A Simpler Time





I love all the retro TV shows that are on at the moment . We don’t have cable or pay TV, so just have the free-to-air options to choose from. Mind numbing reality shows are my favourites; just the thing to have on in the background while I’m doing stuff.

Bell watches ABC3 when she has some downtime, and John’s favourites are series that he can watch in blocks of episodes with no ads.

But I have to say, I do get lost in replays of the shows I loved when I was a kid; The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley. When I watch them now, it does take me back to a simpler time. A time when there seemed to be a lot less exposure and a lot more innocence. And honestly, I really don’t mind floating back there for a little while.

When Bell and I watch these shows together, particularly The Brady Bunch, she often comments on how “kiddie” the kids actually are. It’s times like this that I realize just how much the world has grown up from one generation to the next.

With so much information constantly and instantly available to us, we now know much more about things that may not have influenced us 30 years ago. Kids are learning, not only from parents and teachers, but also from society in general. Our back yard is now much bigger than it used to be.

As much as it sometimes disturbs me how much information is being presented to our children at a younger age, it also excites me for the possibilities and opportunities available to them.

I know keeping lines of communication open is key as a parent, these days probably more than ever. I hope that Bell always feels comfortable enough to come to us, when she needs to. It does scare me when I hear about families who, even though they’re all living under the same roof, don’t have any interaction. As much as technology makes our lives more wonderful in so many ways, it does have a lot to answer for.

My family situation growing up was a lot different, as was John’s. In my house it was me, my sister and my mum and we kind of all pulled together. John’s formative years were spent in China and Hong Kong, so cultural differences come into play there. Between us, we’re muddling through and making up the rules as we need them. And I bet our parents and grandparents had to do exactly the same.

So I guess we’re all learning about this parenting thing together. The rules and guidelines need to change with the times, and I think the worst thing we could do would be to live by the motto of “ignorance is bliss”. A trap easy to fall into, and comforting in the short term.

I honestly don’t feel that we’re living in a time that’s any worse than earlier generations, just different. And that can be a really positive thing, right?

What is the biggest difference today, to when you were growing up?


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.


Your Choice





Love the touch of color on the black and white.


Beautiful little flower,

White and fluffy.

Spread by the wind,

To grow where they land.

Some say a weed,

But so sweet to look at.

Full of wishes,

Ready to share.

Got a wish?

One, two, three, blow!

Lovely little flower.

Dandelion’s not a flower?

Surely one that brings such joy

And holds so many dreams,

Can be a flower in our minds.

Sweet little dandelion,

You’re a flower to me.


Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

Move Along


All broken up. Xk #kellywearstler #spring #pastel #myvibemylife


Are you a hoarder? I don’t mean someone who has a whole TV show about them, but someone who holds onto things.

A few years ago we had Feng Shui done on our house, and were told that keeping broken things around is the best way to feed negative energy.

Now whether you believe in this or not, you have to admit that holding onto negative emotions for longer than necessary can be damaging. It doesn’t feel great to have that stuff stewing away inside, and doesn’t really do anyone any good.

It’s easy to let yourself keep dredging up bad things, and I’ve been guilty of this myself. But who is it really helping?

Unless you’ve mastered the elusive art of telepathy, the person who wronged you may not even know they’re still in your nasty thoughts. More than likely, they’ve got on with their lives and you’re the only one suffering.

If it’s possible, approach them and have it out, once and for all. But be prepared for them to be bewildered; if you let it stay with you for long enough, it can become much bigger than is reality.

But if it’s something that’s done and dusted, and you can find it in yourself to move on without confrontation, you’ll be the winner in the end.

Forgiveness is a powerful word, but so is regret. It may not be the best thing for you to dwell on something, life’s too short to stay angry.

Do you have a good trick for getting over stuff?


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.

Love Me



What’s Your Dream? // Min Gillespie


Fluffy pastel skirts and cameras. Could it be better?



I just love hearing of people who change course later in life, and start up something completely different, because something calls them. Today Min from MinsMash is sharing how she’s following her dream, and what’s on the horizon for her as well.


What is your most incredible dream?

I do have a secret long held childhood dream to be a famous singer! When I was a little girl, I always wanted to go on Young Talent Time. I never did. In my 30’s I used to meet up with a group of friends (male and female) one night a week and we would jam man (haha) – sing and play guitar and have an absolute ball. Oh how I miss those days! They were such fun! We sang at a few birthday parties! These days I sing around the house and in the shower. It’s a bit late in the day to pursue this particular dream but it doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy singing! ;-)

So back into the world of realism: Apart from my core wish for my children and family to be happy, healthy and safe, I’m a simple girl with simple dreams. I want to love what I do and do what I love. I want to live a happy, fulfilled and balanced life – in mind, body and spirit.


Do you think it’s attainable?

Yes, but it takes time and work and chipping away at it – bit by bit. Sometimes, like in my case, you have to wait until the timing is right to achieve it.

The opportunity presented itself to me. Life steered me in a direction that led me to be in a position where I could stop everything, pause, reflect, and examine what I was doing with my life. Though it was a painful and difficult period in my life, it was actually a beautiful blessing in disguise and I am very grateful I was given the opportunity!

Without going into all the detail, just before my 48th birthday, I walked out of the corporate life that I had been living since I was 17 years of age. I had been working long hours and had an extremely heavy workload. Where I was working at the time was grossly understaffed and I was doing the job of multiple people/positions. Being stressed had become my normal and it wasn’t until I walked away from that life that I even realized that I had been stressed and deeply unhappy.

The timing was fortunate because my youngest child was just completing Year 12 and with that we saw the end of school fees at last which eased the financial burden and allowed me the gift of time to heal and work out what I wanted to do from hereon in!

So how am I doing it? Well first I needed to find and create myself. I needed to work out who I was, what I enjoyed doing and what I needed to make me feel fulfilled and happy.

The quick story is this:

• Though I knew absolutely nothing about blogging and had done no planning whatsoever, I decided to dive in and start a blog to help me work through how I was feeling, discover who I was and what I liked to do, and to use as a platform for a 365 Grateful Project I had planned on doing.

The aim of the 365 Grateful Project was to help me to slow down, notice everything around me to be grateful for and to help me re-connect with life around me. I had stopped noticing things. I had been in robotic treadmill survival mode for so long that I did not notice all the beautiful things around me. The blog, called MinsMash because my nickname is Min and it is about a mish mash of stuff (in other words apart from the 365 Grateful Project – I really didn’t know what I was going to blog about!) has been a wonderful gift to myself. It has shown me who I am and what I need to do to live a happier life.

• Through the blog I discovered that I love blogging!! I was good at English at school and was always complimented on my writing skills at work. I love expressing myself and connecting with other like-minded people. Through MinsMash I have learnt much about blogging and the blogosphere. I have decided though that I am ready to move on from the past and to do that, I need to move on from MinsMash. I will be launching a new blog very soon! It is very exciting!

• Through the blog I also discovered a love of photography! I decided to sign up to do a professional photography course. I recently submitted my final assignment and will soon graduate with a Diploma in Professional Photography.

So, I plan to make my future career around my blogging and my photography. There will be a new blog launched soon! Marguerite Louise Photography (named as per my real name of Marguerite and middle name of Louise) has a Facebook page and there will soon be a web page. Money is not what drives me anymore. Health and happiness is what drives me. I want to love what I do and do what I love first and foremost.


How long have you been holding onto this dream?

Since I realized how much I love blogging and photography – so probably for around the last 18 months. Prior to this, I didn’t know who I was. I was doing what I believed was my responsibility, which was to work, work, work and make as much money as possible. I fell into the career I had. I climbed the corporate ladder over the years and did some stuff that I am really proud of. I met some fabulous people and learned many wonderful skills.

I was earning good money at the time I walked out but what I was doing was no passion of mine. I also hated the daily commute on the train every day from the age of 17 to nearly 48 (apart from some time off to have babies). Those years living the corporate life served its purpose. It was meant to be. It put my three kids through good schools and contributed towards our mortgage, but it ultimately came at a cost to my health and wellbeing.


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

I just need to keep chipping away at it. My chosen word for 2014 is ‘Believe’. I am intentionally choosing to believe in myself. I CAN do it!


Who are the people that encourage you the most?

My husband. My family. My friends. Other bloggers. My beautiful readers.


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

Oh this is a tough one to answer. I can’t say anyone in particular BUT what inspires me are all those people I have come across in the blogosphere and interwebs (and there are lots of them!) that have had dreams and achieved them. They found what they love, they’ve chipped away at it, and they are hitting goals and now living their dream. Many of them share their journey and how they got there. They inspire me. They did it and therefore I can do it too!


And now we can add Min to that list of people following their dreams! For the time being, you can find her here at MinsMash, and soon to be at an exciting new address. I can’t wait to see where this lovely dream leads.



You can find Min here: MinsMash, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.




Momma, i love you. Grandma, I miss you. You will always be the butterfly that rests on my shoulder. Source

Well, that wasn’t good!

Not what I hoped for,

Not what I imagined.

Felt pretty bad.

But, maybe I needed it.

Got me thinking…..

What if I did it differently,

Changed it up a bit?

That could be good.

Doesn’t seem easy,

Bit of a challenge,

Questioning myself.

Got me thinking…..

Trying new things,

Challenging my normal,

Pushing some boundaries.

So was it good?

Maybe not what I imagined,

But good…..yes!


Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

Any Excuse



Are You Living Your Happy?


The Fullness of Joy: My piano...and flowers // LOVE


If you’re a regular reader of  Deb at Home Life Simplified, you’ll know that she’s started a new chapter. She recently launched Inner Compass Designs, and is celebrating with a new collaborative e-book. I’m so thrilled that she asked me to contribute a piece for this book, and feel very grateful to be in such fabulous company.

We were given the brief to work from this Steve Jobs quote as our inspiration:

“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”


Today I’m sharing my contribution to Deb’s book.


When we are kids, we’re basically told how we should think about what we can achieve in our lives. Nothing as sinister as indoctrination, but just the ordinary “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, followed by the appropriate responses.

If you hear those responses enough times, whether they’re positive or negative, you tend to end up thinking in a certain way, and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Just imagine if there were no expectations, no preconceived ideas, and only the freedom to travel the path your heart truly desires.

I wonder how many people would actually choose the path they have followed. How many would do something completely different, with no guilt at having not lived up to societies’ hopes for them.

The families of doctors/lawyers/architects that are one generation after the next of the same occupation. Would they all be doing the same thing if they did the thing their heart told them to? Of course many would, but probably not all. And do they regret it somewhere down the line? I wonder.

The same goes for hobbies and interests. So many learn to play a musical instrument that they don’t really have a passion for. I know that was my reality.

Every piano lesson as a child, was a chore for me. I simply couldn’t grasp how to read music. So many times my piano teacher would ask me to point to the spot I was playing; only for her to tell me I was actually playing the part over the page. I was fine playing by ear, but those written notes were just a muddle to me.

We’ve given Bella the choice to learn an instrument and she’s studied both piano and guitar. The way she picked up the art of reading music totally blew me away, and I was more than happy to take her to the lessons. But if she’d hated it as I did, we would have dropped it pretty much from the beginning.

No matter what stage of your life you’re living at the moment, it’s never too late to try something new and test that intuition of yours. Think of the thing you’ve always been told (either by someone else or yourself) you couldn’t do, and give it a go. Don’t go into it with any expectations; open heart and open mind. You may very well wonder what the initial attraction was, or you could find yourself soaring, enjoying every minute!

Maybe make a list of the most outrageous things you can think of, that you would like to try. Go through the list and put them in order of “why haven’t I tried this before?’ to “do you seriously think you could do that?!!”. Then work your way through that fabulous list. Some you’ll like, some you’ll hate, but at least you won’t be wondering “what if?”.

Then there are the people who have a try of everything, and surprise themselves what actually appeals to them. They never look at it as a waste of time, and usually end up discovering at least one lifelong passion.

So how about you? Are you following your heart? Are you following your gut? Or are you following someone elses’ lead? Are you really living your happy?


ICD ebook


If you would like to read all the other pieces in the book, and I can recommend you do, click through here to Deb’s new space. I’m pretty sure you’ll find something you like at Inner Compass Designs, and as a bonus you can keep up with the amazing work she’s doing with her new love of jewellery design.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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




Playing jacks.  I remember playing jacks, marbles, hopscotch, tetherball, dodgeball, four-square, Red Rover, and spinning tops.



Mine, mine, MINE!

Not yours, and I don’t have to share!

I’m playing,

So much fun.

Look at me,

Can you see?

Hey, where are you going?

But this is fun,

Watch me play.

You’re playing with her?

But I’ve got this,

And I’m having fun……

Hey, wanna play with me?

I’ve got this, and it’s fun!

Yes, you can play with it first.

Hey, we’re playing together,

Ooh, that’s more fun.

I love to share!


Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

Also joining With Some Grace for FYBF.