Tuesday, 2 August 2016

How I Ended up Paying Double for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

If you're a Harry Potter fan, you would've been anticipating the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - the playbook about Harry Potter's son - last Sunday (31st July 2016).

When I first heard about the upcoming publication back in February, I placed a preorder for the book straightaway.

The few days leading up to Sunday, our local Big W and Dymocks (and the library) were promoting the release. As I had preordered, I didn't take too much notice.

Sunday morning - Walked into Big W and saw a huge shelf full of the book but again, didn't pay too much attention. Big W were selling it for $15 on the day only.

Sunday evening - Checked my order status and it still said awaiting publication! Now usually when I place a preorder on a game, I would have the game on the day of release or sometimes a little bit earlier. I must admit I never really paid much attention to book preorders but I assumed it would be the same. I was quite disappointed the book wasn't already in transit. I was even more disappointed when I realised the same store has the book for less than what I preordered it for! I contacted the store and I'm very glad to say they were very helpful and processed a full refund.

Monday morning - The news were reporting that the book is sold out over the country and people queued up hours to get a copy. I was starting to panic a little bit thinking I might end up with no book! T_T

Tuesday morning - Went into Big W and they sold out Sunday and had no indication of when more stock will arrive. Thank goodness Dymocks has copies so I managed to get my hands on a book!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child $29.99
And here it is! As you can see, though, I paid $30 for it. /sigh

And that, my friends, is the story of how I ended up paying double for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

3 Things I Got Told That Were Not Helpful

I drafted this post in my last week of pregnancy. It has been about 8 weeks since then, and with hindsight, I stand firm that these 3 pieces of advice are not very helpful. 

I was/am very blessed that I was/am surrounded by many supportive and sensible friends (and midwives) so received invaluable advice and tips. But, as anyone who has been pregnant will know, suddenly, anyone and everyone offers advice and unfortunately, try to push their experience onto you.

There are 3 things that I heard a few too many times and started to really irk me.

1. Don't buy too many newborn clothes. Babies grow so quickly.

Yes, I understand babies grow quickly. But I didn't understand - how many was too many?

I ended up not buying a single piece of clothing until after my baby shower at 35 weeks. I bought 3x 0000 pyjama coveralls, 1x 0000 outfit, 9x 000 singlet/underwear onesies and about 10x 000 outfits, and was frantically washing and drying them.

When Master E was born, he was quite little so really needed 0000 size clothes. Luckily, my neighbour had given us some hand-me-down 0000 singlet onesies. Those onesies and the 3x pyjama coveralls saw us through the hospital stay.

And then what happened? Poor J had to go to the shops sleep deprived and buy a bunch of clothes, and we then frantically washed and dried them.

We did try putting Master E in the 000 clothes but he was just too small and was too cold in them. We have also since discovered that a winter baby needs some outerwear like a cardigan or jacket as well, especially if he is going to be outside his capsule or pram on a day out.

Don't make the same mistake as I did - your baby needs clothes. I wish I had found this guide from Babylist earlier.

2. Oh, you're just nesting, but you should rest.

We'd just moved house and I finally started my maternity leave, which meant I finally had time to concentrate on unpacking and sorting things.

Ok I get it. There's a nesting instinct, which is a good thing because it gets the house ready for when bub arrives. But, regardless of the fact that we had just moved and I was going to do all the tidying up, everything I did was put down to my "nesting instinct". What I was doing felt devalued whenever anyone said "oh, you're just nesting", not to worry about it, and I "should rest".

In hindsight, I really should've pushed more and ticked more things off my list, because now, the tasks are virtually impossible to complete with a newborn (a fact which the same people failed to mention).

3. Don't go back to work so soon, and don't decide now.

Whenever anyone asked if (and when) I was returning to work, I would answer truthfully (5 months). Then they'd all get all judge-y and tell me how much I'd miss my baby, and I won't understand until the baby is born, etc etc.

Well, I sure don't need to justify why I'm going back to work then, but believe me when I say I have thought about this many many times, and have weighed up many many options, and I did not make my decision lightly. And yes, I have talked it through with my husband as well, and we both agreed on the rough date.

As to not making the decision until later, well, that doesn't work. I've told my employer when I expect to be back at work. Sure, I may change my mind or circumstances may change, and my employer is supportive of that. But, it's respectful to at least have a planned date and let your employer know so they can make appropriate arrangements.

Another thing people may not realise - it takes a long time to get a spot at childcare, especially in the CBD. When you register to go on the waiting list, you are required to state the desired start date and days. So, yes, the decision does have to be made fairly in advance. We've been on the waiting list for a few months now, and we have our fingers crossed that we'll get that spot!

So, please, next time you ask, please don't judge me. Instead, some empathy and support will be most appreciated. 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

If You're Wondering Where I've Been

I haven't caught up with a lot of people lately.

Partly because I've been very busy. In the midst of moving and trying to sort out tradies for the new place and trying to patch up the old house, my family arrived for our holiday, and we had another family member stay after that for a little while.

I'm sorry if it feels like I have been avoiding you.

Well, I have been avoiding you.

I've been hiding from everyone. I've been baking a little bun and I've been hiding the oven, so to speak.

I hear you ask - but WHY!? Lots of people get pregnant and have babies. I don't really know why, except that I've been quite anxious throughout this pregnancy. I was waiting for the 12-week mark, then the 20-week mark, then the next milestone and the next and the next. At each point, I still didn't feel right about making an announcement.

I did, of course, tell my family. And I did tell a handful of friends, and work (because it was pretty hard to hide the fact that I was sick in the early days, and that I was getting bigger and bigger).

So, why am I doing this now? Today I went to a hen's, and later this month I'm going to the wedding and having my baby shower (thrown by my amazing girlfriends!), so it's getting harder to hide. So, I figured it's about time people find out.

If you're wondering where I've been, I've been growing a Little Clapson.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hand Lettering

Growing up, I was always creating.

Before there was Pinterest and before it was cool, I was repurposing empty tissue boxes, soft drink bottles, tins, etc.

I was making cards out of manilla card and scraps of wrapping paper, Wordart, Clipart, and later, when the Internet arrived,  awesome (at the time) jpegs!

When I moved to Australia, I discovered that there was a world of actual scrapbooking and cardmaking and they actually sell pretty stuff.

I no longer had to cut out pieces from big A1 manilla card and save wrapping paper! (Actually, I still collect wrapping paper, but that's another story.)


I was also always doodling. Writing quotes, drawing inspirational words, practising script.

I have not stopped doodling - numerous meetings and training sessions provide many hours of doodling. But for some reason, I never developed it into something more.

It wasn't until recently that I discovered this whole world of hand lettering, typography, modern calligraphy. And there is so much inspiration, so many tips and lessons out there in magic internet land.

Here are just a couple of examples that I am just in awe of:

by Pauline Ibera
via - Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy
Manhattan Darling Typeface

Today I'm embarking on a new hobby, project, passion - hand lettering.

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

I Turned 31

Today is New Year's Eve and day 2 of our cruise in Halong Bay in Vietnam. It is also my first day of being 31.
I had a great birthday yesterday. The holiday in Vietnam and scenery in Halong Bay were enough of a birthday celebration, but there were some unexpected extras.
The hotel in Hanoi (Hotel de L'Opera) had left in our room tarts and chocolates along with a card the night before. The crew on our private boat surprised me with a birthday cake and a bunch of red roses.
Cruising Halong Bay is a beautiful way to celebrate my birthday and NYE. Halong Bay is absolutely breathtaking. The grassy rocks that just rise out of water are incredible, the air is fresh, the sunset is beautiful and the stars are bright.
The quiet and calm out here is an opportune time to reflect on the year that has been and wonder what is in store in the year to come. 
2014 was a challenging year. We had family crises at the start of the year and again at the end of the year. I also did the hardest thing I've had to do in my life - I quit my job.
It was hard because I wasn't ready to leave. I didn't want to leave my friends who are now family. We spent 8 to 10 hours each day, 5 days a week. We laughed, we joked, we grumbled; I shared my hopes and dreams with these guys. We will always be in touch, but it will never be the same.
With 2015 just on the horizon, I can't help wondering what my new job is going to be like and how my path and relationships will change.
I'm a little bit hesitant and there is still quite a bit of heartache, but I'm letting go and I'm moving on. I will welcome the new year with an open heart and with a glass half-full.
Bring on 2015!
Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


This was my desk. It was filled with a lot of pink, a lot of ambition, a lot of dreams, a lot of laughs, some tears, some heartache, and countless friendships.

Now it is empty.

It marks the end of a chapter to my life. A major chapter.

I'm not sure I really fully understand or realise what this means yet and I'm not sure I'm ready to move on. But I'm moving on.