Curvy running and champagne…

  Jayne Mansfield fills her pool

Anyone who knows me, or follows this blog will not be surprised when I say I’m passionate. I mean about ever-y-thang! I am passionate about love, about sex (because…sex people!),I’m passionate about my family, my friends, food, wine, music, film, my work, writing, and even my dog. Of course this means I can be bloody fiery also, but let me tell you, from volcanoes, diamonds are forged.

I share this trait with many kick ass women so I’m in good company, right? Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Nigella Lawson, Beyoncé, Drew Barrymore and Christina Hendricks to name a few. I recently read an article about Iman and David Bowie’s love for one another and the life they shared before his death this year. She admits to being passionate and fiery also.

In an interview with Harpers Bizarre in 2010 she said, “David doesn’t fight. He is English, so he just stays quiet. I’m the screamer. Then he always makes me laugh. It’s like cabaret. I keep him entertained too.” Their’s was a gorgeous 26 year love story. Sigh and swoon.

The downside of being so passionate about food and wine of course is that I have become far more curvaceous in the last 12 months. I do love great food, and really – can you ever have too many bubbles?! My head says no, but my waist line says yes. ​ 

 I got booty, people… a rounded arse, hips and big boobs, and I embrace the curves. There’s just more of me to love right now. This year I’ve decided to get a little bit fitter, a little bit lighter and a little bit calmer. Though I quite like to power walk, exercise and I are not a great mesh. Maybe there’s a chance I could grow to love it…probably not, but I am wise enough to know I just have to suck it up princess and do it anyway.

So I’ve started following the C25K program (Couch to 5 km) , the premise bring that within 9 weeks you can go from the couch to running 5km. That concept just seems mind boggling and foreign to me. How the hell is someone like me going to run 5km? So this week I swapped the heels for runners, tucked my boobs into a sports bra and tentatively hit the pavement. Actually this is not my first run around the block with this app (pun completed intended). I did try it once before, but it didn’t gel. I’m ready to try again.  

 These feet belong to an actual runner…

I am inspired by other writer chicks like Carolyn and Gillian over at Champagne Cartel. (Champagne Giliian is now a proper runner like Carolyn and I was so excited for her and encouraged!), and Danielle from Keeping Up With the Holsbys.  These girls are real runners. I mean, my experience to date has involved running to a cocktail bar during happy hour! Even the Producer has been running. Perhaps running is the new black…

I’ve now completed two days of the program and my damn thighs hurt like a bitch! Wearing spiky patent heels today maybe wasn’t the most inspired idea. 

 My actual feet …

I ran. My face was as red as a beetroot and I was hot and sweaty, but I did it and survived. So who knows? Hilariously, as I was on the last legs of the workout, some young and hot uber fit running-guy jogged past me in the opposite direction. I tried valiantly to look super cool and hot, picking up the pace and swinging my arms…Oh yeah, running guy, I do this all the time…while my body was screaming profanities at me. Just stop running, you bitch! What are you doing?! He wasn’t fooled – I could tell by the weird arse look he gave me. As I got home I was beetroot red, huffing and puffing. Smokin’ hot and not in a good way, but I did it.  Maybe I’ll end up a runner.  

 Maybe this calls for champagne…

 

 

 

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The year of growth & learnings

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary…

– Oscar Wilde

  As I write this New Year’s eve post, (on my new Mac laptop like a bonafide writer – a gift from the Producer)  I am inclined, like everyone else writing today, to look back on the year that was, and what a bloody year 2015 has been. I’m looking back at photos I have taken on my trusty iPhone6 over the last year, a gadget I am rarely without that seems to be a photo journal of all things that pass in my life.

I’m a busy chick. Busy in the sense that as much as I don’t always acknowledge it, I have a thirst for adventure. Not big mind blowing adventures like constant travel to unexplored places, but adventures that involve interesting discoveries, be it in my own city, or elsewhere. I seem to do a lot of stuff. I adore conversation with awesome people, that often involve glasses filled with bubbles, white wine or the occasional cider in the Melbourne summer.

 I love good food and interesting new eateries, even though I seem this year to have eaten more crap than I ever have before. I have recently realised that I have grown a sugar addiction. I would like to say I did it as some sort of social experiment, but the truth is I just started eating crap I hadn’t before like lollies, salted caramel ice cream (damn you Aldi and your ridiculously priced siren like treats) and cake. This sudden prediliction for sugar was born from two places. A partner who thinks sugar is a primary food group sitting on the “eat most” section of the food pyramid, and a work place that is steeped in what I know call ‘cake-culture’.

I happen to work with a couple of women who are extraordinary professional cake makers who weave their magic as a part time occupation away from work. One in particular made my daughter’s magnificent 18th birthday cake, a two-tiered gothic inspired creation, draped in full black icing with lace decoupage and filled with salted caramel and lemon deliciousness. She brings her amazing creations to work often, and morsels of wickedness she calls ‘cake pops’.  

 The innocent name completely belies the gazillion kilojoules they each pack, and their irrisitableness. It’s like a sugar black magic. Yes, yes, I take full responsibility. 2015 was a year of sweet decadence. My hips (and my thighs, stomach, tuck shop arms and arse) are all screaming now for me to stop.

They yearn for the days of boring salads for lunch and dark rye bread filled with tuna fillings. The scales which I have avoided for years (I’ve always gone by how my clothes fit), screamed out to me. “Get on, get on,” I heard them whisper in agonising taunts from the bathroom. Eventually I did.

Holy Shit!! WTF?! Yes, I’ve gained a shit load of weight. It didn’t happen overnight but it did happen. Of course such things don’t happen in isolation either. If I’m honest, I have built armour. I have surrounded myself with own weight to keep things at bay. I have hibernated quite a bit this year in my own skin. I know it. It’s just difficult to admit these things.

So, what I have I seen and done this year – 2015? So many things!

I had Proud Mummy Moments

My daughter attended her Debutante Ball, and I have to say as a proud parent, she was stunning. (Yep, total gushiness). She wore a full white ball gown. As a feminist, I was quite surprised deb balls still existed but more surprised that my little self-confessed converse wearing geek-girl would want to be involved. She did, head first and with gusto and I found myself in a sea of ball gowns, satin gloves and white heels. She emerged like a Disney princess for her night of nights and was swept off with her friends in a limousine.

Later in the year she turned 18. Fuck me. I have to say my gorgeous one seems to me to still be so young, and yet here she was embarking on adulthood. The little Sagittarian has always shied away from fuss and standing in the lime light. This year she boldy decided to have a party, with both friends and family. In the end we threw a shin dig with 100 odd people, and I found the cash to give her one of the few parties she has ever wanted. The tiny dancer looked amazing in a strapless black jumpsuit and bright pink sky scraper heels, drinking sticky red alcoholic drinks. Suddenly standing before me she was sincerely 18. 

Mr 15 year old played his 50th game of AFL footy and the Producer and I had a banner made which he ran through as his team mates formed a guard of honour. The producer and my eldest son held the banner up. Goosebumps and tears might have been felt that day. The gorgeous ones are growing up. 

I saw cool things 

The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) – brilliant day shared with friend and fellow blogger, Carly Findlay.   

Re-visited William Ricketts Sanctuary – Dandenongs, Victoria – a beautiful way to spend a day among the ferns and carvings

Arthurs Seat State Park – Day trippin’ 

 David Bowie is Yours – Melbourne Winter Masterpieces at ACMI – Dream come true! 

 Masterpieces from the Hermitage: Catherine the Great Exhibition – NGV 

 

I finally made it to Tasmania

Tassie has always been on my bucket list and it seems absurd that I had travelled overseas but not been to Tasmania. The Producer and I flew into Launceston, hired a car and went road trippin’ to Hobart. We did lots of touristy things, stopping in small picturesque towns along the way.

Amongst the beauty of Tasmania was MONA – what an extraordinary place, where we got to see the Marina Abramovic ‘Private Archeology’ exhibition (swoon). This may be my favourite gallery ever. 

 We ate amazing seafood, discovered scollop pies (yum!) and visited Port Arthur, where I was able to pay homage to a friend’s brother, lost there.

I saw great films 

Mad Max: Fury Road – holy hell on wheels! This film blew my mind, even after seeing it twice. A powder keg of feminist strength against a backdrop of an apocolytic world, my heart was racing from beginning to end. George Miller returned triumphant and let us forget that Beyond Thunderdome ever happened.

Putuparri and the Rainmakers – brilliant Australian documentary that had me in tears. This was magical realism (only so real) at it’s best and so worth a watch. This follows the life of Aboriginal artists and people fighting for native title rights. 

The Martian – I was a little surprised by the humour in this one. Matt Damon is brilliant in his portrayal of an astronaut left on a desolate planet. Ridley Scott at his best.

Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens.  Okay, I am not a huge Star Wars fan but it had to be seen, and it knocked my socks off. JJ Abrams is genius in erasing all memory of the the last three films and bringing space adventure back to the big screen. My favourite Wookie returned.

Other stuff

I drank bubbles and espresso martinis at High Tea at the Sofitel with close friends on a girly day for my birthday. Nice! 

 I ate great food  at No. 8, Gazi, Hellenic Republic, Robbie Burns Hotel and Mo Vida (followed by kisses in an iconic graffitied laneways) this year. Some brilliant food was shared! 

 I attended two baby showers, two engagements (one with rainbow cake) and a stunning winery wedding this year. Another friend accepted a marriage proposal. Love was most definitely in the air. Ah, L’amore. 

I attended protest rallies in Melbourne. Two of them were anti racism rallies, as I just can’t abide bigotry and I saw first hand neo-nazi supporters standing arm in arm with Reclaim Australia fanatics. I want an inclusive Australia and I took a stand against racism. 

 

I also marched for Marriage Equality – something I feel passionate about. It’s a no brainer really. A peaceful rally through the streets of Melbourne with people from all walks of life. And lots of glitter! 

I just spent three nights in hospital for a horrid infection and haven’t been so sore or sick for a long time. I’m so happy to back at home. Being sick sucks. Big time. I started in one hospital and was transferred in an ambulance to another. Nurses rock. They really do. 

The New year ahead

I’ve learnt a lot about myself this year, about who I am and what is important to me. I’ve learnt what I need and want and that it’s okay to admit such things. I’ve learnt that I am strong, but I am also vulnerable. I have learnt a lot about love and loss. I’ve learnt that I value open affection. I value intimacy and sex as an expression of love in a relationship. I have learnt to value my dreams and to not make myself smaller or invisible to suit the dreams of others.

I’m walking into 2016 I hope with new perspective and renewed optimism. I am surrounded by a lot of love and support for which I am incredibly grateful. I’m hoping to stop eating so much damn cake and get fitter and healthier. I’m hoping to learn how to make more interesting salads.

I’m hoping to rediscover my passion for life and interesting discoveries. I’m hoping to walk to the beat of my own drum and listen to awesome music and walk along the beach. I’m looking at moving to a new location and I’m going to try and do so with as much strength as I can muster. With every new year there is opportunity for change, growth and of course, shared memories with those we value and love. 

 Here’s to the next instalments of my busy life…minus the cake. Happy New Year! May 2016 be brilliant for us all! 

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Weddings and the apocalypse

This week I’m so thrilled that the ever vibrant and hilarious Becky ‘Beckstar’ Paroz from The Words of Bek has popped on over to The Good Girl Confessional to share a tale from behind her very own picket fence. 

While some people might think planning a wedding is a bit of a nightmare, or that falling in love might be a tad scary, here’s one bride who took that very sentiment and ran with it! Enjoy this slightly spooky wedding tale! You can follow The Words of Bek here: http://planetbekstar.wix.com/the-words-of-bek  or follow on Facebook  here:https://facebook.com/planetbekstar

Thanks Bek for the wonderful guest post! 

Weddings and the apocalypse 

– Becky Paroz

  Some might say getting married is like the apocalypse. The day itself being the ultimate of doom-like consequences depending on how your family and friends get along. Especially when you just add alcohol!

So the smart bride of today might plan for such apocalyptic moment such as the mother-in-law wanting to pay for the cake, which then perhaps means she might wish to pick said cake, not at all according to your wishes. In these moments you do have to check in who is the one getting married, right?

The father might decide that as he is paying for it, he gets to pick the music and you have fear laden dreams, not of the Freddy Krueger type, but far worse! Johnny Cash singing “Folsom Prison Blues” as your first wedding dance, because, you know, dad humour!

How about the best friend that just wants to drink up and crack onto the groomsmen, despite them being all married to other people; that is a challenge worthy of your best friend who might miss the party girl you one were and is having a hard time accepting your domestic bliss, is it not? Except in real life, when it really isn’t.

These are truly horrific visions of what may become the ultimate apocalypse moment for you. I am pretty sure most brides-to-be have that panic inducing moment (moments!) where they have wondered “what if”?

Australia has some interesting rules about marriage, one of which is that celebrants cannot undertake an activity or promotion of a concept that would see them become a favourite in the market place, or give them a competitive edge. I am paraphrasing, but it is written into the legislation after I checked one day to find out why we don’t have more themed weddings in Australia. Too bad if we just want to make it a fun day, the celebrant can’t really join in.

What is a bride to do? How to avert the apocalypse and plan the themed wedding she has always dreamed of?

You could go to Vegas.

There are many themed wedding places in Vegas just waiting to make your wedding as Star Wars, Egyptian or as apocalyptic as possible, or as costly, as you like. How do I know? I did it. Let me flesh out my story for you….

I was already married having had a nice little garden get-together e few years earlier, when my dearest and I planned a trip to America. I had been asked to speak and do some book signing in Kentucky and so we added on an exploration afterwards. We ended the four week jaunt in the US at Las Vegas, to do some silly stuff before we headed home, back to reality. I said to my beloved that we should do as in all bad movies (and some good ones) and get married by Elvis while we were there. Not in a legal sense, but in a lets-be-crazy-and-do-something-really-random for memories and fun. You can do it legally if you have all your paperwork in order, just so you know!

He and I do not like Elvis, but for me it wasn’t the point, it was about having the ultimate cliché experience. My wonderful husband, without clearly thinking things through, said in response “Yuck! Elvis! Id rather get married as a zombie.” Oh Foolish mortal! He knows of my obsession with zombie movies and all things zombie-apocalypse-related as my secret dark side, and so therefore through this comment sought to demonstrate how little he cared for an Elvis wedding.

However, having been prepared for the apocalypse for many years now, I saw the opportunity and immediately responded with a “Challenge Accepted!”. And thus history was made.

The immediate benefit of this marriage ceremony is that unless your wedding guests come along too, they can’t actually be there on the day. The chapel we went to offered live video streaming, so all the members of your wedding party could have watched from afar on-line, unable to knock over any wedding cake!

They take video, photos, and offer other services like limousine pick up and drop off, flowers (fresh or fake) and make-up packages, depending on your budget.

Once I had found this place, and convinced my husband that he would in fact have fun during the apocalypse, also known as our second wedding; he came around, to the point he wore the make-up. I don’t mean a bit of eye-liner, I mean the full zombie face paint. I take the apocalypse very seriously and definitely wanted to look my best…erm… worst! 

  Our minister zombie was one cool dead dude, considering he was probably dead for a while before getting into this line of work, pretty chilled indeed. The decorating was pretty creepy, the lighting just spooky enough and the smoke machine worked overtime to provide us with a truly romantic atmosphere. After all, during the zombie apocalypse, you should take time out to be with the ones you love, especially if they might get bitten tomorrow.

We had a great time and some fantastic memories of laughing and enjoying ourselves. We did what we wanted; we had no other demands upon us to meet from family and friends, apart from their disappointment in not being there. However they can see the photos at any time. One day we might even watch the DVD. For now it lives in our memory. We laugh over it, we remember it with joy and it stands in our minds as a great day of celebration, doing something just for us.

And when you get right down to it;, that is all a wedding needs to achieve.  

Everything else can be left for the apocalypse.

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Catching feelings…

I’m hooked on a feeling…

High on believing, that you’re in love with me…

Hooked on a feeling – BJ Thomas

  
We’ve all been there, right?  After the giddiness of dating someone you think is sensational, and compatible, and hot as all hell, something starts to happen…Are you imagining this? The sweating, the heart palpitations, the drifting off at inopportune times…

One lovely friend recently coined the phrase “catching feelings” when it happened to her, and it can feel like dangerous territory when you arrive there quite I expectantly. 

Yes, you put yourself out there in the hope of finding the elusive “one” but deep down you weren’t completely convinced you would find them out there in the land of tinder (or what ever dating site is your chosen poison). But you did.  

Maybe he swiped first, maybe it was you but somehow you were “matched” and you ended up on a date. Perhaps it was coffee, or dinner, or a drink at a hip bar. Regardless, you found each other.

So one date leads to another and you find yourself waxing all your bits, and diligently wearing matching lingerie just in the case the mood should take you both. Then it does. It usually does when the chemistry is right. 

Hot, steamy gorgeous sex after anticipation and the next day he sends you text messages that make you beam and vice versa. So you’re off and running, high on ocitocin and the dawning of new hope and excitement. 

Then a few weeks, maybe 5 or 6, go by and it suddenly hits you. You’re not dating anyone else. Just this one. You’re also not wanting to see other people as this one makes your eyes glow and your heart skip a beat. It feels delicious and terrifying all at once. 

Oh shit. You’ve caught feelings. You’re into this person but you’re standing on the awkward cliff face of “do they or don’t they feel the same way?”

You convince yourself they must. Right? Right? I mean you’re seeing them all the time. They are sending you cute text messages which means they must be into you. They bought you flowers. You talk for hours on end about everything and nothing. You met a couple of their friends…but you’re not on each other’s Facebook and Instagram just yet. 

So my gorgeous friend did what many of us have done before. She stalked his Facebook account (you know you have!). She googled him, checked his LinkedIn. You start to look at their friends, photos, recent outings. Then you try to find the courage to have that conversation. 

You’ve had a great dinner, you’ve enjoyed amazing sex and as you lay in his arms you finally broach the subject of exclusivity. 

“I really like you.”

He’s smiling. “I like you too.”

You feel a little giddy.

“I’m thinking I’d like to see where this might go. You know, if you want to?”

You hold your breath but in the silence you already know. His body shifts slightly away from yours.

“Look, you’re great…I’m just not ready for a relationship.”

Ouch. Well, you might have been more honest on your dating profile then dude, you want to say. But you don’t. Instead you act like its no biggie. You wave your hand as a show of indifference. Like your heart didn’t just chip just a little bit. Like the hope you felt five minutes ago while he was between your thighs wasn’t just extinguished.  

You gather your thoughts and your clothing and you leave with your head held high and climb into your car, muttering under your breath that it’s his loss more than yours. 

Because you’re right. It is his loss and when the right one comes along you’ll be glad this guy didn’t catch feelings for you. In the end it would have been you breaking his heart. In the meantime enjoy the experience of dating Mr Right Now’s. They teach you many things grasshopper…like your heart is still capable of catching all the feels. 

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Not tonight honey – he’s got a headache

 
There seems to be a new dynamic happening. Many people are finding themselves sexless in the modern relationship, and more often than you might realise, it’s men turning it down, not women.

There is no secret that women reach their sexual peak in their 40’s. I for one have always been a sexual person but I’ve definitely noticed my desires have increased as I’ve gotten older. Maybe this was because I was divorced and forced to rediscover myself. Or, maybe as women get older we have a stronger sense of self? We are less self conscious when it comes to sex. 

When I started dating again, almost 5 years ago, I realised that compatibility with a partner can’t be underestimated if you are going to step into a relationship. Of course I mean emotional as well as sexual compatibility. 

For most women, intimacy is important, sexual and non sexual. Being held, touched, cuddled, spooned or even having your hand held speaks volumes about feeling loved, desired and wanted. There is no deeper connection for me personally than locking eyes with your partner while making love. Knowing they are fully present with you in that moment is a sign of true intimacy. Sharing the kind of intimacy you can only share with a lover. 

In that moment there is no outsider longing. Just two souls melded together, flesh on flesh. Sex is the most intimate thing you can share with another human being that you absolutely love. (Yes, of course you can have sex with anyone regardless of feelings -and great sex too – but love in my humble opinion takes things to another level). I personally feel so much more spiritually and emotionally connected to my partner when we are having regular sex. 

Our society teaches us that men are hungry for sex. They want it all the time, right? Sex fills up their thoughts and is an innate need driven by deep biological urges? So why then are more and more straight women complaining that they actually want sex more than their male partners? 

Given that we have been raised to believe the above hype, it’s easy for women to feel devastated when a partner rejects them sexually. A million thoughts go through your head. 

No one has ever knocked me back for sex before. Doesn’t he find me attractive? Does he think I’m overweight? Is he having an affair? Doesn’t he love me? 

I’m sure it’s the same feelings men experience when women withdraw intimacy. It’s hard not to feel rejected, undesirable and unwanted. 

Just last week I was speaking with a psychologist. Carol said that the majority of couples counselling sessions booked with her are partners who feel their libidos are incompatible. Her observation was that in the past few years it is increasingly women complaining that their male partners have pulled back in the bedroom. 

A “sexless relationship” is categorised generally by having sex 10 or less times a year. So how important is sexual intimacy in a relationship? According to this Dr. Phil article , “The belief that sex is not important is a dangerous and intimacy-eroding myth. Sex provides an important time-out from the pressures of our daily lives and allows us to experience a quality level of closeness, vulnerability and sharing with our partners.”

There are many reasons why men can withdraw sexually, some of which are listed here. 

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Medical reasons (including depression and prostate problems)
  • Use of antidepressants and alcohol
  • Watching excessive amounts of porn
  • High levels of masturbation
  • Sexual dysfunction (premature ejeculation, erectile dysfunction)
  • Boredom 
  • Hormonal issues
  • Not being attracted to a partner 
  • Having an undisclosed fetish
  • Having an affair
  • Fear of intimacy 

I’m not a counsellor and nor do I claim to be an expert.  I’m not suggesting that if your partner has suddenly turned cold on making whoopie that any of the above are the main issue, though they are all worth looking at. 

While men sometimes need to withdraw into their cave in order to restore some order and quiet their minds, the sudden withdrawing of affection and intimacy from a woman can cause confusion and feelings of inadequacy. Especially when they previously shared a healthy sex life. Women will analyse and over think every possible scenario for why this has happened. 

Of course “healthy” might be different for everyone. Some people are wanting sex once a day, once a week or a few times a month. Some just don’t desire sex at all. I generally find that having sex actually increasing your desire for more regular sex. That might not be true for everyone. 

Issues will always arise when one partner is withdrawing and the other person doesn’t have the answers. As long as both partners feel satisfied then there are less likely to be issues. 

So what can you do to get the sizzle back in the bedroom? Carol advised that firstly, you both have to be on the same page. There is a difference between desire and arousal. Just because you don’t “feel” like having sex doesn’t mean you can’t get turned on and change your mind. 

As woman, it’s okay to want and enjoy sex. We’re human too. (You get that I was slightly tongue in cheek then? Of course we like sex – it’s awesome). Sadly sometimes the issues may never be resolved. If he can’t or won’t acknowledge your needs and desires as being important in the relationship, and meet you half way, then you may need to give yourself permission to leave if lack of intimacy is a deal breaker for you. 

For some, sex or a lack of it is irrelevant. For others it’s vital. If you love one another it’s certainly worth exhausting all options before it gets to that. She suggested the following strategies may be helpful:

  • Talk about it. Open communication about sexual desires, fantasies and issues is important 
  • Don’t play the blame game. It’s not really helpful and creates a divide – work together to solve the issues 
  • If it’s a physical issue, always have a medical including a hormone check 
  • Decrease the frequency of masturbation to increase desire for partnered sex and watch less porn 
  • Schedule regular sex (this is based on the “fake it til you make it principal”). In busy lives, set a regular time for intimacy 
  • Make an effort to stay healthy for each other 
  • Deal with stress levels – yoga, meditation and exercise all help 
  • Try being intimate often outside of the bedroom so you feel connected (hug, kiss, text each other, be loving)
  • Spice things up – some sexy lingerie or introducing sex toys can be fun 
  • Be open to new things – oral sex, masturbate in front of your man, sexting ; touch each other intimately, watch porn together 
  • Mutual massage and touching can help 
  • Turn OFF the damn phone, laptop etc and focus on pleasuring one another 
  • See a couples counsellor if you are not sure where to start

I would also add that it’s important to reassure each other that you love one another. Kiss for 20 seconds every time you see each other (it’s quite an incredible thing to do). 

Remember that while sex isn’t everything, it’s very important and you  have a much bigger chance of sorting out the issues if you are working as a team. This is something you can’t fix on your own. 

Have you even been in a sexless relationship or one lacking in intimacy? Do you have any helpful tips? 

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The parenting gig – not all steps lead to the front door

  As Father’s Day in Australia approaches this weekend, I was thinking about parenthood (yay, my kids will rejoice) and more importantly what defines us as parents. 

Obviously that’s different for everyone, every parent and every family. I adored my Daddy-o, a hugging, intelligent, take no nonsense, loving parent. In a not so idyllic childhood, I’m grateful he was my dad. 
He wasn’t my biological father. He was my step dad though in our family there was a saying that the only steps in our house were those that led to the front door. He was simply, my dad. I miss him. He was a parent by every definition. 

What defines us as parents is not about DNA. It’s about love. Creating life is a biological feat carried out by many people who sadly don’t make good parents. Of course most parents do a stellar job of raising their kids. 

I have friends and family who have gone through IVF and the emotional journey of that to help them conceive and their joy is beautiful. I know people who have adopted their children and their love for, and commitment to their kids is every bit as powerful as the love and commitment I show mine. 

I have adult people in my life who were adopted in their infancy and have been raised by nurturing, caring parents. Their love for their parents, or the family challenges they experienced weren’t radically different from those raised by biological parents. Let’s face it, all families have disfunctionality, it’s just a matter of degree. 

I know many people with healthy kids, but also those who have beautiful munchkins with ongoing health issues or disabilities and friends who have gorgeous ones with autism. Being a parent sometimes means things don’t always go to the plan we envisaged. You learn to be highly adaptive. 
I have a friend raising her grandchildren because the parents simply can’t. 

I had three miscarriages. I have three biological children, and my heart stopped during my first labour, so he was delivered by c-section (as were the other two after that). I also helped to raise my son’s best friend. I would never presume to take the place of his mum who lost her fight to cancer, but I was absolutely his parent. I love him. It has nothing to do with DNA. 

Being called a parent is a gift regardless of how we came to hold the moniker. 

I love being a parent, even though it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. 

It’s hard work, dedication, sleepless nights, shitty nappies and being vomited on. It’s sitting through endless Disney flicks and knowing every word to the Wiggles. It’s picking up teenagers late from parties when your 46 year old self would rather be asleep. It’s shelling out endless sums of money on food, education, clothing, make up, video games…it’s endless hours playing taxi or countless days at sporting events, school plays, dance ensembles, or band practice. It’s taking temperatures, rushing to doctor, dentist and specialist appointments, or attending parent-teacher interviews. It’s about piles and piles of washing. 

It’s nursing broken hearts, drying tears, laughing and being crazy proud at their achievements – from first steps, to talking, to starting school, to formals and learner’s permits. It’s holding their hair back after a first drinking bout (and serving them up greasy eggs and bacon the next day with a hint of glee); its boundaries and discipline, life lessons and letting go of the reins. It’s tears and tantrums mixed with joy and laughter. Did I mention piles of washing? 

I’ve watched the relationship between the Producer and the gorgeous ones grow quite organically. It’s been a fast evolution. Children, regardless of how they came to be ours, are like little aliens, entangling their little talons around your heart in such a magical fashion that you didn’t see it coming. 

My man, who had never lived with kids before, now shares a home with two teenagers, and is close to my eldest son also. I get that I’m lucky. Not every blended family is like the Brady bunch, and most of us sure don’t have a stay at home mum as well as a full time live in Nanny! Like that ever happens. Pft. Not all partners of parents are involved or interested in the children either. It’s a sad loss I think.   

 The Producer has picked the kids up late at night, he has taken trains with them to show them the route, he has slipped them canteen money, encouraged them and comforted them. He has attended endless footy matches for Mr 15 and proudly held the banner for him as he ran through on his 50th game. 

He has watched school plays, taken them to comicon, loads of movies, listened to their music and their ideas, danced with miss 17 at her debutante ball, helped with homework, given dating advice, and most importantly, embraces them for exactly who they are. They have confided in him which is testiment to that. He is engaged in their lives, and has opened his life to them, allowing them to be part of his family and to meet his friends. He has told some pretty full on dad jokes too. 

The Producer’s young niece once told my kids that she never wanted a step parent because they’re all mean, like in fairytales. Miss 17 responded that not all step parents are like that. “Look at the Producer,” she said, “he’s my step dad and he’s kind and funny, and he loves us.”

Yes. My heart did jump a little in my chest. 
So on Father’s Day, I think of my own amazing dad and what a gift it was that he was a parent to me. I’m grateful that the Producer and my kids love each other. The gorgeous ones adore him. 

My kids call the Producer by his first name which is cool (because it’s his name)  but they refer to him as their step dad when talking to others (not “mum’s boyfriend”), and have done so of their own choosing.

I take my hat off to all parents this weekend. The single ones, the partnered ones, the adoptive ones, the blended ones, the gay and straight ones. It’s a damn parent fest. While you contemplate the love, I’m off to do the washing. 

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5 ingredients you need to make a relationship work

  
Lets get real here. Relationships are hard work, especially as you get into your 40’s and beyond. Having a relationship at this age is a choice. It’s not all about biological urges. My kids are growing up, I have a lot more spare time and I’m far more discerning about who I share that space with. 

We all want easy, but anything worthwhile requires dedication, patience and yes, a bit of hard grunt. 

Relationships need to be nurtured and tended to like a living, breathing life force. 

As most grown ups know, love alone is not enough. Here are some basic fundamentals, beyond love, that a relationship needs to survive. 

1. Intimacy 

Both emotional and physical intimacy are paramount to the success of a relationship. Emotional intimacy requires vulnerability from both people. Sharing your feelings, issues, hopes and dreams with each other is important to building a foundation of trust. 

Physical intimacy should never be underestimated. Holding hands, cuddling, touching, kissing and sex are so important. If you have no physical connection, are you lovers or friends? Hugs and kisses build connection while sex is the most intimate physical experience you may share with another human being. 

Because I’m an affectionate person, a soulful heartfelt, lingering kiss speaks as much to me as a hundred words. (So imagine what hot steamy sex means to me!). 

 That will be different for everyone but understand what your partner needs too. 

It’s important that you both feel your emotional and phyiscal needs and desires are being met. 

2. Communication 

You need to talk to each other people! Communicating with each other – always and often – is important and it needs to be a two way street. It involves talking and listening. It’s important to discuss and talk through issues. That’s how things get sorted out. Silence can be a relationship killer. Show compassion and empathy to your partner. Try to be understanding. 

Talk about your day, what music you’re listening to, a movie you’d like to see, or current affairs. Talk about your dreams. Tell each other why you’re into each other and go do often. Seriously! 

Laugh with each other and laugh at yourself. The art of conversation doesn’t require you to be serious all the time. Laughing together is good for the soul and creates connection. It releases endorphins too. 

3. Quality Time

Your partner should be priority. We all know life is busy. You work, they work, and you might be juggling other things – kids, work out regimes, household chores, hobbies, time with friends and family. Which are all important, but your partner needs to be a priority as do you.  

If your relationship is going to last, make quality time with your partner a priority. Schedule regular uninterrupted time together. Put down your phone, lap top, iPad, book and Netflix and actually connect. Go on date nights! Give a woman some uninterrupted quality time where she is your focus and watch what you get back in return! 

Do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t value time with you?  Make time because it won’t magically appear. 

4. Respect & Appreciation 

While these things seem obvious, they are often easy to forget. You need to respect yourself, of course, and your partner. If your partner is sharing their thoughts, views or opinions then  listen. You may not always agree but someone’s feelings are very real to them. 

Saying please and thank you take so little effort and costs you nothing. If your partner does something for you, a bit of appreciation goes a long way. Tell them you appreciate them but show them too. Acts of service shouldn’t feel like a chore for someone you love nor do they have to be elaborate. Do nice things for a lover actually brings you feelings of happiness. That’s always a good thing. 

Compliment your partner genuinely. Remind them why you love them, and like them. 

We can all be guilty of being selfish from time to time but check yourself. Are you being self absorbed? Are you reaching out to the person you love? 

5. Align words with Actions

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear your words.”

This is really important to most women, but also to men. It’s easy to say you love someone but your actions need to back that up. If you tell a woman you want her, back it up by consistently showing affection. 

Show your partner they are cared for and appreciated on a daily basis. Little things count. Write a note and leave it for them. Cook their favourite dish. Hug them for no reason. Kiss the back of her neck and tell her she looks smoking.  Show them they are a priority by making time to hang out. Listen when they talk. Offer to help one another with the boring stuff. Be kind to one another. 

 

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Hope springs eternal – romance really does exist, and so it should

When you are single and dating, and meeting a plethora of people that, quite frankly, make you all but give up on humanity, it’s easy at times to believe that the ideal person for you may not exist. I speak to so many  women – all amazing in their own way – who believe that love and romance are only the stuff of fairy tales or Hollywood rom-coms. (I admit at times my life has resembled Bridget Jones’s Diary… and He’s just not that into you…but whose life hasn’t? ).

 Every now and then however, we are reminded that these things are not the stuff of folk lore and that true love can come knocking when you least expect. 

I have a beautiful friend that I’ve known from childhood – beautiful in mind, body and spirit – who like many of us on the other side of 40 has had her shares of romantic ups and downs. An 18 year marriage that ended after an affair (him, not her) left such an indelible mark. How can such a thing not? 

She, like most of us finding ourselves suddenly single, eventually started dating. It’s hard to risk your heart but if you don’t take chances, how will you ever know love?

Fast forward beyond loves lived and list, to now. She ended a relationship with someone who simply couldn’t support her through a very life changing and traumatic time. All the energy she could muster was needed to nurture her own soul whilst she was grieving. 

I’m a huge believer in fate. Only weeks after finding the strength to end a relationship that was deminishing her, someone contacted her via Facebook when her face kept cropping up under “people you might know”. (Awhile ago I wrote in a post that I didn’t know any couples that met via FB though I strongly suspected people were hooking up on FB…Now I stand corrected). 

So what started as a random invitation to dinner quickly evolved into a lovely, mutual, nurturing  relationship. They enjoy spending time together, they talk at length about anything and everything. Seriously – they talk for hours. They laugh. All the time. He’s interested in all aspects of her life and vice versa. 

If though you were in any doubt that good men are out there or that romance exists, he did this. He called her up and said “pack an overnight bag honey for the weekend. I’m taking you somewhere”. 

As we sipped Expresso martinis, she explained that she had not one clue as to what was happening but she had excitedly packed her bag.  He picked her up (and has a latte waiting in the car. It’s the little things that let us know they care) and took her to a five star hotel in Melbourne. Arriving before check in time, he had already booked her a full body massage and treatment in the day spa. (Oh my god! That in itself would have been incredible!). When she emerged from this glorious feast of indulgence, her skin tingling, he took her to lunch where they ate seafood and drank champagne. 

 After they checked in (I hope they had wild sex right then and there but totally forgot to ask that!), they got ready for a night out. She had no idea where they were going.  He took her to a Cabernet show where they drank and ate, laughed and kissed. Sigh and swoon. It’s the amount of thought and effort that went into this weekend away that is so touching. She didn’t have to think of anything beyond packing that bag. He wanted to spoil her and show her how amazing he feels she is. 

This beautiful woman deserves so much love and romance, kindness and care, and in he walked. Straight into her life at a time when she certainly wasn’t expecting it. Or looking for it. It’s all just clicked into place. It’s easy. She’s falling in love and feels safe that His heart is on the same page and they value each other. She’s in no hurry and not stressing about the future, because she feels safe that there is one. It just feels right. 

 I have another friend whom I adore that recently fell in love with someone she actually wasn’t sure initially was the one. They both were guarding their hearts when they met. Interestingly both were from similar traditional and conservative European backgrounds. 

She wasn’t sure he was her type. He wasn’t sure she’d be open to the idea of starting a family. She was outgoing, spiritual and larger than life. He was far more conservative and quiet. Still, the dates went from one to the next. Then it happened. This gorgeous diva of a woman went to a party with him, where she met many of his adoring friends, and he did something quite unexpected. 

This quiet Greek man walked onto the dance floor and damn! It turns out he could bust a move. For her it was the light bulb moment. Not because he could dance but because she saw in him a zest for life, a sense of his own self, and the ability to just let go and have fun.  

They haven’t looked back. Four months later they are now planning to move in together. They have met each other’s traditional Greek parents and she blushes when she speaks of him. It’s beautiful. Though divorced and single for some time, she sees a future with this lovely man. She sees the possibility of marriage and a family. He tells her he sees the same future.   He cooks for her and she cleans for him. They buy each other presents. They are both thoughtful and considerate. They surprise one another. It’s easy and beautiful. She has let down her guard and let him in. They have both fully embraced the possibilities of a life shared together. They banter about a big fat Greek wedding and  a honeymoon in The mother country.  

They make each other laugh. They’ve embraced each other friends and family. He consistently sends her adoring text messages throughout the day, and she him. They talk on the phone. They are affectionate with each other, alone and in public. 

 It’s all the small things that won her over. He listens, and asks questions about her day.  He spends time with her niece and nephew who mean the world to her. He makes her breakfast or runs a bath after a long day.  He looks lovingly into her eyes when they make love and connects with her both emotionally and physically which has allowed her to feel secure where before she would have run.   It has, she says, all just felt so easy. So right. She hadn’t felt that with anyone else. He treats her like a goddess and in return, she treats him like a king.  They both feel safe in the knowledge that they will catch each other should the other fall. 

My heart is warmed by these amazing and recent examples of love and romance. It’s easy to be cynical sometimes in life, especially when writing about tales of on line dating disasters in a world of crazy technology where human interaction seems secondary. 

Romance is for a lot of women about feeling valued, understood and cared about. Though some women say they don’t care about romance, I don’t know any that are impervious to it. We all like to feel appreciated, thought about and worthy of someone else’s time and consideration (this goes for guys too!). 

Inherently a lot of women are givers or nurturers. So when someone we love steps outside of the ordinary to surprise, or instigate a moment of romance, it’s a beautiful thing. 

It’s not always grand gestures. It could be as simple as buying her a latte and the paper on a cold morning or cleaning the house or changing the sheets when she’s been working her arse off. It could be cooking dinner and pouring her a glass of wine. Telling her you appreciate the things she does. Telling her that you think she’s hot when she wears this, or that. Light some candles – give her a massage, or a foot rub.    Sure it could also be buying her a gift “just because” rather than a special occasion. Knowing what perfume she wears, or what her favourite flowers are says you care about her. 

Surprising her with tickets to a theatre show or gold class tickets or a hotel suite when she least expects it. It could be taking he away for a weekend which tells her you value time with her, that you want to laugh and talk with her, and get naked with her. 

It could be a surprise dinner which ends with salacious kisses in laneways. 

I’m a romantic. I admit it. I, for example,  for Valentine’s Day spent many days writing little notes about what I loved about the producer. I wrote them on pink post-it notes which I then arranged on our bathroom mirror in the shape of a heart. Each day he read one or two and took them down. I wrote so many that it look some time but every day he was reminded of what I valued about him, loved about him and what I thought was special about him.  We are all deserving of love and a little bit of romance. It’s good for the soul and fills the heart. Life is short as it sadly is all too eager to show us. Romancing the person you love requires some thought and effort but not too much. It’s really just saying “in this moment it’s all about you”. 

Sometimes when you least expect it, true romance and love may just find you as it has my beautiful friends. 

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Sexting. Putting the sizzle into smart phones 

  Note: Hi! I originally posted this blog post last year and in light of media conversations in the past few weeks I’m re-posting. Sunrise, a morning TV program, ran a story about naked images of women being lifted from the Internet and used against these women as “revenge porn”. Sunrise in their wisdom decided to victim shame by asking when will women learn to not put up naked shots of themselves, instead of shaming those that had violated all trust by using those images to harm others. My belief is that as an adult you have the right to send images to someone you trust. Any violation of that trust is not your fault but that of the person who would seek to harm you by using those images in any way other than what you intended. Using those images against women (or men) is abuse. It’s is a violation. Sunrise has apologised for any offence caused but the deeper issue is that women continued to be shamed for abuse against them rather than shaming those who seek to abuse. On another note, the Producer sadly hasn’t had a Friday off in quite some time. Thanks for dropping by and enjoy the read! 

To sext or not to sext? Now, that’s a hell of a question that Shakespeare of course never had to ponder. Though I strongly suspect had sexting been around in the day of the Bard he’d have waxed lyrical about it! Sexting is of course an obvious amalgamation of the words sex and texting. It is the term for texting naked or semi naked photographs of yourself, and or sexy messages if you feel so inclined.

The lovely Producer has been having Friday afternoons off of late and has gotten into the very cheeky habit of sending me what I like to call Friday Pin-Up shots. This is to say that while I’m going about my busy day and working up a storm, he will text me some very yummy photos of himself in various states of undress.

Far be it for me to complain, but although this has been going on for some weeks, I’m still always a little surprised (and delighted) to receive them! Of course you can bet that I am madly trying to meet a deadline or I’m in a meeting with others when this occurs on a Friday afternoon. I’m more than sure I have blushed on many occasions. I have taken to being more careful when opening the cover on my iPhone for obvious reasons!

Given that we are in a relationship and there is trust, it’s lots of fun and yes, just a little bit kinky. Sexting me is his thing. He really does give good…ahem…pictures!
I’m not inclined to send naked pictures of myself to him although I have sent one of two since I’ve met the Producer. Once I sent what I hoped was a more artistically angled picture of myself wearing lingerie…it was some time ago and it was his birthday after all. Since that was prior to us calling this love affair a relationship, I was mindful not to show my face and it left enough to the imagination to protect my modesty. Cheeky? Yes. 

Given that he texts me lots of other messages during the week that are not related to sex, I have to say that receiving a surprise naked pic of my favourite person does tend to get me hot under the collar. It’s playful and reminds me in no uncertain terms that he is thinking of me…and he’s thinking about sex with me! Nice! There is something about seeing him and not being able to touch him that is very delicious.

He will sometimes go one step further and actually call me afterwards and heavily breathe sweet nothings in my ear. How is a good girl supposed to get any bloody work done after that?! I think it’s the thrill of knowing I am in an office, often surrounded by people where I’m unable to answer back which is the thrill for him.

Sexting though isn’t for everyone and I totally understand why. I honestly wouldn’t recommend sending naked selfies to just anyone and certainly be careful doing so to someone you don’t know particularly well. Let’s face it, the internet is an expansive universe where any of your pics could end up! Naked happy snaps in the hands of a jilted lover might be cause some squeamishness also!

I have a lot of friends who have sent selfies to their partners either draped in lingerie or butt naked. Good for them! One friend emphatically told me that she took at least two dozen shots of herself once just so she could get the most flattering shot to send to her lover! Another friend told me once she would take pictures of her breasts for her man, but not her genitalia, so everyone is different! Whatever makes you comfortable I say!

While I’m not suggesting everyone rush out and start snapping naked selfies to send to your lover, I think it’s a fun way to spice things up – especially if your partner isn’t expecting it! Obviously be very careful sending naked selfies to people you barely know. A lot of people would rightly think that was creepy! If it’s between consenting adults, then it’s okay! If you’re not sure how the other person would react, don’t send anything!

Let’s face it, in the world of cyber space, the only true way to protect yourself is to not share anything, but what a boring world that would be! So if you’re feeling a little Friday friskiness coming on and you’re planning to send your lover some hot and sultry pics, here are a few simple suggestions for keeping yourself safer! 
1. Always check the number you are sexting! You would so hate to accidentally send that naked pic to your boss instead of your lover! Ouch! Once you hit send, it’s almost impossible to get back!

 
2. Don’t drunk-sext! Much like texting, don’t send images of yourself when drunk! It may end up in the wrong hands or you may share more than you intended! (I once worked with a chick that sent a naked selfie to her mum instead of her boyfriend! True story…
  
3. Don’t include your face in the pictures (unless it’s a trusted partner). Cropping out your face entirely would be smarter (there are some tech savvy peeps out there that can reverse blurring of images! Who knew?). This is a little trickier of course if you have tattoos or an obvious birthmark, so keep that in mind! Plausible denial is the best way to go otherwise (Umm, no – I wish they were my boobs!)…
  
4. Got kids or housemates and you’re worried about your naked pics being discovered on your phone? You can actually get “Vault” apps for both Android and iOS…who knew! You can use my good friend Google to find an app that allows pictures to be hidden by a password! Or if you’re really concerned about privacy, enjoy them then delete them! Obviously it goes without saying those pics were sent by you or received by you. Don’t share!  

5. Have fun! Never send more than you’re comfortable with and keep it light and flirty!

   
What’s your view on sexting? Have you done it or are you thinking about it? I can’t wait to hear! Have a great week end!

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Lingerie and Lipgloss – the cost of being a woman 

 A girl should be two things – classy and fabulous.
– Coco Chanel

  Now I know this very much a first world problem but I have really started lately to take stock of the high cost of being a chick, both in terms of time and money. Being a woman in western society is likely to be draining your funds, as well as making a huge impact on your calendar entries.

While I am most definitely a feminine chick, I don’t consider myself to be really high maintenance. I see some women (whom I look upon with great fascination) who are really well put together with  immaculately coiffed hair every day, their faces painted to perfection like intricate china dolls. Their finger and toe nails are always glossy and their eyebrows are expertly shaped. Some women, it seems, just have a knack for this sort of thing.

For those of us not so blessed with the time, money or the inclination, it is still quite an expensive exercise being a chick! It’s no secret that there is a massive industry dedicated to the insecurities and vanities of women!
I have a precarious relationship with waters.  They of course rips out my hair, leaving my bits all smooth, and in return I pay her for the privilege of that painful exercise. I am a little blessed to be quite fair, and not particularly hairy. I tend to get my waxer to look after my eyebrows, top lip and my pubic hair. 

Interestingly, waters will tell you that the more you wax your pubic area, the less it hurts to do so. Hmmm, well I am yet to see any evidence of it because believe me, it bloody hurts!

The entire time also, while they are bringing tears to my eyes, they will be chatting away about kids or week-end plans, apparently completely oblivious that my legs are all askew and they are staring at my vagina.

Of course everyone is different and of course the cost of waxing will alter accordingly. For example, there are various versions of the bikini wax. You can have the sides taken off (traditional bikini) or you can have a bikini and undercarriage removed (generally called a Bikini & G-string wax) or you can have a Brazilian (often called a XXX wax) where all hair is removed, front, sides and back. Of course the more you take off, the more it costs. Just to have a smooth vagina you could pay anything from $45 to $80, depending on your waxer. 

To have a full Brazilian you are also looking at 30 – 45 minutes of your precious time and you can expect to have your legs all over the place and in ways that might even make your lover blush (again that would depend on your lover). Of course what I struggle with is letting it all grow out enough to actually be able to wax again – I really don’t like stubble, so I am often prone to being naughty and impatient – I will break out the razor!
I happen to shave my legs, and my underarms (much to the annoyance of my waxer), mainly because I don’t have a lot of hair to contend with and it’s easy to maintain in the shower – but most of my friends wax their legs and their underarms. I also have friends who are from Indian, Middle Eastern and European descent (my daughter has also inherited her father’s European genes), and they of course have darker hair, which tends to be courser. Waxing is much more effective than shaving or hair removal creams.

My lovely friend, the Grecian was just lamenting over coffee the other night that being a Greek chic was sometimes a pain in terms of how much time is spending getting rid of unwanted hair. I have a gorgeous friend, Of Indian descent who waxes just about all of her being – full leg, bikini, stomach, arms, under arms. The price of such smoothness? $120 – $140 every visit to the waxer (that’s not including her eyebrows!). She is a naturally dark and exotic beauty but she swears it takes a lot of upkeep. Bare in mind the time it takes and the pain involved with all of that too! Ouch!

So why do we put ourselves through the endless and sometimes painful regime of plucking, waxing and shaving? Possibly because it is more socially acceptable for chicks to be hairless and smooth, but also because most men like it. As I have chatted about previously in my post “Love me, love my vagina”, there are men of course who prefer their women to have a bit of hair.
One friend who had been taking it all off for years was quite shocked when she started dating a guy who had a preference for pubic hair and was relieved when she grew it back. Everyone has a different preference and no one should need to justify how they prefer their pink bits to be!

Let’s talk about the expense for a chick going to the hairdresser! I certainly don’t go to the hairdresser as often as I should, because I am hard pressed to find the four hours to just sit still in a salon chair. Choosing to be a red-head is hard work, between regrowth and colour fade!  In between colours I tend to either get a tint, or I apply a colour mouse (which I buy from my hairdresser) to bring back the colour a little. 

It’s expensive to go to a salon these days. I have friends who pay anything from $120 to $300 for a cut and colour, depending on how many colours and treatments are used – and the type of cut and/or blow wave or style. 

 That is a huge chunk of time and money spent in a salon chair reading trashy mags. Though there is nothing like that feel of freshly cut and coloured hair.

You can of course colour your own hair – and I’ve done so in the past. I have friends that religiously touch up their own hair. Packet colours will actually save you a bundle of money and a lot of time, costing as little as $20. Half an hour and you’re done. When you get an age where greys start to tear their head, this is a great savings! 

If you have your hair professionally chemically straightened (there are treatments now to do just that), you might be paying up to $400! Oh, and there are a lot of women paying for hair extensions these days.

Now if you are one to have pedicures and manicures, you might be spending an additional two hours or more a month in a nail salon – more if you have acrylic nails as they require regular refills. I will occasionally shout myself to a pedicure in summer and I am rather fond of shallac nail polish.
Sitting in a nail salon having your feet and nails done can be quite relaxing but it is also going to cost you. For a pedicure and manicure using shellac polish, you may be looking at $70. Baring in mind that nails grow, if you want to keep up the shellac polish on your nails, you might have to hit the salon fortnightly to monthly. What I personally found when I wore shellac for too many months was that my nails became soft and brittle. So I’ve gone back to painting my own – it’s time consuming to be honest but my nails are much healthier.

Add to this the high cost of make-up, which for me is essential. I think I might get a little twitchy at the thought of not having any foundation or mascara! On the week-end, I am more than happy to tie my hair up and not have any make up on, but if I step out the front door I will at the very least be wearing a tiny bit of tinted moisturiser (unless of course I was camping)! Despite what the movies would have us believe, I sure as hell don’t wake up in the morning with painted lips and a highlighted cheeks…this takes work!  Just thinking about my basic make up bag (I carry it around always), there is a moisturiser, a base cream, foundation, eye liner, lash fibres (I swear by these), mascara, eye brow pencil, lip liners, several lipsticks and a lip gloss. 

That doesn’t take into consideration the eye shadows and blushes, brushes and other lipsticks I have sitting in my bathroom at home! This is of course why women simply love to receive perfume as a gift! Perfume is a thoughtful and intimate present, but it can also be a pricey commodity depending on your favourite scent. 

I for one am mad for Classique by Jean Paul Gautier, but tragically Chanel No. 5 is wasted on my skin. 

Then there are cleansers, toners, eye creams, anti-wrinkle treatments, moisturisers, sunscreen and do it yourself self-tanning lotions! There are also hair products to add to the list – shampoos and conditioners and hair spray. I have friends who have curly hair who use products to protect their hair from constant straightening, and anti-frizz treatments if they feel like wearing it au natural.

Oh and what about birth control, ladies? The average birth control pill costs anywhere from $25 to $110 for 3-4 months supply. Some contraceptive pills are not government subsidised, although most are. There are IUD’s that cost in the hundreds, and some that cost as little as $15. Not to mention the cost of condoms – the pill will stop you getting pregnant but it won’t stop you from contracting an STD!

What men possibly don’t think about is the added costs women carry simply for having a menstrual cycle! Pads, tampons and panty liners are certainly not subsidised despite them being essential to most females aged from 12 – 55 (of course ages vary greatly on either side of the spectrum!). While some may be uncomfortable speaking about the nitty gritties, it’s a necessary expense!

I would have to devote a whole blog post to the cost of clothes, shoes, bags and accessories that women purchase. We all have favourites but damn, there is an endless supply of things that women can drape and adorn themselves in. We women tend to be hoarders too. Just how many clutch purses can a girl own? 

 We all have our fetishes though – some women would sell their first born for killer shoes (I kid of course), some buy bags, some buy coats, some have drawers of lingerie…I have a real thing about chunky dress rings. I feel quite naked without one, although even while naked, a dress ring can make a statement!

I have found that being a single woman tends to come with a higher price tag, if for no other reason than a woman who is out in there dating tends to go out more and the price of entertainment is high. Have you seen the costs of cocktails?!   Which reminds me – don’t get me started on the cost of lingerie (though I do love to shop for it).  Of course we could, as women, choose not to wax, pluck, shave, apply, paint and blow dry ourselves. We are grown-ups and we have free will. I’m not really comfortable with that alternative for myself however. There are always cheaper and more expensive options available in all of the above categories, but it still remains a fact that being a modern chic requires some effort and can end up putting money in the bank for the endless hairdressers, Beauty therapists, clothing boutiques, make up and perfume companies!

I am a huge believer that beauty does come from within, absolutely, but I’m pretty happy to help mother nature out just a little bit! Lights, camera, action baby! Looking pretty in the modern wold might take too much time and money but this Good Girl is not quite ready to give up lingerie or lip gloss!

#goodgirl #cosmetics #hairdresser #waxing #cocochanel #lingerie #lipgloss #lipstick #itshardtolookthisgoodallthetime

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