From the monthly archives: August 2013

the beauty of a little space and time alone...

I’ve been reading a fascinating book lately, Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

This wonderful book has helped me to see (again) that we live in a world where extroverted behaviour is rewarded, whilst introverts quietly go about their business.

Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of a wild generalisation, but bear with me.

At school, the bubbly outgoing kids can attract a lot of attention. From teachers, from other students, for opportunities.

Quiet kids on the other hand are kind of easy to overlook.

I’ve been guilty of thinking that a happy kid is a boisterous, outgoing kid. A classic example was a few weeks ago when I made the parental error of encouraging one of my boys to ‘get out more’ at lunch time, after he told me for the fifth day in a row that he had spent time in the library with his mates.  Without even meaning to, I had assumed that he wasn’t having a good time unless he was running around playing footy at lunchtime like his little brother.

Over the weekend that followed, I noticed that while he was an active little kid, he was also pretty quiet and introspective. He really seemed to be quite content lying on a beanbag reading a book. Totally at peace with himself and the world.

I also noticed that both myself and my husband, the lovely Big A, also sought out quiet space.

And that my friends is the upside of living with introverts.  There are times, believe it or not, where everyone is happy just quietly reading or playing. Even with two adults and four kids, we all like to take some time out for quiet.

So I got to thinking. Maybe, by the time it gets to lunchtime, after a busy morning of PE, drama, writing, what my little boy actually craves is quiet, and peace.

I can’t really argue with that can I?

Enjoy xx

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Hello Friday – it’s fab to see you!  It’s been a rainy, windy, grey kind of week here in normally sunny Perth.

The predication is a rainy, grey kind of weekend.

Good for reading, curling up on the couch, watching movies under your doona/duvet. Not so good for four active little kids who a little prone to cabin fever when cooped up!

Time for a couple of fun and crafty activities to keep the kids amused, and pass the time…

Here is one of our favourites, make your own fab jellyfish.

You’ll need these materials

  • paper plates (cheap paper ones are fine – plus you can let the kids paint them to jazz them up)
  • poster/ craft paint. We mix it up by using some glitter glue and metallic paints. You could also use textas, crayons, pencils.
  • rolls of crepe paper or streamers, again cheap ones are fine.  You can find these at your local supermarket, party supply store or newsagent. Maybe even buy a couple of different types and let the kids experiment.
  • string or fishing line so you hang your jellyfish.

Let’s get started.

1. First give each child a paper plate to paint, front and back. This is also the perfect time to add glitter, stick sparkly pieces of paper on, whatever you like to make a cool jellyfish body and head. When finished, place the plates in a good drying spot, we use a clothes drying rack and pegs for art (easy to clean and creations dry super fast). We also us household sponges with a peg handle (you can see in the picture below) as an easy paint brush for little fingers.

Making our jellyfish bodies...

Making our jellyfish bodies…

2. While the jellyfish bodies are drying, you can get started on the tentacles. Cut 12-15 pieces of crepe paper/ streamers, it’s ok if these are different lengths (it’s can look pretty cool!), aim to make these at least 80cms long so the tentacles can ‘trail behind’ your jellyfish body.

3. Collect your jelly fish body, and carefully using a stapler (grown-up help is a good idea here), attach the tentacles to the body around the outside edge.

4. Now it’s time to add your string or fishing line so you can hang your masterpiece. We experimented a little and found it worked with one hole in the centre or three holes around the outside, so take your pick!

The finished product, a gorgeous school of jellyfish!

The finished product, a gorgeous school of jellyfish!

Ta da! You’re finished!  You can even create a whole school of jellyfish and hang them together.

Enjoy xx

Fab finds and friendly chaos at the expo...

Fab finds and friendly chaos at the expo…

This morning Little L and I ventured out to the Pregnancy, Babies & Children’s Expo, along with some lovely friends who are expecting a little bundle of joy in a couple of months.

Now, Little L is only four years old, which you would think, would mean that I was relatively in touch with everything that is going down in baby land.

Wrong!

What I didn’t count on was the ENORMOUS range of baby gear now available, which means an ENORMOUS range of choices.

Slightly, no make that incredibly overwhelming!

I also was under the false impression that I would be tagging along with my lovely friend, and wouldn’t really see too much I didn’t know about.

Again, wrong!

From info on Positive Parenting, to swimming lessons, brilliant kids sports program, Kidz n Sport, the gorgeous Eco Faeries, the list went on. Oh, and Little L and I also got to see Elmo and Cookie Monster (one of her highlights!). Whew! It made for a fun, busy morning!

So after three hours, I felt like I had refreshed what I knew and all things baby-related, picked up some new tips, and best of all our lovely friends had found a lot of helpful people to chat to about nappies (MCN’s anyone), baby baths, and well everything you could possibly think of for a new bub. Best of all, we were surrounded by preggo ladies, families and friendly folk.  Perfect for browsing and making decisions.

I came away wishing this kind of all in one existed years ago!

Have you been to a baby/ kids expo? Did you like it?

Enjoy xx

Other Desert Cities, brilliant play and fab night out at the theatre...

Other Desert Cities, brilliant play and fab night out at the theatre…

Last night I had the joy, the sublime pleasure of going to the theatre to see a brilliant play.

Do you go to the theatre?  You may think I sound like a bit of a pratt, a teeny bit obnoxious talking about going to the theatre, but stay with me.

If you have never been to see a play, it’s well worth considering next time you’re wondering what to do on a night out.

I love live theatre.

Every time I go, I sit there, wondering, why don’t I do this more often?

Living in Western Australia, we are blessed to have the gorgeous State Theatre and the talented Black Swan Theatre company. Last night, as I sat in the darkness waiting for the play to start, I started thinking about what makes watching a play so special.

What is it that sets watching a play apart from watching a movie?

I think it all comes down to engagement. When you watch a play, you are part of the moment. The actors are there, live in front of you, putting their heart and soul into their performance. It’s real, it’s unpredictable, a director can’t call ‘cut’, and  redo the scene until it’s perfect. It is as it is performed in front of you, the audience. Which adds an element of grit, emotion, and an air of  excitement, that is impossible to match with a movie.

Other Desert Cities, the sublime play I saw last night, was everything I love about seeing live theatre. Gritty, gut-wrenching, emotionally engaging, funny and thought-provoking. For those two hours I was lost in the performances, part of the drama unfolding in the Californian home of a dysfunctional yet loving family.

Do you go to the theatre?

Enjoy xx

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Are you running a marathon or a sprint at work?

Are you running a marathon or a sprint at work?

It’s performance review time in my neck of the woods, that kind of awkward, kind of rewarding and for me always nerve-wracking couple of weeks when the corporate world pauses to give you a heads up on how you are going.

Each time it comes up I face it with trepidation… as I am never quite sure how it’s going to turn out.

This time went well (in case you were wondering), despite my nerves. Though in the course of all the conversations we were having, one cryptic comment had me stumped…’your career is a marathon not a sprint’.

Tricky to interpret right? I love feedback, I actually get a lot out of someone letting me know how I am travelling (that’s why comments on here are fab too!).

Contemplating the concept that my career is a marathon, not a sprint has me perplexed, even doing a little soul-searching.

After a lot of thought, and a glass (or two) of wine last night, I have settled somewhat in the middle.

I think my career may be constantly in a state of flux, acceleration/ deceleration, sprint/ marathon.

At the moment I am definitely in sprint phase, I am hitting my straps, MBA finished, fab role in the corporate world, small creative business thriving (thank you!), and my littlest poppet gearing up to start school.  This period of my life, where I am young(ish), my kids are old enough to be gaining some independence, but not quite hitting full throttle at school, Big A is firmly ensconced in a great role at work, is short. Really short. It’s already flying by. So at the moment my career is set to sprint pace. Fast, and furiously busy.

A few years ago it was a little different. I blessed to have four gorgeous kids in the space of five years, we had moved across Australia (yes I don’t do things by halves), so I recognised where I was at and slowed the pace. It was still busy, but I took a step back in the corporate world, cut back on other things I was doing (creative business taking a break), and slowed to marathon speed.  In for the long haul.  Which at the time worked.

 

That time has passed though, and for the past couple of years I have been stepping up the pace. I know that in a couple of years, life will change again, and I will need to pause, think and maybe consider slowing the pace again.  And I am ok with that.

What do you think? Is your career a sprint or a marathon?

Enjoy xx

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