Finding Inspiration

What inspires you?

How do you keep motivated?

I’m pretty easily distracted by anything sparkly, pretty, interesting, loud…ummm, shoes, wait – what?

I wanted to fix my workspace to motivate me to be more creative but also more organised, in my daily life, as well as my blogging.

Anyone who stops by my Facebook or Pinterest pages will notice I have a fondness for lovely inspirational quotes, but they don’t really do much there do they? We click like, maybe a share, then we forget all about it till the next time someone we know posts another quote.

I often scribble a few of my favourites on the inside cover of my diary, but I wanted something more visible and something I can change around when I get bored, so this week I did this: 

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A few photos, some washi tape and some Project Life cards to “pretty up” the little corner where I try to get the most work done.

I had a *quick* look through my Pinterest boards for the quotes that seemed the most appropriate to me right now, and wrote them on some pretty cards, and I can change the cards over to new ones whenever I get sick of them.  

This is what I came up with:

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And this gorgeous frame I picked up from Ishka (for only $10, bargain!) was just begging for a spot on my desk, so I wrote our family “rules” and our all our initials on a piece of coloured paper. Simple, but I think it’s really cute.

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All in all, half an hour spent tidying and decorating, has transformed my corner of the desk, from a sea of junk that did nothing to inspire me, to a place that I actually enjoy sitting down every morning with my cup of tea, checking my diary and emails. 

What tips and tricks do you use to keep motivated?

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3 year old tantrums and a book review

 

My 3 and a 1/2 year old is bright, funny, creative and very strong willed and independent.

I love and want to nurture these traits, but it can be difficult.

Especially when she just Does. Not. Want. To…{eat, get dressed, go to bed, stop hitting her brother… etc.}  and far too often ends up in with everyone yelling and crying. I’ve tried time outs, taking away toys, bribery, even smacking.

None of these feels right to me.

In search of some parenting tips, I paid a visit to my local library.

I grabbed 4 books that looked promising;

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Planning With Kids (Nicole Avery), Attached at the Heart (Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker), The Mummy Coach (Lorraine Thomas), and Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children – Becoming a Mindful Parent (Sarah Napthali)

This is what I thought of them:

Planning With Kids.

I didn’t even realise till about 1/4 way through, that I am already a follower of this lovely lady’s blog and FB page!

I really liked this book, lots of really useful, practical suggestions about getting organised to help avoid melt-downs and tantrums. I took lot of notes of ideas to try out, including getting meal times under control, setting yourself 15min “jobs” to do, looking for solutions instead of blaming, setting goals, finding ways to deal with morning and evening “peak-hour” to avoid tantrums.

(I think one of the reasons I liked this was that she seems like a normal real mum, you know, the kind that yells and loses her shit sometimes just like the rest of us. I get a bit suspicious of parenting advice from anyone who seems too perfect. )

{I’ll pop the link to the FB page here >>     https://www.facebook.com/PlanningWithKids?ref=ts&fref=ts

Attached at the Heart.

An interesting read about attachment parenting. I wouldn’t say that I’m completely won over by this style of parenting, but there are a lot of elements to it that I strongly agree with too. I would say this book would probably be more use to someone with a younger baby and looking for some gentler ideas to try, but I still found it interesting and informative. A good read for anyone who wants to know more about the concept of attachment parenting, and they back up their ideas with a lot of research.

The Mummy Coach.

I really did not like this one, in fact certain parts of it really pissed me off. (If it wasn’t a library book,  I probably would have chucked it out a window!)

I found a lot of the “advice” to be quite patronising, for example: “Believe in yourself!” “Visualise a calming colour and count to ten” (when your child is having a tantrum) “Draw a love-heart and write your child’s name inside it and stick it on the fridge” (????) “Make sure you get plenty of me-time, book yourself massage”

I’m sorry, but this chick is living in fairy-land. I can find all the airy-fairy, affirming quotes I could possibly ever need on Pinterest, visualising a calming colour is definitely not going to help me when Scout is having a tantrum and pushes her brother over, splitting his lip on the floor and I have two, hysterically screaming little banshees to deal with. Vodka and a time out, maybe, but visualising? Not so much. And if I had the time to have “me-time” and get a massage… then I wouldn’t be stressed enough to be consulting your book for advice now, would I?

Ok, rant over.

Buddhism for Mothers of  Young Children.

I’ve noticed a heap of blogs and parenting sites lately talking about mindful parenting, so I was curious to find out a bit more about it. I really enjoyed this book, in fact I immediately jumped on Amazon to order this book and her previous one, Buddhism for Mothers. I found so many ideas that resonated really strongly with me, I’ve covered the book in a confetti of post-it notes of things I want to come back to read again. The main theme that comes through really strongly for me is wanting to really “be present” for my babies, right now, and that means having to let go of my worrying about the past and the future and just take each moment as it comes and do the best I can.

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So, there you go, my little book review.

If there’s any books you’d like to suggest for me to check out, parenting or otherwise, let me know in the comments section here or on the FB page.

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365 Days.

 

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A year can feel like a long time, but really, they tend to just sneak past when we’re not paying attention.

365 mornings. Getting up, scrambling to make coffee and kids breakfasts, find socks and lost toys. Looking at my ever growing to-do list and knowing I’m not going to have anywhere near enough time to do everything I need to do.

365 evenings. Dinners to be made, stories to read, rushing around, trying to get pyjamas on and teeth brushed. Trying to get everything done and everyone to bed so Kane and I can actually get to spend a bit of time together. Too many evenings where we are both too tired to even talk, one or both of us falling asleep on the couch unable to stay awake even to the end of a t.v. show.

The days blur into each other.

Sure, there are some highlights, great some moments that stand out, but seriously if you asked me what I’ve been doing for the last year, I would struggle to think of an answer that doesn’t include changing nappies, doing dishes and being tired.

Now don’t get me wrong.

I’m not complaining. I want to be a stay-at-home mum, I knew there would be a lot of cleaning and nappies involved.

What I am saying, is that there has to be a better way.

Less stress. Less yelling. Less rushing.

I am not a “routine” kind of person. My home could be, at best, described as organised chaos. But I am starting to realise that I am going to have to set some kind of routines to get things running more smoothly around here.

I want the next 365 mornings to not include tears and yelling. I want to start my day feeling positive instead of exhausted. I want bedtimes to have stories and cuddles, not arguments and tears.

I haven’t worked out exactly how I’m going to do all these things, but I’ll get there. One day.

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A letter to myself.

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If I could go back and give my younger self some advice, this is what I would tell me:

Trust your body. You are stronger and capable of doing so much more than you think you are.

Sleep. But stay up late too, enjoy it. Once you have kidlets, it’s going to be a very long time until you get to enjoy either of those things without worrying about what time you’re going to be woken up and make sure you savour lazy mornings and coffee in bed – again it’s really hard to have a sleep in when you’re wondering what the kids are destroying in the other room.

Enjoy “me-time.” Don’t waste it. It makes me crazy when I think of all the time I spent watching crap tv or doing things I didn’t want to do for people who didn’t appreciate it. These days I hardly get time to eat or even pee without an audience, let alone to spend some quality time with my sketchbook or trying to do something I would really enjoy doing. When you have free time, use it to do something that makes you happy.

Don’t be shy about your body. Like most women, I have spent a crazy amount of time deciding what to wear, wondering if I should wear things; if a particular dress was too tight, or if those shorts are too short. Now, after birthing 2 babies, I feel like half the population has seen my hoo-ha, and I’ve got my boobs out and feed those same two babies just about everywhere, so at this point I certainly don’t have anything left to hide and I really don’t care what anyone thinks anyway!

“Getting Your Body Back” after having a baby is a lie. You don’t get the same body back. Sure, you can lose the weight, but things are different, softer, stretchier. It’s like the difference between a brand-new, tight pair of trendy jeans, or your old, worn-in, comfy jeans that have been everywhere. My body isn’t perky and new anymore, it’s definitely been used, but I’m a lot prouder of what it can achieve than I ever was of what it looked like.

Trust your heart and your gut. If either one of them tries to tell you something, for f**ks sake,  Listen To It!!!

 

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What advice would you give to your younger self?

Drop me a comment on the blog or the facebook page and let me know xoxo

Why I Still Love Social Media.

Hi there, thanks for stopping by.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the “evils of social media” and the tragic death this week of Charlotte Dawson just seems to highlight that fact. There’s certainly no arguing that a lot of sad, little people take to twitter and FB and attack others as a way of feeling better about their own pathetic lives.

But I don’t want the trolls to ruin what can be a really wonderful thing.

When I started this blog it was as a way of documenting this crazy adventure we’d started on; and also because living in a shed, up a mountain, with a baby was incredibly isolating and I needed to feel connected to the rest of the world.

So “Mama Up The Mountain” was born and eventually evolved into “This Is Beck”.

Over the last year and a half I have shared everything with you, the birth of my gorgeous Squishy, my (ongoing) struggles with PND and anxiety, everyday dramas associated with living up the mountain. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

And you know what?

The response I get from you guys always astounds me.

Every. Single. Time.

Somehow I still am blown away that people actually read what I write.

And this has turned into such a gorgeous little community, there are some lovely ladies who I have gotten to know through this, some are other bloggers, other are regular commenters and I wouldn’t hesitate to call you guys my friends, even though we’ve never actually met. You guys help me every day, whether you realise it or not. 

Other bloggers who opened up about their own experiences with depression that made me feel I wasn’t alone and inspired me to share my own story. Commenters who told me that they had been through similar things and gave me hope that I could get through it too.

There is a really lovely side to the internet that doesn’t get as much news time as the trolls, there are amazing people who really want to help and inspire others, there are some great resources out there like #pndchat on twitter and The Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria (adavic) Facebook page as well as some wonderful pages and groups that give people a place to connect and chat.

So, I just wanna say thank-you guys and girls, you make my little corner of the internet a much brighter place; and if I could ask you to do just one thing for me, when you’re scrolling through your newsfeeds, (or twitter feeds) take a second to stop and comment or like things from the pages and people you really like, because that interaction from you is the reason we do what we do.

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Till next time,

This Is Beck xoxo

Road trip, part 2

Ok so we made it to Warnambool.

We checked in to our room for the night, got settled in and had a glass of bubbly to celebrate our trip, then decided to go exploring.

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We walked down the main st, checking out some cute shops and sussing out our dinner options for later. Then we took a drive around the foreshore and river district and had a little walk around, we even found a few twilight markets on, and enjoying some time to actually talk, to each other, without any little munchkins demanding attention!

With such a perfect sunny day, it seemed a waste to go sit inside somewhere for dinner, and then we remembered the cute little courtyard at the back of Fishtales Cafe, so off we went for dinner.
Salt & pepper squid to share, an then a burger each, Zorba for Kane and tandoori chicken for me, and of course a couple of pale ales. Yummo!

Super cute Fishie made from old bottle tops @ Fish Tales Cafe

Super cute Fishie made from old bottle tops @ Fish Tales Cafe

After dinner back to the room to enjoy a night of (kid-free) relaxation and check out the great corner spa.

Next morning we went to Koroit Pet Resort to pick up our long-awaited puppy.

(by the way Victorian people, if you’re ever looking for somewhere for your pets to go stay while you’re on holidays, the lovely Josee @ Koroit Pet Resort is wonderful with animals.)

Polly and siblings giving Josee lots of kisses

Polly and siblings giving Josee lots of kisses

Polly is a Pyrenean Mountain Dog (or Great Pyrenees as they’re known in the U.S.) She is absolutely gorgeous, we are all completely in love with this new addition to our family. Kane came up with the name “Polly-Bear” because when we first saw her, she looked just like a little white polar bear.

After we got our little Polly-bear, we started on the long journey home.

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We decided to stop off at Timboon for a bit of exploring and lunch.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! We had lunch at the distillery, WOW, yummy.

Lots of lovely local beers to choose from and some fabulous wood-fired pizzas (Kane had something yummy with pumpkin and goat’s cheese and rocket.  I had a slow-roasted pork with apple and fennel and home made relish…omg, if we lived closer, I would be going there every week!)

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The distillery offers tasting of their whiskey and liquers and they also have a huge range of locally made produce, including the wonderful Timboon ice cream, just perfect for dessert. (Also really lovely was that they are pet- friendly, not only was Polly allowed to come sit with us in the deck, but all the staff were coming to give her cuddles because she was just so cute!)

So, that’s about it. Came home to collect the kids and introduce them to Polly, they became instant best friends. Now I am busily puppy-proofing the shed and constantly rescuing the kids toys from our fluffy little terror.

Road Trip

* Finally got around to finishing off the blog post I wrote 3 weeks ago, lets just blame it on Christmas, or the kids, or whatever else you wanna think up…*

Hubby and I decided to treat ourselves to a little pre-Christmas treat last weekend.

We had to make the road trip down to Warnambool to pick up our pup so I jumped online and booked us a night away.

Saturday, we left the kiddies and headed off down the great ocean road. I haven’t been down there for at least 15 yrs and had forgotten what a gorgeous drive it is.

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We stopped at Anglesea for breakfast at the General Store, Kane had the biggest home-made sausage roll I have ever seen (and yummy too) and a decadent gooey chocolate brownie and a caffeine top-up for me.
Back on the road, sun shining, music blaring. The perfect day for a road trip, the only thing that could have made it better would have been to be driving it in a convertible.
Next stop was a pretty stretch of beach just out of Apollo Bay, where we went for a little walk, checking out rock pools.

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We couldn’t drive past the 12 Apostles without stopping to take a peek. Absolutely stunning.

IMG_6447Next stop… Warnambool

(Stay tuned for part 2 in a day or two  whenever I remember to do it!)

Till then, hope everyone had a great Christmas, I am still completely stuffed from non-stop eating and drinking the last few days (and loving it!)

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