how you see you


Froissé mirror // Designed by Paris-based Hungarian artist Mathias Kiss from Yellowtrace: Froissé mirror // Designed by Paris-based Hungarian artist Mathias Kiss from Yellowtrace



How do you see yourself?

When you really stop and think about it, how would you describe yourself to someone who’s never met you before?

Make a cuppa, find somewhere quiet, and have a think about who you really are. It’s not often, if ever, that we actually think about ourselves in a way that others might, and it could be very enlightening.

Be warned, it could also be a little confronting.

I don’t know why, but the other day I started thinking about how I would describe myself. I can’t even think what triggered that train of thought, but it lead me down a rabbit hole, and gave me a bit of a shake up. Questioning myself is one of my favourite getting-lost-in-my-own-head pastimes, but this time I tried to stay on track, and just think about me.

Some of the stuff I came up with was kind of random, and I won’t go into boring details. But I do love that I sort of stepped outside myself and looked in at what I’m made up of.

I know dwelling on things is not so great, if it’s all about negatives. But what if you happen upon some things that you really wouldn’t mind changing? Surely that could be working towards positive?

I also think that how we see ourselves can influence the image we present to others. If you feel confident and happy with yourself, chances are, you’ll come across like that to whoever you meet. The same goes for feeling bad about yourself and whatever you do. Then you’ll probably not be the most fun person to be around.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to be all super-duper, but a little positive self talk may set you on the right path. I know every now and then I have to give myself a mental slap and get back on track, and it probably doesn’t do me any harm.


Are you happy with how you see yourself?


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Linking with Maxabella LovesLife, Love & Hiccups and Potential Psychology for the Weekend Rewind.


100 Days Of Zen Watercolour




Back in June I joined a challenge on Instagram with The Great Discontent and Elle Luna.  I started with genuine good intentions of posting a piece of hand lettering, every day for 100 days. But once I missed a couple of days, I realized it just wasn’t going to happen.

I think maybe it wasn’t the best challenge for me, as I kind of lost interest. As much as I thought I’d eventually catch up, it really dwindled away to nothing.

Fast forward to now, and I’m ready to give it another go.

Starting next Tuesday, I’m doing “100 Days Of Zen Watercolour”. I’ve been playing around with watercolour paint and pigment ink, and am quickly falling in love with the whole process. I’m also working with collage, and have to say it’s the most fun I’ve had in ages!




If you would like to follow along, and see if I make it to 100 days this time, you can watch my progress on Instagram. I’ve dreamed up some cute little creatures to play with, and my posts will be a mix of painting and words. If you have a word that you would like to see on a watercolour background, feel free to let me know.

Tuesday is significant because it’s the 1st of September, and the first day of Spring! My most favourite season of the year, and a big cause for celebration, in my books. Let’s see if I make to 100 days, hopefully even improving along the way.


And just quietly, I’ll be seriously working on my photography before Tuesday.


Linking with Maxabella Loves, Life, Love & Hiccups ,  A life Less Frantic and Handbag Mafia for the Weekend Rewind.


Word Of The Day


Alphabet on pastel colors Digital Print by by attitudeandjoy



I’ve always had a fascination with and love of words. The way the same word can have different meanings, and different words can mean the same thing.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved reading, and a brand new book is always something I’ve treasured.

We started Bell’s association with books and words when she was practically newborn, and I’m thrilled that she too has a love of reading. She also loves to play with words, not only in stories she makes up, but also songs she writes. I’m also extremely grateful that her English teacher this year is not only encouraging, but great fun too.

Remembering my school days, it was always the interesting ones that got us really thinking and exploring.

Over the years we’ve had the usual string of word search books, diaries and journals, poetry posters and handmade bookmarks. Anything that can celebrate the beauty of words.

Recently, Bella has started having a word of the day. A word that pops into her head and hangs around for the day. Some of the recent words are:

                       rummage       giblets       lentils     raggamuffin    delinquent    chum     bungalow

Random for sure, but always gives me a giggle when she shares.

I love that some of her friends and teachers have now started asking her what today’s word is. Good to know I’m not the only one who appreciates her ways, and how she likes to have a laugh at herself.


I absolutely LOVE how this kid thinks, and hope she always stays a bit kooky…..just like her mum.


Do you have a favourite word?


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Also joining Maxabella Loves , and A Life Less Frantic  for the Weekend Rewind.

No More “If onlys”


reach for the stars



I was reading back over some of my older posts recently, and came across this poem I’d written a while ago. I think I was obviously meant to re-read it, as it’s just what I needed to hear right now.

Don’t let the “if onlys” stop you.



If only…..

You could follow your dreams,

And no opinion mattered.

You could chase the wonder,

And not be scared of losing yourself.

If only…..

Learning new things,

Was within your grasp.

Scaling the heights,

Was not impossible.

If only….

Settling for near enough,

Was not your only choice.

Making do,

Not the sole option you had to take.

Now open your mind,

Banish the “if only”.

You can become those dreams,

And catch the wonder.

You can become the teacher,

And shout from the sky.

You can stretch far beyond near enough,

And choose to keep running.

If only…..

We didn’t doubt, but only did.


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Also joining Maxabella Loves , Life, Love & HiccupsA Life Less Frantic  for the Weekend Rewind.

Stuff Happens


Pretty pastels in the snow. Child / Family Photography / Christmas Card Idea / Prop Ideas / Winter Photo Session Idea / Holiday / Outdoor



Well, it’s 6 whole weeks since I’ve written anything, and I’ve really missed it! Time gets away, life takes over and stuff happens. But, even though I really don’t have a lot to say at the moment, I feel like I need to jump back in.

I’ve missed sharing and chatting, reading and learning new things from the gorgeous writers I follow. I’ve missed the writing, but mainly I’ve missed the connection to my community.

I had a bit of a stumble a little while ago, and thought I was back on track, but then things got a bit crazy, and I kind of drifted away from my keyboard.

Two members of my family are dealing with illness at the moment, and I’ve been focussing my time and energy on them. I’ve also been spending as much time as possible with John and Bell, because cocooning yourself with your most loved feels like the natural thing to do, when things get tough.

Seeing what these family members have been going through has had me thinking in all directions at once, and I’ve found it hard to make any sense out of what I want to write. At the same time, I’ve been recording my thoughts on paper, but haven’t felt I had anything that warranted being shared.

But while I haven’t been creating anything here, I’ve been using my spare time to expand some art pieces I’ve been playing around with. When an idea comes to me and I start working, I feel like it all should fall into place straight away. I get so frustrated when things don’t come out on paper, the way they look in my head. So many times I have to remind myself to enjoy the process, and not try to race to the finished product.

Gradually, I’m getting better at slowing myself down and taking time with each step, and can’t believe how much more enjoyable the whole thing is. Looking at what I’ve completed is so much more satisfying when I’ve had fun along the way.

I’m starting to look at this process as the way I should be living my life too. We’ve all seen the quote floating around online: “it’s about the journey, not just the destination”. It may sound annoyingly simple, but it’s pretty true, isn’t it?

Now, I’m not too sure how much I’ll be writing in the near future. I may keep doing what I’m doing, and just post once a week for a while. I’ve realized that I miss the company of my virtual friends too much, to stay away for ever. And maybe I’ll start sharing about the behind the scenes of what I’m working on as well. Just let me know if I start to ramble about paint, paper and ink too much.

This is actually my 500th post on here, and as much as I’d love to celebrate with a giveaway of something awesome, I think I’ll wait until my plans fall into place, and I have something cool to offer.

I’ve also been so slack with The Blog Roll, and absolutely need to get back onto that! If you’re a blogger and would like to tell us about your online home, let me know so I can send you some questions. You can reply in the comments here, or better still, email me at

So there you go. Stuff will always happen……that’s just life.


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Also joining Maxabella Loves , Life, Love & HiccupsA Life Less Frantic  for the Weekend Rewind.


The Zen Files // Denyse from Denyse Whelan Blogs To Connect


Today we’re finding out a bit more about Denyse from Denyse Whelan Blogs To Connect. Denyse has recently joined the ranks of the semi-retired, and now has more time to follow her passions.




Please tell us what your blog is about and why you started it.

The current version of my blog is about me and being connected to readers every day. I started in at the beginning of 2015 with the goal of a daily post to keep a record of my first year of a completely new life since selling our house in Sydney and moving to the Central Coast of NSW. I also retired from just about all of my work responsibilities in education AND we have left our dear families ‘behind’ consisting of our grown kids and their kids…a total of 8 grandkids.



What does “zen” mean to you?

Zen means being ‘chilled out’ and taking all things in life as they come…. I am not so good at Zen (yet)



Tell us about something positive that has happened to you and how it has affected your life. 

The positive that happened to me that means the most was meeting my future husband in 1970 at a country teachers’ meeting and marrying him in 1971. We have weathered many, many storms of his ill-health, loss of a business, selling a much loved ‘dream house, difficulties with secondary infertility, depression and anxiety issues for me and my subsequent early retirement as a school principal.

BUT what has always, always kept us together is the simple love of and for each other which has never waned. We are each other’s best friend.




If time and money were no object, what is something you would do to help others?

As Sydney siders (formerly) It would be housing for our kids (actually we did this to our detriment but I wouldn’t change it – we added more to our mortgage to give our kids large deposits for their first homes in mid 2000s) and I would like to be able to ensure our grandkids had tertiary education costs met and perhaps help them into their first houses.



Are you working towards anything that will make a positive change in your life? 

I am indeed. Since moving and leaving employment and family had an impact on my emotional health with resultant stress-based physical issues (IBS) I have taken responsibility for making big positive changes and Mindfulness Meditation is the direction for this.

I started slowly building my understanding and awareness via on-line and in person groups and now I meditate daily (44 days in row to now) using Headspace from the app of the same name. It has made me more mindful in my daily life and helping me in the transition I am in right now.




Is your blog what you thought it would be when you first started it?

As mentioned, this version of the blog started this year. I have has a blog or three since 2010. I registered my name as a website (with great foresight I now realize!) so my name has always been somewhere in what I have blogged about. In 2010/11 it related to my husband’s health issues (now resolved thanks to a wrong diagnosis) and then I used my teaching and school expertise to blog for families and teachers in 2012-2014. In 2015 I simplified into the blog it is now and I write about any topics of current news interest, personal interest and to help families and or community.



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?

Blogs I always read:

Woogsworld – Kayte was probably one of the first bloggers I ever met and I read her blog as I have become known to her and would count her as a consistently good and topical blogger. She has been very kind to me over the years. We call each other Mrs W.

Maxabella – again Bron has been read by me for years and she respects my views on schooling and education and I like that!

Clairey Hewitt – Clairey doesn’t write often these days but when she does it is always worth reading. Insightful.

One you may not know: by an Assistant Principal in Sydney, this blog provides insight into the daily life of a teacher and school administrator.


My Art Space


The Random Roundup…… just for a bit of fun.


Which do you prefer?


Beach or Country.  Beach.


Pinterest or Instagram.  Instagram.


Cheese or Chocolate. – can there be a dead-heat?


Flats or Heels.  Flats.


Black & White or Colour Photography.  Colour photography.


Cool or Warm Weather.  Cool weather.


Fruit or Veggies.  Fruit.


Early Nights or Night Owl.  Night owl.


Tv or Radio.  Radio.


Comedy or Drama.  Comedy.


Denyse blogs daily, highlighting her posts with some beautiful photography of what makes her days special. Visit at Denyse Whelan Blogs To Connect.


If you would like to share what your zen is all about on The Zen Files, or what you’re dreaming of via What’s Your Dream, contact me on


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Also joining Maxabella Loves , Life, Love & HiccupsA Life Less Frantic and Boiled Eggs + Soldiers for the Weekend Rewind.


10 Things That Make Me Happy


10thingsThere’s a fabulous hashtag doing the rounds on Instagram, asking you to list 10 things that make you happy.

I posted mine yesterday and have been looking at others that are being shared. I love that everyone has really thought about this, and the lists cover a wide range of happiness.

I’ll put my list here, and hope that it may inspire you to think about it, and share as well. If you do share on IG, use the hashtag #10thingsthatmakemehappy and tag me @zenlisalee, so I can see your happies.

Putting some thought into what brings a smile to you, is also a really good way to think about gratitude in your life. And I’m sure we all have more than a few things to be grateful for.


1. Being inside and cosy when it’s raining.

2. Library and coffee shop dates with Bella.

3. Mastering an artistic process.

4. Long, talky lunch dates with John.

5. Seeing the bottom of my laundry basket.

6. Brainstorming with clever, creative friends.

7. The look on my dogs faces when we hit the beach.

8. Waking up before the rest of the household.

9. Finding a fabulous seaglass haul.

10. Spotting random wildlife on the school run.


What would be your top 10?


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.


Let’s All Play Nice


french bulldog! I love how these little dogs sprawl out belly first on the ground, so cute! Limited Edition French Bulldog Tee




At the exact time that I should be celebrating this blog’s 3rd birthday, I’m kind of thinking “Is it time to give it all away?”.

I usually just cruise along, writing what I feel at the time, and enjoying the fabulous community that I consider myself lucky to be a part of.

But a few weeks ago I received an email from a reader saying “What are you trying to prove, by being nice to everyone? No-one thinks it’s genuine anyway.”

Wow, harsh much?!!

I think I’m lucky to receive some really nice messages of thank you and interaction from readers, and I’m all for conversation. Not all of it is lovely, some is good constructive criticism, and I look at that as a good thing.

This one was a kick in the guts.

Usually I just roll with whatever comes my way, and carry on. But these two sentences threw me. I felt embarrassed, and wondered if everyone else thought the same; that I was being a total try-hard, and being fake nice to prove that I’m a good person.

When I started this blog, I had not much of a plan. I just wrote what travelled through my head, and mostly still do. My favourite posts are the ones where I learn more about the people I like to read. The Zen Files and What’s Your Dream? interviews always make me happy, because to me, sharing is a really positive thing.

I’m also a little bit proud of The Blog Roll, another way I can find out about writers in my community. I just don’t see how it’s such a bad thing to promote others, if you love what they do.

Naturally it was anonymous, so I don’t know if it’s from a regular blog reader, fellow blogger or bored soul looking for someone to bring down. Either way, it really made me think that maybe I should re-evaluate if I should be blogging.

I’m spilling here because I’ve dropped off the blogland radar over the last few weeks. I’ve really missed being a part of it all, but kind of struggled with putting anything out there. Now I’ve given myself a shake and decided that if this is what I enjoy doing, why shouldn’t I just keep going? I figure it’s easy enough to steer clear if I bother you that much…..just don’t read.

I know this whole thing probably sounds a bit sooky, but working from home, it’s sometimes hard to get feedback, as you would in a traditional workplace. When I decided a few years ago, to base my business from home, I didn’t consider the fact that you don’t always have an instant sounding board. I guess maybe I rely on the online world, and it’s opinions, more than I thought.

I don’t have advertising on either blog because I want to be able to write what I choose, and love the freedom of that. I hope the joy doesn’t disappear for me, and figure I’ll just keep dawdling along as I have been.


Wow, that all felt very heavy, and I hate that I felt the need to write about it, but you know……


In other news: I’m working on a design project that hopefully isn’t too far away, and has had me staying up until ridiculous hours. But isn’t that the best, when you can spend hour after hour building something that you just can’t wait to share?!


Anyway if you’ve read this far, bless your cotton socks, and thank you. Hopefully, my future posts won’t be quite so indulgent.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining Maxabella Loves , Life, Love & HiccupsA Life Less Frantic and A Quirky Bird for the Weekend Rewind.


Old? Not Me!



can't wait for my little girly to have her first birthday!



In 2 days, I’ll turn 51.   Fifty-one.   FIFTY-ONE!!

When I was a kid anything over 30 was old, and I couldn’t even imagine myself getting to that ancient number. Then as I got older, the numbers got less important. I never actually felt like I was ageing, just adding more years to my count. Now it feels like time is standing still, and I just am what I am. And I’m pretty happy with that feeleing actually.

You know how it is when you’re little? There’s no way you could ever be a mum, in charge of someone else’s life, making important and responsible decisions. But it just seems to creep up on us; one minute you’re deciding which shoes would survive the muddy fields of a music festival, the next you’re driving your 12-year-old daughter to high school……HIGH SCHOOL!!!

The wonderful thing is that as the years add up, I don’t feel any older. I’m not saying that physically I don’t get a bit creaky, because some mornings I’m a little dusty. But in myself, I still think I can achieve anything, and push myself to do just that.

I think I’m lucky that the most important people in my life help keep me young. John is 9 years my junior, but absolutely the more grown-up out of both of us. Yes he’s hopeless when it comes to being tidy, or the day-to-day household routine, but pretty fabulous when it comes to financial stability and all the responsible stuff. So I still get to be as silly as I need to be, and still know that someone’s looking out for me.

Having a child in my late 30s has also helped, I think. While many women are coming into their grandparenting years at this age, I’m still doing all the little kid things, and I love it! Bell and I spend some beautiful times together, and how can you not feel young when you’re giggling and playing? Youtube comes in handy for some crazy inspiration too.

So yes, the numbers may be getting on, but I’m happy to say that I feel as youthful, hopeful and enthusiastic as I’ve ever been. I’ve had quite a few cool adventures up to now, and plan to have many more in the future.


Are you concerned about getting older or do you think age is just a number?


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Also joining Maxabella Loves , Life, Love & Hiccups, A Life Less Frantic and Land Of Zonkt for the Weekend Rewind.


What’s Your Dream? // Lisa Jane Humphries


Google Image Result for



The Art Of Joy is a big part of the amazing dream Lisa Jane Humpries is working towards. And the best part of this dream is, she’s all for making life a whole lot better for others.


What is your most incredible dream?

My incredible dream is to build a beautiful online hub where those who are most in need of connection, hope and support will feel loved and not judged. I am actually dreaming about a beautiful real-world space too, where people who are in need of connecting and support are welcomed and safe, it looks like a big old white beachside home/safe place..

My experience with trauma, anxiety and depression has shaped my life in so many ways and I believe that it is my deepest calling and purpose to be a shining light of hope and light for others who are facing these challenges.


Do you think it’s attainable?

Absolutely its attainable! It is within my own career experience, life experience and abundant passion to achieve this dream ..I will make this a reality!


How long have you been holding onto this dream?

This dream has become more and more clear to me over recent years as I have learned more and more about myself through Motherhood, my own relapses and a string of life events, alongside my own healing and growth.
It has also been through my blogging that I have realised just how many others are suffering in silence, sitting behind their keyboards aching for hope and human connection in their own darkness and times of need.


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

My blog and passion project ‘the art of joy’ was the first step for me, establishing an online presence and space for my vision to take shape.

The next step is my enrolment in the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy! I have just received my course materials and am beyond excited to equip myself with the skills and certification that I need to make this dream come true and be of the highest service to those in need.


Who are the people that  encourage you the most?

I am actually finding that other bloggers and friends made through our online communities have become my greatest supporters.

My family and friends are also very accepting and supportive of what ever it is that I choose to do however on a daily basis I find the most extraordinary support and encouragement in the beautiful online spaces that I carefully choose to inhabit.


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

I am constantly inspired by ordinary people who overcome their own trauma, heartbreak, set backs and the worst that life throws at us. Women like Rosie Batty who lost her son in the most horrific domestic violence circumstance, yet picked herself up and committed her life to this cause and those in need.
Also the not so ordinary such as Audrey Hepburn and Angelina Jolie, celebrities who have made the most of their privileges and become a voice for those most in need.


I love Lisa’s beautifully positive outlook and the plans she has in place for the future.


hello + welcome


You can find Lisa here: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.
Also joining Maxabella Loves and Life, Love & Hiccups, for the Weekend Rewind.