Hello, how are you today?

Hello, how are you today?
Hello, how is your day going?
Hello, are you having a good day today?

Three variations of a phrase that we all probably use several times a day; be it to family, friends, customers, patients, or that really annoying person we all know and wish we could freeze with our imaginary super powers but instead we have to be grown ups and be polite to them.

How many of you are really ready though for the answer to this question? Which most of us have said because we either have to or with little meaning behind the comment. What if the answer isn’t the obligatory ‘I’m good thanks’ or ‘good thank’s and you?’ What would you do and how would you respond? What if the way you react to the non text-book “good thanks” could change the way that someone’s day has started out?

Well that’s what happened to me today while I was standing at the cash register at Officeworks.The Sales Assistant asked the man at her till “How is your day going sir?” and he replied with “Do you really want to know?” Que stunned awkward silence from the sales assistance who wasn’t expecting her question to go in this direction (she probably wishes she had a time machine so she could go back and just shut the hell up!) Luckily for her I was at the till next to the man and being the smarty pants I am (and a little nosey) I said “Oh oh I bet you wish you hadn’t asked that question, he might tell you now” – Now I said this in a very light-hearted way with a laugh in my voice and the sales assistance serving me picked right up on my remark and said “of course we want to know, we’re woman aren’t we?” – also said in an equally light-hearted way.

The man went on to tell us about his terrible month since separating from his wife and that his day had just gotten worse as because of certain things his wife wasn’t letting him have they’re two children aged five and eight for the weekend as agreed and was filing for full custody.

Ok, so at this point I felt like I was in the midst of a daytime soap and at any moment cameras would be fixed on me and someone would shout the words ACTION! That of course didn’t happen – much to my dismay; I’ve always fancied myself as an actress, mores the pity. What did happen though is that this man had three women listening to him as he told us about his crappy month and even crappier day who all Oh’d and Ah’d over him, gave him some words of encouragement and tried to make him laugh. As he left he said “Thanks ladies it’s the first time I’ve laughed all week.”

I must say I have to applaud this man for straying off course from the standard “Good thanks” and just saying what he rally wanted to say. There have definitely been days where what I’ve rally wanted to say is “How’s my day?, My dog and my daughter both decided to shit on the carpet, I’m bloated, I have a migraine because my daughter still wont’sleep through the night, I ran out of milk so I couldn’t have my morning coffee and you’ve run out of the toner I need for the printer, so all in all I’m having a pretty shitty (pardon the pun) day, thank’s for asking though.” The worst thing is how many times have you actually wanted to say “Do you really want to know?” or “Don’t ask it’s been terrible.” Do we ever say it though? No! Why? Because the reality is that we have been programmed over the years to give the polite answer and we think people wont really care and to be honest most of the time most people really don’t.

How different someone’s day could turn out if you did happen to get that person who strays from the fold and is honest with you and you in turn act in a friendly open and positive way. I’m not saying it’s going to change their life or anything but if you can lift one person up and make them laugh or smile or even lend an ear to listen to them for a moment or two then surely it’s worth the bit of awkwardness you might feel from not expecting the unexpected answer to your question. xx

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Judgy Eyes!

Judgy Eyes – First used to describe one of the woman on Real Housewives of Orange County – Currently being used to describe the older woman down at my local shopping centre – Judging me with her judgy eyes

Once a week LMM and I do the weekly shop, either on a Thursday or a Sunday. On these days we indulge in a bit of badness with either some Fit Chips or a Banana Smoothie and a Hot Dog from Wendy’s. Being the typical 19month old that LMM is I like to do this and sit on one of the benches as it’s easier to let her run around and not sitting in a café where she usually wiggles and worms about.

Sitting on our chosen bench and eating and drinking our Wendy’s and having a bit of a giggle while we’re at it, I see an older couple walk by, the woman looks at LMM and I and as she turns to her husband with her Judgy Eyes she says ‘That’s terrible that little girl is far to young to be eating that.’

I like to think that over the years I have learnt not to judge people and I definitely would say that since I’ve had my daughter I am even better than I was before, so I have little tolerance for people who can make a judgement on you and your child or family on the very small snippet that they get to see while you’re sitting on a bench in a shopping centre eating a hotdog and drinking a banana smoothie.

What this woman doesn’t know as she’s passing judgement on me and my daughter from her self-appointed role as judge and jury is that my daughter has an exceptionally well-balanced diet and everything she eats is home-made and always has been since her first home-made oats and fruit purée. Or that I’ve even started making my own snacks and biscuits so I know what LMM is eating (there have been times recently when LMM has been really sick and I have ended up feeding her anything I can get her to eat, but they are special instances and not the norm in our household.) This woman doesn’t know that my daughters daycare has a great chef who cooks nutritionally balanced meals all made fresh that day and planned out so that each food group is covered.

This woman doesn’t know that my daughter is loved more than anything else in this world, that’s she’s well taken care of and spoilt rotten. She doesn’t know that LMM has a mummy that spends hours keeping her mind stimulated with arts and crafts, play doh, colouring-in, painting, reading , singing songs, playing shop, playing with her babies going to Gymbaroo, swimming and very soon dancing. She doesn’t know that her daddy takes her to the park and plays ball with her and her puppy and sings row row row your boat on what seems like a loop (by the by, I hate row row row your boat now and I wish that boat would do me a solid and sink already!)

I’m just lucky this woman isn’t at my grandmas house or aunt’s house to witness LMM eating chocolate biscuits or ice-cream (isn’t that what grandmas and aunt’s are for to let the kids eat the things we won’t let them?) when we visit once every couple of months I may be locked up and the key thrown away.

More luck to my mother that this woman wasn’t at my birthday parties as a child as they would consist of fairy bread, party pies, sausage rolls, chips, lollies, cake, ice cream and the pièce de résistance lolly bags. Sunday night was the night when my dad would fill up the cars and he would always come home with our chosen treat. If you looked at this and passed judgement you would think all we ate was crap. The reality however was that my mum used to make fresh and healthy home-made meals, she would make her own bread, her own ice cream and we had a great diet.

So to the woman with the Judgy Eyes and misplaced and ignorant comment (even if it was just to your husband) please refrain from taking it upon yourself to comment on what I’m feeding my daughter. You have no idea what goes on in my house-hold and you cannot judge or comment when all you’re seeing is a snapshot of my daughters daily food in-take or our life in fact. Perhaps if fewer people took it upon themselves to comment or judge others parents wouldn’t feel the pressure they do today to always look like they’re doing the right thing. Parenting is hard enough without the JUDGY EYES and side comments so keep them to yourself or wait till you get home and have your say then xx

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Multi Masking

I just read an article in VOGUE about multi-masking which is the latest on trend beauty tip that we should all be incorporating into our beauty regime. 

Well I’ve always thought it, but now it’s confirmed I’m way ahead of my time…..19 years ahead to be exact. I’ve multi-masked ever since I started working for Clarins when I was 18 years old. 

Clarins used to have these amazing oils; (and they still do) Clarins Facial Oils come in Lotus, Blue Orchid and Santal. Back when I was working for Clarins when we did facials we would put the oil underneath a mask depending on what you were treating. My favourite used to be the Blue Orchid oil with the Clarins Moisture Mask on top. My skin would be plump, and hydrated and luminous. The great thing with the oils is that you can wear them to bed once or twice a week under your night cream for a boost and while you’re at it put some in your incense burner to make your house smell amazing. 

Clarins Blue Orchid Oil
Clarins Blue Orchid Oil

My other favourite was the Lotus oil with the Clarins purifying mask (Now it’s Called the Truly Matte Pure and Radiant Mask.) I used to suffer terrible acne  when I was younger my face used to resemble a bad case of the measles I would use the lotus oil and purifying mask to calm my skin down and take away some of the redness.

Today I still multi-mask; I still use the Clarins Oils but some of my other favourites are the Turnaround Instant Facial the Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask. I also always use the Clarins Skin Smoothing Eye Mask (my saviour since I had my daughter) and lastly while it’s not very sophisticated compared to some higher end beauty products, I use the Proactive Skin Purifying Mask.

Clarins Hydra Quench Mask
Clarins Hydra Quench Mask

Let me tell you very briefly why I love these masks. I’m not going to go into a big spiel about the ingredients in them and so forth because I know that when I’m at the shops and the consultant starts going on about the Ginseng doing this and the Hazelnut doing that I kind of glaze over. What I want to know about is simple; what’s it going to do for me? What benefits will this product give my skin and ultimately the reason we want to use these products aside from a plethora of reasons such as to prolong ageing, and get rid of acne and dry skin but the end result is to feel good about ourselves.

So here it goes, I love the blue orchid oil especially because of the way my skin absorbs the product; after I take it off (sometimes I leave it on over night if my skin is feeling particularly dehydrated) my skin glows, it feels plumped and nourished like It just had a big drink of water. Add along side this the Clarins Hydra Quench mask and I swear you could enter a beauty pageant and wear no makeup and the judges would pick you just because of your ‘glow’.

When I was younger I suffered terrible acne, it was so bad that my aunt used to cry when she looked at my face. It was literally covered in pimples and it was red, raw and shiny. I couldn’t use a lot on my skin but I used to use the Clarins Lotus oil and the Purifying mask. It would sooth my skin, like putting an ice-cube over a burn taking all the heat out and it would help take away the redness. As I got older and my skin got better I did stop using the lotus oil and continued using the Purifying mask. I started multi-masking with the Clarins Purifying mask and the Clinic Total Turnaround Mask (now the Turnaround Revitalising Instant facial.

Clinic Turnaround Instant Facial Mask
Clinic Turnaround Instant Facial Mask

Using these two products together will leave your face feeling fresh, clean and sparkly – like shiny diamond dust (which is always how I think of the Turnaround mask when I apply it) sparkling on your face. Over the years I have tried lots of different masks but I always come back to these. Over the past couple of years I have replaced the Clarins Purifying mask with the Proactiv Skin Purifying Mask. Having gone through a spout of adult acne while on fertility tablets I used the Proactive range which saved my life to be honest and I liked the way the mask felt so much that I never stopped using it even after I stopped using the Proactive.

With any of these masks you can use the Clarins Skin Smoothing Eye Mask. If I feel particulary hideous I will put it on over my night eye cream for an extra kick, since I’ve had my daughter it’s made those late nights that little bit easier on my crows feet and the dark little sacks I’m sporting!

I know that in the next couple of years I’m going to have to swap these old faithful for more heavy-duty masks, masks that can keep my face in place and wrinkles at bay, but for now I love these masks and even on my worst day if I use these I end up feeling great!

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Mother’s Day xx

Roses are red violets are blue
The best thing that happened to me was you xx

Well, it’s my second mothers day today and I must say it is all together a different experience from last year.

LMM’s Daycare had a mother’s day morning tea on Thursday and I was treated to songs and pictures and a mother’s day cake (Michaela ate my cake, I only got a bite, oh well them’s the breaks when you have a child!) I left daycare on cloud nine. It’s been said before, but I will say it again, it’s the little things in life. Getting home-made pictures and a card from your child is better than any bought present (ok look if someone wanted to buy me an Island for mother’s day I certainly wouldn’t say no and it would definitely be very close to beating my daughters present, but not quite!)

First hand-made mothers day card from LMM xx
First hand-made mothers day card from LMM xx

This morning I wake up to mothers day cards and a family project for the day. To paint a picture for the wall together and then bake some homemade cookies. Now I’m not very good at the old baking thing, but I think I’ve picked up a thing or two from watching the UK’s Best British Bake off.

Flowers that will last forever :0
Flowers that will last forever :0

My life has definitely changed; I have immersed myself in being a mother and I love every second of it.

Is it hard? Hell yes, there are days I wander how I haven’t gone crazy and pulled all my hair out. Do I sometimes wish I could go to the toilet on my own, or do anything on my own? Absolutely; although there is something to be said about having constant entertainment free of charge with you 24/7. Do I get any sleep? No! I have learnt to go to work and get on with my day with as little as 2 hours sleep. I’m hoping a little Botox which is on the cards will remedy the circles under my eyes!

Regardless of these things it’s all worth it. The love you get from your child cannot even start to be explained in words. It’s in their smile, their laugh, the way they hold you when their tired or sad or crying. Or how when you say to them ‘Can I have a kiss?’ They pucker up their little lips and smack a wet one right on your lips and its the best feeling in the world.

When you here them say mummy (LMM sounds equally adorable when she calls out in her Little voice DADDY) your heart skips a beat and when you look at them and see how happy and truly loved they are you pray that nothing can ever take that away from them or you.

Happy mothers day to all the mummy’s out there. Cherish each and every day with your child (or children) and don’t let any opportunity to make them happy pass you by, because ultimately it will make you happy too. xx

It must be love, love, love xx
It must be love, love, love xx

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Perceptions….

I made a promise to myself, that I would not watch the Real Housewives of Melbourne. I don’t know why I bothered at all it was an empty promise, since I already watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta, New Jersey and Orange County. I said to myself though, “Aileen you need to draw the line somewhere it has to stop; how good can the Australian version be?”

Well three seasons later I’m hooked, line and SINKER! I will note here to the disgust of my partner.

What I love about all the Real Housewives naturally are the gorgeous clothes, perfect hair and makeup, the dinners and then the great getaways and amazing homes (To die for!). However what really get’s me is how the women are portrayed on the show. With some careful editing, a choice word here or there any of the women can be made to look like an absolute BITCH.

In the last couple of episodes of Season three of Real housewives of Melbourne, Lydia is the choice cut being backed into the corner. She’s made to look like she’s causing trouble, spreading rumours and vicious and malicious gossip. I don’t know if this is the outcome the network wanted but I found myself feeling terrible for Lydia. I wanted to scream to all the women through the T.V f..k off and leave her alone. Poor Lydia, you all spend your time f…ing bitching about each other and now you’re ganging up on her because she has done it (whether accidentally or on purpose.)

How many of you in your day-to-day life have been accused of saying something you didn’t say. Or perhaps you said something but it’s been twisted and it ends up at the other end of the fantasy land and resembles nothing like what you originally said. Or in my case the time where all I did was shake my head as the woman I was talking to starting talking about a woman we both knew and weeks later people kept coming up to me asking me how I could agree with what was being said (Excuse me I didn’t agree to anything all I did was shake my head.)

There is the odd occasion that someone might talk to you about someone you both know and you might talk about them to that person. It’s happened to us all. We’re not trying to hurt that person, or say anything maliciously we have just made a mistake and instead of saying ‘I would rather not say anything if you don’t mind,’ or cut off the conversation right away, we open our mouth and let things we shouldn’t have said come out.

In the last few episodes of the series Jackie who claims she’s a spiritual person, who talks to the Angels and the other side and is all about life shine, shine, shining (Shining out her butt as far as I’m concerned) starts to look like she’s taking things a bit far in her quest to out Lydia and wanting blood. Now obviously we only get to see what networks choose for us to see, so does that mean that the network want to change how we feel about Jackie? If that’s the goal then it’s worked; I looked at her in the last episode and thought to myself ‘your being so nasty, I’m pretty sure your angels wouldn’t be happy with you right now!’ Who knows next season she could redeem herself and I’ll like her again…fickle creatures arent we?

I am a sucker for the Real Housewives; I don’t watch to many other reality shows except for the Kardashian’s (I can hear the tut, tuts of disapproval and disgust, just like my partner.) Do these shows skew our perception of what is normal or what life is like? I don’t think that you could ever say that you would think this way of life is normal. The average person doesn’t go out and spend $150,000 on a piano (that would pay off quarter of my mortage….no jealousy here by the way!) or buy Jimmy Choo’s or Louis Vuitton luggage by the thousands. I also don’t think that my perception of this lifestyle is that because your wealthy you will be bitchy and argue and fight with all your friends. If anything these women should hold themselves at a higher standard and set an example for all the people watching, maybe they should put me on the show I’d be a great role model for these women. Ha ha only joking…..NOT!

Besides all of this though, I love nothing more than seeing what outfits the women are going to wear, where they’re going to go next and who’s going to annihilate who…..I think I have a wee nasty side! As my mum said to me when I sent her my draft to have a quick look-see at “The reality is every woman has an inner bitch waiting to get out and an inner diva just waiting to shine. That’s why we love these shows, so we can imagine ourselves acting out like these women, becoming these women.” These women’s lives are more than likely not perfect, but our perception of their lives from watching the show is that they are. Whatever way you end up looking at it, its great reality T.V that lets your mind dream that you too could have a wardrobe and a lifestyle like that (even if it is only for 50min.)

Oh and I just remembered, no judgement but I also watch don’t be tardy (I wish I knew how to put a little shocked looking emoji here for effect. xx

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He’s just not that….

I can see you finishing the title off in your head ‘He’s just not that into you.’ I first watched this movie when I was much younger and single. The first time I watched the movie I thought to myself, I don’t remember my mum ever telling me that a boy is mean to you when he likes you. I remember running through in my head all the conversations that I had with my girlfriends about boys and even then I don’t remember having them tell me boys are mean to you or ignore you when they like you. There might have been the odd girlfriend here or there that said it, but as a general rule not so much.

So my question to you is this, how right is the portrayal of the story line in this movie? How many of you out there grew up being told all these things about boys/men? I know I can tell you one things for sure when LMM is growing up and coming to me and saying mummy why did that boy push me, or mummy why did that boy say those things to me. I’m going to say because he’s a wee asshole! Honestly I’m only joking but in reality as a mum it would most likely be on the tip of your tongue to want to say something to that effect.

Instead I think I will say that some boys are just mean, but that they also don’t know how to express themselves yet (hopefully) and that as they get older these things usually change (for the most part).

My train of thought on this movie has definitely changed since having a daughter. I found myself thinking about the advice I want to give LMM on dating and relationships, here are a few thoughts:

* Don’t sit by the phone and wait for a man to call you, go out and live your life. It will definitely make you look more interesting than looking desperate as you lunge for the phone.

* Don’t sell yourself short, you have a lot to offer you don’t need to date the first guy that shows a fancy for you.

* Don’t string a guy along it’s not nice, men have feelings too and they too deserve to find someone who actually likes them

* Don’t play games (even if there are guys out there that do, not to look sexist; girls as well do play games, but for the sake of argument lets stick to men for now). If you like a guy call him, if you don’t then don’t call him.

* There are no rules any more, be yourself as long as you’re not hurting anyone.

* Trust your instincts, if you feel like somethings not right, it probably isn’t; but get proof first, you don’t want to look like a psycho!

* There are exceptions to the rule. Married men are out-of-bounds, but I do know women who have had affairs and then lived happily ever after with the other man. You can’t fight love I guess!

* You can’t force someone to marry you. NO one likes pressure or ultimatums. If they want to marry you, or have a baby with you they will. If you can’t accept this move on.

* Don’t analyse things too much… if a guy says he will call and then he doesn’t, f..k him, he’s the one missing out. Or you could call him and just say hi and test out the waters…..men can be shy too you know!

* Be careful with meeting someone over social media or dating sites. This absolutely terrifies me for my daughter when she’s older; especially after that guy on Facebook did that experiment with the young girls to see who would come and meet him after pretending to be a boy.

* Don’t date someone just because of their looks. There’s the scene in the movie where Anna a gorgeous blonde plays a game with Connor (who is madly in lust with her) where you can be two things: cute, sexy, smart or funny. He choses for her sexy and cute. Anna says no one wants to be all in one column, no one wants to just be in the looks column. That’s all he sees with her, just like Ben who has the affair with her. They never talk about her personality, just how hot and sexy she is. Looks fade my friend, there needs to be more going on than a rockin bod and a pretty face.

In the end of the movie Gigi ends up with the guy Alex who has fed her all the advice on men and their stance on dating women. Even though he likes to call himself a player, a no strings attached guy who tells it like it is, he protects her and nurtures her. He likes to call it telling it like it is, or some would say tough love, but honestly deep down from the word go there is something there. He likes her and feels a need to look out for her. Go figure you just can’t judge someone on their actions all the time.

There is so much in this movie that rings true. Dating is a bitch and relationships are hard. What you don’t need is people buttering over things to try and make you feel better. Sometimes a guy doesn’t call you because he’s a prick and he never intended too. Sometimes a man just needs to know that you’re not going to give him an ultimatum or push him into something he’s not ready for…..and then he asks you to marry him! People can be shallow and only want someone for their looks. In the end we all have to find our own way to get the relationship we want and all we can hope is that we have people in our corner giving us good and true advice and that we come out on top and end up with a WINNER!!

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