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.





Linking with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.



Maternity picture holding hands with baby shoes click for website has tons & tons of ideas for maternity, newborns, family, etc.   Pictures by



Two best friends.

Looking for you both all my life.

Along the  way,

Many found.

Partners  in adventure,

Fun and drama.

Sometimes alone, never lonely.

I knew one day we’d find each other.

Cross paths, and just know.

Meeting one,

Slowly realizing our partnership.

Creating the other,

Our combined image.

Two best friends.

Looking for you both all my life.

My John, my Bella,



Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

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

Idea Overflow


Away with the fairies - print by Amanda Cass -


I’m a dreamer.

No secret to those that know me. At school, the main thing I got in trouble for was talking, and second to that was daydreaming.

I’m not sure I could change this about myself, and don’t really know if I want to. But I do annoy myself sometimes, when one idea after another pushes itself into my head. I’ll be going full steam ahead with something, then out of the blue something else that seems really awesome makes itself the main event in my brain!

It’s exciting, but frustrating at the same time, and I can easily find myself wondering if I should bother with any, if I’m not going to focus on one thing at a time. I have trained myself to write down even the smallest details of each idea, so I can get back to it when I have the time. But I still find my mind wandering off onto the new thing even before I’ve completed the previous task.

In some cases I don’t have complete control, as I’m working with others, and collaborations have to move at a flexible pace.  This is also one of my most favourite things to do, working as part of a community is incredibly satisfying, so I can’t ever imagine not operating in this way.

I’m think I probably have two options of how to handle this. Either set aside particular days of the week for each different idea, working on everything at the same time. Or make myself complete one thing before I move onto the next. I can see merit in both, but really wonder if one would be more practical than the other.

The one thing I do love about this habit, is that the passion is there for every idea I have. It may dwindle once I’ve figured out the logistics for everything, and the negatives are getting heavier than the positives. But up until that point, I truly believe that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Really, if I’m encouraging others to believe in themselves, it’s only fair I do the same.

So, I would love to know if you have the same problem. And if you do, what’s your way of keeping it all on track?


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? // 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.