January 2017Life Love and Hiccups: January 2017
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Monday, 30 January 2017

Unexpected Breaks and New Beginnings

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How good are unexpected breaks?

Like REALLY good in my opinion.

I didn't actually mean to take a break from blogging... but life kind of just happened for a while and the blog didn't. 

No drama.

No excuses,

Just no blog for a little while and that's all.

January has been a slow month for us and I have been busy doing as little as I could possibly get away with work wise and enjoying time with the kids during the holidays.

We didn't go away anywhere, instead we chose to mooch around at home and the beach, and honestly - I feel as relaxed, if not more than I reckon I would have been if we had gone away.

It was a big day in our house today you guys, in fact it's a huge week, as it is for so many of us with school age kids.

Flynn starting at a new school, Sam starts high school... and Kai... well Kai is just going back to his same high school and into a higher grade.

Flynn had his first day at his new school today.

You may remember we made the huge decision to change at the end of last year and so we have been anxiously awaiting the start of school. He has been excited about it, we all have... but as the day drew closer we could see little hints of nerves showing through in him... in all of us in fact.

You question yourself - Have we done the right thing in changing schools? Is it going to be OK, is HE going to be OK? Have we made a mistake?

Yep, I've questioned it all and more and despite that today arrived, ready or not.

Flynn was up bright and early, dressed in his new uniform and ready to rock and roll, but then somewhere between a bowl of cereal and the time to get in the car, the nerves amplified and the tears came.

Oh man... those tears.

Rip my heart out, throw it on the floor and stomp all over it why don't you.

What I would have done to make those tears stop.

But I couldn't make them stop because they were determined to make their presence known. That said, a friend made me see today that maybe the tears were a good thing. A release for him or some kind of natural therapy if you will.

After what felt like the longest morning ever, we arrived at school, introduced him to his new teacher and classroom and then said our goodbyes and left.

That was hard.

SO hard.

I remember how hard it felt when the boys each started kindergarten. We were all nervous yet excited, hopeful but scared. There were new people to meet, routines to learn and you hoped with all your heart that they would make some friends and be happy, but you also knew that everyone else there holding their children's little hands were all in the same boat and starting on an even playing field.

However changing schools a few years in (or at any stage really) comes with its own set of challenges. There were still new people to meet and the new routines to adjust to too, but in some ways I think it is harder than when they were back in Kindergarten because friendships have already been made before you arrived and you / they kind of need to figure out where they fit in.

I desperately wanted to stalk him at lunchtime, just to make sure he was OK and not sitting somewhere on his own feeling sad and lonely.

But I didn't, which I think is a great show of restraint on my behalf don't you?

Don't get me wrong... I nearly caved and had my husband not put the car keys somewhere out of my sight who knows how much restraint I would really have shown.

Instead, I spent the day counting down the hours and minutes until pick up time and then fifteen minutes before the bell went, I legged it as fast as my wobbly legs could carry me and I was there at school, eagerly waiting to see his beautiful face.

Would it be happy?

Would it be sad?

Would I be able to tell how it all went from one look at his face?

It turns out I could because judging by the shy smile he wore as he piled out of his classroom with the other kids - he was happy.

THANK YOU UNIVERSE!!!

He said there were a few moments in the morning where he was feeling 'a bit nervous and a bit miserable', it was just before recess and he got to thinking about how much he missed his old school friends, but then a couple of gorgeous boys took him under their wing and the day was saved.

He did it.

They did it.

We did it.

Although it is only early days, I have a good feeling about this change. I think everything is going to be AOK.

Next stop tomorrow - high school for another new beginning.

How has this happened so quickly?

Me thinks I'm gonna need a bucket load of coffee and Tim Tams to get me through this week.

How are you guys doing?
Did you have any kids starting School or High School for the first time today or changing schools? How did they / you cope?
Did you or your kids ever change schools and have any advice for my little guy.. or me?


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

4 Game Changing Books That Could Change Your Life... For REALS!

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I guess - I'm what you would call a good old fashioned binge reader. 

I show periods of great self restraint that see me often go for months reading just one or two books (if I'm lucky and the books that I am reading don't get used as a missile in World War #783 between my precious gentile children).

But then, like a true junkie does, I have my moments of weakness and just as a chocoholic would eat an entire packet of chewy caramel Tim Tams in one sitting, I devour a pile of books in a matter of days.

OK, I devour books AND an entire packet of chewy caramel Tim Tams in the one breath.

Semantics people.

My point is, when I dive down that big old black hole of book hunger, I am GONE. Like - get yourself your own dinner and does that shirt smell yet no then wear it - kind of GONE you guys and I LOVE it.

I have a particular weakness for books that make my eyes lift from the page and stare trance like off into space and unlike my I'm going to rearrange the entire house trance I go into when I read house porn magazines, my husband is not so scared of this stare. 

He knows well and good that there is to be no furniture rearranging when I emerge from this trace, but he also knows it means I am contemplating really humongous things like... LIFE and the UNIVERSE and all kinds of mystical magical stuff.

My absolute favourites are the books that leave you inspired, uplifted, and ready to stash those Tim Tams in the bin (or at least the fridge) and face the world with a bucket load of unbridled childlike enthusiasm. I live for those book that make you think "Holy Shitballs, how did I survive these forty odd years without ever having read these words before"?

There are four books I put into that extra special "Holy Shitballs" category. 

Actually there are probably more, but these four are my faves that I will read over and over again and these are the ones that I will preach about to friends and strangers and dedicate blog posts and maybe even an Instagram post to. 

These are the books that I buy for friends and random people that I see crying outside the medicare office (alright, I have only ever done that once and I sort of knew her in a sister of a friend kind of way and... she looked REALLY sad).

I am going to share these four books with you and if you haven't already stuck your nose into them for yourself then I will only say this once.... YOU need to beg, borrow or steal these books you guys. Heck stand outside medicare crying and wait for me to come along and feel sorry for you and race into Kmart and buy a copy for you if you have to, just get these books by any means you can and eat them up for they are really good.

I'd even go so far as to say that they are total game changers kind of good.

Since the old saying goes "Don't judge a book by its cover" blah blah... please allow me to explain why I believe these books could possibly be the kryptonite that changes your life.



BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert

Totally awe inspiring stuff this book. If you have ever felt yourself failing to launch, worrying about risk and money and failing or even just standing at the edge of awesomeness and being too scared to leap, then this book is for you.

Through her words she literally turns fear into some kind of magic that gets you going to where you want to be. This book will help you to realise that the anxiety you feel about all those big dreams you have, is not only common and normal, but you can put that energy to good use.

Elizabeth also wrote Eat Pray Love... the book that inspired the movie that inspired my fabulous midlife crisis. We like that woman!









THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle

This is one of those books that I must have been hiding under a rock when it first came out or something, because apparently Oprah and the whole world were jumping off couches and thanking the heavens for the creation of this book and I didn't not have a stinking clue it even existed...

Until that one day I was having a massage and the lovely masseuse (bless her), would not shut the fire truck up about this book that she had just read and so in order to get her to be quiet so I could enjoy the last ten minutes of my massage (you know -the BEST bit of a massage where they massage your head and you drift off into a blissful euphoric sleep before waking abruptly at the end and then offering them whatever money you have left in your wallet or bank account or stashed under your bed to NOT STOP MASSAGING your head) in order to avoid that NOT happening, I promised her I would head straight to Berkelouw Books and grab myself a copy.

True to my word I did and after devouring it in one night I too would have been jumping from couches with Oprah and the rest of the world... if it weren't for my dodgy knees stopping me.

Whilst the language used in this book can be a little hard to get your head around... push through the first few chapters and I promise you will have your "AHA" moment.

This book will teach you how to not let your mind and your thoughts control you and the message is pretty simple in that it is all about being in the moment and living in the now. The past and the present do not even exist - it has either been and gone or has not yet happened and so they really don't exist.

Given that most of our worries and our anxiety stems from something that happened in the past or something that we fear may happen in the future, realising that nothing exists outside of this one moment we are in right now... well holy shitballs that is a pretty darn empowering realisation.

Apparently it is also a very enlightening realisation so if you aspire to be someone who floats through life with a smile on your dial and an imaginary shield that deflects negativity, then this book could just be your golden ticket.

This is also the book I buy for random people crying outside the Medicare office.














THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Ruben

Oh my words cannot do justice to how much I loved this book. It's all about how Gretchen realised that time is passing like super dooper fast and that she was not focusing enough on the things that really mattered to her, and so she decided to dedicate a year to making changes in all areas of her life and she chronicled that year and called it her happiness project.

This book is kind of like one of your favourite blogs that you just want more off and so you keep turning the pages to get your fix and follow how her project plays out.

There are SO many "AHA" moments in this book and so many valuable lessons to be learnt from it's pages that as corny as it sounds - it will make you that much happier for reading it.

I also had a fan girl moment when I posted a photo of this book on instagram and Gretchen herself commented back to me. It proved she is a real genuine down to earth kind of person... my favourite kind of human.


THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A FUCK 
by Sarah Knight.

Admittedly I am smack bang in the middle of reading this book right now, so some may say it is a little premature of me to include this book in my list, and to that I say "I don't give a Fuck".

My friend Tessa gave this book to me over six months ago and I laughed myself stupid at the awesomeness of the title and then it sat on my desk untouched until a few days ago when one of my other friends - Jayde sent me a photo of the book cover and said "OMG, we have to read this, someone told me it is freaking awesome" and I texted her back with a photo of the book sitting on my desk and I was all "OMG I have that book, this HAS to be a sign, I am going to read it right now".

And I did, read it that is.

I still am, and it is ridiculously funny but so damn empowering at the same time.

It's kind of a take on KonMari - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (a book which I haven't read yet but I totally will) but instead of being all about de-cluttering your life, it's about taking control of your life and not giving a fuck about useless stuff you can't control -  like what people think of you and your choices and learning to say "no" instead of yes all the time - and doing it all without turning into a gigantic asshole.

Alright my fellow book junkies... consider yourself informed and as I said earlier, if you haven't already read these gems, get into them... as fast as you can... oh an don't forget the chewy caramel Tim Tams.

They are just a given!

Do you have any books that you would recommend everybody to read? Any particular book or books that have been a real game changer for you too? 
Tell me please because I am pretty sure I will want to read it.




Wednesday, 4 January 2017

My Word For The Year Is...

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It was a few years back when my beautiful friend Bron told me about how every year she chooses a word for the year that reflects what she hopes to achieve or how she would like things to flow for the year, and every year since then I have chosen my own word too.

Last year, the word that I chose was 'change' and in hindsight I probably should have eaten that word right from the beginning (instead of all the other crap I ate) because I am pretty sure I bit of more than I could chew with that one and I still have my ass to show for it.

2016 saw SO MUCH change for us all around the world and for me too, more than I could actually handle and so in future I will be careful what I wish for.

This year I am slowing down the pace and I have chosen this word...

Yup, where last year my brain clearly snapped and I thought change was what I wanted, this year I am all about simplifying things.

I want to simplify the way I live and the way I work and the way that I blog.

I don't know about you, but last year I felt my head was going to explode with everything that I was trying to do and keep up with. All the different social media apps, different ways to connect with people and all the things I thought I needed and should be doing and yada yada.

The reality is - I don't need to do it all and have it all and try to be everything and something to everyone, nor do you you know. We just can't and so we only get ourselves in a pickle even trying.

So this year, simplicity it is.

Simple eating.

Simple blogging.

Simple living.

Simple loving.

Simple connections... just a simple life. 

That is what I hope I look back at this time of the year next year and say YESSSS I nailed that word!

What's your word?
Did you have a word for last year? How did it pan out for you?


Monday, 2 January 2017

2017 Printable Calendars You Will Love

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 Well first of all HAPPY 2017 YOU GUYS!!!!!

I hope you had the most awesome start to the year imaginable.

I've spent the last week mooching around spending time catching up with family and friends and eating leftovers and having a right old time being a lady of leisure... but it's back to work for me tomorrow and so besides the mooching I have also been busy foofing and getting my home office ready all the awesomeness I intend on creating in there this year when I am not at the studio.

I'll share some pics of the office do over soon but in the meantime I wanted to share some of the awesome printable calendars I found online when I was searching around for one for my office.

I'm a sucker for pretty office stuff and I have a particular weakness for diaries, notebooks and planners and of course calendars and although I had FULL intentions of creating my own calendar, I figured 'why bother' when we are so spoilt for choice by so many other generous clever clogs on the interwebs.

So here you go - pick whichever tickles your fancy and get printing (the links to each calendar are below).

I'm deadset certain ANY of these calendars would look absolutely gorgeous somewhere in your home.

How were your New Year's Celebrations? 
Did you do anything exciting or was it a quiet start to the year?
Top Row Left: from Colorful Disaster Top Row Right: from Printable Haven
Middle Row Left: from Foreign Rooftops Middle Row Right: from This Little Street


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