April 2014Life Love and Hiccups: April 2014
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Wednesday 30 April 2014

On The Subject of Trolling Tagging & Bagging

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This post is brought to you by Cybersmart

Social media, online forums and social apps are a fun way to communicate with friends and other like minded people. 

Sadly though, most of us who have spent time online would most likely have been exposed in one way or another to some of the not so nice behaviour that plays out in the cyber world.

Whether it is a nasty uncalled for comment on a photo, a belittling or insulting status update aimed at you, a personal attack on another individual’s opinion in a comment discussion or a nasty response to a tweet - it happens and this awful kind of behaviour is a very real part of the online world.

The nastiness may have been directed to you, someone you know, or perhaps it was an occasion where you were simply a bystander and seeing the impact and fallout of cyber bullying both scared and saddened you.

Whatever your experience is, there is no denying that bad behaviour online can cause a ridiculous amount of damage.

If you think this kind of thing is tough to handle as an adult, just imagine for a moment if it was your child or your child’s friend who was on the receiving end.

We live in a day and age where our kid’s social lives will inevitably cross over into the online world and we need to continue to arm ourselves and them with all the information we can to help them navigate their way through both the good and the bad that exists in this virtual playground.

Technology on large is fun, useful and a fabulous way to connect with friends. But more often than not, kids don’t put a lot of thought into what they type when they are on Instagram or in a group chat.

Most of the time, our kids don’t intend any harm. They simply don’t realise that what they think is an offhanded comment or a joke could have the potential to cause harm and anguish to the person on the other end. 

Let’s face it – kids generally live in the moment and often just don’t think full stop.

That being said, if we are going to allow our children access to the online world via social media and apps, then the reality is they need to understand that they have a responsibility to behave respectfully and understand the implications of their actions when they are online.

It doesn’t stop there, we parents also have a responsibility to guide them and support them whilst they are learning.

As a mum of 3 kids who makes a living online, Cyber safety is something I am very passionate about.

My husband and I along with our two older kids are big supporters of Cybersmart's Chatterbox program and am more than happy to help spread the word about this awesome initiative.

Chatterbox from Cybersmart is a series of downloadable audio clips in a conversational format. Through these 12 minute videos, we parents have access to up to date and jargon-free information on cyber safety, including targeted steps to navigate our way through the challenges our kids face when online so that they get the maximum benefit of the good stuff that comes with modern day technology.

The Chatterbox conversations can be downloaded and accessed whilst you are at home, or on a mobile device so that no matter where you are you have a go to place for the latest in cyber safety tips and trends and new episodes will be released on a regular basis throughout 2014.

The latest Chatterbox video is titled Trolling, Tagging and Bagging and discusses comments, status updates, trolling, hashtagging, respectful communication and cyber bullying. This episode is an absolute must for all parents to watch.

Don’t forget you are not alone in any questions or concerns you have about your kids and cyber safety – in fact there is a whole community of parents over on Cybersmart’s Facebook page and I encourage you to pop on over and check it out. Consider joining in the discussions because your advice could help other parents in the same way theirs could help you.

To access Chatterbox or for more information about Cybersmart, visit www.cybersmart.gov.au

Fellow bloggers, please share this information with any friends with kids who may need a little extra help in understanding the online world. Thank you

Have you or your kids ever had to deal with Trolling or Cyber Bullying?
Have you got any advice or experience you can share with us?

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Can You Hear It?

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Can you hear it?

That big collective sigh of relief that school is back.

Is it the sound of vacuums and washing machines and commercial grade cleaning equipment that you can hear... or is that just the noise from our place?

Alright, I admit, I probably waved goodbye a little more enthusiastically than a mother should at Kiss and Drop this morning.

Heck, I even let someone cut in front of me whilst I was waiting in line.

Where I would normally be silently mouthing "YOU SUCK" to the pusherinerers and hoping they can lip read in the rear view mirror, today I just smiled serenely in the knowledge and relief that clearly someone was even more eager to deposit their children at school than I was.

I did not care that I was coming home to the mammoth task of de-schoolholidaying the house.

I did not weep at the state of my youngest sons bedroom.

I did not bat an eyelid as I dragged bagfuls of lolly wrappers out from under beds.

The sight of the 5 baskets full of dirty washing did not even crease my brow.....

Actually that last one is not entirely true... a small moan of pain may have escaped from my lips... but I recovered. Very quickly.

Even the dogs seemed relieved and quickly assumed their positions on the couch where they fell into an exhausted coma.

I would kind of like to be able to tell you how sorry I am that the school holidays have come to an end, but I wont, because that would make me one hell of a liar.

You and I both know I am overjoyed.

I guess there is a part of me who is not so thrilled to be returning to early mornings, lunches and homework.

But hey I'll get over it...

There I already am.

For now though I am going to enjoy the lack of noise, soak up the order that has been restored and shove those dogs over for a spot on the couch.

To all the teachers in the world - THANK YOU! You deserve your weight in top shelf Vodka!

How about you? Relieved or sad at the end of the holidays?

Monday 28 April 2014

Take The 7 Day Breakfast Challenge & WIN!

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This post is brought to you by Coles

Did you know that on average us Aussies skip breakfast at least 77 times a year?

It’s an issue with both the little people as well as us big people, although it is a bigger issue with adults. Research shows that around half of us adults skip breakfast at least once a week compared to one in seven kids.

I hate to actually admit this but I probably miss having breakfast 5 mornings out of 7.

Yikes, I know right!

As a mum I totally know the importance of my kids having breakfast before school and I have read loads of reports where skipping breakfast has been liked to poorer performance at school. It’s for this reason that every morning I force my boys to sit down and fill their bellies with something semi nutritious before they head off for the day.

One of my little guys happily eats breakfast… in fact the first words out of his mouth are “Hi Mum, Hi Dad, Can I please have breakfast?” Keen as he is, clearly he likes his food.

As for the other two? Well they take a little more coaxing and sadly the hubby and I aren’t really setting the best example by skipping the food and going for coffee instead. It’s generally a case of “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Weekends are different. Mornings aren’t so rushed and we can usually grab a little extra time before sports start to enjoy cooking up a little something extra together. Nothing that takes too long though, as we have neither the time nor the interest to be in the kitchen that long. It has to be something yummy that we are all keen to make and dig into.

When I agreed to take part in this challenge, I did a little digging around and found some interesting facts relating to breakfast consumption from the Australian Food and Grocery Council which include;

“There’s more than 50 years of scientific evidence supporting the role of breakfast and better brain function in children, with the latest science linking breakfast with improved numeracy and literacy skills.


“Children who regularly eat breakfast cereal are also more likely to have a better diet overall, a healthier weight, and consume more essential nutrients. In the long term, this important dietary habit may also reduce their risk of many lifestyle related diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.”

Like I needed any more convincing after reading that.

I made a promise to myself and to my family at the start of this year, that I would take better care of myself and so the deal was done, I was going to totally rock this 7 day Breakfast challenge. Better yet, I managed to get the whole family to agree to do this with me and now I am encouraging you to join us.

I have scoured around for some yummy breakfast that take less than 15 minutes to make on a weekday and less than 20minutes on the weekend and here’s the menu I have come up with.

So are you keen to give it a go with me?  Come on, let’s do this together!

I will be trialing all of the recipes this week and sharing our progress daily on Facebook and Instagram. 

At the end of this week, I’ll post all of the recipes for you in case you would like to try them for yourself and your family.

Follow along on instagram here or Facebook here for some brekkie inspiration. Take a photo of your own brekkie, tag it with #7DayBreakfast and #LLHColesGiveaway  and share it on instagram for your chance to win a $100 Coles Voucher.

If you are stuck for ideas for anything beyond your typical bowl of cereal, Coles have some fabulous breakfast recipes to get the taste buds working overtime. Check them out here and here.

So day 1 is officially done and dusted and here’s today’s breakfast, which I have to tell you went down a treat with the boys. There was no begging required on my part and we all happily scoffed it up. 

In fact I'm already hungry for tomorrow’s brekkie.

Are you a brekkie person? 
What do you make to tempt you to eat in the mornings?

Saturday 26 April 2014

The MAMMOTH Mother's Day Giveaway!

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Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to the following winners;

DTLL Prize Pack A - Trish Taylor
DTLL Prize Pack B - Milina Opsenica
Howards Storage - Karen Turber
Uberkate - Kylie Dickson

I have been busting at the britches (whatever they may be) to get this giveaway started, as I seriously have an insane amount of awesomeness to giveaway today from some insanely awesome companies.

In fact I have over $3000 worth of goodies up for grabs and there will be four lucky winners!

I am not going to waste your time or mine rambling on because I figure by now you aren't even reading me anymore... you have already started scrolling down to take a look for yourself at all that awesomeness I speak of.

The first two prize packs up for grabs are from the gorgeous Down That Little Lane or DTLL, as it is also known.

Down That Little Lane is a fabulous community of stores all gathered together on one beautiful website.

Each one of the 550 plus boutiques have been personally selected by the fabulous woman behind this business - Tessa. The stores come from everywhere and anywhere and all sell unique, handmade and bespoke items. 

You are sure to find something special for yourself or anyone you happen to be shopping for. A word of advice though, allow yourself a good chunk of time to shop when you click over to this website as you are going to have a hell of a time tearing yourself away.

A group of some of DTLL’s most popular sellers have put together two incredible packs of goodies for 2 lucky winners - Prize pack 1 is valued at $1356.84 and Prize Pack 2 is valued at $1187.85


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a: Leather Jacket Tote Bag / from peace4youBAGS
b: Charging Bear & Chief Shooting Hawk Pair of Cushions / from Alex & Xavier
c: Best Mum Ever Cupcake Topper / from Communicake It
d: A Sewing BoxA Button Box / from Nana Huchy
e: Bamboodie Bamboo Hoodie / from Eco Peko
f: Cassandra & The Minty Beetle Necklace / from Marea Blue
g: Rectangle Magnet Board / from Fletcher May
h: Bright Yellow Bunting / from Wholehearted
i: UPixel Pixel Art Phone Cover and Ladies Clutch / from Unayi Pixel Art
j: Felt Ball & Resin Bead Necklace / from Filz Inc
k: Organic Pink & Brown Thongs / from Malc&Andi
l: Personalised To The Moon & Back Art (Unframed) / from Dimple Lane
m: Your Life Wall Hanging / from Kaamer Design
n: Lotus Flower Swarovski Crsytal Barefoot Sandals / from Starlite Creations
o: The Sedgwick Earrings / from Lady Fox Accessories
p: Love Linen Artwork (Unframed) / from One in A Melon  Designs
q: Watermelon Earrings / from Bok Bok B'Gerk
r: Vigo Cat Scratcher / from Mebel Pty Ltd


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a: Tasty Express Cook Book / from Tasty Circus
b: Dressy Bessy Miss Kimono / from Dressy Bessy
c: Kusshon / from Will & James
d: Lightweight Eco Wood Necklace & Snood Wrap Set / from Elements Yoga
e: Bright Silver Framed Mexican Good Luck Heart / from Summer Svenson
f: The Happy Necklace / from Birdy Num Num Design
g: Nautical Orange Tote / from Oliver's Twisty Tales
h: Ikat Lime Large Cosmetic Bag / from Amelia's Armoire
i: PoshPlay Playmat / from Petit
j: Rainbow Nursing & Teething Necklace / from Simply A Circle
k: Hand Painted Words on Word - Inspire / from Larkbird
l: Diamond In The Rough & Good As Gold Pillowcase Set / from Dustys & Lulu
m: Mother's Day Hot Chocolate & Cookies Gift Pack / from Sweet Health
n: Une Ligne Paris Perle Flower Earrings / from  Bijoux Collection
o: Home Is Where Mum Is Papercut Artwork (Unframed) / from  Ant Design Gifts
p: Carlin Quote & Dog & Cat (Unframed) / from Soph & Son
q: Anatomy Of A Mother Teatowel / from Foolhouse
r: Metta Skincare Body Oil / from Metta Skincare


There is no doubt about it - I'm such a huge fan of Howards Storage World and they have come to the rescue and saved my family and I from disappearing under a pile of disorganised clutter on more than one occasion.

You may remember our Man Cave makeover or perhaps it was the Kitchen and Pantry Organisation that got your OCD heart fluttering.

Well now, it's time to get the heart of the family organised - us Mums.

HSW have put together a pack of organisational delights so that the winning Mum can feel more organised than ever before.
http://www.hsw.com.au/?site&pg_name=indexhttp://www.hsw.com.au/?site&pg_name=indexhttp://www.hsw.com.au/?site&pg_name=indexhttp://www.hsw.com.au/?site&pg_name=indexhttp://www.hsw.com.au/?site&pg_name=indexhttp://www.hsw.com.au/?site&pg_name=indexhttp://www.hsw.com.au/?site&pg_name=indexHTML Map

1: SOI Handbag Light No more fumbling in a dark bottomless pit with this baby!
2: Rotating Mirror Jewellery Case Keep your precious jewels safe and organised.
3: iPrep Stand & Stylus Perfect for cooking in the kitchen and no sticky fingers on your iPad with the stylus.
4: Large Tablet Organiser Keep your iPad, iPhone and Accessories all neatly compartmentalised.
5: Glam Deluxe Organiser No need to hunt down the fave lippy and mascara anymore.
6: Leopard Print Handbag Inset Organiser Makes changing handbags a breeze.
7: LED Pedestal Double Sided Light Pluck and apply with ease and light.


If you can imagine a woman with the most beautiful heart who creates every piece of jewellery with absolute passion and love, then you have just pictured the gorgeous Kate - the designer behind the Uberkate range of Jewellery and the one and only Original Ubercircle necklace.

The Infinity range of Pendants are the perfect way to tell someone that you love them to infinity and beyond and there is an even more perfectly imperfect story behind this beautiful piece.

My hubby brought me this pendant for Christmas and not a day goes by where I don't wear it as either a bracelet or a necklace.

Uberkate has something that every Mum will fall in love with this Mother's Day.

Kate has very generously offered up a Sterling Silver Infinity Pendant on 45cm chain, valued at $225 to be personalised for the lucky winner.

Alright, so now you know what fabulous goodies are up for grabs - over $3000 bucks worth to be precise - it's time to get entering.

All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me which Prize pack you are hoping to win and the tell me how you plan to spend your Mother's Day this year? 

You can enter once for each prize pack!

Then make sure you follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter Widget at the bottom of this post to validate your entry. 

The competition is open now and closes 03/05/14 at 7pm AEST
Open to Australian Residents only sorry
Winners will be contacted via email and announced on this blog post.

Friday 25 April 2014

Weekend Rewind Blog Hopping Party 11 - A Year Since THAT Day

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A year ago yesterday,  I stood on the edge of a complete breakdown.

The life I had been living, and everything I knew to be my life, came to a sudden grinding halt.

Paralysed with fear I found myself in a place where I was terrified to step forward but at the same time I knew there was no way I could turn back. That was the day that will forever in my mind be remembered as the day I CHOSE HOW I was going to live my life from that day forward.

For those of you who are newish to my blog and are interested, you can read the full story here and the follow up to it here.

Honestly, I cannot truly believe it has been one whole year since all that went down.


I often get asked how it's going since I made that life changing decision and I know it is so totally self absorbed, but I just wanted to write a follow up post to fill you in on how it's been... you know a year on and all that.

When I look back I still get a buzz from the fact that I had the balls to do it... or then again, maybe it wasn't balls, maybe it was the actions of a desperate woman. Either way it was the best damn decision I have ever made in my life (apart from saying yes when my hubby asked me to marry him, which is of course a given.)

Turning my back on the corporate world and a 20 year career was something I had fantasised about, but never actually believed I would have the guts to carry through with. Security, a constant income and an identity all wrapped up in a fancy job was all I knew. But I also knew that I was beyond miserable and wasn't living.

I was merely existing.

A year on... have I achieved everything I wanted to achieve?

Yes and No.

A cryptic answer I know, but I haven't crossed everything of the list and the list is forever growing. But then that's good right? You should always have goals and things to look forward to.

At the very beginning at the top of my list - was letting go of the ridiculous notion that I could do it all and be it all. Life has a way of continually proving to me that this is a fact you cannot deny.

You simply can't do it or be it all to everyone. If I'm completely honest with you, there have been times since then where I thought "Hell yeah I'm nailing this" and I found myself getting cocky and attempting to salvage the superwoman cape from the ashes. But life has a way of putting you back in your place pretty darn quickly.

Most importantly, I have been there for my kids which is the one thing I most wanted to achieve. And although there have been days where they have been relentlessly turdish and I have wondered what the hell was I thinking? There is no denying that I have enjoyed sitting in their classroom and doing craft with them, chatting with the other parents at sports practice and I have thoroughly enjoyed taking a seat in the front row of their school performances and cheering them on embarrassingly loudly.

I started my own Social Media and Brand Development business so that I could help the small to medium businesses survive and thrive in a world where the corporate heavy weights continue to reign. These days I get to work with a handful of incredibly inspiring companies. Apart from the fact that I get to do a job that I truly love to do with every bit of my being, I have also been lucky enough to make two beautiful lifelong friends who continually encourage me and support me in more ways than they realise - Kate & Tessa.

I get to write every day, whether it be here on my blog or Kidspot or one of the other businesses and sites I freelance for... and that quenches a creative thirst I never even knew I had.

I get to craft shit whenever I freaking feel like it! For Reals!

There have been rocky points along the way, like when I thought I was invincible and then very quickly learnt that wasn't the case.

Money has definitely been tighter, although walking away from a Corporate paycheck I knew that would be the case. I knew as long as I made enough to meet our needs, we would get by.

As a family we committed to tightening the belts and cutting out many of the non essentials so we could make this work. What we have come to realise is that whilst money is a necessity to basic living, it doesn't buy you the time to be with your family, it doesn't give you the that virtuous freaking satisfaction you get when you bake something for your family for afternoon teaand it doesn't give you that awesome buzz you get when you walk along the beach in the middle of the day and realise "Hot diggety there is no boss clock watching me. I am the freaking Boss".

I haven't yet mastered the art of saying no.

I haven't yet learnt to master the work and family life balance.

I haven't yet written my book.

I haven't yet learnt to stop wasting a good worry on nonsense.

And I haven't yet learnt how to completely switch off and just be quiet and still.

But there is still time and with practice and commitment those things will come.

Someone asked me only yesterday if I have any regrets about leaving my corporate job and all I could think was "Are you F**king kidding me? NO!"

The best thing I could say to anyone who is contemplating making such a dramatic life change actually came from a card I was given a year ago - "Leap and the net will appear".

Trust me on this... if you want it bad enough - you will MAKE it work.

Have you made a huge decision lately?
How's it working out for you?

OK enough of my rambling. I have been an absent blogger this past week and have been awful at replying to comments and visiting blogsand I'm sorry. But I am looking forward to catching up with what everyone has been up to this past week.

Let's get this blog hopping party started but before we do - a big hello to my gorgeous fellow hosts Bron and Sonia.... Sonia has an awesome giveaway running so make sure you check that out, and Bron... well Bron is just simply awesome full stop so THERE! :)

Link up your favourite post from the past week and then pop around and say hello to some of the other lovely linkers. The Weekend Rewind blog hopping party starts every Friday night at 8pm and links will close on Sunday night at midnight. Link up here or over on Bron's blog (Maxabella) or over at the other Sonia's blog (Sonia Styling). It does not matter where you link as your link will show up in all 3 places.

Course Correcting
That Damn Holiday Energy and A Scooter Giveaway from Mocka

Thursday 24 April 2014

That Damn Holiday Energy and A Giveaway From Mocka

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Congratulations to Julie

"Jarvis is like the engergiser bunny that keeps on keeping on. Lots of exercise, gardening, bike riding. and when that doesn't work I make him vacuum. I know, I know I like to torture my child."

For the love of God dear children, please slow down!!!!

I'm not talking about about slowing down time... although that would totally be a bonus. Nope I am referring to just slowing down the manic and exhausting speed in which you race through each and every single day of the holidays.

Seriously the energy you are spending is draining mine quicker than I can drain a G&T... and that's pretty damn remarkable.

What gets my tired old excuse for a brain in a pickle is the things they actually have the energy for and the things they don't.

For example; they have the energy to tear the house apart only moments after I have it returned to some kind of socially acceptable state. But do they have the energy to put a basket of folded clothes away into their drawers?

Nope, not until I have a hysterical outburst on their bedroom floor and then they do it out of pity.

They have energy to build insane skate and scooter ramps and master new tricks on them along with what seems to be every other child under the age of 12 they could possibly find in the neighbourhood. But do they have the energy to pick up the million and one empty icy pole wrappers and Paddlepop sticks from the front lawn?

Nope, not until I have a hysterical outburst in front of the neighbourhood kids and they do it out of sheer embarrassment.

They have the energy and the appetite to strip a pantry bare within a day of it being filled. But do they have the energy to make themselves a cheese sandwich for lunch?

Nope, not until I have a hysterical outburst and start pegging cheese slices at them and then they do it because they feel sorry for the cheese.

Come evening the energy levels are much lower... thanks heavens. There is barely enough energy left to drag their tired butts to the bathroom to shower and brush their teeth ... and yet they choose to use any last skeric of battery power to scream at each other, belt each other silly with stupid inflatable hammers, conduct spectacular meltdowns and get out of bed at least 158 times before I finally lose it and retreat to my bathroom corner with a cup of coping cordial and a blankie.

Am I doing this all wrong? Am I too lenient or am I putting too much expectations on them? Is my mission to wear them out actually working against me, or am I simply not wearing them out enough?

How are you coping these holidays? 
Are you surviving or are you ready to be committed and be my padded cell roomie?

The gorgeous gang at Mocka sent one of my boys an awesome Zed Scooter to try and out and hopefully wear him out too. Lucky for you guys they also want to give someone else a chance to win one for your energetic kids! 

So I have a Mocka Zed scooter up for grabs for one lucky little person and the winning munchkin gets to choose their choice of colour. 

All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me your favourite way to wear your kids out in the holidays and then follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget below.

The competition is open now and closes next Tuesday at 11.59pm AEST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Course Correcting

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Sometimes life sees you heading off in a certain direction and then somewhere along the way you go "Huh?" and realise you aren't where you are supposed to be, or that where you are wasn't really in the road map you had carefully planned out.

Sometimes spontaneous diversion is totally awesome.... and other times not so much and the need for a little course correcting is in order.

These past few weeks I have found myself travelling in a direction that wasn't ever really part of my master plan when I quit the Corporate world last year.

Once again I was letting the act of making money take up a lot of extra time, time that I should be spending with my family. Given the events of recent weeks with my Dad, I know that time is far too precious to not spend it with the people I love.

I have also been letting some people in my life take advantage of my inability to say no and in my usual quest to please others I was being roped into doing 'stuff' that I really needn't be doing.

I was starting to get shitty with everything and even shittier with everyone and the whole time that I was being swept along on this shitty shitty path, I had the power to STOP and well ...just stop!

And so I did.

This Easter break I spent time with my family. I switched off from Social media, I didn't answer my phone and apart from the absolutely necessary commitments, I just did things that I wanted to do.

I painted the laundry and I lunched with my family. I had coffee with my Mum and Dad and I baked them a pie. Holy Shitballs I baked a pie!

I went to the Easter Show and ate far too many Cheese on a Stick and let the kids buy way too many lolly show bags and consequently get extremely hyper.

I took a walk on the beach with my hubby and my boys and avoided looking at the time.

I sat on my ass and crocheted and watched copious amounts of reality TV.

Maybe life has a way of forcing you off course every now and then so that you are forced to stop and reassess and make a conscious decision to change directions if necessary.... or not. Whatever works for you.

Some people would call it 'getting your act together' but I think Course Correcting kind of sums it up a bit better.

How are you travelling?
Is life and the people in it letting you go in the direction you want to go?