Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday: The Truth

I want to write a post that's meaningful and heartfelt about what I'm thankful for today. These are posts to come. But today, I really need to be honest with you.
Wonderful life events aside, my beautiful family aside, my love of chocolate aside, I'm immensely grateful for one thing today.
Today I go on Maternity Leave. As in, it's my last day at work before I take 6 months off.
I'm so grateful for this I cannot put it into words. Because I am tired. Tiiiiiiired. And sore. And huge. And I still have 5ish weeks to go. Can I get much bigger?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. I have decided one always feels infinitely bigger when one's once-too-big maternity shirts do not cover one's bump anymore. I feel that I am moving past the 'glowing pregnant woman' phase into the 'Good Lord! Look at the size of her!' phase.
I am looking forward to Millie still going to daycare and having some alone time, and I'm also looking forward to sewing a bit more than usual, without the distraction of a nap time coming to a close.
In short, I'm looking forward to not dropping M at daycare at 8isham, driving 40km, parking, going to work for 5 hours, getting back in the car and driving 40kms home, picking up M, getting home, emptying a daycare bag, doing the dishes, sitting down for 30minutes (or being sat on by a wriggly M!), making dinner for M, welcoming home Mr S at 6.15pm, then getting M to bed by 7ish. Then Big People dinner and trying to race to bed to gain maximum sleep before we do it all again at 6am. You know?
I want to crawl into a cave and emerge with a newborn sometime soon.
So today, I am gleefully thankful that the whole game changes, starting now.

Thankful Thursday


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Sponsored Lady (not a sponsored post!)

As with most things that get on my goat, I stew quietly. I talk with friends, but I rarely say anything here until I'm sure of what I want to say.

I've sat here for the last year watching bloggers who are mothers ('Mummy Bloggers') get dragged through the mud for accepting sponsored posts, giveaways, blogs with adverts displayed and payment for reviews. I lost contact with friends who had an unreasonable vendetta toward said Mummy Bloggers and took offence to my tweets publicising my blog and contests.

Today I'm here to tell you about why I love a giveaway or a sponsored post. My reasons for a running a giveaway are pretty simple. I don't ask for payment for giveaways at the moment as I don't feel that my circulation warrants it. But if you want to send me free stuff to try, review honestly and run a competition on? Sure thing. Does it mean I don't fork out an extra $20 one week on nappies? Awesome. Do I get a pair of shoes to try out and review? Fantastic, I needed a new pair anyway. And if it means that someone else doesn't have to fork out for a month's worth of nappies/pair of shoes/copy of a book/iPhone app, I'm all over it.

Since I've been blogging more regularly I read more blogs. And here's what I've found myself using regularly due to reviews I've read, or products I've won and purchased again.


Sarah at Dear Baby G did a Nad's Hair Removal Gel review a few months back, and when I found myself fuzzy eyebrowed due to no mirror in my makeshift bathroom I remembered this. A trip to Woolworths, and voila! No more fuzzy eyebrows. The facial wand is freakin' awesome. Doesn't. Even. Hurt. And at $14, is a heck of a lot cheaper than paying $12-$20 for someone professional to burn my eyebrows for me. I've used it 4 times so far and I'm not even halfway through the tube. Love love love.

Stacey over at Veggie Mama published a review and ran a competition in 2011 for Garnier BB Cream. With a relatively newborn Millie who didn't sleep a lot I entered this competition and I was delighted to win! This stuff is amazing, and retails for around $13. I love it so much, I use it every single day. Every. Single. Day. I've got ridiculously sensitive skin and the BB cream is seriously awesome. When I first started using it I was functioning on 4 hours sleep/night and an acquaintance saw me at work and genuinely commented on how nice and refreshed I looked.


Then Zoey at Good Googs ran the same competition and I left a comment encouraging all to enter because it was such an amazing product. And lo and behold, despite my trying to un-enter myself, I won that one too. Fast forward 12 months and I'm only just finishing up the second tube now.

Laney at Crash Test Mummy is sponsored by Eco Store Australia, and got me thinking about their products. I've done a bit of research since and I've found that their products are septic safe, which after our Septic Fun Times of Winter 2012, I'm trying to care for our septic system a little more. I also have their handwash in the kitchen, and it's better than most for my insanely sensitive skin. I'm also slowly replacing products around the house with Eco Store products as they run out.

Nikki at Styling You had a post about beauty sampler mailout boxes earlier this year, and when I was trying to decide which sampler box to go with, her post was one I referred to. I am now a card carrying member of BellaBox, and I take to my bed with my newest box every month, pawing the contents and drifting off to sleep smelling of $100 face cream that I cannot afford to buy, but love to try.

Then there was the Coles ComfyBots nappies. These were great, and the only thing standing between me and using these with Millie is the 31km distance I live from Coles. I don't have or make time to do a separate trip to Coles for one item specifically, and any such trip would negate the cost difference. But these nappies are ace, and definitely on my list for the future.

My precccccious. (get it? ha!)

Then there's the Kambrook Pressure Express Pressure Cooker I won from entering a competition on Ros from Sew Delicious's blog. I wouldn't have purchased one of these for myself, but I am singing it's praises at every opportunity. This thing is awesome! I am a convert to the art of Pressure Cooking.

Blog readers aren't stupid. I believe that the average reader knows when they're being 'sold' to inadvertently. I do, and I've got a severe case of Baby Brain. People will switch off. I've also never understood the indignant uproar against a sponsored post. And have you looked on my sidebar? There's an advert there. Offensive, innit? So far it's made me approximately $6.

In another life I was an independent musician. I certainly didn't play for free. And I certainly asked people to buy my albums. A musician friend was dressed by a local surf shop and at every gig he spruiked the surf shop. I wasn't indignant. I was impressed! Being paid for your writing skills isn't that different to this scenario at all. It's just a new industry, and I guess haters will be haters.

What have you tried based on a blog review? Have you ever felt blatantly sold to? Tell me all...

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for I Blog on Tuesdays.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Radio Silence

Because I'm certain you were extremely worried, I'm here to reassure you that well, I'm still here. Just quiet. Even in Real Life - you know the life where you still get bills for car services and have to make dinner every night? I just don't have a lot to say. I seem to remember feeling the same way at about the same time in my pregnancy with Millie - I think perhaps it's the primal urge to go and find a cave and wait it out to give birth. I'm all for that, so long as my cave was WIFI, a comfortable bed and access to a working toilet.

But what I did do this week was also most uncharacteristic. I made plans, informed Mr S I was going out by myself on Friday night, and did so.

Etsy Australia held a meeting in Hobart, and invited me to go. Sure! Why not?

I roped Laydeepants into coming with me, and she met me at the door with a glass of wine in her hand! It was delightfully fun, and I learned so much about how Etsy actually works, how to list my items more effectively, and how much free food I can really eat. (A lot.)

I also met Jane from Life on Planet Baby, which was delightful! I'd been looking forward to meeting her one day - Hobart is not a very big place at all and I was hoping to run into her at some point in time.

Whilst sitting there amongst the cool hand made/vintage sellers/glass bottle recycling hipsters, I realised and mused out loud that this was the first time I'd been out myself since 2010.

<record screeching sound effect here>

Suddenly, I felt like the biggest loser in the room based upon my companion's horrified and sad looks. Someone said 'Wow... that's a really long time.' Let me break it down for you though...

I fell pregnant with Millie in June 2010, and I played gigs until January 2011. After that I was pretty much just working and hunkered down at home. I'm not the most social of souls at the best of times, so once I'd had Millie, 2011 consisted of

  • attempting to make a newborn sleep.
  • trying to sleep myself.
  • not venturing out at night by myself because I was too tired and didn't want to tote my breast pump everywhere I went.

Then it was 2012, and I felt mildly more like myself in January, and in February I fell pregnant again. Bring on 19 weeks of morning sickness, followed by another 10 weeks of falling asleep on the couch at 8pm, and well, here we are.

The free nights I did have - I spent them with Mr S out having dinner, seeing a concert or just generally talking about things that weren't babies!

So, yes. Loser Mummy it is.

Back to the meet. Laydeepants and I stopped ourselves from sitting at the back of the room just talking to each other and laughing inappropriately loudly at ourselves, and actually met some different people. It was lovely to meet other makers and just be among adults!

And then, of course, Laydeepants and I took photos of ourselves not taking the event at all seriously...

My bump: awesome arm rest.

And then, I STAYED OUT UNTIL 9.45PM. I know. I'm a rock star.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday - My my myyyyy Caroma!

See what I did there? I know, I'm hilarious and pun-worthy. I'm glad we're on the same page now.

Today I am thankful for this.

Flushing good work, Mr S.

For those of you who haven't been privy to my months of whinging not in the know, back in early May Mr S noticed a spot on the lino in our bathroom, peeled it back and put his hand through the floor. Oh.

What ensued was months of using our second outside loo, an original avocado green 50's number in immaculate condition. The only issue being, well, it's outside. And our second shower, which is housed in the laundry, which is also outside. And it was winter.

There's been many a renovation story on this blog, you can see some of them here. Let's just say there was a lot of complaining on my behalf, and a lot of Mr S working 6 days per week and spending his one day per week on the bathroom. And tilers that took months to turn up, and the Smyth family doing this renovation business all in the wrong order.

That's just how we roll.

In July, our septic tank overflowed, rendering our only working toilet and any plumbing we had, useless. But a day, a lot of money and a Crappy Cowboy later, we were back in business.

But now, this. I was so excited when I realised on Sunday that I had heard the vague sounds of a toilet flushing inside the house that I didn't dare draw breath. Then, when Mr S popped his head into the lounge room and said 'Mark this day on your calendar!' I was so excited I jumped. That's right, both of my 33 week pregnant feet left the floor. Indeed, let's mark this day on the calendar.

I wanted him to sit on the toilet and do 'The Thinker', but he declined.

The plus sides to being heavily pregnant and having a toilet inside are obvious, but it was when I went to the toilet and was followed by a toddler who stood there signing 'nappy', 'toilet' and 'wash hands' at me that I realised how peaceful it had been sneaking out of the house to have a couple of minutes silence...

Nah. I'll take an inside toilet any day.

Thankful Thursday

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mrs Smyth... takes the pressure down.

Sort of.
*cue mid 80's music*

No idea what I'm talking about. The mighty John Farnham of course!

Are you back now? Have you rejoiced in that saxophone solo? Good.

I'm talking about my Kambrook Pressure Express Pressure Cooker. When Ros from Sew Delicious had her first Bloggy Birthday giveaway, one of the prizes was said pressure cooker. I entered the competition because there was some SWEET fabric prizes too. And I had no idea what to do with a pressure cooker, because I'm so country and old school that I slow cook most nights with my cast iron pot on the fire. Oh yeah baby, I know how to party.

Then, I won the pressure cooker. OOOOER! How exciting! I waited for it to turn up, and just when I'd figured it had taken a detour around the pristine countryside of the Huon Valley, my local Mitre 10 rang me. Their courier had delivered it to them, so they looked me up in the phone book. Must love the country. MUST.

Millie and I whizzed down the street and they loaded it into the boot for me. Then I brought it home, and put it on the bench.

I took the book out, read about pressure release valves and dangerous things, realised it didn't make any sense in my preggo sleep deprived state and put the book back.


I googled pressure cooker recipes and wondered how it all worked. I rang my mother, and my mother in law and asked them about pressure cookers. I read the book, and put it back.


I decided enough was enough. I unpacked it, read the book again, read the website again, washed it all up and sat it on the bench. We were having dinner guests on Friday night and I would pressure cook a meal, even it killed us all.

On Friday, Millie's week of grumpy whinging turned into some sort of tummy bug, which coincided with my needing to clean the entire house at the same time. I found a few recipes online by googling 'Pressure Cooker Beef' but none of them took my fancy. I decided I rather fancied Beef Satay and WE WERE GOING TO DO IT IN THE PRESSURE COOKER AND THAT WAS THAT.

Did I still have any idea how to use the pressure cooker?


I was overjoyed when our dinner guests turned up and I mumbled something about a pressure cooker, and my mate Jonno said 'Oh! Emily's just finished a pressure cooker cooking course!'

Angels sang.

I dragged politely invited Emily to the kitchen, where after she did my dishes for me (bless!) whilst I got ingredients ready, we wrangled the recipe into some sort of pressure cooker format.

Then we realised none of the three of us knew how to cook rice without a a) rice cooker (Emily)  b) microwave (Jonno)  c) Mr Smyth (me). Enter Mr Smyth, and rice was cooking.

We put the satay beef and sauce in the pressure cooker, worked out how to close it all up, and watched the timer count down. We thought we'd released the pressure valve and directed Mr S to open the pressure cooker. I'm growing a human, you know.

When the lid didn't budge with gentle prodding, we deduced that we had not, in fact, released the pressure valve. Mr S tried again, and it turns out when you do release the valve, it makes an almighty hissing sound. Oh.

Mr S demanded first taste as reward for risking his life, and decided that it was indeed worth risking his life for.

There are no pictures of said Beef Satay with Rice, because it did not look particularly appealing, but MY GOODNESS it was delicious.

So... the recipe for you.

Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce
from the Commonsense Cookbook


300g beef/chicken/pork/lamb
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
pinch of chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon oil

Peanut Sauce

1 crushed clove of garlic (I use two)
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
squeeze lemon juice
pinch of chilli powder (make it good pinch!)
1/4 cup water of coconut milk
*note as the pressure cooker needs more liquid than regular cooking, I had doubled the recipe anyway and used a whole tin of coconut milk.



  1. Slice beef into thin strips.
  2. Mix all other ingredients and add meat, mix until each piece is coated.
  3. Marinate for 30 minutes. (piffle! I've never done this!)

Peanut Sauce

  1. Combine ingredients in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Stir over moderate heat until smooth, then slowly stir in enough water or coconut milk to give a dipping consistency.

Pressure Down!

  1. Heat the pressure cooker on the Saute setting, then seal the Satay mix.
  2. Turn off at the wall, add in the peanut sauce, place and seal the lid.
  3. Set to level '3' and turn the power on.
  4. Watch the dial time down. This is especially riveting.
  5. When dial has finished, do not touch the pressure cooker for a minimum of 10 minutes, to allow the pressure to regulate.
  6. Release the pressure valve.
  7. Tasty tasty nom noms.

My precioussssssss...

Mega thanks to Ros and also to Kambrook, who kindly offered this prize up to Ros. You have made me feel extra confident about having two kiddlywinks under two and still being able to eat.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday: All you need is love

My big & only brother, Ben was married on the weekend. At 36, he is 7 years older than me. When we were little I remember him helping me get ready for bed and playing with me. As he grew older and far more cooler than seven years younger me, we weren't as close. In fact, we weren't really close until we were adults, which I'm sure is fairly typical of such a large age gap.
The turning point for our relationship was the illness and subsequent death of our father, Peter, in 2007. Suddenly it seemed as though something subconsciously clicked and my big brother was suddenly the Man of the Kendall Family. The loss of my father figure was eased ever so slightly by the caring role my brother took on.
Girlfriends came and went for Ben, and there was a few that seemed serious, but none were to last. The running joke with friends and family has always been that he would marry one of his best friends, Daniel or Craig.
Then in 2010, I called Ben when he was getting ready for a date. He'd been seeing a girl named Stacey, whom he met on She was coming over to watch the NBA with him. I think that was when I picked that she might just be The One For Ben.
Together they seemed so happy. Team Smyth were overjoyed, as was everyone who encountered their special bond. When Millie was born Ben flew down for special cuddles and told us how much Stacey loves babies, and perhaps one day...?
In 2011 Ben and Stacey rang us early one morning from Rome. Ben had just knelt down by the Trevi Fountain and asked Stacey for her hand in marriage. She said yes. I cried on the highway on the way to work, just as I'm sniffling at the computer right now.
I honestly thought my brother may just be an eternal bachelor. He's a Young Professional (Kenny, I called you YOUNG!) who enjoys working high flying corporate jobs whilst travelling and cooking gourmet food. He is the most wonderful Uncle any little Millie/#2 Smyth/Kendall Baby could ask for. So on top of all of those things, the idea that he found a fantastic lady to marry was just the icing on the cake. That Ben did not bake, for he does not bake. Cook, yes. Bake, he used to use packet mixes. Blaspheme.
I got to meet Stacey merely hours before their wedding and she was even lovelier and even more gorgeous than I'd seen on Skype and in photos. And then, on the beach in QLD, I watched my brother stand at the end of a pier on a beautifully sunny day watching his beautiful Stacey walk down to meet him and become his wife, he her husband.
I always love watching grooms at weddings, especially when their beloved makes their way to meet them, and this was the most beautiful and touching moment I've ever witnessed at a wedding.
Their vows were sublime and hilarious - he promises to not eat her popcorn, and she promises to go to every Broncos game with him, and they fist pumped at the end. A perfect end to a perfect ceremony. And the reception was even more perfect.
So it really is true. All you need is love, and love is all you need.
How am I thankful for this? I'm ever so thankful that I have Mr S, and now I have seen my sister marry her gorgeous husband, and my brother marry his beautiful wife. Our circle is complete.
Linking up with Kate Says Stuff for Thankful Thursday.
Kate Says Stuff

There are no pictures online as requested by the bride and groom. Perhaps once they've got their professional photos back they'll let us take a peek...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Meal Planning & Macaroni Cheese

At the beginning of the year I started writing our meal plans down. Sounds basic, doesn't it? Prior to this Mr S would do the shopping and buy for meals. He'd always tell me what there was, but I didn't write it down either so we started being confused about what we were having for dinner that night.
So, the Meal Planning Book. I wrote a list of all the meals we liked to eat at the front of it, then on each page I'd write the week's worth of meals, including what Millie would eat for her meals.

Then I misplaced the book.

Then I found it and we started again.

Then I lost it again.

I started writing my meal plans on the shopping list. Then I'd forget to tear the list off the notepad, and I'd forget what notepad I'd used... you can see where this is going.

Eventually, I bought Nicole Avery's Planning With Kids book and went to her fantastically awesome website  and started planning our meals with more regularity. My sister then bought me her app as well and I suddenly had more ideas for dinners. We weren't eating the same ten meals every ten days.

After a few weeks of mixing Nicole's recipes in with my meal plans, I started looking at the giant wall of cookbooks. I LOVE cookbooks. I actually love all books, but cookbooks hold a special place in my heart. Hard covers, pictures, matt paper, beautiful pictures... I'm there. Baking from a cookbook. Oh yes. But... cooking out of cookbooks? Never really had.

I began to pick a cookbook from the giant wall every fortnight and armed with my Meal Planner printout, I would flick through with my Meal Planner printout and shopping list, and choose a few meals from the cookbooks mixed in with our old favourites.

This past fortnight has been brought to us by an awesome cookbook called The Family Dinner written by Laurie David.

I cooked Mac'N'Cheese Please from The Family Dinner a few weeks ago. And BY GOLLY it was amazing. Creamy, tasty and delicious. I know. Tasty AND delicious. You understand how much I was enjoying eating it. Several people asked me for the recipe, and short of taking a picture of the recipe, I thought I'd share it with you here.

I'll give it to you with my amendments, as I have a gene flaw that does not allow me to get twitchy with recipes and change things if I think it's either a) going to take too long, b) cost too much money for a single use ingredient or c) I have other things in the fridge that need to be used.

Mac'N'Cheese Please
from The Family Dinner by Laurie David.

Crunchy Topping:
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used herb and garlic breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

The Rest:
3 eggs
2 12oz cans evaporated milk (I used the 400g tins)
4 cups of any melting cheese (tasty in my house, see above for single use ingredients)
2 tsp dry mustard (I used squeezy American Mustard, again, my single use rule)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound elbow macaroni, shells, or other small pasta (I bought a 500g pack of macaroni)
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1/2 cup grated cheese
My additions: I added 3 rashers of bacon and three big handfuls of spinach.

  1. Preheat oven to 180degrees.
  2. Mix topping ingredients together. Put on a baking tray and bake until golden and crisp, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix eggs, evaporated milk, cheese and mustard in a small bowl. Season and set aside.
  4. Cook macaroni until tender and drain. Set aside.
  5. Heat a heavy based pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, bacon and onions. Saute onions until soft and translucent.
  6. Add drained noodles to the onions, stir, then pour the egg mixture into the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, and keep stirring until thoroughly combined and cheese has melted. Stir in the spinach. The cheese will take about 3 minutes to melt. You do not want the mixture to boil, as the mix will set stiffly, just keep the heat low. Top with the toasted bread crumbs and eat!
So good. Millie loved it and we ate it for dinner that night. There was also at least half the pot left, so that's in the freezer for Baby Time.

The only thing I found difficult about the recipes in this book is that there is no prep time specified, so I feel like it's the kind of recipe book that I really need to study and think hard about before I start cooking. I prefer to know what time I need to start cooking to make dinner for M at a Reasonable Hour.

How do you plan meals for your family? What's your favourite meal for everyone at your dinner table?

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT.

Friday, September 7, 2012

FFS Friday / Shiny Things Friday

As you read this, I'll be in another state. Surrounded by my family in the searing heat. Probably sweating. M will be glowing, and Mr S will probably be glowing too. I will be most probably looking surly and slightly uncomfortable in the heat. But that's just a mirage, as happens in the searing heat. I am excited on the inside.

So, in honour of my big brother marrying the lady of his dreams, I cannot FFS this week.

Who am I kidding? Of course I can. The wedding hasn't happened yet. Next week I can't FFS, because I'll be too full of joy and wedding cake to be cranky and pregnant.

One can hope. I mean, I'll still be pregnant, but not cranky.

So I present to you: FFS, The Customer Not Service Edition.

  • I finished work on Tuesday, had an ultrasound, and went shopping to buy a portacot and booster seat for said trip. In Target, I asked if someone could check a barcode on a price tag to see if they had more stock tucked away somewhere. The sales lady said without moving 'If there's nothing on the shelf then that's it.'
    'Uhhh... can someone check an inventory on a computer or something?' I know this to be true.
    'Oh. Perhaps. But if there's no stock on the floor, that's it.'
    'Can someone check please?'
    'Siiiiiiigh. Let me call someone.'
    Two more sales people later who didn't want to take the fifteen steps to the nursery department, we finally ascertained that they did indeed have portacots in stock. FFS.
  • I ordered two pairs of glasses from SpecSavers Friday before last, with an ETA of less than a week. Hooray! One pair turned up within a week, and I was told to come in and check a few days later. A few days later I checked and there was none. When I explained that I was going to a family wedding, ergo new glasses, they rang their lab in Melbourne. The young man serving me went and took my chosen frames off the shelf and explained to me that the lab actually needed the frames, so it would be at least another week. Shrug. Sorry.
    I actually said out loud 'Are you kidding me? I've been in here four times since I ordered the glasses and you have found this out now?' Upon asking whether or not they could expedite this process, he informed me that he'd call me the next day.
    Cue next day. I ring and wind up speaking to the manager after said young man tells me via another service rep 'We'll have to post them to you on your holiday', she informs me that the lab have actually run out of the stock of the frames I ordered and that's why they needed my frames sent. And it's one of these unfortunate things that slips through the cracks... It will be at least a week.
    I use my Caps Lock Voice to express my displeasure and ask if they can kindly speed these things up as this is going to be a bit crap. The manager tells me that I shouldn't have been given such an unrealistic due date. But the point it, I was given that date. I've ordered glasses for the past twelve years that take a week, maximum. I thought two weeks was pretty achievable as an outside date. The manager says she'll call the lab and call me back tomorrow.
    Cue next day. When I call the manager apologises that I misunderstood and that she hadn't actually promised to call me. However, she has rung the lab and asked that they use their emergency stock of frames to fill my order. Sidebar: at what point in time did no one think of this previously?When else would one use emergency stock to fill an order? She's also had someone call their courier and there is now a high chance that my glasses will be in tomorrow, in time for me to detour through Hobart with a toddler and car full of stuff on our way to the airport, to pick up my glasses. And have I ever thought about contact lenses? FFS.
  • SpecSavers also send you an email survey about their customer service when you pick up your glasses.
  • Customer service in Tasmania is exceptionally hit and miss. I do think that every customer is entitled to courtesy and kindness. I don't think that the customer is necessarily right all the time, but they do deserve to be treated with respect. What I think businesses don't realise is that money is changing hands. And it's money that we all work hard for and personally, if you're treating me poorly, I'll take my money somewhere else.
  • In other FFS, when I picked M up at daycare today her carer told me that one of the other kids had nit eggs yesterday and was sent home. Today her Mum did a 'dump and run' whilst carer was on the phone, only to discover that the poor kid had live lice today. Her Mum didn't answer any phone messages for hours, to then let Carer know that she was at least two hours away and 'pop her out the back by herself, she'll be ok by herself. And the other kids, it's just Millie and Kid B and Kid C, I mean, that's okay, right?' ABSO-FFS-INGLY NOT. What the FFS? I mean, WHAT THE FFS?
  • This is the same Mum who wasn't worried about whooping cough and her unvaccinated kids, ergo all the other kids at daycare. FFS.
  • It makes me feel SO stabby and if I didn't love her carer so much I'd find alternate care. FFS.
  • As always, the night before we go away on a holiday I am up far too late hanging out washing, lighting the fire to DRY said washing, dealing with acid reflux and an active Inside Baby, rocking M back to sleep and dealing with Lucy the cat, who goes loco every time we go away. FFS.
  • There's no doubt free alcohol at the wedding reception. I can hardly wait for post mix lemonade. FFS.

Shiny Things Friday

Father's Day at Esperance River. Feeling river water
for the first time. Colder than one expected. :)

31 weeks. I am now 32 weeks.

Taking pics for Etsy with my spunky new lightbox.

Hooray! Etsy!

The Bump giving me grief at work yesterday. You'll note
my proximity to my desk these days. Inconvenient to say the least.

A brand new bib in smaller size for my nephew, who I get to meet TODAY! Hooray!
  • Speaking of, have you seen my Etsy shop? I finally finished photographing and organising my hairclips and set up my Etsy shop over here. My little sewing name is Mrs Smyth Made This, and there's some bibs coming next week too as soon as I put the final little finishing touches on them. Hooray!
  • I had the most fun ever making the lightbox using this tutorial by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.
  • The Coles Comfy Bot giveaway went gangbusters last week and it was really quite fun! I'm so pleased that there were so many entries, and congratulations to Chris M! A month's worth of nappies coming your way!
  • Three working weeks until maternity leave. Hooray! Cannot come soon enough.
  • M is bloody delightful. She just is.
Linking up with Sarah for FFS Friday...
Dear Baby G

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Unexpected Kindness

Two weeks ago, I finished work at 2pm, jumped in the car, raced back to my Valley, got to daycare by 3pm, left daycare at 3.20pm (her carer and I chat way too much) and went to Woolworths. I know. Bad time of day. There was no food in the house. What to do?

I was looking a little like this size-wise, but not fresh and glowing. More tired, full of flu, with several bits
of hair stuck to my face.
To her credit, M was VERY tolerant of being strapped into the trolley as we went around to do the food shopping. I haven't embraced online food shopping just yet, as the delivery fee is around $13, and the supermarket is 2km from home. I just can't bring myself to do it yet. When Baby #2 comes along, I will be prepaying weeks in advance, I'm sure.

An elderly gentleman smiled kindly at us every aisle as we passed our trolleys and I was grateful to have someone to smile at. Millie demanded my shopping list, so I tore my list off and gave her the blank notepad and a pen. I found another pen in my handbag, but it wouldn't work, so I was marking off my list by punching holes in the paper. Then feeding M another biscuit. And a drink. Taking the drink back. Another biscuit. No, it's my list, you've got yours.

Look Millie, the trolley is a car! Brrrrmmmmmm! Brrrrrrm Brrrrm!

Yes, I'm that parent.

By the second last aisle she was antsy and very sick of being confined to a trolley. My little lady likes her freedom. She grabbed a packet of cheese slices out of the trolley and proceeded to chew on the wrapping, holding it out to me. You want to eat cheese around the supermarket? Sure thing.

Yes, I'm that parent. At least it's not chocolate.

We make it through the checkout where Millie demands OUT of the trolley. Like, NOW. So I have a full trolley, a purse in one hand that's being rifled through by a toddler, a toddler in my other arm and a bump the size of Texas whose ligaments have pulled beyond belief in the past ten minutes.

To the butcher. Which is thankfully on the way out of the shopping centre.

I still have M in one arm and a full trolley and the bump. The elderly gentleman passes me again and gives me a knowing, warm smile, which gladdens my heart. He's been here before.

At the butcher, the assistant and I are on 'Hello' terms. She is German and her manner is very formal, but we have a smile and joke about the weather. She packs up our meat and I fumble with my purse, toddler and trolley, dropping my purse underneath the trolley. I decide to pick it up before I leave, but the elderly gentleman sees this, stops his trolley in the doors to the shopping centre, limps over, grabs onto my trolley, gets on his hands and knees and retrieves it for me, before I realise what's even happened.

'Sir! Oh my! Thank you! Please don't, I can get it in a minute! Oh thank you so much!'

He gives me another knowing warm grin and continues on his way.

You're both far too kind!

The shop assistant comes running around from behind the counter, grabs my trolley, asks me where my car is and insists on taking the trolley to the car for me. She tells me that she had three kids under 6, and remembers how hard it can be wrangling all of the things at once. She lights up with recognition of early parenting days and I almost cry from sheer gratefulness.

At the car I thank her and go to strap Millie in so I can put the groceries in the boot. As I say I'm doing this I turn around and she's organising the groceries in my boot, telling me to remember that she popped my purse in with the bread, and my handbag is to the right. She takes the trolley and wishes me a good day. I could have kissed her.

She understands. And I would have done exactly the same thing for another stranger, but it's hard to accept that people will do these things for me. I don't know why, but it is. I'm so grateful for her, and her business has won my custom for all time.

But it's not about business. It's about a stranger, helping another stranger, because they can.

Linking up with Kate for Thankful Thursdays with Kate Says Stuff.

(and incidentally, I just finished a hot cup of tea BY MYSELF. No one else in the house is awake yet. Oh, glory day!)

Kate Says Stuff


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