banner but I'm too lazy to change it right now.


How was your week? Did you learn anything new to share with the group today?

_____________________________________________________

Edited on Saturday:

I changed my button. I don't know why I didn't like the old button, but I like the new one a lot. Sorry for any trouble for those lovelies who had the banner button in their sidebar... love you! x

[Image by Sarah Rosiee]

25.11.10

The November Chronicles: What's on my fridge?


Can you believe a whole October went by and I didn't take photos of my fridge? What's wrong with me?

I know my Fridge Chronicles are probably a little bit boring, but just skip over the post if you're yawning. I like it. The things that accumulate on the fridge are either very important, or very random. Either way, it's a record of life in Maxabellaland and I do treasure it. So please, bear with me.


One of the Secret Blogging Business bits that I hardly mention is just how generous bloggers are. I have won some AMAZING giveaways from some AMAZING blogs.  I received a gorgeous "Carried away by Bats" print from Candace Jean via Rik Rak Studio giveaway. She sent me this sweet note on beautifully illustrated stationery. You gotta love bloggers.


Then there are all the delightful things you can buy from shops like Lark and Rudy and the Dodo. I just love online shopping. The variety. The hunt. The handmade. Once I got over the need to 'touch things' I haven't looked back. The way most stores package their goodies is like getting a birthday gift in the mail (except, you know, you bought if for yourself...)

Capper's friend Lola sent her a thank you letter after coming to her Mermaid Party. Her favourite thing at the party was the "Earthquakes". This is where LOML lies on the trampoline with 27 kids and bounces them all over the place. Many squeals and much laughter later, he collapses with exhaustion. Bless that fun-loving LOML.


Another month, another party invite. This time it was Blake's party up the road. Maxi-Taxi was a bit out of his element (he only knew a couple of the boys) so he instantly regressed into skirt-clinger mode. I had a lovely time being that "mum who won't just do the drop off". You know That Mum.


I was Door Bitch at the School Disco. "Is your mum or dad outside? No? Well, get back in there and have FUN, you hear me?" Some of those kids were downright sneaky, pretending to have a Mum or Dad waiting outside so they could go play on the play equipment. But don't worry, they were soon off my list.

Don't be fooled by the $5 entry fee. I didn't get away from that place without a $23 hole in my pocket.
 sausage sizzle for kids and parents!!! glow bracelets! treats! drinks! iceblocks! 


So, tell me, what's on your fridge / noticeboard / calendar / head this month?*


* I'm not doing the linky anymore. I can't take the pain of a massive white space under my announcement with an average of 3 people linking up. I'm just not strong enough...

22.11.10

Ms Nosybella: What would you...?


Hello Kind (or not so? Read on...) Readers

There was an incident at my place a weekend or so ago. Let's just say that I lost my temper and made my MIL cry (a little bit). I felt like such a bully. It's an ugly, ugly side of me that I have never embraced but seem unable to be free of.

Fortunately, I can count on... three hands the number of times I've lost my temper and barked at someone. But I would love to change my fiery, redhead ways if I could. That and keeping my big mouth shut when it's not my turn to speak. And my incessant need for instant gratification has to go too. Oh and I wouldn't mind being a lot more patient when it comes to teaching my children new things. Plus I talk to much. I go on and on and on and... well, you know that already.

My question this time is: what would you change about yourself if you could?

'Til next time

[Image by Anton Tang]

21.11.10

Maxabellaland: A reality check

This one's for Nicole over at Bubby Makes Three who has come up with the brilliant idea of exposing those house porn mags for pitching an impossible dream. People don't / can't live like that in real life. To prove it, we are revealing our real-life homes in all their messy, cluttered, what-the-hell-is-this-thing-and-where-can-I-stash-it glory.

Here's my kitchen which has a permanent morning-after-the-night-before feel to it. Note the carefully prepared 'old beige towel' back drop through the 'picture' window...


Note the absence of freshly baked goods in the cake stand (which is permanently out as it has no home to speak of). The rotting bananas, long past 'fresh banana bread' stage. The three pack of dummies to feed the two year old's unbreakable pack-a-day habit. The broken-down, rusty old dishwasher and resulting piles of dishes in the dish rack (miraculously washed).  The bottles of plonk resting enticingly on the ancient stove top. Numerous containers permanently housed on the dividing-half-wall that screens persnickety dinner guests from the nastiness of preparing said dinner, but still allows the host to join in the chit chat. Oh yes, the kitchen.

Now, meet my Third Drawer Down, where the real me lurks like a festering wound.  Hold your breath, we're diving in...


You will not be surprised to learn that it doesn't actually close properly.

Moving on from the hungover kitchen, down the hall is Capper's bedroom, an oasis for the creative spirit.


Capper's bedroom previously featured in a Maxabella post, but it was the other end of the room that was cunningly displayed. Editing is a beautiful thing, isn't it Home Beautiful?

Here's a close-up of that sweet, little girl desk...


And one of the 'why did I think free-access to art in the bedroom was a great idea' carpet...


... and her sagging art string which was also a great idea at the time but, unlike in the magazines, she refuses to hang just 5 themed pictures tidily in a row.



See the Doll's House and Princess Palace there? They're not faring much better...


Police are investigating the possibility of a homicidal maniac on the loose in Maxabellaland. He's already claimed two victims in the Princess Palace and it is feared that next door he has brutally stabbed Doll's House Mum to death...


... no wait, scrap that. This is a clear case of Death By Ironing After Drinking Large Pot of Tea.

Oh boy did I enjoy that anti-over-styled life moment... So, ah, what's it like at your place?

___________________________________________________________
I rewound this post at the Fibro on 1.4.2011
Clearly I can't get enough humiliation.

20.11.10

This week I'm grateful for... kites



Today I would  be very much grateful for some sunshine (someshine?) I don't know this El Nina very well, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to like her very much. I'm beginning to think that the Earth has shifted and Sydney is now located in the Northern Hemisphere...

But there's always a silver lining and this week I'm grateful for...


1. Kites - the only thing I enjoy doing when its windy is flying a cheery, festive, friendly, uplifting kite.

2. Mums - you disappoint them and they love you anyway. Speedy Gonzales recovery, MELM. x

3. MooGoo - I've written about their products before, but this week I am even more grateful for MooGoo because The Badoo tipped half a bottle of the shampoo on her head on Thursday night and it was not a blinding, screaming disaster.


So, what's making you smile today? Grab my Grateful button from my sidebar (see -> over there... I've got a buttton!!), link back your own Grateful post below and then pop over to visit other bloggers who are spreading a little sunshine.  No hurry - we're all about laaaaazy Saturdays. Link is open all week. Happy day to you!



[I am also grateful for delightful images like this one via fffound]

19.11.10

Things I learned this week including that hipsters are hysterical



This was the week where I wasn't retrenched then I sort of was and then I sort of wasn't and then I definitely wasn't. What a rush.

I've learned a few things along the way...

1. Laughter really is the best remedy. Check out Unhappy Hipsters to see why I still have a smile on my face despite the dreadful week I've had... they are so funny (even though they clearly don't get the joke!).

2. Also keeping me smiling is the resillience of children. Maxi-Taxi's "Battleaxe Fairies" made me realise that whatever happens, self-belief and creativity will get our kids through most things. Just like they've seen their parents through the worst from time to time.

3. Change is good, change is appreciated... but sometimes it sucks the very life out of you.

4. I know it's 'back', I know it can look good, but I just can't like wallpaper.

5. Eating four pieces of a chocolate, maple syrup, kit kat and marshmallow Christening cake is not very condusive to weight loss. The scary thing is, I don't think I really learned this. I think I will probably do the same again next time I encounter the same oozing, lucious, sticky sweetness... darn!


How was your week? Did you learn anything new to share?


[Image by Crisobal Palma via Unhappy Hipsters]

17.11.10

The fairy Collection (updated)

At her recent Christening, The Badoo received a Tinkerbell dress, DVD and doll from her Zia Lucia.* Maxi-Taxi was fascinated by the story on the DVD and then overjoyed when he discovered that Cappers already owned two Tinkerbell dolls. Instantly, he had three fairy dolls, which is all Maxi-Taxi needs to be off and away into the Land of Imagination. That boy just loves a Collection.

This morning he cautiously asked what I thought of him taking the fairy Collection into school to play with at Big Lunch.  The conversation went a little like this:

M-T: I'm thinking of taking in the Fairy Collection to school to play with at Big Lunch.

Me: That sounds fun. (Thinking: Oh dear lord, does he not want any friends?)

M-T: Well, I don't think the boys will want to play with them...

Me: Hmmmm... maybe not. (Are you crazy? I'm not usually hung-up on gender specific toys, but believe me you'll be the laughing stock of the entire boy part of the school!)

M-T: They might laugh at me.

Me: They might. (What, is he reading my mind now? He's SUCH a strong, confident, loving... of course he's not reading my mind... different child...)

M-T: I could play by myself, or with the girls... no, not with the girls, but by myself.

Me: Yes, that could be fun. (There is nothing wrong with playing by yourself at school. There is nothing wrong with playing by yourself at school. There is...)

M-T: So should I take them in?

Me: Well, you know the boys might laugh and want to play something else but you've decided you could play by yourself... so you can make your mind up knowing what you know.

M-T: Okay, I'll take them in.

Me: Good decision (Oh no). You'll enjoy playing with them (ALONE). Just grab a bag to put them in... ah, okay, the pink bag is a good idea. (Forgodsake we have to have a pink bag too!?). Enjoy yourself, Sonshine.

And off to school he went.

And I sit here wondering... how is my boy doing?



* Zia never misses an extravagant gifting opportunity!


________________________________________________________________________

Postscript

How the boy was doing...

Okay, so apparently Tinkerbell and Friends have poisonous wings that kill you as soon as they brush past your face. And their eyes shoot out bolts that paralyse your body and make foam come out of your mouth. And they like wrestling. They are battleaxe fairies.


Apparently, the boy brigade couldn't get enough of them...



[Image via tumblr Please let me know if you know the source so I can credit it properly!]

------------------------------------
EDIT: Yay we found the source of this fab photo. It's by Scott Wills and the sweet fairy dust was made by his talented wife Thanks for letting me know. Tumblr and weheartit are the place to go for unsourced photos. Not good!

16.11.10

Here's a little post about Glen


Have you met Glen? I haven't either, but boy do I like him.  His blog is irreverent and funny and honest (and every now and then he does these weird posts pretending he's some Hollywood wannabe dude called Breeze Van Santo which I totally don't get but read anyway), but that's not why I'm dedicating this post to him.

I've mentioned him before because up until Sunday when Loz joined the gang, Glen has been my only (unrelated) male follower. He comments and everything (his comments are extremely funny. Check out his musings on my love of birds here). I used to wonder why I didn't have many male followers (they are so, so welcome). I'm definitely not a girly girl - I know how to roll my own cigarettes, drink bourbon straight up when the mood catches me and I'm a hell of a pool player after a couple of them bourbons. But really, let's face it, I'm hardly one to shy away from a... delicate subject, am I? I kinda put it aaaall out there. And I do like pretty. A lot.

So, I'm just in love with the fact that this bloke (and he is a BLOKE) would diligently stick with all the posts about female toilet habits and pretty pom-poms and garlands and strutting your stuff and childbirth and breastfeeding and even, god help him, bikini-line waxing. He reads them all. He says they "scare the hell out of him", but he reads them anyway. I like that in a man.

So Glen, I know you're reading this and I just wanted to say, from all of us scary women in Maxabellaland, that we love blokes like you. We really, really do.


Do you have any male followers? Do you also admire men who won't let women's business get in the way of a decent friendship?

[Image blatantly nicked from Glen's Life. He looks a bit psycho, but I'm sure that's just his Halloween face... right Glen? Glen?]

15.11.10

The Divil and the Badoo


Visiting me here Maxabellaland today are some of the lovely bloggers from Mama's Little Nestwork.


There are places in bloggerspace that just make me feel welcome and safe and nurtured. Mama's Little Nestwork is one such place. I stumbled onto Mama Hen's blog early in my blogging days and I really enjoyed the simplicity of the joy she had for her daughter, Little Chick. She's a warm, caring mother and that extends to a warm, caring blog and now a warm, caring network of mum bloggers. Mums without an agenda. Just writing about their families and, really, far nicer than me (sshhhhh, don't tell them!). Aspirational if you like!

I hope my fellow Nesties will enjoy having a play in Maxabellaland. Don't read the posts where I use the f-word or Mama Hen might kick me out!

At my place this weekend we baptised The Badoo. We thought we might try and 'get the divil out of her' (as my great-grandmother would say). Anything to help.


It seemed to work straightaway as she was good as gold throughout the mass and didn't even mind having the 'guy throw the water on my head'. Yes, I'm sure 'the guy' was very gentle, Badoo.


Here she is, the proud, newly holy little sister in the middle. I'm not sure how that lizard managed to become part of the festivities...

Afterwards we had a little luncheon to celebrate (complete with decadent cake). The Badoo insisted on blowing out the 'birthday candle' so out went the Christening candle and we sang that well known religious song "Happy Christening to you".



She was already a little cheeky and now she's my little cheeky angel. Here she is with her darling Dadda.


What did you get up to at your place this weekend?

13.11.10

This Saturday I'm grateful for... newspapers



Here in Maxabellaland, Saturday is traditionally a sport, shop, sort the clothes, sweep the floors, strangle the Tsunamis (insert other 's' words here - no pun intended) kinda day. But it's nice to pause to appreciate the things in your life that are positive and affirming, whatever they may be. 



This Saturday I'm grateful for...


1. Good customer service - To the little guy at the newsagency near Wynyard who is clearly working an after-school gig on Tuesdays and Thursdays... thank you. You are so much nicer than the after-school guy who works Mondays and Fridays.


2. Newspapers - I won't give you up. I like holding your hand while I ponder the world.


3. Egg yolks - I've written about yolks before over here (it's amazing what becomes your defining preoccupations while blogging), but I just wanted to say again that scrambled egg whites just ain't my thing at all.



So, what's making you smile today? Link back your own Grateful post below and then pop over to visit other bloggers who are spreading a little sunshine.  No hurry - we're all about laaaaazy Saturdays. Link is open all week. Happy day to you!




[Image]

12.11.10

Things I learned this week including that cupcakes can bake themselves


Happy Friyay! Another week, another... week. I overnighted in Adelaide on Sunday night for a shoot on Monday, collapsed exhausted on Tuesday following major work announcements, spent Wednesday night laughing at a home BBQ with my soon-to-be-ex colleagues and spent Thursday night baking into the wee small hours. Hello working Mum. Here's what I learned along the way...

1. When asked to bake something for a school event, you will be up until waaaaaay past your bedtime (8pm) (not really) (8.30pm) putting  together a sweet batch of 24 cupcakes with smiley faces only to find that most people just bring in store-bought stuff on a paper plate. Sigh.

2. People harshly judge mothers who travel for business.

3. There is this really fantastic site called Creative Muslims that brings together Muslim artists, graphic designers, photographers, etc. What I love about it is that it's been a great way for me to get to know a completely different (and, for whatever reason, controversial) culture and religion and appreciate the way that religion works in a lifestyle quite similar to my own. Finding a common platform to start is a great way to appreciate another culture.

4.  Blog Years: For every minute you spend in the Blogosphere, 25 minutes will have elapsed back on Planet Earth.

5. Drugwars is still around and is just as addictive as ever. Have you ever played it? I spent hours at work in the UK with my trade finance colleagues* lost in drug running. Play if you dare - you might not come back out again for many, many months.

Did you learn anything new to share this week? What do you think of store-bought cupcakes, mums who desert their young families to go away on business, Muslims, Blog Years or drug running...?



* Do remind me to tell you about the time I landed a job in international trade finance while temping as a secretary in London.

PS - Head to Lori's for showcase your amazing blog on Flog Yo Blog Friday...

[Image (and cupcakes - mine looked nothing like this good!) by hello naomi]

11.11.10

Just me and the P&C


A while back I wrote a post taking the piss out of people who join P&C committee. Six months later... oh my god, it's me.

I'm the PR and Marketing rep for the school. Despite the fact that I have an aversion to OPC (Other People's Children) and  OCP (Other Children's Parents), I signed up because (a) every time someone learns I'm in advertising they moan to me non-stop about how there's no PR/M rep for the school and that so-and-so's school up the road has a PR/M person and their kids get in the paper all the time.

Let's pause at (a), shall we?

School kids in the local newspaper. If it's not your kid are you not simply wondering why this random kid is in the newspaper? Do I care that Little Beth was awarded first prize in the Kindergarten public speaking competition after her ground-breaking one minute speech on Why I Like My Friend? No, I can't even fake it, I do not*.

(b) I'm sick of those smug little knowing glances people share when a working parent can't volunteer for something due to work commitments. Well, knowing-glance-givers, now one of those inconvenient working parents is on your stupid committee so... there.

(c) This year I'm class mum, I do reading a few times a term, I volunteer for the tuckshop, I'm supervising at the school disco, I'm baking cupcakes for the Principal's Assembly, I'm decorating gardens for the Kinder Lunch... and to be absolutely honest next year I plan to do all my PR/M duties via email.

and

(d) The P&C president begged.

So, I'm in. Or out.... depending on how many times I get the little mugs onto page 3 of the local rag, I assume!


Do you volunteer at your child's school? What kinds of things do you do? Do you secretly resent the parents who don't do a damn** thing?



* This is not true. I care, I really care. I was the only parent-of-a-non-finalist*** to show up in the audience at the finals of Kindergarten Public Speaking competition where Beth's speech about'Why I Like My Friend' left me holding back the tears and screaming 'bravo, bravo!' louder than her mum.


** Or openly resent. Either's fine.

*** Yes, you do need to ask: why was Maxabella the only parent of a non-finalist in attendance? Five / six year olds making speeches? I wouldn't have missed this gorgeous little event for love nor money. For shame, fellow non-finalist-parents. You should have been there to support the finalists and show your own child that even if they choose to talk non-stop about puffer fish when they're meant to be talking about friends during their own speech, Mum comes along to support your class anyway. 





[Image]

10.11.10

Phew


A quick note to say that I appear to have escaped the cut and I won't be made redundant. It's nice to know I'll be part of a new team in the next couple of weeks... where or what or who I do not know.

But, onwards and upwards.

Thanks everyone for your fab support via comment and email. It means a lot to know that so many of you are in my corner.

[Image by Noor van Krimpen-Winckel]

9.11.10

Stuff I like


Stuff White People Like never fails to raise a chuckle and, of course, a mirror. It amuses me that I'm so White it's not even funny (!).

Take TED (which I am obsessed with) or Banksy (whose 'work' I admire) or  Vespas (which I despair I never owned pre-Tsunamis) or Grammar (I won't shop where apostrophes aren't served). Then there's Sushi (which I have somewhat embarrassingly written a love story to here), Gentrification (rough suburb puts on make-up but you can still see the well-worn creases) and Appearing To Enjoy Classical Music (because I do... no, really).

Then, like all White People, there is the stuff that I say I'm into, but I don't really get and I don't actually like. Things like Rugby (boofs jumping on boofs), Bob Marley ( ... ), Coffee (the idea of pouring milk into brown water makes me feel a little bit sick) and Organic Food (I just don't see the point of insisting on only organic vegetables and then hoovering down a Snickers).

There are the things I think are interesting but never get around to doing like Farmers' Markets (see Organic Food above), Not Having a TV (I can't miss Wife Swap), Vintage (too much detective work and delayed gratification involved) and Marijuana (because that would be illegal).

And the things that I find genuinely perplexing: Gifted Children (because they all are, aren't they?), Double-barrelled surnames (what actually happens when two double-barrels marry each other?) Moleskine Notebooks (and over-priced branded stuff in general) and Marathons (although, of course, any day now...).

So, hey, I'm a White Person and I find it very, very amusing to poke fun at me.

Are you White? What's some of the Stuff you Like?

[Image via Paper Face, source unknown]

7.11.10

Blogliciousness: Baby Mac


Blogliciousness n Desirable, yummy, inspiring and/ or entertaining blog. A potential new blog to love.



"Return of the Mac, it's return of the Mac..." 

Oh, sorry... I was drifting into embarrassing lyric mode again there. Admittedly not quite as tragic as my Happy Days moment, but still.

The reason for my mis-spelling of Mack is the feature of this maiden voyage of Blogliciousness.  



Have you met Beth?

She's quirky and honest and very, very brave. Just weeks ago she tree-changed with her darling husband and two littlies. It must have been daunting to leave the inner-city and move to the country, but she has soft landed into one of the most gorgeous parts of the world. Better still, she's moved straight into the pages of Home Beautiful and we get to turn green watching her pull her desirable home together.

So with Baby Mac you get self-reflection, cynical wit, home decorating and acute observations of country life all rolled into one lovely blog. She's pretty handy with a camera too. What's not to love?

Best wishes for your Home Beautiful move, Beth. I'll be right there for all the good times and the bad times.


Pop over to see Beth, but before you scamper, tell us about a blogger whose lifestyle you admire. Don't forget to add a link so we can check them out!


[Image from Baby Mac, of course!]

6.11.10

This Saturday I'm grateful for... support


Here in Maxabellaland, Saturday is traditionally a sport, shop, sort the clothes, sweep the floors, strangle the Tsunamis (insert other 's' words here - no pun intended) kinda day. But it's nice to pause to appreciate the things in your life that are positive and affirming, whatever they may be. 




This Saturday, I'm grateful for...


1. Support - because even those annoying optimists need to be told that it's all going to be okay in the end.


2. Birds - we all know I'm slightly obsessed. I like their design, I like their song, but most of all I like the fact that every time I see a flying bird I feel free and charmed and easy.


3. Toilets - because without them... 




So, what's making you smile today? Link back your own Grateful post below and then pop over to visit other bloggers who are spreading a little sunshine.  No hurry - we're all about laaaaazy Saturdays. Link is open all week. Happy day to you!


[Image is by Katie Lee]

5.11.10

Things I learned this week including that enough is enough


You know what, after some 22 posts I thought about killing 'things I learned' this week but I just couldn't pull the trigger. The thing is, I really like my weekly round up and it helps to write down and appreciate the new stuff you come across. So, let the learning continue and please lodge any complaints in the comment box below.

1. When I learned that banks put their interest rates up on the same day they announced MASSIVE profits, I threw up all over my St George the Dragon money box circa 1979. When is enough profit enough? Why do they have to be making billions and billions of dollars scraped together from my $1.50 transaction fees and my 0.25% interest rate rises? Why? Enough is enough. I'm working out what to do about it... I'll, ah... keep you posted.

2. Gimp is an awesome online photo-shop rip off that is really, really good and really, really free.

3. I'm furious that in this age of 'non-gender specifics' and 'give the girl a truck', wonderful mothers still find that they have to write posts about their amazing children like this one from Nerdy Apple Bottom and this one from my mate Woogsworld.  By god, when will we let children express themselves, not their gender!?

4. I'm into Beauty and the Geek... ... ... ... That is all.

5. I learnt that I have a whole lot of thinking to do about myself and my place in the world at Zen Family Habits (via Planning with Kids, thanks Nicole!)

So, hey there, what do you think about banks, gimp, the sexuality of five year olds, Beauty and the Geek or living in 20Zen? 
And did you learn something new to share this week?

PS - Go FLOG YO BLOG with Lori and The Old Spice Guy... now, back to me.

4.11.10

The gentle art of re-purposing



Here are the home-made tissue pom-poms from Cappers' birthday party hanging above her bed. They look so dramatic and attractive. Let's just ignore the rumpled bed, shall we? I smoothed it just-so, ready for the photo and an entire Badoo landed on it. Such is my lackadaisical approach to photographing bedrooms, I left it just the way it was. Home Beautiful will not be calling any time soon, me thinks.

So, let's just keep the focus on the Pom-poms as Everyday Decorations and let me just say: Don't wait for a party, get fluffing!

PS - that pretty little dress with the bunting picture in the background is by Wynona at Ivy Designs. Just beautiful.



3.11.10

There's a storm coming...


Things at work are pressured lately. There's a major restructure happening which means that our large advertising and marketing team of 100 will merge into different areas of the biz. Many of us will be made redundant or asked to apply for new roles elsewhere in the company. Some of us will stay where we are and take on a different sort of role.

It's a pretty scary place to be, as you can imagine. We are all facing a massive life change and things will never be the same again. Everyone deals with change so differently and there is sadness, anger, depression and bewilderment. Seeded amongst the understandable despair there are the annoyingly cheerful people that you just want to slap for being so bloody optimistic.

Oh colleagues, I apologise wholeheartedly, but I just can't help myself.

I'm a Pollyanna well practiced in the art of denial.  My heart says 'I'm worried and scared and anxious... what if?', but my head answers 'you can't worry about something you have no control over'. You just have to wait for the verdict and then plan your attack. No point coming up with answers to scenarios that may never happen. Save your energy and spirit and just get on with things, treat yourself and others kindly and reassess your options when you really know what's going on.

So, I won't worry until I know what I need to worry about... that's, ah, why I can't sleep a wink and the suspense is eating me for breakfast...

Are you a born worrier or a born optimist? How do you manage big changes that are beyond your control?

[Artwork 'The Premonition' is by the Flickerees]

2.11.10

And it goes a little something like this...


The blark is back. It probably never really went away, but I just needed to see if the world would end if I missed a day of posting on my blog.

Hello there, dear World. You made it through. Yayiety.

Then there was the 'stage fright' issue. The one where you've been dancing up a storm all night and then somewhere around song number 27 you remember that people are watching. Suddenly you just can't dance no more.

I've been reading a few posts here and there lately about 'why I blog'. The posts have been varied and special and very inspirational, yet I've been strangely quiet in the comment box. The reason I've been silent is that I don't have a fancy pants answer to the question.

Why do I blog?

I dunno.

Shrug.

I just like it.

I thought maybe that wasn't a good enough reason, but now I realise that it's a plenty-good-enough reason for me.

Thank you to my sister Al at Life In A Pink Fibro and friend Jodie at Mummy Mayhem for helping me gather my thoughts on all of this. I love blogging and I love the blog community, so the blark is definitely back.

One change. My new blog slogan: Same Maxabella, Less Often. Yep, I like the sound of that.

So go on, tell me, oh gorgeously patient friends... why do you blog?

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