Coffee Catch Up: July 2019

King Street July 2019

Helloooo there…

1
For those who missed it, I’m now working full-time as a UX Designer for a software company that specialises in developing cloud based apps, data platforms and infrastructure modernisation etc etc.

I’m about 6 weeks in and each day I’m learning new things, using my skills and working with the loveliest + smartest bunch of people.

Each day I leave the office feeling happy, valued, respected… and each day I feel like I’m building skills in so many areas: work / life / career / working in a team / problem solving / creativity / knowledge / personal interest.

I have been absolutely loving it!

2
Most evenings, I can’t switch my brain off. I have zero interest in watching Netflix and relaxing. I desperately want to read technical books, business books, psychology books, philosophy books, management books, fascinating articles, biographies, memoirs, case studies, opinion pieces, and yeah, even more classic literature and history books. I just want to pile on more and more into my head!

Thus I have been feeling a bit guilty. I know I shouldn’t be thinking about work 24/7. But to me, it’s doesn’t really feel like “work” work… It’s like more: personal development, my interests, my hobbies, general skill building, intellectual pursuits… all rolled into one!

So to combat my tendency to burn myself out, I’m trying hard to keep my life really balanced – making sure I spend quality time with my husband and kids,  hang out with my extended family and girlfriends, and make sure I fit in time do other things I love, like running, yoga, cycling, cooking, baking, gardening and being creative with art, fashion and photography.

3
Okay so everyone has been so modern, so polite and so politically correct! No one has asked me “What’s happening with your kids? Who’s going to look after them?”.

I know it’s a bit of a no-no to say that to a woman these days. But honestly, I wouldn’t be offended if someone asked me that. I’ve been stay-at-home and work-from-home for 15 years… so I see it as a very normal, friendly, conversational and quite an obvious question to ask me.

And personally, listening to someone talk about their “life change” is lovely and all, but really, I want to know HOW they manage to get it done and listen to all the real-life struggles and “in the trenches” stories that come with the journey and success.

So what’s happening with my husband and kids?

My answer:

4
Now that I’m working full-time, my husband has left his job of 20 years. I guess you can say we’ve switched roles and he’s having a break from the 9-5 life. He’s working from home, freelancing and contracting. He’s doing the school runs, taking kids to sports games, being the taxi parent, managing the house, doing the house cleaning, cooking, laundry and life admin.

He’s doing a pretty good job. And I think he’s even enjoying it.

5
In fact, my husband has delegated most of the tasks to my sons, who are now 16, 14 and 10. With me at work, my boys have had to step up in a significant way. It has kind of forced them to NOT rely on me so much. It’s been brilliant.

They cook dinner, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, clean the toilets and bathroom… I don’t really know what my husband does all day?! Haha just kidding.

My only complaint, is that my standard of FLOOR CLEANING is not the same as their standard. So most days I just have to look the other way, smile and be happy that I don’t have to do any cleaning!

6
I’m really enjoying the commute to work again. It’s so nice to have some quiet time that separates home from work.

I love the fact that I leave work at 5pm and I don’t need to do anything until 9am the next day! Amazing! No late night deadlines, no extra emails, no invoicing, no following up and chasing people for money, no frantic stress, no constant hustling, and no more going to bed at 1am and feeling like I hardly scratched the surface of my workload!

I know lots of people believe that running a small business and working for yourself is the ultimate career goal. I enjoyed my time in it, but it was time for a change.

7
My kids have been taking the change just fine. If anything, I’m the one who has been emotionally affected by the change. I feel a bit guilty that I don’t spend enough quality time with them. So when I get home, I’m pouncing on them and hassling them: TELL ME EVERYTHING!

But they are usually busy doing their homework or housework, so we do our “real chats” on the weekends and that’s when I hear all their funny stories and thoughtful randomness.

8
I work right in the middle of the city, in the fashionable end of town. I love the coffee, cafes, the bookshops, the Japanese food, the street style, the city scape, having lunch with friends and feeling like I’m in the middle of all the action.

That’s all from me for now!

I’m wearing:
Coat by (unknown Korean brand!)
Green silk top by Witchery
Black jeans by Acne Studios
Silver Boots by Rag and Bone
Bag by Proenza Schouler

A Full Health Check + Blood Test Results

Every year my husband organises to get a full check up and blood test done for himself.

And every year he lovingly pesters me to get mine done too.

(In case you didn’t know, my husband had cancer twice and he had lots of chemotherapy in the past, so he’s quite passionate about managing his health… and making sure his family and friends look after their health too!)

So yep, I get a full health check up every year.

It is mostly just a blood test.

I simply request the test from my doctor. And I am tested for everything from cholesterol, to hormone levels, thyroid, blood count, iron, vitamin levels, electrolytes, liver function, glucose, tumour markers and more.

I believe the tests were all covered under Medicare (that is, free).

There are other specific check ups, like breast and cervical screening tests, eye checks, skin checks and dental care. But I do those on a separate schedule.

My Overall Result:

I have excellent health! Yay!

My cholesterol levels are great – I was a bit nervous about this result, because I eat a lot of meat and corresponding saturated fats. Did you see what I did there? I should have said: because, I eat a lot of FRIED CHICKEN.

My Shortcomings:

I have very low Vitamin D (essential for strong bones) – and I was instructed to take supplements, at a specified dosage.

I have very low Iron – and instructed to take supplements, at a specified dosage. I’m also taking a blood-sugar-regulating supplement, you can check it out at https://observer.com/2021/03/blood-sugar-blaster-reviews-2021-everything-to-know-before-buying/.

Then I’ll have to go get another blood check in 3 months to check my levels.

My Overall Health Plan:

Not much to change.

I don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol. I eat low sugar/low carbs/low processed foods, eat a wide variety of nutritious meals, eat everything in moderation, and eat small portions. And with the rise of online drugstores like this Canadian Pharmacy, it’s easier to get the medicines I need.

In terms of exercise, I should probably do a bit more aerobic and cardio each week.

Good health is so precious and I am so grateful for it.

At the end of last year, I was really sick for a week. I was completely run down for 3-4 weeks after that. It took me so long to get better. I got quite depressed thinking it was the beginning of the end.

It was finally happening! I’M GETTING OLD! My body was giving up on me! It was all down hill from here! I’m turning into a little, frail, old lady! This is how it’s going to be! Nooooo!

Thankfully I got better.

So here I am, bouncing out of bed at 6:30am, looking out the window, saying good morning to the sun and thankful for each brand new day.

Upcycling: Scooter Transformation

Scooter Transformation

It’s the school holidays and we love a good UPCYCLING project!

Actually the truth is… our 9 year old desperately wanted a brand new $350 stunt scooter for Christmas – uuum nope! Sorry kid!

We already have 2 scooters in our shed, which are old, scratched up and rusted. But they are still perfectly good scooters! A friend of ours actually purchased one from a review she read on Ken Miller’s https://scooteradviser.com. We decided to give repairing the scooters a try as it would teach him the value of taking care of things.

So as a lesson on “recycling” and “saving the environment” we led him through the magic of a new paint job.

New Scooter

We took an old scooter apart.

Spray painted the bars.

Bought some new wheels, bearings handgrips, grip tape, stickers…

We customised it a bit. Then experimented with different colour combinations.

And hey presto, new scooter!

Personally I dislike his colour choice. Can you believe that he still likes pink?

(When he was a toddler, he was obsessed with the colour pink and he would go around collecting pink objects and put them into a pink box under his bed. It was so cute!)

But he’s happy with the scooter.

(Meaning: it’s now better than it was before, haha!)

It’s still a work in progress and he’s always thinking of new ways to change things around and customise it further. So I guess it’s the good sign and hopefully he won’t want a new bike for next Christmas!

Hello to my new look

Wisteria

Well look at that!

After years of procrastination and working at a glacial speed, I’ve finally updated the look of my blog.

My last blog design was made in 2010 – it was a hand-coded, hacked-up version of WordPress, made by me, kind of an ode to my old school blogging days, which I still love in essence.

The biggest differences now:

  • My blog now scales nicely on mobile devices (omg finally)
  • I have lots of NEW CATEGORIES, so my older posts are easier to find
  • The photos are larger
  • You can now leave a comment (way hey!)
  • And boring technical stuff. My posts are in a new database. New WordPress framework. This is a bought theme. I didn’t hack up the php this time (ok only two changes).

Embarrassingly, I’ve been working on this update for 3-4 years.

Why did it take me so long?

I have over 3000 posts on my blog, with my first post starting back in 2003. I’ve edited them all.

It captures 15 years of my life and my family’s life, albeit only an edited portion of my life.

Working on this was like writing a freaking autobiography. The story of my life! It was emotional. Overwhelming. Entertaining. Hilarious. So many great reads. So many funny stories. So many stories I would never share now, but I’m happy I did share them back then… and happy to keep sharing.

I try to stick to my rule of 50% fashion and 50% life stories.

I hope you like it!

If you’d like to browse around, I recommend you find a random date on the right-hand column —>(which I have left there intentionally, because the size of my archives looks ridiculous haha!).

Or take a peek at the menu on the top of the page.

Or check out my About section.

I’ll be making little tweaks here and there over the next few weeks.

Feel free to say hi in the comments!

Holidaying Without The Firstborn

Dunsbourough 2018

Aah, for every long weekend that comes along, it feels like the whole of Perth drives down to enjoy the chilled out vibes of Dunsbourough!

Even though it gets a bit crowded and busy down there, I really do love it and I wish we could buy a place near the beach :)

We joined 5 others families, stayed with friends and “camped” on their property for a few days.

This trip was slightly different for us.

My 15 year old remained back in Perth and stayed with my parents, because he had to go to work! He just works in a cafe, but has to give 2 weeks notice of leave.

Part of me felt a bit sad and filled with regret, that my first born son wasn’t joining us. He IS still a kid. He should be doing stuff with his family. He should be going on family holidays. He has his whole life to work. He’ll never get his childhood back.

Buuut part of me knows that we have had many, MANY great family holidays together and we did just come back from a 4 week overseas family trip. Also he is a teenager… and although he wanted to stay home alone for 3 days (to which we said NO) staying with his grandparents gave him a nice taste of “freedom”. Kinda.

He survived. We survived. There were no parties. And our house didn’t burn down.

An excellent outcome!