Category Archives: Other Random Stuff

Two weeks later…

I am really happy with my decision to stop blogging. I have made so many wonderful connections in the virtual world since starting my blogging journey over a year ago, but some balance was much needed and I know I’ve made a very good move.

This final post is just to let y’all know that you can still find The Mindful Mum on Facebook and I would love to see you over there! It’s an interactive page where I’ll keep sharing the things I find that keep me inspired and on my Mindful path, in the hope that they might inspire you too.

~ Pam ~

Isle of Skye, Scotland '09

Isle of Skye, 2009

 

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I choose to disconnect

I was going to write a post this week about the genuine joys of aging, inspired by my last aquazumba class which was attended by some fabulously slim and energetic 18 year olds. I also intended to write my weekly Listmania post today. However, prompted by an article called How to Miss a Childhood, I am cutting down on my online time. Please have a read of the article if you have a mo, and let me know what you think. Judging by the feedback over at The Mindful Mum on Facebook and in my local mothers group online, as well as the comments on the post, a lot of mums, myself included, have found it pretty emotive.

I’m taking a break from blogging for a while. One thing I will really miss is being part of 52 Weeks of Grateful. Remembering to be grateful and making a conscious decision to start from a standpoint of gratitude rather than of dissatisfaction or desire when contemplating my life is one of the greatest lessons I have learned in this blogging journey. I am going to buy a very pretty notebook and turn it into an old-fashioned Gratitude Journal.

I will continue to be Mindful to the best of my ability. I may even finally get around to reading my dusty copy of Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World !

Life as the full-time stay at home mum of two little girls is just too busy for me to keep trying to stretch myself in so many directions, and reading that article has made me question my use of social media in general. While my use of my phone is nowhere near as extreme as that described described in the article, my social media time does warrant some analysis, and yesterday I pledged to only use Facebook when they’re both sleeping. By this afternoon in the back of my mind I’m thinking, there are other things I’d like to do with that down time than Facebook and blog. I love to read, why not just get the chores out of the way and read novels every single day, whenever I get a chance? I want to cook more and I’m always thinking I don’t have time. I want to learn more about Buddhism, but I never seem to have time to read Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children. But really, I can make time for whatever I choose.

I choose to disconnect. For a while at least.

Thank you for visiting The Mindful Mum 🙂

 

Listmania #3: Crushes Then & Now

This week’s Listmania prompt is, who was your biggest or most embarrassing crush? Who makes your heart go crazy these days (or is at least easy on the eyes)?

My list is very short! And easy, as the answer is one and the same to both questions: Jon Bon Jovi. Back in the 80’s, now, always and forever!

And I’m not embarrassed in the least 🙂

jon80s{photo credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/229050331020463460/)

jonnow

{photo credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/97390410661599269/}

 

Linking in with Deb at Home Life Simplified for Listmania

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!

Come and say hi on Facebook or Twitter!

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

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

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!

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 🙂

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday. He died in a car accident in 1997, a few weeks after his 20th birthday. I miss him very much still. I was only 22 myself, and it took me many, many years to even begin to come to terms with his death; I didn’t handle it well at all. Finally, just a few years ago, I made the long overdue decision to focus his birthday each year, rather than on the anniversary of his death, which is later this month. I don’t dwell on the pain any longer; it’s still enough to make me catch my breath around this time even after so many years, but it doesn’t ravage me as it once did. I remember instead his smile and feel so grateful that shortly before he died we were able to spend some very special times together. I think about the good stuff. I’m grateful that I had his love for the time that I had it.

I wanted to share this poem here today because it might help someone else as it has helped me. I found it in the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami memorial garden on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, in 2009.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.

~Mary Frye~

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