ARCHIVE: January 2015

About Top Knot Mum

January 23, 2015 | 0 Comment

A post all about me. How self indulgent!

Here’s a few things you might not know…

1. I’m a TV binge watcher and political dramas are my favourite. Which is ironic, because I don’t follow politics closely. I’m currently obsessed with The West Wing (it was on for something like 8 years and I never watched an episode, so now that we own the boxed set, I’m bingeing on it.) Other favourites include House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Girls, Game of Thrones, The Bachelor (The US one for fun, the Australian version to see how bad it is) and I’ve just completed the first season of The Affair. I’m sure I’m forgetting some. OK, I’ll admit it, I also watch whatever Kardashians season is on.

2. I’m a half-finisher. It’s not a good trait. I have half written blog posts stored, I’ve half finished some redecoration projects, I plan holidays last minute and I barely finish meal plans. The last one really annoys me, so my ‘already into the new year’ resolution is to be better with that. I wish I had enough commitment to that as I do my Instagram feed.

3. I’m a runner. I love it. I used to run a lot before Jack and then once I had him I was too busy or too tired to run. Until I got a really horrible flu in September, then I knew it was because I wasn’t exercising. Running keeps me feeling fit, healthy and with enough energy to keep up with my toddler. Recently I’ve been running 7km 3x per week.

4. For the past 4 months I’ve had braces on my teeth. I have an overbite that is currently being corrected and it’ll take 2 years. I’d been thinking of doing this for the last 5 years, so I’m grateful I’ve finally had them put on and I can’t wait for the final result.

5. My favourite book is April Fools Day from Bryce Courtenay. I try to encourage everyone to read it. The study in our house looks like a library. We are avid readers, something I hope we pass on to Jack.

6. I don’t have a middle name. My father never liked the one given to him, so I wasn’t given one.

7. Hubby and I were set up by a mutual friend. A fix up that worked. 10 months later we were engaged and I chose my own engagement ring. Some people have opinions about that but I’m picky with jewellry, so I figured if I was going to wear something every day for the rest of my life, I wanted to make sure I loved it. He had no complaints. Each to their own.

8. I love photography and I spend a lot of time researching different techniques and editing skills. I don’t have an amazing DSLR, it’s a cropped body Canon but my prime lens makes up for it. I have so many ideas in my head and I get frustrated when I can’t get the shot I want. I wish I had a mentor though, I still think I could be much better.

9. I have a prominent birthmark that I always forget about as it’s in a place I never see. Let’s just say I could never wear Brazilian bikini bottoms.

10. I can’t think of anything for number 10, so I’m asking you, is there anything you want to know?

This post is also timely because a few days ago, Willisa, who has a blog named Willing Me (please visit her, she’s a doll!) nominated me for a Liebster Award, which is really just about getting to know other bloggers. She has posed these questions to me.

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1. What’s the best part about having a blog? Just having an online journal and photo diary that I can share with others. I love writing and as I mentioned, I’m obsessed with photography so it was the perfect outlet for all of that.

2. Where do you live? The outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. I have a dream to live overseas for a while, but I’d never leave Melbourne permanently. We’re in a relationship and its serious. The sport, the culture and yes, even the weather (no relationship is perfect!)

3. What’s your favourite time of the day? Ooh, good one. I don’t know! On the good days, it’s all day. I have an amazing sleeper for a child (if not for illness or nasty teething) so I always wake up feeling refreshed. On the bad days, it’s Jack’s bedtime. Just because I’ll have some time to go for a run then come home and unwind and de-stress.

4. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given about life? I can’t say that anyone actually sits me down to give me advice really. But my advice for life? 1. Treasure your health 2. If you don’t like something, stop whinging about it and change it and 3. Focus on the positives, not the negatives.

5. Favourite Breakfast food? Poached eggs on sourdough, grilled tomato, mushrooms, spinach and a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. I’m a big eater.

6. Best job you’ve ever had? I once worked as an Executive Assistant for a firm of finance brokers. I worked there for 7 years before it was time for a change. What do I want to do for the rest of my life? That, my friends, is my greatest source of frustration at the moment. I’m at a point in my life where I can chase my dreams but I still don’t know what my dream is.

7. Where is your ultimate holiday destination? Island hopping around the Caribbean or a road trip around the USA (but probably not with a toddler in tow.)

8. What is your Favourite colour & how does it make you feel? Pink & Red. Pink makes me feel girly and fresh. Red for when I want to feel vibrant and sexy.

9. What is the last book you read? True Love by Jennifer Lopez. Sorry I couldn’t give you something more intelligent. Guilty pleasure holiday reading.

10. Describe your favourite pair of shoes? Plain black pumps by Christian Louboutin.

11. It’s 9pm on a weeknight, What are you doing? I’m probably blogging, editing photos or in bed with my hubby watching The West Wing or The Bachelor.

It’s Friday! Have a good weekend.

Belinda x

 

Favourite Things (17 months)

January 12, 2015 | 0 Comment

It’s official. I have a toddler. Jack is walking everywhere. In the last week it’s just been like boom, I got this mummy. Now I have an irrational fear of him being snatched or lead away at a shopping centre, so poor hubby was copping this big spiel from me about always ALWAYS holding his hand or popping him in the pram if he needs to turn away or have two hands free. He is also obsessed with swimming. He saw the Yarra River on Christmas Day and wanted to jump into it, the same happened when we were exploring the river in Warrandyte and again yesterday when we walked around Ringwood Lake. He threw a tantrum when we wouldn’t let him walk to the lakes edge, because he probably would have jumped in!

Every now and then I like to make a flat lay of things Jack loves the most at his current age, just to remember, so here it is from 16-17 months.

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1. Books. Jack loves anything written by Nick Bland, including ‘Some Dads’. When Jack was born, friends gave us the 2013 winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia for a picture book. Therefore, we wanted to continue this and bought him the 2014 winning entry ‘Rules of Summer’ by Shaun Tan. Jack will still play with his other toys, but 8 times out of 10 he will grab a book and want to sit in mine or hubby’s lap while we read it to him. Actually, he’s even happy if we just hold it and he flicks through the pages.

2. This Bonds Wondersuit was given to Jack for his first birthday but as I told these friends, I’d stopped putting Jack in grow suits because he’d often get himself tangled up and end up with both legs in one of the leg holes. I put him in this to give it a go and he’s been fine. He’s fallen in love with the sea characters on the garment and even now if you ask him where the fishies are, no matter what he’s wearing, he’ll point to his sleeve. Cute.

3. Thomas the Tank Engine. Ok, so hubby and I may be going mad with this and find ourselves randomly singing “they’re two, they’re four, they’re six, they’re eight. Shunting trucks and hauling freight” but hey, if he loves it, then we will bear it. He even knows how to flick over to the DVD player to get Thomas to start playing. Wanna know one of my photography secrets? If I can’t get Jack to look at me and smile, I’ll find the Thomas theme song on my iPhone and hold it next to the camera. Instant smile.

4. Money. My handbag gets emptied by Jack at least once a day. He enjoys finding one of two things. Food, or money. He’ll pull everything out of my wallet or find my coin purse and play with the coins until his heart is content. All our spare gold coins go into his piggy bank, so he’s fascinated with that too. Oh, and you know PayPass at the registers? Jack HAS to be the one to tap the screen with our credit card. He know exactly what to do and then he holds his little hand out to the cashier until he’s given the receipt.

5. Walking! Jack is loving himself sick now that he can walk, so it’s all about getting him used to shoes. Purebaby have the cutest sandals in store now, so these are perfect for summer. I’m trying to restrain myself from buying all the trendiest shoes for him, because he has a few and his feet are still growing so much, but really, how cute are trendy baby kicks?

The frame was a Christening gift, but I had the idea to put a J in it, instead of a picture. It looks really cool on his shelf (some people take photo’s of nursery shelves and call them shelfies haha) so I included it in the picture.

So tell me, how old is your child and what are they loving?

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Monday!

Belinda xx

Are You Happy?

January 9, 2015 | 2 Comments

This isn’t a fluff piece, its time to get serious. And I don’t have any pretty photos to accompany it either.

My stepdad is battling cancer for the third time. As I write this, he’s resting at home after a stint in hospital undergoing chemotherapy. He’s probably lost count of how many rounds of chemo he’s had in his life. But it’s horrible and it’s a lonely and isolating place to be. One of pain, nausea and misery. And hope. At least there is always hope. Of a recovery, or a means to slow down the disease.

My Jack’s middle name is Andrew, named after my step-dad and Jack’s beloved poppy. Before our first child was even conceived, we discussed having a little boy and naming him Jack Andrew. There was no other option. Craig wanted Jack and I wanted Andrew. Done. Settled. When I was pregnant we hoped for this boy. It goes without saying that we wanted a healthy child and would have been as overjoyed with a girl, but then out came our Jack. It means so much that he bears the name of someone I love dearly.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness lately. Funnily enough it was after someone left a comment on my Facebook status recently that read, in part, that I have “enthusiasm for everything”. It really made me think, and I was pleased that someone I know views me that way. Happiness comes very easily to me, but it’s been harder lately. It’s difficult to feel happy when someone you love is suffering, when people you love are suffering. In addition to my stepdad, two dear friends battle autoimmune conditions. They probably don’t know this, but I think of them daily. Every day. One of whom I’ve known since my early teens, and then other, more recently, since my late twenties. They are both married with children and their conditions never stop them from enjoying life and making plans. These women have no idea how they inspire me. But I also desperately wish they didn’t have to live with pain. Others I know lost their mothers this year as well. Disease and tragedy don’t discriminate and we just never know how much time we have left to enjoy life and be with the people we love.

So I try to be grateful to be alive and for everything I have, because life is such a gift. I focus on the positives and I say “yes” a lot. I want to experience new things and meet new people. To step out of my comfort zone and do things that might scare me even though I’m fearful of failure. I’d rather do nothing than fail – and I need to change this mindset. Some of the best days of my life have been moments where I haven’t wanted to do something, but did. You don’t make great memories by saying “Nah, I can’t be bothered”. Say yes more often, embrace life and see what happens. Above all, be grateful. Focus on the roof over your head, a loving family, wonderful friends and internet, so you can read this blog. Sorry – just wanted to end this sad piece by making you smile.

Belinda xx

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