July 2016Life Love and Hiccups: July 2016
Life Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and HiccupsLife Love and Hiccups

Thursday 28 July 2016

Beware of The Sheep In Wolves Clothing

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You hear about it all the time in the school yard... girls being horrible to other girls, more often than not for no obvious reason at all.

We tell these young girls - our daughters, nieces and friends - to 'hang in there' because when they leave school they will leave all that drama behind them... except they don't, because often grown women can be worse than the school yard mean girls.

Look, I've made no secret of the fact that I choose to live under a rock in my very own little Pollyanna world where I believe that if you are a kind person, people will be kind to you.

I know it's naive and I know that it is somewhat of a fantasy world that I choose to live in and I also know that it would be easier to just turn around and crawl back under my rock and continue to live in happy denial...

Except I can't.

Because in order to establish any form of success for your business, your blog or for yourself personally, you have to put yourself out there to some degree, and that means exposing yourself to the good eggs, the bad eggs and the bad eggs disguised as good eggs.

I'm going to be honest, I've never really been a big fan of networking groups, mothers groups or the likes of. Simply because I am all too wary of the wolves in sheep's clothing that tend to circle among these groups of women disguising themselves as something and someone they really are not.

You know the type I am talking about right?

The ones who make a show of being a 'supportive & collaborative sister' when really they have a self indulgent agenda and are determined to guard any available success like a dog guards its bone.

I've come across far too many wolves in my ventures out from under my rock.

We all have right?

Who hasn't come into contact with one at one stage or another - at school, at mother's group, your kid's school, your blogging group, your business group, a facebook group you belong to?

There's always one lurking somewhere.

Look don't get me wrong, I honestly believe that the majority of the inspiring women who take the lead and create these kinds of groups, and most of the incredible women who belong to these groups, have all chosen to create and be a part of something positive and supportive of the sisterhood.

It's just that sadly, there are some women who just can't help themselves and use these groups and platforms as an arena to behave like an outright asshole.

OK so clearly there is a reason I am sitting here ranting like this yeah?

Something or someone has pushed my buttons and now I have gone and got my knickers in a twist and I have resorted to writing some kind of passive aggressive post on my blog in a bid to get it off my chest right?

Bloody Oath!

I found out yesterday that someone who I thought was a 'lovely kind person' who is genuine about supporting other women, is not quite so lovely and genuine after all... well at least not about me or some people who are important to me. It's disappointing when you make a discovery like this, when you are left with no choice but to believe that someone is not all that they make themselves out to be.

Worse yet is this 'lovely kind person' is someone who reached out to me for help and who I personally supported... and all the while (little to my knowledge) she was busy bad mouthing me to others behind my back.


Who even does that?

Sadly you see it or hear about it far too often both online and off.

Friends have said to me it is the type of behaviour of someone who is insecure, jealous even... but why?

Why be jealous of anyone or any success that may come their way?

Why waste any precious energy putting someone else down when you can put that all energy into something good, like building others and yourself up?!

Aren't we all generally big enough assholes to ourselves without needing anyone else having a go at us too?

The thing is - there is no cap on the amount of success in this world. There is plenty enough for everyone to enjoy and success breeds success so we should encourage and celebrate each other's wins, whatever they may be, safe in the knowledge that our time will too come!

Whilst secretly deep down inside I have an urge to name and shame and expose this wolf... I won't because that's just not my style.

I prefer a far more passive aggressive approach that involves reeling in shock, sulking for a while and then writing a blog post and hoping that with some luck she (or anyone else who behaves like her for that matter) reads it and feels like a big old asshole and in future thinks twice before opening their mouth and letting pointless trash talk spill out.

Wishful thinking?

Can a leopard change its spots? Can an old dog learn new tricks? Can a wolf ever be a sheep?

Sorry - enough with the animal analogies already!

Besides, I believe in Karma and I believe that what we put out, we get back - in our personal life and in business. It all goes full circle and I ain't got no time for drama. Dead set - who does?!

Let's give our young girls hope that they really can leave all that drama behind at school. Let's create a positive environment for them to graduate to and for us to all coexist in.

Support each other ladies - it's a tough old world out there and it's safer to be among friends than it is to go it on your own.

To the wolves out there -  just try being nice, I promise it won't hurt and it really isn't hard.

Keep it real and if you have nothing nice to say then consider maybe just keeping the mouth closed and say nothing at all!

Right, that's my rant done and dusted - so did you watch the Bachie last night?

Have you encountered a wolf lately?
Any advice for dealing with them?

Wednesday 20 July 2016

When I Grow Up - Places I'll Go

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I have a habit of saying "when I grow up, I'm gonna do... insert the yada yada whatever here"

For example - When I grow up I'm going to have a holiday house in Byron, a loft apartment in New York and an inner city terrace house in Melbourne.

When I grow up I'm going to write that book I have always wanted to write, learn how to sail and take the hubby and I on a date to a new restaurant at least once a month.

When I grow up I'm going on holidays to far away exotic places with rocky white cliffs and crumbling stone villas and history oozing out of every crack and crevice.

My youngest munchkin asked me the other day "Mum, why do you always say when I grow up when you're already old?"

Putting the innocent verbal slap in the face to the side, I explained that by saying "When I grow up" it is my way of acknowledging that I haven't yet reached all my goals or played out all my dreams... but that there is still time for me to do so.

It's immature I guess and probably some form of deep rooted denial or something too.

I'm pretty sure that a freudian type would have a field day psychoanalyzing exactly why I say it, but to me - it's simply a green light to daydream about whatever the hell I want.

From time to time when I am bored or during ad breaks on Real Housewives, I play what many will think is a really lame game with myself where I go online and look up holiday destinations, then I look for flights, scour accomodation, car hire and I even check out the current dollar conversions and then... when I've had my fun I shut my laptop lid and go back to folding clothes and watching trashy TV.

Whatever works for you right?

Sometimes though, a place I have seen online stays with me and I catch myself stirring the gravy and staring off into the distance imaging myself going to that place... when I grow up.

One such place that has occupied my mind recently was this glorious peice of the world - Casa Cook located in the small town of Kolymbia on the Eastern Coast of Rhodes in Greece.

Hellloooo can you not picture yourself in a flowy white boho dress, little plaits in your windswept hair and leather sandals on your feet as you wander the cobblestone lanes with a basket of local produce on one arm and the other linked through the arm of your love.

Oh wait... that was my daydream.

Seriously though - check this place out and you will see why it was worthy of burning myself on the gravy.

This gorgeous property is the pilot project for the new Casa Cook Lifestyle brand.

It has been developed by Thomas Cook Group in conjunction with a collaborative team of consultants including interior designer Annabell Kutucu and architect Vana Pernari.

Rooms start at EUR 100 per night ($147) including breakfast apparently (what I check this stuff out you know) and you can find out more info about Casa Cook Rhodes or making a booking (you lucky creature) here or simply follow them on instagram here for some swoon worthy daydream material.

See you there right?

For sure... when I grow up!

Can you picture yourself holidaying here?
Where do you want to go or what is it that you want to do - when you grow up?

All images were were used with the permission of Casa Cook Rhodes

Tuesday 19 July 2016

The Sweet Sweet Lullaby of Silence

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Can you hear that?



Well then that is good because either can I and THAT my friends is the sweet silence of the kids being back at school.

I'm actively choosing to ignore the sound of the washing machine moaning at me about the relentless pressure I am putting it under as I try to tackle Mount Washmore and it's post school holiday apocalyptic carnage and instead I am listening to the soothing sounds of the coffee machine spitting and coughing my liquid gold that I will actually get to drink whilst still hot.

I can even hear the fridge humming, loudly, and oh but it's like angels singing to me.

Now don't get me wrong with all of this... I will no doubt be cursing the end of the holidays in approximately a week give or take a few days. The novelty of the military like precision in which I have commenced our return to morning routine will have worn off, the homework will reappear in the school bags hidden underneath two day old neglected lunches and the laundry will be heaving with once white shirts soaking in buckets of napi-san... but for now, there is silence and hot coffee and damn that is good.

There is also time for me to sit here on my blog and actually write without a smallish person shoving a box of shapes under my nose, begging me for a lift to someones place or whining in my ear about how close they are to death by boredom.

I all but gave up on blogging last week.

I pretty much dropped all the balls I was trying to juggle and decided to focus all of my survival strategies on two things only - keeping the business running and keeping the kids alive.

Two things worthy of my focus I think.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a coffee to drink whilst hot, a couch to sit on that I don't need to fight for a spot on and some work to get down with all under the sweet sweet lullaby of silence.

EDIT* Scrap the fighting for a spot on the couch bit... some things just never change.

Tell me - how are your post holiday war wounds? Did you survive? Or have you already moved on two phase two where you count how many days are left to the next holidays?

Tuesday 12 July 2016

A Holiday On Our Doorstep

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The one thing I forgot to factor in when I went into business for myself was the fact that taking time off to go away with the family would prove to be harder than a piece of lego hidden in a rug.

Anyone who has stepped on one of those little plastic pieces of death know exactly HOW HARD I mean when I say hard!

It's been nearly a year since we opened the doors to Little Lane Workshops and whilst it has been an exciting and exhilarating and completely rewarding ride, it has also been a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and 7 day working weeks.

Totally worth it though, and I am so proud of what we have achieved in these first twelve months.

That said, I'm not gonna lie... It got to the point that I felt I REALLY needed a break and the kids needed a break with us and the hubby needed a surfing trip to the Maldives kind of break... but that was SO NOT going to happen (sorry Carl).

So we did the next best thing (OK maybe NEXT best thing is pushing it a little but whatevs) we packed up the car and drove the whole 2 minutes down the road to Narrabeen Lakeside Park for a 3 day mini staycation in the waterfront villas with the Uber Family.


High rollers aren't we?!

Truth be told, this turned out to be the perfect break. Family, friends, fave local eateries, spectacular scenery, snags on the barbie, cold G&Ts on the deck... all without the need for hours spent in the car or a plane, what more could you ask for really?

The kids rode bikes and played ball, fished and SUPed until they were well and truly knackered.

We grown ups did pretty much the same but stayed up later drinking wine and jamming on guitars (I have to tell you - Kate's husband Adam plays a mean tune) but at the end of the night, no one had to drive anywhere - we all just crawled back to our own cosy villas.

Perfectly simple.

Simply perfect.

That's pretty much how I'd describe our holiday on our doorstep.

Have you ever stayed away from home but super close to home?
Are you like me & prefer a little lux glamping to rugged camping?

Thursday 7 July 2016

These Days...

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School holidays so far have pretty much looked liked this - kids lounging around in front of the TV, dogs lounging around lapping up the extra pats from the lounging kids, and then there's me - muttering under my breath whilst running around cleaning up after the said lounging kids and dogs.

Most days have been pretty much spent in varying degrees of dress... in other words - no one is really bothering to get out of their pyjamas unless they ABSOLUTELY have to, like when we run out of milk and then we scissor paper rock over who has to get out of the car at the servo and the loser has to then at least attempt to hide their PJs whilst the rest of us laugh at them from the warmth of the car and our flannies and uggs.

I reckon complete hibernation during the months of June, July and August should be compulsory. I mean who really wants to leave the comfort of home and the netflix during winter? 

Certainly not my bucket head.

Who's bucket head you ask? Ha!

Take a look for yourself below.

Awwww that bucket head just so happens to be our poor old neurotic Maxi Boy.. other wise known as the shithead who eats all our undies.

Max had a run in with a pair of clippers at the dog groomers recently and decided he would lick those clipper wounds until they formed big holes in his legs, because you know... that sounds like fun right?

A $160 buck vet bill and a handful of staples later and we have a poorly poodle in a blue tartan cardie with a bucket on his head.

We can't stop laughing at the poor bugger and I'm pretty sure he is starting to get quite the complex... it doesn't help that he keeps running into walls and misjudging how big that bucket actually is and therefore getting his head stuck in... well pretty much everything. All of this of course just adds to our amusement.

Sorry Maxi!

Despite how funny he looks, the kids feel bad for him and so they are doling out lots of extra loving to Mad Max, which is a good thing whilst it lasts because when they find out that we spent at least half of their holiday entertainment budget on vet bills thanks to Max's licking habit - they are probably not going to be quite so amused anymore.

Looking after a poorly bucket head versus Finding Dory and Putt Putt... hmmmm???

Speaking of amusing... or not, I had an awkward encounter with my fifteen year old the other night.

He was staying with some mates at a friends house for the night, and me being the annoying mother sent him annoying texts messages - what can I say - I miss the gangly teen when he is not around.

So to cut a long story short I'll just share the text so that you can cringe at the moment predictive text failed me.

The question remains - how did predictive text even think to replace "too late" with "masturbate"?

I mean really. Really???

I'm pretty sure I haven't been googling that word lately. Sure there has been plenty of other questionable Google searches because HELLO - curious mind and all that, but why at that precise moment in front of all his mates did predictive text decide to throw that one into the mix?

I do not know, but talk about awkward.

That's one for the 21st.

On another note, thanks for all your lovely emails and messages about my post the other day.

I'm feeling much more like myself today and I have come to realise that sometimes we all just need to be kinder to ourselves and talk it out when we are feeling a bit down.

Being open and honest about the highs and lows we go through is good for us and good for anyone else who is feeling that way because it makes you appreciate the fact that you are normal and by no means alone in the way you are feeling and that all of us are in this thing called life together!

There is a whole lot of comfort in that thought don't you think?

Had any awkward encounters with your kids lately?
Know any cheap ways to amuse them these holidays? 
Like super cheap?

Monday 4 July 2016

That Up and Down Feeling In The Pit Of Your Stomach

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Do you ever get that unsettled up and down feeling in the pit of your stomach that you just can't seem to shake, no matter what you do?

Yeah me too.

Actually I have it right now, and if I'm totally honest it's been with me for the past week and I have no idea why really.

There is nothing particularly wrong in my life right now that you could put it down too. I mean sure, there is the up and down stuff that we have been dealing with for sometime - my parents illness, work and money juggles, life and its hiccups etc, but nothing new that would explain how I am feeling.

Yet that unsettled, that up and down feeling - it's just kind of there bubbling away in my stomach... if you know what I mean?

I have received a whole load of bad news about and from other people this past week - from friends, family and even some distant acquaintances who have reached out. Sad news, awful news... absolutely tragic news and whilst it has made me grateful for my own set of circumstances, I can't help but think that perhaps I have taken their sadness on board as my own.

We can do that you know?

When we spend time with people who are feeling extreme emotions, we often (without even realising it), absorb their anger, sadness or melancholy as our own.

When we watch the news and see the heartache our fellow souls are suffering... we can't help but be affected by it at least a little.

On the flip side, we can also absorb joy and happiness from people and the world around us too, which of course is a good thing... an awesome thing... but how do we protect ourselves from feeling the not so good emotions of the people we care about?

I don't really have that answer.

I sage.

I meditate.

I write lists of all the things that I am grateful for in my life.

I try to put good feeling out into the world and to the people I meet and I try to contribute to a positive energy.

But short from wearing some kind of protective armour or hiding ourselves away from the world I honestly don't know how we as humans can be both compassionate and empathetic without carrying the heartache of others on our backs.

I'm sorry for the fact that today's post is not as bright or happy as I usually like to give... but this is life isn't it?

It's not always sunshine and lollipops and we don't always feel like skipping through through the meadows singing about how wonderful everything is... and I believe that is OK.

I believe that the more honest we are and by being open and raw, we show others it is OK to admit that you are not always feeling all that crash hot in yourself and that the reality is not always that of the perfect picture.

This feeling is real.

This feeling is real life.

This is me today... maybe not tomorrow, hopefully not next week... but for today?

This is who I am today and what I am feeling and you know what?

That's OK.

I'm OK.

How about you - Are you OK?