Thursday, May 13, 2010

what a great day!

Today I attended a Student Industry Day. Total focus of the day was on making your move on the media industry. More particularly making it as a journalist.

We were fortunate to attend workshops fronted by journalism experts. Among those presenting were journalists, freelance journalists, reporters, investigative reporters and editors. My did I enjoy the day. Today confirmed my passion and drive to forge a career as a freelance writer/journalist.

I've got some serious planning to do, to navigate my path to success. Feeling totally inspired to knock on doors to gain some practical experience.

Today reinforced for me it's about time I jump onto twitter and started tweeting! I've got to get connected with current social media tools.

I can't explain how I love reading and listening to news and current affairs. It's a big part of who I am. I'm buzzing tonight after such an inspiring day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Garance Dore

Not so long ago I was introduced to Garance Dore, one of the world's most renowned fashion illustrator's, photographer's and blogger's. Garance is self taught.

I'm a huge fan of Garance's blog.

Recently I was fortunate to view an exclusive art exhibition collaborated by Westfield with Garance Doré and seven iconic Australian designers.

In celebration of winter fashion, Garance Dore was commissioned to create seven illustrations inspired by the winter wardrobes of Arthur Galan, Bettina Liano, Country Road, Gorman, Leona Edmiston, Thurley & Zimmermann.

The illustrations were just amazing. I am in love with this French lady's work.

Here is the link to a little film titled 'A Month In Fashion' on Garance's blog. (You'll need to scroll down the page a little to find the link). Here Garance share snippets from fashion weeks in New York, Milan and Paris. Hope you enjoy it as much I did. What a life!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

living a busy life

It's been more than 3 long weeks since I last wrote here.

I'm realising it takes alot of organisation, excellent time management skills in conjunction with perseverance to keep a blog going.

For lots of reasons I've been absent, in a nut shell I've been focused on other things. Very busy doing other things. I've been distracted by other things.

But I am somewhat surprised by the fact I have really missed writing here. More than I would have ever expected.

I'm hoping I can manage to turn over a new leaf and post here more frequently. Hoping I can get my act together. Hoping tomorrow is the day I get myself and my life in order so that I can write here again.

My goal, to write here 3 times a week. I'll be giving it a red hot go!

To those of you who are regular bloggers what is your secret to never dropping the blogging ball? Are you willing to share a tip or two?

How do you manage to keep blogging without fail when I'm sure your life is just as busy as mine. I'm sure it's not without all the little dramas which always seem to pop up just when you think life is running to schedule.

It seems I don't cope well when I hit a bump. Or when the unexpected happens. Or when I just get busy juggling lots of balls.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

cooler days and new technology

We have almost reached the end of week one of term two. Already! I am constantly amazed at just how fast the day, the week, the month, the season seem to pass. Is this a sign that I am getting older? I remember as a child I never realised time passing by.

As I write the heater is on. I'm feeling the cold, the change of temperature seems quite dramatic. Autumn has definitely arrived in Melbourne. Cool nights and days are now part of our daily weather forecast. Currently a rather fresh 15 degrees. The time has come to pull out our winter jackets and boots. Time to rug up. I do enjoy the fact the winter allows us to enjoy lots of soups and stews. I find them quite easy to prepare and very healthy! It won't be too long before I am piling the groceries into one of these.

picture from Sunrise

This morning whilst watching a breakfast program I caught a glimpse of a story on new high tech shopping trolleys known as the 'smart trolley'. Smart trolleys are currently being trialled. The smart trolley comes complete with a GPS navigation system, who ever would have thought this possible?

The trolley has the capacity to track details of shoppers' movements in different aisles which in turn will trigger an appropriate ad. It has the capacity for the shopper to scan items whilst shopping, providing pricing information and a tally of the shop. It also provides meal ideas and ingredients required.

These trolleys are expected to be in Melbourne by July. What do you think? Will you find the ads annoying? Will the ads cause you to purchase impulsively? I'm still processing the fact that this technology is available and will soon be part of our shopping experience.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

good old fashioned fun

In Melbourne we are enjoying the second week of the school holidays. In this house we tend to actively live and breathe technology in our lives, so playing noughts and crosses with the boys brought a happy smile to my face today. The joy of such a simple game kept them happily engaged and playing so nicely together. It was nice to put the DS away, it was nice to have the Wii turned off, it was nice to have the TV turned off. Good old fashioned fun, can't beat it! The challenge is to enjoy more days like this.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

hello there

Lately I've really missed being able to dedicate some of my time to blogging. I've simply been too busy! I know it isn't a great reason to have been kept away but other things have needed my focus and attention.

The most pressing of which have been two uni assessments which were due for submission on Friday. A learning log worth 10% and an essay worth 15%. I spent literally hours, many late nights and lots of coffees working on these. Maybe it's because this is my first semester back at uni after a very long 18 years but I'm finding getting but into the study routine and mindset is taking me a little while to get used to again. Possibly longer than I had anticipated. I'm also finding the unit is a little intense with its philosophy content but I am enjoying the challenge and am eagerly awaiting my results.

Good Friday we continued with what has become a family tradition, we enjoyed a lovely day out at the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt at Werribee Park. All proceeds from the day go to the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Collectively the boys gathered in excess of 250 small solid eggs. Just in case you are wondering, they definitely don't eat them all! Much to their disappoint I'm sure. We share them amongst family and friends. The enjoyment is in the collecting, the anticipation of how many eggs they'll manage to collect. The event has become a nice way to enjoy family time on Good Friday and in doing so we are supporting charity.

Best wishes to you all for a very Happy Easter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

mother's instinct

I need to write about this incident that occurred yesterday, Sunday afternoon, in the hope that I'll feel a little better about what happened. Not being selfish just working through this.

My beautiful seven year old little man was invited to a school friend's eighth birthday party. They have known each other since they started three year old kindergarten, many years ago. Kids love the opportunity to attend a birthday party. Mine are no different.

So excited was Master Seven when he pulled the party invite from his school satchel. Reading the details I immediately started thinking, this party is not aged appropriate - 'timezone'. I'm standing there reading the invitation and as eager as can be he is asking if he can go. I can't remember my exact reply but it was along the lines of needing to check mum and dad's work rosters. We both work some crazy hours at times and both the occasional weekend. He was happy with my response.

For the next few days, the party invitation kept popping into my head. Occasionally he'd mention it. I chatted to another parent who felt the same. I eventually made the decision (although my gut was clearly not hundred per cent happy with it) that he could attend in my presence. I was reluctant on the idea but he was so keen to join his friends.

Sunday arrived and we drove the 30 minutes or so to a part of Melbourne I am less than familiar with. Eventually finding our way to 'timezone'. Oh, I've just realised I haven't explained 'timezone', arcade type games and the laserquest games. It was a two hour party. I stayed on site with other parents.

The kids all seemed to be having fun, enjoying themselves. Master Seven particularly enjoying the ten pin bowling. With only about 30 minutes to go until the conclusion of the party it was time to play the laserquest game. I felt uncomfortable. I couldn't join him as he entered the dark room to play the laserquest game, at which point he was smacked on the head with a laser gun, in the dark. Me on the outside and unaware of his injury. I'm not sure exactly how long he was in there, about ten minutes at a guess. He came out white as a ghost, blood on his forehead. I'm not good around blood, immediately feeling faint and nausea. Some parents with much stronger stomachs than mine were brilliant in attending to him. Calming him, cleaning his wound and applying some band aids.

Not long after the incident we left, the party was over. Master Seven carrying a decent gash to his forehead. Driving away I decided we needed to see a doctor, I needed a doctor to have a look. He needed to give his opinion. To avoid hours in the emergency department at a public hospital I decided we'd head to a private hospital's emergency department. It was busy, it was Sunday night, about 6.30pm. We waited and we waited, as you do in an emergency department of a hospital. Master Seven was highly spirited, although thirsty and hungry. Following the nothing to eat or drink before seeing the doctor rule. 'Dad' came to join us. His presence instantly lifted my spirits. He was here to support us and be with us. What a difference it made having him there. He is so much better and stronger than I in his ability to cope with a variety of situations. Master Seven chatted and fired endless questions, as only he can, until after close to two hours of waiting we were called to the cubicle. Finally a doctor was going to have a look at this gash.

The doctor was just lovely. He did an excellent job at making Master Seven and I feel comfortable. His opinion, glue the affected area, cover with some medical strips and clear glad wrap like covering, keep dry for five days, no sport, no swimming and come back Friday morning for a reassessment. My main concern the scaring, the long term scar that could potentially be an unwanted reminder of what happened. The doctor's advice to give it a year and half to heal at which time if we aren't happy a plastic surgeon can be consulted. Time will tell. I know Vitamin E does wonders when it comes to repairing scars, I'll be applying it rigorously.

A number of things have left a bad taste in my mouth in relation to this incident. My instinct was that he shouldn't attend this party. As far as I understand it was a somewhat deliberate 'accident'. The mother of the other child hasn't approached me about the incident. I need to accept people are different and don't think the same as I would in this situation. I'm just hoping he isn't left with a nasty and obvious scar.

What a lesson this has taught me, next time if my mother's instinct tells me no, not suitable or not age appropriate I'm standing up to what I believe in, regardless of other parent influences and opinions and the demands of my children.

What a day! What a way to finish off the weekend.

Thanks for reading and (listening) to my story :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I learnt a new word today, a word I don't think I had ever heard of before. In my late thirties and still learning new words, how exciting!

My new word for the day 'ecru' the shade greyish-pale yellow or a light greyish-yellowish brown.

It is often used to describe such fabrics as silk and linen in their unbleached state. 'Ecru' comes from the French word écru, which means literally 'raw' or 'unbleached'.

In the 1930s and before, 'ecru' was considered to be the same colour as the colour beige but since the 1950s 'ecru' and beige have been regarded as two different colours.

Am I the only one who learnt the meaning of a new word today?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

mother's guilt

Mother's guilt has swept over me this evening. Tomorrow it will have passed (I'm hoping). 2010 is the first year both my boys are at school. Both boys came home this afternoon with their 'parent helper' notice for term 2. Here is my issue. A small one at that but significant to the point it has bothered me this evening.

I'm one of those mums who likes to contribute to the school community. While they attended kindergarten for four years I had my stint on the parent committee. Personally I feel I get alot out of my involvement in contributing to the kindergarten and school communities, my assistance in some small way contributes to the bigger picture. The boys love mum being there to help.

Since starting uni again only 3 weeks ago, I've quickly realised and accepted the fact I can't be a yes person to everything these days, that is if I want to study, do well and pass. Already life is busy, family commitments, work commitments, writing commitments and now study. The time has come in my life where I need to think before I say yes. In the past I willingly said yes to plenty and along the way caused myself and the family unnecessary stress. Had I considered more thoughtfully what I was saying yes to, life at times could have been less stressful for us all I'm sure.

I've allowed myself to accept that from now on I will on occasion say no to a coffee with friends, no to a night out and no to some of the requests for parent help at the school. I've said yes to cutting fruit for the preps morning tea. I've said yes to contributing and assisting with the compiling of the school yearbook. I can't say yes to being a parent helper in both the boys grades. Even if it is only once a week, once a fortnight or once a month. Time moves fast these days, the week moves fast, the term is over before we know it.

Tonight I've made the somewhat hard call of saying no to helping in my big boy's grade 2 class for term 2. I'm feeling uncomfortable with my decision. I feel I am letting him down. But I realise I can't do it. I feel it is fair that I offer to assist with my younger boy's class, this is his first year at school. I did the same for my oldest when he was in prep. I always feel such a need to treat them equally, this decision is a first for me. An occasion where I am giving to one and not the other. I know I'll be asked why aren't I helping in the grade 2 class. This mum isn't superwoman and can't say yes to everything these days, I am sure left feeling guilty with my decision.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

farm day

May last year we enjoyed our first 'Farm Day' experience. Farm Day is when a farming family hosts a city family for a day. Farm Day is a fantastic opportunity, for children who live in the city and are so insulated from country life to enjoy first hand farming experiences.

Last year our family had the absolute pleasure of spending the day with a farming family who own a wool and cereal farm in Western Victoria. They were an absolute delight to spend time with. Lovely people, so very welcoming. We came home with home grown vegetables, beautiful homemade chutneys and relishes and a couple of bags of sheep bones and fleece for show and tell at school!

Registration for Farm Day 2010 (29th and 30th May)is about to open any day. For more information and to register your interest in participating click here.

I am so impressed by the concept of Farm Day. The day is such a rewarding experience and a tremendous success. What an amazing opportunity for city kids, to absorb real hands on farming experiences. An opportunity for them to develop a greater understanding of the day-to-day life of a farming family. To experience first hand how other kids live.

We can't wait to learn details of the family we'll be visiting this year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

cadbury family picnic and easter egg hunts

I was about to tell you about the Cadbury Family Picnic and Easter Egg Hunts to be held on Good Friday, thinking you might like to take the family, but unfortunately I've just discovered this event is already sold out! It sure is popular.

Fortunately I ordered our tickets a week or so ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the the Cadbury Family Picnic and Easter Egg Hunts at the magnificent Werribee Park, 30 minutes from the centre of Melbourne, this wonderful event raises much needed funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

This event is becoming a family tradition for us each year. It's how we spend our Good Friday. We enjoy family time and a picnic in the grounds of the beautiful Werribee Park . The boys take part in Easter egg hunts. Racing against a timer, with Cadbury bags in hand they fill their bags as quickly as they can with small solid eggs scattered across the lawn. Last year I recall they collected in excess of 300 solid Easter eggs!!

I apologise I didn't post about this gem of an event earlier. It's definitely worth making a mental note that this event is held annually on Good Friday. Lots of fun and magic for chocolate lovers! And it's all for a very good cause!

all the reading that comes with study

I'm about to head into week 3 of my uni studies. Week 3 of 13 weeks, time is certainly moving fast. I'm living a new learning journey. Becoming accustomed to the world and requirements of online learning. Connecting with students all over the globe, literally, from an island off the Northern Territory to New York City and many places in between.

I've 'survived' the first two weeks and managed to submit two small assessments, each worth 5%, on time! Now eagerly anticipating my first grades. I'm still coming to terms with the amount of reading that is required of my. I'm enjoying being a 'student' again, I'm using my mind. Challenging myself. I'm feeling alot of personal satisfaction.

Our life has always been a constant juggle between family and work commitments. Now study is part of the mix and time for 'me' to pursue my own interests. There's a little voice inside my head encouraging me. So far, we are all coping and adjusting to this 'new' life remarkably well, early days, but off to a very good start.

I need to become far more self disciplined though in terms of my bedtime. My goal, when the clock strikes 11pm switch the computer off!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

new music to my ears

Friday the 12th of March 2010 had been marked in my diary for months. I waited ever so patiently for this day to arrive. Like an excited teenager, I couldn't wait for Angus and Julia Stone to release their new album Down the Way.

Finally the 12th of March was here, by lunchtime I had purchased the album through iTunes and was playing it LOUD on my iPod. Technology today! I've barely stopped playing it since. I'm a huge fan, enjoying this new album SO MUCH!!

What can I say, other than you must treat yourself to this new album. Click here for a listen. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

back to uni for me

Where have I been this week? Can someone please slow time down just a little for me, please? It's now March, Autumn and I'm back at Uni. It's now my time, with both the boys at school. Time for me to pursue my dreams. I'm back at Uni after 18 years. Yes 18 years ago I completed my first degree, a Bachelor of Arts at RMIT.

This week I started my first unit towards a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) degree. Studying from the comfort of home through Open Universities Australia. My first unit an 'introduction to university learning' will help me refocus on university learning. It'll help me understand the expectations and requirements of university learning and teach me plenty about online learning. Already I'm being introduced to students all over Australia and overseas. A diverse variety of backgrounds, ages and area of study. It's really interesting to learn about people and their reasons to take on university study. The majority, like myself, are feeling a little overwhelmed this week, I'm sure in time we'll ease into this new way of life and focus. It's only week 1, so new to us. You know what, when I completed my first degree, all those years ago, the internet did not exist!! Can you believe that?? I hand wrote all my essays and spent hours at the library. My oh my how times and technology have changed in such a relative short time.

I have two small assessments, each worth 5%, due in next Friday. Week 2 and assessments are due!! OMG I thought, what have I got myself into?? When I'm not working or looking after the family's needs, you'll find me studying these days. Until I'm comfortable with my online learning I may not be able to post here as regularly as I like. I'll be back and definitely not too far away. You know how much I like it here. My aim, to post here once or twice a week. When I need some down time I'll be sure to pop over to your blog.

Monday, March 1, 2010

italian cooking

I had such a great day today! Still recovering from my virus but well enough to take part in a three hour Italian cooking class. What a great way to spend part of my day. The things I can now do while the children are at school, divine indeed.

Local council is celebrating healthy lifestyle week with an excellent and diverse range of activities for community members to enjoy, at a subsided price! Today's class cost me a mere $5! I jumped at the opportunity to attend this class, so glad I read about it in the local newspaper.

I enjoy cooking and am fortunate to have grown up in a family where my mother and grandmother cooked a large variety of delicious mediterranean dishes. This is where my love of food and cooking came from. Even though I know how to prepare some traditional Italian meals, I'm always keen to learn something new. I enjoy my time in the kitchen and am passionate about preparing healthy meals for the family. I find my biggest challenge these days is time, I'm forever on the look out for quick, easy and healthy meals. Today's class was perfect!

The class was taken by the daughter of a traditional Italian 'cook'. Her knowledge, tips and love of cooking contagious. The class, a very small, intimate and relaxed group of keen cooks. We chatted, we shared, we listened, we asked questions, we watch intently, we finished the class taste testing what had been prepared. Simply delicious, eggplant pasta, an onion frittata and ricotta cannoli.

I enjoyed my time so much today that I've signed up for a three week Italian cooking course. Starting next week. The recipes use seasonal produce, are low cost and easy! I can't wait.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

where have i been?

I've been away from my blog lately. For almost a week actually. I've missed it. It's been calling me, popping into my head frequently. I've been away because I've been feeling average, actually less than average.

It started days ago when my left ear started to feel blocked. Initially I thought blocked with water from my morning shower. Being 'super mum' I thought I could fight the somewhat annoying condition despite it becoming worse as the day and then days went on. I was convinced it would just go away as quickly as it came. Boy was I wrong.

In the middle of suffering from my blocked ear I subjected myself to the swine flu vaccination. I had a pre booked appointment. I had previously reluctantly made the decision to receive the vaccination based on my contact with the public, through my work in retail. People travel extensively these days and often don't share the same level of hygiene care as I personally do. Opinion circulating at the moment is that this winter season could see swine flu more widespread amongst the community. I very bravely dragged myself to the GP. The nurse who administered the injection was lovely, gentle and very aware that I was going to be very sensitive to the jab. It was all over in a matter of seconds, followed by a few jelly beans. I felt well without any side effects for the following days. I wondered whether I'd have a reaction, fortunately not.

But still my left ear remained blocked for days. I continued to think tomorrow it will be ok! After six days with no sign of even a slight improvement I popped into my local health food store and stocked up on some olive leaf extract. Be warned the taste is not pleasant but it is good stuff! I took it regularly last year and I believe consequently enjoyed fine health. Summer rolled around, I didn't top up my supplies and now look at me, unwell, tired and thinking what is wrong with me.

After continuing to suffer a blocked ear for 10 days I finally took myself back to the GP, by this stage my throat was sore, my nose blocked, my voice unrecognisable and my breathing difficult. Following my detailed explanation of how dreadful I'd been feeling the GP simply told me I had a virus!! In other words my body will just have to fight it without the support of antibiotics and plenty of rest.

Only today did I manage to start feeling half normal, slightly decent and inclined to take on the day more enthusiastically.

I'm now on the mend and looking forward to getting back into my routine. Enjoying my days and not struggling so much.

I really did miss time here at my blog. I missed reading your blogs and your comments. It's great to be back! Gee, I have a bit of reading to catch up on.

Monday, February 22, 2010

this week's charity

Some people are just amazing, so thoughtful, so caring, so generous, so highly spirited, their qualities are contagious, totally inspiring beyond words. Thea over at My Year of Giving has selected Karen and Riley as this week's charity.

Karen and her son are shaving their heads for The Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave . Their goal to raise $5,000. I doubt I would have the courage to shave my hair

If you're in a position to support Karen and her son please click on the Karen and Riley link above. Don't you just admire some people and their efforts to support those less fortunate and in need.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

free movies

We subscribe to Foxtel in this house, and have done so for about the last 3 years. Our package is restricted, in that we have a package which includes, the sports channels (I'm out numbered on this one), the kids channels (which have been thoroughly enjoyed), the third package of channels I think are lifestyle channels (which I rarely, if ever watch).

Today I was notified of a special deal, available to us for two weeks. That's right, a FREE treat, for two weeks!! You rarely get something for free these days. Hence my excitement. From February 21st to March 8th, courtesy of the Movie Network Channels we are going to be able to enjoy the very best in uninterrupted movie entertainment. We're going to have access to nine channels dedicated to showing everything from family flix, blockbusters and tearjerkers to exclusive new series and live events.

We've managed to survive without the movie channels up until this time, I'm wondering how we are all going to enjoy these free movies!! I do hope there is no fighting, arguing or crying. In preparation, we'll need to scan the Foxtel program guide to identify which movies are on offer.

I bet this free two week treat is offered to customers in the hope that at the conclusion, customers will sign up for the regular movie package. Regardless of what happens, I do hope we can all stick to our 'guns', respecting and accepting that in this house the movie channels are available, only for a short time! We're going to enjoy the next two weeks, free movies!! I'm so excited on the inside.

I haven't seen a movie for literally ages, months possibly years, unfortunately. Any suggestions? Just one would be great. I'll collate and assess which are high on the priority, must see list!!

'a month of me time' update

I'm getting so much out of 'a month of me time' that it got me thinking that you might like to register with The Calm Space directly to take part in 'a month of me time' at a time that suits you personally.

You might decide to sign up now, in a week, in a month or in a couple of months. When the time is right for you to receive simple daily actions to nourish your soul please pop over to 'The Calm Space'. In the mean time you may like to subscribe to the site to receive inspiring emails.

It's important to take the time to take better care of yourself. 'The Calm Space' is a great place to start!

is there room for some soup in your day?

Yesterday while I was scanning my inbox, I'm becoming a speed scanner and speedy at filtering my ever increasing inbox, an email titled 'do you want to try new products before they launch and give your opinion?‏' immediately caught my attention and had me asking what???

Let me fill you in on Soup.

"Soup is for people who love having their say and want to be involved in shaping the future of brands and products. Soup is a place that connects influential and interesting people with forward thinking companies."

That sounds like me I thought to myself. So I had a look around 'Soup', checking out the site and the latest projects. With my interest quickly consumed it wasn't long before I decided to get involved and followed the 3 simple steps to becoming a 'souper'. The steps were quite straightforward, getting to know you, your details, your interests and your world type questions.

It's official, I'm now a fully fledged 'souper', eager and ready to participate, can't wait for details on my first project. As a 'souper' I can now look forward to free access to cool stuff, like products before they launch, samples, and exclusive behind the scene access. I'll get to exchange my opinions and ideas about brands, this is what I am going to enjoy the most!

I didn't mention, it’s completely free with no obligations at all, to join. Are you interested, tempted maybe to give it a go?

Stay tuned for details of my first project.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

'a month of me time' update

Day 7 of 'a month of me time'. Today's tip from The Calm Space simply, light a candle.

A flame can help you focus, a flame can help you breathe, a flame can help you relax. It's also a great aid to meditation and quieting down those hundreds of thoughts running through your busy mind.

I love having a scented candle burning in the house. When I remember to light a candle, it is usually in the evening, when I can enjoy the quieter part of the day. I love how a scented candle fills the room with divine fragrance, instantly transforming the environment. Creating peace and tranquillity, an atmosphere I feel so comfortable in that I can't help but to relax in.

I'm going to buy myself a new scented candle tomorrow. Can you offer me suggestions on your favourite fragrances to fill my home?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'a month of me time' update

Today's update, day 6 'a month of me time'.

When Karen's email came through I instantly felt a strong curiosity, what inspiring words of wisdom will Karen direct to me today. As I began reading I began to smile. Day 6 is all about coffee, my indulgence, a true love in my life. There was a time it was almost an addiction which I needed to curb and curb it I have. In the past, I drank it so heavily as a matter of habit, there has been many a day when I have felt so physically exhausted I've turned to my companion to see ME through the day.

The message from Karen at The Calm Space .

Life is too short to drink bad coffee (or instant coffee).
Make your morning cuppa an event.
Brew freshly ground coffee to perfection.
Drink it in a beautiful cup or mug.

'The Calm Space' also encourages you to stop in at your favourite cafe. This is something I do after the morning school drop off. The local cafe sells the best coffee around, in these parts.

If you're a tea drinker, invest in a nice teapot, use loose-leaf tea (apparently, tea drinkers can taste the difference) and drink out of a beautiful china cup.

Remember to simply breathe, be aware of your surroundings. Really taste what you are drinking. Savour and appreciate every sip.

Relishing your morning (or afternoon) cup is taking time for ME.

These days I try very hard to stick to 1 to 2 cups of coffee each day. Tell me, are you an over indulgent coffee drinker? How many cups do you sip on each day? When you order your coffee, what do you order? My order is a skinny weak latte with one sugar please :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

'a month of me time' update

Today is day 5 of 'a month of me time'. For 30 days, I'm concentrating on me, as simple as this may sound and even seem. What a total inspiration Karen Wallace and The Calm Space is.

Karen, I'm finding your 'simple daily actions to nourish my soul' truly amazing. Each action does seem quite simple on the surface, it seems easy enough to achieve. This is definitely not the case for me. I'm finding myself making a concentrated effort to sustain these actions as part of my 'new' daily routine, where I actually take time for me. I love how 'a month of me time' is forcing me to focus my attention on me and how I carry about my daily business and actions.

I'm ever so slowly accepting the fact that taking time to stop, means I am taking time for me.

The focus for day 4, take time to just sit, to just sit and simply be.

Forget about that never ending to do list. Forget about anything else you think you 'should' be doing.

A simple message, a simple action, take 5 minutes for you each day.

Sit. Breathe. Relax.

The focus for day 5, fill your home with fresh flowers, there is nothing nicer.

Don't wait for a special occasion or for someone to buy you flowers. Go out and treat yourself to a small bunch or a single bloom. I love having a vase of fresh flowers in the house. They change the room completely with their delightful appearance and scent.

Ladies, Karen's message is very clear, simply take time for you each day! You owe it to yourself and those around you, to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world.

Ladies a very big thank you for leaving such encouraging and motivating comments against my 'a month of me time' posts :)

cherish you! challenge

I have to share this with you, quickly tonight before the clock strikes midnight! Before time runs out. I'm sorry about the short notice.

Karen Wallace over at The Calm Space is running for the first time, the FREE, 5 day, 'Cherish You! Challenge'. It starts tomorrow, Tuesday 16th February. You'll need to register before Tuesday in your time zone to be in!

If you're feeling a little unloved, unappreciated or under cherished why don't you take part in the 'Cherish You! Challenge'. The challenge is all about learning to love yourself one step at a time. Over 5 days the 'Cherish You! Challenge' will challenge you with 5 small, simple steps towards a life where your cup is overflowing with love, appreciation and caring.

Please click here for full details.

It's FREE. It's only 5 days. You could learn something, you could learn alot. Your life could improve a little, your life could improve alot. What have you got to lose?

I'd love to hear if you decide to take the Cherish You! Challenge .

this week's charity

It's Monday again! I really like Monday. I feel so good when I wake on Monday morning.

Why? I hear my lovely new 'followers' question. Firstly, a very warm welcome and thank you for taking the time to read 'life and the memoirs'. I hope you enjoy your time here.

Now back to why each Monday in the year 2010 is shaping up to be such a fabulous start to my week. 7 weeks ago I stumbled across Thea and her brilliant idea and blog My Year of Giving. Thea has committed to donating $5 to a worthy cause or charity every week for this whole year. Each Monday Thea posts her cause or charity choice for the week. I simply follow her lead and match her $5 donation. So simple and so easy!

$5 may not seem much, but it definitely goes along way in helping to make a difference to someone's life, someone who is in desperate need of help or support.

This week a friend of Thea's on Twitter suggested Hug For Hearts™ which coincides with Valentine's Day. Hug For Hearts™ is supporting the Heart Foundation, Australia's leading heart health Charity.

If you're in a position to support this week's charity please click here .

You can expect me to post 'this week's charity' details each and every Monday! Stay tuned :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

'a month of me time' update

Today is day 3 of a 'month of me time'. For the next 30 days, I'm concentrating on me, as simple as this may sound and even seem.

Each evening Karen Wallace, Founder and Editor of The Calm Space, forwards me an email, detailing a tip to nourish my soul. This is so inspiring. A gentle reminder to guide me ever so slowly. To support and help me refocus on me!

The focus for day 1, taking time to drink water! Drinking water is vital to our health and vitality, getting through a busy day requires plenty of both.

Friday night I was feeling so inspired, I drank a litre of water. I need to consistently remind myself to drink water, and lots of it! Naturally I don't crave water nor do I often suffer extreme thirst.

The focus for day 2, listen to good music!

Following in my father's footsteps, I love a variety of music. Great music can inspire, uplift, motivate and even calm.

When I'm home I often have music playing in the background. Before going to sleep I enjoy a relaxing CD which does a great job in assisting me to unwind and switch off from my day and my thoughts.

The focus for day 3, book a check-up with the Doctor! What a great reminder. Taking care of our health and physical well being is taking time of ME.

These tips are a fabulous reminder on how I can take time out for me. How I can start to look after me!

Are these 3 tips part of your day already? Do they come naturally or like me do you need to refocus your attention and actions, to shift your focus more towards yourself?

life is busy

A very short post from me today. I'm still here, I'm not going anywhere. This end of the week is always 'busy' over at our place, particularly with me working a couple of late nights along with a few hours spread across the weekend. Once we factor in precious family time, it's Sunday night before we know it and we're planning for another week! In Victoria, term one will finish in just six weeks, holidays are around the corner yet again! Short term this one, eights weeks.

What's on the agenda this weekend? For me, I simply can't wait to enjoy some much longed for cooler weather. It's going to be bliss. Oh and a mini sleep in, just what I need and I'll be reading the weekend newspapers over a coffee or two and working.

I'll be posting over the weekend, at some stage. You know how much I'm loving this blogging thing. I'll be sure to fill you in on the beginning of 'a month of me time!'

Until then, enjoy your days :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

tomorrow, day 1, a month of me time!

We are well and truly into the swing of 2010. Christmas and the extended summer holidays seem such along time ago now. School has started, I'm mum to primary school aged children, for goodness sake! It's now time to invest time into ME! For the past 7 years the majority of my life has focused on my adorable family, I now have approximately 30 hours a week for ME! Some of the time I'll use domestically, some of the time I'll work, some of the time I'll study, some of the time I'll socialise and some of the time I'll use simply for myself, writing, reading, relaxing, simply enjoying time out and my own company.

Now, I tend to get a little carried away at times surfing the net, losing myself in endless snippets of information, news, blogs, the list goes on and on. Today I found a site at the most perfect time and stage of my life. The timing couldn't have been more spot on! I found "The Calm Space".

"The Calm Space is an online magazine that is like a virtual day-spa for your senses… decadent, informative, relaxing. A real no-mobile-phones-allowed kind of escape where you can chill for a minute or an hour and emerge refreshed and ready to face anything your day throws at you!

It’s a rare woman who doesn’t succumb to chaos and madness at some stage during her busy week. Whatever your particular life situation, and no matter how your day is going, you will find respite within "the calm space".

"The Calm Space" is not just about chilling out! It also focuses on taking action, moving out of stress and chaos, and moving towards a happier, calmer life."

The blurb above instantly captured my attention, I was hooked immediately! Wanting to read more and more.

How divine that I should find "the calm space", talk about excellent timing! Now is the time for ME, time to indulge myself!

I'm excitedly anticipating "A Month of Me Time", a free e-course which is aimed at inspiring ME to take better care of MYSELF! Each day for the next 30 days I shall receive an email on the importance of taking a little time for MYSELF! I'll receive simple daily actions to nourish MY soul.

I can't wait to be inspired to take better care of MYSELF! If I'm honest with myself, myself has been slightly neglected, this is not good for any member of our family, least of all myself.

Little steps commence tomorrow. No more running on empty! Now is the time for ME! Tomorrow is day 1, the beginning. I'm certain I was meant to find the calm space today.

I'll share my simple daily actions with you. You may even feel inspired to join yourself!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

writer's block

With my thinking cap stuck firmly on my head tonight, I have struggled to blog. I've struggled to write. I've struggled to get the words out. That's ok, it's just a small case of writer's block.

I'm so easily distracted by reading many inspiring blogs, I have a hundred thoughts racing around my head, please slow down in there so I can catch my breath. My head is feeling full, a good full but still full, full of ideas, creativity and a strong desire to achieve, something great.

It's been another hot day in Melbourne, my energy is zapped, the heat and I don't always have a happy and comfortable relationship. I think it's a sign that I call it a night, it's time for me to enjoy a good night's sleep. I'll wake feeling refreshed and energised.

Do you ever suffer writer's block? How do you manage the moments of what am I going to write about today? How do you manage the moments of trying to find the right words to tell your story, to share your thoughts? I love writing, but occasionally a block forms and I simply can't get the words out.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I've recently become aware of Pandora, Pandora Jewellery. I've discovered and learnt of the latest craze, the making and wearing of Pandora charm bracelets! Pandora is fast becoming an amazing fashion statement. Pandora design and sell gorgeous charms, bracelets, necklaces, ear rings and rings, the difficulty is in selecting which design to purchase.

It's so easy to get started on designing your own unique Pandora charm bracelet! Just pick a bracelet and then choose from a wide array of beads, charms. With a simple twisting motion, you can "string" beads, charms on your bracelet! A Pandora bracelet will be unique to you depending on the beads, charms you select.

I'm contemplating the purchase of a Pandora charm bracelet but I can't decide on a leather or silver bracelet. Any suggestions?

For more information and inspiration on the Pandora range click here . Truly beautiful.

this week's charity

Monday again! Monday has taken on a new meaning for me this year, Monday is the day I check in on Thea's My Year of Giving blog to learn which charity we are donating to for the week.

Week 6 already and this week's charity is "Cate's Cause" An Appeal Against Homelessness .

"Cate's Cause" an Appeal against Homelessness is a management account of Community Enterprise Foundation™ (Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's philanthropic arm. The Community Enterprise Foundation™ has launched “Cate’s Cause” an Appeal against Homelessness in partnership with 4 Walls Ltd. 4 Walls Ltd is a Not For Profit community housing organisation that delivers a diverse range of social, community, resettlement, affordable housing and housing related services to individuals and families in Queensland.

This Appeal is inspired by a Queensland family, Cate and Rick Bolt and their nine children who encountered severe financial difficulty which resulted in them losing their home. They fell into arrears in their rent payments and were hit with large unexpected medical bills.

The Bolt family have now received assistance. Cate is now dedicated to addressing the issue of homelessness in Australia. Every night more than 100,000 Australians sleep in sheds, tents, parks, garages, caravans, shelters and on the street. Funds from this Appeal will support programs that will help individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with housing & housing related assistance.

Here's to helping make a difference.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

tooth fairy

While preparing dinner this evening, my big boy (7 years old) casually states "another tooth has fallen out Mum!" I immediately think blood. Fortunately there isn't any insight. He brings his tiny baby tooth over to show me, so small, almost grain like, how did he eat so well with teeth so small, I ponder. He collects the 'tooth fairy' container from the kitchen and hurry's it to his room for the tooth fairy to collect after dark. He contemplates how much the tooth fairy will leave him in exchange for his precious tooth. I suggest possibly a gold coin - $1 or maybe even $2. She might even leave some silver coins tonight, it all depends on what she has in her wallet.

How much does the tooth fairy leave at your house in exchange for a tiny, precious baby tooth?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

my favourite time of the day

Not sure how or why this thought popped into my head tonight, I started thinking about my favourite time of the day.

What spurred this on? The reality of being back at school for only two days! It's the marathon race which starts at 3.30pm sharp each weekday, often a fast, hurried, exhausting event that makes me think the evenings, at around 8pm top the list for my favourite time of the day.

The after school crazies, tiredness, munchies, homework, dinner preparation, shower, reader, lights out, culminate to the relieve which is felt when I close the bedroom doors on two little boys and walk down the hall to put the kettle on.

The house is now quite, only faint snores can be heard behind closed doors, oh it's time for me to relax and enjoy a quite evening. Reflecting, we did it again, we will do it again tomorrow night and the next night and the next night, but for now I'll enjoy this time, my favourite time of the day, is this time of night.

There was a time when I was early to bed, I'm slowly becoming a night owl of sorts. Simply spending time doing the things I enjoy, while two little boys dream. I accomplish alot this time of night. I love my days but the evenings are so peaceful, the stillness of the night I can feel from inside.

If you're a mum with children at school, you may relate to how I am feeling. What is your favourite time of the day?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

off to school we go, everyday!

Today was the day I have at times longed for, thought would never come, the day on the calendar I thought in 2010 that seemed liked years away! 2010!

Today was the day the youngest member of the family left the nest to start his school journey. He was excited, without a tear in his eye. I was left feeling slightly overwhelmed at the realisation that this is it!! Off to school we go, everyday! No more occasional care, no more kindergarten, no more child care. No more one on one time or being by my side.

I'm no longer a Mum with a child at school and a pre schooler. He is definitely ready for this new and exciting adventure, as for me, give me a week or so, possibly a little longer to become accustomed to this new phrase of life. Fortunately I have a few distractions while they are off enjoying their school day.

I look back now on the first 5 years, realising just how far this little being has come. From baby, to toddler to pre school to school. Each age and stage of development has been different, a learning experience for us all. No manual to refer to. Wow! we have come along way, in only 5 years. What lies ahead we don't know, but we're always going to be here guiding, supporting, caring and loving unconditionally.

Monday, February 1, 2010

this week's charity

For those of you who are new to my blog welcome!

I joined the incredibly inspirational Thea at My Year of Giving earlier this year in supporting her brilliant idea to donate $5 each week, for this entire year, to a different charity.

All I do, you are more than welcome to do the same, is visit My Year of Giving on a Monday for details of Thea's charity of the week. Yes it is that easy! $5 may not seem like much but I am certain that it helps to make a difference to someone in need.

We are now into Week 5 of 'My Year of Giving' with Thea selecting Beyond Blue as this week's charity. Many of us have known a family member or someone very close to us to be affected by depression.

We usually make a $5 donation but the Beyond Blue website
only accepts minimum donations of $10, so $10 it is this week. All for a very good cause!

'My Year of Giving' is a great start to my week, knowing I have helped someone or a community in a small way, makes me feel wonderful!

beautiful blogger award

How shocked was I to receive the 'Beautiful Blogger Award' from Kelly over at Kellansapansa thanks Kelly! Wow this blogging thing is getting serious now!!

The challenge, a tough one at that, to list 7 INTERESTING things about moi. Definition of 'interesting' - 'to excite the attention of'!! Righto then, here I go at giving this list my best!

1. As a Year 12 Media Studies student (in 1989) I interviewed Bert Newton over the telephone for an assignment on the history of radio. Recorded onto a cassette tape! Do you remember those?? Don't own a cassette player these days, so can't replay the interview!

2. My teeth required orthodontic treatment for 6 years! I loved the bus trip into Collins Street and lunch with my Mum following the appointment. I can still remember the agony of having my braces tighten. The end result after all the pain, pretty good looking teeth!

3. I was a flower girl in a family friends wedding when I was close to 5 years old.

4. My parents always took the family on a driving holiday during the May school holidays. Back in my day, the school year was divided into 3 terms. My parents loved driving 3 kids around country Victoria and New South Wales in the Autumn...??

5. 'Aussie Farmers Direct' deliver milk, bread, cheese, fruit and veg to our front door a number of times a week. So glad the milkman is back!!


6. I've been working part time in retail for 4 years, administration role. It's been a great outlet for me while my boys were of pre school age, but now they are both at school the focus is moving onto ME!

7. I learnt French at school for years and would not be able to speak a sentence if my life depended on it! Sad :(

My job is done! I shall now pass the 'Beautiful Blogger Award' to these 2 very INTERESTING bloggers.

Sarah Elizabeth at Sarah Elizabth
Victoria at 13mimosa

Have fun and I look forward to reading your lists :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

tagged! 25 random things about me!

I've been tagged!

Tagged by Kelly over at Kellyansapansa to share '25 random things about me!'

Here I go!

1. I am left handed.
2. My Mum was born in Egypt, my Dad Australia.
3. My sister is 2 years younger than me, my brother 5 years younger, that makes me the eldest!
4. I passed my driver’s licence test on my second attempt. I can’t even remember how I managed to fail the first time but I did!
5. I unfortunately can’t swim, something I’m not proud of but I have never been able to get it!
6. I knew my Great Grandmother.
7. My mail is delivered to a post office box.
8. I own lots and lots of cookbooks, yes I’m addicted!
9. I have a subscription to the great food mag “SFI, Super Food Ideas”, yes I like to cook and need inspiration to satisfy the family.
10. I love spending time in the garden but lately have been neglecting it a little, it sure is time to get out there again!
11. I worked for the largest oil company in the world for 11 years.
12. I love eating out at a ‘nice’ restaurant.
13. I’ve always wanted to study Journalism, and now I am! I love news and newspapers.
14. I recently started writing for a monthly community newspaper and love it!
15. My goal is to get paid to work from home, writing.
16. I am fairly terrible at all things mathematical.
17. I’ve got my eye on a new camera, a digital SLR, the Canon EOS, saving my dollars for this one at the moment.
18. I drive a 4WD.
19. Family and friends are very important to me. I love the opportunity to spend time with both.
20. At the moment I’m reading Mia Freedmans’s ‘Mama Mia’
21. I got an iPhone in December and love it! I text and email a lot!
22. I take multivitamins and see a Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner for all my ‘alternative’ therapy needs.
23. I’m a fan of ‘My Friend the Chocolate Cake’, I hear you asking who are they? They are a brilliant musical group based in Melbourne. Their music has an emphasis on piano and violin. Their acoustic style quite unique.
24. My dear friend Emma over at ‘Starting in Sweden’ introduced me to ‘Loobylu’ and the amazing world that is ‘blogging’, thanks Emma!
25. I created ‘life and the memoirs’ in October 2009, it took me until the 13th of December 2009 to ‘go live’ with my first post!

26. I had to add a number 26! My ‘baby’ starts school tomorrow, oh my :)

I'd like to tag the following bloggers to come up with a '25 random things about me!' list. I can guarantee it's not as scary as it might first seem :)

Engracia at "Lynwood Musings"
Thea at "My Year of Giving"
Amanda at "Homely One"

Hope you have fun compiling your list!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

working towards a deadline

I'm totally focused today on completing my stories for a community newspaper I've recently started writing for, my deadline tomorrow!

I'm relishing in the opportunity. Invaluable practical experience as I undertake completing a second degree, Bachelor of Communication (Journalism). This time around I'm studying from the comfort of home with the many distractions of my young family. I completed my first degree almost 20 years ago, the internet did not exist! I did not have a computer. I hand wrote all my essays. I can hardly remember the days before access to the internet, google, office and home computers. And now blogging! How times have changed.

I'll be back once I've hit the 'sent' button! That might be tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

living australian 2010

I recently became aware of AussieVault by the Australia Day Council of New South Wales.

The Australia Day Council of New South Wales is giving all Australians an opportunity to take part in new and exciting year long campaigns, a social history hub for all things Australian.

'AussieVault' is a chance to be part of history, an opportunity to share your thoughts on our nation's journey through various creative and meaningful campaigns.

'AussieVault' recently ran an online photographic campaign 'Living Australian 2010'. 1111 photographs were submitted across four categories, 'my heroes', 'my landscape', 'my life' and 'my sports'. To view these impressive images depicting 'Living Australian' click here.

Although the competition is closed, you can still participate in the 'Living Australian' campaign and share how you are' Living Australian'.

The winner 'Leap of Faith' by Kerryn Leworthy shown in this post.

Kerryn's photo for me, recalls my many happy memories as a child playing in the backyard under the garden hose and sprinkler with my siblings. Long before the days of 3A water restrictions.

Kerryn explains "This photo was taken in our backyard in November 2009. Due to high level water restrictions here in Queensland my five year old son had never played with a garden hose. We took advantage of relaxed water restrictions on this sweltering day and let the kids loose with the hose for fifteen minutes of fun. This image of my son Connor leaping into the blue plastic paddling pool toward his siblings conjures up many memories of the hours I spent with my sisters under the hose and sprinkler as children. To think of my own children never experiencing such pure, simple fun is unthinkable!"

The 1111 images picture the true Aussie spirit and way of life, enjoy! Happy Australia Day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

kindred spirits

Since starting this blog in December I have 'meet' many kindred spirits. Kindred spirit, "someone who feels and thinks the way you do".

I am connecting with people all over Australia, in fact the world. What an amazing opportunity and experience presented to me. I find it ever so interesting, and enjoy reading the posts of blogs I have chosen to 'follow'. Catching up on the latest blog posts is fast becoming both an essential and regular part of my day. I look forward to reading the latest posts and anticipate what the 'blogger' will have chosen to write about today.

Blogging is opening up the world around me. It's inspiring to share information and experiences, the good and the bad. Blogs I follow are written by women, women who in general possess and nurture a love of writing, reading, crafting, sewing, photography, cooking, gardening, family, a love of life. Women desire conversation and support, blogging provides this. The encouragement to post comes from knowing 'someone' will read my words, they may relate, they may connect, they may find it interesting, they may leave a comment.

For me blogging provides a space to reflect, to write, to connect, to learn, to be inspired and motivated to achieve my goals. In a sense it provides a journey of self discovery, incredible support from 'kindred spirits' and a great knowledge, awareness and appreciation of the world in which we interface.

Thank you 'kindred spirits' and new 'blogging friends' for sharing and being part of this journey with me.

What inspired you to create your blog and what is your inspiration to continue?

happy mail exchange

Recently I found fat mum slim the great blog written by Chantelle. Today Chantelle had an idea, to organise a Happy Mail Exchange.

Happy Mail Exchange is going to be an exchanging of goodies in the mail. If you like getting mail, and sending lovely things, this is for you. You'll be given a random person to send some goodies off to, in return you'll get some goodies from a random person.

If you'd like to play along go to fat mum slim for further details and to sign up. You can live anywhere in the world to join in. Great idea! Should be lots of fun too!

this week's charity

Last week I introduced you to My Year of Giving the brilliant idea of Thea Smith, to donate $5 each week to a different charity.

This week's charity is Angel Flight. Living in Melbourne I had not heard of Angel Flight, a charity that co-ordinates non-emergency flights to help country people trying to deal with bad health, poor finances and daunting distance. All flights are free and may involve patients travelling to medical facilities anywhere in Australia.

I'm finding My Year of Giving is a great way to start my week. Knowing that in some small way I have helped make a difference to someone in need is very satisfying.
Related Posts with Thumbnails