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Monday, 29 August 2016

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.” Alice in Wonderland




One of the greatest books written, and an often misunderstood book, given to children far too young and written off as nonsense, is Alice in Wonderland. There's a depth of philosophy in it for the astute reader, and a great go to guide as an inner compass for a curious and thoughtful mind. Alice bucks the status quo and questions all, including herself.




I was delighted to see these shoes in Origami Doll in Newtown. While I didn't buy them on the spot, I suspect I'll be back later in the week to add to my collection. They'd be the perfect prompt to ask myself 'What would Alice do?' when stuck for motivation.

For anyone wanting to change, or bring change in their lives or the world, it's worth remembering this one of the many dialogues on time.

“Alice:How long is forever? 
White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.” 

Maybe the change will come after our lifetime, or maybe it comes sooner than we think.

(Not sponsored, just love Alice)

Linking with #MummyMondays #FortheloveofBlog and #StayClassyMama



Thursday, 25 August 2016

When I'm sad....

When I'm sad, my go to pick me up is Galantis. Stop laughing. In the car, I put on Smile and blare it out, singing with conviction (obviously this is when I'm alone in the car, otherwise it would make other people sad). It is amazing how quickly that works to 'reset'. If you want some variation, go with Sunset Jesus, and have Avicii remind you that if you ' breathe for a little, breathe for a little, I'll be okay'. The important thing is to sing, and sing loudly. It does lift your spirits amazingly fast. (Another instant mood elevator is to clap - I have no idea why but you can't clap sadly.)

I went to a research talk at Macquarie Uni and as an aside the speaker said that it's now proven that exercise 3-4 times a week has the same benefit as an anti-depressant. So while all this stair running has been good for me, I better make sure I commit to some sort of exercise to replace it now that I've finished traversing the fire stairs on a regular basis.







Today I'm not sad, but I am flat. I'm tired and a little stressed, and I have a cold coming on. So to cheer myself up (and get rid of the cold) I spoiled myself with some $5 flowers that smell nice (so I keep sniffing them in the kitchen), some garlic olives that I'm scarfing down as 'medicine' and some grapefruit juice for vitamins...Not high end luxury but luxuries none the less, and no doubt should see me fighting fit tomorrow....





What do you do when you're sad?

Obviously, I'm not a doctor. If you are regularly sad then maybe have a chat with a doctor or Beyondblue  or call Lifeline.

Linking with #KCACOLS and #OpenSlather



No film clip for Avicii, sorry- and if you check out Smile, let me warn you it's not suitable for work...

Monday, 22 August 2016

Stair Challenge and Giant Steps


Last Sunday I did the big one. I ran 100 flights of stairs to the top of Westfield Centrepoint Tower. Ok, I didn't run. I walked. I had a minor panic attack at level 10, wondering if I could do it, which was stupid as I've been doing it for weeks almost daily. I think I may have discovered I have slight claustrophobia, as it's a physical reaction that feels like my blood pressure dropping all of a sudden.


By far the most popular fancy dress
Anyway, my friend charged ahead and I made my own way up, arriving 3 minutes behind her (which is actually a sizeable distance). I did it in 19 mins, was around the middle of the pack and the middle of the pack for females my age...

The view from the top is fabulous but the queue to get down was hideous. I would have walked down the stairs had they let us.

I want to thank those of you that generously sponsored me (and Giant Steps, a school for kids with Autism in Sydney). Any last minute donations greatly appreciated here.

Would I do it again? Probably not but I will definitely do Climb'n'Dine again - that distance I can attempt to run and the breakfast at the top is well worth the effort (and diminishes the queue to go back to the bottom again).


As we hit the food court for some dumplings, I can honestly say I was loving life!









I am also LOVIN' my new kicks! 
What are you loving about life right now?



Updating the list:

Torshlusspanik List:


1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)
17. Astonish Myself
18. Write a book*.
19. Participate in a distance event (check)
20. Climb Sydney Tower (check)



Sunday, 21 August 2016

10 things I know


1. I'm tired.
2. I need more hours in the day.
3. Being a parent is hard, no matter how great the kids are.
4. I'm old but a lot of the time don't feel it.
5. I'm old and sometimes I really, really feel it.
6. I need to exercise more.
7. I waste too much time with my head in my phone.
8. I live in an amazing city and I should make the most of it.
9. This list was much harder than I expected it to be.
10. We, the human race, can do better, and must do better.

What do you know?

Linking with #MummyMondays and #FortheloveofBlog

Saturday, 20 August 2016

First of the Month Fiction - September

Going early because I have a big post to write and I'm just not quite ready for it (as in, I haven't quite worked out what I want to say) so here's a quick 30 worder in a hasty, lazy First of the Month Ficiton.
(Newbies, write a 100 word story - exactly in 100 words, or one less than 30 words, pop it in the comments then link your blog).

She'd missed all the signs and now he was gone, leaving her with infinite thoughts of 'if only...'.



Thursday, 18 August 2016

Little Prince goes to Barangaroo



We explored Barangaroo the other day, the Little Prince and I. There is something so special about walking near the water when the sun is out. With all the terrible things in our world, sometimes it's good to focus on the small day to day joys.







In that moment, I was truly loving life.






 What have you been up to that makes you smile?




Linking with #FridayPhoto

Monday, 15 August 2016

You can't stop my shine, not today.

In my travels around the blogs lately, there's been a lot on depression and feelings of inadequacy. I have cut and pasted this response to a number of people in the last week alone.

Only "YOU think that. The mean little voice in your head thinks that. Spend today telling it to shut the %&*# up. Every single time you think something about yourself that you would NEVER say about someone else, stop and tell your brain to shut up. No one should have to listen to that, and neither should you."

I went to a talk a few years ago on depression and they talked about your need to be the keeper of your thoughts (that you don't need to believe everything you think).

' Your mind isn't your best friend. You need to tell your mind that it's wrong...People believe instantly what their mind tells them, but you need to start to challenge the negative thoughts.' 

Amy Poehler has a brilliant bit on her book with this - she's not talking about depression, just that insecurity thinking we get. Unfortunately my copy of Yes, Please by Amy Poehler  is packed up for the renovations, but if you are struggling a little with a nagging voice of insecurity, then get yourself a copy as she nails it. Put the voice in a box and lock it away to muffle it, or at least occasionally say 'Sorry, I don't have time for you today, I want to enjoy this!'

Which brings me to an anthem. I stumbled across this song by Xp, and while he's talking about the external negativity that gets thrown our way, I think it is equally applicable to the mean little voice that tries to ruin everything we do and fills us with doubt and erodes our confidence.

"They hate to see you smile, have a good time
...As soon as I step outside I can feel the hate..
Look at how they mess with ya mind"


The thoughts can tarnish everything we do. They can ruin a lovely experience and steal all our enjoyment. However, we don't have to let it. We shouldn't even listen to it. We will probably need to battle these thoughts for awhile, but we can stand up for ourselves. We can hold our head up and say:

"Today we ain't taking suggestions... I'm on my way,.. no time to waste...
I'm really feeling myself today
...You can't bring me down, not today! No, not today!
...you can't stop my shine, Not today."

Maybe when the nagging doubts set in, when the inner critic raises it's voice to fill our ears, that's when we need to sing the anthem out loud to drown the negative thoughts out. No, you can't stop my shine, not today!

Maybe it really is as simple as that.



Check out more of Xp itunes or http://xpmusic.rocks/

Linking with #KCACOLS and #OpenSlather

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Conversations with a wedding dress

The importance of a wedding dress is magnified beyond it's function. It is purely the outfit you choose to wear on the day you alter your single status to a unified couple. These days, you have more likely than not been together for awhile before hand, or at least dating seriously, so you're not really altering that much. So the dress, especially if you already live together, is purely a decorative frivolity that is part of the celebration of marriage.

The wedding dress used to be a means to show the family wealth and display status in good light, important in marriages where it was more a political match, rather than love. I understand the need for an impressive dress when countries or businesses were uniting through marriage. Poor and 'unimportant' people often just wore their best church dress, the act of marriage being more important than the wedding.

Interestingly, the tradition of white came late in the day, and as often with tradition, quite by accident. Prior to 1840, wedding gowns were often bold colours. When Queen Victoria got married, she wore a white gown to incorporate her favourite lace. The wedding portrait was published and the copycat brides followed suit. Thus the most misinterpreted wedding tradition was born. (In those days, blue was the colour of purity - and dead sparrows represented loss of virginity but that's another post). Isn't it funny how traditions start and become magnified quickly after their humble beginnings?

The wedding industry in Australia generates over 2 billion dollars a year, with only 50% of weddings being first time marriages. I find this a staggering amount of money for a country this size, which indicates our enthusiasm for the act of marriage (at least for heterosexual couples, but again that's another post - maybe the wedding industry should take on the ACL because imagine the boom to the economy?!).

As for me, I didn't follow tradition. Not for a particular protest, I just don't look so great in white. I chose a beautiful dress that was really just an evening gown, but with a price tag that I would never normally spend on an item of clothing (however as a wedding dress, it would be considered a steal!). It is my only dress that ever came in a box, that detail making me feel very much like Paul Gallico's Mrs Harris. And I like that it still makes me feel that way - special, decadent and a little like a fish out of water (or an Eliza Doolittle before the transformation is complete).

The upside, I've worn it many, many times. I wore it on our honeymoon (twice). I've worn it to every ball I've been to. I hope to wear it again soon, should the occasion arise. I love this dress.



I like that my partner likes to announce to people that it's my wedding dress when they compliment it (which they do). I like that it reminds me of a day 17 years ago. I like that it reminds me of the 17 years and all the changes in my life since I first got. I like that I can still fit into it (though with degrees of appropriate body shape). I like how I feel when I wear it. I just like it.

That to me, is the perfect wedding dress. Not just for one day, for one audience. It's for a life time. A life time together and many audiences, as many people turn up later in your life. And it's timeless if you love it.

"If you wear things you adore, you just look better." —Margherita Missoni

What did you wear to your wedding?
Linking with #ConversationsoverCoffee on the prompt Wedding Dress at Always Josefa

The historic information above was discovered here. Australian Statistics here.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Sculpture at Barangaroo






We had a fairly lazy Sunday with lunch at the local shops while getting the car washed, but then swung home via Barangaroo to check out the sculptures that are on exhibit until the 16th.


It was beautiful afternoon, sunny while overcast and we sat on the shore with a coffee watching the water birds.













These little things make you look at life and how wonderful it can be.
Sometimes you just need to stop and be still for a moment to see it.

What made you love life this week?

(Though I would love it more if I actually remembered to take my camera instead of making do with my useless iphone that's dying a slow death)

Linking with #PhotoFriday


















Monday, 8 August 2016

When stars align part 2


Following up from last week's post, I just wanted to share a brief outcome. We Lux'ed, we laughed, we caught plenty of Pokemon roaming the streets after dark and got roast duck in the food court (their favourite but where the rest of the family never wants to eat).

As we returned home, Didi (the made up name has already been reduced to a nickname) looked at me and smiled, announcing "I know it isn't, so this seems silly, but it feels like my birthday!".

My heart just melted. It really was a rare and missed occasion for him too.

How special are those rare moments with the middle child?!

Do you plan time alone with you kids individually? We don't, but I'm beginning to think we should.

Lnking with #MummyMondays #KCACOLS

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Best Birthday Ever



I loved this prompt, purely because I loved directing my thoughts back to this wonderful day. I wrote about it in Champagne Sydney at the time.


My birthday usually comes and goes with little hurrah, mainly because I'm pragmatic in the spending, so my present is my prescription sunnies that I've had to buy or some other dull but costly necessity.




However, this year, after discussing some of our woes with a wealthy client, the generous man said "Why not take the boat out for her birthday?".  And so we did.


It was exciting that I could invite 19 friends (our family taking up 5 of the spots, so 25 of my peeps in total). The list would change as soon as a 'no' came in, as I wasn't leaving a single spot empty.






With numbers amassed, we all turned up excitedly at the pier.


Already a few champagnes in, I squealed when I saw lunch arrive! It was so rockstar and so out of the ordinary for me and my friends. We were all snapping photos of the waiters like crazed starstruck teens.


We cruised around the stunning harbour then swam and played Bananagrams as the sun made it's way across the clear blue sky (because that's how rockstar we really are).



I felt so lucky to live in this beautiful city, so special to have such wonderful friends. The best part, it was such a special thing for all of the guests. Some had never been on a boat on the harbour before, some just needed a day to themselves to relax, and we all felt spoiled rotten!

Even better, it's made me think I need to spend more time on boats, and while not as luxurious, we've just been whale watching and in a few weeks will get the ferry to Patonga for lunch, en masse. So from a one off treat, a small lifestyle change is in the works, at least for this summer...




I am very thankful to the man who loaned us his boat, to my wonderful partner for organising it, and to all my fabulous friends who were so excited about the day, and as always, made my life experiences so fun.

What was your best birthday ever?

Linking with #DenyseWhelan on the prompt of your birthday.



Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Stairway to Paradise



  



Last Sunday I entered Climb n Dine, a stair run where you run the 36 flights of stairs of the Shangri La Hotel to finish at the top and enjoy a fabulous breakfast with the best views in Sydney.

I had been training towards four minutes, and while I could never crack the final 100 in that time, I had hoped to finish under 7 minutes. I had underestimated how difficult the 'all up' aspect would be. I had trained 83 up, 83 down repeatedly. The down run lets you catch your breath. I was devastated when I reached the 8th floor and realised I would have to walk the rest. 












I was over 7 minutes, and only just scraped in the top half of the women. I am a million years old, but still, a little disappointing.









However, that was quickly forgotten as I grabbed a prime window seat looking out onto our beautiful harbour!

We all chatted over breakfast and at that moment, I was truly loving life!







In the early morning, the water was so still that a single ferry wake rippled across the whole harbour!


Linking with#FridayPhoto


Unknown Mami