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Fab start  on a to-do list (via The Organised Housewife)

Fab start on a to-do list (via The Organised Housewife)

Happy Tuesday!  Today is Super Tuesday - when I kick in to super-speed mode and smash out a big day on all fronts. Fuelled by coffee (all catch-ups today are taken at cafes when I can), I have jam-packed my day full of meetings, networking, finishing off, planning, big thinking, then after work I have a stock-take to  complete, labels to attach, a giveaway promo to prepare (hooray for that one!)… That giant to do list of mine is getting attacked on all fronts. The secret to a successful Super Tuesday for me goes like this:
  • Write a detailed to do list. Make your jobs specific, like ‘finish reviewing x report, and send back for editing’ or at home ‘clean three shelves in pantry’ or ‘sort through odd sock pile and throw out/ up cycle any remaining solo socks’. Check out The Organised Housewife for some great printables and tips.
  • Make sure you aim high! Write a giant list when you first get up, you can use it as a base for your next Super Tuesday.
  • Do it on a day when you are going to have some energy. For me Monday is rough after the weekend, Wednesday I am well and truly into my week. Tuesday is about right. This works well for me as I work five days a week.  Change it up to suit your routine.
  • Ban all distractions.  No social media, no TV, no time-wasting and no procrastinating.  If it's not on the list, don’t do it.  Push back on meetings, lunch dates, anything you can to give yourself the best chance of success.
  • Tackle your most dreaded jobs first.  Make the awkward phone call.  Clean the crisper/ veg drawer in the fridge. Tackle the most complex report.  Whatever it is, tackle the big stuff first.
  • Take the time at the end of your Super day to reflect on how it went. What did you smash through? What gave you a lot of satisfaction when you finished?  What took you longer that you thought? How did you go with your tough jobs?  What’s left for next week? 
  • Reward yourself!  Read a magazine, spend a bit of time on Facebook, Instagram, whatever your favourite social media time waster/pleasure is.  The point is to take the time to celebrate you much you rocked it on Super Tuesday!
Enjoy xx
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Thinking? Gorgeous print via artretro (Etsy)...

Thinking? Gorgeous print via artretro (Etsy)...

One of the wonderful things about being on holidays is having the time to think. Sure, between playing with the kids, sewing up a storm for my Etsy shop, and the usual domestic biz, there's not a whole lot of *spare* time. However, I have still found time to think, mull over and take stock. I received a brilliant email newsletter from Meet Me at Mikes Pip Lincolne (do you subscribe? - it's fab!). Her lovely post came with a list she had compiled taking stock, and an invitation to do the same.  So here it is… There's a blank list below if you'd like to do the same!  Maybe even print it out and keep it, then take a look at the end of the year? Making : Sundresses for my Etsy store Cooking : Zucchini and carrot pie (will post a recipe this week) Drinking : Pimms Reading: Home (Beci Orpin) Wanting: a cleaner Looking: A Beautiful Mess via Feedly Playing: Lego Deciding: Where to buy a house? Wishing: The weather would cool down soon Enjoying: Time with the kids Waiting: for news on Perth Upmarket Liking: Fresh fruit and veg from the Mt Claremont Farmers Market Wondering: How this year will pan out Loving: My boys starting to become little men Pondering: Publish an e-book? Considering: Cutting my hair short again Watching: Justified and Person of Interest Hoping: I get a spot at Finders Keepers this year Marvelling: At how quickly the kids are growing up Needing: New runners Smelling: Frangipanis in my backyard Wearing: Thongs and Birkies…a lot! Following: Mr Jason Grant… Sydney style gold! Noticing: Fab prints (check out Dan300) Knowing: The year will fly by! Thinking: About finishing my PhD Feeling: Happy (cheesy but true) Admiring: Pip Lincolne (such a crafty generous lady) Sorting: The kids clothes (hand-down, donate, up-cycle) Buying: Ethical fashion this year Getting: School gear organised Bookmarking: Crafty inspiration at Sew Mama Sew Disliking: All the negativity about gay marriage Opening: Little packages from Craftumi Giggling: At Little L testing out grown-up words Feeling: Grateful and inspired   Here's a blank list for you: Making : Cooking : Drinking : Reading: Wanting: Looking: Playing: Deciding: Wishing: Enjoying: Waiting: Liking: Wondering: Loving: Pondering: Considering: Watching: Hoping: Marvelling: Needing: Smelling: Wearing: Following: Noticing: Knowing: Thinking: Feeling: Admiring: Sorting: Buying: Getting: Bookmarking: Disliking: Opening: Giggling: Feeling: Thanks Pip! Enjoy xx *Love the gorgeous print at the top? You can get it here on Etsy at artretro
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So very true!

So very true!

Happy Friday Folks!  I thought I'd take the time to think about what I am grateful for today (the fab print about is available here on Etsy via West Sheridan):
  • Getting the chance to spend some Q-time with the little folk in my life (and also at the same time expanding my knowledge of dinosaurs, Zelfs - more about those tomorrow, and Lego)
  • Having a lovely supportive partner in life who a rock of encouragement and support this year while I pursue my somewhat lofty creative/ career dreams
  • Being in good health and having a lovely family
What are you feeling grateful for today? Enjoy xx
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Hello school holidays!  Hello beach!

Hello school holidays! Hello beach!

December and the end of the school year is always a tinderbox of emotions in our neck of the woods. Exhausted kids, mixed with tired parents, a hint of 'I'm going to miss my teacher', and a whopping great dose of 'where did the year go?' makes for testing times. Not to mention the odd explosion or two! In the race towards Christmas, it's easy to get caught up counting down the days. Until holidays. Until Christmas. Until the New Year. Which means you may miss out on some of the good stuff that comes with the journey to the end of the year. This year I decided to make time to pause and take pleasure in the countdown:
  •  watching the Mini Fashionista perform in her school concert (a cracker of a job as a sixties starlet), play the violin in her first string ensemble performance (where of course I got teary, because no matter what the content I seem to get teary at school concerts) and morph into a tall willowy little lady with a snappy send of humour
  • Seeing Captain Jack master tying his shoelaces and hand-writing. In fact I am pretty sure this will go down as one of my highlights (for anyone else who has watched their child suffer through occupational therapy (OT), frustration, anger and every other emotion that comes with struggling to master a new skill, you'll know what a BIG deal this was). Noticing that no matter how tall and strong he becomes, his heart is still made of ice-cream and melts at the sight of a wounded bird or when someone is hurt. 
  • Watching Flashdance emerge from his shell, and even have the courage to speak at assembly (seriously unthinkable at the start of the year) not to mention to produce some of the most wonderful pieces of art, and continue to march to the beat of his own drum (to his credit, he did successfully pull off the 'cool Scottish man' for International Day - complete with hat, tartan skinny jeans and tuxe jacket).
  • Saying goodbye to nappies for Little L, and hello to Kindergarten orientation!  Where did that time go? My baby is all of a sudden a little person, with an opinion about everything, everyone and attitude to spare.
How about you? How are you enjoying the ride until the end of the year? Enjoy xx
Scared of technology? Join the club…

Scared of technology? Join the club…

Technology used to scare the pants off me.  I would even proclaim, loudly and proudly, that I was a technophobe. Then a shift happened. I wanted to create a blog, and get back into textiles and design.The thought of using technology to do any of this quietly terrified me. What if it was all too hard? What if I was so clueless that I couldn't even get started? So I started small. My first triumphant feat was actually tiny in the grand scheme of things. It was a widget. Literally. A widget that allowed me to connect my Facebook site here to my blog here. Sounds simple right? Despite being a small task, in the past I would've skirted around this by getting someone else to 'help'. Which is code for please do it for me. You know, because I am useless with technology, and am a technophobe. In spite of my inner voice protecting, that it was all too hard, I charged headlong into it. And won! I found and installed a dinky little widget myself. Connection successful. How great is this? I thought. If I can do this, I can take on anything tech. A few days later it hit e, I was no longer a technophobe. There was another unexpected shift that occurred. I realised that technology is a huge part of our lives. How we embrace technology is a signal to our kids, our loved ones, our friends and our workmates about how they could embrace technology in their lives. Do you embrace technology? Or are you a bit of a technophobe... Enjoy xx
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'Our backyard!' I think I may have at least one other optimist in the family...

'Our backyard!' I think I may have at least one other optimist in the family...

It's been a tough week in my neck of the woods, and I am feeling blessed that I am an optimist at heart. Being a natural optimist is at times a double-edged sword though. Whilst I  always tend to see the good and I think on the whole it's a pretty good way to walk through life, not everyone feels the same. I also get accused of gilding the lily. Not being pragmatic. Wearing rose-coloured glasses. There is an element of truth there I suppose. Sometimes a reality check is a good thing, being practical and laying out the risks is useful. Mostly though, I think it's about how I view the world. I don't see huge insurmountable problems and no glimmer of hope. I see challenges. This seems tough, but I've survived and thrived in tougher environments. Opportunities - this may seem unbelievably scary now, but who know maybe I'll love it (that was diving...for work...near a huge drop-off), the thought of public speaking scares the pants off me, but I know I'll love it once I am up there... Rays of sunshine - singing Wiggles with Little L - who doesn't love that crazy Captain Feathersword? -  when someone says thank you when I finish a tough job. How about you? Optimist or pessimist? Enjoy xx  
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Satisfaction I have been contemplating my future, career aspirations and life in general over the past week. Kicked off my a 360° session (where you seek out and invite your leader and co-workers to assess you - sounds like fun right?) in the office, and spurned on by a thought-provoking day at WIMWA 2013(Women in Mining Western Australia). I have been wondering what is it that keeps me satisfied in life? The fabulous Jane Caro, gave an inspirational and hilarious speech at WIMWA, and spoke of finding the balance between boredom and fear. This struck a chord with me. Feeling satisfied, and happy isn't the result of one silver bullet, one thing that makes everything right. It's more in a constant state of flux. When life is becoming a little stale and uninspiring, it's time to dial up the risk factor a little and try something new. Learn a new language. Apply for that job that may be a bit of a stretch. Eat somewhere new. Try cooking something different. Take a risk and cut your hair. A small change can make a big difference and be enough to get the fire burning again. Likewise if your head is spinning, and life seems to be weighing you down, and it's all getting a little hard, then it's time to take your foot off the pedal and slow down.  Get back to routine. Cut out a couple of essential activities for you and the kids (let's face it, nobody really needs to be playing three sports before the age of 5!). Go back to eating simple wholesome food. Walk instead of drive. Which brings me back to where I am right now.  For me, it's time to change it up, and dial up the risk factor a little. I have started my own blog (thank you for visiting!), started my own retail space and am amping it up a notch in my corporate life by getting more involved, joining the Institute of Company Directors and seeking out and accepting speaking gigs (my big fear is public speaking, I also happen to love doing it, after the event, when my nerves are a little less frazzled). Where are you right now?  Are you satisfied? Enjoy xx
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We got to let love rule...

We got to let love rule...

This morning I had the pleasure of being a guest at a poetry recital hosted by my eldest daughter. Lovely in its own right, the poetry recital was the result of a lot of planning and practice by a bunch of enthusiastic nine-year olds and was for a special cause. The girls are raising money to build a library in Cambodia as part of a school wide initiative (Room to Read). I also see it as another great example of the school and the teaching community (including the Mini-Fashionista's wonderful teacher) to foster the girls understanding of compassion. I think it's such a wonderful life lesson. Developing compassion for others helps us care more for our communities, our environment and just  makes you a nicer human being all round. My own cup of love and compassion is somewhat endless, there is always more love to give (that's sounds a wee bit over the top doesn't it?). I am by nature a hugs and kisses kind of person (again a bit OTT, but very true). Over the years I have had people I work with and am friends with question the amount of compassion I show, as if I have a limited amount available to me and it would be silly to squander it all on something small. I see it as a cup that is continually getting topped up. I take every opportunity I get to let my little tribe know how much I love them, along with the lovely Big A (my patient and solid as a rock husband) and my family.  Each morning I make sure I give everyone a kiss goodbye, and there is always time for a bedtime kiss and cuddle. This all comes back to one of the traits I love to foster in my little tribe, compassion and love for others. As the wise and talented Lenny Kravitz once sang, 'we got to let love rule'. Enjoy xx
Feeling like a square peg in a round hole?

Feeling like a square peg in a round hole?

Life can be hard-core at the best of times. The road can get even rougher when you add work, kids, study, and anything  else the universe throws at you. When I was younger, I thought the way to make it all a little easier was to try to blend in. Whether it be clothes, hair, taste in music, you name it, surely it life would be a little easier if you could just blend in with the crowd? People can be pretty brutal when you don't fit the norm. Too fat, too skinny, too smart, too eccentric, too loud, too quiet, too fit, too lazy, too ambitious, too laid-back... Argh!!  How on earth do you get it right? I think the simple truth is you never will, not if you only focus on what others think is right. For you. The beauty of experience is you (hopefully) start to appreciate who you are and become more comfortable with who you really area. I have been thinking and reflecting on life, work, and well, me, over the past week. Maybe it's this rainy weather we've been having in not so sunny Perth... I had started to think about why I continue to work in a male-dominated industry (mining), and why I also find the energy to write, create and connect with people here. It all boils down to what's right for me. I love working with people, listening to their stories, helping them out, guiding, coaching and leading people.  Would I love to see more women in the industry I work in? Hell yes! It can be more than a little confronting being the only woman in the room, being a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. Does that stop me from working in this industry I have grown to love? No way. I also love being creative, so I chose to work out a way to have this too. For me, it's my blog and my little online retail space. It's not a textbook approach to having a career, but it's one that works for me. In fact it's one of the many reasons I feel like I am thriving, not surviving as I navigate my way through life. What makes you thrive? Enjoy xx
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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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