Follow by email:

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Pick of my Posts - 2018

As these posts are beginning to do the rounds, I thought I'd squeeze mine in before I shutdown.

My January saw us in Finland and Switzerland, with only one post on our return, of you guessed it - Finland! The travel blog also posted on Rovaniemi and the Glass igloos.

February saw me philosophical with a little thought on Appreciation (& a challenge), a post about managing worry and wisdom on a life's purpose.

In the throws of a terrible month, I discovered the joy and uplifting, healing powers of music and dance.

May saw me reflecting on the importance of who we share our time with and discussing Eddie Ayres and following your own compass.

Midyear we took a seaplane to the Great Barrier Reef on a very indulgent and unforgettable tour!

By August I was in the throws of HSC circus, and discussed the brilliant Augusten Burroughs advice that got me through a major loss earlier in the year, once you're in it, it's okay. I also gave advice about that unnecessary back up plan.

On the travel blog we went to Floriade for the first time and had a surprisingly excellent and fun packed time in Canberra.

In October I was discussing secrets.

In the midst of all the Christmas posts, I also wrote my advice on that HSC experience.

Putting this year in review together, I realise I need to write more - I've become very photo focused. So next year I'll try to return to my more traditional style.

Happy Christmas to you all! Stay safe and happy over the holidays. See you all in Feb!

Linking with #TriumphantTales, #DreamTeam, #Nanahood #FreshMarket #TwinklyTuesday #GlobalBlogging #Randomosity and #RubyTuesdayToo

Friday, 14 December 2018

Great gifts for men

Miles & Smiles. Dan Marshall
In the last minute Xmas dash, I want to alert you to 2 great finds for gift for men. They look great, but they also do good for others and possibly start conversations...

1. Headset Art and Apparel. 22 artists designed shirts and prints for Headset, with the aim of promoting cycling because of the benefits of getting outdoors to exercise, getting together with others to exercise, all with the bonus of improving mental health. A portion of the proceeds goes to Black Dog Australia, and more than $5500 was donated this year. Great gifts and a great way to start the conversation or improve lifestyle. Browse styles here for funky tees, totes or the wall art.

2. My other hot fav is CYA - Choose your animal. Stylish activewear and swimwear made from recycled plastic bottles. You select the animal print that you like, and 10% of the profits go to that cause. If you have a passion for saving the Rhino, Sloth, Elephant, Tiger or Shark or if you just want to help reduce that mountain of plastic bottle waste we've created, then these are a brilliant way to fill your wardrobe.
Browse selection here.

What's been your go to with the men in your life this Christmas?

Please note, I have no affiliation with these brands, I just really liked the ideas behind them. Please check out their sites and my photography is not doing them any favours, due to rushing and reflections!!

Linking with #OpenSlather

What I learnt from the HSC

I honestly believe the parents have turned the HSC year into a nightmare for most students. The expectation that they must go to Uni, the idea that the ATAR is so important and that it's the only thing that matters. Here are a few things I've learnt over the last year.

1. Two Universities mentioned that only 26% of students get in on ATAR. That to me also said that 74% get in some other way. So I started looking at the other ways, and let me tell you, there are plenty! In year 11 start checking out the Uni websites. There are scholarships and many early entry options. My daughter had one early entry offer prior to sitting the HSC, then got 2 more offers, all prior to receiving her ATAR. She did get guaranteed entry to the University of her choice with her ATAR, but there were options already there if she didn't. As I always say, you want options. If you have a choice, then it's your decision.

2. When the marks come out, celebrate the HSC day. Those HSC marks really don't mean anything (they're just numbers that look good and add up all together to a big number) so celebrate those. Even with a good ATAR, a lot of kids are disappointed because they didn't meet their expectation, so better if you're already had the celebration the day before.

3. Once you get in to Uni, or decide you aren't going to Uni, the HSC doesn't mean anything. And the ATAR is irrelevant. So breathe easy.

4. You want to travel or work straight from school, get that dream happening as quickly as possible. Satisfaction and self esteem (and drive) will thrive if you do. Not to mention you'll be getting real money. There's no need not to start working straight after exams.

5. If you want to go to TAFE or learn a trade, there are great options where you are paid to do the course. Track those down. It's just as good getting paid to learn as paying to learn. (Hint, it's actually better to be paid - they already see your potential).

6. If others don't see the value in what you want to do, hold your ground, keep your head high and prove them wrong. There are no jobs better than other jobs if they make you happy. Don't believe anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.

7. Don't be scared if you don't have a dream. Just apply yourself to whatever the job is in front of you. There used to be a word meaning to travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination. It's Coddiwomple. Do that.

8. You don't have to wait until you reach your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud (and celebrate) every step you take. (quote from Karen Salmansohn).

9. If you like it, it doesn't feel like work. Maybe that's what you need to look for in a career path. And when you don't like it, maybe you change path. What you decide to do now, may (and probably will) change. What you actually start to do now, doesn't send you to an unalterable destination.

10. Always remember, opportunity dances with those already on the dancefloor. There is no right path, but you do need to get moving!

Last one is for the parents. You love your child but they aren't you. What you think is important might be irrelevant to them. Or they might need time to work out what makes them tick. When talking stress to a GP, she said 'I didn't get the mark I wanted out of school, and I couldn't get into the course I wanted to do, and I didn't even want to be a doctor. I started a different course, transferred into my course and realised I hated it. THAT was the moment I realised I wanted to do medicine.' Our measure of success applies to us alone. Everyone else has their own yardstick.

Good luck to future students, and to those starting out on their futures, remember the world is your oyster. Enjoy the exciting time of possibilities. Job satisfaction is the measure of success. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make that happen.

Linking with #Lifethisweek and #WordsThatInspire

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Sydney from Different Angles


I love this view of the Opera House - it makes it seem so other worldly.

Still with the reflections on the golf course for #WeekendReflections.

These three photos are all taken in Sydney. It is a beautifully diverse city.

And a splash of colour to farewell #MySundayPhoto as this will be my last visit before the linky ceases. Thank you for hosting.

Happy Christmas to you all, have a good break and I'll see you all in Feb.

Linking with #TravelTuesday #WWOAT #WWOT  #WedensdayAroundtheWorld #PictorialTuesday #WordlessWednesday  #ThruMyLens #OurWorldTuesday #NatureNotes #MyPhotoFriday #MySundayBest and #MySundayPhoto

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

More little things

I have had a very difficult week for a number of reasons, and certainly not helped by the anxiety (or grief) of Dad not being around for Christmas (for the first time) turning into rage. I am fed up with a lot of things and I am sick of biting my tongue. While I normally just keep quiet when people are being jerks, I've mouthed off a few times this week. Anyway, I can see it's probably a deflection of what is actually causing me distress, and anger is certainly easier (though probably not for everyone else). I will be glad when Christmas is over, truth be told. However, here is a tip. If you always talk about yourself and your interests, don't assume it's because the other person thinks it's interesting or you are always right, sometimes they're just polite. Perhaps show the same courtesy to them in return. It reminds me of The Second Best Exotic  Marigold Hotel - always be person B, never person C. 

Our Gingerbread house went missing in the post (along with a few gifts) - but I guess I should be grateful that it's the first time it's happened, and because the gingerbread house was in it, I chased up sooner than I would have, so have time to rebuy gifts for those people - and rush out and get a gingerbread house today for the little one.

I had a lovely much needed catch up with friends, that put me in a much better mood, and am off to a curious sort of escape room in a bar tonight! These little things make me happy.

My eldest got fabulous HSC results so assuming the ATAR matches tomorrow, she can breath easy for a few months! Hope everyone got what they were after, and if they didn't, there are open days this weekend to work out your pathways. Plenty of roads to Rome. It's just the beginning, not the conclusion.

Lastly, I will be away but if you are in Sydney, I would look no further than Furnace and the Fundamentals xmas party on the 20th. Best fun! You will dance all night! Buy tix here.

Until Feb, Happy Christmas everyone! Keep safe over the holidays and may 2019 bring with it all things wonderful for you.

Linking with #KCACOLS  #ThatFridayLinky and #FridayFeature

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Sydney in December - Share My Snaps!

I will be closing the blog this week until after Australia day, so I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, safe travels and safe driving over the holidays and a very happy celebration to herald in 2019.

My Insta will continue because I can't detox completely!

Thank you all for swinging by over the year - it is an evolving landscape this blogging but I still get so much joy from it all.

Sydney in December means sneaking off to the Grounds to see the snow (Actual quote from an 20-something behind me "Real snow is so much better" - really????)

It means seeing Santa and the David Jones windows, all the sparkly Christmas decorations around the city and the highlight - discovering the Golden Gaytime store is back (in Myer) with a ginger flavoured Xmas gaytime. Fabulous!!

There's the Ikea Christmas lights at home, solar lights in the garden and plenty of parties to go to.

Most of all, it's plenty of time swimming in the many glorious spots around this very beautiful city.

Whatever you do, enjoy Sydney in December!

Linking with #Dreamteam  #WordlessWednesday #WednesdayAroundtheWorld #TwinklyTuesday #StayClassyMama #GlobalBlogging #ThruMyLens #TheRandom and #Lifethisweek

Thursday, 6 December 2018

A little visitor

I like this one for #WeekendReflection as when you first glance at it, it's unclear as to where the reflection starts. The wallaby below is for the link ups in the UK and US, not my best roo photo but nice to see on your doorstep none the less. This one had a few scratch marks, I suspect as a result from run ins with the resident goanna - not to be messed with! All in the heart of Sydney....

More pictures of Currawong Beach Cottages here. 

Linking with #PictorialTuesday #WordlessWednesday #WWOT #MyFridayPhoto  #MySundayBest and #MySundayPhoto