Monday, 28 December 2015

5 tips for a successful minimalist journey

Whilst we are in the midst of the holiday season, and those New Years resolutions are slowly creeping out ready to be announced and affirmed to the world in a few days, I thought I would share some tips that will help anyone who seeking some change. For me personally I feel like I've been on this minimalism train for a few stops now. By no means am I a fully fledged, certified minimalist, we're still working towards that. But I wish someone had shared some insight and some tips with me from the beginning. 

I don't like to fail. I don't like to quit. I like to approach new concepts and adventures with a plan and a bit of caution. But I'm very enthusiastic, when it comes to something as exciting as minimalism as a lifestyle. Minimalism just seemed to offer answers and solutions, to my stressful, confusing life which steam rolled over me every, single day.

Not surprisingly, I have made quite a few errors along this minimalist journey. I'll try and help you avoid those bumps as much as I can.

1. Be realistic

It's not going to happen overnight. It probably won't even happen within a year, unless you make some drastic and maybe brutal changes. Whether you are down sizing a 3 floor mansion, your spouse is a borderline hoarder or no one else in the family is willingly joining you in this lifestyle change, understanding and accepting the reality of the situation will save your sanity! I know it saved mine! For me personally, minimalism was like learning how to walk. It starts slow. There are lots of stumbles at first. The more you practice, the better you get at it.

2. Set small goals.

I mean tiny. Get rid of one thing a day. A few things a day.  Spend15 minutes a day decluttering. Dedicate yourself to one area of the house a week. Whatever suits you, your home, your schedule and your lifestyle. I have three kids so unless I get them involved in the decluttering process it normally occurs when they are asleep. My husband can not declutter to save his life so occasionally I will just ask him "give me 5 pieces of clothing that I can get rid of." "Hey you hate these shoes right? Can We get rid of them?" It's small but its better than nothing.

3. Celebrate every achievement.

One of my favourite achievements was decluttering our cups and mugs after several incidents where glasses had fallen out of the cupboard and smashed on the floor. It was an obvious safety hazard. Now my kids can safely get their own cups and I haven't broken a glass in a long time. Decluttering can seem never ending and it's quite easy to lose motivation but by really celebrating the small stuff, you will be motivated to continue on with this process.

4. Don't compare yourself to others on this same journey/lifestyle

I read a great post at about this exact danger over at mnmlist. If you think about it, it makes no sense to compare yourself to others, in any way, about any aspect. Everyone has their own definition and approach to minimalism. It would be silly of me to compare myself to a single lady with no children who has adopted this life style, because I have 3 very creative kids and a husband whose hobby is fishing and can you imagine the amount of clutter paraphernalia associated with that??

5. It's not about the stuff

I thought for a long time it was about the stuff. It's not. It really isn't. Yes, I'm sure!
Minimalism is about letting go of the things that don't matter to you, so you have the room, time and energy to focus on what DOES matter to you. I use the term "things" very loosely. Okay, yes that does involve getting rid of "the stuff" but it shouldn't become obsessive, which it almost did for me. I just love that feeling of have an empty drawer or space on the floor. Seeing the back of the kitchen cupboards is exhilarating (to me).

These "things" we need to get rid of could also be commitments you don't want to commit to, toxic relationships or even other people's opinions. Just let it all, go. A lot of the time we buy "the stuff" to impress others. We have closets full of clothes that we hardly wear to try and portray this image to people whose approval we subliminally seek. Now I wear something because I like it, it's comfortable and I will wear it over and over again with pride. Many times we say "yes", "okay", "that's fine", when we really don't mean it. I think it's time to be true and put a stop to all that.

Hopefully I've given you a little perspective and a little push towards a more uplifting minimalist journey. What kind of challenges have you experienced when starting out a more minimalist life? How did you overcome these challenges? Comment below or let me know over on Twitter. I'm over there way too much!

Step 93,

Monday, 21 December 2015

Minimalism is not about the stuff

It's not, I promise.

The beauty of minimalism is that everyone has a personal definition and approach towards it. Which begs the question, how do you know if you are a minimalist?

Some days, especially when I'm drowning in the stuff, I have my doubtful days and minimalism just feels too hard. Like yesterday.

I was out to buy some birthday gifts for some upcoming birthdays within our families. The minimalist in me wanted to buy some "experience" type gifts instead of a material item but the old me just wanted to find the latest toys and be done with it.

The minimalist in me must have been napping because I ended up buying things for myself that I didn't intend to or really, REALLY need and this afternoon my house is feeling it. Of course my children also brought home all their school "stuff" from this past year and that stuff is EVERYWHERE.

minimalsm, simple living, declutter
The Stuff. It's everywhere.
The house was quite chaotic with stuff and I really didn't think a few things brought home from school and a few small items bought on a whim from the store would make that much difference. But it really does. Especially in a small home like mine.

How did this happen?? I had been doing so well for so long! I had gotten rid of what felt like SO MUCH stuff. Damn you Kmart and your awesome bargains! Honestly decluttering and getting rid of stuff is both addictive yet tiring. But decluttering has to coincide with not bringing more clutter in. But, truthfully, it’s not about the stuff. Okay, it is about letting go of stuff, but it is more about letting go of the deep connection and obsession with the stuff. I didn’t think I was obsessed with stuff. I thought I was drowning in stuff. Stuff just always seemed to be in the way of focusing on what was really important.

It comes down to a mindset. I haven't fully adjusted the wiring in my brain to be inclined towards minimalism. Aly over at Minimalism is Simple has 3 great tips on how to change your mind set. Three tips doesn’t sound like many but I’m telling you, it’s easier said than done.

If I really, really think about it, it's much easier for me to be a minimalist when money is tight. The second we have some spare cash lying around, nothing else matters and I just have to spend it. Even though we are currently (trying) to pay off our debts, I still think spending a few dollars here and there won't matter. But it really adds up to more stuff around the house and less money that could have been used for the debts.

If I really, really, really think back to how I was attracted to minimalism, it stemmed from always having things fall out of cupboards when I opened them, or not being able to shut a drawer or cupboard without having to stuff things in or constantly having to look for "stuff". I still remember when I bought an expensive jar of organic honey, which fell out of the cupboard and smashed on the floor and I never even got to have a taste. No one was hurt but I knew things had to change. I have found that minimalism really does extend to all parts of your life. Those over flowing cupboards were full of over processed foods that weren’t really good for us. When money permitted I shopped on a “just in case” way, buying multiples and extra items I didn’t really need.

Minimalism lets me really focus on what is important to us as a family.
The root of a “just in case” mindset is fear. Good decisions are never made out fear. I still sometimes find myself parenting out of fear.

Fear of what though? Fear of running out of food? It can’t be.

Daring Clarity has a great post on How to stop making fear based decisions. I love a good post that just wakes you up.

What trumps fear? Courage.

So, minimalism takes courage?

In a sense yes. Unless minimalism is all you have ever known, adopting this lifestyle will require change. For some it will require lots of very big changes. But it goes back to mindset. How important is minimalism to you? I think a really important question to address is

Why do you want to adopt minimalism?

In my previous post I mentioned how I was adopting minimalism before I really knew what it was.

I wanted a life of intention, direction, focus and purpose. I didn’t want to feel like my life was being lived for me on auto-pilot. I also wanted a streamlined, simple home life where I could find what I needed and wasn’t always picking up after everyone. I also want more financial freedom. I wanted more authenticity and transparency in my life.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” 
– Hans Hofmann

With minimalism, you strip back to the bare basics and there is nowhere to hide. What on earth am I hiding from? Deep rooted insecurities? Fear of rejection? Not being good enough? Failure? Disappointment?

Being a parent comes with A LOT of expectations. Being a woman also comes with an overload of expectations. From yourself, family members, friends, colleagues and the wider community. Minimalism has slowly helped me lower what I expect of myself. I used to strive for such a high standard, I almost always set myself up for failure.

Whether it was keeping an immaculate house, ensuring my kids had all the “stuff” I thought they would ever need, cooking meals that met all of their nutritional needs, pushing the kids to get their homework finished as early as possible so they would never hand in their homework late. In the grand scheme of things, how important is all that stuff? Who really cares? Am I defined by those things? No. I’m not. As soon as you stop chasing the stuff and what you expect the stuff will give you, such as acceptance, validation, success, happiness, etc. stuff loses its value. Fast.

I’m slowly learning to let go of high, unattainable standards and other peoples approval. Good enough, is good enough for me. That makes me sound like a quitter but I’m not. I just understand that I am the determining factor in this equation. Not other people. Not the stuff. I determine my values, my happiness, my successes, my passions and my goals. My stuff really doesn't determine anything.

So will I really ever be a minimalist? Eventually.Will it be easy? No, but it will be worth it.

Minimalism, it couldn’t be any less about the stuff.

Step 92,

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Unconsciously becoming a minimalist

I haven't blogged in a long time so who knows how this post is going to go. I just really felt the need/ desire/ urge to write. My house some how looks like a tornado has ripped through it and right now I really could not care less.

In the many (bloggless) months that have passed, a lot has been going on. I was back on the uni wagon for a few semesters. One year left of my degree. The sleepless nights. The confusing and desperate emails to lecturers and tutors when I have no idea what is going on. The many discussions, reports, essays, thesauruses and presentations. They will all be worth it. I'm sure I will miss university once it's all done and I am launched into the real world where I have to like work and like interact with other adults. For a veteran stay at home mum, that's more scary than it sounds.

Back to the title of this post, I started this year wanting things to be better. In December, are they?

A little.

After lots of time trying the figure out exactly what I wanted to change, I realised I wanted a more intentional life. I always went to bed feeling as though life had run me over and I just lay there and let it happen. I wanted a more present life where I didn't feel like I was just constantly yelling at my children and was actually enjoying my children. I started to declutter because our tiny apartment just felt stuffy. Decluttering became quite addictive quite quickly and I was easily filling multiple bags per week of things to donate, get rid of or sell. Financial things happened which changed my spending habits and I had to learn quickly how to be frugal and make do.

I had no idea that all these things combined would lead me to a some what minimalist life style.

If you could look at my Google search history it would read like this:

"tips for living in a small space"
"how to declutter quickly"
"how to declutter with kids"
"how to simplify your home/life"
"how to save money"
"how to make less trash"
"time management and simple living tips"
"living with a non-minimalist"

and other topics and questions of that nature.

All answers lead to minimalism. I posted about minimalism previously and by no means am I a minimalist, even today. I don't even think I will ever be a fully fledged minimalist. I just find it so interesting how I almost landed on this journey. Is the journey challenging? Yes. But I love a challenge. The biggest struggles for me are staying motivated and truly simplifying my life. With three kids I really don't know how simple things can get. I don't think minimalism is a destination though. I see it as an on going process. Many, many little steps.

Step 91,

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Prompt - Yellow

Dear Little One,

If you were a colour, it would be yellow.

You are warm. You are bright.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Do you parent out of fear?

Parenting. It's subjective. It's contextual. It's spiritual. It's personal. It's complex.

Choices. We all have them. Some more than others. Some people make better choices than others. A revelation came to me that a lot of my choices are made out of fear.

I recently started to allow my children to walk half of the way to school by themselves. I feel like my area is a safe one, with lots of other students and parents around and along the way. I want my children to feel capable and responsible. I want my children to know that I trust them to do the right thing, especially when mummy isn't there. I want them to develop basic skills and confidence with such things as crossing a busy road.

And then there is news of a teenage girl who was randomly attacked on her walk through the park and died. And we're back to high alert.

After this photo was taken my daughters let go and started to yell "Look mummy no hands!" Which gave me a total heart attack. 

Life is all about balance. So, what does that mean for my girls and my desire to foster some independence and confidence, while trying to protect them? I might just have to remind myself that they are still kids. Lisa at Mumma Scribbles posted a wake up call for me regarding leaving kids home alone. It all ties in with that whole giving them independence and teaching them responsibility against supervision and duty of care.

The whole sleepover thing is beginning to poke its head out of the ground. We don't do them. Other families don't do them either. It just seems to be that it's a scary world out there. But speaking of scary, I'm scary at times. My children are scared of me, it's the ugliest truth but it is what it is. I guess you could call me a bully.

I guess even though I have the best of intentions the actions and results do not always reflect them. Call me a pessimist but parenting from an angle of love instead of fear sounds harder than it should be. If I were to describe my ideal relationship with my girls it would be a caring, respectful and open connection. If I were to describe the relationship as it stands, its quite conflicting, abrasive and turbulent.

The conflict could possibly reside from my unrealistic expectations and my children's unmet needs to feel loved, respected and heard. Wow this post is getting heavy. But the job of being a mother is exactly that, it's heavy. It requires a lot of you. Sometimes it feels as though it requires more than you are equipped for. Sometimes your best is, children ate something today and house is still standing.

I am yet to shower today...

I mean, what is the worst that can happen? What am I really afraid of?

I've been trying to ask myself these questions at times when I think, if something doesn't get done the world will fall apart (or I will drop all these balls that I seem to be juggling) or when I know I could handle a situation differently, or why I tell my daughter to be careful every time she tried to hop on the a different part of the playground. I came across this post from the blog Perfect Joyful Life titled "Parenting out of love: Do you need a coach?" I mean to be honest, the blog name kind of gnawed at my sides, probably because I would hardly describe my everyday situation as a perfect joyful life. But she highlights 10 parenting pearls, which I can see my family benefiting from immensely! Especially consistency. That is definitely something I need to work on.

Those silly high expectations and my fear of the worst seem to continue to plague my ability to mother as best as I can. Let's round out this post by wishes of joy, peace and clarity for my family and yours.

Step 88,

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Wellness Wednesday - What is happiness?

Such a simple question but I may struggle to answer this. Because I don't think happiness is just an emotion. I think happiness can stem from a frame of mind, an attitude, an approach.

Happiness can be a plate of food full of my mothers cooking.

Happiness is an empty laundry basket.

Happiness is a well rested evening.

Happiness is gratitude for the everyday.

Happiness is sometimes a choice.

Happiness is a lowering of expectations and accepting the sometimes less than ideal reality.

Happiness is laughing with life long friends.

I don't buy my children every new toy they see because, firstly we just can't afford it obviously and secondly, I want them to find joy in experiences rather than things. I want them to develop an acceptance in who they are and pride in their abilities and qualities. I feel like happiness can sometimes be achieved by giving and helping others.

I think sometimes you just have to choose to be happy. Even among disappointment, regret and hardships. I never said this was an easy choice to make. Perspective can sometimes give you happiness. I try and remind myself of how much worse things could be. We all have a different threshold but, more often than not, whatever is going on could probably be much worse. Remembering what's really important. Focusing on the positives. As someone who was under the dark cloud that is post-natal depression for over a year with my second born, I know that happiness doesn't always come easy. But an active approach to seeking happiness can brighten even the darkest of days. Happiness is something that sometimes, you just need to look really hard for.

Scoops of Joy

Step 87,

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Month That Was - March

Yikes! March was rough. With a combination of major financial yuckies (I have a toddler, thats the best word I could think of) and the return to uni, balanced with lots of chances to socialise with friends, I'm pooped! No really, I'm always pooped! I wake up, pooped! Ok enough about the pooped.

Monday, 30 March 2015

A day in the life of a mother of 3 children

So our weekdays normally unfold as follows:

7:00 everyones alarms go off, everyone hits snooze. 
Everyone else dozes off again while me and baby are up and ready to start the day

7:20 breakfast is prepped, lunches are being prepped ready to be packed, most people are dressed and ready to start eating breakfast

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Saturday is for Sharing #11

This is going to be a big one ladies and jelly beans!

Big, because a friend suggested a download an app called Pocket to save articles. DING! Light bulb moment. This app is perfect for when I find an article I love and want to share. So hopefully these sharing posts will become more meaty and full of great posts I stumble upon in those rebellious moments when I should be doing uni work and am reading blogs instead.

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Prompt - Presence

With my small stature, I'm 150cm or 5 feet, I often wonder what kind of impression I give off or what kind of presence I radiate.

Amongst friends I noticed that my personality is like THIS! I think it's big, but if you were to ask people who know me they would tell you I am quiet. In a big group, yes I sit back and enjoy the energy, but in a smaller group I tend to pipe up a bit more.

Parent teacher interviews were held recently and funnily enough my daughters exhibit the same characteristics. The typical,

"She would benefit more from engaging and contributing to discussions."

"She needs to ask more questions when she does not understand what we are doing in class."

My children. I would pay a lot of money for my children to openly and honestly tell me what they thought of me. Because all I know for sure is that they are scared of me. Wow, that's pretty heavy.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Wellness Wednesday - Me Time

Me time. Wow. It's so rare and far between these days, it's almost a foreign concept to me. But if it were ever to come my way I would easily know what to do!

I would fill ME time with...

  • a really good book and a really good coffee
  • a wash, cut and blow dry. My hair needs some attention
  • A manicure, pedicure and facial would be nice. My hands and feet look like claws!
  • People watching and brunch at any of my favourite spots
  • The ART GALLERY! I miss it so much!
  • Trashy reality tv, like Keeping up with the Kardashians. It's bad that it's good!
  • Shopping in the city. I STILL haven't gone to Sephora in the city and it's been open for ages!
  • borrowing someones DSLR and trying my hand at photography. It's the one thing I've always wanted to be good at but never actually really tried yet. 
Wow. I really need to find some time for myself. It's funny how 24 hours sounds like a lot of hours, yet finding a few moments for myself and my passions and interest is such a challenge. Here's to more me time in the near future!

Scoops of Joy

Step 80,

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Are you always multitasking?

How many balls are you juggling at this moment?

How many trains of thought are you on?

I've noticed lately that I have been rather frazzled and scatter brained. I just find it hard to focus. Hard to remember things. Hard to stay on track. It's safe to say I'm juggling a lot of balls.

I like to think I'm efficient. I have to be. I have to get a lot done in a small amount of time and with finite resources (namely with my 2 hands).

You aren't actually multitasking if you think about it. I mean unless you are physically in two places at once doing two different tasks, you're basically just switching tasks. You are also not really focused on each task. I mean I realise my frazzled state of mind is because my mind is just trying to take on too much at once.

I've also noticed I don't actually get MORE done. Theoretically I thought I would but I don't. Because I am so busy jumping from task to task I basically finish all the tasks at the same time it would have taken me if I just paced myself and focused on each task individually.

Multitasking or "task switching" is tiring. It's stressful. It takes a toll on you mentally and physically. It takes you away from everything around you because you are so "focused" on what you are doing. Lots of accidents have happened around the house because I am rushing to get the third load of washing into the machine, whilst making sure dinner doesn't burn on the stove and the kids are on task doing their homework,with the little one normally crying for attention the whole time. See. That's just not a pretty picture is it.

I mean I draw the line at talking on the phone and driving, that freaks me out and I just let the phone ring out while I'm driving. I also ban technology at the dinner table which means TV off and phones and Ipads away. But I know I still have a long way to go.

It really is about actively removing distractions and making the decision to tune out whatever isn’t relevant at this moment in time. When you have a young child this is easier said than done, because they demand a lot of your attention. It’s all training and practice.
I think allowing yourself a few minutes of time out (the good kind, not the disciplinary kind) works wonders! Okay so I don’t get this time out till quite late at night when the kids are in bed and the house is ready for the day to come, but I try and make sure I get these precious moments. I deserve them. You deserve them. You work hard.

Let’s make a pact. Say NO to multitasking and yes to a more focused life.

Step 79,

Monday, 23 March 2015

Menu Planning Monday

So I hosted a Tupperware party at my humble abode and I thought I would share what was on the menu.

I don't host a lot and I have a toddler and not much time to prep so most of these items are fuss free or can be prepped the day/night before. Links will take you directly to the recipes I used.

Caution! This post may make you hungry(ier)

Appetizers/finger food

Guacamole  and hummus and crackers
Vegetarian mini curry pies (cheated, store bought! but so yummy!)


Salmon, sour cream, dill and caper sandwiches on chia wholemeal bread
Salami, Cheese, tomato sandwiches
Chilli lebanese sausages 

Thirst quenchers


What are your go to recipes when hosting a party?

Step 78,

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Saturday is for Sharing #10

I always have two revelations every Saturday.

1) wow that week went quick!
2) I love to share posts and blogs with you all!

Lets get to it!

Toni at Thrifty girl. Big dreams. won me over from the get go. Only a new blog but she just seems to be on the ball. She recently celebrated her 1 year anniversary with her husband and also shares her debt-free journey. Her most popular post is 5 Blogging mistakes that I made and I think most bloggers can relate. I can't wait to see where Toni takes her blog.

ML over at Sweetheart of the South, posted You know you're a blogger and I could totally relate. I think many bloggers have this underlying unity where we really want our blogs to be the best they can be and to know that someone, ANYONE, is reading it is such a rewarding feeling. My blog is always on the back of my mind and I come up with great ideas for it in the worst of times and places (namely the shower or when I'm cooking dinner).  

Rachel who blogs at Mummy in Training, wrote a fabulous letter to all those people who thinks its okay to stare. So Rachel's little one was having a tantrum in a store. Firstly this is SO COMMON I don't get why it still shocks people when a young child has a tantrum. I digress. Rachel's son was upset that he was not allowed to run around flying his toy plane in the store. Enter tantrum. If Rachel had let her son run around she would have still gotten the stares which scream "Don't you know how to control your child?" it's a lose lose situation at times. But yes, there are those mothers who have been in that same situation who know how you feel and do not pass any judgment.

Sorry it's another short one but I'm still splitting what little time I have between blogging and Uni work. Hope you have a great weekend. Feel free the share some posts that you wrote or that you've come across, with me over at twitter

Step 76,

Friday, 20 March 2015

A letter to myself

Earlier this week, I came down with a stomach bug or food poisoning which made me realise that I was burnt out. I had been pushing myself harder than I needed to and my health was payng for it. Sometimes I just need to give myself a little reminder to slow down and take care of myself.

Hey. You! Sit down! You haven't sat down all day!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

The journey to minimalism

Yes, this blog is about taking steps and a journey, but I still sometimes wonder what/when/where my destination is.

I came across Light by Coco and immediately became obsessed. That's not creepy, is it?

Coco is all about living light. I binge watched her Youtube videos and now I have a new burst of energy towards my Bag a week challenge. I was first intrigued by her capsule wardrobe for fall/winter. Yes, don't worry. I didn't know what a capsule wardrobe was either, until I went here.

Because Australian weather likes to keep you on your toes, I'm not sure when I will need my fully fledged autumn/winter wardrobe to be ready but it's all a process.

But then I realised Coco LIVES light. Beyond her wardrobe. I watched a tour of her apartment and kitchen (yeah, okay, that is a little creepy) and I was just wondering where all her 'stuff' was. I was just enthralled with the lightness and clarity of her home and life pretty much.

So then I looked at those books in my bookshelf that I don't need/read/want. Those flats that kill my feet are still hidden in the shoe cupboard. I have so many pyjamas. It's funny because I thought I had made some progress, which I have, but how much further do I have to go.

Go where?

If I were to list, where I want to go/be, it would have to be

  • content
  • happy
  • calm
  • clear
  • simple
  • focused
I can just see the benefits of truly living light. Coco has been on this journey for about 4 years now and I wonder if I will ever get to my elusive destination. Here's to hope and cutting out even more of the clutter.

Mums' Days

Step 74,

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

How to overcome setbacks

Setbacks. You can't avoid them. But you can overcome them.

As of lately my husband and I have been metaphorically struggling to tread water. It's as though the chips are down and everything is just snowballing.

I will say our initial reactions to these set backs weren't great. There was a bit of yelling and huffing. A bit of talking down to each other and about others. Slamming cupboard doors and kicking things around.

But after the storm calmed down, we were able to look at each other for clarity.

That's how things became. Everything seemed cloudy. As though we were in a deep fog and visibility was nil. But once we were able to actually look at the situation, we were able to come to some conclusions.

Lying face down on the floor may be a temporary solution.
You will have to face the problems, eventually.

Acceptance that things happen

Things happen. You really can't avoid them. Smooth sailing only lasts for so long. Accepting things just avoids the knee jerk frustrated response and you are able to work through the kinks much quicker.

Having a support system

Funnily enough, set backs really show you who your support system is made up of. Our biggest support is each other. As you would hope a spouse would be, when things got sticky it really the other spouse was there to pick you up. My husband has been having a hell of a time with his work van and the costs are running high. I wasn't well the other day and I seem to fall behind in uni work as soon as I get caught up. Sometimes your better half can give you something as small as a bit of perspective or even taking over with the kids and dinner and housework. It all helps. 


It could be worse. It could ALWAYS be worse. I am very guilty at looking at what I don't have and what I still need, without appreciating what I already have. Set backs really force you to open up your eyes and look around you. Look at whats really important. Look at what you can trim out of your life. Look at what you need a bit more of in your day to day. Just have a really good look.


Set backs sometimes require you to realign your agenda. We learnt to just get practical and proactive. Instead of feeling like victims to the situation, we decided to take control of it and steer it to where things need to be. I think with a more realistic outlook on any setback you can find a way out, up, through or around it.

What are your tips and strategies for overcoming setbacks?

Step 73,

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Mummy goes back to school

I'm not talking about the time of year where we buy the new black school shoes, bag, lunchboxes, adhesive name labels and label everything in hopes it will make its way home by the end of the term.

No I'm talking about mummy and her desire to learn. 

This post is here to reassure that little voice in your head. JUST DO IT MAMA! Because you know you can, you know you should. You know you want to. 

A few years ago I was uninspired and Googling around. That is never a safe move. But instead of buying a bag and some shoes I don't need I enrolled into online university. If you are curious what course I enrolled in, it's Librarianship at Curtin Universtiy, via Open Universities.

I hadn't really had an in depth discussion or internal dialogue about this. I mean, I'm a smart girl. I try not to down play it and dumb myself down. If I caught my daughters engaging in any behaviour or situation where their true intelligence was down played, I would be mortified. There is nothing wrong with being a smart girl. 

So online university just made sense to me. It just didn't come with any questions or queries.

Fast forward to today, I've begun my final year subjects and am in the midst of scouting locations for my third year practicum.

With deep dismay, blogging has taken a back seat but only for now, while I learn to juggle an extra ball in my already amazing juggling act that I do on the daily.

There are many other mothers in my course. Some have one child. Some have seven and live on the farm with lots of animals, and I'm being totally serious. One great thing about mothers is that we work hard. We might post discussions at weird hours. We might have editing issues because more than likely we are multitasking. Yes I have been known to breastfeed whilst frantically working on assessments. In the end we get it done. And that's all that matters.

My units this study period are all about management. I've never been a manager, but I feel like 'running' my family is kind of on the same level. I just have to keep on top of things, make sure people are doing what they need to do, or are heading to where they need to be and have with them all the things they need. Every day, all the time.

I've got great problem solving skills and wonderful interpersonal skills. Time managements is like breathing to me. Efficiency is my middle name.

Bottom line ladies, listen to that voice and don't down play your skills and wisdom. A strong, smart woman is a capable woman, and a capable woman can change the world.
Step 72,

Monday, 16 March 2015

A chocolate high tea

Yes! You read that correctly. A CHOCOLATE HIGH TEA. That's like when your two loves have a baby and just so much yes!!

So a dear friend of mine is celebrating her birthday the best way possible. By enjoying time (and food) with friends. Rather than clumping all her friends into one room, she is having little get togethers in little groups so she can actually spending time with friends. You know how it is when all your friends are in the one room its hard to get more than 2 sentences in with each person.

I digress. Chocolate. High tea. Yes.

We enjoyed our high tea on a porch at the lovely Coco Chocolate in Sydney's Harbour National Park at historic Middle Head, near Mosman.

High tea consisted of;

A shot of hot chocolate
The most scrumptious scones with butter, jam and fresh cream
Raspberry dark chocolate
Coconut milk chocolate
Flourless orange cake
Chocolate pistachio shortbread
Cake with double cream and strawberries
And of course, tea!

You know when you need a good chocolate feast and an even better laugh with friends while trying to fight off magpies and struggling to learn the secrets to posing for a good OOTD shot. Well maybe not in those exact words, but you get me.

The four of us are mothers. Some newer, others older. But we all have the commonality of being rather tired and bewildered at just how challenging it can be. Whether its a change in sleeping patterns, going back to work, starting preschool or trying to prepare for the tweens, parenting just doesn't let up. So a bit of chocolate and giggles won't hurt anyone. I think it is so important for parents to find the time to spend with others. I mean having a young child means you are rarely alone, but parenting can actually become quite lonely. I came away from this with a slight food coma, and some sore abdominal muscles from all the laughing. I will say, it's a true friendship when you all turn up in blue as though it was planned, but it was a total coincidence.

If you're a Sydney sider or you're stopping by or you love chocolate, check out Sydney Chocolate School

Meanwhile, I am up to my neck in uni work so if posts become sporadic that is why. I'm hoping to post at least twice a week but final year just doesn't let up, kind of like parenting.

Let's Talk Mommy
Step 71,

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