what i miss about the states

People ask me, “What do you miss most about the States?” My answer is always, “The people.” In other words, our community, our friends, our neighbors, our family, etc. We’ve been here for 1.5 years and there are still days I long for those casual dates with girl friends, young and older, talking about everything under the sun. I had my regular dinner dates, bible study group, mother’s helper, church community, double date friends, neighbors popping in, and more. I was surrounded,  supported,  and encouraged by many who knew my heart. I’m thankful for the seven years I had in San Diego to gain the friendships I now have for a lifetime. I grew a lot being on my own with my new husband and reaching some significant milestones like graduating with my Masters degree, buying a house, and having a baby. As well, I can’t forget the few friends I still have from living in the small town of Connecticut and going to uni there. You ladies know me the longest! As I write this, I’m wondering what I’m trying to get at, haha. Maybe it’s a thank you to my loved ones in the States (and those relocated elsewhere). Since our family prepared for and moved here, you guys have been amazing supporters, knowing that though you encouraged us to follow our dreams, it meant letting go of us. Thank you for your selflessness and positive attitude. I know you always let us know how much we are missed and we probably don’t do it enough since we are busy setting up our lives here. WE SURELY MISS YOU GUYS HEAPS!! We know we are walking in God’s will and this is the new chapter in our lives. We know your part in our last chapter was and is purposeful until God intersects us again. I’m already seeing how He is doing that!!

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Happy 31st birthday to me

As I try to find new friends here, I remind myself that you’re irreplaceable. I wish I could clone y’all and reenact the same life here. I know I’m silly to think that and I know I’m silly to try to find replacements for the best friends I have already across the world. I just have to be patient and wise as I find the right women and couples to invest in as we journey here in the Gold Coast. I do thank God that He has blessed us with a church community of young families who are walking the same walk as us right now. It makes me not feel alone as I try to tackle motherhood daily.

Miss each one of you and am eternally grateful for your desire and commitment to remain in touch.

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living less with clutter

I had heard alot about the book, “the life-changing magic of tidying” by Marie Kondo many times. To take a short cut from reading the book, I googled her strategies and belief systems and tried implementing them half-heartedly. She speaks about holding items and asking yourself if it sparks joy. Sure, I thought, I can do that. It’s actually harder to do than you think if your logical, defensive side tries taking over. “I paid a lot of money for that.” “I only used that once.” The rationalizations were endless. Finally, I gave up and clutter monopolized my life again. (My clutter hides in my closet). Items I’d impulsively wanted I bought. Things people gave me, I took. Free items, sure why not. Things that were collecting dust and abandoned were taking up prime real estate in our house. After awhile, I decided I should just check the book out from the library and give it a shot. Instead of wasting time on Facebook and browsing the internet, I read the whole book! And gosh, I feel lighter, freer, and happier! How can this be?! For me, this outcome resulted from recognizing that I live in clutter, reading the book, taking action, and vowing to not rebound. I’m still in the process of decluttering (who has time with two kids?!), but I’ve gone through my clothes, toys, kids clothes, papers, pictures, shoes, kitchen items, pantry, freezer, and bathroom and bedroom linens. I have yet to do electrical stuff, odds and ends in the junk bins, and the garage.

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7.5 months Azalea with mommy

     As I read the book, I discovered I have a lot of psychological baggage connected to why I live in clutter and why I hold onto some of my things. A lot of the time I keep things “in case” I need it in the future, which doesn’t always happen. And I keep things because I paid a lot for it or think it’s nice, but really I don’t use it. When I chisel down to what I actually need to live and what I regularly use and find joy possessing, it isn’t much. What a profound discover, I do not need much… Yet I still own more than I need!! And this is coming from me who lives in a small two-bedroom unit, one garage, and only shipped thirteen boxes abroad when we moved here! When I reflect on this and truly give up my hoarding tendencies, I am at peace and feel so much lighter when I pack bags for donations and say farewell to my things. My space is tidier and I can think more clearly. I know what I actually need when I go shopping and I feel content. I try my best to only buy things that spark joy when I use it or look at it, and buy items of quality. No more settling (within reason).

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Azalea, 7.5 months and Zane, almost 3.5 years

    I didn’t take before pictures, and I don’t feel the need to show you after photos because there’s enough of it on Google images. Anyways, my space is different to your space. All I hope is that you’ll ask yourself the same question of whether you live in clutter and if yes, what will you do about it?? On a happy farewell note, here’s some pictures of the kiddos and I’ve made some appearances too!

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Sick Azalea and mommy cuddles
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Zane wanted to be a king

Love to y’all xx

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product research: outdoor machine washable picnic blanket

I spend a lot of time researching quality and practical items that suit my and our family’s needs so I’m going to start posting them on my blog in hopes that it’ll save you time and headache when in need of the same item.

Here on the Gold Coast, we picnic numerous times a month. On top of that, I visit the playground and beach several times a week. I soon discovered it was a necessity to have a picnic rug. So without researching it, I grabbed a flannel, water resistant backing blanket at Coles (a local supermarket) since it was only $10. It even rolled up nicely. Since everyone has one, I thought I was set. After having it for over a year, I can not get over the fact that it does not clean well, if at all. Fuzzy things and anything miscellaneous sticks to it and I can only use a damp cloth to wipe it down. With kids around, you can imagine how dirty it gets with sand, dirt, food scraps and juices, etc. Luckily the blanket was dark and had stripes so its level of dirtiness was hidden. Once Azalea came into our lives, I thought it was worth it to find a better quality blanket that I could throw in the wash, especially after a messy outing.

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Azalea sitting on the blanket

Into my life came the water resistant Tuffo picnic blanket. Thank you God for this blanket! It is a nice size to fit our family of four. It’s light-weight, easy to fold up and comes in a carrying case, has a cute design, and is beach friendly. Best of all, I can chuck it in the wash on cold for thirty minutes, line dry it, and it’s gorgeous again and CLEAN! Because my pattern is light, more than ever, I notice how dirty a picnic blanket gets when it’s used with kids. I’m so glad I can wash it time and time again. I highly recommend this product. It is pricey at $55 AUD excluding shipping, but I think it’s definitely worth it!

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