It seems like just yesterday that she was a newborn, but this week Bell turned 11. It freaks me out a little that she’s getting older way too quickly, but I have to say she really is growing into a lovely young lady. My darling girl and my best little buddy!

PicMonkey Collage.sweetbell

PicMonkey Collage.bellbeach

PicMonkey Collage.bellfunny



Linking with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.


Living In A Social Media Bubble



I think it’s fair to say that I am a bit of a social media ostrich.  Even though I blog every day, crave the vibe of Instagram and could easily lose a good half day wandering around Pinterest, I live in a kind of social media bubble.

I haven’t been active on Facebook for well over 6 months now, as I didn’t feel I could give enough time keeping up with all the news on my feed, so basically went cold turkey. As for Twitter, even though I have an account, I’ve never even tried it. I just think if I tried to participate in every type of social media available, I wouldn’t be giving my best to any of them. I enjoy interacting with the communities that I’m a part of, and feel that’s enough for me.

But, a few things have come up lately that make me wonder if I’m missing out. It may be hard to believe, but I missed the whole “no make-up selfie” thing, and was totally bewildered when I started seeing on the news that there was a backlash to the movement. I didn’t know what all the drama was about, because I hadn’t come across any of the photos in question. I also hear about all the activity on Twitter, and wonder if I’m really missing out on some fabulous action!

Every now and then I think that if I want to be serious about keeping up with social media, I should be across all platforms, but how many hours would I need to devote to them all, to be seriously plugged in? And would I start to feel that the pressure of keeping track of it all wasn’t worth the stress? The main thing I fear is getting burnt out by trying to have interesting things to say, so I would just say nothing at all. And having no outlet for the thoughts swirling around in my brain would surely do me no good.

Even though I’m quite sure I do miss a lot of what goes on in real hard-core Social Media Land, I’m more than happy with the few that are my regular stomping grounds. New things keep coming along, and rather than feel the urgency to be in the middle of them all, I think I’ll just stick with the ones that make my brain hum and my heart full.

Which social media platforms do you live on, and do you think I’m missing out?


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Finding My Meditation Mojo

Beach wall art Ocean Waves photograph 8x12 Beach decor Seashore print Seascape photo Pale blue green minimalism pastel wall art Coastal art



Water, particularly the ocean, is my ultimate energy source, and if I don’t have regular contact with it, I really notice. All my life, except for a period of 6 months, I’ve lived not more than a few blocks from the water. And for that 6 months, I worked right by the beachfront, so would get my daily fix anyway. Even seeing the full dams with the sun shining on them, can trigger the most peaceful feeling in me, and make everything feel like it’s back on an even keel.

But it’s not always possible to get to the ocean or even the farms where those lovely dams are, so the next best thing for me is the shower. I find that standing under the running water seems to wash away any stresses of the day, and brings me back into balance. Almost all of my creative ideas float into my head when I’m in the shower too, so I have invented my own little code to help me remember ideas, and write them down to work on later.

Early last year, I was having a conversation with someone about how my meditation mojo seemed to have left me. Years ago, John and I would go to meditation groups regularly and were both pretty good at the whole relaxation/meditation thing. But as it goes for many people, after we became parents,  things that were beneficial to us were not the most important any more. Bec was telling me that she could see I needed to pay more attention to my spiritual needs, and because this was her field of expertise, I took notice.

I told her about the trouble I was having winding down, and being able to zone out and relax into the meditation. She asked me if there was anything in particular that made me feel peaceful. When I said water was my ultimate stress buster, she suggested I try meditating in the shower each morning. This was actually a great solution, because my routine is to get out of bed and straight in the shower, even before my first coffee. She also told me the key was not to try to meditate, but just let my head empty of all thoughts. Counting was apparently a good way to get into this habit.

So, even though I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to work, I gave it a go. At the start, it was so tricky trying to not think about anything, but eventually I figured out that I could zone out really well if I just concentrated on how the water felt splashing on me. Five minutes is all I need to feel that my mind is clear for the start of the day, and now it has become an important part of my daily routine.

We spend so much time with our brains in overdrive, letting it have a bit of a peaceful break, and letting it power up for the start of each day can only be a good thing.

Is meditation part of your daily routine?


Old ladies love colour


The currency of friendship,

Too much to pay?

You’re never too far,

As you live in my heart.

Across the miles,

Our bond stretches.

The years have been many,

Since we first clicked.

Through good and bad,

We’ve survived it all.

Sometimes we’re dented, bruised and scratched.

Sometimes we’re floating on clouds of happiness.

Trusting you with all my secrets.

Leaning on you,

A stable force.

The currency of friendship,



Linking with My Little Sunshine House for Sunshine Sundays.

Black White Black White on Pinterest

I just love black and white photography, and when I discovered Pinterest, I discovered a wealth of it. This is by far my most popular board, and also my very favourite to look through. If you have a spare hour or two, take a look at my Black White Black White board and enjoy some truly amazing works of art.



At Clarks and Company we send out mail of over 1,000 pieces. We use mailing lists provided by our customers. They may be offering a service, product or newsletter. You can LIKE our fanpage on FB-http://www.facebook.com/clarksand company.


Streetcar beautifully reflected in a large water puddle. Lisbon, Portugal.


love it


♥ Patrick Gonzales


Hairy Spiral by illpadrino.deviantart.com


Old schoolhouse





The Journey

Etsy love..



We hear and read a lot about “the journey”. Every time I go to write that, it feels like I’m channelling a new-age try hard, using the latest cool catchcry. But for the purpose of this post, I’m going to refer to that much talked about, and almost mythical journey.

So, we all have goals, whether they’re big or small, and whether you even realize and acknowledge them. In some way,we’re all heading somewhere, and that’s where the journey comes into the picture.

Do you get up every morning looking forward to something? Are you working towards something that you consider life changing? Is there a particular goal that gets you through the tough times?

Yes to any of those? Well, then you’re on a journey. You’re working towards something that is going to make a difference to your life in some way.

But, and it’s an important but, don’t make the mistake of being in such a rush to get there, that you don’t actually enjoy the whole journey.

Remember when you were a kid, and something big was on the horizon? Every minute of the day was filled with anticipation of that event. It may not have even been a big thing in reality, but the buildup made it all the more exciting.

As we get older, the excitement and urgency fades away, and it’s all about the prize at the end. See if you can break it down and look at each step as a separate fabulous thing. As floaty as it sounds, the whole journey is there to be enjoyed, so why miss out on any part of it?

Do you look at each step as something exciting, to be enjoyed?


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.




The Life

Imagine spending all day either eating or sleeping, and having people tell you how pretty you are.

Unrealistic? Not if you’re Violet. This girl is livin’ the life!



Linking with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

The Zen Files // Sam from A life On Venus

A blog that I’ve only recently discovered is A life On Venus, a lovely mix of books, parenting and life. Sam has answered some nosey questions so we can see just what part zen plays in her life.

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

My blog is about my life. I blog about parenting mainly but really anything that comes into my head. I started blogging when I was pregnant with my second child because I suffered PND after my first baby and I wanted to have something for me after he was born, a place I could share how I was feeling and what I was doing and I fell in love with it and am so glad that I started it. It has kept me sane.

What does “zen” mean to you?

Zen means mental happiness to me. I have suffered depression and anxiety in the past and learnt mediation and cognitive therapies. To me that is Zen, when you can be at peace with your own thoughts.

Which 5 people from history would you most like to have dinner with and what do you think the conversation would be about?

I can only think of two, I hope that is ok. I would love to have dinner with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. I would hope the conversation was about their work and thought processes and also life in Italy at that time.

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

At the moment I am trying very hard to work out my back, neck, hip issues so am seeing a physio and doing pilates. I am hoping that this will have a positive effect on my physical and mental wellbeing.

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

To be honest I wasn’t sure what I thought my blog would be when I first started. I think it is always changing though and will probably continue to change as I do.


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?

I love Have A Laugh On Me,  Mummy Wife Me and My Little Sunshine House. Also, two blogs that are fairly new to me are Create Bake Make and Bake Play Smile.

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

Which do you prefer?

Beach or Country.


Pinterest or Instagram.


Cheese or Chocolate.


Flats or Heels.


Black & White or Colour Photography.


Cool or Warm Weather.


Fruit or Veggies.


Early Nights or Night Owl.

Early nights.

Tv or Radio.


Comedy or Drama.


Sam has kindly invited us all to grab a cuppa and a cookie, and pop over to see what it’s like living A Life On Venus.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.


Pushing The Deadlines

Office inspiration


Deadlines, do they terrify you or light a fire in your belly? I think I may have a bit of weird addiction to the thrill of a deadline, and it really confuses me.

When I was at school, I would leave assignments right till the very last day to complete. I can vividly remember setting my alarm for 4.30 one morning to finish a particular piece that was to be handed just a few hours later. I also remember actually receiving an award for that assignment!

It’s the same with whatever I’m doing, and as hard as I try to change, I just keep doing it. It really messes with my head, and as someone who likes to micro-manage every little thing, I just don’t seem to be playing by my own rules.

You know when you see busy people, zooming around, getting stuff done? They look like they’re totally in control of the situation, and I find myself wishing I was like that. I’m pretty impressed when I see someone doing things in a hurry, and looking like they’re on a mission. I’ve always been a bit sad about not going further with my education, and actually having a career, and can’t help but associate success with being busy.

Maybe I subconsciously think that whatever I’m rushing to finish has more importance if I race to get it completed on time. Or maybe I’m rebelling against my own hardline rules. Or maybe I’m just nowhere near as organized as I like to think I am!

Do you struggle with deadlines, or do you have everything completed way before due dates?


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