Thursday, August 30, 2012

A little less and a little more.

A little less of this...
And a little more of this...
Not helped by this...

I'm having will-power issues this week. 
Not helped by my friend Nicola who sent me 29 chocolate bars in a parcel from Ireland for my birthday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Layered Cereal

What do you eat for breakfast? 
I make a tub of cereal each week by layering anything I have in my cupboards and then mixing it all up. Each week is slightly different depending on what is to hand but generally there are porridge oats, sunflower seeds, pepitas, bran sticks, wheat flakes and some nuts. 
As part of my eating-less-moving-more I am open to any ideas of what works for others. It's easy to get bored so new ideas can help keep things interesting!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Do Not Disturb.

My hospital has recently started trialing some vests which we are to use when giving out medications. The concept is that with less interruptions will come less mistakes. I am happy to give it a go. At first the new vests drew titters of giggles from passing people, mostly asking if they can borrow one to wear at home to stop their kids bugging them. I'd be very interested in hearing from any of you who may work in a hospital environment, either here in Australia or abroad. Do you use anything similar? And if so has it worked? Time will tell if these vests become a part of our regular drug rounds. If they don't I think I may very well be bringing mine home to modify and wear as I prepare dinner or catch up on reading my favourite blogs!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Lily.

Today is special day for a little girl I know. It is her birthday. Lily is spending today in hospital having chemotherapy for leukaemia.

I was asked if I could make up "lolly bags" to be given to Lily and her cousins for a small party they will have in her hospital room today. As I shopped for the things I needed to make up these treats I felt a mixture of happiness that I could  do something to help and sadness that Lily is in this situation. I felt gratitude that my children are healthy and guilt that I know Lily's mum wishes the same thing. As the cashier scanned the bags of sweets he casually asked if I was having a nice day. He may not have intended a real answer but he got it! I told him what the sweets were for and found myself getting that wobble in my voice as I grabbed my change and ran.

I spent the next few hours making up the cups full of lollies and sealing them in cellophane bags. I printed the  logo of a favourite game on stickers to attach to the cups. I tied curling ribbon and tried to make them look as special as I would for my own child's party.

It felt good to be doing something practical for Lily. There is one more thing that would help make Lily's day. Something that you could do to wish her Happy Birthday. GIVE BLOOD. Wherever you live in the world there will be a child like Lily needing blood to recover from illness. For those who live local to me here is a leaflet with dates of upcoming blood drives. For anyone further a field please look up your nearest Red Cross branch or your countries equivalent.
It will be the most precious Birthday present Lily will ever get.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A fresh start

As I begin my 39th year on this earth and head to my 40th I cannot help but think about who I am and if I am living the life I hoped I might. 

I can honestly say that I am very happy in myself and am blessed to be living a good life with my family in a wonderful place, surrounded by good friends both local and abroad. The only one thing I would strive for over the coming year is to put a little more time into my health, both physical and mental. I would like to shake off those few extra kilos that seem to have appeared from nowhere and would like to work on reducing the number of migraines I get. 

I'll start by drinking more water and taking time out to learn some relaxation techniques for those unavoidable busy days being a mum of three kids. Life is so unbelievably busy and I often say I don't know where to find the actual time to exercise until it becomes a priority and I make time.

Today as Gareth did his rugby training I decided not to sit chatting with the other mums on the sideline but instead to go for a brisk walk for 40 minutes. The sun was dipping low in the sky and the colours over the lake were mesmerising. It felt good despite my legs screaming out for mercy and my tummy begging for dinner. If there had been a kiosk I would have gobbled a chocolate bar to take the wobbly feeling out of my limbs but thankfully there wasn't and I drank deep from the bottle of cold water I had with me. Surprisingly the hunger pangs abated. I think I have grown used to filling up on sugary snacks when water may be what my body is asking for. 

I do not know whether this enthusiasm to better myself will have enough momentum to carry me into 2013. Will I be able to spend my 40th comfortably wearing swimmers on a warm beach or will I be hiding under a sarong? It's my choice. Each and every day that I go to put my hand in the biscuit jar. Each time I consider sitting in front of the tv or going for a walk. I hope I keep choosing well...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Birthday rights.

It's my Birthday. The last one in my 30's. Yes, I've reached the ripe old age of 39. I'm really not overly concerned with numbers I don't (think) I have an issue with turning 40  next year. I embrace the experience of life and feel that I like the Gina I am now way more than the shy girl trying to find herself in her 20's or the new mum with a big learning curve ahead of her in my early 30's. I really am happy in my own skin right now. So why is it that when someone wished me an early Happy Birthday in work this week did I almost rugby tackle her to the ground and wrap duct tape around her mouth??? Could it be that she asked if this was a big one?.... The big...50? 

WHAT? Do I really look 11 years older than my body is? All the sensible words I just wrote went out the window and I found myself blushing and furiously defending my number. *deep breaths* Leaving numbers aside this is how I spent my day celebrating BEING IN MY 30's...

The day started with kids piled on the bed and cards and gifts being opened to oohs and aghs. Then off to be Manager to Gareth's rugby team as they played in freezing but gloriously crisp conditions.

Being manager I was supposed to bring the dirty kit hope and spend the day washing, drying and folding it for another game that is happening tomorrow. No chance. I took full advantage of my special rights and made Mr B do it!
How good could this day get? The rest of the day was spent relaxing and then ended with some more rugby. This time watching the Bledisloe cup on a big screen with friends and champagne and then home to bed ready for the 6am alarm to get me up for work. 

It's a shame birthdays can't  last forever (especially ones in your 30's...I'm just sayin')

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

7 years...

It was in August 2005 that Byron said to me "I've made you something you are going to LOVE, It's called a blog!"
"A what???"

7 years ago this month we were embarking upon an adventure. We were living in Northampton, England with a "For Sale" board outside our house and we were biting our nails in anticipation of whether or not we would be granted a Visa to start a new life on the other side of the world...

And so began this blog. It started as a diary to be shared with a handful of family members so they could share our journey with us. It has evolved into something I never dreamt of. I have written 1695 posts that have been viewed by over 15,000 people in 140 countries around the world!

The 92 followers make my heart swell with pride and the joy of knowing that I am a part of a community. A community of writers, mothers, photographers, crafters and friends. Some of you I have met in real life, some I know only through your writing, your photos, your emails, some of you I feel sure I will meet some day if I either travel to your part of the world or you travel to mine. The comments that you wonderful women leave brighten my days.

Thank you each and every one of you for being a part of this journey.

To celebrate with me can I ask you one small favour?! Whether you are a regular commenter or have never commented before will you help make my day by leaving a comment on this post to celebrate with me and say hello!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Olympic postcard!

Look what arrived in our letter box today! 
Our very own piece of the London Olympics. 
Thank you Alex, Myles and Grace! 
We miss you loads and loads xoxoxo

Monday, August 13, 2012


I talked about the One-A-Week project here.

I think it's an amazingly simple idea where each week I throw one item into my shopping trolley and put it aside in a box under the spare bed. I plan on giving it all to the local St Vincent De Paul in December. Most items are of a value of about $1-2 so it really isn't noticeable on my wallet. Often it's something that's on special so I'm not even having to pay the normal full price.

Now that I have passed the halfway point in the calendar year I thought I might show you how the box is filling. Have any of you heard about this charity idea? It really is never too late to start. If you threw something extra into this weeks shop and carried on you would have about 20 items by Christmas week. Just think how much that might mean to a family doing it hard in your local area.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What the...?!

It's time to get fit in the Baynham household. We decided that we needed to get off the sofa more and move!

But it's hard to find the time to get exercising when almost every moment of the day is accounted for. Byron had an inspired idea. He often finds the time to watch a rugby match or two on the tv over the weekend. Why not be sitting on an exercise bike instead of the sofa? We bought ourselves a simple exercise bike this weekend that didn't break the bank but will hopefully lose us some of those flabby bits! 

I'm not so sure. With the chilly weather here at the moment I think I need all the insulation I can get! 

Guess who got to put the bike together?! Not Sian or Byron as you can see from the photo! It was actually mostly pre-assembled. Only a few major pieces to put together. Don't tell them that though. They think I'm amazing and I'd like to keep it that way if I can!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Australia Fair?

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history's page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.

I'm sorry but when the temperature goes below zero in this land of Golden Soil I seriously re-evaluate why I emigrated here. 

If I wanted to scrape frost off my windscreen in the mornings I'd still be living in Ireland!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Black out.

It's been a day of wild weather.
After a day at work nothing gets between me and my cup of tea.
Not storms and not power outages!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Sports Carnival Super Team!

It's Sports Carnival time again. The girls are in the Chisolm Team which means they can wear as much blue as they can lay their hands on!

Go my super girls!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr B!

To celebrate Mr B being Top Banana he took a day off work so we could...
Walk along the coast in Newcastle...
 Have him pose on the number 1 podium (because clearly he is the best!)
Eat a gorgeous lunch in the new Merewether Surfhouse...
And come home to a decadent chocolate cake

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Team colours

Our senior rugby team were playing a very important match this afternoon. There are only 4 matches to go to the end of the season and "The Roos" are desperate to make it into the semi finals. They need to win every match to do this.

Today we went down as a family to cheer them on. We even brought some cookies in the team colours to share around. It must have worked because THEY WON! 
Only three more matches to go. 
I'm making up more cookie dough for sure!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Tomato Robber!

I like to check on the chickens and the guinea pigs when I get in from work. It's reassuring to see them scurrying around and to check that they have enough food and water. 

The kids are in charge of feeding the guinea pigs each morning before leaving the house. I try never to step in and do this job for them as I think it would be a slippery slope to the pets becoming my job. I do however love to give them all some extra food in the peace and quiet of the afternoon when no-one is about to watch. 

Today I had some tomatoes that were going just past being usable in the kitchen so I gave them to Tigger and Ivy.
 When I reached back for another tomato Betty the chicken had got in and claimed it as her own!
Cheeky Chicken!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Domestic Goddess is back!

It's my birthday month.
Someone very special persuaded her mum to give me an early birthday present.
Watch out chicken breasts, here I come!