What’s Your Dream? // Holly Nelson

 

Pastel Grey Barn With Red Cupola's Now this s a barn with dignity!  Impeccable standards.  Graciousness.  Sheer, simple, honest beauty.  I love old barns and they are disappearing, melting in my short lifetime.  But I keep them in my heart for they are my history.  K.W.

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This dream is really making me smile, particularly because I can really relate to it. I first read Holly’s words on her previous blog English Girl Canadian Man, which has recently become Full Of Beans (And Sausages!). Today she’s sharing the thing that she, an English girl, and her Canadian man are working towards.

What is your most incredible dream?

To own a little farmhouse with at least two acres for a smallholding. The two things I have always wanted are chickens and a library. This might not seem like the grandest dream in the World, but it is to me. The idea of my own land that I can use to sustain the country lifestyle I have lusted after for so long, is blissful.

 

Do you think it’s attainable?

It is absolutely attainable…watch this space! Luke has been busy saving away. We figure we need $10 000. We have a lovely image of our dream house by a lake and we have begun writing on the glass with a whiteboard marker how much we have got saved so far. This has only recently been attainable and we hope to have saved up the required amount by next September!

 

How long have you been holding onto this dream?

When I was 19 years old I began to take down the posters of Kurt Cobain and the Chilli Peppers in my bedroom and began to replace them with Laura Ashley prints. It was around that time that I also began to read Country Living magazine and to imagine my own little cottage with roses by the front door. I can’t believe that things are finally beginning to happen so rapidly – my partner has even managed to quit smoking in order to save an extra $91 a week. It seems utterly impossible, we were previously wasting so much money!

 

What will it take for your dream to become a reality?

Time, patience and frugality! We should be able to save really quite rapidly and in Canada, owning land is actually incredibly easy! I have definitely moved to the right country to finally realise my dream! I can just imagine myself in a pinafore with bird seed in the pocket, going out to feed the chickens and bypassing the pony pen or the goats and picking a couple of green beans from the veg patch for the journey! When the chores are done, I will then go inside to sink into my library and read those well-thumbed editions of books that I love so much.

 

Who are the people that encourage you the most?

My Mom and Dad – my Mom who is such a temperate, serene person and my Dad who protects us and carries us. They have protected me and picked me up when I have fallen in equal measure. Finally they have been able to let me go when I chose to move to a different country. I am so grateful to have these two people as my parents. They have just sold their house to buy a motorhome, which they are now living in and have grand plans of travel. I have never seen them so happy and their brave move is, truly inspirational. They named their motorhome Twernt and you can read about their travels at twerntontour.wordpress.com

 

Who inspires you, and makes you want to chase your dream?

My Nanna – domestic goddess that she was. She told me I was made to be a teacher when I was 12 years old and I am. She taught me to knit and I inherited her knitting needles when she died. Either she inspired me, or I inherited her traits, but similar to her, I treasure my family above all else and I want to give them everything and keep them well fed and safe.

Luke, my partner, equally inspires me. I am lucky to have found a life partner who has equal wishes for life as me. We do everything together. We do not require time apart because we are so completely perfect together. We never argue, we respect one another and if one of us wants to do something, so does the other! I feel honoured and humbled by this man and I am so glad that I decided to wait so long for this perfect Disney romance I had previously thought a myth.

 

Now, if that doesn’t make you a little bit happier today, I’m not sure what will. I’m looking forward to seeing Holly’s dream come true, and can only imagine how gorgeous her farm will be.

 

HollyHollyson

 

You can find Holly here: Full Of Beans (And Sausages!)Google +, Instagram, Facebook,  Pinterest and Twitter.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Beginnings

 

Baby steps – free cross stitch chart and template for the cutest baby bootees.

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Beginnings,

We all have them.

Marking the start of good and bad, easy and hard.

Days and dates to remember.

Today I met a brand new beginning,

Ten little fingers, ten little toes.

Tiny and pink and scrunchy new.

Little girl, the newest member,

A family stretching across the globe.

This is your beginning.

Your journey will take you

Who knows where.

Make the adventures,

Those to remember.

New beginnings,

Let’s celebrate them.

 

Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

What’s Your Dream? // Kate Bolton

 

Skagit Valley tulip fields by Alan Majchrowicz

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This dream is such a beautiful one, I think I could easily see myself enjoying it too! Kate from the lovely blog Kate Writes is sharing her dream with us, and it all sounds so glorious.

What is your most incredible dream?

One of my most incredible dreams is to travel. There are so many things on my bucket list that I would love to see, particularly in Europe, the Netherlands and the UK. I want to hear the guards marching to Buckingham Palace, munch on flaky, French croissants, pedal through the Amsterdam countryside, see the Lipizzaner Stallions perform, sit under the sky lit up by the Northern lights, eat gelato in Italy…and more, the list is extensive!

I do not often share this dream as it seems a little frivolous in the face of world peace or publishing your own novel but I do often dream of sharing this experience with my camera in my hand and my family by my side to discover it with me.

 

Do you think it’s attainable?

Yes I think my dream is attainable and it is getting closer every day with some prudent saving. I do at least have my passport.

I will never be able to do all of these things in one trip so I hope that I will be able to jet set and thoroughly enjoy many trips in all directions for many years to come.

 

How long have you been holding onto this dream?

I have had this dream for as long as I can remember. I read books set in these locations, I am an avid travel show watcher and I stalk people who are living my dream on Instagram!

 

What will it take for your dream to become a reality?

I think we will need to make the decision that we are going to do it then some serious saving and planning which bit we will see first! Eeekkk!!!

 

Who are the people that  encourage you the most?

My family are my cheer squad, in particular my husband.

 

Who inspires you, and makes you want to chase your dream?

I am inspired by all those who roam the planet, near and far,  particularly those who have made a career out of taking pictures and writing about where they have been. They make me feel like my dream is attainable and I admire them for being brave enough to do what they love and making the most of the time they have.

 

I have no doubt Kate will be writing about her travels one day, in the not too distant future. I just hope she remembers to take lots of photos, so we can all enjoy her journey.

You can find Kate here: Kate Writes, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining Maxabella loves, Life, Love & Hiccups, Sonia Styling and A Life Less Frantic for the Weekend Rewind.

Father

Daddy's girl

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Linked by blood or by love?

You’re my father because:

We share DNA.

Met the day I was born.

Have generations in common.

You’re my father because:

You were there for me.

Taught me much.

Loved my baby, as if your kin.

One there for my first day of school,

The other for my wedding.

My fathers both,

Not only in name,

But also love.

Neither of you here in person,

But both always with me in my heart.

Linked by blood and by love.

 

Linking with My Little Sunshine House for the welcome return of Sunshine Sundays.

 

7 Things I Want To Do Before NYE

 

Pastel hair color love the lavender!

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Can you believe we’re in the last third of this year? Seriously, we just had Christmas!Time is flying, and I’ve got a list of things I want to have sorted before the end of this year.  These are the main ones I want to achieve before New Year’s Eve.

 

Get my emails under control. No one should have over 15,000 unread emails in their inbox, but sadly that’s what my number is. There’s a lot of junk in there, but I can’t bear to delete everything before I check if there are any  I need to action. Once your emails are out of control, it’s a slippery slope to complete email anarchy!

 

Make a change to my hair colour. Over the years I’ve had my hair every colour from platinum blonde to blue black, with cherry red along the way. At the moment it’s a bit boring, and I’m ready for a change. I have something in mind that I think will brighten up my style. And if it doesn’t look fabulous, no problem, I can always grow it out.

 

Sort the garage. Our garage is where things go when they don’t have a real home. You know, “I’ll just put it here for a couple of days”, then it seems to stay there. If it was up to me, the garage would be empty except for our cars, but John is a bit of a hoarder. If we ever need a plastic container or reed fencing we’re all set, but it’s driving me nuts!

 

Get my yoga on. For a long while I was doing yoga regularly, and loved the difference it made to me. But gradually I didn’t put so much effort into finding the time for it, typical mum reasoning. I realize that to allow me to do the things I need to for my family, I have to look after myself. Practising yoga is the perfect way to centre myself, and this can only be a good thing. So making yoga part of my daily routine is something I’m working on.

 

Learn a new skill. I love learning new things, especially if they’re to do with creativity. On my to-do list is teaching myself some new art techniques. I’m not sure exactly what it will be, but I’m leaning towards water colours. The way the colours flow into each other appeals to me and it would be great to be able to make some new art in beautiful colours.

 

Publish my first newsletter. It’s one of those great ideas you have, and then don’t follow through. I had every intention of having a monthly newsletter up and running by now, but excuses excuses. I just need to get onto it and make it part of my timetable. I know it’s not essential, but it is one of those things I want to have running smoothly, so when I have something to share, it just gets included.

 

Get this book rolling. When I first mentioned my Zen Files book, I gave myself a ridiculously unrealistic deadline, and had no hope of meeting it. Now I’m thinking mid 2015 will be much more achievable, and I’m working towards that. The main thing I need to do now is follow up anyone who expressed an interest in being involved, but hasn’t got around to it yet. Believe me, I know how it is when you plan to have something ready and the time just gets away from you. So, if you put your hand up and it’s slipped your mind, I’m looking out for you. And if you’re just hearing about it for the first time and would like to be involved, let me know!

So that’s what’s going to be keeping me busy in the countdown to 2015, and no doubt I’ll think of other things to add.

Do you have a list?

 

Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Do You Laugh?

 

Classic ferris wheel in pastels #PANDORAloves old classics

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Do you laugh much?

Do you ever really let go and give in to a great big belly laugh? One of those that starts as a giggle, then bubbles up into a burst of energy, and just goes on and on. I love those fabulous laughs, and always feel so good after giving into that urge to let myself feel the freedom a good laugh can bring.

There’s so much serious news hitting us from all angles, and it can be easy to feel guilty about being a bit light-hearted. But think about it; does holding back on your own happiness change any of those bad things? No it doesn’t, and I don’t think spreading the gloom around is very helpful either.

Now, I’m not sitting up here on my rainbow unicorn, thinking that if you just don’t think about them, the bad things will go away. Quite the opposite! If you want to see the change, be the change. Do something positive and make a difference. There are so many ways you can help others, just start thinking of some and the ideas will flow.

But while you’re at it, spread some good energy as well. Sometimes all someone craves in their day is a smile, a sign that they’re not on this wild ride on their own. And given the opportunity, a smile can prompt one of those glorious big laughs.

It’s easy to feel that we’re all just tiny little pieces in a great big puzzle, and feeling unconnected can be soul-destroying. Not everyone has the joy in their lives that we all deserve, and not everyone knows where to look for it. There could be people you see on a regular basis that would benefit in a big way from a little gesture from you, and they may even pass it on. Just think; your small act of kindness could be the start of a positive chain reaction.

There will always be those who think that little actions don’t matter, and maybe that’s because they’ve never actually experienced the good feeling that comes from someone being nice to them for no particular reason. Even though it can be challenging, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. We can never know the full story of everyones’ lives, and we can’t always know what they’ve been through, or may be facing right at this moment. But we can be open to sharing a little happiness.

So, do you laugh much?

 

Linking with Maxabella loves, Life, Love & Hiccups, Sonia Styling and A Life Less Frantic for the Weekend Rewind.

All The Stuff

 

stuff

The Zen Files // Wendy from Beach Style Mum

 

We’ve got another Zen File full of wonderful to share, and this time it’s Wendy from Beach Style Mum.  I’ve only recently discovered Wendy’s lovely blog, and I’m glad I did. It’s a beautifully sunny place to be.

Jeans1

Please tell us what your blog is about and why you started it.

My blog is pretty well summarised exactly by the title – it’s a style / mum blog about fashion and life

near the beach.

After having my second son 19 months after the first, I fell into that “life with a newborn and

toddler” fashion rut. I slowly started to realise that I could dress for comfort and practicality but

could still add a little touch of fun and style and that made me feel good. Making an effort to feel

good about myself was something personal I could achieve each day while the rest of my life was all

about my boys!

12 months ago I started following some of the fantastic style blogs like Styling You and was amazed

and delighted with the effect these “everyday style” blogs had on mums and women all over the

world. So much positivity and fun was being shared. I wanted to be a part of it.

Earlier this year, I thought it might be fun to have a go and start my own style blog with a beachy

feel. It’s coastal in theme as well as reflecting my preference for comfortable, relaxed fashion so I

guess it’s got that beachy relaxed style in personality too (I hope!)

 

What does “zen” mean to you?

Happy, content and comfortable within myself. Able to understand that problems or tough times are

all part of the journey and that’s how we learn and appreciate the good stuff.

 

Which 5 people from history would you most like to have dinner with and what do you think the

conversation would be about?

Nelson Mandela

Neil Armstrong

Albert Einstein

Elvis Presley

Marilyn Monroe

I’m sure the conversation would be ridiculously stimulating, thought provoking and educational.

Perhaps the guests would try to outdo each other with their tales however I’m sure Marilyn would

keep them all in line. Particularly that party animal Albert.

 

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Tell us about something positive that has happened to you and how it has affected your life.

15 months ago I left my corporate marketing job after 10 years to work for myself as a marketing

consultant. It’s allowed me to be much more flexible in how and where I work and has taken a lot of

the stress out of the work-mum balance. Being my own manager is the best decision I’ve made for

our family. It was a bit of a risk but well worth it.

 

Beach home 1

 

Who is the most zen person you know, and how can we be more like them?

Ellen DeGeneres – she seems so comfortable within herself and her happiness has an obvious

effect on others. I think just showing little gestures of kindness everyday is a great way to copy her

strategy. We don’t need to give people cars and university tuition money (although wouldn’t that be

fun) but we can say nice things, praise others and offer help when needed.

 

Guess whose grandparents just got back from New York?

 

I have so many wonderful blog favourites that make me smile, what are the 3 that brighten your

day, plus one that we may not have heard of before?

Styling You

Style and Shenanigans

Kimba Likes

One that you may not have heard of: One Little Momma – Kilee is a very stylish, crafty mum of 3

living in Kansas City. Great style tips and lovely family stories.

 

Moodboard of moodboards

 

The Random Roundup……just for a bit of fun.

Which do you prefer?

Beach or Country. – Beach

Pinterest or Instagram. – Instagram

Cheese or Chocolate. – Touggggghhhh but chocolate.

Flats or Heels. – Flats

Black & White or Colour Photography. – Colour

Cool or Warm Weather. – Warm

Fruit or Veggies. – Veggies for nutrition but fruit for taste

Early Nights or Night Owl. – Early nights

Tv or Radio. – TV

Comedy or Drama. – Comedy

If you need some inspiration, especially with Spring now here, pop over to Beach Style Mum to see what Wendy can suggest. Moodboard Monday is pretty fabulous, and I’m pretty sure you’ll get some great new ideas.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

 

Loving

 

loving

 

 

Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

This Is Me

 

Machine

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Well, I really feel like I should introduce myself again, seeing as I’ve been MIA for about a hundred years (feels like it!). While I’ve been practically offline, I’ve been contacted by some really lovely bloggers who’ve included me in their lists for Liebster Award nominations.

I was only going to answer one lot, because this is a lot of questions, but I figure if you get bored halfway through, it’s easy enough to click away. If you stay with me until the end, you deserve a medal, but I’ll send you some wishes for good karma instead. But do be warned, it’s loooong!

So here goes. I’ll just list who each block of questions is from, so please make sure you drop over to theirs for a visit. These are some pretty wonderful writers.

From Sonia at  Sonia Styling

Which song do you consider your Personal Anthem and why?

So many songs, but it would have to be “Is This Love?” by Bob Marley. Not only does it have the best reggae beat that I could listen to all day, but I love the message; you don’t need anything else if you have love. I’ve always said to John that if we needed to sell everything and live in a tent, I’d be fine, as long as we’re together. I may not be super thrilled about the tent situation, but you get the drift.

What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?

Ooh, I think I’ve experienced a lot of kindness in my life, it’s a bit hard to think of the kindest. Probably my year 7 teacher, who knew my home life was a bit unstable, went out of her way to let me know I had a support system when I needed it. Little kids can often keep stuff in, and having someone to lean on at challenging times means a lot.

If you could only wear one colour for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

I don’t know how practical it would be, but I would love to wear white all the time. I just love the freshness of it, but it MUST always be crisp white; break out the Napisan!

If you were invisible, where would you go?

If I can be invisible, I’ll assume I could also time travel, right? I would definitely go back about 8 years to when Bell was at kindy, and listen to some of the conversations she had with her little buddies. I could just imagine some of the stuff I’d hear.

You’ve just won the lottery. What would be your first money-is-no-object indulgent purchase?

Buy a house for my sister because I don’t think she’ll be in a position to do it for herself. Then I’ll go out and buy the flashest, most amazing coffee machine I can find.

What are you famous for in your group of friends?

Probably for being the silly one who is always ready for a laugh. And the biggest coffee addict!

What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already?

Budgeting. Too many kids leave school thinking that you can just buy things that you need, without realizing that you may have to do a bit of juggling to afford them.

Which restaurant would you most like to dine at – anywhere in the world?

Well, it has to be seafood, and it has to be caught locally to the restaurant. Not only are these requirements covered, but the name of this restaurant is an absolute cracker! “Mabel’s Lobster Claw” in Kennebunkport, Maine in the USA sounds like my kind of place. You only have to read their menu to want to book your plane tickets, or maybe that’s just me. And all of Stephen King’s stories are set in Maine, so I could wander around town after, and imagine all the spookiness that was inspired by the place.

If you were a cocktail, which one would you be and why?

Something creamy and chocolatey, most likely based on Kahlua because, you know, coffee.

How do you want to be remembered?

I hope to be remembered as someone who is caring and helpful, and can be relied on in good times and bad.

 

From Katy at Katy Potaty.

What’s your favourite time of day?

I love mornings, especially sunrise before the household starts buzzing. I find I can get so much done at this time of the day, and my brain hasn’t had a chance to get too crowded yet.

If you were to write the story of your life, what might be the title?

A few years ago I wrote a book titled “I’ve Just Had A Baby……What Was my Name Again?” It was definitely apt for those early motherhood years. Maybe a good title for my whole life story would be “I Gave It My Best Shot”.

What’s a nickname you’ve had or one that you would give yourself?

I’ve never really had an actual nickname, most people I know just shorten my name to Leese. A nickname I would give myself would probably be something like Dreamer, because I am.

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

I loved My Side Of The Mountain, and hope Bell will read it when she’s a bit older. And still a favourite today is anything by Dr. Seuss, I could read them all day and not get bored. Those illustrations still make my head spin.

If they made a movie of your life, which actor would you choose to play you? And which actors would play your best friend and your partner?

Oh my goodness, this is tough! I would love to say Kate Hudson or Scarlett Johansson, but it would probably be more realistically someone like Bette Midler! I think for John, it would be Keanu Reeves because physically they are quite similar and both men of few words. My best friend could only be played by Julia Roberts, for both physical and personality similarities.

What’s your fantasy job?

Owning and running a shop where everything for sale is designed and made by me. So totally unrealistic, but just imagine what a buzz that would be! It would be just perfect for my control freak tendencies.

Who is your favourite musician?

Male, Bob Marley. Female, P!nk. I love them both for their supreme musical abilities and also their passion to their craft.

Who is somebody you admire and why?

I know so many people name her, but for so long now I’ve admired Oprah. Not only has she followed her passion to the max, but she’s encouraged countless people along the way. I remember watching her talk show when it first started many years ago, and thought that her enthusiasm would take her far.

What’s a song you’d choose for your ‘theme song’?

Earlier I mentioned “Is This Love?” as my anthem, for the message it conveys. My favourite sing-it-at-the-top-of-your-lungs song of all time is without doubt “American Pie” by Don McLean.

 

From Jodi at J.F. Gibson.

Are you a dog or a cat person?

I had always been a total cat person, until we got our twin pups Lola and Lulu. Now, along with our crazy giant cat Violet, I just couldn’t choose.

Who inspires you?

Anyone who has the guts to admit to themselves that they’ve got a dream and follow it, has my admiration. I love to read about people who have acknowledged that there’s something they want to achieve, and take on any challenge to make it happen.

What is your favourite childhood memory?

I can remember when I was really little, going to building sites with my dad, and exploring while he worked. He was a brickie, and would let me draw on the bricks with one of those flat black and red pencils that tradies use. These days, having a 4 year-old on a worksite would be out of the question!

Where is your dream holiday destination?

Greece has always held a fascination for me. I could just imagine hanging out in a little fishing village, so peaceful and amazing food as well. It’s definitely on our must visit list.

Worst movie you’ve ever seen?

Mr. Bean! I’m sure that answer won’t win me any friends, but I just get so frustrated watching that annoying man being……annoying!!

Which celebrity would you like to be your BFF?

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, who play Mitchell and Cam on Modern Family. I love their characters so much, and imagine they must have at least a little bit of those personalities in real life. They both come across as a lot of fun, in interviews I’ve seen with them.

First CD/Album you bought with your own money?

“American Pie” by Don McLean, and it was on VINYL! A giant black disc in a cardboard sleeve, unheard of today. I knew every single word of every song, and could probably still remember them today if they came on the radio.

What’s your favourite sound?

Without doubt, waves lapping the shore. Perfect to lend a soundtrack to a beautiful day, or send you off to sleep at night.

If you could be any fictional character from a book or movie, who would you be?

I would be Janet Weiss from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, because the singing, the dancing and Tim Curry!!!

You have a guilt-free full day of ‘me time’. All the housework and cooking is done for you, the kids are off with Dad/Grandma/friends for the day, and work is up to date. How would you spend it?

Oh wow, let me dream! I would start with a walk along the beach when the dolphins are visiting. Then a massage at a beautiful spa, followed by a lovely lunch prepared by someone who knows how to do healthy food in a delicious way. Then I would read all the magazines I have piled up, while drinking coffee made by the world’s best barista.  You did say there were no boundaries, right Jodi?

 

And on top of all those, I also received a Lovely Blog Award from the gorgeous Michelle at My Slow Living Adventure. For this one, you usually have to list a bunch of random facts about yourself, but I’m thinking 29 questions have pretty much covered this!

Now it’s my turn to pass on some nosey questions to bloggers I think you may like to know more about. Please visit these beautiful spaces to see why I think they need to be awarded.

Beach Style Mum

Hugzilla

Champagne Cartel

Denise Mooney

Peachy Keen Mumma

Kate Writes

Debbish

English Girl Canadian Man

This Charming Mum

My questions to them are:

1. What was your favourite subject at school?

2. How easily do you wake up when your alarm goes off?

3. You could never miss a single episode of which TV show?

4. What’s your go-to dish when you’re asked to bring a plate?

5. If you could be a character from a favourite book from your childhood, who would you be?

6. You’re exploring a scenic beachside village. Would you prefer to do it on foot or by bike?

7. The reality TV show that you would absolutely blitz, would be what?

8. Do you prefer your Summer or Winter wardrobe?

9. What’s your favourite way to relax?

10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 

And if you’re still with me after all that, big hugs to you!

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining Maxabella loves, Life, Love & Hiccups, Sonia Styling and A Life Less Frantic for the Weekend Rewind.