Pockets of Beauty

Something that has often saved my sanity is the concept of “seasons”. When I understand the whole of my life as being made up of different seasons, it frees me from the pressure to have everything perfect, all the time. It frees me from desires I have that conflict with each other.

Often these will be all good desires, but they can’t all work at the same time. So I hold onto some things and I let others go, because it won’t work for me in this season.

One way I apply this is acknowledging that in this season, it doesn’t work for me to have the whole house clean at the same time.

So I try to stay on top of the basics and I focus on different areas as I can. One day the bathroom might be looking (and smelling!) great, but the kids’ bedrooms are a mess. Another day, the kitchen might be clean and tidy, but the bathroom has clothes and dirty hand prints every where.

My house might not have the decorative finesse of an instagram feed, but there are corners of the house where I have used my creativity.

I like to think of these as “pockets of beauty” – little spaces that just look nice and bring a smile to my face as I pass them, even when there is mess all around.

Since I spend quite a bit of time in the home at this stage, I find that having beauty in my surroundings helps motivate me in my work.

Of course, with little kids and toddlers around, it’s always a challenge to find the right balance between “functional” and “beautiful”. But generally speaking, I find it works best to keep “functional” stuff down low, and “beautiful” stuff up high. 😉

 

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When I bought this from the shop, it was silver letters on a plain white canvas background. I coloured in the canvas with fabric markers to give it a bit more contrast.

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This is a nice little shelf just outside the hallway to our bedroom. I keep my CDs here, my wedding bouquet (it’s made from foam roses) and my Bible and prayer journal.

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This is the window ledge in the bathroom – I recently cleared away all the bottles, toothbrushes and products to make room for this little display. Fun fact, this twine-wrapped vase was the first ever MOPS craft I made!

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Probably my most frequently changing display area, this is the top of my microwave. At the moment, it has a jar of olives from our back yard, a lovely ceramic Christmas tree, some candles and a fake flower display (another MOPS craft!).

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Chocolate for Breakfast, and other ways I lost 15kgs this year

This topic is pretty different to what I usually blog about, but a lot of people have been asking me in real life how I have lost so much weight recently and this blog is my little “space” on the internet, so I thought I would make a post laying out what has worked for me.

People are all different, and what worked for me may not suit your life. So take what you need and leave the rest. If this is of no interest to you, then just click on by – I’ll be back to normal postings soon 🙂

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April 2017; July 2017; November 2017

  1. Waiting Until I was Ready to Stop Breastfeeding
    I learned this the hard way last time I lost weight, but my body is incapable of breastfeeding and losing weight at the same time.
    In 2015, I started actively trying to lose weight when my second child was 8 months old, but this sadly meant we ended up weaning at 10 months, due to my milk supply dropping and him getting frustrated with the slower flow.
    This time around, we had a lot of problems feeding early on, some of which were my son’s weight gains dropping off and my milk supply falling. After struggling through those issues, I didn’t want to stop breastfeeding early just so I could get my body back into shape. So I made peace with the fact that my body will look a certain way during certain seasons of life (this article really helped me there: http://jessconnell.com/13-reasons-dont-mind-chunky-happy-mama-breastfeeding/) and I waited until I was okay with weaning.
    For us, this meant I started my weight loss journey when he was around 12/13 months and only having one breastfeed a day. He ended up continuing on until 15 months, which I am very happy with. 🙂
  2. Fitting Exercise into my Day
    I’m not super consistent with this, but one of my overall lifestyle changes has been learning to fit exercise into my day however possible. I now see exercise as a fun and necessary part of life, not something to be avoided.
    I wrote in more detail about that here: http://mops.org.au/archives/7750
    One of my goals for next year might be something around creating a more intentional and challenging exercise routine, but we’ll see 😉
  3. About That Chocolate…
    Okay, so when I said I have chocolate for breakfast, what I meant was that sometimes I eat a chocolate protein bar for breakfast. And when I say chocolate protein bar, I am referring to the low carb variety. 🙂
    But, in all seriousness, changing my diet has been the biggest thing I have done to lose the weight.
    I now follow a low carb way of eating, which basically means I eat lots of protein, healthy fats and a ton of veggies, with the occasional fruit or lower carb chocolate thrown in there.
    Honestly, it has not been that hard. In the beginning, I just made small changes rather than cutting out carbs altogether. But now, I find that I have no real desire for things like bread, pasta or rice. And I have eaten the odd sweet thing, only to find that the sugar now feels like it will burn my tongue off and I can’t really appreciate the flavour!
    I think the best thing about this way of eating has been not feeling hungry all the time. I haven’t needed to count calories and I don’t feel like I’m starving myself.
    If you’d like more information on making this change yourself, you can read the comments on this post of mine from a couple of years ago – a lady there in the comments left a lot of links and information about the low carb way of eating.
    And when I was starting out, I printed off this page and stuck it inside my kitchen cupboard, as a quick visual reference guide for what to eat.
    For more practical advice and general science-y stuff about low carb, check out dietdoctor.com

I hope that helps or satisfies your curiosity 🙂

 

Here are some recent pics of what I might eat in an average day…

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My Mother’s Feet

I looked over at my mother’s feet.

Hardened. Calloused. Cracking heels.

My teenage mind thought it was gross.

How could she let her feet get like that? I wondered. Doesn’t she know there are things you can do to keep them nice?

Every now and then my sister and I would give her foot spas, pumice off the dry skin, paint her toenails.

She would gladly indulge us.

And then her feet would return to their usual state.

 


My mother’s feet have always been busy.

And I don’t mean she travelled very far. But she always seemed to be doing something…

Jumping up to get Dad his medication.

Running outside to get the washing in before the rain hit.

Skipping rope on the front lawn at dawn, because that was the only time she could find to exercise, and the only flat patch of grass on our block.

Running along the beach chasing our “pocket rocket” dog, Max.

To-ing and fro-ing across the worn kitchen tiles, feeding hungry mouths.

Standing up the front of church singing.

 


I looked down at my own feet the other day.

Dry. Hardened. Cracking around the sides.

Maybe I should do something about that, I thought.

Get some of the dry skin off, soften them up with some cream, paint the nails a nice colour…

But then I remembered that with these feet I can run barefoot across our backyard in 5 seconds flat to get to a screaming child.

And I don’t mind dashing up the driveway in the rain because I can hear the garbage truck coming and I forgot to put the bin out.

And I can climb into the olive tree to rescue a stranded toddler.

 


I look down at my feet.

My dry, hardened, beautiful, practical feet.

And I see my mother’s feet.

And I am so thankful that they are mine.

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