Seek Joy In The Small Things Of Life…

Bonjour mon ami’s and welcome to my first post as Seek Joy. It’s taken me much longer than I intended to do this post as it’s been school holidays here and it’s been super busy.

I thought I’d start by briefly explaining the name change of the blog. I’ve been thinking about it for a while but nothing I came up with sounded right. Lately things have been a tad on the stressful side here as hubby injured himself back in February and has been off work since, though hopefully he’ll be back soon. With hubby off work and the bills piling up and the threat of eviction looming over our heads we were getting more and more stressed. I read somewhere about if you’re going to do something for work then do something you love (which I’ve always believed in doing) and if you want to find happiness in each day then Seek Joy! Those two words changed my whole thinking in an instant. Seek Joy, what does that mean? What does it mean to me? What does it mean to you? What does it mean in general? Everyone is going to have their own view on what those two words mean but for me they meant Seek Joy in every day living! No matter how hard my day has been, no matter how tired I am, no matter how many bills there are, no matter if we’re evicted or not……to seek the joy in each day for me means to reflect back on my day and take into account the little things that happened that made me smile. It could be, the kids didn’t fight as much, Francis waking up dry and me not having to change the bed (yey for night toilet training), going for a walk on my own with my ipod blaring Bon Jovi…..it doesn’t matter what happens in my day there is always a little bit of joy that I can take from it and cherish it.

I loved my blog My Life, My Loves, My Home but after being that for so many years and so much has happened in that time I felt it was time for a name change. I find as I’m getting older (42 this year!) I am definitely looking for the joy in my life, the calmness, the peaceful moments, like right now because the kids are in bed asleep and the house is quiet…..ah bliss…..my point is as we get older we change what we want to find from our every day life and so I thought it was time to go down a new path….I hope you’ll stay with me and still enjoy all the posts your used to and more.

Now I’m going to share a little of what I’ve been up to over the last couple of weeks 🙂

Well first of all being as Chris has been off work for the last two months things have been quite tight financially, so when Francis’s jeans finally wore a hole in the knee I immediately started to google the best way to patch them as I couldn’t afford to replace them. I’m so glad I did because there are so many ideas on google and patching his jeans made them just a bit cooler than they were before. Isn’t it funny how many moons ago our parents and grandparents would have automatically gone for the patch job but we tend to go straight to the store to buy a new pair. Well not any more in this house, from now on I’m going straight for the patch job. I found a tutorial for a reverse applique method and loved it. I was going to do it on the sewing machine but the jeans wouldn’t go up over the free arm of my machine so I did it all by hand using the back stitch method. Thank goodness my mum and grandma taught me these techniques when I was young and I still remember them! Now I forgot to take pics of progress shots but basically I drew a car around the whole in the pants then pinned some fabric on the inside of the jeans, followed the outline with my back stitch then cut away the jeans a little. And the end result is this….

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one groovy car on the knee

Personally I thought they turned out really well and it was a great choice of fabric which was Bec’s idea. Now as soon as I’d finished patching the front I realized the cuff on the bottom of his jeans had worn through, so I patched that as well….

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a new cuff and he was ready to test run them

I only did these pants last week and they’ve already been through the wash twice and so far my stitching is holding up really well. I’ve actually had an idea on how to transform some jeans of Bec’s that getting to small in the leg but still fit in the waste….but more on that another time….

So what else have I been doing….well this morning I was actually prepared for once knowing we’d be on the road for a couple of hours to pick Bec up today from her trip to Perth and I got the slow cooker on early with a delish casserole with dumpling….I do love my slow cooker and I love this new one I bought a few months ago….it does everything from slow cook, rice, porridge and more…..and I actually think it’s a better slow cooker than my ‘original’ style slow cooker…

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Loving the new slow cooker…

Trust me if you’re looking for a rice cooker that does everything and everything exceptionally well then go get yourself one of these Tefal ones…you’ll love it.

Yesterday morning I woke up at 5am and could not get back to sleep no matter what I did. I procrastinated about getting up because it was cold and at least the bed was warm. I finally got up about 5:30am and took my thyroid medication (has to be taken half an hour before breakfast) and hopped back in bed where it was warm……after half an hour of instagramming, checking emails and some early morning facebooking I decided to get up, put my lovely soft warm dressing gown on as well as slippers and have some breakfast while the house was quiet and everyone was still asleep. It’s not often I get breakfast first or t have it in peace and quiet so I took advantage of the early hour, put on the heater and got to it…..it was the best peanut butter and banana on toast with coffee I’ve had in ages…..

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best brekkie in ages and I love this cup from kmart…

Later in the day after doing the grocery shopping at Aldi’s I left Chris and Francis home and went shopping for some new jeans……I myself am desperate for new jeans yet unlike Francis’ mine are not mendable…..you know you’ve worn your jeans to death when the inside seem is tearing apart!!…….So off to CrossRoads I went…..I always go clothes shopping half dreading it because I can never usually find styles I like or pants that fit well…..I decided to go with a pair of jeggings as lots of friends have been raving about the and what do you know…..they fit prefectly and hold everything in and lift somethings too 😉 lol…….and I had to go down a size woohoo!!……I was really surprised with how comfy they are and I’ll be back to get another pair for sure….I also managed to get a really nice top on sale for $10!

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A quick dressing room selfie as I haven’t got a full length mirror at home

Now I had some really cool pants and a nice top so I just had to stop at kmart on the way home and get some cool black boots to go with the outfit as I really don’t think flats would cut it…….no pic of the boots yet but I’ll share soon 🙂

I’ve also just been keeping up with my workouts as much as I can and I’m looking forward to school going back so I can get back into a normal routine again in the morning and go back to walking Bec to and from school. Even Francis loves the walk to pick Bec up and we stop and let them have a play at the park before coming home….with winter coming I might be leaving him home a little more though…..I’ve also joined the snapchat crowd (thanks to my oldest daughter) and am still figuring that out….I have to say I really like it and it’s just fun to use…definitely a good way to get people laughing with all the different faces you can make…

So as you can see it’s definitely the small things that can make you day….it doesn’t always need to be some grand gesture or some super exciting news just look at your day and really look for the joy in the small things…..

Well I’m going to head off now as I’m about to do some research on crochet blanket patterns for Francis’ room….I’ll share that as I get going with it….I did Bec’s blanket last year and she still loves it…..so have a great night everyone and thank you so much for staying with me….I hope I’ve inspired you to look for more JOY….

Au revoir and take care….

Michelle

Friday’s Photography…

Bonjour mon ami’s, ca va? So today I’m rebooting Friday’s photography. Friday’s Photography was something I started when I first started blogging 5 years ago but it’s kind of gone by the way side although it’s always been in the back of my mind. I’m also finding too at this point in time that I’m needing something to refocus my attention as we’re under a bit of stress lately. (more about that another time) So on Friday from now on you will see some of my photography….Being as I haven’t done anything much this week  I thought I’d share a few images from the last few weeks…..I hope you enjoy it…

 

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I snapped this sunset a few weeks back as we were on our way to the circus. Considering the car was moving I’m really happy with the silhouette of the tree…

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Last week we went to Busselton and once again the shire is doing something out of the ordinary to the beach….this is usually such a beautiful view and I’m yet to find out exactly what they’re doing. Francis and Bec were fascinated sitting on the bench watching the earth movers to their thing….

 

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Admittedly this pic is a few months old and one that hubby took of Francis and I walking across the suspension bridge in Pinjarra where we stopped on our way back from Perth….It’s one of the few most recent pics of me I like and look at that gorgeous boy… 🙂

Well now I have motivation to get out and explore this week so I have some awesome pics to share with you all next week….Have a great weekend and I’ll be back soon 😉

Au revoir and take care

Michelle xo

 

A Spontaneous Fishing Adventure….

Hello and welcome back. I’m not sure how much of an audience I have these days as I’ve let my poor little old blog go for so long. So if you find yourself here reading this then welcome and thanks for stopping by…..I’m actually starting to feel my writing mojo coming back lately and I’m going to be doing my best to get back to where I used to be.

Yesterday afternoon we headed to a friends house to pick up some packing boxes…yes that’s right I said packing boxes!!….Looks like we’re going to be moving again soon..(I’ll keep you posted) Any how we got to our friends house and they said they were heading to the beach to do some fishing and asked us to come. Naturally I said yes as I grew up fishing in rivers, dams and the ocean…..I still have pictures of me when I was about six years old with a trout I caught at Waroona Dam……so we thought we’d go down for half an hour or so mostly to give the kids something to do as it’s been so hot here the last couple of days and three hours later we finally left to come home lol……

It was such a great night and fishing is something I haven’t done in so long but I’m so glad I have a Dad who taught me how to fish when I was a kid because while my casting was a little wonky in the beginning it came back to me pretty quickly. Also I had to stop and think about Dad because he would have loved it at the beach last night…the water was beautiful, it was flat and although not much was biting it was a perfect night for fishing. Since move six hours away to woop woop he just doesn’t get to go fishing any more as he’s so far inland…..I think the next time he heads down this way I’m going to insist he come fishing with us and give the kids a few lessons the way he used to when we were kids.

Now my poor hubby couldn’t fish or swim because the other week he ruptured a tendon in his bicep and had surgery and isn’t allowed to get the wound wet yet and has his arm in a sling. We’re back to the hospital Thursday to see what’s next with his arm. However he did enjoy himself taking pics of us all and just being at the beach with friends. Bec caught about three trumpeters and a brim which we had to throw back as it was too small. Francis caught his first skippy which was also too small and I caught a trumpeter and a brim which was also too small to keep. It seemed to be a night for the small fish but soon the salmon will be running and we’ll be going out again. I have to admit I’d forgotten how good a night you could have down on the beach fishing as it’s been many, many years since I’ve done it….oh and the really awesome thing was that I got to drive our Prado down on the beach to where we parked!! It’s the first time we’ve taken it on the beach and hubby was a little jealous I was the one to get to do it first lol……It’s definitely harder than it looks but was a good experience, one I look forward to doing again.

It’d be nice if we could do things like this every day but I do enjoy the days we do get to do it…..now I’ve just got to get Dad to part with some fishing rods lol 😉

Au revoir

Michelle  xo

One Flu For Everyone & One Custom Cushion….

My house is quiet. It’s so quiet I can hear the clock ticking on the wall….my house is never this quiet but it’s 7pm and everyone (apart from Luke) is in bed….yes that includes hubby as well…that’s what happens when you start work at 2:30am!!

It’s been a pretty full on couple of weeks here with everyone getting the flu and poor Francis having a day of throwing up all day long….he really was unwell but thankfully everyone is pretty much mended now and things are back to normal.

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My little man all better from the flu….but now with molars playing up…

Last week I started the Maxine’s Shape Up Challenge in order to get fitter and healthier…when you have a baby in your late 30’s it kind of makes you realize you need to look after yourself even more than in your 20’s…..so I thought I’d give the challenge a go and see how I go. So far I’m loving it and I’m dancing my way through my cardio days lol….I hate cardio but since deciding to make those days my dance party days I’m really loving them. I’m doing Zumba and Country Heat to get me through and I love them both….

Last week I started a crochet project and today I finally finished it yey! I’ve been wanting to do a cushion for ages and finally designed my own and got it done…the only thing I”m kicking myself about is I forgot to take more progress pictures as I was going along…but I’ll share what I do have…

I’m really happy with how the cushion turned out and now it’ll be listed for sale…if things go well you could see some more designs being made and sold 😉 I’m working on another project for a friend at the moment….this ones a gift but I won’t say too much just yet in case she’s reading this lol…..

Tomorrow I’m going to try and get out in the garden a bit before the bad weather comes back to finish off winter before spring kicks in…….I haven’t done any real gardening here which is unusual for me because usually I plant rosemary straight away no matter where I live….but I have a theory on that that I’ll share with you next time….for now I’m off to have a cuppa and an early night…

Take care for now…..Au revoir

Michelle xo

Decor Update….

Bonjour mon ami’s, ca va? Well I have to say I honestly thought I’d have another post up by now but everyone’s been sick with the flu and throwing up. Plus I had a tooth extracted last Friday so I wasn’t really feeling up to much. I wasn’t able to workout for a few days last week due to vertigo from my tooth and I haven’t been able to workout yesterday or today due to bub throwing up all day yesterday and feeling a little feverish myself then waking up with a very sore throat…..it’s picked up a bit today so I’m hoping to get a workout in tomorrow. The Maxine’s Shape Up Challenge starts Monday so I want to be ready to kick that off with a bang.

Today I thought I’d share a little decor revamp I did in Bec and Francis’ room last week. I’m kicking myself I didn’t take any before pics but I just forgot. I tend to get an idea to move things round then run with it and only think of the before pics when I’m halfway through doing something….I’ll have to work on that…..

We’ll start with Bec’s room simply because hers was the first room I did and took pictures of lol….

As you can see she’s well set up with her chill out corner and a snug bed to read in before she goes to sleep…..The bed was over against the wall where her chest of drawers is but I felt the room was getting too disorderly all the time as she didn’t have set zones….so while she was at school i moved her bed to the middle of the room and rearranged everything else so that it would work better and I’m happy to say it does….I still love the chest of drawers as that’s something I did for her while we were still in capel….hope she’ll hold onto it for a good while yet….everyone who sees it always asks where I got it from lol….feels so good to be able to say I revamped it myself….So that’s Bec’s room and she’s thoroughly happy with it and I’m happy Kmart has upped their game in the homewares department…..it’s amazing what you can get in there now….I actually just bought Bec a clock for her bedside table that’s copper and will match her yeah, yeah, yeah pic……I got that pic for the bargain price of $4!! and it’s soooo Bec lol….

Ok onto monsieur Francois’room……I haven’t moved anything around in his room because for a 3 and a half year old it’s set up perfectly with plenty of room to play with his cars and blocks and believe me that goes on all the time…..when you see his bed you might think it’s strange that his pillow is away from the window….when we moved in that was and is the best spot for his bed but because he was used to sleeping on his left side facing the wall in Capel he didn’t like the pillow being at the top because then he was facing the empty space….he’s a funny boy but he sleeps with his head away from the window and likes it better and honestly so do I because their rooms are so cold in winter I really don’t want him or Bec being under cold windows breathing in cold air.

I bought the F for his door when we were still living in Busselton and it has gone from house to house now and needless to say it’ll go with us on our next move too….I love the wall hangings from kmart…they have such great inspiring sayings on them for kids and why shouldn’t they Be Brave and have Time for Adventure…..that’s what being a kid is all about….I love the arrow lights above his chest of drawers and his play area….and yes I painted his chest of drawers too….there’s not too much in the house my paint brush hasn’t touched lol…..he has such fun in here all the time, in fact if he disappears from the family room the first pace I always look is his room and I sneak around the corner because I don’t want to disturb him…..he likes just sitting and playing on his own and he has a very good imagination so I think at times it’s best to leave them to it and explore their own world…..

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing Bec and Francis’ rooms and it feels good as a mum to know you’ve made a nice, safe, cosy space just for them….somewhere they can go off to on their own and just enjoy the room and what’s in it…..

I’ve also been crocheting my fingers away and I finally got some sewing done on the weekend before everyone got sick….I started Bec an Anya blanket for her bed months ago and finally finished it last week…it turned out way bigger than I thought it would but that ok because when she’s sitting on her bed reading she can just pull it up and keep warm…

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This is the only picture I have of it at the moment and I was just about finished….I’ll get some pic’s of it tomorrow on her bed and share them on ig and when I’m back here next….it’s a gorgeous pattern and I’ll definitely be doing another one…

Since I finished Bec’s Anya I thought I’d get started on a throw for Francis too but something a little more boyish….so I thought I’d go with a ripple blanket and oh boy I almost threw it in the bin before I even really got started lol….I had to pull back seven rows!! That’s nearly a whole ball of wool….my chain count was out by two chains and it was throwing the whole pattern off….so I started again only to be out by one chain argh!! lol…..I really need to by some chain markers so I don’t lose count any more…..well third time round and all is good and we’re finally going but seriously who would’ve thought a ripple blanket would be hard than the anya? Well at least it’s going now but it does eat the wool…..I’ve started it in a dark blue but I’m going to bring a grey in and have it two toned instead of one solid colour……

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I took this before unraveling it the first time but you can see the ripple effect…..

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And here we have the cushion covers I made for Francis’ bed….I was so glad I found this fabric in spotlight as it fits in well with his bedding (yep from kmart lol)….I made him an owl cushion and bumper set for his cot when he went into his cot and while the bumper has been put away the cushion has stayed on his bed but I thought with his room changing so much he’s getting a little big for the owl cushion so I got something to match the rest of his room…..the smaller cushion goes next to his pillow so when he rolls over he doesn’t hit the wall….I wish they made pillows the width of a single bed for kids would make life much easier….the bigger cushion was blue with a car on it and while there was nothing wrong with it it just wasn’t going with the room so I replaced both cushion covers with these hand made by me…..I will get some better pics…I’d literally just finished making them and his bed wasn’t made properly lol but I wanted to get a pic…..

So that’s it for now that what I’ve been up to as well as working out when I can, cleaning up vomit, washing the mountain of laundry that follows gastro, crocheting, sewing and attempting to get Chris’ bedside table finished by this weekend…..it’s been sitting half done for ages….that’s one thing I do miss about Capel I had a great big undercover area I could work under even when it was raining….Not here though it’s a very small alfresco area and it gets really wet under there…..so hopefully there will be a bit of sun on the weekend like last Sunday……well I’m off to make a cuppa and do another row or two of Francis’ blanket then call it a night…..take care and I’ll be back soon…

Au revoir

Michelle xo

Painting, Cooking & Zumba….

Bonjour mon ami’s and happy hump day! I hope you’re all off to a great start to the week and all is good in your world…

Well it’s been a good week here so far, nothing much really exciting happening but that’s ok as long as everyone’s happy….Francis and I did some painting and cooking after lunch yesterday and he thoroughly enjoyed painting and using all the colours and really mixing them together….boys are so different to girls lol…..girls worry about keeping everything separate and having it look pretty whereas boys just mish mash it all together and it comes out looking pretty awesome. Thankfully it was sunny yesterday and I was able to peg his paintings on the line to dry. Today is cloudy, cold and damp…not a good day for painting and trying to dry it.

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A great afternoon of painting

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taking time out from being an artist and taking iggle piggle for a drive

Ever since I made some Gluten Free brownies a couple of months ago Francis has been obsessed with cakes and helping to make cakes as soon as he sees me get the mixer out….he grabs a chair from the table and carries it by himself to the kitchen bench where he proceeds to climb up and start passing me things before I’m even ready for them lol….the first thing we made was some lovely Banana, Blueberry Bread from my The Happy Cookbook by Lola Berry…..I love this gal and her recipes are aaaamazingly good….even the kids like most of them and that’s saying something for completely healthy, no crap whatsoever food!!……The Banana, Blueberry Bread came out perfectly and is soooo delish, especially with a little butter on it…ssshhh 😉 Bec has been taking some to school for morning tea and she’s usually fussy when I make new foods but she loves blueberries so the bread was a big win for her……Next we made (from the same book) some Paleo Choc Chip cookies. Who doesn’t love choc chip cookies? I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t……Ok these weren’t 100% paleo this time as I was out of Almond Butter so I replaced it with….Peanut Butter!! Omg what have I done hehehe well let me tell you we ended up making some pretty awesome peanut butter, choc chip cookies that’s what….and Francis made sure they were all flat and smooshed on the tray before they went in the oven…..they turned out just as awesome as the bread and definitely aren’t lasting long in this house.

Well today we had more of a chill out day as it really was too cold and windy to go anywhere. I had planned on taking Francis out but being as he woke up with the start of a cold and fell off the couch and banged his head before 8am I thought we better not chance going out on such a wild day. So after we dropped Bec at school Francis grabbed the tablet and played the ABC Kids Player App….he’s nailed all the activities in that app but he loves it and happily does them again…..so while he was busy with that I got ready to do my Zumba workout…..I was dreading cardio today as we’re so not friends but once I started moving my feet I was happy to get on with it. I love to dance and used to ballroom dance years ago and doing Zumba reminded me just how much I love dancing….I’d love to go back to ballroom one day but now’s just not the time…..so after 50 minutes of shaking my hips, shimmying all over the place, samba (confusion dance lol), salsa and a bunch of others I was pooped but I loved it and am looking forward to doing it again Friday!!

Tomorrow I’m back to weights woohoo ….I love my weights sessions……I’m not sure what else we’ll be doing tomorrow as the weather is meant to be horrible for the next few days and it just depends on how bub’s cold goes as well…..well I hope your week is rockin’ and I’ll catch you all soon. Take care for now…

Au revoir

Michelle xo

Time For A Change…..Maybe…

Bonjour! Well I won’t say I’m back yet again because I seem to keep coming and going quite sporadically lately so I’ll just say, Bonjour 🙂

As most of you know I’ve struggled with blogging over the last couple of years and for some reason that really happened when we moved to Capel. For ages I’ve been thinking I don’t really have much to say or write about so I just let it go. However the other night I was thinking about what has been happening over the last couple of years and quite a bit has happened in some areas and in others life’s pretty much the same. I won’t bore you with every detail as we could be here for years lol……Obviously the kids have gotten bigger and older and are doing great and keeping me busy.

I’m still loving my Jamberry and revamping anything I can get my hands on. I’ve been working on Chris’ bedside table and am hoping to get the wax on it this weekend. I’ll definitely share it when I’m done 🙂

I’ve also found a new love in working out! I used to be quite active and go to the gym regularly but when my Hashimotos got really bad I just didn’t have the energy for it. Since we really seem to have it under control now I’ve been working my butt off since February this year. I actually started working out lst year before I had a diagnosis of hashi’s but I just couldn’t keep up with it as my fatigue was so bad. Now however I’m working out 6 days a week and love it. I’ll be starting a page on that soon….I just have to figure out how to add individual posts to a page hmmm…..Chris and I are both looking at doing the Max’s and Maxine’s Challenge starting in a couple of weeks so if we join I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve also been cooking a lot cleaner with whole foods and am slowly eradicating processed foods from the house for good. I made a delish Lemon Slice from my The Happy Cookbook by Lola Berry and everyone loved it….it’s great for lunch boxes too……I also found an awesome recipe for gluten free chicken tenders last week and they went down a treat with everyone…Oh and the spicy sweet potato wedges and avocado aioli that went with the chicken….yum! Ok I will definitely share those recipes in the next few days 😉

I don’t really have too much to report at the moment so I”m just going to share a round up of pics from the last few months…..I am thinking of changing this blogs name though as I’ve had it forever and I feel it’s had its time…..decision is pending….I’ll share what I have in mind next time we’re all here….I’d love your thoughts….for now take care and I’ll see you soon….

Au revoir

Michelle xo