Wednesday, 29 February 2012

How to paste a button on to your blog from someone elses page

Thought I'd write some simple instructions as it took me a long time to work out how to do this.

I read through about 50 google searches trying to work it out and although many many people have asked this very same question before me, I found the answers to be vague and unhelpful! 

Step 1
In your blogs design screen go to the Layout area. 
Then select Add a Gadget any will do (you can move them later where you want them on the page). 

Step 2
From the selection list choose HTML/ Java Script its in the basic menu just scroll down  the list a little.

Step 3
This screen box will appear you wont need a title in the content box paste in the code of the button you wish to use then save.

Step 4
Move the button where you want it on your page layout and click save arrangement. 

Hope this was helpful! Next I'm learning how to put a facebook share / like button on my page wish me luck!

Monday, 27 February 2012

I miss carbs carby carb carbs so much!!

Day 1 & 2 ~ The Good the Bad and the Ugly!

So there is good news and bad news and ugliness in the following journaling of my diet.

Lets get ugly out of the way first;
I have finally got some bathroom scales and weighed myself.....I feel about now there should be playing some da da daaaaaaa music. My current weight is 80kg which is about 180 pounds OMG!! Yep that denial is a beauty isn't it! 

The Internet tells me that my correct / healthy weight for my height (163cm or 5'4in) is between 50~66kg. So I basically need to lose 20~30kg.

Yesterday i started on phase 1 of the Atkins diet which is essentially re-educating your body to metabolise fat by detoxing completely cutting carbohydrates and then limiting your intake of carbohydrates. I must in this phase have only 20grams of carbs per day and 12~15 of them must come from vegetables (not allowed potatoes in this phase).

The good news;
  • I did get up at 5am and walk my dog so yay!! I Exercised!
  • I found cooking meals / life style quite easy to manage.
  • I loved breakfast I had bacon and eggs -NO TOAST of course. 
  • Although I like the meals and feel full and satisfied at the time I found that within a very short period of time I was starving -actually feeling famished my stomach was grumbling loudly and I was at a loss with snacks. I have now over night become an expert at reading labels and scoured the supermarket for low carb snacks that I can have twice a day and still stay within my 20g total net limit.
Now the not so good news;
  •  I am hungry all the time at the moment which means that I am constantly thinking about yummy food (all high carbs of course). Mostly I think about donuts, pancakes, bread, pasta and hot chips.
  •  I have to calculate carbs which is probably as tedious as counting calories. 
  • I cheated and had 2 x chocolate biscuits yesterday and a 2nd coffee this morning (am only allowed one per day).
  • So those 2x busicuits had 30g total of carbs which defeated my whole days purpose really. Other than that I only would have had 17.5g. Fail!
  • I feel like I have no energy at the moment. 
There it is the good the bad and the ugly! 

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Diet Day 1 D-Day

Fatty McFat Fat - Diet Day 1 D-Day
I have spent the weekend researching the Atkins diet and many others including dukan, cabbage, lemon detox. I have actually tried the lemon detox diet in the past but was unable to sustain not eating for 7 days I hated the flavor of the drink and i just ended up binging after a couple of days. 

A tiny background on me is that I have polycystic ovary syndrome which I have only this past year had properly diagnosed. A major problem with having it diagnosed so late is that my metabolism is completely screwed. A side affect of the syndrome is not being able to metabolise properly and even developing type 2 diabetes as a result. I am on  medication now called Metformin to try to help my body with its metabolism. I have also had periods in my life where I have been prescribed long term heavy steroids and I'm certain that this has played a huge part in my ability to shed weight. 

But excuses aside there is a lot more that I could be doing. I eat poorly, drink alcohol everyday, love coke and don't really exercise at all. 

I have chosen Atkins as it seems to me an easy one to maintain and will fit my current eating patterns / lifestyle. 

The basis of Atkins is to firstly eliminate carbs from your diet and change how your body metabolises.
Then to gradually introduce some carbs back so that its easy to maintain.
The first 'phase' goes for 2 weeks and is like a detox. No alcohol! No sugar (not even fruit) and NO CARBS at all.  

The things I like are;
  • You don't have to calorie count 
  • You can have meat and cheese and eggs
  • It allows coke zero and one coffee a day
  • I can have cream, butter and dressings like mayo
  • I can introduce fruit in phase 2
The things that I will struggle with;
  • Bread I will miss bread and be a bit lost at lunch when I usually eat a sandwich. 
  • Snacks I usually eat unhealthy snacks and there are tons in the house that will tempt me.
  • Fruit -in phase 1 and 2 there isn't really any fruit allowed. 
  • Chocolate- this will be a tough one especially that time of month when I crave crave crave it. 
  • Drinking 8 glasses of water
  • Exercising I hate it- we have decided to get up early and walk the dog to start us off.
  • It will be hard to introduce healthy cooking to my mister he is very fussy and very set in his unhealthy eating ways.
To add to my 'to do list' 

1) Buy the recommended supplements- multi vitamin without iron, omega 3 and fiber. 
2) Research if my medication will have adverse effects on my diet plan. I am specifically worried about my blood sugar levels getting so low that i pass out. I might need to carry jelly beans -but I'm worried that I will just eat whole bag of jelly beans and defeat the purpose of diet. 

Diet starts today wish me luck!! 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A lazy girls diary of losing weight

Weight Loss -Lets get it started in here!

So here it is the end of February and I have not even started my "new years resolution" diet!

Bloody Hell I've got to do something about my fatty Mcfat fat guts. So I thought if I write it on here for all to see then at least I'll maybe have a chance of holding myself accountable.

Right here is my 'get the hell on with it and stop being in denial' to do list.

1) Buy scales and finally admit how fat you let yourself get!!
2) Stop drinking coke....OK you can still have coke zero (Yep I'm addicted to coke!).
3) Stop drinking beer ...oh no that makes me sad...Just do it!
4) Give up carbs,,,,hmmm more thought needs to be put into this -look into Atkins 
5) Buy book on Atkins diet
6) Buy some sort of Ab Cruncher machine -I do hold majority of my weight in my tummy.
7) Make better snacking choices.
8) Eat breakfast.Atkins
9) Stop being fat.

If my upcoming Thailand wedding isn't inspiration enough then what is? Is it the thought of wearing a bikini in front of all my family and friends.....

I used to be a tiny little thing and my goal isn't even to go all the way back. Just a chunk of the way will make me happy. I'm the big 4oh (40) in a few months and I want to be hot again!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Our Engagement Party

Remembering the Engagement Party.....

I started a Bpay account today for the Wedding so this has brought it to the forefront of my mind and reminded me that i have prepared nothing so far YIKES!
Even with this pro-active step now done,,,,I'm still sort of feeling a bit blue about the wedding planning.

It all started with the engagement....
It just wasn't the party that I had hoped for. There were a few reasons for this - we had it at home which at the time I thought would be more fun that a venue or hall. But at the end of the day it was not more fun and we had to deal with the clean up and added stress.
The invitation list got out of control which meant that on the night I was being introduced to people I had never met or hardly knew which is a pet peeve of mine. I mean why come and celebrate someone’s big moment if you don't already have a relationship with that person. Family Politics that's why!! I sort of gave free reign to my partners parents to invite anyone they wanted because we all knew we wouldn't have a wedding for people to attend. So i basically sacrificed my happiness and my enjoyment so that they could invite everyone. 

I did all the food myself which meant that I spent the night in the kitchen with my mother, sister and grandmother who were the only ones who offered to help on the night. My biggest regret is that we didn’t spend a bit extra and get it catered.
My partner and I have almost no photos of the night and only one nice one of us. Usually he is the one in his family that is the photographer -so there wasn't really a person there that took that on. I should have just asked someone beforehand to be in charge. I only have 26 photos of my engagement party and 22 of those I took before the party myself of the decorations and cake.
The night was rainy and the outside area that people chose to use was not under cover so they took refuge in the garage. Since I was busy in the kitchen I wasn't there to direct them to a more pretty location. The garage people sort of ostracised themselves and made the party feel odd. 
Also since I wasn't there to socialise it was all left up to my very shy introverted partner who became completely overwhelmed and forgot to do and say lots of things. 

After that long list of regrets and disasters here are the things that I LOVED. I spent weeks coming up with the decor and theme. I had a spring carnival theme which required our guests to dress like they were going to the horses races. It looked great with all the pretty colours, hats and fascinators’ (I love that word fascinator! I had a fabulous Fascinator!) I had lots of pastel colours and bird cages full of fresh roses and pink ostrich feathers scattered around and my table coverings were a mix match- sort of shabby sheek ish tables set up with lots of candles. I made buntings and mini paper birdcages and jar lanterns as well. I got these stunning Martha Stewart paper pom poms. It was also a finger food dessert buffet. As our thank you favours I had a massive lolly buffet which I did myself and thought was brilliant! We had the cake professionally made of a birdcage with blue bird and scattering of pretty cherry blossoms.

Martha Stewart Paper pom poms

Paper bunting

Pink Lolly Buffet

A paper birdcage I made

Love sign I made by painting over an old canvas

I used old mirrors as display points

I used a birdcage for people to place their cards at the entrance with the sign in book. We had a Polaroid camera for people to take snap shots to stick in the book with their message. 

Our beautiful birdcage chocolate mud cake

I scattered pastel coloured feathers around the cake

Monday, 20 February 2012

Getting Crafty!

On the weekend I got all inspired about my business because we visited the market that I plan to make my start at. I love that feeling! My creative juices are on hyper drive and it's all I think about. I'm constantly writing list and decorating inside my head.

The good news is I have finally come to an agreement with a Chinese supplier and they are sending me a sample of my selected goods, I should receive those this week! These took about 2 months of emails, negotiating and research. Although there is a language barrier - they have been extremely professional and efficient with their responses. This takes care of my Standard Party Box.

I am still researching other suppliers - the one I have found does great kids themes but they don't do things like balloons, decorations, adult themes (no not THAT kind of adult theme!! Dirty! Like luau, Hollywood, hens’ night, movie night, slumber party, high tea, Halloween, baby shower, etc.) They also don’t do any plain colours. So it is obvious I need another supplier to balance out. I have been trolling the net, party shops, craft shops and even eBay for interesting party goods. Buying locally is extremely expensive, it may be because everything in Australia is expensive and added to that where we live is so remote a location.

The fun for me lies in my Premium Party Boxes - these are more unusual themes and unique supplies. I get to basically organise an entire party including; d├ęcor, menu plan, invitations, loot bags, balloons, all the essentials and activities/game suggestions.

I have started to create cute matching accessories for the themes. At the moment I'm working on gorgeous popcorn cones, cupcake wrappers & toppers. I searched the web and found some amazing free printable accessories. I can spend hours looking at all of the different ideas. I have made up some of my own templates and designs using my endless supply of scrapbooking and craft materials. 

My favourite so far are some cupcake wrappers I've made for a high tea theme box out of paper doilies. They look so pretty and girly, cheap too it works out to 40 wraps for approx. $2 gotta love a bargain!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Rant #3- Nagging

Women don't nag men just have selective hearing!

Warning there are huge generalisations and sweeping statements in this blog. 

I actually don't like nagging, probably even more than men hate to be nagged.
But over and over and over again I have had to repeat myself while my man swears black and blue that we have never discussed it before. 

What I have come to conclude is that men get to a point of comfort in a relationship and they filter. I think that they do listen to the beginning and think they have the gist and then in their minds jump to the end of the sentence or conversation. This is to be efficient as they are looking instantly for what is required of them to do. If there is a task requested of them they may very well forget about it. This is not entirely their fault,,, through years of [training] starting with their mothers- men know that they will be reminded about this task again when it becomes more time critical. This unfortunately just perpetuates the 'women are nags' stereotype.  

We all know by now that men and women have different styles of communication, listening, learning and processing information. We know this but do we adjust .... UMMM NO... Not really No.

Men speak when they need and pretty much get straight to the point. Women on the other hand like to converse we like the comfort of a conversation. We might not get to the point, it might simply be implied or even just be a vibe. Many times I've started a conversation before knowing myself what my point was. Women also need to express feelings about the topic. Men don't understand this as they wouldn't generally analyse their own feelings in this manner.

So it might just be possible to compromise here. There might be a formula that is pleasing to both men and women.

Tips for Women when communicating with their Man;

1.Get to the point as quickly as possible i.e Can you take out the garbage?

2. Set a deadline i.e Can you take out the garbage, before you come to bed please?

3. Check the progress ONCE i.e Did you take the garbage out? 
Here only check progress once, do not keep asking. EVEN when 3 weeks later it still hasn't been done. You are breaking years of nagging conditioning (for both of you) so you can't fall back into it.
Just remember he is an adult he can clean up and deal with the consequences of his action. You have to when you have forgotten something. In short there are somethings you are going to have to let go.

4. If there is a very important topic that needs to be discussed, say about your mutual plans, your feelings, children, finances or your relationship. Or anything else that is really important to you. Then you MUST schedule this in. You need to say something like - I need to have an important talk with you, I need your help about xyz, let me know when is good for you to have that chat?
This puts his serious hat on and the onus on him to take responsibility. Asking a man for help is key as men think most conversations will require a task or fix from him at the end.

5. As I just said men feel that after a conversation they will be required to either do something or offer advice to help fix something. Its all about them "fixing". So it helps if at the start you say that. i.e. hey can i get your advice on this or I don't need anything from you I just want to have a vent- thanks for listening.
If he knows in advance what will be required he will pay more attention. Instead of him trying to figure that out during the entire conversation.

6. This last tip might need to be tried a few times- you need to find when the best time is to talk seriously with your partner. A man might look relaxed and idle,,,BUT on the inside he is too relaxed and idle to be interrupted. This is what lulls women into a false sense that its a good time to talk. It wont be possible for him to give what I'd call undivided attention and retain the message you need him too. A better time might be during dinner. This will be a case by case for each individual. During sports, whilst drunk and before during or after sex and all obviously a no listen zone!

Tips for Men when talking to their Woman;

1. Listen Listen and then Listen some more!! We do it for you.
2. Man up and tell us when you don't want to listen i.e I'm busy right now can we talk about this later or I'm really tired right now.
3. Expect that sometimes at least woman don't expect anything more from you than listening. If your unsure just ask i.e Is there anything that I can do?

 *Note here i have kept it brief and to the point for the men.

Tips for Both;

1. Don't communicate while angry!
You wouldn't do it at work so at least give each other the same amount of respect you'd give a work colleague. I mean this is the most important person to you- so try never to belittle, abuse or ridicule them.It's not going to help matters and words hurt more than punching each other and are slower wounds to heal. So try to sleep on it, calm down and talk about it the next day instead. 

 Life is too short to spend it nagging!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Our Wedding - Thailand Delight -The Plan

We have decided on a destination wedding in Phuket, Thailand this is a compromise for us. I wanted to elope spontaneously or not marry at all. My man though is more old fashioned and suggested getting married in Phuket with our families and close friends without hoopla as he puts it (what he doesn't know won't hurt him).

The plan is to get married at the Holiday Inn in Phuket I chose this location simply because my sisters best friend 3 years ago got married there and it looked amazing. I feel I can trust them and comfortable I know what to expect. I emailed the hotel and they were brilliant a professional wedding planner for the hotel got straight back to me in English!

Save the dates
Have been sent giving guests a year and a half to prepare. I just got cute magnets made up of a photo we had taken on a beautiful beach over Christmas whilst camping at Esperance in Western Australia.

You cant beat the price I mean something that would cost us $30'000 here will only cost us around $5'000 there. This means that we can spend more on a honeymoon and having a great holiday with our families and friends. We can spend a little extra on something nice for our favours as well since there are far less people to cater for.

Favour Ideas
Some ideas I've had for my favours are a personalised canvas beach goodies bag for each guest containing heaps of fun tropical themed gifts. Like sunglasses, sun lotion, pool games, luggage tags, shell chocolates etc. Or we could get an underwater camera for each couple and a mini photo album. This is appealing as there is less to organise and will take up less space in our baggage. I'm still swinging between the two options and since there is a year and half left to plan I might completely change my mind again.

Colour & Theme
My sister wants me to call the wedding "Thailand Delight"
My colours will be turquoise blue and purple - purple chosen because the hotel grow their own Singapore Orchids that are purple and they will decorate with these anyway so i might as well incorporate the colour to match other accents.
Some of the things I plan to do as colour accents are have personalised fans for each guest in the 2 colours, I will have parasols to match as well to blend with the tropical Asian style I'm going for.
I will wrap the favours in these colours (when i decide on a favour that is).
I am also thinking of having fabulous turquoise sparkly shoes, as my dress will not be full length these will be a statement piece. I'm very known for my love of shoes and I don't think I could NOT not have statement fantabulous shoes as part of my special day.

Tokyo is the front runner at this stage - only thing I have against it is we have been there before in fact I lived there. I think we should spend a few nights in Bangkok and a few other Thai islands such as Phi Phi & Koh Samui and I wouldn't mind Vietnam, Hong Kong or Shanghai on the way home for 2 weeks of shopping, eating and sight seeing.

I want these to be either message in a bottle or a luggage tag or both and I imagine I'll construct them myself.

So there is still loads to do and think about and plan and buy and organise and procastinate about and research and try on and make. How Exciting!!!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Rant #2- Dilly Dalliers

This rant is dedicated to dilly dalliers most especially the aeroplane variety of dilly dalliers

If you don't know what I'm ranting about yet let me put it more clearly. Dilly Dalliers or DD's as I will call them - are people that are completely oblivious to their surroundings and how they might be inconveniencing others. They don't realise that its rude to stop and talk to friends in supermarkets blocking the whole aisle. They don't realise that when they get on or off public transport or an escalator they shouldn't simply stop in the door way to slowly decide what they want to do from here blocking everyone behind them. They are the ones that stare at the menu in McDonald's for ages like they aren't familiar with it and aren't going to order what they always do anyway -whilst a million people wait behind them for service. They are the people at the petrol station that go in to pay for their petrol and also do their grocery shopping, go to the ATM, talk on the phone all while you wait behind them to have your turn. 

I don't want to stereo type here but mothers of primary school age children are notorious for this. Its like they have forgotten how to live in society. They think that their children are so cute when noisily running wild on a train and blocking entrances in peak hour. Or when they need to drop their child at school in their big 4 wheel drive car that i dare say has NEVER been used for off road driving as is its purpose. They have no concept that stopping in the middle of the road to wait for their child to finish school or drop them off is going to disrupt people . 

But of all of this list of DDers the ones i can not tolerate the most are those that catch planes. You must have encountered them if you have been on a plane. They are the ones that stop in the aisle and then go through their entire hand luggage looking for something or other then they re-pack it, and stow it in the overhead compartments. All the while blocking anyone from passing them and getting to their own seats. 

I mean before getting on the flight there is more than ample time to be holding in your hand the book or magazine or jumper you urgently need for the flight. There is no need hold hundreds of people up to get it before taking a seat. Why do people wait for that exact moment when they have found their seat to then remember they need something from their bag? Now I know that I am a super organised person I'm a Virgo and I have been lucky enough to fly on many planes so I might have my routine down smooth. 

If you don't already have what you need for the flight in your hand then just sit straight down and get it when the plane has taken off and the seat belt sign is off. IS THIS TOO MUCH TO ASK??!! The problem is DDers don't know themselves that they are one. As i said they are completely obliviously to their rudeness so they wont change their ways and we most likely will have to continue to endure them.

Rant #1-No Sunday Trading In WA

In Western Australia there is no Sunday trading... Um Hello come into the year 1985 and open your stores and shopping malls on Sunday, I'll even beg ....pretty pretty please!! 

I've even heard that they (Western Australians) vote against it. What the??!! Why would you not want shops open on a Sunday its the nicest time of the week to wander around shops and buy pretty things! 

The other crapola thing about no shops being open on Sunday here is that on Saturday supermarkets are Chaos. You just cant do your groceries on Saturday if you can at all possibly avoid it. Lots of people though that work full time have to shop on a Saturday and due to the Chaos previously mentioned it takes all of the fun out of it. Its a horrible stressful event. Which is so sad because grocery shopping is so much fun.

Look Western Australia or more importantly Kalgoorlie open your shops on Sunday you will like it I promise!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Living the Dream - My Business Plan

So as part of our big move across country to follow our dreams. It got me thinking its all very well & good to encourage my mister and support his goals and dreams but what about mine. 

Before leaving Melbourne i was an operations manager in a finance company and to say I was dissatisfied with my job was an understatement. I was burnt out and completely over it and constantly on the verge of tears. I was exhausted and always sick. But even more than that I had this feeling that I was a fraud, that I had somehow stumbled into this job that I wasn't capable of doing. I made up for feeling inadequate with energy,,,I gave all my energy and i would go home everyday absolutely fried! Then when I got close to having a breakdown I realised YOU DO NOT LIVE TO WORK, YOU WORK TO LIVE.

So finally I am going to start a home business that I have dreamt of doing for the past 15 years. It's not my first time to dabble in a business of my own. In my long and various career I have been self employed 3 times before with varying levels of success. In Japan I was director of an English Conversation School, I had a licensed cafe in The Philippines and I was a Beautician in Melbourne (more on these later). 

The Plan
My business plan this time is a bit more humble. I am going to set up and market stall selling party boxes/kits and also fun little foods like choc crackles, cake pops, honey joys,rocky road, gingerbread men, cookies. Hopefully from there get a website and sell through social networks etc. I will also go into lolly buffets and helium balloons as an add on when i have generated some capital from the market stall.

My Check List
Plans for my market stall are well and truly underway and i expect to start by the end of March or in April. I've done endless research on the net and scouted out my local markets. I have begun to accumulate, find and buy my stall fit out. Such as tables (I plan on having a U shape set up). Table coverings, mini chalk boards, decorations and i have made and laminated really cute price cards, I have ordered business cards from vista print- if you have never used them then i highly recommend it. I still have to do a flyer & labels which I might do through vista print also. I have started to source products for the kits and put them together which is the most fun I have had in a long time. I then need to do a dry run setting up the stall in my living room- so that I feel comfortable it runs smoothly on the day.

The thing is I just love organising parties, I love the planning more than the event its self. So putting together a party kit is like planning a party. This business lets me have all of the fun of planning its a total win win.I have filled a notebook with theme ideas that I'm keen to trial. Everything from the main kids theme parties like spiderman, princesses, barbie, batman and so on. To more one off themes like slumber parties girls & boys, Hollywood, Halloween, high tea garden party, movie nights, hens or girls nights, different country themes, colours, baby shower it just is endless. Please feel free to leave me suggestions on different themes and ideas for the kits.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Little holiday back to Melbourne

I came back to Melbourne for my nieces first birthday to help out and catch up with my family.

As it turned out I had to come back alone because my boy had to work. It was nice to spend quality time with my family though, especially my niece I’m bias but she is the cutest most adorable baby in the world. 

Typically I got really sick as soon as I arrived with an epic ear infection that was the most painful agony I have ever endured. I spent the first four of my eight days here in a medicated haze in my pajamas not even able to leave my parents house. This meant I wasn’t able to do some of the things that I had been planning to do. I missed out on catching up with all of my friends and I simply didn’t have the energy to try on wedding dresses when I felt so crap.

My adorable niece
Showing off the shoes i got her
On the positive side of this I got to really bond with my niece again it had been 3 months since I had seen her and in baby time that’s a long time!

The first birthday party that my sister threw for her was amazing. We love throwing parties in my family and love love love a good theme!! The theme for this one was hot air balloons. She made decorations and a cake . I made chocolate ice-cream that was divine and I got so excited by it I ended up getting an ice-cream maker –so stay tuned for lots more ice-cream recipes.
The cake my sister made was amazing!
The other exciting thing I got to do whilst on holiday was go to Costco, I cant tell you how excited i was to go and when i got there i was in heaven! American warehouse style shopping sigh ahhhhh what more could anyone want, The only down side was I had to show restraint as I cant get giant jars of pickles and kitchenware to Kalgoorlie. So i just got a giant mud cake, giant bucket of peanut m&m's, cookies, tim tams, reece peanut butter cups and some books (that's me being restrained). 

My sister at Costco     

I had an amazing dinner with my other sister and her husband and one of my best girl friends. We went to a place in an alley way off exibition - I love Melbourne alleys best resturant and bars can be found. This place is right near one of my favourite bars Trunk. The place is called Gami Chicken and Beer its Korean and its Fabulous i highly recommend it. Its basically a cool little place that only serve different styles of fried chicken and beer in kegs or jugs. Was so delicious if you are in the area check it out its also really reasonable.
Gami Chicken and Beer Korean Restaurant