Peace Please

 

peace

 

Last Monday the world changed. Again.

I clearly remember where I was when news broke of the 9/11 tragedy, the Bali bombings and now the Martin Place siege. Little moments in the timeline of life that stand out, not because of beautiful memories, but because the world seems to lose a little more of its innocence.

A nice slow start to my week; I’d dropped Bell at her friend’s house early, walked the dogs along the beach, my mum dropped in and we chatted for a while.

When I finally turned the TV on, I tuned into what was happening in Sydney, and the moment was quickly added to that list of those that I’ll never forget.

The senseless violence that was being played out was hard to comprehend. Drop into your local coffee shop before work, and you’ve walked into a nightmare. To think this was happening in our own “safe” country didn’t seem possible, but there it was in all its horrible reality.

We all know that the eventual ending was a tragic one, and something that never should have happened. Watching it unfold left me with such a helpless and hopeless feeling, and I found it so confronting to think that this could be happening to any of us.

After a while, I retreated to my social media go-to of Instagram, and was blown away by the outpouring of emotion being shared. The hashtag #prayforsydney had been started and I felt that I needed to add to it, just so I’d acknowledged the whole tragedy. Maybe a selfish reason, but I did feel that the small connection made a difference.

That hashtag has since grown to over 62,000 posts, and #illridewithyou is more than 76,000. Amy from Handbag Mafia wrote about how this tragic act brought people together, and gave us a glimmer of hope that people really are good.

There’s nothing we can do to lessen the impact this has had on our society, and I think it will be a long time before we’re not talking about it. We probably won’t ever be able to totally eliminate the evil that comes from hating others just because their beliefs or culture are different. But we can do our best to overpower it with acts of good, and kindness to those that desperately need it.

I saw my post shared around, and quite a few people have contacted me to see if they can purchase a print of it anywhere. But because I painted it specifically on that day, there’s no way I’ll be selling it. I’m more than happy to send a print of it as a Zen Note to anyone who would like some to pass on to others they think may need to see this message.

Just let me know if you would like some, and I’ll pop a few in the mail to you.

We may not be able to stop all the bad stuff completely, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a good try.

 

Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

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

 

What’s Your Dream? // Fleur Horsley

 

* ✿ ¸. ◦ * ‘`* ✿* ✿ ¸. ◦ * ‘`* ✿ Victorian home with square tower.

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Fleur from Our Urban Box is sharing some exciting dreams, and it looks like 2015 is going to be a big one! Reading fabulous dreams like these makes me want to strive for mine just that little bit harder.

 

Whats your most incredible dream?

 

Apart from winning lotto? I am going to be sneaky here and talk about 2 dreams. Both are as equally important to me at the moment so can’t choose. My first incredible dream is to build a lovely big home where my family can grow together and we can entertain family and friends. A forever house. My second most incredible dream would be the opportunity to work from home in a social media manager role for a brand. This really excites me and I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings in regards to this.

 

Do you think it’s attainable?

 

Absolutely. In regards to the house, we have the land and have designed the perfect house plan for us. We just need a bit more time to save some more money and put ourselves a couple more steps ahead so that we can build the home and still live a comfortable life. It will be worth waiting for. 2015 is my year of frugal spending, tightening those purse strings! We are taking the necessary steps now to put us in a better position financially next year. We are also under the guidance of a financial planner, because if we just listened to the bank and what they suggested we would be over our heads in debt and we don’t want that.

 

My dream for working in Social Media is attainable. I am throwing it out to the universe for it to make it happen. I have completed a number of Social Media and blogging courses and I am soaking up as much info as I can and creating my own online community via my blog and Facebook page. I currently work in part time role that includes Social Media for the business, but I want to make it a full time gig. I am going to achieve it this year.

 

How long have you been holding on to this dream?

 

My husband and I have wanted to build a house ever since we got married 7 years ago. We went back and forth about whether we should build or buy, in the end we decided that we wouldn’t be happy buying an established home that wasn’t perfect so we made the decision to build.

 

I’ve been wanting to change careers for a little while now. I was waiting till my eldest started school before I started to allow myself to think it might happen. I love my current job but do feel its time for a change and thats why now, with my eldest off too school next year, I think it is time to pursue it. Working from home is what I want to do. And when I started to become obsessed with social media and realised what a powerful tool it is for business, I knew I wanted in. Blogging is my foot in the door, I just need some one on the other side to let me in and give me chance.

 

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

 

A year or so of absolute saving and little spending. We have lived the high life for far too long. We need to keep focus this year of the big picture which is building our home. We can do it. We are so close, yet seems so far away.

 

For my Social Media dream I need to have faith in myself and my ability, confidence and to be brave. I need to put myself out there. Continue learning by enrolling in more courses, I can’t get enough at the moment. Oh and for someone to offer me job! That would be awesome.

 

Who are the people that encourage you the most?

 

My husband and I will encourage and remind each other this year of the big picture, the goal we are working towards. Together as a team will achieve it.
My husband is my number one supporter of my dream to work in a Social Media role. He doesn’t mind when I am on the computer all night researching and learning, blogging and making connections. He knows how much I want this. I have a lovely support group of blogging friends who also support me. And my friends and family are also very supportive, encouraging me to follow my dreams. Also reading about other women who have followed their dreams after children and achieved success is what pushes me harder. If they can do it, so can I.

 

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

 

There are a ton of bloggers that inspire me. Women who have a dream and stop at nothing to achieve it. Women who are living life to the fullest, inspiring others to be their best. Women who have changed their careers successfully after children.
Cherie from Raising Master Max inspires me with her success at Down That Little Lane as their Social Media whizz.
My husband inspires me, he has achieved his dreams in relation to his job in a short amount of time and I am so proud of his achievements.

 

I can’t wait to see Fleur’s dream come true, and I have no doubt it will be in the not-too-distant future.

 

You can find Fleur here: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

 

Finding Zen

 

find

 

Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

What’s Your Dream? // Emily Toxward

 

 Overrun by dandelions? Try this homemade solution.

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Today’s dream is one I can absolutely relate to, and am sure so can many of you.

Emily is more than just a cranky mum to three cheeky souls; she’s a writer, journalist, content writer and nagging wife who tries not to worry about the ‘what ifs’! Her blog Have A Laugh On Me is always honest, often humorous and never boring. Head over and have a laugh at her expense.

 

What is your most incredible dream?

I want financial freedom to take my kids travelling, write a few books and to buy acreage so my children can roam and make noise and have mates over while I work from home and keep an eye on them.

 

Do you think it’s attainable?

It’s not only attainable but it’s going to happen, because once I put my mind to something I do it and never doubt my ability. Slowly but surely I am working towards building up my writing business so when all my children are at school in 2017 I can take over the world!

 

If yes, how are you doing it?

By just doing it and never doubting that I won’t be more successful than I am right now. I’ve always been a hard worker so long hours and late nights isn’t new to me; it’s the juggling kids part that is hard.

 

How long have you been holding onto this dream?

I have been writing stories since I was about 8-years-old so my dream to write a book has always been there. As for financial freedom, I’ve yearned for this since having children. Life is more fun and less stressful if you don’t have to stress over paying bills.

 

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

I reckon in five years I would have built up my business to the stage where I will have a few contract writers, we’ll be in our second house and our family will be able to have a fun trip overseas.

 

Who are the people that encourage you the most?

Without sounding like poor me, I’m not actually surrounded by a cheerleading squad. Yes I have support from my parents and husband but my drive comes from inside. I have never ever given up on anything and never will.

 

Who inspires you?

So many people inspire me but mostly it is those that have overcome adversity, particularly those that have survived serious illnesses. These survivors remind me that life is too short to sit around and wait for things to happen; YOU have to make wheels turn.

 

What makes you want to chase your dream?

I can’t explain why I have this burning desire to be successful, maybe it’s an ego thing or maybe it’s because I believe that we can all be great if we work hard and really want it.

I also don’t believe there’s such a thing as good luck, in fact Oprah nailed it when she said: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”.

 

I love that Em is working so hard towards her dream, and have no doubt she’ll achieve it.

 

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You can find Em here: Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Joining Maxabella Loves, Life, Love & Hiccups, Sonia Styling and A Life Less Frantic for the Weekend Rewind.

Getting Away

 

This looks perfect.

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We’re going on a holiday, and I’m so excited it’s ridiculous! Only 2 more sleeps before we head off down the Coast, to stay for a week at Sea World. It may not be a gorgeous little beach shack, but the fact that I don’t have to do any cooking or housework, has my head spinning. Bell’s friend is coming with us, so she has someone to enjoy the rides with, and I imagine we’ll be spending lots of time doing touristy things.

It’s ages since we’ve been away for a holiday, and even though it’s only 45 minutes down the road, I’m so looking forward to the break. Like most families, we run on a pretty tight schedule, and I can’t wait to just chill and do stuff whenever it feels right. No timetable, no deadlines, just relaxing.

I think the biggest thing I’ll miss (other than our two dogs and cat), is escaping to the art room when an idea strikes, and just working until I’m happy with it. But, I’m also thinking that a good time away will get my creative juices flowing for the new year, so hope I’ll have lots to get on with when I get back.

Something that I’ve been working on that I absolutely love, is brush script. I have over 30 original quotes now, that have popped into my head at the most random times, and I’m currently making these into inked posters. They make up my Zen Notes range, and even though I was all for using my own photography to illustrate them, I just wasn’t satisfied with the quality.  So when I’m happy with my script style, I’ll be producing the cards to pass on to anyone who needs a little positivity in their day. It’s a little later than I had originally planned, but don’t all plans go that way?

Even though I won’t be doing much, I’ll be taking my laptop so I can publish a couple of posts while I’m away. And I have to say, the response to my post on The Blog Roll has been so wonderful, that I’m going to be nice and busy when I get home. A huge thank you to everyone who has requested the interview questions! It looks like we’re going to build an awesome list.

So now it’s time to get packing, and I absolutely must make sure I don’t forget the most important thing…..magazines!

Do you get away for regular holidays?

 

Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

 

Like It’s Friday

 

 

friday

 

 

Introducing, The Blog Roll

 

Valentines That Glitter: Pink Grapefruit Martinis  {CAKE.  | events + design}Source

Ever since I started blogging over 2 years ago, a blog roll has been something that I wanted to have on Random Acts Of Zen. But trying not to leave anyone’s fabulous space out, was too much to work around. I didn’t want to miss anyone, because you know, people pleaser here!

It’s always in the back of my mind; every time I see a new blog, I think it should go on my blog roll, but…..

Then I read this post from Bron over at Maxabella Loves, which led me to this fabulous lot. And I knew that I had to get moving on this. So after lots of juggling, I’ve come up with The Blog Roll. I’m hoping we’ll be able to build a great list of reading, and maybe discover some new favourites along the way. Think of it as somewhere to brag about what you love doing.

Depending on the response to these requests, I’ll post as often as I have interviews. At the end of each week, I’ll do a wrap-up post with links back to all posts for that week, and add this to some weekly link-ups. I’m confident that we’ll have a diverse collection, covering a whole range of subjects. I know I’m being hopeful that I’ll get a great response, but that’s how my mind works; all or nothing.

So let’s go for it!

Imagine you’re speaking about your blog to someone who wants lots of info, they’re really excited and want to know as much as you can share. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about your own work, but I’m hoping you’ll all leave the modesty behind and tell us what you’re proud of.

I have a list of questions all ready to go, just email me at  lisa@zendesigns.com.au  and I’ll send them to you. I’ll be publishing them in the order they’re received back, and I’m sure I’m going to be really busy!

And don’t think that maybe because you’re a newbie, nobody would want to read your stuff. We all started somewhere, and starting out is the perfect reason to put yourself out there! I’ll also be asking for some suggestions of who else should know about this, so start thinking of some blogs that we may not have heard of before.

This has nothing to do with advertising, there’s no criteria and you certainly don’t have to pay anything to be involved. It’s  just a way to bring our community together, and promote each others’ work.

If you’d like to see what it’s all about, the first interview with the wonderful Bron from Maxabella Loves is right here.

 

So what are you waiting for? Start talking about yourself!

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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

 

Give Your All

 

give your all

Life’s Way Too Short

 

Göksin Sipahioglu (1970).

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I wasn’t really sure if I was going to write this, but sometimes a reminder from someone else is a good thing. I know I’ve shaken up my thoughts a bit over the last couple of days, and realize life is way too precious to just let the days drift by, without thinking about our loved ones.

Without going into all the gory details, last Friday John almost died. It terrifies me to actually type those words, but that’s the reality.

It was an out of the blue allergic reaction; he’s never had any issues before, but this one was almost deadly. I keep playing over in my head, what could have (definitely would have) happened if he hadn’t received immediate medical help. The fierceness of his condition was shocking, and really shook me up.

Thank goodness we have a medical system that allows us instant medical attention, and we’re both forever grateful to the amazing staff at our local GP, ambulance and hospital. They were there for John, and for me when I fell apart at the end of it all.

It’s funny, because I’ve always been the one who has allergies and the associated symptoms, and he’s the healthy horse. I think when everything calmed down, it was a shock for me to realize that he’s not indestructible, just human.

He’s all good now, but still needs some testing to get to the actual root of the problem, and he’ll always need to have an Epipen handy. Situations change, and you need to adapt to them. Admitting that to yourself can be the hardest.

So, the main reason for spilling all the details on this, is to remind you to appreciate your loved ones. Friends, family and  those  who you may sometimes take for granted. We just assume that they’ll always be around; always at the other end of the phone or walking through the door at the end of the day. Of course, most of the time that’s how it goes, but not always.

Hug your loved ones, tell them that you love them and how important they are to you. Don’t be embarrassed to show them how much you care, we all love to hear that!

Life has it’s challenges, ups and downs, but we’re all living it. No one has the perfect existence, we make it what it is. But, waiting to tell someone how much they mean to you isn’t always the best way to go.

I’m not suggesting you declare your undying love for the unsuspecting guy you see at the bus stop every day. But if it feels like the right thing to do maybe it is!

More like telling the people we tend to take for granted, because we know they’ll always be around. Sit down and have a chat, make that phone call you keep putting off, and let them know you’re there for them.

Who knows, it may even prompt them to do the same, and before you know it, you’ve started a great big positive chain reaction. Yay for that!

Do you hold back from telling people you care about them, because it’s not always “the done thing”?

 

And seriously, if in doubt with a medical drama, always call 000.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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

 

Just be

 

enough