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So Blessed: A Modern-Day Cliche

So Blessed A Modern-Day ClicheI hate to use a modern-day cliche but sometimes I really do feel so blessed. Yesterday was certainly one of those days.

Last night I had a chance to reflect a little. Thirteen years ago I had the chance to reconnect with some old family friends. Normally I would not have taken up that opportunity but I thought why the heck not? This group of family friends has grown, as other friends have been added, partners have been added and now kids have also been added into the mix.

Some of these people I have known since I was born because my dad grew up with their dads back in the 60’s. I remember their old family dogs, going on vacations together, even visiting their grandparents. Not to mention all of the old photos we are in together.

Last night was the first time that I can recall that we were all together, without a specific occasion. Well actually, the occasion was the beautiful weather we had yesterday. If beautiful weather is not the best excuse to get together then I don’t know that is.

It was so great to see everyone and see all of the kids playing together. I’m absolutely amazed at how much we have all grown up, especially in the last 10 years. We are all proper adults now. With jobs, mortgages and children. But it’s great to know that we can all easily come together to catch up at random times throughout the year.

Cheers, to feeling so blessed.

Basically, all of the wives/girlfriends are a part of the squad, you know, the one that gets together once a month for a night off from the responsibilities of adulthood. Us ladies have also really strengthened our friendships this year. I know I feel a lot more connected to them than I ever have before. It’s the first time since high school that I feel like I have real friends. I’ve also felt I can open up to them about things like anxiety and post-natal depression.

You really do have more when you are grateful for what you already have.

Quote Monday Redesign

succulents text overlay quote monday redesign

Quote Monday Redesign

I have just completed a pretty big feat. I have just completed updating all of my old Quote Monday posts. Back in November, I decided that I should be using the same layout for all of my Quote Monday posts. By then I was already up to 110, so that meant I had to re-do 110 posts. It has taken eight months, but I am proud to say it is done. It wasn’t easy. There were so many steps to make it right.

Quote Monday Redesign

The first thing I did was go through each and every Quote Monday post and enter the details into a spreadsheet. I had columns for the date posted, the post title (number), the quote and the author of the quote. Another great use for my spreadsheet is to keep track of which posts have been shared on Instagram and Pinterest.
Now that I had a template for how I wanted my Quote Monday posts to look, it was simply a matter of duplicating it. Which meant copy and pasting the quote and the author into the template.
The template I’ve been using is set up in Canva, so when I am ready I need to download it to my computer.
Before I upload the new image to my WordPress library, I rename it. There are a few reasons for this. It makes it easier when I need to search my media library in WordPress. I can copy and paste the title detail into other sections like the ALT tag. And it helps with another step further in this process.

The next monster task was to update all the posts with the new images. My spreadsheet came in handy once again to help me find the right image for the right post. So I had to go into each new post, remove the image that was there and add the new one.
Once the image has been updated on the blog, I transfer the image to another folder on my computer. I feel that I should keep all my images, just in case.  I also add the post number to the beginning of the title, making it easier to find should I need it again.

And then

Now I can pin and Instagram until my heart is content because I know all my Quote Monday posts have the same look. Except if I find a spelling mistake. Which happened too many times when I was updating the post!

Life Lessons From a 30-Year-Old

pink balloons in the sky text overlay: Life Lessons From A 30-Year-Old

pink balloons. text overlay:Life Lessons From a 30-Year-Old

Last year I turned 30, and in all that time I’ve learned quite a lot. Some of it important, like how to adult and some not so important, like the words to too many songs from the 90s. Most of these life lessons I learned in my 20s, but some are quite recent, like number 15. So here are my 30 life lessons from a 30-year-old.

  1. Have an outlet to relieve your frustrations; write, exercise, meditate etc.
  2. Prioritise by working out what is important to you.
  3. Stop spending your time on things you don’t enjoy. Hate a particular chore? Outsource it. Hate your job? Get a new one.
  4. Find your happy place. But be prepared, it might not be where you expect. My sister in law recently noticed that I really like it at the local strawberry farm. I feel comfortable there.
  5. You need to look after yourself before you can look after others. Sometimes you really do need to put yourself first.
  6. Get enough sleep, it really does make a difference to your day.
  7. Live in the moment and acknowledge what you are experiencing, especially if you have young kids.
  8. Really listen to people when they are talking with you. You don’t always need to say something in return.
  9. Never stop learning, whether it be for profit or pleasure.
  10. Give up judging people, it doesn’t do you any favours.
  11. Don’t be too afraid of making mistakes that you don’t even try.
  12. Learn from your mistakes, if you don’t you will probably continue to make those mistakes.
  13. Ask for help when you need it, you won’t get it unless you ask.
  14. What doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
  15. If something won’t take long, just do it.
  16. Celebrate the wins, even if they are small. Sometimes they can be few and far between.
  17. If someone means a lot to you, let them know.
  18. Be grateful, the things that follow may surprise you.
  19. Ask for what you want. If you want a pay raise, ask for it. Don’t wait until it’s offered to you. You might not be offered one or it may be much less than you think you deserve.
  20. Never stop saving your money. Even if you are only saving $10 a week, keep saving.
  21. Make time for family. Take the time to catch up with your family members. I go to pretty much everything I am invited to. We also arrange a family Christmas party sometime in December just so we can all catch up.
  22. Take all the advice you are given. People are going to give you advice whether you want it or not, especially when it comes to parenting. Take it and do what you want with it.
  23. Do it while you can. My husband and I spent a month travelling the US for our honeymoon. In hindsight, it cost us quite a bit but it was an experience we will never forget. It’s also something we may not have the chance to do again.
  24. Learn and know your body. Take the time to learn what your body is telling you. Also learn to track your menstrual cycle, the stuff they teach you in school is just not enough.
  25. Done is better than perfect. You can waste your life away waiting for something to be perfect. The perfect partner, the perfect time to have children, the perfect job, the perfect blog post.
  26. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down. The moment I admitted to my friends that I had experienced postnatal depression, I discovered some of my friends were the same.
  27. Put yourself out there. For years I have been really concerned about what others thought of me. This blog has helped me put myself out there more. I was absolutely petrified when the first person I knew in real life found this blog.
  28. It’s ok to change your mind about friends, partners, jobs and your health.
  29. Don’t be ashamed of your flaws. There are many people out there that are likely experiencing something similar. And on the contrary, wish for what you have.
  30. Always have a carton of long life milk in the fridge or cupboard as well as a loaf of bread in the freezer. Have you ever run out of milk and really don’t want to go out just for milk?

Sunshine Blogger Award

sunflower text overlay sunshine blogger award

Sunshine Bloggers Award

The Sunshine Bloggers Award is given to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community.

Back in February I was nominated for the Sunshine Bloggers Award by Kirsty from That Noise is Mine.

Ok, so here are the rules for the Sunshine Bloggers Award:

  1. Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate new bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or in your blog.

Summer or winter?

It’s tough for me to choose between summer or winter. They both have the option for comfortable clothes. I live near many beautiful beaches but also have a pool in my backyard. And to top it off, my birthday is in winter.

RELATED: Beloved Autumn

What is your favourite song and why?

Shake it off by Taylor Swift. It’s just so catchy, I always have to sing it and if I feel like it I will also do a little dance. I feel that I should also mention that this is ‘our song’ and by our song, I mean mine and Harley’s song. Harley is my dog. On quite a few occasions we have danced to it together.

What does your perfect day look like?

My perfect day starts with me waking up naturally. The day is sunny, the temperature is about 25 degrees. I have pancakes with banana and strawberries for breakfast and wash it down with a coffee. I potter around in the garden for way too long. Then go out for a walk with the family after lunch. The rest of the day is spent running around after my toddler, helping her play. After dinner, my husband and I watch a movie in bed.

What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?

Put some effort in. Things go pretty good for you to just coast through for a while, imagine what you can achieve if you actually put in some effort.

Would you rather visit your past self or future self and why?

I think I’d prefer my future self. I’d love to know what I’m doing with myself in 10, 20 or even 30 years time. Plus, you can’t change the past.

What makes you smile?

The silly things that my daughter does make me smile. She reminds me of my self so much sometimes.

What is your go-to meal?

My go-to meal when I’m at home and hungry is two-minute noodles. I like to throw in a handful of frozen vegetables or a tin of tuna. I’ve also been known to add sweet chilli sauce or peanut butter, I love satay.

What is the best piece of blogging advice you have received?

Don’t worry about perfect. If you keep waiting to do things until they are perfect you will never do it.

Are you happy?

Today? Yes.

What is your favourite quote?

My favourite quote that I try to love my life by is “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” by Lewis Carroll. This is actually from Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire cat says it to Alice when she reaches a fork in the road.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

I’ve had a few challenges, both physical and mental. The most physically challenging thing I have experienced was completing a 35km charity walk. The biggest mental challenge has been Postnatal Depression.

RELATED: My Greatest Achievement

If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there - Lewis Carroll

Beloved Autumn

I have to admit, fall favourites does sound a lot better than autumn favourites. But in the spirit of being true to myself, I’m going to stick with calling it autumn, my beloved autumn.
autumn trees. text overlay so many reasons to love autumn

autumn trees text overlay: Beloved Autumn

Autumn is actually my favourite season. I just love the colours. Especially at the start of the season, when parts of the trees just burst into different colours.

I was also lucky enough to be in the US during the fall. I tasted almost everything pumpkin flavoured that I came across. At one stage I think I almost turned into a Pumpkin Spice Latte, I had that many! One of the best things was pumpkin pie, I got a takeaway slice at a restaurant the night before Thanksgiving. I ate it for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning.

RELATED: DIY Australian Pumpkin Spice Latte

On that trip, I was also fortunate enough to visit New York City. Strolling through Central Park on a crisp day is something I will never forget. One of the photos that I took there is still my personal Facebook cover photo.

As the weather gets cooler, different clothes come out of hiding. I start wearing socks to bed and sleep under an extra blanket. We often start using the heater in the house again. I also use heat packs or hot water bottles to warm up my toes if they need it. Autumn also means my scarves come out from their hiding place. My favourite scarf is a large grey pashmina, grey goes with absolutely everything.

RELATED: My Favourite Things

The mornings are foggy and sometimes the day remains misty. The dew that gathers on the plants amazes me, sometimes it hangs suspended in time. I’ve also recently enjoyed planting winter crops in my garden. I had tremendous success with peas last year, so I have planted them again this year. There is something about the shape of the leaves and flowers of the peas that I love.

What are your autumn favourites?