Monthly Archives: January, 2013

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very-inspiring-bloggerThe fabulous Kat over at I Saw You Dancing has nominated me for this award. How lovely!! Thank you Kat 🙂 I discovered Kat’s blog last year when she was hosting Blogtoberfest, and then in December I also took part in Reverb12. Both wonderful projects, and I can’t wait to see what Kat has in store this year.

In keeping with the requirements of the award as stipulated  by Kat, here are seven things you may not know about me:

  1. I speak Spanish. Probably a bit rusty by now but if I went back (which I would love to do!), I could more than get by.
  2. Before I became a SAHM I was a finance analyst for a large multinational. Very glad I am that no longer!
  3. I think I’ll always be a backpacker at heart, and I very much hope to travel a whole lot more in the future.
  4. I love (British, not Kiwi) Marmite (known as Our Mate here in Australia) and orange marmalade sandwiches. Yum! But perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea.
  5. I was brought up heavily in the church (of Scotland, then Baptist), and I used to be a born again Christian. Now, I won’t have a bar of it, and I lean toward Buddhism, if anything. I really want to learn more about the Buddhism but it keeps getting put on the back burner, life gets in the way yadda yadda… So, I focus on my Mindfulness and that’s about all the spirituality stuff I can handle right now!
  6. I’m an alcoholic, 10 years sober.
  7. I am only 1.9 kilos away from my pre-pregnancy weight, and Miss A is 10 weeks on Friday. Woot!! Via clean eating and (admittedly a lot of) pavement pounding while still allowing myself the occasional treat. Very happy. Alas, I am rather further away from my pre-first-pregnancy weight 😉

My sidebar blogroll lists the blogs that are inspiring me right now. Which blogs inspire you? Please share!

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Listmania #2: My Current Season

Currently, we are enjoying our Summer here on the Mid North Coast.

My Summer hates / lows:

  • It gets too bloody hot! Anything over about 30 degrees and I start to lose the plot; I’d so love to do more walks with the girls but it’s just been too hot and humid to bear it or be sun safe, especially with the baby being so small. Looking forward to term starting again, as while neither of the girls is in daycare, we will get our scheduled activities back, some of which are in places with beloved aircon. I never minded the heat when I was child-free. I didn’t mind it so much when I had one baby. Now, with two children, it’s making me into a crazy person – roll on Autumn!
  • It’s very light in the morning, which I love in principle but it does mean that Miss M wakes very early. I’ve been trying to beat her so I get some alone time of a morning, but she’s never far behind me, if not before me!
  • Bit of a wet spell going on at the moment. I am not much into cyclones of any category – ex or not, just the thought of one coming freaks me out. But, today we have almost clear skies, and Oswald has skipped us. Very thankful. And my thoughts are with those who have been so badly affected, some of them for the second time in as many years.

My Summer loves / highs:

  • My Summer Baby, obviously – Miss A born end of November 🙂
  • Blue skies and sunshine make me smile
  • It’s not cold – yay, I hate the cold! (yes, and the heat….fusspot!)
  • Fabulous seasonal produce e.g blueberries
  • Less washing because we wear less clothes, or in Miss M’s case, mostly none at all – my little streaker!

Linking in with Deb at Home Life Simplified for Listmania

I’m grateful 4/52

I’m sitting here feeling grateful that it’s not as blindingly hot as it has been, while also waiting for ex-tropical cyclone Oswald to come through the Mid North Coast. So, mixed feelings this afternoon!

I’m grateful that both my babies are napping right now, because it’s perfect weather for getting a bit of cabin fever, and two-year olds are not good with cabin fever. Nor are the parents of two-year olds.

I’m grateful we’re on a hill and so not at risk of flooding. Grateful that we are prepared – big shop done yesterday so we’re not going to run out of food while we wait it out!

I’m grateful that today is my husband’s day off and we’re all together while it’s going on. I know that we’re at low risk of major incident here at home, but since watching the Queensland floods on TV two years ago, I have become quite frightened of weather like this. I really realised how powerful Mother Nature is and how we tiny humans are in many cases so powerless against Her. I’m now working on not passing my fears onto my girls, and instead I plan to instill within them a healthy respect for their country’s climate and weather.

I’m still so very grateful that I get to bring my kids up in this wonderful country though, despite the extremes. When I think that in the UK you can sit under grey and rainy skies like this for months on end, well, I don’t know how I’d go bringing kids up over there, I’m bonkers enough as it is – a touch of SAD would tip me over the edge!

I’m linking in with 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Maxabella

Had to share this one. Buddhist teachings on patience so relevant to life with a toddler!

9am on the East Coast

Listmania #1: Currently I am

listmania-2-550Currently I am:

Reading: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton & Slim for Life by Jason Vale

Listening to: Juan Luis Guerra

Laughing at: My toddler’s madness

Swooning over: New Kathmandu bag that I got for free because they made an absolute balls-up of my online order & wanted to “restore my faith” – faith restored! Also Season 8 Grey’s Anatomy 🙂

Planning: Autumn hols in Nundle, New England (NSW)

Eating lots of: Healthy stuff!

Feeling: Positive

Discovering: Lots of inspiring blogs and bloggers

Looking at: The beautiful mountains in the distance when I go for my evening fitness walk (soon to be run!)

Wearing: Right now? Truth? Over-sized white harem pants with an ancient t-shirt and pink ankle socks. Yummy mummy I am not! 🙂

Cooking: Have planned to Wednesday thus far – fritatta, felafel and sweet potato, zuchinni & chickpea tagine.

Wondering: Will the baby wake up before I finish this post? If she does will I be able to squeeze in another episode of McDreamy while I feed her, before Miss M arrives back from morning out with Papa? Ya know, the important stuff…

Trying out: New recipes. And experimenting with my Christmas present-to-self juicer. Now totally craving my juice every morning!

Linking in with Deb at Home Life Simplified for Listmania

I’m Grateful 3/52

Oh. My. Gaaaaaaawd. I wish I had sat down to write this post yesterday, it would have been a whole lot easier! Yesterday was a Good Day. It began with a  lovely friend coming to visit armed with chocolate profiteroles and blueberry custard danishes from the local artisan bakery (not just any old bakery, ya know!). What day wouldn’t go well with a start like that? Fabulous!

Today, however, is another story. Poo on the floor . Wee on the booster seat. The usual baby sick. Those things I can handle, yadda yadda. But throw in the HEAT!! The HUMIDITY!! And a very fractious toddler (arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *silent mummy scream*) and I am struggling a little to be all bright and grateful for my lot right now. We should have tidied up the toys last night, folded a bit more washing. I hate waking up to chaos and try hard for that not to happen, it just sets me up all wrong. I didn’t manage to juice until late morning either, and I think that had an impact. Body craving good stuff and not happy with just a cup of hot water with lemon and a slice of marmite on toast until 11am. Silly.

So. About all I can do at this moment is sit in the moment and try to be Mindful through gritted teeth. In this very moment, nobody is screaming. I feel a nice breeze at last. And, breeeeeeeathe….

I am thinking back to my first grateful post of this year and counting a few of the thousands of things that have actually gone right today…OK, could be worse!

I am grateful for Tractor Ted and to my Auntie in Aberdeen, Scotland, for sending it to Miss M, who is (I hope not suspiciously) quietly watching it as I type. We are still TV free (as in, it’s not plugged into the aerial). It’s been months now and I don’t miss it at all, although I do still get my fix of occasional docos and British crime dramas on ABC iView. But show me a mum that wouldn’t collapse in a hopeless, sobbing heap now and then if it wasn’t for the existence of some nice DVDs or In the Night Garden on the iViewer…if you are She, please tell me how!!

I’m grateful that my husband is finishing work 45 minutes early this evening. Those 45 minutes may be the difference between this mama’s thread snapping and (relative) sanity.

And that’s about all I can manage for gratefuls this afternoon!

Ommmmmmmmmmmm….

I’m linking in with 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Maxabella

A Grand Adventure

I love entering competitions,I love to travel and I love to blog, so when this travel-themed blog comp hosted by moneysupermarket.com  came up, I just couldn’t resist having a go!

What’s my dream grand adventure right now? I want to take my family backpacking in Southeast Asia! I’m Scottish and my German husband and I met while backpacking in Australia, where we now live. We have both travelled pretty extensively in Southeast Asia, individually and last time as a couple on our extended 7 month honeymoon in 2009, which included Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia. We both LOVE travelling and we’re not about to let the fact that we now have two little daughters stop us! We know it won’t be quite the same as before – doubtless we shall face many new and exciting challenges as parents – but we also know for sure that it’s still possible, and we can’t wait to share the world with our girls. What better education can there be? And how much fun we are going to have!!

Thailand

Somewhere in Thailand, can’t remember where, so many beautiful beaches!

They are still very small and at the time we plan to go they will be just under 2 years and 4 years. We’ve never travelled overseas with little people before, so we want to keep it quite simple for this first trip. We’ll travel from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur or vice versa. That will be our epic activity – the whole distance overland with two littlies, by as cheap a means as possible in order to stretch the cash as far as possible. We’ve always travelled budget and with the locals, and we know how to keep the costs down. There’ll be buses and overnight trains, which will be a great adventure for the girls. We’ll visit some islands for the scuba diving (special expenditure!) and snorkeling, and fit in heaps of beach time and temples. Best of all, the food!! I can’t wait to introduce my girls to the fabulous Thai and Malay street hawker tastes, sights and sounds – and of course that’s cheap food, which will help us to keep the budget in check. We’ll take in Melaka, Pengang, the Perhentian Islands (Besar is my favourite place in the world, can only hope it hasn’t changed too much!), Koh Phi Phi, Koh Pha-Ngam, crazy Bangkok…now I’m also thinking of Pai and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand but that might have to wait until the next trip!

Perhentian Besar, Malaysia

Perhentian Besar, Malaysia

Just writing about it gets me so excited. Time for a little daydream with my old battered Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and a cuppa before the baby wakes up. I am so ready for our Grand Family Adventure. Bring it on!

I’m grateful 2/52

2012-12-04 19.31.04Today I’m beyond grateful for the bedroom aircon in which my baby and toddler are now (finally) napping; and grateful, not to mention incredibly relieved, that our landlord agreed to install ceiling fans and a front door screen just a few weeks ago, in time for this hideously hot spell. BOM forecast a high of 36 degrees today but having just been out to hang washing (burned my fingers on the metal bits of the clothes pegs!) I reckon it’s higher than that. It’s HOT, especially for a Scottish lass!

So I’ll be grateful when the sun sets. Pictured is a local beach. I’m grateful that I live in such a very beautiful part of the world.

You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy

~ Buddha ~

I’ve shared that one before but I love it so much I’m sharing it again! When I get down to the brass tacks of my life, it’s so very true.

I’m linking in with 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Maxabella

Happy birthday, blog! How would you feel if I flogged you a lil bit?

In a few short days The Mindful Mum will be one year old – happy first birthday, blog of mine!! I didn’t think you’d last this long, nor that I’d like having you as much as I do. Nor that I’d meet so many lovely, insightful, helpful and inspiring bloggers along the way. Blogging has been such a great experience for me on so many levels!

After a fast paced 2k with the double buggy this lunchtime, I was forced inside by the rain. On finding Miss M still awake – oh, the horror! – I went into a slight trance while pacing the double buggy up and down the lounge room in a desperate attempt to make her nap. I was thinking about having completed one whole year of blogging, and ended up mulling over the idea of trying to make some useful free stuff / lil bit of cash out of my blog. After 15 minutes of trotting around the coffee table and toys, Miss M was asleep and I was thinking hard. Both girls are now asleep but not for long I am sure, so having quickly eaten some lunch (french green lentil cottage pie with rocket salad, nom nom!) I am just going to do a quick brain dump here and see what comes out!

I’m really not sure where I stand on sponsored posts. I have unsubscribed from several blogs in recent months because they seemed to be just flogging stuff all the time and I missed their regular posts. I remember one week I got about four posts in my inbox telling me how important and wonderful life insurance is, especially if I went with this one particular broker, and each one ended with an almost identical line saying it was all the blogger’s own opinion etc etc. Each to their own and more power to you, but that’s not for me.

I would limit the number of posts dedicated to any kind of “monetization”. One blog I liked a lot seems to only write sponsored or giveaway posts now and that’s not the direction I want to head in. Although again, more power to them 🙂

I don’t expect to make wads of cash but it would certainly be nice to make enough to buy books with now and then (I am always wanting to add to my stash of household management and organisation tomes – I feel so good and organised when I purchase them and they look so nice on my shelves!). So I’m thinking about the affiliate route, starting with Amazon or Book Depository. Maybe some ebook affiliations too, I’ve seen a few around.

I would also quite like some useful free stuff! Who wouldn’t? Come on, be honest! 😉 I had a very lucky year in the giveaway stakes in 2012 and won heaps of prizes, mostly from other blogs. I only enter for things I’d really like to win and it’s generally things for the home or for my girls, or stuff like toiletries and sunscreen that are useful for all the family. Oh and I’ve won several books for me, which was lovely! I’m told that you don’t necessarily need to be a big blog in order to “connect” with brands so maybe it’s something I could look into. I’d want to keep it relevant though e.g. we don’t play computer games and I’m not into certain kinds of toys and dolls. I’d be steering clear of anything that’s not within my value system or lifestyle.

Of course I’d need more exposure and more traffic to do any of the above. I’d have to flog my blog. So I’d definitely need a Facebook page for The Mindful Mum and therein lies part of my dilemma. Firstly, I’m not sure I’m ready to “out” my blog to all my friends and family, as only a select few know that I blether about my life and random thoughts on the internet and although I’m not yet sure, I think if I had a page it would be known to those who are my friends on my personal page? Secondly, I’m not sure I want to be spending more time on Facebook.

Hmmm…

OK, my time is up!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic, either as a blogger or reader of blogs, or both! Thank you 🙂

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