When Is A Wonton, Not A Wonton? When it’s A Dumpling.

I do not enjoy cooking. I love to eat (really love!!), but the preparing, cooking and presentation of food….not so much. This is something John simply can’t understand. He LOVES cooking, especially when there is great mess to be made. Apparently it tastes better the more pots/pans/dishes you use, and if there is something sticky and slippery on the floor after he’s prepared the meal, it must be a gastronomic delight!
So, it’s taken him quite a while to realize that lunch will not be a “meal” in our house. I can easily get through the middle of the day with a couple of extra coffees and some rice crackers and hommus. Yes I know, I know, then I wonder why I’m ready to eat a whole chocolate cake at 4.00 o’clock!

Because John is a nightshift worker, he’s around during the day and expects to be fed. I’ve made it quite clear that I will do breakfast and dinner, but lunch….sorry, you’re on your own. So, not being a great fan of the kitchen (don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to be just like Nigella. Her wardrobe is quite lovely, and all those appliances look like a bit of fun), I also jump at the offer of dinner out.

We went to our favourite Chinese restaurant the other night, certainly not local, but definitely authentic. Deciding to try some different dishes to our usuals, I liked the look of “BBQ pork in plum sauce with pineapple”. John tried to warn me that this sounded suspiciously like sweet & sour, but know-it-all me just had to give it a go. So, we all had a little bit of everything, except I just couldn’t stop myself from going to town on this new tangy delight. Sadly, his suspicions seemed to be pretty spot on, “sweet & sour is a great hiding place for older meat”. Yep, that drive home seemed to take forever, and I’m pretty sure I’ll listen to the great foodie from now on. I just won’t ever admit it to him.

School Camp Blues

leaving home 1 by faeristarlite
leaving home 1, a photo by faeristarlite on Flickr.

I’m feeling a bit fragile today, after sending Bell off on her first school camp. The “camp” is really just a one night sleepover at the school, complete with a day full of pool/waterslide/jumping castle activities, and a night of pizza, disco and not much sleeping, but it just feels like a big milestone. We’ve been having a countdown since the note came home last week, and she was beside herself last night as all the packing was done (how much stuff do 8-year-olds need for 24 hours?!!).

She also asked me not to volunteer as one of the sleepover parents, as she’s just started at this new school this year, and I feel that she’s wanting to show her independence a bit more. I’m obviously happy that she’s confident enough to not want me around all the time, but also just a tiny bit sad that she’s not my “baby” any more. So, it’s time for me to be a big girl, and just get on with it…..but I was secretly relieved when, as we were walking towards the classroom, all loaded with sleeping bag, pillow and about 25 changes of clothes, she slipped her little hand into mine and gave it a squeeze.

Once I was dismissed, along with the other parents who all wanted to stay for just one more minute, I headed to my favourite coffee shop on the beach. An hour there with a good latte, a fresh mag and the amazing view of the islands, and I was ready to get back into the home/work gig. John and I are even going to catch a movie this afternoon, seeing there’s no school pickup, but I’ll be wondering what they’re all up to, and how much fun they’re having.

It’s wonderful when you realize that you’ve done something right, seeing your kids head off on their own adventures, in a confident way. But, sometimes I do miss having the little person who relied on me for even the most simple things. I think I’d better prepare myself, there’s many more challenges she’ll tackle without me holding her hand, and I think I’m quite proud that she’ll be able to handle most of them pretty well.

We Have A Winner……Or 3

Well, this getting back to school business has taken all my time lately. New school and Miss B tells me she wants to live there, so I guess that’s a good sign.

Anyway, I’ve drawn the winner of the Zen Designs giveaway, and it’s Jane! So Jane, please email me at lisa@zendesigns.com.au with your postal details so I can get this parcel sent off to you.

Thank you to everyone who sent friends to the FB page. I was going to give away 1 mystery prize, but have decided to give them to both Jasmine and  Jodi-Lee…..thank you gorgeous girls! Please send me your postal details too.

Starting to get back to normal now, so this range can be finalized and up on the website. As much as I love working from home, sometimes the other stuff (life) really takes over and you have to be extra disciplined…..luckily I love my job.

Oh by the way, I’ve made a note of everyone who left a comment, and the next time you place a ZD order, you’ll receive a Boho Charm Wrap as an extra goodie.


I Married A Geek….Luckily

Geeks Are Sexy Magnet by KillTaupe
Geeks Are Sexy Magnet, a photo by KillTaupe on Flickr.

My parents loved John right from the start. Even though he was a spring chicken compared to me when we met (still is), had hair down to his waist (still does) and raced motorbikes (still trying to convince me he should get back into it). But, he was always very respectful and had a good job, so in their eyes he was a keeper.

I’m not proud to say that this was a first in the boyfriend department, as most of them were a bit light on goal setting/achieving. But this gorgeous boy was very different, and I think I knew right from the start that he was “the one”.

We started, as many relationships do, as friends, and just fell into the natural rhythm of spending all our time together. It certainly wasn’t an easy relationship from the start. Not only did most people think the age gap was a big deal, but also, because he’s Chinese and I’m not, his family didn’t think I was great prospective wife material. Luckily we had a lot of common interests, so didn’t really care what other people thought, and haven’t been apart since our first date, over 13 years ago. He was sent overseas for work twice in the last year, and I have to say Skype is a wondrous invention.

The in-laws did their best to believe I wasn’t sticking around, with the language barrier coming in very handy. I think they started to get a bit nervous when we bought our first house and really panicked when we announced we were pregnant. But when we got married 8 weeks before Bella was born, they finally faced the sad truth that the bloodline would no longer be pure. We had a registry office ceremony with close friends and family, then went to a restaurant to celebrate, and I can honestly say that I didn’t stop smiling the whole day. Yes, it was very hot (end of February in Queensland) and yes I was very big (all good from the back, but en elephant from the front), but it was the most gorgeous little “I Love You” day ever! We then had a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony performed by the in-laws, and the whole day felt so perfect.

So yes, we’ve been together forever in today’s terms, and I think the main reason is that he “gets me”. He knows that once I get an idea in my head, it’s easier just to go with it than give me the realities about why it may not work. I’ve had a go at quite a few different job ideas since we met, and he’s been supportive of every brilliant idea I’ve had…..then picked me up when most of them failed! I’m also very lucky that he knows his way around technology, something that I find totally terrifying. If it wasn’t for John, I wouldn’t have my website, custom built for Zen Designs, or a blog, or know how to send an email!! Yes really, I’m that computer-challenged. So, thanks to him I’m gradually being dragged into the 21st Century, just don’t ever ask me to send a fax.

I don’t really know if I believe that everyone has a soulmate, or if our destiny is written in the stars, but I definitely believe that I have met the person who I am meant to be with. Yes we fight, and have differing views on many things, but if we were always agreeing on everything life would be so boring, and I do like a challenge. For me the biggest support in starting a business of my own from home has been having a partner who knows when I’m genuinely struggling, and when to let me stumble a little bit. I’ve learnt to handle the problems, but also know that if it gets too heavy, I can yell for help.

Do you have a person in your life that supports your choice of job, and in what ways do they help you?

Today I’m Grateful

Hold my hand by Fivel-
Hold my hand, a photo by Fivel- on Flickr.

Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to a friend. She lost her battle with a foe that was just too strong, and even though she put up a mighty fight, now it’s time for her to move on to whatever comes after this life. She wasn’t ready to go, nor should she have been, in the prime of her life, but I guess that’s why we should live every day to the fullest.

I’m thinking about all I’m grateful for, and my list is just never ending. But, when it all comes down to the basics, I’m grateful that I can still hold hands. Sounds a bit strange, but I’m here, and that means that I can still physically hold the hands of people I love. I can hold hands with my daughter, husband, mum, sister, auntie, uncle……because I’m here, and for that I’m grateful.

It’s so very easy to get caught up with thoughts of what we don’t have…..today I’m grateful for what I do have.

Goodbye J, wherever you are will surely be a better place for your presence.


Linking up with maxabellaloves for 52 Weeks of Grateful.

Zen Designs Giveaway

Zen Designs (that’s me actually) is halfway through creating a new range and would love some feedback. For your chance to win a fabulous prize package valued at $200, simply leave a comment telling me what you would like to see in the new range. The prize is a collection of old favourites and some new goodies.

The lucky winner will receive: 1 Beaten Cross Necklace, 1 Turquoise Heart Bracelet, 1 Heart Wish Bracelet, 1 Boho Stack, 3 Because Bracelets, 1 Angel Wing Earrings and 1 Boho Charm Wrap. The winner of this prize will be chosen using Random.Org on Tuesday 31st January, and announced on this blog.

Make sure you spread the word, send new likers to the Home/Work/Mum Facebook page to be in the running for a mystery prize. The person who refers the most, will win a Zen Designs piece (or two), so make sure they tell me who sent them.

Conditions: 1 entry per person. Open to Australian residents only.

To see more of the Zen Designs range go to www.zendesigns.com.au

Good luck!

When Are You Getting A Real Job, Love?

My mum thinks I’m quite clever at making things, kind of like doing a craft class every day. But it’s just not a real job is it? No matter how many people actually pay for my wares, how many reviews are done on Zen Designs or how much positive feedback I get, she still doesn’t think it’s something that people do for work. It’s OK if you work for Tiffany & Co. or Michael Hill (similar no?), but doesn’t count if you made the company up yourself.

I’ve found that many homeworkers come across similar attitudes: unless you’re employed by someone else or work outside your home, it’s just a hobby. This can be particularly frustrating when you’ve just had a big win and the person you’re sharing your great news with is less than dazzled, because it’s just not a real job.

Because of this, I’ve found myself sharing my business news with some people more than others, then when something big happens the others almost fall over backwards, “Wow, that was out of the blue!!”.

Surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people is a big plus when you are quite often working solo most of the time, and it makes a huge difference to your own attitude to hear “you can do it” rather than “do you really think you should?”. Of course I don’t expect everyone to be encouraging about everything I do. Seriously, I wish I’d been discouraged about certain decisions on more than one occasion. But being positive when I share something that I’m obviously proud of? Yes please!

Do you come across many people who treat your chosen field as a hobby, and how do you best deal with this attitude?