16 – 22nd November is PND Awareness Week…

16 – 22nd November is PND Awareness Week…

Postnatal Depression Awareness Week is 16-22 November.

Help raise awareness and reduce the stigma.

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Ahhh, pregnancy… do you remember yours fondly? Perhaps yours was awful and filled with illness and worry? Perhaps everything was great, until you started worrying and feeling depressed? Or perhaps everything was fine until about 6 weeks after you’d settled back in at home and then it hit you. You are now responsible for a whole other little person who totally relies on you and you can’t back out now…

Lucille-ball-baby

Did you know that up to one in 10 Australian women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to one in seven in the year following birth. Anxiety is thought to be even more common.

Now here’s where I give you my story to inspire YOU to be HONEST with others to CHANGE people’s lives and STOP THE STIGMA AROUND DEPRESSION.

I’ve suffered from mental illness since I was about 16 – anxiety and depression – and because I am treated by a psychiatrist both of my pregnancies were closely monitored by medial and psych staff to ensure that I wasn’t succumbing to depression.

My first pregnancy, although filled with constant vomiting and feeling hideous, was fine in regards to depression and anxiety. At six-days old my son was rushed into hospital and there he stayed for 6 weeks with heart problems, accidental overdoses by his medical team and a number of other ghastly issues; still I stayed ‘together’. In fact, I kept things ‘together’ in regards to his illness, my subsequent divorce and our battle to survive alone for another 4 years! I did pretty darn well, I think! Sometimes however, survival mode kicks in and you just can’t have the time, nor introspection to deal with a deep depression that is lurking in the background.

Over the coming years I suffered on and off with severe bouts of anxiety and depression – but didn’t allow myself to explore the reason behind it – probably due to the fact that I felt so bloody lucky that my boy survived that I didn’t really want to bring back all of the drama and feelings that I had about being on the very, very knife-edge of losing him. So, I pushed it down and talked with my psychiatrist about other ‘issues’!

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Nine years down the track, in a wonderful new marriage with a fantastic husband and a well, happy and kinda awesome 9-year-old son, I blessedly became pregnant again (hooray!!!!!)) and yes, I suffered – although I believe it wasn’t actually possible, much worse all-day hyperemesis (that’s constant nausea and vomiting). Also 41 isn’t your prime time to reproduce ladies – there is a name for us in medical circles and it’s a geriatric pregnancy! Humph!

This baby was the one I had prayed for. I had dreamed and begged and not been able to get the urge away that I needed to have another. For any guys reading this, I’m sure it’s biological – you just cannot be rational about it!

So when she arrived, she was perfect – okay, we had 24 hours in the special care nursery, but after my previous experience that was nothing! Everything was super, super awesome and I was so blissfully happy with my new bubba, my gorgeous boy and my darling husband that I didn’t put my finger on the little signs that had begun.

Things I was very much used to being aware of… unexplained worry about grand and insane tragedies that may befall my baby, my son or my husband. A constant feeling of unease. A few all-night insomnia bouts not related to the baby.

Yep, the anxiety had started and started in a big way. My psychiatrist and I had been planning for any potential PND and it happened pretty much right on time! Six to eight weeks after the birth…

So what was to be done?

Well we increased my daily medication, I had more frequent appointments with her and I began to learn the technique of mindfulness to combat the feelings – at times this works, at others, not so much! But I have been very, very blessed to be surrounded by amazing health professionals and a husband who has suffered depression before and felt it was very important to know what signs to look for in me so that we could attack the PND before it got any worse.

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So, two totally different pregnancies; two totally different first months of looking after a baby – boy child was looked after by nurses at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and missy was home in three days; two totally different situations in regards to my personal happiness and situation at the time (first marriage – abusive and frankly, awful and frightening on most levels – this time around I learned and learned well – we’re true partners, deeply in love and are happy, oh, and we laugh all the time!).

So girls, Post Natal Depression can strike you regardless of your situation, your personal feelings about parenthood, marriage, career or life, you can get it when you’re a normally happy-go-lucky woman or somebody who is more sedate and a planner. There seems to be no correlation other than you’re at a higher risk if you suffer from depression, or have had episodes prior, or if you suffer from anxiety. Also lack of sleep is a huge monster that makes PND much, much worse and as we know babies don’t like it when you sleep!

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My friends: I ask that you do something to change our world. Something in honour of your own mother, your female friends, your male friends, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers.

RAISE AWARENESS OF POST NATAL DEPRESSION.

There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in suffering from a mental illness – I discuss my experiences because I am DETERMINED to show that you can be a normal, unscary, and contributive member of society, a mother, a wife, a volunteer and a businesswoman and suffer. Yep, some times (not days, but weeks and sometimes months) are worse than others, but at 42 I’ve learned a lot about what gets the ‘black dog’ off my back quicker than I used to be able to and I’m in control of my illness – it DOES NOT control me.

So DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SHARE YOUR STORY – it will help others. It will give others the courage to speak out and share. And it will help others to seek treatment.

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How can you help? It’s easy-peasy! Just hop on over to beyondblue.org.au where they’ve got lots and lots of great materials that you can download, as well as helpful advice for mamas-to-be, dads-to-be and new parents.

There are also some other ways to get involved, you can:

  • Pop on over to the beyondblue’s Just Speak Up campaign website and add YOUR voice to the campaign. Take a look around the site and you’ll find lots of great stories to inspire and support
  • You can change your social media profile pictures to the Just Speak Up profile badge
  • Display the badge on your blog or other forum (you’ll see mine is over there on the side!)

More practically, you could:

  • Hold an event to raise money for beyondblue and you can even order FREE resources (including information booklets and flyers for women and their families as well as posters and postcards) to hand out
  • Display Just Speak Up posters on your community or work notice boards.
  • Include information about perinatal anxiety and depression in your workplace newsletter.
  • Include a link to the beyondblue and Just Speak Up websites on your workplace intranet and/or website.

Here are some files that may help you out!

bey1244-just-speak-up-facebook-profile-photo---i-spoke-up bey1244-just-speak-up-facebook-profile-photo---just-speak-up BL-0775.pdf

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BL-0868 11-13.pdf

Good luck and remember NEVER be ashamed to be yourself. You are you and you are good enough JUST AS YOU ARE! The world only has one of you and it would be a lesser place without you.

I would LOVE for you all to share your experiences on depression, anxiety and also PND here and hope we can all be of support to each other – it does help a lot!

With extra-special hugs and hand-holding courage,
Mrs Jones x

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Some Vintage Goodness I’m Sending Out…

Some Vintage Goodness I’m Sending Out…

Sponsor Packs this-is-war

Just thought you’d enjoy a little pop of vintage goodness. Over at ‘With Love, Mrs Jones’ my event management business I’m 5 months out from a biggish event that I’m running called ‘This Is War!’. I’ve gone and themed it all WWII and today I’m beginning to send out Sponsor Packs to the lucky businesses that we’re asking to support the weekend.

It’s just packed with vintage-goodness, right down to manilla folders and paper fasteners, old army logos and just the right fonts, as well as some vintage airmail stickers and other vintage inspired bits and bobs!

If you’ve got some vintage goodness talents – around the WWII era style – and you’d like to get on board for entertainment, just looking gorgeous and hanging around in uniform, volunteer to help out, or similar, pop an email in the ‘post’ and I’d love to have a chat!

It will be held in Melbourne, Box Hill to be exact, on the weekend of April 18 & 19 next year (2015), so if you think you can add some mid-century spice to the weekend I’d love to hear what you’ve got in mind!

Got to dash!
Love, Mrs Jones x

Giving Thanks or ‘Friendsgiving’…

Giving Thanks or ‘Friendsgiving’…

I’m now featuring on MumCentral.com.au and here is the article we’ve published for November – An Aussie Thanksgiving!

Mrs Jones Vintage Thanksgiving
This month I thought I’d share a tradition my family has taken on – Thanksgiving. Not the American kind, but a very special Aussie kind that is much less stress, more fun and heaps easier than all of the dramas that come with Christmas!

Are you on board? Yup. Okay, first, a quick history lesson…

Thanksgiving Lowdown

Moving into 2014 things have changed a little. Thanksgiving is officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November – this year it’s on the 27th; it’s a major US holiday and the focus is on travelling to be with family, giving thanks and giving to others.

“Yawn. I’m not American, Mrs Jones.”

Don’t leave me here! I know, I know, we’re not American, Thanksgiving has nothing to do with us, and we’ve already got enough to do each year before Christmas! I hear you! I know… Once you become a wifey or a mama the fun stops and it becomes all about everyone else and making sure ‘stuff’ happens.

Gifts purchased. Tick. Oh, wait, didn’t the boy ask for that new water pistol they’re advertising now – two weeks before Christmas – and I can’t find them anywhere… Arghhh… That’ll have to wait!
Menu organised. Tick… wait a minute… I’ve got to find a bloody recipe for my brother’s vegan girlfriend… Do I need to get her a non-leather dining chair? Hmmm… That’ll wait.
Dinner or lunch. Still deciding.
Their place or ours. Can’t we just stay here for the day. Just once? Packing the kids up for another car trip is just too much. I’ll talk to hubby and see if his parents will come here.
Real or fake tree. I know the kids want a real one but do I want to vacuum pine needles for 4 weeks running?
Re-decorating the tree. Tick! I’ll redo it once the kids have gone to bed.

Okay, so we’ve established that Christmas is pretty much about everyone but us!

Hmmm… but what if things were different?
What if there was a celebration YOU actually enjoyed?
What if you could have a fun, relaxing and easy get-together leading up to Christmas that became something the whole family looked forward to?

Girls, you can! And that celebration is Aussie Thanksgiving!

Quick, easy and simple as you like. Take a look at the infographic below.

KISS Thanksgiving

Just remember a few of my KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) principles:

  1. You’ve got to invite REAL friends. People you know and love and WANT to spend time with!
  2. Keep the food simple. Barbecuing is an awesome idea because there’s little prep and it keeps the men busy and it also means you can ask friends to each bring a side dish
  3. Keep dessert simple. Ice cream cones or if you want to go crazy, an ice cream decorating bar for the kids (big and small!)
  4. Have some outdoor and indoor game ideas for when the kids get bored
  5. Ask everyone to bring a food donation (there’s your giving to the less fortunate)
  6. Make some time for everyone to sit together and get real. What is everyone really thankful for?
  7. Here’s the best part. Australian Thanksgiving ISN’T on the fourth Thursday in November, it’s on the fourth SATURDAY. This gives you time and headspace.

So that, my darlings, is it!
It’s that simple.

Now, I don’t want to hear any, “Seriously, I don’t have enough time now, why on earth would I add ANOTHER thing to our already insane schedule?”

Why? Well, girls, let me tell you why.

Because you can. Yep, it’s that simple.

Also because if you don’t start making time to simplify life, and start a few family traditions your kids will have nothing magical to look back on. This is easy peasy and kids will look back on this as such a fun time spent playing with friends, with no timetable to work to. A time of shared food, laughing until it hurts and coming together to do something good for those who need it.

Now my darlings it’s time to make this tradition yours! Take a deep breath, take charge, simplify a few things and make time to fit it in – I promise you won’t regret it!

I’d love to hear your stories of how your Aussie Thanksgiving went and any tips you’d like to share with others!

With Love
Mrs Jones x

A Very Vintage Halloween…

A Very Vintage Halloween…

Hello Little Ones, Being Australian we really don’t do Halloween, although this isn’t stopping every major retailer from here to Tasmania giving their October marketing dollar a red hot run. So rather than spend the whole (I’m only spending a small portion) post bitching about it I shall share some gorgeous Halloween vintage photography with you instead! I’ve got to say unless you’re American and want to have a fun gathering teaching us Colonials all about this delightful tradition, I feel that by ‘celebrating’ Halloween here in Melbourne you’re likely to get, at best arrested, and at worst, never spoken to again by your neighbours who (I presume like most Aussies you ignore for the whole year, including Christmas Day) can find it rather surprising, to say the very least, to see their close neighbours ghoulishly-dressed child magically appear on their front porch, come early evening on October 31st, demanding sugary treats… Honestly friends, just give it a miss or use it as a good excuse for a catch-up with a few other families and have a backyard BBQ, letting the kids run free, now that daylight savings has arrived. Take a look at the tradition of Halloween and how and why it started; base your celebrations around that if you wish. So, rather than feature anything spooky, scary or gruesome, don’t into the hype here in Australia (this comment is to be thoroughly ignored, my darling and most delightful followers from the good ol’ US of A – this is your celebration; enjoy!) I thought I’d share some awesome vintage Halloween images for you to enjoy! So darlings. Enjoy!

Vintage Halloween kids

These little devils files look like they’re having fun!

Halloween vintage

Every year since 1952, Margery became more and more concerned that her sons may not find suitable wives.

Vintage Halloween monkey boy

Timmy was told to sit on the naughty step after he stole another banana.

Wolf man vintage Halloween

Giving Frank the table scraps seemed to be giving his coat a glossy shine.

Vintage Halloween kids

It was going to be a long night…

Vintage Halloween

Gladys and Bob were thrilled that adoption laws had finally been relaxed.

Vintage Halloween

The spacesuit always made Bobby feel he could punch above his weight.

Vintage Halloween

Edith kept kept a momento from each of her ex-husbands.

Love Mrs Jones x

Tickle the Imagination

Tickle the Imagination

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Hello friends,

As an official ‘tickle the imagination’ ambassador I would love you to do a few things for me.

  1. Get down to your local newsagent and grab the latest copy – which just happens to be Issue 17 – paper.scissors.rock. which is all about celebration tradition fun, games and crafts that you can enjoy with the kids!
  2. Go to my Facebook Page and enter the ‘tickle the imagination’ refer a friend competition – seriously, winning this is kinda awesome! There is a ‘tickle’ goodie bag full of crafty and creative goodness just waiting for the winner
  3. Head on over to the ‘tickle’ site and take a look around, and while you’re there why not sign up for a subscription. At just $49 for the year it makes a great gift, but seriously, you’ll need to purchase two because you just won’t want to give it away! And this month’s subscribers have the added fun of winning a gorgeous ‘birdynumnum design’ dreamer (valued at $59)

birdynumnum-design

That is about it for today but I’ll be posting regularly about ‘tickle the imagination’ as well as holding some great competitions and giveaways from the girls at ‘tickle’!

Oh, and if you grab yourself this month’s copy and you’ll find lots and lots to keep the kids busy – awesome to stash away for school holidays!

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feature stories…

+ the sunshine gang
+ big kids or little women
+ being present
+ springtime crafting
+ make organising child’s play
+ rock of ages
+ campfire stories

create
+ painted rock cactus garden
+ chess piece tiara
+ mini rustic cakes
+ paper boat mobile
+ kokeshi paper dolls
+ paper mobile bliss
+ bookish creations
+ peg dolly
+ marshmallow s’mores
+ chocolate crackle cones

meet the maker
+ birdynumnum
+ charlie & rosie and paperchap collaborate

shopping
+ a few of my favourite things

plus all the regular features!

Oscar de la Renta dies…

Oscar de la Renta dies…

Oscar de la renta gown

Oscar de la Renta the doyen of American fashion, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain, sprawled across the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of that generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died on Monday at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82.

Here’s To You, Gough…

Here’s To You, Gough…

Whitlam1955

Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st Prime Minister passed away this morning, aged 98.

He was a giant of Australian politics and, in my opinion, with the exception of very, very few have there been any others who have even come close to this great man.

Although he only lead Australia for three years, his party launched massive reform, both economically and culturally. Controversially, he began the reform into Aboriginal land rights; began universal healthcare in Australia with the Medicare system; normalised diplomatic ties with one of our closest trading partners, China; gave all Australians the right to a free university education; and ended conscription of young men in Australia, also withdrawing our forces from Vietnam.

gough whitlam the dismissal

Today is a sad day for me as one of my first, distinct memories as a three-year-old was of a group of my parents friends listening to the radio on the evening that Gough was dismissed by the governor-general, John Kerr on November 11, 1975. My father, a teacher, was probably pretty radical in his time – as were the group of friends my parents had – and each and every one of them was in tears, angry and I remember a lot of anger and disbelief.

It is a memory that now, as a forty-two year old, has stayed with me incredibly clearly throughout the years and began my passion with politics, international relations and social justice for all Australians.

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This morning opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Labor Party had “lost a giant” and “the nation has lost a legend”.

“Like no other prime minister before or since, Gough Whitlam redefined our country and in doing so he changed the lives of a generation. His vision, his ambition offered Australia a new sense of what it might be,” Mr Shorten said. “Our country is different because of him. By any test, the country is different and by any test the country was different significantly and better.

“He reimagined Australia as a modern nation where equality of opportunity belonged to all. There will be millions of Australians who feel his loss and will mourn his passing in the days to come.”

Mr Whitlam did inspire a generation of young people to get into politics; to make changes that would have seemed impossible to their parents; to get out there and change things they felt were unfair. He inspired me. He inspired my parents. He inspired many Australian songwriters, others currently and previously in public office and other notable Australians.

gough whitlam

So, to quote a song, by ‘The Whitlams’ I say,

“Here’s to you, Edward Gough Whitlam.”

And may the nation always remember you as a giant. A humble man who changed our nation. Australian politics has become a much less brave and inspiring place once you left.

Love Mrs Jones x

Nice Day for a Picnic…

Nice Day for a Picnic…

Basil Bangs Picnic RugFeeling like a picnic?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re at the beach, in the garden or on the back deck, the Basil Bangs Love Rug from ‘Top 3 by Design’ marks your spot with very cool vintage style.

The Love Rug, a collaboration with “We are Handsome”, is perfect for a family picnic, at the beach or just relaxing on your favourite grassy patch on the back lawn – or if it’s raining, bring it inside for use as a play mat.

The Basil Bangs Love Rug features:
– A spacious family size 1.8m diameter circular size
– Internal urethane padding for comfort
– Underside lined with water-proof backing
– Topside features sublimation printed, water-resistant outdoor polyester canvas
– Hidden pocket for stashing your phone, wallet and keys
– Contrast colour edging
– Padded carry handle
– Adjustable shoulder strap

With Love
Mrs Jones x

Dansk Vintage…

Dansk Vintage…

Dansk Furniture

Just a quick word for the wise – those of you with a love of Danish mid-century design…

Dansk Vintage in BrisVegas has a new shipment of furniture arriving in the coming weeks.

Dansk has over 25 years experience in authentic Danish modern and iconic design classics and offer a wide range of beautiful Danish vintage furniture, lighting and accessories for your home or office.

If you love this beautiful style of mid-century goodness, you’d better get yourself over to their site now to check over what is arriving and either buy or peruse and enjoy.

Love
Mrs Jones x

Steve Jobs Day…

Steve Jobs Day…

Steve Jobs

The 16th of October has been designated Steve Jobs Day, and I for one, am happy to celebrate the man who changed our lives through the simplicity of the Mac, strived for perfection in the simplicity of design at Apple Inc. and in all truth was an amazingly driven, inspiring and brilliant man.

Although my household runs on PC’s; this is something you can take up with Mr. Jones directly through spruegrey.com. We have a number of iPads, iPods and we both own iPhones – so, regardless of whether you’re a PC or a Mac person (or one of those who will argue until you’re last breath about whether the simplicity of design vs. ability to geek out and upgrade your machine is better) Steve Jobs did indeed change the world in which we live and I thank him for that.