Tag Archives: life

Information is beautiful, until paralysis

14 Sep

information is beautiful, until paralysisI don’t know about you but I’m finding a little information overload at the moment.

It’s as if there is so much information available to help me succeed in anything I want to do that it’s like the entire interwebs is beaming down celestial beams to help me become all that I can be.

I do want to be all that, but it’s a little exhausting at times.

We’re all trying to have time to do everything we need so, as much as I see the benefit of hacking life, I reckon mere survival should also be high fived.

We’re surrounded by -

Ways to be a better parent.

How to fit it all in.

How to organise your pantry.

Take a better selfie.

Housecleaning life hacks.

Be a better lover.

Be a better friend.

Have shinier hair.

How to be incredibly happy.

Obviously, I do not desire to let myself, my children, my pantry or my hair down but holy snapping duck shit, but my head starts to spin like Linda Blair without the zombie eyes and pea soup.

I don’t know where to start with getting my life in order, and according to the internet oracle I’m obviously doing everything wrong, so I’m getting the PARALYSIS. It starts in one leg like a dog with a tick and before you know it you’ve drunk a whole bottle of wine and decided to just leave world domination until tomorrow.

Do we really need to be ALL THAT WE CAN BE?

What if I just BE?

Slow down? Breathe a little?

You know when you’re sitting on the loo trying to do a poo and you push and push and all that happens is a fart at best or a fissure at worst?

Forgive the poop analogy but sometimes no matter how much you strain that shit ain’t happening so you just need to wait it out and not force it.

I read a post by Kelly Exeter yesterday about making life simpler that used the term ‘cherry picking’.

I am so guilty of that.

Looking at people’s fabulousness on social media and wishing I was living their fabulousness.

Their perfect husbands, hanging terrariums with plants that are alive, shiny well behaved children with clean faces. Their amazing shoes and handbags that match, and hair that never looks greasy. No adult acne. None.

No one puts the really shit bits on social media. Their partners skid marks, their infected ingrown hair on their bikini line, but you can guarantee everyone has THE SHIT.

And then I had the most hilarious thought.

I thought that if I’m in here looking at all of you thinking your lives look so interesting and cool and soooo together, then maybe someone out there is looking at my life thinking that my life looks so interesting and cool and I’m sooooo together.

And I laughed, and then I laughed some more.

information,

I had some girlfriends over for dinner on Friday night, and one of my girlfriends is going through a terribly difficult time in her marriage. And she said it….

She said the very words I had been laughing about.

“I see you and everything you do and I think you’ve just got it all so sorted, and you’re so together. You’re juggling everything and doing it on your own and you’re ok.” (paraphrasing, I was a bit squiffy)

I looked her in the eye and her told her that I spent a small portion of yesterday afternoon lying on the floor in my daughter’s room having a little panic attack and crying, hoping the children weren’t distracted enough from Jimmy Giggle to look for me and bust me on the floor, and I’d have to pretend I’d lost a shoe under the bed and got dust in my eye.

I don’t know where I’m going with this…..maybe I do.

Maybe it’s don’t be fooled.

Everyone is dazzling each other with smoke and mirrors, and if their pantry is jealously spotless maybe there is a skeleton in a closet that you would never wish for. Just cherry pick your own life. Look at those bits you love and highlight them and turn down the volume on the crappy bits.

Just breath. And instead of trying to be everything…

Just be.

At least for this week.

World domination can wait until next week.

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Portrait 365 : 237 – 244

5 Sep

 

Heather

Heather

“I was happy to find out I was pregnant, but it was a surprise. When I started spotting I went to my obstetrician but because it was still early he really couldn’t tell what was happening. I went for a blood test thinking I was 8 or 9 weeks but my hormone levels were dropping and we thought I was miscarrying. The next couple of days I had terrible pain. I was told to go for another scan so I drove myself there but the sonographer could not believe I could even make it on my own. My pregnancy was ectopic and my fallopian tube had burst and I was rushed straight to hospital and operated on immediately.”

I searched Heather out, asking for someone to point her out to me after she mentioned how much she was enjoying Portrait 365. I knew she had to be one of my portraits. Then she proceeded to remove my carefully laid psychological band-aid until she could see my very heart. We connected. She shoots and talks and blogs too.

Clint

Clint

“I fell in love with a Finnish exchange student and then she went back to Finland. I wrote her a little book with pictures in it and made a mixed tape and on the end of the tape I said something really soft and cried a little and I’m worried one day it will come out.”

This guy was an endless course of amusement. It doesn’t get much drier than his humor. If you want some, you can find him here.

 

Morgan

Morgan

“I’m proud that I pushed myself to come here. I’ve been blogging for a couple of years but not pushing myself. I’m ready for a change of direction in my life and this is a great step towards that.”

I lost Morgans card. If anyone recognises her ping me so I can link her blog, please.

Ruth

Ruth

“I just came back from 2 months traveling in The States and it’s a bit of an adjustment. The reality of not being able to party and go to the beach every day. I’m planning on heading back there soon for my modelling.”

I practically tackled Ruth in my effort to shoot her before she got away.

Matt

Matt

“The last time I cried was when I lost my father-in-law. He was a passionate person and he loved the outdoors. I want my daughter Daisy to know that he was a super positive person.”

Eden

Eden

“Before my brother Cam died he was a big fan of Henry Rollins. Henry Rollins once said “All of the people on the planet are your peers. What are you doing for your peers?”. I really love that.”

If you’ve never come across Eden before you wouldn’t know that she has a rare heart condition. Her heart is the size of the moon and it feels all the feels one million times more than your average bear. This is both a great gift, and a very heavy burden. She writes the best. Hands down. Check her out.

Candice

Candice

“My first proper kiss was with a boy called Elmore in a shelter on a cricket pitch and I really wanted to kiss him because he smelled like bourbon and cigarettes. Now every time I smell cigarettes and bourbon I get weak knees.”

Candice is an aficionado in all things vintage. You can find her here.

 

 Who is your favourite this week?

 

 

 

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Portrait 365 : 230 – 237

27 Aug

 

 

Georgie

Georgie

“The word on the street is that three of my favourite things start with ‘C’ – champagne, cheese, and chilli crab.”

Anika

Anika

Because, fabulous, darling.

Geoff

Geoff

“I’m proud of my daughters because they’re accomplished.”

“Are you proud because they’re accomplished?”

“No, because of who they are as people.”

“Are you friends? Do they tell you their secrets? Is that why your bald?”

“Nah, that’s hereditary.”

Candice

Candice

“I used to wear heels to the corner shop. Now I’m more of a Cons girl, but these new shoes are comfy as fuck.”

Rodney

Rodney

“I felt like there was something wrong. 12 months prior I felt like I could hear two people talking about me and they were discussing how I was sick. I finally went to the doctor for a check up and they sent me straight to Emergency where they hooked me up to machines for 20 hours before diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes. Apparently I was nearly dead. The moral to the story – listen to the voice in your head.

Sam

Sam

Gabrielle

Gabrielle

“I was beside myself about turning 39, but when I woke up today on my birthday I realised I have lived a life less ordinary. I have won and lost, and taken big risks, and although my life may not look like I imagined it – that’s why I was framing out – I realised it’s better and the best is yet to come.”

Kerri

Kerri

“The poor Chinese waiter retreated in giggles when he heard ‘What colour is YOUR anus?”

One of the funniest yum cha conversations EVER between three very open, and awesome if I may say so, women.

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Portrait 365 : 222 – 229

19 Aug
Chandra

Chandra

“I lost my father when I was 12 and my mother raised my sister and I in Nepal. It was a struggle, and I came here to study. I had no money so I had to work to pay my way. There are no bad jobs.I did everything, housekeeping, supermarkets, Bunnings. Now I’m a baker and I still struggle to get my residency but soon it will come and then things will be easier.”

Casey

Casey

Stuart

Stuart

“South Australian 12 year old 200 metre butterfly champ.”

Unknown

Unknown

He was deaf and he didn’t speak English but armed with smiles and charades we got there anyway.

Annabelle

Annabelle

Graham

Graham

“I’m heading home to my house in the Riverina after a month holidaying in Cairns. I was up there with family and we went out on the dirt roads to Weipa and had a bit of an adventure. It’s really cold here though.”

Emily

Emily

“I competed in tennis until I was 15. I used to play with Laura Robson but then I moved to a school that wasn’t sporty at all so I didn’t compete any longer; which was a down point. Then I became a tennis coach which I love to this day. I should have carried on with tennis however I discovered drugs and boys.”

Ben

Ben

“I’m proud that I finally got my electrical license. I started my apprenticeship, and then I stopped doing it. I got lazy, but I knew that I needed to go back and finish it and sort my life out.”

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How I became a podium dancing alcoholic.

17 Aug
So sweet and innocent. Me at 2. Before clubbing.

So sweet and innocent. Me at 3. Before podium dancing in clubs.

My Dad is in Australia at the moment to do some traveling.

Some months ago he bought a Winnebago that he fondly named Wind Bag and periodically he skips across the ditch and takes off on a road adventure. He’s cool like that.

He stopped a couple of nights at mine on his way to pick up the Wind Bag and told me of his plan to drive from Melbourne through South Australia and up to Alice Springs before heading to Ayers Rock and the Olgas by the end of September. My green eyed monster’s eyes shone like emeralds…. that was one cool mo’fo’ road trip.

I sure would like to do that some time.

… But I have two kids and important routines that must be adhered to or my neurotic sky will fall down. I’m positively tied to all of my responsibilities so I could never to do something so crazy, could I?

The more spiced rum and lime juice we had to drink the more plausible it seemed.

There’s enough sleeping room for everyone. The kids can play outside if the space gets too cramped and there’s a tv for evenings. But the sleeping routine? I don’t know about you but I’m a stickler for it.

Dinner is 5.30

Bath is 6pm.

TV for half an hour at 6.30

Teeth and bed is 7pm

Reading a few books until 7.30 unless I speed read to get the hell out of there because I’ve had enough of them for the day.

I’m flexi within 10 or so minutes of this routine but then I start to get twitchy.

What would happen to this routine if we went on the road, all four of us sharing a living space smaller than my lounge?

 

Nah, too hard. My control freak couldn’t be bothered.

I asked Mister H if he could take a week off work so I could go on a road trip with my Dad. As amicable as Mister H and I may be I’m well aware that there will not be a lot of weeks in the year during which I can take off sans bambinos, so when Mister H told me to let him know how serious I was and he’d make arrangements I got to thinking if this was my only time off all year is a road trip with my Dad the prime way to spend it?

No offence Dad.

What if I want to go to Bali or Thailand with a friend? Or a lover, heaven forbid (I’ll get laid eventually, right??).

Kids will suck hard on that trip….

What if I want to go on a volunteer trip to a third world country, or trekking up some really ridiculously big hills?

Kids will suck hard on those trips too.

Screw it, I decided. I would go on this cool mo’fo road trip adventure will my Dad, and I will take the kids.

I can relax my regime, the sky will not fall. In fact, it will be good for us all (except maybe Dad whose serenity will be completely screwed, but he’s a good sport.)

I remember a photograph of myself as a child sitting at a table in a restaurant at night on a trip we had to the Canary Islands. I would have been about 3.

I think I was eating a bowl of eating ice-cream and strewn around the table were wine glasses and my Mum was in the picture too but barely. She was at the head of the table which was fading off into black.

During a phone conversation with Mama about the potential trip I mentioned the photo. I mentioned how she used to take us away on jaunty adventures where all of the routines were broken and it was fine, wasn’t it?

Wasn’t it?

And she said, “Darling, after dinner we’d take you into the nightclub and you’d dance with us on the dance floor.”

She back-pedalled saying they didn’t stay out until 2am, and nightclubs there weren’t filled with Class A drugs in those days, but the go-go dancer was out of the cage.

That. Explains. Everything.

How it all began. Note my wine glass and food all over my face.  *not the actual photo I'm referring to in post

How it all began. Note my wine glass and food all over my face.
*not the actual photo I’m referring to in post

 

A letter to the twerp who flashed me.

8 Aug

Funniest_Memes_honey-i-m-too-tired-to-slap-you_6218-2Hey dude,

I’m the late-30’s mother of two you flashed last night whilst I was stopped at the lights. Just wanted a quick word with you that I never got to have because I thought getting out of my car to rant at you may not have been the best plan of action.

I’d been admiring you and your 15 strong crew of pals because you looked awesome. I would have high-fived the kid whose party you’d been at because 1980’s gym wear is a cracking theme for a party, and you lot were quite the spectacle in your lycra and terry towelling as you weaved across the street in front of traffic not giving a shit because you’re 22 and in-fucking-vincible.

I was just driving home from a brief catch up with a friend to relieve the sitter so I was annoyed that your buddy in his lycra, midriff, tank top stood in front of my car at the lights, air-humping, with his little packed lunch cowering from the 12 degree winter’s night.

And my annoyance was amplified significantly when the light turned green and he continued to make whoopee with the bonnet of my car.

Being as mowing that skinny, little jerk down would have got in me in a smidgeon of trouble (luckily I didn’t get a foot cramp, mofo), my best recourse was my car horn…. perhaps my horn made you think of your flute because you whipped that kit outta your pants and waggled it all up in my face quick smart.

Maybe your friends laughed, shit, maybe if I was 22 with a skin full of booze and an 80’s g-string leotard up my butt-crack I’d think it was funny, but I ain’t….. I’m too friggin’ old, and too friggin’ tired to want to play balls. Specifically, yours.

You may think you’re cool but you, young man, are a prize dick. Your mother would be ashamed, and I feel old for saying it but that what I think.

I know it wasn’t personal, and I’m not really even offended, however I do want you to know that you should keep that ridiculous looking shit in your pants until summer if you really want to intimidate someone.

So, yeah, thanks for the flash. Penises are silly looking at the best of times but when they’re wrapped in fluro Spandex, attached to showy prats, you looked a total tit.

Give yourself an upper cut from me.

Yours sincerely,

Annoyed.

photo copyright Living Pages

photo copyright Living Pages

Portrait 365 : 215 – 221

6 Aug

Jack

Jack

I didn’t want to interrupt Jack mid-song. I just quickly asked his name and guerilla’d him.

Stolen moment

Stolen moment

Tanja

Tanja

“I went sky diving in Surfer’s Paradise recently. I was really scared to do it, and I knew I would be really scared while doing it, but I also really wanted to do it. It was amazing.”

Phil

Phil

“I started doing ballroom dancing 20 years ago and then I stopped for 13 years. I just started again because I found a local club that has ballroom nights on for free. It’s so much fun.”

I walked into Phil’s shop and he was cranking some serious ballroom tunes loudly. At first I thought it was karaoke but his story impressed me way more.

Bernard

Bernard

“I gave up smoking last Christmas after 50 odd years. I don’t even want one when I drink because I went so far as to change my brand of beer. I used to be a VB man, but now I’m Pure Blonde.”

Ian

Ian

“I’m proud of my three kids. I’m from the baby boomer generation; I’m in my mid-60’s, I had a good life, and I retired at 55. My life has been great and I sure don’t have anything to complain about.”

Anika

Anika

Green tea towel cape : check

Cauliflower in my trike trunk : check

Let’s roll.

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The Art and Madness of Falling in Platonic Love

3 Aug

Do you know Carolyn from Champagne Cartel?

You bloody well should. We started with a mild Facebook/blog comment here and then, which propelled swiftly into pen pals. When we finally swapped phone numbers it felt as though we’d known each other forever and now I consider her my friend.

My crazy, nutty, funny, clever and generous friend.

In fact, it a bit freaky because sometimes I wonder how it’s possible that I can have so many similarities with one person…. could we be twins?

Anyway, I asked if she’d do me a guest post, and I got something even better.

Check her out….

friendship

I have taken to falling madly in love with new friends lately. Oh, I love the old ones too, of course, they’re like those smelly old ugg boots that live in your cupboard and get dragged out in winter to schlep about the place with us – mmmmm, comfy.

But old friends have heard all my jokes. They know my stories. They are wise to my hackneyed old shtick.

But that ‘new friend’ smell just can’t be beat. New friends are full of potential. They haven’t smelt your farts yet, and they don’t know about that disgusting thing you did on Year 10 camp that you only let slip three times after way too many G&Ts.

And these days I fall totally, helplessly in love. But not in the rudey-dudey way. Just beautiful, soft, keep-your-tongue-to-yourself ladylove. And I reckon that’s even way more fun than falling in the sexy love.

Here’s how I see it:

A) Falling in platonic love with new friends: excited banter, drinking wine, compliments (I love your hair; no, I love your hair!), funny text messages, laughing, cocktails, dancing in bars, selfies, slightly self-conscious hugs, more laughter.

B) Falling in potentially sexy love: excited banter, drinking wine, flirty text messages, laughing, waxing your legs, waxing your lady garden, plucking your eyebrows, curling your lashes (like he would notice, seriously), worrying about your breath, buying condoms, sexing (including doing that thing you don’t really like all that much but do with him anyway because, you know, he’s so nice), washing sheets, worrying about whether he’s getting back with his ex or whether he’ll call or whether his mother will think you’re a whore.

I think I’ll take option A please, Larry.

And there is something delightfully refreshing about making women friends when you’re – ahem – of a certain age – don’t you think? There’s none of that bullshit competition that everyone pretends isn’t there when you’re 23. Is she prettier than me? Was he looking at her? Was she talking about me in the toilets? I’ll never have an arse like hers…

us at Kidspot... ten drinks into our bromance.

Us at Kidspot… 10 drinks into our bromance.

My latest ladylove experience has been to totally fall madly in love with my host here, the delightful Danielle Colley. I met her in Sydney at a Kidspot blogger bash, and although I already liked her cyberself a whole lot, we experienced a magical romance that night – fuelled largely by tequila and a very hot pantsuit.

But I think she’s amazing. As, clearly, do you because you’re here reading her blog even though she has let some shmo on here you’ve never heard of. And I think I’ll be her friend for a very long time – even though she does have a better arse than me.

If you made it to the bottom of this post, that means WE should be best friends too! Please come visit me at Champagne Cartel so we can hang out and I can talk about your arse.

the kind of delights you will discover with the Cartellians.

 

 

Navigating the grey zone, and pear and date muffins because cake.

29 Jul
Note : pears are missing because I already whizzed them in the food processor.

Note : pears are missing because I already whizzed them in the food processor.

My step mother came over for lunch on Sunday. Technically, she’s my Dad’s ex-wife but she’ll always be my step mum.

When D Man asked me who she was it was kind of hard for me to explain so we entered into the unchartered territory of ‘STEP…’.

The easiest way for me to explain was by relating it to us, and our family and it felt very alien and surreal.

“If Daddy was to marry someone else she would be your step-mum.”

It sounded matter of a fact enough coming out of my mouth, but it tasted like a dusty tumble weed rolling over my tongue, and yet a little monkey somewhere banged a drum that made me squint with one eye as my sphincter clenched.

But that’s what a step-mother is.

We’re all doing really well though, thanks for asking.

Finding a rhythm and slipping into a groove. The kids are fine mostly, nary a blip. Weekend visits are surprisingly easy, except for that one time…. the day I forgot Ratty.

The very first blog I ever wrote was about that Rat and his place in the family has probably heightened rather than lessened over the years.

Ratty has traveled more extensively than some adults I know and Boy and Rat have never spent a night apart….But in my rush to get out the door for a Daddy sleep over night Rat was left behind.

I could blame the 4 year old because technically I gave Ratty to him to carry to the car, but you really can’t trust a four year old to take responsibility for something so important.

D Man eating pear and date muffinBy the time we realised the smelly old Rat was left behind, I was on my way to dinner with friends. You see dropping your kids off is great in many ways, but a little bit quiet and lonely in others so I’m also finding my new groove.

That’s not at all bad.

I’m on my way to dinner when I get the call that Ratty was not in the bag and not in the car, and, and, and…..

No Rat.

It kind of broke the top off something I’d screwed down pretty tight. Tears blurred my vision as I drove through the dark, and I brushed them away as fast as they came worried about my mascara and arriving at dinner looking like a Zombie but then suddenly I couldn’t keep up with them, so I just let them roll. Bloody smelly old, bunk eyed rat.

But they weren’t really tears for the Rat.

But I guess we all know that.

pear and date muffinsAnyway, I’m keeping busy, like usual, so when we had a play date recently I thought I’d whip up a batch of something to offer the guests. We’ve also been rocking them for breakfast.

I had some squishy pears in the bowl and I thought I’d make some low sugar muffins sweetened with those bad boys.

This is so easy because you chuck it all into the food processor and you’re on your way. Sort of.

 Pear and Date Muffins

What you will need :

  • 2 over ripe pears, smooshed with a fork
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 50g butter, melted and cooled
  • 125 g dates, chopped
  • 50g walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 50g choc chips, or chopped dark chocolate (optional)

pear and date muffins

What you will need to do : 

Pre-heat over to 180C. LiPlace your muffin cases in your tray.

Core your pears and whack them into the food processor and whizz them up. Throw your flours, sugar and baking powder in and then add your milk, eggs and butter.

Take the bowl off the processor and stir in your dates, choc chips and walnuts, and spoon your mixture into the muffin cases.

Pop into the over for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

 

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

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Portrait 365 : 194 – 201

19 Jul

Don

Don

“I play Santa every year and one year a kid told me that they should sack every other Santa because I’m the only one with a real beard.”

Alex

Alex

 

“I packed my bags and traveled around the world for a year and a half. I came home with a broken foot after a paragliding accident in Columbia. I broke up with my guy and began jumping off cliffs to feel empowered; then there was an earthquake. It was time to come home.”

Kimberley

Kimberley

“I’m a child psychologist and I’m nearly finished my 7 year PhD in the transition from Year 6 to Year 7. It’s all about belonging.”

That never changes, I think.

L'il Bee

L’il Bee

Alex

Alex

“I met my wife in London and she fell pregnant within one month. Two weeks prior I had told a friend that i would never marry or have kids. We moved to Australia and got married. Two years later we had another child and I’m in love with all of them.”

 

Monique

Monique

“I’m so proud of my little 14 month old boy. I’m so proud that I created him. It’s the best.”

Amani

Amani

“You know, if you renew your library books online you won’t get a fine?”

Yep. Fined again.

Filippo

Filippo

“I used to be an engineer in the construction industry but it didn’t make me happy, so I became a photographer. I specialise in time lapse photography and I tell stories through pictures.”

You can check out Filippo’s amazing, mind-blowing, inspiring work here. He’s traveled to places I’ve only dreamed of and told stories that touched my viscera through images. Seriously, click his link. It’s like wow on steroids.

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