Man In A Hat

 

Staying together. #peace love this photo! would be a cute wedding pic and then years down road recreate!

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A beautiful old hat-wearing man just made me smile, and I’m so grateful. My day so far has been kind of off kilter, and this sight has just tipped it back into balance.

This morning I had to take Violet to the vet for her vaccinations and check-up. Why I thought it would go well is beyond me, but my coffee definitely should have been stronger! I couldn’t get her in the cage, and after two very large scratches and much blood, put her in the car and took the empty cage as well. I knew the vet would be able to get her in for the trip home. Thank goodness it’s only three blocks away; that big girl complained loudly all the way there.

So, all the medical stuff was done, and the vet confirmed what I had suspected about Violet’s heritage; she wasn’t the medium sized breed we had been told she was when she was a few weeks old and came into our family. She’s a Maine Coon, the biggest breed of domestic cat, and would likely end up the size of our dogs! Poor love doesn’t have a weight problem, she’s just a giant.

We got home and I realized my shirt was covered in blood, so in the bin with that one. I was in the kitchen and could hear a weird shuffling noise coming down the hallway. I looked over the bench to see a foot-long blue tongue lizard slowly making it’s way to the couch with Violet following it!!! Thank goodness she’s not a hunter, I don’t think I could have dealt with a cat/lizard fight in my lounge room. But it did slither under the couch, and I didn’t know how I was going to get it out of the house. I’d already rung John at work to tell him about my not so fabulous vet trip, and knew he wouldn’t be home for at least a few hours.

I couldn’t relax, knowing that dragon under the couch could come out at any time, and about 30 seconds later, he did! I grabbed an old towel and picked him up, then freaked out all the way to the back yard. Eventually I managed to herd him through the yard, with Lola, Lulu and Violet following, and out to the driveway, where I knew he’d be able to get somewhere safe. If anyone saw our procession, it would have looked hilarious, all of us in single file with a blue tongue leading the way.

By now, I was feeling like today was going to be one of those days when only strange stuff happens, so was kind of on guard. I was driving to the shops when I saw him. He was walking with a beautifully dressed lady, his hat topped with a feather. I was stopped at the lights and watched them crossing the road. He reached for her hand and didn’t stop smiling as they chatted all the way. They had that comfortable presence that I hope John and I will always have together, and that single thought made my day tip back onto it’s axis and it all felt good.

Sometimes, just seeing a little bit of joy in someone else is all you need to get your balance back. Witnessing a simple thing like an elderly couple enjoying each others’ company made the craziness of my day disappear. I hope I can always recognize the good things around me, because when you look, they’re everywhere!

 

Sweeet!

 

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Bell, John and I went out for afternoon tea the other day, and this happened!

I would like to say that I had none of it, but…….

 

Linking with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

The Zen Files // Carla from My Yellow Heart

 

We’re looking into another Zen File today, and Carla from My Yellow Heart has answered some nosey questions. Carla’s blog is gorgeous all over, starting with the striking masthead and carrying right through the beautiful stories she shares. Her recipes are also something to be savoured, complete with delicious photography.

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

I started my blog almost one year ago. Originally it was my way of keeping in touch with family and friends after moving to the outback of WA for my husband’s work. But since then it has slowly changed, becoming less about our move and more about my thoughts and snippets of our life. I try to focus mostly on the happy and joy in our lives while trying to find some kind of silver lining (however small) in the negatives.

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What does “zen” mean to you?

I consider “zen” to be a state of mind. An accepting and understanding of oneself and of your limitations. I’m not sure I’d use the word “zen” to describe me as such. But I do find myself feeling happier in myself, who I am and the choices that I make more than I ever have before.

It’s not that I don’t give a damn about opinions or what others might think or say about me, I’m just more comfortable with it. I know me better than anybody else and it’s a waste of my own energy trying to control or change anything or anyone outside of myself. It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn, but one I’m glad that I have. It has been freeing.

That feeling of peace in who you are, is what mostly encompasses zen for me.

STATIONARY SWAP

What’s something you do just for yourself, that makes you feel whole?

As a Mum to two young daughters there isn’t a lot that I do that is just for me. So I make sure whatever it is, however small, even if it’s just a walk on my own, that I enjoy it. Take my music, listen to it loud, walk as far as I need to. Whatever it is that I need to do. Moments like those make me feel like my own person again, a woman, not “just” a Mum.

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

Yes and no.

It’s all still in the pipeline, in my mind. Too close to my heart and too soon to talk about as a result.

 

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

I’m not really sure I knew what I was doing when I started blogging. I certainly had no vision, or even real purpose in my blog.

I just did it.

I’m happy for my blog to go wherever it does or doesn’t go as a result!

Lemon and Rhubarb cookies

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?

One of the best things about my own blog, has been finding so many other great blogs to read also. It’s hard to pick favourites, so I won’t. But the 3 latest blogs that I’ve stumbled across, and that I’m enjoying reading are The Veggie Mama, Mumabulous and Fit Mother Hubbard (I’ve started this new exercise thing and I need all the motivation I can get).

As for one you may not have heard of I’d have to say House Nerd. The lovely Maya shows the most gorgeous homes on her blog, you won’t need to buy a home Beautiful magazine again!

 

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

Which do you prefer?

 

Beach or Country. I’m a beach girl at heart.

 

Pinterest or Instagram. Instagram, but I do love Pinterest, I just don’t have the time to “waste” on it!

 

Cheese or Chocolate. I’ll take either.

 

Flats or Heels. Flats, I can be a little wobbly on heels even when sober.

 

Black & White or Colour Photography. Colour.

 

Cool or Warm Weather. Both.

 

Fruit or Veggies. Veggies, particularly salads.

 

Early Nights or Night Owl. Oh I’m a terrible night owl, I wish I was an up with the birds type, but it’s never been the case.

 

TV or Radio. TV.

 

Comedy or Drama. I enjoy a drama, but I love anything or anyone who makes me laugh.

For a little bit of lovely in your day, grab your favourite cuppa and stop by My Yellow Heart to see what happens in Carla’s world.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

 

Out There

good

Clear

 

Be still. Listen to the silence. It has wisdom to share.

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To be clear.

Empty my mind,

All those thoughts tumbling.

Try to see nothing,

So hard, but why?

Let it all go,

Zone myself out.

Resting that brain.

It’s filled all day,

Overflowing some.

To empty is a blessing,

Recharge for tomorrow.

Just let it go,

To refill another day.

A good thing for that mind is

To be clear.

 

“Bright!”on Pinterest

 

Sometimes you just need a dose of saturated colour, and my Bright! board on Pinterest is just the place to go.

This is going te be my headpiece for season opening Carneval at 11-11 this year!

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Colors

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Spanish style bright pink arched wood door - White stucco home exterior

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Amusement Park

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8 Things We All Probably Need To Do More

 

DIY Mason Jar Herb Garden!  The only thing I would worry about is drainage -- but, seeing the roots and earth in the clear glass would definitely prevent over watering.   Thanks, a great and simple, great looking idea.

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Sometimes, feeling better and being better, comes down to just a few small things. We don’t always do them, but probably would be happier and healthier if we did.

Live in the real world. As much as we all love to spend time online, take regular breaks and get out into the real world. As well as playing havoc with your eyes and posture, ridiculously longs hours in front of a screen also keeps you from getting the fresh air and sunshine that’s essential for wellbeing.

LOL. The benefits of having a great big belly laugh are emotional, as well as physical. Laughing releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It also relaxes your muscles without you even realizing it. And it’s contagious, so pass it on.

Have a sickie. Do you get cranky if a workmate comes to work when they’re really sick, coughing and sneezing everywhere? If you answered YES, think about that the next time you convince yourself your job won’t get done if you’re not there to do it.

Be a poser. Striking a yoga pose will go a long way to relaxing and balancing your mind and body. If you can’t make it to classes, there’s plenty of Youtube videos to help you get your yogi on.

Ditch screens before bed. This is one that I really need to do more! See if you can turn off all your screens at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Reading a real book or even reflecting on your day, are much better ways to zone out before bedtime.

Have a checkup. We all know the regular health checks we should be having, but don’t always do them. Different medical histories, family health problems and age mean not everyone needs the same ones at the same intervals. If you’re not sure what you should be having checked, see your GP for a guide. Not always pleasant, but SO essential!

Get dirty. Kids love to play in the dirt and making mud pies is especially attractive. Digging, scooping, building and using their imagination to create can fill hours with grubby fun. So why don’t we still do it? Getting outside and closer to nature can be so satisfying, and if you’re growing things, that satisfaction is really amplified. Even if you don’t have a huge space to make a garden, have a pot or two with herbs growing, and enjoy being a farmer every now and then.

Tell yourself you can, and then do it. No excuses, believe in yourself and give others a good reason to. Give yourself permission to be fabulous!

 

Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Holiday Slow Down

 

Glass Beach, California

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In the lead-up to this school holiday break, it felt like everything we were doing around here was rushed. It was all about deadlines and running, hurry up and stressing! I vowed that this 3 weeks would be a nice quiet one, and it has been.

We’ve had only a few things actually “booked in”, and these were catchups with great friends, including lots of fun. Relaxing also featured heavily on our timetable, which both Bell and I both appreciated and needed.

I know next Monday we’ll be back into it again, with Bell starting school some days at 7.15 and finishing others at 5.30. But at least we’ve had a good rest and recharged our batteries.

You can only go at a reckless pace for so long, before it all gets too much. That’s usually when things start to go sideways, and life gives you a bit of a reminder. Slowing down doesn’t always mean you’re getting less done, sometimes quite the opposite. Going a little slower can be the best way to sort stuff out, both in your head and your diary. Organizing your time isn’t just about putting things off or cutting them out, it’s more about using your time wisely.

Time management can be a daunting thing when you’re used to flying by the seat of your pants and going with the flow, and can feel a little restrictive at first. But when you get used to it, you can still be spontaneous, just not with every single thing you do. You also need to factor in some time to do nothing, and that’s what we’ve enjoyed most about these holidays. Days that can be spent in pyjamas, reading and colouring, swinging and board gaming, and definitely lots of sea glass finding.

I feel like I can now tackle some tasks I’ve been holding back on, and I’m in a good headspace to really get stuck into things. As much as you think going full steam ahead is the most productive way to be, it’s not always the best option. Balance, as always, plays a big part of being productive, and I wonder how many lessons it will take before I realize this.

Do you ever have a “slow down” in your life?

 

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

Tiny

 

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Bell found this tiny little crab while we were looking for sea glass at the beach. Every detail was perfect, right down to the “big” claws. You can see just how small it is, resting on her little fingers.

 

Linking with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

What”s Your Dream? // Deb Dane

 

Workbench photo : Mariele_Studio9_v2

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I’m so happy that my dear friend Deb Dane has agreed to share her dream with us! I first met Deb through her blog, Home Life Simplified, and have since been lucky enough to be inspired by the enthusiasm she has for whatever she’s working on. I’m excited to see her fabulous new venture come to life through all her hard work and dreaming.

 

What is your most incredible dream?

I am a dreamer – always have been and always will be – so I have many incredible dreams.

They include writing several books (they have mostly been written in my head already); traveling to every US state, every country on Earth and more extensively around Australia; and having a creative business that supports my family.

I am currently working on the last one. I am building from the ground up, an inspirational jewelry and accessories business bringing my book of designs to life as handmade products.

 

Do you think it’s attainable?

Yes!

I started studying metalsmithing earlier this year and am about to start Intermediate classes next week. I have also been working with various business teachers and coaches in different formats (ecourses, coaching sessions, email support)

 

How long have you been holding onto this dream?

My dream of a creative business is about 18 months old (maybe longer?) I am 42 years old and have been at home for 11+ years with my kids. I have spent the last 5 years working out what I wanted to be “when I grow up” and almost pursued several other paths. Glad I kept digging deep and exploring.

 

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

The biggest barrier to my success is myself – I have days where I am super confident, know in my gut all will be right and have HUGE plans. Other days (and weeks) I hit a brick wall of self doubt, overwhelm and fear.

I finally realised I was putting too much pressure on myself to bring my dream to reality FAST and when I slowed down things started to come together. I now focus on one thing at a time and trust everything will happen when and how it is meant to be. I am optimistic I will launch later this year, but accept that life is crazy and i have no way to guarantee that (or anything). Going after this dream is an endless growth opportunity and I learn more about myself every day.

 

Who are the people that  encourage you the most?

I have to say you Lisa are my #1 cheerleader and i am grateful for that. You are the type of friend every dreamer needs by their side – encouraging, interested, nourishing and as excited by my ideas as I am. If I could bottle your energy and keep you next to me always I would already have a huge enterprise up and running.

Next would be my kids – I am glad they are older and I am going after this at this stage of their lives. They are 9 1/2 and 11 and 100% behind me every step of the way.

My husband would be third and only out of first positions because he has been working in another city the entire time I have been pursuing this goal. While he is hugely supportive (and always has been all the years of our marriage) he is not here day to day so I have had to rely on others for the boosts I need daily / weekly. If Lisa and my kids are giving me the emotional boosters I need, he is my mental and practical support – listening as I talk through the brass tacks of building a new business from the ground up and wanting to do it well. He never puts pressure on me and that is a key encourager – giving me room to do this my way.

 

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

I am inspired every time I read about a creative person who launched their career after 40.

I am inspired by the people I have met online who show me that we live in a time of possibility.

I am inspired by my kids – I want to show them that a creative career is possible (one is a visual artist and the other a musician and I never want them to push aside their gifts to be “practical”).

home life simplified

You can find Deb here: Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

 

I love that Deb is so passionate about her dream, and can’t wait to see it come to life.

If you have a dream, ANY dream that you would like to share with us, please let me know. I’m still looking for interviewees for The Zen Files series also, so get in touch if you would like to be part of either.

 

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.