Currently viewing the tag: "Lifestyle"
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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Our neighbourhood this morning…(photos from from the kids)

Our neighbourhood this morning…(photos from from the kids)

Hello and happy Sunday! We kicked our day off with walking Charlie the Wonderdog and a family breakfast. The kids decided to take photos along the way (including the Mini-Fashionista who is starting her own blog these holidays - there is a LOT of planning going on right now!), which meant it was more of a Sunday meander rather than a walk. Not even a stroll, just a slow amble (including Charlie the Wonderdog, who enjoyed having the time to sniff and explore). At first I started to felt annoyed, like we should be moving faster, getting there quickly, and was focussed on where we were heading. Then I noticed that the kids were lost in a world of bugs, flowers, lanterns, and generally exploring.  The photo montage above is our neighbourhood, through their eyes. Brilliant stuff! I hadn't even noticed just how pretty, flowery, and green the streets nearby really are. Along the way the kids talked about where the 'barky dogs' lived, where the spooky house was, and stopped regularly to check out a bug, tree, or flower. It reminded me of our Sunday walks when the kids were all toddlers. The 5 minute walk to the local coffee shop in Sydney would take about half an hour, sometimes more, depending on how many ants, snails, and flowers were along the way. Do you take Sunday strolls? Do your kids and fur kids take their time? Enjoy xx
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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul

Book club time again!  This time we read the marvellous little gem, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. Perhaps I've been living under a rock in a literary sense, as I hadn't even heard of Deborah Rodriguez's book when one of the lovely ladies suggested we read it. What a fab discovery! Set in Kabul, it's a gorgeous tale about the five women who meet and follows their lives as they deal with love and loss and everything in between. The book struck a chord with me on many levels, the overwhelming experience of being an expat, the bond we share with our closest girlfriends and of course finding love... If you are looking for a great book to take on holidays or curl up on the couch in this chilly weather with under a blanket, it's perfect. Enjoy xx
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Each day I look on Facebook or twitter (yep, social media plays a pretty big part in my life!), I see someone mentioning how 'cold' it is becoming, or how the temperature is 'really dropping'. Which is true, sort of. Technically, in terms of seasons we are heading into more chilly territory. However winter in Australia is a bit of an oxymoron.  There aren't a lot of places where we see snow falling. We don't tend to see the temperature drop close to zero for very long, and in most places we get that glorious rise in temperature through the middle of the day. Which leaves fashion lovers in a state of confusion. What do you buy for a winter wardrobe in sunny Oz? Is it worth investing in a leather jacket/ boots/ thick tights when you may only wear them for a coupe of weeks each year? With all of this in mind, here are my 7 fab finds for an Australian winter or a not so cold climate... 1. Blanket wrap from Witchery. Monochrome loveliness, scarf/ wrap, and a great way to keep warm when you're out and about. Blanket wrap by Witchery (AUD$59.95) 2. Chelsea boots by Witchery. Less fashion cash committment than a knee-high pair, and perfect into the warmer weather with a dress.Chelsea boots by Witchery (AUD$199.95)   3. Fab Country Road faux fur scarf to add a wintry feel to your work gear, or with jeans and silk top on the weekends
Faux fur scarf from Country Road (AUD$199.95)

Faux fur scarf from Country Road (AUD$199.95)

4. Sequin shoulder knit from Country Road.  Add a little bling to a wardrobe staple (black knit) - and lightweight enough to wear through into spring.
Sequin shoulder knit from Country Road (AUD$99)

Sequin shoulder knit from Country Road (AUD$99)

 5. Add a bit of a quirky twist to your wintry black with this gorgeous bowerbird pendant from Polli
Bowerbird pendant from Polli via Birdnest (AUD$44.95)

Bowerbird pendant from Polli via Birdnest (AUD$44.95)

  6. Try this drop waist dress from seed (did you know Seed also had a fab ladies range?)  
Drop waist dress from Seed (AUD$129.95)

Drop waist dress from Seed (AUD$129.95)

  7. Last but not least, a fab new pair of jeans, not just any jeans, floral jeans, which can take you straight through into spring.  I love these from Atmos & Here via the Iconic
Atmos&Here Carolina Jeans via The Iconic (AUD$79.95)

Atmos&Here Carolina Jeans via The Iconic (AUD$79.95)

Enjoy xx
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Embracing feminism...

Embracing feminism...

Feminism and the concept of labeling myself a feminist has been on my mind lately. A lot. Call me a late bloomer, but the thought of actually stepping up and proudly calling myself a feminist has only recently occurred to me. Prior to that, I would have preferred to drop the f-bomb in the boardroom than utter the word feminist, let alone label myself one. I am tired of waiting for change though, and want my kids to enter a workforce where men and women are on a par, and where raising kids as a team effort is the norm (the lovely Big A and I make it work after all!). So spurned on by some seriously ambitious and intelligent women, thank you Catherine Fox and Sheryl Sandberg, I have started 'stepping up' or 'leaning in'. No easy feat as I work in the mining industry, which is, well, more than a little blokey. Which most of the time doesn't bother me...too much. Then I think about the fact that it's not just mining, it's nearly all industries, and it's really obvious as you rise through the ranks. I am writing this from the Qantas Club, a business lounge in an airport in Brisbane, Australia. Where, the vast majority of patrons are men.  Last night, before I flew out of sunny Perth (Australia), the situation was even more blokey.  Qantas Club had bascially become a Man Cave (I would say Gentlemen's Club, however, there were far too many men in thongs, singlets and mullets getting around for that - PS - if you are confused right now and you're thinking wait a minute...Qantas Club...WTF... it's because there's a mining boom in WA peeps - so loads of miners, and therefore men). Seems kind of wrong doesn't it? Where were all the women? Qantas Club is (usually) the place you go when traveling for business.  I was tempted to get the hell out of there last night, there were a shiteload of men, a lot of loud drinking and swearing, and well, it wasn't the most welcoming of places. However, I decided to stick it out, as I had every right to be there. Which is a pretty neat analogy and a great story to share when I try to explain how tough it can be to be a woman in the workforce. It is tough, and it is challenging. Each and every day I face up to situations where I am the only woman, or one of a handful. Over the years while working in other industries, it's the same story. I've missed out on a top job because I had just had a young baby, visited sites where there are no ladies toilets, been asked to take the minutes and get the coffee, been called a 'girl' more times that I can count, and been treated like an idiot just for being a woman, and missed out on promotions time and time again despite being more qualified and experienced than the male applicants I am competing against. You know what though, I have never given up and walked away. Just like at the Qantas Club last night, I have no intention of walking away because it's too hard.  Instead I intend to keep standing my ground, and encourage and inspire women and men to look beyond gender in the workplace and on the home-front. Whilst enjoying my time in the Man Cave - sorry Qantas Club, I have been reading a wonderful, thought-provoking, funny and poignant set of stories presented by Jane Caro- Destroying the Joint.  Born from the rantings of Alan Jones, (in his usual brash shock-jock way), women have united to share their thoughts on why women have to change the world.  You see, poor old Alan is concerned women will 'destroy the joint' if too many women get into power. So, thank you Alan Jones, thank you to all the Alan Jones in this world who think men and women aren't equally capable at home and at work. Thanks to all of you for encouraging (ok maybe forcing me) to own the label.  Yes, I am a feminist, and I am proud of it. I do believe women offer as much to the world as men, I believe in equal pay, equal chance of promotion, and above all the ability to choose.  Equality means shared responsibility at home too, raising kids, cleaning the house, whatever it takes. Do you see yourself as a feminist? Enjoy xx
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Remember Dolly?

Remember Dolly?

This week I caught the Mini-Fashionista reading a 'NW' left at our home by my sister (for me to catch up on my dose of useless knowledge and celebs - thanks sis'). Anyhoo, the Mini-Fashionista is almost 9 (her words, not mine), and had more than a few questions from reading the mag. 'Why would anyone want to lose weight fast?' 'I LOVE this fashion' - then I noticed it's the 'outfit' on the fail list for being a little too streetwalker. The questions went on... I tried convincing her to read something else, but she kept going back to her new mag. It all came to an abrupt end when her charming little brothers drew moustaches on everyone in the mag. HILARIOUS! Well, they thought so, the Mini-Fashionista...not so much. Which lead me to our local supermarket... and to the latest edition of Dolly. And whoosh, there goes my little girl, straight past barbies and My Little Ponies... Did you read Dolly? I remember loving the pre-read copies I got from my lovely cousins. It was an insight into a whole new world, where all my enbarassing questions could be answered. Periods. Boys. Boobs and bras. You name it, Dolly had the answers. So back to the supermarket and Dolly. I stood there, frozen for more than a few seconds. Is 'almost 9' too young to read Dolly? Surely she is way too young to think about boys, boobs or periods? Then I thought back to when I was almost 9, life was starting to get a little confusing. I had lots of questions, and all around me girls were getting interested in boys, boys were starting to behave a little strange (that doesn't change though does it?) a few girls got their periods. Dolly didn't make sense of everything, but it made me feel a little more normal, and I learnt about a lot of embarassing stuff (remember Dolly Doctor?). So I bought the Mini-Fashionista her first ever copy of Dolly. When I got home I presented it to her and - she LOVED it.
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Flashdance - loving a day off... (photo credit to D.Wills)

Flashdance - loving a day off... (photo credit to D.Wills)

Can you remember what you did on your favourite school holidays? My favourite holidays were the days spent with my sisters and brother running amok in the bush near our house, fishing for crayfish (yabbies), riding our bikes... off bridges,  building campfires, telling scary stories and scaring each other, and generally doing a lot of fun/naughty stuff together. Without my Mum and Dad, and without going away. On a really big day, we'd take lunch with us, and not come home until the sun was setting. Just. This morning Flashdance, my groove-tastic 6 year old announced he really wanted to 'just stay at home and have fun'. That's it, no request to go to the zoo, shops, out for lunch, just home, his sisters and his brother. So we did. Apart from walking Charlie the Wonderdog, we have been hanging out at home, and I am pretty sure the kids have had a fab time.  Flashdance has already declared it the 'best day ever' (time is a fluid concept when you are 6 you know). An unexpected benefit? Big A and I have also had a fab day. No rushing around, no fighting between the kids, no long drive to get somewhere as quick as possible... just us, relaxing at home. Do you love a stay-cation? Enjoy xx
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Sometimes we have to do scary stuff!  It's nice to have friends to help...

Sometimes we have to do scary stuff! It's nice to have friends to help...

The past few weeks have been crazy busy, and a big part of the craziness has been two of my tribe starting at a new school.  Both Flashdance and Captain Jack have coped amazingly well, and we've watch with pride as they have made new friends, and settled into their new classes. What I hadn't anticipated was how nervous I would be. I had possibly chosen to forget how nervous I get when meeting new people. I became the new kid, and each time I had a school event, drop off, birthday party, I would get butterflies in my stomach.  What if I didn't know anyone? What if we had nothing in common? What if I didn't 'click' with anyone? All of this came to a head when Big A and I were invited to the parents association ball.  Promising to be an amazing night, this black tie event had me quietly petrified. All the 'what ifs' came bubbling to the surface, and then some.  By the time the night rolled around, I was having second thoughts about even going.  Then I decided to knuckle down, and, well, basically get over myself.  After all, so far, everyone had been incredibly friendly, and a lovely new-found friend had invited us to join her table.  We couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome. So, the tall lad and I frocked up (well I frocked up, he chose the B&W route), and off we went. In short, we had a ball.  Brilliant fun, fab food, and spine tingling entertainment (the pipe band - beyond words amazing).  The best part? The newly minted friends we made.  At the end of the night, we both jumped into the cab declaring it to be one of the best nights out in a long while.  I was quietly proud of myself for frocking up and getting on with it.  Next stop, the Mothers Auxiliary fashion parade... Enjoy xx
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Leading a busy life?

Leading a busy life?

This morning on the way to work, my inner dialogue went something like this...

God, I am so tired. I really need a coffee (this is one of my first thoughts most days, along with I should really go to the gym, or bugger its bin day, I hope Big A has it covered).

I really hope I got the uniforms right today.  Did Flashdance have sport or Captain Jack? Did the Mini Fashionista have violin today? Has she been practising enough (probably not)!  Will need to remember to ask tonight. 

I should be helping Little L with her writing - she's keen and interested, but we always seem to run out of time.  When did the rest of the tribe learn to write their name?  God my memory is shocking some days! Why did I give her such a long name, I should've called the little poppet Anna, or something equally short in nature.  

It's career planning time for my team and for myself. I really should take the time to do some more thinking about both. What do I want to do next year or in five years time? Does anyone really know what they want to do in five years time?

Life of Pi was such a divine movie. I really should try to get a copy of the book for Captain Jack, who is a sensitive soul and would probably love the tale.  Is he mature enough to understand the themes? Do I understand the themes enough to explain them to him if he gets stuck?

What on earth am I going to do next year when all four kids are at school? Should I hire a nanny? Do they have nannies in Australia? God, what will people think if I get a nanny?

When on earth did this happen? What happened to my old (or should that be youthful) inner dialogue, the one that was always seeking out something new, adventurous, and happy to fly by the seat of your pants.  Like the time I decided that Sydney would be a fab place to live (that harbour, the shopping, the beaches, so much to do), despite not knowing anyone, or having a job there, or even really knowing anything about the place (apart from the harbour, that there were beaches and some rumours about the shopping). So after about, oh, 30 seconds thought, I applied for a job, gave up my house, packed my car and off I went. And (luckily) I loved it! Is this what growing up is?  Or have I matured? Do you still wing it or are you growing up too? Enjoy xx
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What the hell is the fiscal cliff? Why you should give a toss about polictics...

What the hell is the fiscal cliff? Why you should give a toss about politics...

Ahhh, ignorance is bliss! Or so it seems for many when watching the daily, if not hourly, happenings in the heady world of politics. 'Big deal!' you think, as a bunch of stuffy pollies argue the toss about what to do with your superannuation. 'So what?' you ask, when a slightly different, though kind of the same looking group talk about the Gonski review and how it's vital to change the way the government funds education. Maybe you don't even have kids, so why should it bother you anyway? When was the last time you watched Q&A? Do you care what the hot topic is in Question Time?  Have you watched question time? Though it frustrates the bejesus out of me, I make an effort, on a regular basis to watch/read/ observe and get involved in this stuff. Why? Because this is where society and policy happens. And we are the recipients of this policy. That's right, in a few years time when we are all whingeing about how our super was eroded, and why didn't anyone do anything about it, it will come back to these discussion about policies. So this is my challenge for you for the week ahead... Get in the know about the politics and policies that could affect you.  Find out who your local political rep is, find what they stand for, what are their policies. Read the political columns in the paper tomorrow, and try to watch Q&A tonight on ABC.  The beauty of living in a democratic country is that you can be part of making the decisions that govern our society. That's pretty important, and whilst it may seem a little dull at times (Question Time has a lot in common with high school in my humble opinion), you should persevere. In the end, it can be a whole lot more satisfying reading  about the latest drama for the Kardashians. Enjoy xx
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