#1435 The self-cleaning function

When I think that it’s been about 2 years since our kitchen renovation, with new gadgets installed, I realise that time really does fly.

And this thought makes me feel a teeny tiny bit better, that in all that time, I haven’t given my brand new oven a clean.

๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Not even one wipe of the inside. Nothing. Zilch.

Nil.

But there’s been a really deliberate reason for that.

It has the pyrolytic function… which in normal people language means ‘self-cleaning.’

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If anything, when we got the oven I was informed to let it get really filthy so I could use the self-cleaning function.

I know. Best advice EVER.

It wasn’t disgusting, filthy even. But there was a lot of grime and oil build up, and having been out of the house for days on end this week, knowing this was our home catch-up day, I knew what job was waiting for me.

(Only it wasn’t my job, it was the oven’s job ๐Ÿ˜‰).

About 5 hours later, the oven was brand spanking new again. No scrubbing, no elbowย  grease, no chemicals…

Just a damp wipe over to remove the residue burnt off in the process, and voila!

My oven looks like this again:

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#1411 Guess… who?

The day after Christmas is usually spent –

nursing a sore head.

nursing a swollen tummy

nursing a tired body –

and as such not much happens.ย 

Around here anyway.

There are new presents to play with and find homes for, a lot of cleaning, breathing out a sigh of relief that Christmas is over, yet simultaneously feeling sad that Christmas is a whole 364 days away…

It’s a well-intentioned catch-up and family day.

And what better family way to end the day than with an…

Old-fashioned game.

Guess which one?!?!

‘Santa’ got this as one of baby girl’s few presents. I LOVED this growing up and as she’s at an age where she’s getting a lot out of board games like this one.

I sat opposite her while Hubbie helped her work out the best questions to ask to eliminate the most people, and we got to work –

slamming the faces DOWN.

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The best bit? The times I won, she was so rapt, thinking that by me guessing correctly she had won.

LOL LOL LOL.

The end of night scoreboard? 2-2.

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#1396 A new decade and the fridge cleanse

So many people are talking about it.

Watch out. Christmas is the prime focus RIGHT NOW, but mark my words after that festive day passes everyone will be turning their attention to the New Year.

The New Decade.

Because that’s what it is, not just a new year… it’s another huge shift of time. Another decade forward.

Transformation, reawakening, setting intentions, clearing of old and making way for the new…

These are all the key terms for a New Year, but at the moment they are hyped up and on steroids because it’s also going to be 2020 in 20 days time.

I must admit I fall for the ‘New Year, New Me’ crap every time. I fall for it initially, and then spend the rest of the year reminding myself, with action, that I can change my life and myself anytime I like.

I don’t need to wait 365 days to start again.

Just last month. I’ve transformed my life in one very little way. It’s minor, but I can see it paying dividends. I didn’t have to wait ’til the end of December for it to start. I didn’t have to announce it on social media or make some big fan fare out of it… I just DID IT, and have been slowly moving forward, increment by increment.

Anyone can do it. You can do it too… like right now.

And then tonight. Like, I could have waited until the holidays, or the New Year to start to clear out the fridge…

But I did it simultaneously as dinner was being cooked.

I HAD TO. I realised last night as I was looking for a sauce to add to my chicken mince (for those tacos ;)) that almost ALL my fridge sauces had expired 1-2 years ago… I had fish sauce in there from 2015.

WHAT??? It moved houses with us and was even expired then! Get out!

And you know what, a couple of these bottles had no expiry date… simply a ‘refrigerate after opening’ message on the bottle. They smelt fine, and a google search told me they might be alright…

But you know what? Something my bestie told me YEARS ago came into my head. In fact, she probably doesn’t realise this, but this little thing she said about her own cleaning/cleansing process, made such an impact on me, probably because it made so much sense.

She was throwing out old clothes, and coming across the old thought pattern of “what if I need it one day?”

Ahh, that old chestnut. ‘What if I need it one day?’ That question that bugs us and keeps us in permanent doubt over whether to keep or throw, with the former always the end result as we tuck our object back into the closet for an ‘in case’ day.

Bloody hell.

She said that when she came to that thought, she told herself “If I ever need something else like this, I will just buy it.”

That simple. No she wasn’t wasting money. 9 times out of 10 she probably wouldn’t need that item. She rid herself of clutter, and in that 1 occasion that she did have to go to the shop to buy something that she’d had years ago… easy peasy.

But oh the mental freedom. Not to be weighed down by junk, ‘what-ifs’ and ‘in-cases.’

That’s what I did today. I said “if I really need this sauce, I will buy another one… and actually enjoy it knowing it’s not 2 years old.”

So that’s what I did today. Shocking to hear but I probably rid the fridge of about 20 assorted jars and bottles.

Next week…. the pantry. Watch out.

Seriously though… it’s all well and good to look towards a fresh start and a New Year to inspire you to do something great and help your life go in the direction you want it to…

But also, why put off happiness? Why put off satisfaction?

Why put off cleaning your fridge?

Just do it, now…

#1225 Sunday Our Day no. 4

Late this afternoon Hubbie and I tackled an upstairs bedroom that has been housing all kinds of stuff: and we got started clearing, tidying, and organising.

We felt so good when we stopped to make dinner. Two hours had passed, and although we weren’t entirely complete, it was looking so much better.

And it was almost like the sunset smiled down on us for our efforts, with the horizon giving us a multi-coloured hue of happiness for all we had done.

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Sundays done our way. ๐Ÿ™‚

#1148 Balcony reading

I’ll be brutally honest with you… most Sundays I am heavily disappointed.

Yep. Even for this gratitude girl.

My expectations of the day are too high. Too unrealistic. Because it is usually the one guaranteed day that we spend together as a family, I often think, I don’t know…

There will be family fun and fireworks.

Fireworks almost never happen.

Housework happens. Grocery shopping happens. Stuff around the house happens.

“What do I eat?”

“What do we make for dinner?”

“Baby girl get in the bath!”

With a heavy dose of “I can’t be bothered.”

Today I got shitty and took matters in my own hands. I realised I need to schedule some ‘me time,’ no matter how small or short it was… it would help me, replenish me, allow me to do my thing and then return to the monotony of cooking/showering/cleaning.

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Reading time. On the balcony. The sun was bright and warm in the afternoon, and I read a decent amount of pages before everyone decided I had had enough ‘me time’ and joined me out on the balcony…

And of course by then, I didn’t even want to read anymore.

They wouldn’t be my family if they didn’t follow me around. Look for me. Demand I look and talk and listen to them when I am clearly doing something else entirely that demands my sole attention… no, they wouldn’t be my family if they DIDN’T do that.

And I love them for it.

And that’s the thing. Something that becomes tiring and monotonous, boring and routine…

Is much more acceptable, with more happiness at the task and success in achieving it, when you get a little break beforehand.

A little ‘me time.’ Like a book, on the balcony.

And for those playing at home, the book?

Aptly, the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

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#1118 Getting my shit together on March the 8th

To the immaculate woman.

To the wild woman.ย 

To the one that smiles politely and only engages in conversation when asked.

To the one who speaks her mind and doesn’t put a zip on it.

To the woman who is a stay-at-home Mum and has spit on her shoulder most of the day.

To the mother who has gone back to work almost immediately and feels massive amounts of guilt.

To the woman with immaculate nails.

To the woman who didn’t brush her hair this morning.

To the girl who runs with the boys and kicks the ball harder than they do.

To the girl in the corner playing shyly with dolls.

To the girl who wants to be a pirate when she grows up.

To the girl who wants to be a princess.

To the girl who acts like a ‘girl.’

To the girl act that acts like… whatever the hell she wants.

To the woman who has her shit together.

To the woman, who is getting her shit together, seemingly, EVERY DAY…

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That is, Me. My bedroom today. And that is a tidy picture of my progress.

On this day the 8th of March, I went upstairs and hauled myself into action. Sorting through boxes of stuff, throwing things out, putting them in order… Marie Fondo-Schmondo you ain’t getting your tiny hands on my piles, as I am keeping most of them.

To the organised, and to the hoarder.

I’ve actually been throwing things out slowly over the past year and half, hence why today was more about organisation rather than expelling. I have sent Hubbie to Vinnie’s with piles of donations so often, we joke that one day he will enter and they will have his photo framed up on their wall. So I do know how to purge…

I just do it my way. At my pace.

To the women who make their own rules, and to those who follow them.

Going through piles of stuff today, both useless and nostalgic, and ‘one day’ items, I thought a lot about women. How different we all are. How often we are told to be a certain way.

‘Toughen up.’

‘Be more ladylike.’

‘Why are you so bossy?’

‘You like that?’

‘Clean up this way. ‘

‘You should follow this book.’

‘Why do you feed your child that?’

‘I wish you weren’t a wallflower.’

‘Lower your voice.’

‘You can’t say that!’

I think there is no greater opportunity than today, to think of all the women we know, to celebrate them and congratulate them, and to support those little women amongst us who are starting out, learning through us and through life, and show them that no matter what they want to be, IT IS OK.

ALL WOMEN should be celebrated. Not just the ones we are told to celebrate.

Not just the athletes.

Not just the working ones.

Not just the together women.

Not just the smiley ladies.

But to celebrate, also…

The ones who get up and fail and still try again.

The ones who are floating from job to job and can’t quite find their passion in life.

The ones whose house is never clean.

The ones who fight so hard to put a smile on their face, when all they want to do is cry.

I salute you all.

Happy International Women’s day, to ALL the women.

Even you, Marie Kondo ๐Ÿ˜‰

#1097 Going Ga Ga for Live Aid

Ok fine.

I get it.

I have a thing about gay men…

They are some of my favourite-st performers, after all.

Like Freddie Mercury. It has been a very Queen-heavy week for me.

I’ve been coming home to an empty house after school drop-off and filling it with ROCK ROCK ROCK.

Today I put on a random playlist of the group via youtube as I set about in cleaning the house.

My Oh My.

I’ve listened to these performances individually many a time, but never in a whole, to realise the full context and width and breadth of their set at the 1985 Live Aid concert in Wembley Stadium.

Here I was, a little toddler, pushing 2 years old… and these guys were creating the greatest rock performance of all-time.

Have a watch of the exhilarating, fist-pumping 21 minutes. Tell me what you think.

At 2:45 begins my most favourite bit of the set. The intro to Radio Ga Ga, my current obsession.

But, for some of that context I mentioned earlier… over 70,000 people clapping in unison people.

70,000.

Just in in the UK. Because Live Aid was a joint concert effort to raise money for people starving to death in Ethiopia, and was back off the “Do They Know It’s Christmas” single effort.

While the UK performances began at Wembley at approximately 12pm, they continued at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia in the U.S, for a crowd of 100,000 just before 2pm UK time, with the concert amounting to about 16 hours of live performances.

It inspired concerts in other countries around the world on the same day, and the scale of this Live Aid event, the largest television broadcast of the time, was that about 40% of the world’s population watched it.

Most likely your parents… and most likely mine.

So when you take the above performance with all this info, knowing Queen were performing to approximately 1.9 billion people around the world…

WOAH.

Just let that sink in.

And his a capella section at the end of Radio Ga Ga, showcasing his vocal range and ability to stir a crowd, became known as “the note heard round the world.”

What a legacy.

“Alright!”