{Girl Crush Tuesday} Singing superstar Lauren Plenderleith

We have some pretty hard girl crushes. These are the types of ladies that stamp their style on the world. They are the type of people that will always be remembered and little girls grow up wanting to be. They are women of substance. Women that make the world a better place. Happy Girl Crush Tuesday everybody.line4Today we salute local performer extraordinaire Lauren Plenderleith.

Lauren is a local girl who I have had the privilege of knowing for an extraordinarily long time, she is super involved in the community and has a heart of gold.

Lauren is a singer extraordinaire and I guarantee that you would have seen her gracing stages at many functions you have attended in our local area over the years.

She has been a band member of Nuthin’ 2 Serious for over 13 years and as if that’s not enough she is also a founding member of of Momentum, a new musical group that are rockin’ out sounds everywhere. In fact, Momentum are opening for and supporting Diesel later this year! What a great achievement.

Lauren is such a superstar that she was given the well deserved honour of being MC for the Bathurst Carols by Candlelight last Christmas and to say she smashed it is a massive understatement! She also performed at Rock of Ages.

On top of all this Lauren is a mother and a wife who has a day job as well!

There is absolutely nothing better than seeing a local girl done good.

Here’s to you Lauren, we can’t wait to see you rock the stage for years to come. Thanks for showing our little girls that confidence and hardwork pays off.

lauren

 

{Locally Found} White Night at Mayfield Gardens

I am super excited to be heading to the first annual White Night at Mayfield Gardens this weekend and I would love to see you there.
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The party kicks off at 6.30pm and your ticket includes all food and alcohol for the evening!

What I love is that they support local, and the delicious sounding menu includes locally grown produce as well as local wines, beers and ciders.

Mayfield Gardens supports paddock to plate and over 80% of the menu comes directly from the Mayfield Garden and farm!

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I am super eager to get my white on and have a grown up night out with good people, in beautiful surrounding while enjoying some kiddie free time.

Anyone eager to join me?

If you want more information just check out:

Facebook: Mayfield Gardens
Instagram: @mayfieldgarden

Address: 530 Mayfield Road, Oberon NSW

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LIKE TO WIN?
We are thrilled to be giving away two tickets to this fantastic event, just pop over to our facebook page to find out more!

{This is life} Why I run to save my mind

This is an article contributed by one of our fabulous nesters. She chooses to remain anonymous, and we are super okay with that! So, let’s keep it positive and supportive and let her know she is not alone x

watercolourPreface: I wrote this not because I’m pro running or I wanted to encourage people to exercise. Not because I wanted to shame people who sleep train or those who don’t. I wrote this for the all mums who are at their wits end. To the ones who don’t get regular breaks from their children. To the ones whose kids don’t sleep. The ones who feel their control slipping, their world crumbling. The ones who are dying inside.

You, you reading right now, you’ve got this.

You can.

So find what works and do it! Do it every damn day until everything finds its place. I promise that this too shall pass xxx

Let’s talk exercise. It’s always been proudly a word that wasn’t in my vocabulary. Although I consider myself an fairly active person, I mow the lawns, walk my boys to school and I’ve always been the mum that chases her kids at the park. But I’m talking formal exercise. The kind the makes me sweat. A lot. To be honest, it’s not really my cup of tea.

Last year in August I found my mental health slipping, my youngest was nine months and had never really slept, he was, and still is really hard work. My gorgeous little bundle of joy has been a right handful since the day I met him. My baby, he doesn’t like to be carried or cuddled but at the same time doesn’t want you out of sight! Before he could move on his own that would make for a stupidly hard situation. Pick him up to carry him he would thrash and squirm and squeal. Walk to put the washing on and not take him with you?

Stage 10 meltdown.

What am I supposed to do with that?

Getting him to sleep was hard. He never wanted to be cuddled to sleep. He wouldn’t lay in our bed. I couldn’t bare to leave him to cry. How was I supposed to get this kid to sleep? Everyday,  for every sleep I would put him in the cot. He would cry. I would pick him up and try to cuddle him and he would squirm until I put him back down.

Over and over and over.

Sometimes I could power walk him around the house in the carrier, but he was getting heavy and once he was asleep apin drop would wake him. I could never transfer him to the cot, so I would have to sit slumped over with him asleep on my back crying, balling.

The struggle was real.

I was convinced I had post natal depression. I went to the doctor. I begged for help. I asked anyone that would listen for more than five minutes. No one had any advice. Usually as a parent you are surrounded by people who love to dish out unsolicited parenting advice but when you actually ask for it you get nothing.

Tresillan was all I was offered over and over. I read their parent information book so many times. Their sleep School techniques just weren’t for me.

I yelled at my husband. I blamed him because I couldn’t make it work. I was being pushed into a corner, being forced to do something I didn’t want to do because the alternative was dire, really dire. I was on the edge.

It effected my whole life. I couldn’t remember taking my older boy to school. I would constantly lose things.

My patience was gone.

When the baby did finally sleep, I would lay there so consumed by my exhaustion it was take hours for me to drift off. I was the kind of tired that “here I’ll take you baby for an hour just couldn’t fix” I would laugh at the suggestion, not that it was offered often. Unless you’re taking him for a week, there’s no need to bother. That hour would only be used laying in bed thinking, trying to fall asleep only to have the knock on the door and reality to be staring me back in the face.

I went to a therapist, I told her I was depressed. She assured me that is was indeed just suffering from extreme exhaustion.

It takes a village to raise a baby and my village is small, really small. I passed the baton and that was it. It was my husband’s turn.

My husband,  my hero.

He took the night shift from that day, very day. Every shift. For the next month I slept, every night. I woke up every time the baby made a sound but I slowly drifted back off.

After two weeks, I decided I was going to make a change. I couldn’t just hope forever that sleep was coming. I was now convinced that the baby would never sleep through the night and this was my forever.

So, I started running.shoes

I mostly started because listening to him wake up and cry, killed me. It was a reminder that although the nights are over, the days are here, I was on my own and they were even harder.

Every morning at 5am he would wake up screaming.

So. I set my alarm for 4:30am and run.

I ran from my problems, I ran from the baby and his cries, I ran from my life.

The problem is as I mentioned earlier, I had never actually exercised before. So, really, technically, I didn’t run. I walked, ran, stopped for a stitch and hobbled.

Then came home.  Every day.

Now I can run.

Now the baby sleeps through the night and he doesn’t wake up crying (probably because he sleeps through the night) and now when strangers say “what a happy baby” I don’t feel the urge to kick them in the shin.

Monday to Saturday  6 days a week I run. Not far. Only about 2.5kms to the end of my street and back.

Some days it’s easy, some days it’s hard.

I haven’t lost any weight and let me assure you, I’m not very good at it. You know those coordinated women on the Nike ad? Yeah, no, nothing like that. But everyday I get up and give it a go because I want my kids to know that even though they are hard work, it’s all about attitude. It’s all about trying, giving it a solid go. Not giving up when shits really fucking hard and to never ever be afraid to ask for help!

I found Instagram a place of inspiration and in particular @mrs_paulie. She is a powerhouse and has been my girl crush for so long it’s boardline stalkerish, check her out!

So on that note, Peace lovers This rad bitch is going for a run xxx

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{The Nest Writes} Why I no longer say “have a great day”

Why I no longer say have a great day.

A little while ago I said to my daughter as she clambered out of the car in front of her school “have a great day honey”, she said “I will, I always do”. When I picked her up that afternoon I said “Did you have a great day?”. “Yep” she said. Always wanting more information I pushed “So, what did you do?”. “Nothin’ mama”. “So did you learn anything”. “Nope”. “Who did you play with?”. “Don’t remember”.

I was deflated, she either didn’t have fun, she didn’t want to tell me or she simply could not be stuffed mustering the effort to involve me in her day.

So, my new plan was hatched.

The next morning we pulled into the illegal bus zone and as she collected her belonging I said “Honey, have a great adventure today”. She paused and inquisitively looked at me. “what did you say mama?”. I smiled at her and said, “Have a great adventure”. She giggled, kissed my cheek and her skinny, lanky little legs climbed over the front seat and out the door. a1

When I pulled up that afternoon, she came running to the car. She was almost breathless and said “mama, I had a great adventure, today I had a great adventure!!”. She then went onto to tell me the story of her adventure “Well, this morning I dropped all my library books but a girl I didn’t know from year 4 helped me pick them up. Then my teacher, you know ma, that lady that is like you but at school? Yeah her well, she sang a song about a goanna and made us pretend to be goannas. Do you know how hard it is to be a goanna mum?? Then at lunch we found a lizard in the back oval, but we didn’t touch it cause Finn said they can bite. Then I drew a picture of an owl, it was funny because I thought the blue crayon was actually purple! But it wasn’t HA! Then it was time to come home and you are here!, so a pretty interesting adventure today”.

I was shocked to see the same blonde haired babe who yesterday barely managed to mumble two words remembering in such detail what she had experienced that day. 

I realised she had done nothing new or vastly different from her normal days at school, but instead just paid more attention to the mundane everyday adventure of her life so she could tell me all about her ‘great adventure’. a2

So, I tried it the next day and the next.

Every single day it worked. She would collect into her little memory bank the list of stories to tell me about her great adventure each day. It was like the way she looked at her day had changed, she all of sudden paid a little more attention to each small adventure she experienced each day.

So in our family we no longer do “have a great day”, we are a family of “have a great adventure”.

Give it a try, you might be surprised.

 

{The Nest Loves} 10 (unexpected) Tips for Staying in the Christmas Mood

Do you remember how magic of Christmas never failed to show when we were kids? As soon as the weather got hotter and the holiday season grew near, we were already in a jolly spirit. As kids, we had full attention of our parents and all the free time in the world to enjoy ourselves – everything that we gradually lost with growing up. Daily stress, worries, responsibilities and fast pace of life all contribute to forgetting that holiday spirit and joy. Still, you should never forget how much getting into the holiday spirit can actually feel relaxing and therapeutic. Check out the following tips that could help you stay in the Christmas mood even after the Christmas, and you may be able to rediscover the magic and wonders of Christmas again! 

Dress for the occasion

It might seem silly, but the way you dress as well as wearing seasonal colors can really help with getting you into the Christmas mood. So, don’t be afraid to rock some sequin tops as well as a lot of reds and greens. If you like to stick to plain colors, an effective detail such as a long, fluffy red scarf can really do the trick.red

Holiday makeupmakeup

Holidays make for the perfect opportunity to try out a bit bolder makeup looks. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to go all out with full face of makeup every day, but feel free to step out of your comfort zone as well. Glitter on the eyes and bolder shades of lipsticks are perfectly acceptable during this time of year and they can assist in getting you all jolly as well.

Holiday scents wreath

Other great way to relax and enjoy the holiday season is by filling your home with holiday scents. Make sure to prep your home and keep it clean by using air purifiers for allergies and then light up some scented Christmas candles.

Play some Christmas movies

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Most people can afford lazy evenings in. So, if you’re used to relaxing after a busy day at home, why not play some Christmas movies, too? Pick the ones that you loved the most and allow yourself to reminiscent about the past. That way, you might even retrace your steps back to that fulfilling holiday joy.

Casual night coca

If you don’t really enjoy watching movies, you can still organize yourself a casual and relaxing night in with a cup of mulled wine and your favorite Christmas music. And if you don’t like wine, you can always make hot cocoa. So festive and cozy.

Hit the kitchen kitchen

Making Christmas cookies isn’t difficult by any means, but it is definitely worth it for getting you into that much desired Christmas mood. Just try it and you’ll have a blast with both making and eating gingerbread men.

The above-mentioned tips are simple and low-effort things that anyone can find the time for. But it’s the little things that actually mean a lot. Make sure to try some of them yourself and jump into that Christmas mood which was so natural and fulfilling when you were a child.

This article was contributed by Claire Hastings.

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{The Nest Opinion} To the little girls from the billboard

In the last few days an Australian Government billboard was removed from Docklands because of threats made to the advertising company responsible for creating it. This billboard was simple insofar as it spoke of Australia Day and the various ways to celebrate the day.girls

It was removed because a few small minded individuals were unfortunately granted the power through the threat of violence to control what we, as the people see. I personally saw two beautiful young girls happily smiling and holding Australian flags. Nothing in the world appeals to me more. I am the mother of daughters and I am a true blue Australian. The idea of little girls, happily celebrating Australia is a wonderful sight. I am ashamed that some people saw this billboard as a problem, in reality it is only those few who are the problem.

I know that some people are opposed to the hijab because they believe it shows oppression of females due to the idea that girls are required to wear them, but unless you have asked every single girl whether it is worn by choice or by demand you cannot judge. Further, I don’t see a circumstance in which a billboard would be removed for depicting two catholic nuns in black habits waving Australian flags.

So I say to the two little girls on the billboard:

I am sorry.

I am sorry your mummy had to speak to you this week about racism.

I am sorry that you had probably told your friends and family about your beautiful face being used on a billboard nearly as big as your house and now it has been pulled down.

I am sorry that some racist, uneducated fool threatened other people and as a consequence your pretty faces had to come down.

I promise that not everyone thinks that way. I am sorry that you might feel unwelcome and like you don’t belong here but this is your home too.

You my darlings, are welcome to be my Australia.You represent the ongoing multiculturalism future of Australia. I hope one day, people won’t even acknowledge the fact that you choose to wear hijabs and instead just see two young girls happily preparing to celebrate our Australia.

The whole point of Australia is freedom. It’s the freedom to get a Southern Cross tattoo if you like when you’re 18 and on schoolies. It’s the freedom to dress how you like. Its the freedom of education. Its the freedom of religion. Its the freedom from persecution.

So little ones, please keep believing in your Australia. I promise not everyone feels the same way.

With love,

An Australia mum.

EDIT: I have since learnt there is a crowd funding page raising pressure to have the billboard reinstated. Hopefully this situation will be rectified soon. Racism should never win.

You can find more information here -> GoFundMe – Aus Day

{Book Club} Anything but Love

Every new year needs a little steamy goodness and our friend Jacqueline Hayley has your heart, mind and loins taken care of in her new seductive love story.

Set in outback Australia Anything but Love takes you on a seductive journey through the life of a city girl who moves to the Central West and falls in love with a farmer. It was meant to be anything but love.  anything-but-love

This provocative novel will have you on the edge of your seat and quickly you will find yourself dragged into a whimsical world filled with love, adventure and romance.

I gave this book to my mama with the strict instruction to report back within a fortnight to give me her opinion, she rang the next morning and said “I didn’t sleep and hot damn, that book kept me awake”.

Any book that is read within a night and stops your world has to be worth it.

Head to www.jacquelinehayley.com to grab your copy today.

You won’t be disappointed!

Happy reading nesters x