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.


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.


play collage

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.







Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

This Is Me




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


Champagne Cartel

Denise Mooney

Peachy Keen Mumma

Kate Writes


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.



Get Up


get up

Away From Home


Bachelor Buttons - both my pepere and my favourite flowers. Memories...


Today I’m visiting over at Mummy Manifesto, where the lovely Lisa has given me some curly questions to answer. If you’d like to know a bit more about how my brain ticks, pop over here for a stickybeak.


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

More Random Than Zen




Well, I managed to post for 218 days straight, then the plague hit and my plans to post every day for a year went to pieces! I wasn’t doing it for any other reason than to see if I could, and I was travelling pretty well, actually in quite a rhythm. But sometimes life comes along and all your plans just go out the window.

I’ve been off all social media for a week now, and am ready to get back into it. I’ve missed Instagram a lot, but mainly the habit of blogging every day, and catching up with everyone else.

So now that I’ve broken my streak, I’ll take it as a sign that I need to focus on other stuff. I’ll still be posting regularly, just no pressure to do it every day.

If I owe you correspondence, I apologise and will definitely get to it all this week. Also, a big thank you and hug to those of you who contacted me to see if I was OK. That’s the main thing I love about this community; the caring nature of the people I interact with.

I’ve received the first complete story for The Zen Files book, and WOW, it’s amazing!! If all contributions are of this high calibre, I can’t wait to put this book together. The response to my callout for people to receive some Zen Notes has also been awesome, and I’ll be sending those out towards the end of next week.

So back to reality for me. I’ll be trying to balance things a bit more, and maybe not quite so much juggling. But who knows, new things seem to pop into my head at the most random times, and who am I to say “no” to something random?


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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

What’s Your Dream? // Lisa Berson


London, which I went to. I loved it. I was young, I stayed in hostels, I roamed around everywhere with no map.


This week we’re sharing the dreams of someone who must be pretty fabulous at time management, because she juggles so many things in her life! Lisa Berson is a freelance writer and blogger, a midwife, mum to 3 boys and wife. She’s partial to dark chocolate, paperback books, sunshine, and is in denial about the Kindle experience.

Lisa blogs at MummyManifesto, a WA based lifestyle blog, which funnily enough, is about life. It also includes thoughts about motherhood, travel, style, book reviews and writing. With all that going on, I’m surprised Lisa even has time to dream!


What is your most incredible dream?

My most incredible dream is to be a full-time paid freelance writer.

My other dream to achieve once the kids leave home, is that I would like to live in New York or London for a year with my husband or travel around the world just us.


Do you think it’s attainable?

I am at the beginning stages of being a paid writer. I have a couple of copywriting clients, I blog 2-3 times a week on MummyManifesto and I am also getting down some words for my first novel on a regular basis. I also pitch to online & print publications and have had a mixed success rate with that.


How long have you been holding onto this dream?

I have held a long term dream to own and manage a small business for at least 10-15 years, but never really had a solid idea, capital or the confidence to commit to such a dream.

After I started blogging two years ago, I slowly was introduced to the different ways freelancers work with clients eg. e-courses, consulting, copywriting, freelance writing etc. and thought that this is an avenue I could follow.


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

Hopefully in a year and a half (my youngest will be at school) I will be able to have a full list of clients and writing work.


Who are the people that encourage you the most? 

My husband supports me the most on a day to day level, I have a couple of friends who are interested and are my cheerleaders to achieve my goal. I don’t really tell other people about my writing, I just keep on keeping on.


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

Alison Tait is a huge inspiration for me as are a number of WA authors and writers (Natasha Lester, Dawn Barker) who make me see that it is achievable to follow your dreams, you just have to believe in yourself, work hard and keep on writing.  Finding other writers and bloggers who are mums, who have a number of jobs but still finding the time to write is really a great motivator for me in achieving my goals. It can be done.
What makes me chase my dream is that I love to write and selfishly I hope my stories can connect with others.
Thanks Lisa for having me on your blog.
I can imagine one day we’ll be reading about Lisa’s adventures, as she travels to her favourite destinations.
You can find Lisa here: Facebook, Google +, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest and Twitter.


Happy Music


Today we’re all feeling a bit blah around here; winter has served us up a dose of whatever’s making the rounds at school. Lots of sneezing, coughing and sleeping over the weekend.

So, to cheer up a sick-day Monday, I’m sharing two fabulous songs that I discovered last week. I love them both so much for their upbeatness (yep, it’s a word), and can’t help feeling better when I listen to them.

Play them and tell me you weren’t singing along by halfway through them both.





Edited to add: Not long after posting this, I hit the deck and have been down all week! I’m hoping this weekend sees us all on the mend.


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

Sweet Sleep


by anna hollow sleep pastel girl


Sweet sleep,

Such a treat.

Taken for granted on a good week,

Craved on a bad.

That glorious floating,

As you sail into dreamland.

Beautifully re-energizing,

Readying for the new day.

Free in slumber,

Your mind can play.

Travel far,

And break all boundaries.

Resting body,

Soothing mind.

Loving it much.

Sweet sleep.


Motivate Me on Pinterest


I’ve been talking about quotes this week, and what better place to find a fabulous collection than Pinterest. I’ll be using all my own original quotes on my Zen Notes, but have gathered some great ones on my Motivate Me board. Some are really simple, but powerful at the same time.






Motivational quotes // #levo #inspiration


Chalkboard Motivational Quote For Girls  by ATimeAndPlaceDesign, $5.00