30 Jan 2015

Little Ray of Sunshine

Was the theme to Miss C's 1st Birthday, with key colours sunshine yellow, peachy pink and chocolate brown.

The theme came about because when Miss C was a newborn her parents would sing "Little Ray of Sunshine" by Axiom and would always seem to calm her down, even though their renditions were a little off-key. To her parents she was her their little ray of sunshine. 

For Miss C's first birthday party her family did almost everything themselves. After googling instructions on how to, her mum sewed her 50m bunting. It was back breaking work she admits. Charlotte's grandma made the balloon flowers and various photos of Miss C were framed and used as table centrepieces. They also bought hessian material to cover the picnic tables and Miss C's dad designed and painted the birthday backdrop, using a large piece of calico and poster paint in the birthday colours. 

Food was supplied by the help of family and friends. There was nibbles, salads, fried chicken, filipino noodles (pancit), various dessert and of course BBQ, taking advantage of the park's facilities.

Miss C's mum made the birthday cake. Neapolitan ice-cream was her inspiration, and baked three layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. 

As party favours, Miss C's mum ordered from ebay plain brown boxes and attached personalised stickers they designed themselves. She stuffed the favours with homemade treats and chocolates. 
Party and vendor details:
Photo frame centre pieces: Ikea Tolsby Photo Frames 
Bunting and hessian fabric: Spotlight and Lincraft  
Photographer: Ariane Banaag  
Fingerprint guest book and ink pads: Bleu de Toi on Etsy 
Customised stickers for the giveaway boxes: Vistaprint 

If you would like to share and submit a past party you've hosted get in contact! Email me on gen.y.mum@gmail.com would love to feature your event on here! 

28 Jan 2015

Paradise Point

My family spent another couple of weeks up at Queensland recently. I've been asked why we spend so much time there? Firstly we have family up there so we visit them. My uncle who lives there also has a property that we stay at when we're in town, so that helps keep the "holiday" costs down.

The property is located in a suburb called Paradise Point. It's only18km away from the Gold Coast but its very suburbia, so its not as busy and as touristy as Surfers. The beach is only 500 meters away from the property and has many cafes and shops also within walking distance. The public areas are well looked after by the council and very family friendly.

Most of the properties in the area have been around since the seventies, but there are several newer homes too. There aren't any large apartments close to my uncle's property, but I give it another ten years and the area may be more developed, if Ephriam and Sovereign Islands are anything to go by.

I always feel relaxed when we come up here. It feels like life is moving little slower. Maybe because the area is so pretty, maybe cause there's no schedule, no engagement to attend, no friends - just us. Whenever we're here we're always considering a sea change. Maybe? Hopefully. 

I managed to take some photos of the area during this latest trip I want to share. 
Peaceful right?

25 Jan 2015

Ain't No Party Like A Gen-Y Party

I like planning parties. I like planning. 

Over the years I've thrown my share of parties (Eli's 1st and Kai's 1st). 

What I love about parties is executing ideas that you have, cause really that's a core component of a party - an idea, a concept. Sometimes we need inspiration, or need to know where or who can help us with our ideas, or just information on how to do things. 

I also love sharing information with people. If you couldn't already tell by this blog, I'm not shy to share my knowledge of things I know or experienced, or my "brain farts". So this blog is going to start, and regularly share past party ideas. 

I've got some amazing friends who have agreed to allow me to share photos and info about parties they've hosted and slowly I'll be sharing them with you. 

I can't wait! 

If you would like to share your party details and photos on this blog, or have any questions about doing so, please email me on gen.y.mum@gmail.com

Linking up with Sonia for this weekend rewind

17 Jan 2015

10 Things Only Bloggers Would Understand

So I'm in a bit of a writers block right now. I don't know maybe because I'm on holidays at the moment, or its this time of the year when other bloggers are all over certain topics that are fitting i.e Christmas DIY's, healthy menu recipes, back to school shopping tips ... and I'm .... not. I've always just went with the flow with my blogging. I posted whenever and whatever naturally came to me. I did say I was going to be a little bit more organised this year though .... and when I get back from my holidays I'll be all over that, (do I sound like I'm trying to convince myself here?)

Anyways its moments like this when my thought process goes into tangents, that post ideas actually come to me. I was thinking about what to post about next, blogging, the pressure to come up with something interesting, first world bloggers problems and this post came to mind. Things only bloggers would understand ....

1. Writers block

Yep me right now. There could be days when you have nothing. Nothing really interesting to say, to write about. You're just at a blank. Sure little stuff comes to mind, you start a fresh new post but besides the title you've got nothing else.  

2. Post ideas that come to you when you're trying to sleep

Or when you're trying to do something that actually requires your concentration, like driving or listening while someone is sharing their problems with you ... ok maybe that last part is me. But as a blogger post ideas do come to you all the time and occasionally at moments when you're not in front of your computer to write it down. 

3. Thoughts of stopping and giving it all up

As a blogger you pour your heart and time into your little space, and there are days you question it all. 'Why do I bother?', 'Does anyone even read this?' And you think about throwing in the towel. 'I put in so much effort, and for what?' And we know some people don't understand (or respect) blogging, so its no wonder we doubt what we do at times. 

4. You feel like all you do is spam people

You're all over social media tweeting, you're hash tagging, you've set up a Facies page and trying to build a community. You're linking up, you're reading other blogs and commenting, you're replying to comments, you're following, you're applying the tips and tricks you've googled to increase your stats, you're getting involved and basically trying to "sell" people your blog and build your followers any way you can. 

5. You compare your blog to others

Another blogger covers a similar topic you have recently, and you can't help but compare posts. You're disheartened cause they articulate the topic better than you have, or you're looking for your name for any credit cause you swear they've copied you. You see a beautiful blog and have layout envy. You see blogs that you don't rate and think, 'my blog is at least 10 times better how come they have so many followers?' It's natural to compare.

6. You get press releases for products that have nothing to do with you

You know you're on some PR company's distribution email list and that's why you're getting all their spam .. I mean emails. They send you press releases for furniture, eye drops, jewellery ... products that are not appropriate or align with your blog's voice. You're still waiting for an email from the dream sponsor though so you can finally live off this blogging business.

7. Has an idol blogger and hopes to have the same success

We all have a blogger or two we just love. Whether its their success, how they write, their beautiful photos, their follower numbers or simply their layout, you want what they're having. 

8. You're always looking at your stats

You try not to but you can't help it. You see how many page views your latest published post has gotten, how many likes your post has gotten or log into google analytics for your current states. You repeat this about five times a day. 

9. You have at least a dozen draft posts 

You just upload thoughts as they come to you so you won't forget. As a result you have so many unfinished and unpublished posts in your dashboard, some only have titles. You tell yourself you will add to them when you have time to sit and write the content properly, but sometimes that day never comes and you're too scared to delete it anyways.

10. Never satisfied with their 'About Me' section and or profile photo

We can write about personal experiences but a blogger is never really content with their "About Me" page, and or their profile photo. You'd think it would be the easiest section to put together, but oddly enough its not. You'd think a blogger, who usually takes lots of photo, wouldn't have trouble choosing a photo to share, but it is. Maybe its because you have to summarise your self when you're use to sharing, or use to uploading as many photos as you like, that makes these parts of our blog ... difficult. 

I'm sure I haven't covered every predicament. What other first world problems do you think other bloggers would relate to? 

6 Jan 2015

13 Ways You Can Tell You're At A Hipster Cafe

I was at a Christmas party a few weeks back and an older woman was telling me about a cafe she was recommending that she went to. Although she couldn't recall the name of it, she attempted to describe the ambiance of this place. I remember she said "it's one of those cafes where uni kids with beards hang out" ... I knew the type of cafe she was talking about, those "hipster cafes". 

Hipster Cafe's are "hashtag trending" as more of  these types of places to eat pop up in various suburbs in Sydney. 

I tried to look for a definition, or even an urban dictionary definition of what hipster cafe was and found nothing. So I thought I'd put together a list of 'How to tell you're at a Hipster Cafe' ...

1. Tap water is served in yellow plastic cups

The Tuckshop at Glenhaven (image credit)

2. The barista or at least one staff member has a beard or tattoo.

The Tuckshop at Glenhaven (image credit)

3. It can be hard to distinguish who are staff and who are patrons of the cafe as they don't wear uniforms ... well if you don't consider skinny jeans as uniforms.

4. They claim to serve their own brewed coffee beans

5. Something salted carmel is always on the menu

6. Everyone around you is Instagramming their food

7. Seating is mostly communal

The Grounds at Alexandria (image credit)

9. Cafe furniture and fittings must be mismatched and blend a number of different decor styles

Rupert & Ruby Darlinghurst (image credit)

10. Menu isn't extensive but every item is tasty, made fresh and instagram worthily presented

11. The cafe is usually busy with patrons. One who choose to go to one of the popular hipster cafes can assume there will be waiting time for a table.

The Baron at Castle Hill (image credit)

12. Cafe offers an array of sweets, in particular cronuts and or macrons

13. Cold drinks must be served in mason jars

What other attributes have you noticed about "hipster cafes"? Do you have a favourite you would recommend?

2 Jan 2015

2015 New Year's Resolutions

Another year, another set of resolutions.

If you've been following this blog for awhile now you would know I always make new year's resolutions. I like to set myself goals and try to achieve them. Sure you can set goals at anytime of the year and I do set goals throughout the year too, but there's something ... settling, complete, to me, about tackling them at the start of the year ... It's probably an OCD thing.

Oddly enough though as I tried to find the resolutions I made for 2014 I couldn't find them. I thought maybe I didn't publish the post and looked through the 50+ draft posts sitting in blogger but nope, nothing there.

It probably explains a lot. I've felt kinda lost this year. I've been uncertain and was lacking direction in certain areas in my life. I guess I never had real goals for 2014 so I had nothing written, nothing to really strive for, and wasn't accountable to myself last year.

Although I didn't have any defined resolutions for 2014 I feel like I achieved a lot. I tackled a lot of mind set fears and goals. This year I realised and let go of things that were holding me back from thriving. It wasn't just people, but that voice in my own head that makes me doubt myself, makes me think I can't do it or feel embarrassed. 

Even leading up to the end of 2014 and thoughts of what I want to achieve in 2015 crossed my mind, again I was thinking about whether I will return to work. I questioned why this topic consumes me so much and I realised its all in my head. I'm the one who thinks I should be working at some capacity, I'm the one who down plays the value in what I do at home and I'm the one who is judging and comparing myself to others. Finally letting go of these issues I've been able to accept and proudly say I'm a stay at home mom, without cringing.

This year though I have clear visions of where I want to be headed. I'm not going to state stuff like "help others" or "be a better parent" or "have more patience" - I think we all want and try to achieve these things on a daily basis. It's stuff that if we're mindful of, and do in small increments everyday, we eventually achieve without even realising. 

Having said that 2015 I have very clear personal resolutions and they are ...

Improve My Blog
I know this blog, and how I present the content could be improved. I want to update the layout, consider SEO's, edit images better and be more efficient - stuff that I put off cause I make too many excuses for myself. I want to really prioritise and be completely satisfied with this space and its content.

Improve on my Blogging 
I'd really like to write and articulate my stories better and provide quality content. I want to attend a really short writing course and a blogger conference to sharpen my knowledge and skills. I want to build a community, network and meet other bloggers. 

RX all WODs
Doing all CrossFit workout of the day (WOD) as prescribed without any adjustments or scaling down. I thought about maybe competing in one of the small team series this year, but I think I'm a long way from there. In the mean time, this year I want to get to the point where I'm preforming every WODs without scaling down.

Adopt an Eating Lifestyle
I'm not about doing a particular "fad" diet, but this year I really want to understand and respect food. For too long eating healthy has felt forced, I feel unsatisfied and usually hungry too ... I'm sure it stems from an eating complex I had in my teens. If I can choose to stop drinking fizzy drinks, surely I can make peace with healthy food. With the boys having allergies its even more important to implement a healthy eating lifestyle change for our family. 

Family Hobby
I noticed we don't have any regular family time. I'm talking about a time where everyone is doing something together without the distraction of electronics. Sure we go to the park but we're not always all together. And I think going to the park isn't always a bonding experience, we always separate cause each parent has to watch over one child. I asked Eli what we could do as a family and he said "draw" and I think that's a fitting family hobby. So this year we're gonna set aside some regular family time to do nothing but just draw, and talk to each other, and bond.  

The new year is a perfect time to start over, but it isn't the only time you can. So whatever it is you've been thinking about tackling how about now? I saw something on IG the other day I liked from Nike, "Yesterday you said Tomorrow ... Just Do It" 

Here's to 2015 .. come at me!! Wishing you a fabulous new year. May it bring you more unforgettable memories, challenges, success, answered prayers and blessings. 

What are your 2015 new years resolutions? Care to share?
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