What’s Your Dream? // Lara Cain Gray


Hipster Stripes Original Cat Folk Art Painting by KilkennycatArt


The lovely Lara from This Charming Mum is sharing her dream today. And with the passion she has, I have no doubt she’ll make it come true. Lara’s beautiful space celebrates books in a way that someone who is passionate about the written word would appreciate.

What is your most incredible dream?

I would like to earn a solid living from writing. I used to think that meant penning The Great Novel, but these days it’s more reasonable to assume it might come from regular article writing and commercial copywriting, and maybe my blog, in one way or another.


Do you think it’s attainable?

I currently earn a nice little part time income from my writing, but my dream is to make it a serious black-polo-neck-and-hipster-specs lifestyle. At present, I’m being held back from living the full fantasy of a writer’s life by the intrusion of things like loom bands and random socks into my home office. Not to mention the incessant chatter of little people reminding me to get over myself and lose the existential angst. Right now, writing is just one part of the bigger, chaotic, glorious thing that is being a Working Mum.

But, again, a ‘real’ writer nowadays is not a haughty intellect in a garret, but a busy multi-tasker with fingers in all kinds of networking pies. A ‘real’ writer can write on any topic at a moment’s notice and sell an idea. I’m learning how to do this broader kind of writing and I do think making it my ‘real’ job will be possible, eventually.


How long have you been holding onto this dream?

It sounds like a cliché, but it really has always been my dream. Trouble is, in my late teens I was lead to believe that literature and writing were things one only did as a hobby, not a job. I detoured via academia and librarianship, so writing has always been a part of my work, just not the main part. As a serious ‘let’s do this!’ dream, I’ve been working on it for about 3 years – since I left full time work to have my youngest child.


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

Practice, practice, practice, schmoozing, and more practice.


Who are the people that encourage you the most?

My family; the various lovely people I contract to and write for at the moment; and everyone who leaves a comment on my blog!


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

There are lots of muses that come and go, but this week I’m going to randomly say Tara Moss! I’m reading her latest book ‘The Fictional Woman’ and have been reminded of the importance of women’s voices in the online space (amongst many other things).

Great book! Read it!.


Take a wander through Lara’s blog, and see how this hipster-to-be is working towards her dream. With a plan firmly in place, I’m pretty sure that dream is not so far away.

You can find Lara here: This Charming Mum, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.



cute leaves by Wendy Kendall - would love to see this painted on a wall or as a wallpaper for a baby room


Just a leaf.

Nothing special, they’re everywhere.

Look around,

Leaves sprout as far as you can see.

Trees, bushes, flowers,

All dressed with them.

Nothing special.

But aren’t we just like leaves?

All around, as far as you can see.

Different colours,

Varying sizes.

Each one of us special.

So, look around.

Leaves finishing the painting that nature made.

Colour, texture, shape.

All unique, just like us.

So, just a leaf?


A beautiful finishing touch!


Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

More Than A Job




So much is shared in the media about bad service, but we hardly ever hear about the good.

I’ve been helped by medical people in the last few weeks; firstly a surprise trip to the emergency department of our local hospital after an allergic reaction, and then to Breast Screen Qld for a routine mammogram. These visits were made so much easier thanks to the fabulous attitude of the nurses, who look at their profession as more than just a job.

Both times, these beautiful ladies went out of their way to not only help me, but also make the whole process as easy as possible. We hear so much about negative situations, and it makes a nice change to be able to put the word out about such compassionate and helpful people. After both instances, I had to let them know how much they put me at ease and helped me. And I also made sure to pass this info on to their employers.

I don’t mind complaining if I get bad service, faulty products or a negative experience , but also believe thanking someone for a positive one is the thing to do.

Medical professionals in particular are exposed to people at some stressful times, and can suffer a backlash even if they’ve done nothing to deserve it. I’d hate to think how much more stressful these times would be if we didn’t have compassionate souls looking after us.

The same goes for life in general. Some people out there just make life that little bit easier; little actions, with big consequences. Their demeanour is comforting in some way, and they can put you at ease. I love it when one of these characters crosses my path, and know that they’ll have an impact on my life.

Every now and then, someone like this will walk into your life; maybe for a short amount of time, maybe permanently. Don’t forget to appreciate them, be grateful for their presence and most importantly, let them know they’re making a difference.

Has someone made a tough time easier for you through an act of kindness?


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? // Hugzilla


50s wallpaper... Great spot for an old-school writer who likes to send letters and compose novels on vintage Smith-Coronas


This week’s dream is brought to us by the artist currently known as Hugzilla. My tip is, when you visit this hilarious space, start at the About Me page and then read every post. This one will give you a hint of what you’re in for. Hugzilla’s dream really resonates with me, as I’m sure it will with many others.

What is your most incredible dream?

I’d like someone to pay me lots of money to write the utter nonsense that I like to write so I can buy a funky mid-century house and fill it with loads of vintage designer furniture. Oh, and so I can spend lots of time with my family doing the things that comfortably well-off people tend to do, whatever they are. Walk around the marina in cashmere sweaters and boat shoes and so forth. I don’t really know.


Do you think it’s attainable?

In my wildest moments of cock-sure megalomania I think it is attainable, generally when I write something kick-ass that gets a great response from people. Invariably the pendulum of self-doubt swings back the other way not long afterwards. There are lots of great writers out there.

Blogging is the platform I’ve been using to get my work out there, to build a profile and a portfolio of work. I had one of my posts go viral recently, and it made me realise how far-reaching a platform it can be. On the other hand, I am dreadful at marketing and self-promotion. I always thought that good content on its own would be enough. That is wrong. Very wrong. I’m a great whore but a terrible pimp.


How long have you been holding onto this dream?

It’s always been an amorphous kind of desire, but has solidified into something more tangible over the last few years as I’ve worked from home with young children.


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

Hard work. Good content. Luck. Timing. And more luck.


Who are the people that encourage you the most?

My online mother’s group are my biggest support and source of inspiration; they are my muse, my focus group, my sounding board, my confidantes, my social media pimps, my greatest cheerleaders. They inspired the Hugzilla pseudonym, encouraged me to start blogging again and always support my writing with tremendous amounts of love and enthusiasm. They are an incredible group of women and I am so lucky to have them in my life.


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

One of my friends from that mother’s group is the incredible author Lili Saint Germain. She has gone from self-published author to selling a squillion books independently to being signed by Harper Collins with a new series coming out soon, all within a couple of years. The woman is a machine and I am totally in awe of her: her talent, her insane amount of hard work, her dedication. She did it all herself and she is a daily reminder to me that following your passion can pay dividends. I’d rather try and fail than live with regrets.

I’m hoping that the funky mid-century house will be in the not-too-distant future, and we’ll be reading more of this good stuff. And as if she doesn’t have enough to keep her busy, Hugzilla is also part of a blog called Clean Up in Aisle Three!

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.36.17 pm

You can find Hugzilla here: Hugzilla,  Clean Up in Aisle Three,  Facebook.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.



33% Off SALE Forever Summer -Malibu nautical beach decor pale pacific ocean muted sky gold warm coral sand wooden pier daydream dreamt clickety 8x10



That light flickering in,

Pushing through the blinds.

No, I’ve just closed my eyes,

Couldn’t be morning yet.


That noise filtering in,

Pushing through the quiet.

I’m not rested,

Still craving sleep.


Those thoughts forming,

Starting to make sense.

All the signs my day is starting.

I’m so tired, aren’t I?

No actually, don’t think I am!

Happy to be starting the day, before anyone else.

Grateful to have the quiet house to myself.

Stretching, coffee, the important things.

Dogs and cat, excited to see their mama.

Not dreaming any more,

That glorious sunrise…..it’s so real.

I’m awake!


Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

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.


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.




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


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining With Some Grace for FYBF.



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



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


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.


Daddy's girl


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!


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.