Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Short Story Shorter

Can you make a statement on any topic in just 7 words? It's harder than it looks, but apparently it can be done. I have never been known for my ability to keep things short and sweet, but I salute anyone who can, like former president George W. Bush who was able to sum up President Trump's inauguration in just 5 words; "That was some weird shit." What else needs to be said really?

So when the wonderful Karen from Baking in a Tornado gave me the opportunity to join forces with her and try to make our statements short and sweet I jumped at the chance. This isn't a new idea by any means, but that didn't mean we didn't have a heap of fun along the way. Credit must be given to Coach Daddy who runs this as a regular challenge using 6 word answers, and was part of the inspiration behind us deciding to give it a go.

So the idea behind this challenge is pretty simple. Karen and I each came up with a heap of different topics, and we each have to say something on all of the topics in 7 words. No more, no less which is quite difficult for both Karen and I. Be sure to visit Karen's website after this to get her take on the topics as well.

1. April showers
Mean winter is on its way soon

2. Doing laundry
Is it legal to go naked yet?

3. The joy of toddlers
You're saying I'm meant to enjoy this?

4. Do you ever get enough sleep?
No, because I sleep with barnacle girl.

5. Could you last a day without internet?
I lasted 13 years so why not? 

6. Weekends
Still mean work because of my daughter

7. What's your reaction when you see a spider in the house?
How long until Miss K starts screaming?

8. How do you feel about getting older?
I just keep getting better with age.

9. What's your favourite form of exercise?
Does pushing my luck count as exercise?

10.Apply a parenting lesson to politics
Nappies and politicians should be changed regularly

11. What is something you feel naked without?
My handbag, it stores my entire life.

12. What is the weirdest thing you have eaten?
Probably chicken feed pellets as a kid

13. Your best parenting advice to new parents
It gets easier I promise, just breathe.

14. Time travel
I'd go back and meet Oscar Wilde

15. What would your superpower be?
Eyes in the back of my head.

16. Dieting
Is for suckers, pass me the chocolate.

17. What makes a best friend?
Someone who knows you inside and out

18. What is your least favourite chore
I absolutely loathe having to do dishes.

19. Which is better, sweet or savoury?
Sweets will always win in my eyes.

20. What is the best invention ever? 
Milky coffee - without it life is sluggish

Whew, that took more counting on my fingers than I am prepared to admit to right now, but there you have it. If any of you have alternate answers to any of the questions, I'd love to hear them in the comments below. Also don't forget to visit Karen's blog and check out her answers too. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

April Fly on the Wall - Medical Woes up the Wazoo

It's time once again for Fly on the Wall. Today 7 bloggers have all joined forces to share with you just some of the crazy thing you would see or hear if you were a fly on their wall.

Fly on the Wall
Below is a list of all the bloggers participating this month, be sure to visit them all and enjoy the hilarity. 

Menopausal Mother                     
A Little Piece of Peace                 
Never Ever Give Up Hope                   
Bookworm in the Kitchen                  

Miss K got a nasty splinter in her big toe the other week, It was pretty deep, and to get the splinter out and the area cleaned up was no easy task, which of course Miss K objected to vigorously. Once I'd gotten the worst of the job done, and I'd had enough of having to make her scream I pulled her into my lap for a cuddle when she dropped a guilt bomb on me.
Miss K: There's a hole in my foot.
Me: It's not a hole, it's just a cut. I had to cut your foot to get to all the dirt honey. I don't want you getting an infection. 
Miss K: There's a hole in my foot that YOU put there.

The very next day she went to the park with her dad and they'd not been out the door ten minutes when he calls me.
Ady: So Miss K's got a new injury.
Me: What happened?
Ady: She kissed a pole and now she has a huge bruise on her lip.
Me: How hard did she kiss it?
Ady: I dunno. she came up to me crying and when I told her to show me what happened she just walked over to a pole and kissed it.
When they got home Miss K very indignantly told me she hadn't been kissing poles, she'd been sliding down them and accidentally smacked her face. She was more insulted that her father would go around spreading such a false story about her than anything else.

That weekend I was telling my little brother Ben about having to operate on Miss K's toe during the week
Me: I get my surgery skills from dad. I still remember that time he got a nasty cut on his finger and gave himself stitches.
Ben: That's nothing. One time while I was living with him, he cut the tip of his finger off, and I had to hold it in place for him so he could put a band-aid on it.

Nat and I were discussing a request she'd been given to pick our sister Kim up from hospital, which she refused because of back pain.
Me: Well of course you can't go pick her up, you're in too much pain right now. You should be taking care of yourself right now, everyone else can bugger off.
Nat: Well if it wasn't for Dave reminding me that I'm meant to be taking it easy right now and taking care of myself I probably would have jumped up and helped her without thinking.
Me: Well good on Dave for doing that. Give him a high five from me.
Nat: In the face?
Me: With a chair!

While visiting my sister Sam and her kids one day
Eliza: Does anyone know what Anatidaephobia means?
Me: It's the fear that you're being watched by a duck.
Sam and Matty both laugh, thinking I'm being stupid.
Eliza: It's the fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.
Sam: How the hell did you even know that?
Me: It's all my dank memes.

Mum: One word of advice for you Erin.
Me: Ok.
Mum: Don't have kids.
Me: Thanks mum. It's six years too late, but thank you anyway.

So my sister in law Sam had her gall bladder removed on a Monday, and three days later she and my brother Josh came over to our house for a cuppa.
Me: Why aren't you at home resting?
Sam: I don't know, I'm crazy like that.
Me: Most people would take surgery as an excuse to lie in bed for a week and do nothing but sleep.
Josh: Well I keep trying but she won't let me.

Later that day Sam was complaining about how Josh stonewalls her when he's angry
Josh: I need time to calm down so I can think about what I want to say.
Me: Learn to meditate Josh, it makes it happen faster.
Josh: I already do that every day. Oh, wait you said meditate not masturbate.

Me: Hmm, ladyfinger roll cakes
Mum starts giggling to herself
Me; Oh grow up.

Two young Mormon missionaries come to my house every week for a chat. One time they ended the visit by asking if I need any help.
Elder: Is there anything we can do to help you this week?
Me: No, I'm pretty good right now.
Elder: Are you sure? we can mow the lawns if you like.
Me: Nah, it's cool, I hire a local man to do it every few weeks, it helps the economy and I don't have to do it myself. But if you really want to help, there's a massive wolf spider on my daughter's trampoline that I can't kill.
Elder: Oh dear no, I'm terrified of spiders, I'll do anything except that. 
Me: Then I'm all good for now, thanks.

Later that night
Mum: Why did you ask him to kill the spider for you?
Me: I knew he wouldn't do it. He's told me before he's terrified of spiders.
Me: That's just mean.
Me: Well the last time a missionary offered help I asked him to babysit Miss K for me so I could have a nap but that was just as terrifying a request apparently. 

Before you get angry at me for picking on the missionaries, please know that he gives as good as he takes. This particular missionary is a young lad from Tonga, and because he knows I know absolutely nothing about Tonga he's always teasing me. That same visit, I was discussing my trip to Vanuatu when I was 20.
Me: It was amazing, I drank coconut water straight from the coconut.
Elder: Oh my back yard is full of coconut trees.
Me: Really? That's awesome.
Elder: No, not really. But I do drink coconut water straight from the coconut. It tastes better.
Me: Ohh ok. Well I saw banana trees for the first time too. I had no idea bananas grew in giant balls.
Elder; Oh my house is made from banana palms.
Me: Really that's cool.
Elder: No, it's not really. But my back yard is full of banana trees. 
Me: I don't know what to believe any more. 

Me: What is Maundy Thursday?
Mum: I don't know, why do you think I would know.
Me: You call yourself a Catholic.
Mum: Look it up.
Me: It's also known as Holy Thursday
Mum: That's what we called it.
Me: No explanation on what Easter Monday is about.
Mum: That's when the chocolate's on sale. 

Miss K spent Easter at her Nonna's house in Melbourne this year, so I had to wish her a happy Easter over Skype on Easter Sunday
Me: Happy Easter baby girl.
Miss K: Buona Pasqua mama (happy Easter in Italian)
Me: Buona Pasqua!
Nonna: See, I told you mummy would know what you meant.
Miss K: You said buona Pasqua mummy!
Nonna: When I first taught her how to say it, she kept saying buona pasta.
Me: Were you wishing everyone a happy pasta Miss K?
Miss K: Yeah.

My little sister Natalie had to get an ingrown toenail cut out yesterday, and she's never had the highest pain threshold in the world, even with three doses of anaesthetic in her foot she could feel the toenail being cut out
Nat: I hate when they ask you obvious questions. At one stage I said ouch, and the doctor stopped and said "are you alright? is that hurting you?" I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from giving a sarcastic answer, as he had a scalpel to my foot at the time, so I didn't want to piss him off.
Me: I don't blame you.
Nat: Dave hates it, because I'll always give him a sarcastic answer to his obvious questions, but then he's never holding a scalpel to my foot at the time.
Me: Note to self, buy Dave a scalpel for his birthday. That way if he wants to ask you an obvious questions he can just threaten you with it at the same time.

Well that's all from this mad house for another month, don't forget to buzz on over to all the other blogs and enjoy the rest of the madness.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Product Review - Brightstar Kids

Mother's Day is right around the corner here in Australia, and with it comes the perfect opportunity to let the women in your life know how much you appreciate them. Whether it be your own mother, your grandmother, the mother of your children, or anyone else in between who has had a great impact on your life. Recently I was contacted by Bright Star Kids and offered the chance to review one of the products from their Mother's Day range.

This was perfect timing for me, because my mum is one of the hardest women for me to buy for. I struggle every single year to find something that she will like, not because she is very picky, but because she never wants for anything, so gifts are always tricky.

Bright Star Kids sell a huge range of products, from personalised label stickers, wall art, and kids clothing, on top of their current range of gifts for Mother's Day, all of which are very beautiful, and I spent a good twenty minutes browsing their website before I went to the Mother's Day range, just drooling over all of their other products. When I got to the Mother's Day gifts I was overwhelmed by the range they had. There is something for every mum from a personalised family planner for the practical mum who likes to be organised to personalised drink bottles for the mum who likes to be hydrated. There's gifts that can be personalised multiple ways so you can get one for mum and one for Nan, and there's even gifts to celebrate a mum's very first Mother's Day. Choosing which product I was going to review was no easy task, but I finally settled on one of their tote bags, which I personalised with all of the grandchildren's names.

The purchasing of one of their personalised products is super easy. You pick the design you like, pick the colour you like and then add in the names. I loved this part, because none of my nieces or nephews call mum grandma, she's always been granny ever since my oldest niece Eliza was little, so finding somewhere that could make me a gift that said granny and not grandma was pretty exciting for me. I was also a little worried because I had 5 names to put in the banner, but they all fit easily, and it looks to me like there could even be room for more if necessary, so big families fear not.

When the product arrived at our door I was impressed yet again. The tote bag they supplied is super strong and sturdy, and made out of 100% cotton. The print job was perfect, absolutely no flaws anywhere, and the navy blue colour I picked was lovely and deep and really stood out against the creamy white cotton. The designs they have are simple and clean, but that is part of what makes them so striking. I cannot recommend them enough, and their prices are very reasonable too, so there is a gift there for every budget.

Elmo decided he needed to get a start on his modelling career.

If you would like to check out their range of Mother's Day gifts, you can find them here. As a gift for all of my lovely readers, you can save 10% off your store-wide purchase with the coupon code MUM10

Now I know it's not Mother's Day yet, but I let mum have a sneaky look at her gift, and she loves it. She's been bragging about it to anyone who will listen to her, so I promise you'll be able to find a winner for your mum if you check out Bright Star Kids.

I received free products from Bright Star Kids for the purpose of this review. All opinions given here are my own and have in no way been influenced by Bright Star Kids or anyone else. Searching for Sanity is not affiliated with Bright Star Kids in any way.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Why I Started, and Why I can't Stop Volunteering - a guest post

Last year I was contacted by a lovely lady Ashley Stafford, who is a volunteer with Treat Mesothelioma. She wanted an opportunity to share her story, as well as a chance to spread awareness about the horror that is Mesothelioma and she asked whether I would help. Below are her words, as well as a stack of very helpful links to further information on Mesothelioma for you to check out.

When my best friends dad, Rick Romanenko, was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, I saw a family get turned upside down, I was turned upside down.  Everything that felt right, everything that felt in order was now backwards.
With general/common cancers, people always tell you to never lose hope and to always have faith that things will get better.  Well, with mesothelioma unfortunately, there are no options or hopes for a curing miracle. When Rick was pronounced dead to this asbestos related cancer. It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever had to witness to date and that is why I began volunteering and raising awareness.  
Before Rick, I had never even heard of mesothelioma, nor for asbestos for that matter.  Except for the late television commercials or the radio ads from a mesothelioma law firm.  That was the only connection I had to this cancer, but one thing… one question… kept running through my head…
Why was he diagnosed in such a late stage of this cancer?
I soon learned that mesothelioma is extremely difficult to diagnose because it commonly gets mistaken for the common cold.  The reason for it’s usual inaccurate diagnose is because of it’s very mild symptoms. Mesothelioma symptoms include:
  • Bad cough
  • Fever
  • Stomach aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chest pains, etc.
If you’d like to learn more about mesothelioma symptoms for each type of mesothelioma, please watch this video here: Video for Mesothelioma Symptoms

To me that just seems crazy.  How can a terminal form of cancer have such mild warning signs?  How can you I prevent this from happening again?  I started volunteering.
I researched mesothelioma from a – z and realized the best way to save lives is to help them become aware of the dangers of asbestos and all of its most common locations.  If a person knows he or she has been exposed to asbestos, you will know to be screened for mesothelioma.  Given that you get screened annually and that it is completed by a mesothelioma specialist, you will certainly have the best odds to catch it in its beginning stages.  Catching mesothelioma early on can extend life expectancy by tens of years.  
After months of volunteering, I have learned that there is something extremely gratifying about it. Every time I volunteer, I feel better and healthier mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In fact, volunteering has now become a part of me. I feel as though I get something positive back from every volunteer effort I complete and life around me just seems more complete.
Every time I volunteer I feel happy because I know that I’m helping and restoring hope to the people battling mesothelioma cancer. I try my hardest to make them feel socially connected thereby warding off any type of depression and loneliness. As a person that has been affected by mesothelioma, I relate their experience with my past. Volunteers make those affected think about something else other than the present challenges.
This is very important because it prevents the stress that is associated with mesothelioma from infiltrating into the lives of the affected and I feel happy doing it. Volunteering for and with others increases my social interactions and this helps in establishing a support system on the basis of common interests and commitment. Both of these are important in decreasing the state of depression that either party could be feeling.
The social connection that comes with volunteering makes me feel that I am part of my society. I feel emotionally connected to the people that I interact with.  I also get a unique feeling of contentment. The more I volunteer the happier and content I feel. This enhances my own personal wellbeing while strengthening the emotional bond between my and who ever it is I am reaching out to.

Volunteering brings me a sort of inner gratification and peace. It gives me a sense of a meaningful purpose. I feel as though my life is finally balanced in the sense of what I give versus what I take from society.  This world that we live in needs a sense of balance more than ever and this balance begins and starts within each and every one of us.  That is why I won’t stop volunteering at Mesothelioma Treatment Community any time soon.

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