Thursday, November 26, 2015

What would your report card say now?

I was sorting through some things the other week and came by some old photos and some of my old primary school report cards. I took a break and read through my end of year one report card.

I got to thinking how the school year is fast coming to and end and we will soon have Cohen's end of year report in hand and Sarah's transition statement ready for her entry into Prep next year. I thought about the differences there will be in what is said upon their reports and what kind of report they'd give themselves in many, many  years to come.

That's me to the left of the report card in the front row.

I read through my year one report card again and thought about what I'd have to say if I wrote a current day report for myself and did a comparison.

Back in the summer 1984 this Miss Leach here's my take on things now with a little tongue in cheek too.

 Language and Reading

(Then) Reading level in class: Reading is below average class level

Now: No need to worry, I've got three kids now and they're quite brilliant. Clearly story time with mummy has been a success.

(Then) Word Recognition: Difficulties recognising vocabulary

Now: I still have challenges making sense of things namely what my three children are trying to say with all their made up stories and make believe. Sometimes I just pretend I know what they said, because I don't understand the language they're speaking.

(Then) Phonic Ability: Good progress

Now: refer to word recognition above these kids impact this greatly.

(Then) Comprehension: Understanding is fair

Now: refer to word recognition, need I say more.

(Then) Interest and Enjoyment: Enjoys reading to an audience

Now: Nothing has changed. I love a good book I can read with gusto and character voices to the kids. They love it, so I'd say I'm a success.

(Then) Writing to form letters correctly: Fair. Pencil control is improving

Now: Doing just find now thanks!

(Then) Ability to write simple sentences: Pleasing progress

Now: I have been writing simple sentences and sharing them on line for nearly five years and people seem to like it. I'd class that as pleasing progress.

(Then) Neatness: Satisfactory

Now: I can do Queensland Cursive with the best of them due to my pre-school teaching days. I'd call my efforts more than satisfactory. I'd call them, up myself.

(Then) Ability to speak clearly: Does not project her voice

Now: I can't believe the above was ever said of me. Ben frequently tells me I'm speaking to loudly. Perhaps it's got something to do with trying to be heard over three crazy kids.

(Then) Participation in classroom talks: Enjoys speaking to the whole class.

Now: Where's the class, where's my audience, a posse, a lone stranger......I'll talk to them.

(Then) Ability to listen carefully and follow directions: Usually listens to directions. A dreamer at times.

Now: I really do try to listen to directions. But after about the third step you loose me, you're better off showing me something, I learn better that way. As for being a dreamer, I'm still one baby and that's never going to change. It's magical thing to be and when I dream I'm inspired.

(Then) Basic number facts: Has the basic concept of + & - from 1 to 10. Much improvement work is below class average.

Now: Let's just face it I'm still pretty crap at Maths, but I get by without embarrassing myself.
Social Studies

(Then) Good understanding of basics concepts. Interest level: Average.

Now: I keep informed about the world around me, but I do limit how much news and current affairs I take in.

(Then) Knowledge and Understanding: Very good knowledge of subject matter. High level of interest.

Now: Well this was a shock reading this on my report, not a claim to fame I would be making now. When it comes to common sense I've got loads of it but when it comes to physics I don't, we'll leave it at that.

(Then) Keen to participate

Now: More then keen now, my soul needs time and space to play with arts and crafts and float ideas around and try new things. Nothing is right or wrong in art.
(Then) Participation is satisfactory

Now: I enjoy music but for participating in'll never have me singing karaoke with you, trust me it's a good thing.
Physical Education

(Then) Satisfactory development of skills

Now: My body has been through a lot and done amazing things. Six pregnancies in five years, endured loss and heartbreak and has been the place I have comforted three children at the breast and wrapped them in my love. I can do anything.

(Then) Social Behavior: Very shy, yet, is interacting well.

Now: So not shy, furthest thing from being shy there could be and I still play nice with others although sometimes people are scared off by my enthusiasm.

(Then) Desire to Achieve: A more concentrated effort is needed.

Now: I have the biggest burning desire to achieve and thanks to life's experiences I think I am well on my way to achieving the dreams I am making for myself.

(Then) Other comments: Trudie is a very courteous and helpful pupil.

Now: Trudie is now a courteous and helpful fully grown adult.

I'm think I'm doing just fine Miss Leach, I'm pretty impressed with how I've turned out and journey isn't over yet.

What would your report card say now?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tips: Sourcing vintage on road trips....

You know what's fun to do sometimes? Head out a little further afield then your normal thrifting stomping grounds and take a road trip.

We like to head off on family fun days as we call them and get out of town. As long as we all get to do a bit of something for everyone to be happy, we're all good.

For me I'm happy to op shop and treasure hunt of course. Ben likes some open space or a field where we can stop and he can fly his remote control planes and helicopters for a little bit. As for the kids they're happy with a bit of everything but as long as they get to have a run around and burn off some energy they're happy.

With all of that being said, I believe there is a key to out of town thrifting and treasure hunting adventures with the family in tow and ensuring it's a successful and fun time for all. So I'm going to share some tips and advice.

  • As much as hitting the road and seeing what happens is fun, I like to plot and plan (even loosely) our out of town trips to maximize treasure hunting opportunities and have the day run smoothly around the kids. At least even with a loose plan if we come by other adventures and opportunities along the way we can take a detour and if it doesn't work out we have our plan to return to.
The kids keeping themselves amused on an out of town road trip.


  •  I research online and investigate what op shops and vintage boutiques are in the areas we will be passing through. I go as far as phoning stores to see if they are open on a Saturday or Sunday (if that's when we're travelling) and what their opening hours are.
  • I do even more online research and I check out Gumtree and other community pages to investigate what garage sales are on that might be of interest as well as markets, fairs and community days.
  •  I check out Google maps and our intended destination(s), if I've found op shops, boutiques or garage sales to investigate along the way, I check out each location in reference to one another. From that I come up with a loose plan of where to stop and when, this saves doubling back in a town or area we're not familiar with.....the goal is always to minimise frustration on a fun day.

  • Snacks and drinks, they're handy for everyone and are crucial with kids.....guaranteed thirty minutes into the trip someone will be hungry.
  •  My in search of list, which is a list of goodies I'm on the look out for that includes need, wants, customer requests, stock and fantasy items.
  •  Notebook and pen, to take notes of places, things and other destinations to investigate at a later date.
  • Packing supplies like bubble wrap, newspaper and boxes to pack up delicate finds that I want to ensure will travel home safely. Blankets and towels are handy for furniture items that need protecting.
  • Bags, totes and a market trolley, because you never know where you might end up on treasure hunting adventures and you'll need bags or a trolley to lug around your sweet finds.
  • Camera or camera phone, because we're creating memories where ever we go.

It's also handy to have something to read on road trips, especially if the kids fall asleep, I can play catch ups with my reading.


  • I get chatting with locals about other places like op shops, markets, fairs and so forth to check out in the area. Unless you're from the region you've traveled to, you often find that there is out of the way places and events that are more than worth checking out that can turn up some amazing little finds, that aren't widely publicised. 
  • I always keep and eye out for noticeboards, flyers and brochures on shop counters that publicise community events, fairs, car boot sales and the like that are coming up. You'll be amazed how many other fairs and markets are out there happening that you never had an idea of. I collect them and note dates in my diary for reminders and for yearly planning and future road trips.

Seeing things we wouldn't normally see on a recent road trip, an emu farm with thousands of emus, kids loved it.

The above is more than a fair idea of how we try and make the most of out of town treasure hunting trips. If we have the kids in tow, a lot of consideration is taken into keeping them happy and enjoying themselves. We stop to have walks, plays, and look at interesting things we see along the way as well as ensuring we take car activities for them to enjoy. But more than anything we make the most of the time together, and being out and about and seeing things we wouldn't normally see.

Do you have any tips for out of town treasure hunting adventures?

Friday, November 20, 2015

25 Kmart Light Box Christmas Messages....

* This is not sponsored post

I have a life and house filled with vintage things, but I like the cool, fun and funky too, and like many others I have one of the very popular Kmart Light Boxes that you can pick up their stores or online for $19.00.

If you have a Kmart Light Box you will know that it can always be tricky to fit in the messages you wish to express on your light box (believe me, My Vintage Childhood is tricky) with the 30 cm by 22 cm space and the specific combination of letters, numbers and various symbols included in the light box set when purchased.

With the festive season ahead, it's a fun time to change up your light box to celebrate the season, so here is a list of 25 Christmas Messages that you can perfectly fit on your Kmart Light Box, whilst only using the specific amount of letter, number and symbols included in the set.

Keep in mind that for some phrases you might have to use a number and change its orientation for it to read correctly. So here you go; a list of 25 Christmas Messages that can see you all the way from December 1st until Christmas Day.

Mix up the order below to suit your personal preferences.
  8. REJOICE IN THE SPIR1T (using number "1" in SPIRIT)
  10. A SAVIOUR IS BORN / A SAVIOR IS BORN (choose your preferred spelling)
  11. TRIM THE 7REE (using the number "7" in TREE)
  15. SILVER BEL7S (use number "7" turned upside down and flip it for an "L")
  16. JINGLE AL7 THE WAY (use number "7" turned upside down and flip it for an "L")
  20. TWAS THE NI7E B4 XMAS (using number "7" in NITE)
  24. GOOD TIDINGS WE BRIN6 (using number "6" in BRING)
I'm sure there are many more combinations that could be generated from the specific amount of letters, numbers and characters that come with the light box, but hopefully this gives you a starting point or cheat sheet for celebrating this festive season.

If you have any additions to this list that will specifically only use the letter, numbers and characters in the Kmart Light Box, feel free to pop a comment below and I will edit the post with extras and a link to you.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Year 12 Formal Flashback, a look back 20 years on....

In August of this year I headed off to my 20 year high school reunion and had an amazing time catching up with old school friends. Tomorrow sees year twelve students in Queensland finishing up their schooling with their final day, with thousands of them chomping at the bit to celebrate with schoolie plans and events.

It's quite crazy to look back twenty years and think wow that was us (my friends and I) fashions were different, times were different and schoolie celebrations (if you ever hear the news reports these days) were a LOT, LOT different.

Pre-digital days, these pics had to be scanned. Gosh how times have changed some things get better with age and time for example photographic technology and myself I like to think.

These were my dates and I, on our formal night! I know what you're thinking......DATES!!!! Before you get carried away two of these three boys are childhood friends I've known since year one of primary school. I've always been one of the boys to this crew and I still am, but I'm more the lovable sister now, that they like to give a hard time and tease when we can all get together. My bestie Shannon (pictured in this post here) is part of this crew, but he got nabbed quick in the formal date partnerships, hence why he isn't pictured here, but he was certainly a huge part of our post formal celebrations.

When I started dating Ben in May of my final year of high school, Ben was quickly advised that he had to meet the "boys" and if he didn't get along with the boys and accept there was nothing else to our friendships, our blossoming relationship wouldn't last.

Ben is a year older than me and graduated the year before I did at different school. He was sweetheart to dress on the evening of my formal in something complimentary to myself just to nab a photo with me before I headed into my formal dinner. He then joined us for post-formal celebrations later.

I'm happy to say the "boys" and Ben all accepted one another and got along like a house on fire, which meant we just had another "boy" in our crew and fun times. We have all had some wonderfully crazy and fun times over the years, and if I think back to our post formal celebrations twenty years on I still have the boys forced to keep certain behaviours hush hush between our crew. Some things are just still too embarrassing to mention beyond our crew.

What I realise though, twenty years on is that I'm incredibly lucky to have such friendships in my life that have always been honest, true and and faithful in protecting me all of these years. My bestie Shannon and I catch up all the time (he is Fraser's godfather), but as for the other boys it's harder these days with us spread out, married, kids, running businesses or regularly jet setting. But the same thing remains that it doesn't matter if we haven't spoken in the longest time because as soon as we see each other, we are all picking up where we last left things.

If I could give any advice to school leavers at the moment, it would have nothing to do with career or work. It would be a plead to not be fickle with friendships, make sure you hold on to those ones that have stood the test of time through your schooling. Be honest, true and faithful to those connections. Do what you have to do to stay connected through tertiary studies and work, because as you emerge into your adult life and you feel a little lost along the way (it will happen, it happens to us all), these are the friends that will ground you in those changing times and will remind you that not everything has to change.

How long has been since you graduated? Care to share a picture? What advice would you give to school leavers of today in these different times?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Style: A heatwave is coming & my thanks to you....

So if you're an Australian you've probably heard that this week a significant heat wave is meant to affect most of the country bar Tasmania from Tuesday to Sunday.

The reports I had read said things would start heating up yesterday, so I took it as gospel and thought I would dress appropriately for dealing with the heat. Let's just say it didn't heat up anymore than normal for an end of Spring overcast day here on the Gold Coast. But there was no reason for a wardrobe change as this combination was still perfect for our temperatures.

I Love My Bestie T-Shirt: Kmart
1980's Hightwaisted Shorts: Op shopped
Wedges: Op Shopped

The "I love my Bestie xox" t-shirt is a new retail buy I picked up for $6 at Kmart about a month ago, when we had a night out coming up recently to celebrate my best friend Shannon's birthday. His partner had spent months of effort to throw him a big surprise birthday bash weekend. So when I saw this t-shirt I thought it would be a perfect match to the glorious shimmery acetate 1980's skirt I was planning on wearing, but not only that I knew it would make Shannon smile and laugh.

Shannon and I have been friends for over 30 years I guess that nearly makes our friendship vintage.
Here's us on his birthday night. Apparently I must now always wear this shirt when we catch up....he love it!

It's timely that I'm donning this t-shirt again, because I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate to have more than one "bestie". I'm lucky to have several amazing relationships in my life with people I have connected with from childhood or at different stages of my life and we've stuck together in our life journeys and connection to each other.

But in addition to my "bestie" crew, when it comes to my blog and what I do, I have an amazing tribe of supporters that so often make me feel like I'm a bestie they are checking in with and who celebrate my moments and triumphs as much as my bestie crew do.

It seems the right time to say a big thank you all again, as we head towards the festive season and the end of the year. Thank you for encouragement, thank you for your belief, thank you for your friendship and thank you for continuing to connect with me.

It's through my communications and connections with you all, that I'm inspired and determined to do more all the time.

I love my tribe!

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