July 2017Life Love and Hiccups: July 2017

Monday, 17 July 2017

Is The Internet Making Us (Me) Paranoid?

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Social Media and the Internet has A LOT to answer for.

Aside from all the insecurities that are born from comparing our bodies, homes, families and lives to those of all the others that we see on our phones and computer screens, there is also the added bonus of paranoia to contend with too.

Social media and blogging unleashes ALL kinds of uninvited ring-ins into my already overcrowded paranoid mind and I have to admit I am more than a little curious to know if you ever feel this way too?

Apparently, this overwhelm and paranoia we feel are both perfectly justifiable signs of the times that we live given that we spend so much time talking to each other online rather than in person.

Once upon a time, back in the olden days (kill me now cause I said it again), it was very black and white when it came to deciding if your paranoia was justified or not.

Case in point;

You approach a group of friends who are huddled up close with heads together, clearly discussing something or someone.

One of two things would typically happen....

1. They will pause for a moment whilst you join them, briefly give you the background and then dive back into the discussion.

Or...

2. They notice you approaching and immediately stop speaking and so you then oblige them with a response that includes an awkward laugh and an even more awkward comment along the lines of "ok girls, you can stop talking about me now". They in turn respond with something along the lines of an intense interest in the current state of their cuticles or they simply stare up at the sky and ponder the possibility of snow falling in Summer in your beachside suburb..

Case solved.

They were talking about me.

These days, things are much harder to figure out thanks to the subtle passive aggressiveness and vacant jibing that the internet enables.

In fact the internet is a breeding ground for judgement and paranoia, and there is no place more virile than Facebook and The Blogosphere.

So what the hell am I vagueing on about right now?

Hmmm, it kind of goes like this...

You read a cryptic status update that a friend writes on Facebook about how someone has pissed her off and you respond with an appropriate dose of empathy in the form of a comment on that post... but then your comment is met with silence.

Not a single word in response, not even a like to acknowledge your comment.

Nothing.

Nada..

And so (if you are me), you commence hyperventilating as you mentally recount your last ten conversations and interactions with this person to pinpoint exactly what it was that you did that caused her to be so mad at you.

Now don't expect reason to help you out here.

Nope, Reason doesn't even think of coming to the party and pointing out the fact she could be talking about any of the 1852 people she has engaged with in the past month.

Nah ah, there is no room for reason at this party because Paranoia has arrived people and Paranoia has started a big old paranoia orgy in your head and consequently you have already donned your own shackles and you are now far too busy writing your 98 page apology letter... for something you don't know even know what or if you have or haven't done.

But....Paranoia says you did so you must have right?

Gah!!!

Then there's that blog post a fellow blogger writes about blah blah and how she really dislikes it when people yaya yada, or how she thinks that people who yada yada make her feel blah blah...

You get the gist right?

Of course you do, because that post was written about you right?!

Oh wait, oh sweets... you mean you didn't know she was talking about you?

Bless, you mean you actually thought it could have been about any of the other eleventy billion faceless people she could have been referring too?

THAT my dear friend is the point that reason leaves the building and insecurity and paranoia claim squatters rights.

Now short of leaving a comment on that Cryptic Facebook status or opinion post asking the author if it is indeed you she was talking about and in the process of doing so risk making yourself look like a utter narcissistic looney... there is not much else you can do about it.

I guess you could spend the next few days in self imposed exile doing some deep and meaningful soul searching as you question the probability of it being you or not and whether you can you live with yourself it were indeed you she was talking about.

Or... you could attempt a modern day passive aggressive poke in the shoulder by writing your own cryptic Facebook / Twitter / Instagram update / blog post and leave everyone else wondering who you are really talking about too before you realise that you have now completely lost the plot and surrender yourself and your wounded ego to your local Social Media rapid detox and rehabilitation facility.

Then again, you could just get over yourself, turn off the computer for a while and go and get a life.

Who am I to judge?

Whatever works for you I say.

Do you ever overthink what you read online?
Ever felt like the internet and social media is making you slightly paranoid?





Friday, 14 July 2017

Dyson VERSUS The Kids and Their Dogs

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Brought to you by Dyson & Nuffnang

OK my fellow neat freaks… get ready to be enlightened.

We (we as in our family but let’s face it, we are really talking about me - the neat freak) were sent the new Dyson V8 cord-free vacuum cleaner to try out and with the camera aimed directly at us - we set about putting it to the test.



Impressive huh?

This beautiful machine is like the holy grail… in my humble inner Martha Mudgut’s opinion.

OK, so if you were to sit down with my mum for a chat over a cuppa and ask her if I was always such a neat freak - she would probably choke on her coffee and collapse from a laughing induced hernia because her answer would be a big fat resounding NO.

Nope, I wasn’t always quite so fastidious about keeping things neat, in fact I was probably one of the messiest teens that has ever walked this planet… but then something happened to change me.

At 19, I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend (who is now my hubby) and he was hands down the messiest person I had ever met. I’m talking lose yourself for days in his piles of laundry and dirty dishes kind of messy you guys and it did my head in.

Ironically, his messiness was the miraculous cure for my own untidiness and the beginning of a lifetime spent apologising to my mother for all the years of mess she endured with me.

It was also when Martha Mudguts was born.

Since most of our friends still lived at out home with their own parents, our humble beach side apartment became the go-to party house. Hey, I was always one who was up for a good time, so of course I was totally ok with our place being party central. In fact, I was very accommodating (if I do say so myself) when it came to our multiple house guests and bodies that slept off hangovers on our couch and living room floor, and as long as no one minded me putting coasters under their drinks and lifting their lifeless legs so that I could vacuum the morning after (or the night before if my desperate need for tidiness won).

Somehow I managed to convert the hubby along the way… my years of training eventually paid off and he found his own tidy streak… buried somewhere under all the laundry no doubt.

Aaaaaand then we had kids, three boys to be precise.

Three lovely, happy, dirty, messy, loud and adventurous little boys.

Not content with our boisterous trio, I then insisted on adding two dogs to the mix because clearly I am a sucker for punishment.

I know you are probably dying to know… has my insistent need for tidiness waned somewhat over the years… what with a house full of boys and dogs and all that?

Hell no!!!

In fact I would even go so far as to say that I am as fastidious as ever if not more, and further yet I am cunning in the way that I manage the mess and clever in the arsenal of tools I have at my disposal to fight my endless battle… and at the top of my list (ok, sharing pole position with my coffee machine) is my trusty Dyson Vacuum cleaner.

I have been a total Dyson convert since I bought my first one nearly 12 years ago. I still have that incredible machine and it is now used solely on the car after the kids used it in various role plays over the years.

Then I was introduced to the newest member of the Dyson family and I have pretty much now declared my undying devotion.







The Dyson V8 Absolute cord-free vacuum cleaner takes all the hassle out of keeping our house clean and tidy. As you saw in the video, it is ready to go any time I need it, really handy for cleaning up small messes as they happen. I also love the fact that it has no cords for this self declared Queen Klutz to trip over (or my merry party of mini klutzes for that matter) is absolute winner of a bonus!

At just 2.6kg, it is super lightweight and so easy to manoeuvre. The powerful suction generated by the Dyson digital motor V8 removes ALL the crumbs, dirt, dust and dog hair from our carpets, soft furnishings and tiled floors and the battery now lasts up to 40 minutes (compared to 20 minutes on the previous generations) which is plenty of time for me to whip around the entire house in a my ritualistic cleaning frenzy.

One of the best bits yet…even the kids love using it too. OK, so they probably like to pretend it is a super sucky light sabre or something, but hey…if they want to play and clean the floors at the same time, who the heck am I to argue??!!!

The Dyson V8 Absolute cord-free vacuum retails for RRP $899 and you can buy it here. It is quite possibly the best gift you could ever buy for yourself and your home.

Go on, you self-confessed house-proud clean freak - you know you want to.

I’m curious (because some of my friends think my once or twice a day vacuuming habit is bordering on obsessive - how often do you vacuum your place?


Monday, 10 July 2017

Totally Worth The Pool Of Drool

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Helllooooo and happy Monday lovely people!

It's been a looooong time between drool pools around here, but thanks to a stinker of a head cold that kept me in bed for a few days early last week, I had a chance to indulge in a little bit of Pinterest Porn.

Ahhhh... Is there anything quite like it?

Drooling over other people's perfectly staged homes and then mentally (& sometimes physically) rearranging your entire home to meet the needs of your new style crush?

I think not.

I say scrap the Lemsip and engage in a little swoon therapy instead.

I've been madly crushing over greens and teals for some time now... evidence of this is very clear to see in the teal coloured wall I insisted on painting in our home last year... I STILL love it.

Now if only someone would care to fix me up with a blush coloured velvet couch and maybe a couple of thousand buckeroos to spend on some new plants and accessories, then I think we could put this style crush to bed for a while.

One can always dream right?

In the meantime, here's a little snippet of what caught my eye during my recent Pin Pash!

What colour combos have you currently swooning?
Do you happen to have a blush velvet couch you would like a new home for? I know someone ;)

 Source: Norsu Interiors

Source: ApartmentF15



 Source: Arte Boheme

Source: Patina Studio


 Source: ApartmentF15

 Source: Sincerely Jules





Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Adventure We Could Have Done Without...

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Brought to you Bravecto & Nuffnang


Yes, she is the family dog, but oh man she is so much more than that too....

It was just your average run of the mill Saturday afternoon with nothing much more happening at home than just the usual comings and goings of the kids. Everyone was just doing their thing and the man of the house was happily tinkering away in the garage.

I had grand plans that involved a day on the couch snuggled up with my new fluffy pillow, maybe a leisurely dinner on the back deck, followed by some more snuggles on the couch in front of a movie that night.

I’m not sure exactly what time it was that I was woken from my nap by the sounds of distant sirens and the friendly neighbourhood pack howling in tune, but I distinctly remember waking with a sudden lust for adventure.

Hey… I was bored. I’d pretty much spent the entire day on the couch and yet the sun was out, the air wafting with the scent of freshly cut grass and snags ’n onions cooking away on BBQs, and the sound of kids happily playing out on the street.

Happy smells and happy sounds, and I wanted to get out there and be a part of it all.

I guess I didn’t really think to let anyone know that I was heading out for a while. I mean, they were all doing their own thing and probably wouldn’t notice I was gone anyway, and so with that in mind I wandered out the front of our house, onto the street and off I went.

I won’t lie… I was giddy with the sense of freedom, I had nowhere to be, no-one telling me what to do and no one pestering me to play with them. It was just me and the open road.

The whine of the sirens grew louder as I wandered across the park not far from home, but when they stopped suddenly, my curiosity got the better of me and I picked up my pace eager to see what all the racket was about.

I made a beeline for the corner where our quiet estate met with the busier road and I think I may have heard someone calling me in the distance but I was distracted by a car that was pulling over in front of me.

It must be Jayde and the kids… they’re the only ones I know who drive a white car like that and so I ran to the opening door to say “hi”.

That’s when things began to happen quickly and truth be told, I couldn’t tell you if I was scared at that moment or just simply startled by all the sudden activity. 




In a rush of noise and confusion I was jumped upon, two strong arms wrapping themselves tightly around my chest and pushing me into the back of the car.

“Quit struggling” a deep voice warned me as I looked around inside the car and realised that there was no Jayde or Iggy or Minty in that car.

Wait, no… this can’t be happening I thought in disbelief. I was just going for a walk… and my family are back at home… I have no idea where I am so how will they even know where to start looking for me?

In a panic I looked for a way out of the car… but the doors were shut and the windows wound up and as the car revved to life and pulled out onto the road I realised… there was no way to escape.

A woman sitting in the passenger seat turned around to look me up and down. I didn’t see her there before. Was she friendly? I looked between her and the driver whose eyes were looking ahead focused on the road, and I just couldn’t tell.

“What’s your name sweetheart?” the lady asked me with a gentle enough tone to tell me that she was trying to make me feel more relaxed, at least a little more relaxed than that dude with his manhandling had made me feel.

I stared at her for a moment or two in silence, trying to figure her out, before moving my gaze back to the window and the unfamiliarity of the streets we were driving along.

“Stupid woman, like I’m gonna tell you my name… pffft” I thought to myself.

My mind drifted back to the kids and my family. Did they even know I was gone? Would they think to come looking for me? How were they going to find me if I didn’t even know where these people were taking me.

It felt like forever that we drove in silence in that car, him watching me through the rear vision mirror and her stealing glances at me over her shoulder.

We took a sharp turn suddenly and I slammed my shoulder into the door as we pulled off the road and onto the gravel lined driveway of a house I had never seen before.

“Yoooowch, that hurt” I thought to myself as the car came to a halt, but I didn’t have much time to focus on the pain as they were both on the move and climbing out of the car.

This was my chance to escape. This is when I should run for it.

I decided in that moment that making as much noise as possible was probably a good thing to do… and so I did. Oh boy, did I make a racket, but as he reached into the back of the car to grab at me again I realised that there was no one around to hear me… no one except them and the youngish looking woman who was opening the door at the front of this strange building.

I squirmed as much as I could as he pulled me out of the car and I threw my head back in an attempt to break free, but his grip was far too tight to fight off.

He carried me as I continued my struggle and we followed that youngish woman in through the door, down a long corridor and into a dark room.

She switched on the light and what I saw before me was enough to cause an involuntary whimper to escape from my mouth…

It was a room with a range of various sized cages in it and it was very clear that they intended on putting me in one of them.

What kind of prank is this?

Who's playing tricks on me?

The cage door slammed shut and as I tried to fold myself into the confined space, my captors exited the room and shut the door behind them.

I was all alone, caged like a wild animal in a room in a house I had never seen before.

The enormity of it all gripped me and I cried out, howling like those neighbourhood dogs I had heard earlier today when I was safe on the couch at home… oh home.

I just want to be back at home with my family and away from this nightmare.

After Lord knows how long, I heard the sound of a car on gravel in the distance and then some muffled voices from another room.

Was there more of them coming?

What are they saying?

Do these new people arriving know that I am in here being held captive?

I need to make some noise and let them know I am in here, and so with every last ounce of effort I began to make noise… a LOT of noise.

Surely they can hear me?

The door opened abruptly and the woman from the front door walked towards the cage I was being held in.

She doesn’t look as strong as the one who manhandled me earlier. I’m pretty sure I can get past her…

As she unlocked the cage I lunged at full force, bolting past her and straight out that door. I paused for a second in the corridor to get my bearings and then I legged it toward the voices.

As I turned the corner into the big room I saw them…

My people.

MY HUMANS!

They had found me.

I barked with unbridled joy as I threw myself onto them, knocking my littlest human friend over in the process. I licked him to make sure he was OK and they hugged me hard in return. My mum was crying as she squeezed me tight and said thank you over and over again to the lady who had put me in that room.

That same lady reached out and scratched me behind my ear. 

Sheesh, that crazy human who had me locked in a cage only minutes ago and now, for crying out loud, she thinks we are friends?

Oh OK, if you insist… go on, scratch me some more before I get outta here and back to the safety of my couch.



Hells Bells, our beautiful Milly gave us quite the heart attack this particular day.

We have no idea how she managed to get out but those few hours that she was missing and we were searching for her… they were absolutely gut wrenching.

Yes, she is the family dog, but oh man she is so much more than that too. She’s our companion, our protector and our snuggle partner.

She is also our middle son Sammy’s best mate.

From the moment they first clapped eyes on each other - it was luuuuurve of the most wonderful kind. I mean, we ALL love this gregarious Groodle but her and Sam… well they have something very special going on.

She has been his constant companion as he has struggled through the years with anxiety. She has keep him company at night, protecting him from nightmares and the under the bed boogie man and monsters, all the while taking full advantage of the warm cosy bed and cuddles in return. She has been a constant for him and a lesson in the responsibilities and the rewards of caring for a pet.

A recent Aussie study of dog owners has clearly highlighted something that we already knew - kids and dogs are made for each other. The Dogs & Children survey commissioned by long-lasting paralysis tick and flea treatment Bravecto, reveals insights into the long-lasting effect of being a dog owner for not only children, but the whole household.

The lessons our little humans can learn from owning a pet are so wide and many, but ranked among the top responses were:



Sam would have been absolutely devastated had Milly not been picked up on this particular day by a lovely couple who spotted her wandering along the side of the road a couple of blocks away from our house. 

We ALL would have been devastated.

Fortunately for us, those fellow animal lovers recognised Milly as an adventurous but much-loved family pet that day (maybe thanks to the size of her generous girth) and they took her to a local vet clinic so that they could scan her microchip and let us know she was safe and sound.

We never got to thank those kind people who rescued her as they didn’t leave a contact number, and even though we spent that night of her return imaging all the details of her adventure, we will never really know what she got up to that day. We can only imagine.

Look, we can’t always protect our beloved pets from everything, especially the chaos they sometimes manage to create for themselves… but we can protect them from fleas and paralysis ticks thanks to Bravecto - a product that truly gets just how important our dogs are to us.

Bravecto delivers 3 months protection against fleas and paralysis ticks for dogs in one single tasty oral chew. In fact, it’s the only oral chew to offer this kind of protection. With Bravecto, you are free to focus on all the important things in life, and be confident knowing your pets are protected.

It’s available in 5 different kilogram packs depending on the weight of your dog. 



For more information on Bravecto and where to buy it please visit: Bravecto Here

Now… I’ve actually got a competition running over on Instagram where you can win a Bravecto prize pack for your favourite family pet.

All you need to do is head on over and share a pic of you or your child with your beloved fur baby and tell us about your special bond. FIVE people will win a years supply of Bravecto for their beloved Fur baby,  but don’t forget to use the hashtags #LLHBravecto #familydog and #winbravecto so we can see your entry.

Entries close 18/07/17 and full T&Cs can be viewed here


So tell me - do you have a beloved fur baby?

Did you have one growing up?

Did she/he ever head off on their own on an ‘adventure’?

To find out more about Bravecto, visit www.bravecto.com.au or join their awesome online community of passionate dog owners on Facebook BravectoAu and Instagram @BravectoAU