Wednesday, 28 May 2014

for some cuteness

Seriously......Could my nephews be any cuter!!! Fletcher on the left, Bradey on the right...almost 6 months old..

Linking up Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys , Twinkle in the Eye
 and Ms Mystery Case

Monday, 26 May 2014

to confess my love of exercise

Given that I started this blog as part of my 12wbt journey, exercise has/is a big part of my life. So when Kirsty at My Home Truths asked us to confess about exercise I knew this was going to be an easy one to write!

To confess, I actually wish I had more time to exercise! It is something that I really enjoy and over the last 18 months have probably come close to saying I love it. When I've been thinking about possible career change options, doing something in the health and fitness industry has crossed my mind. Don't get me wrong, I know I am no athlete, but I do enjoy it.

I am currently 2 weeks into my second round of bootcamp. I am thoroughly enjoying it again. I had always been the type of person that exercised alone, would hit the gym by myself and do my own thing but as things just plateaued and my motivation wained I decided it was time to up the anti. My sister had done several rounds of this bootcamp and I had been interested in joining her for some time but the training times just didn't work for me with work but then they changed and I was able to join. BEST. DECISION. EVER.

The bootcamp motivates me and challenges me like never before and has me doing things I never thought that I could. The girls are amazing and push me to be and do better. Don't get me wrong there are times where I really really don't want to go, (we train at 6pm and it's starting to get really dark and really cold at that time and that's after a loooong day at work) but I just have to remind myself how awesome I feel at the end of it..

It's because of that feeling that I really wish I did have more time to exercise. I feel like I am always using it as an excuse but work really does (is) take it's toll on me, physically, emotionally and mentally. I already get up at 5:15am most mornings to ensure I get to work on time, I drive past people on my way to work who are out for their morning walks and I get a pang of jealousy that makes me wish that I was them. By the time I am finished work I am usually so exhausted that I don't want to exercise but bootcamp has made me accountable and I can push through that. Unfortunately I don't make it to every session because of work but I do the best I can, I try not to think of it as an excuse but just the reality that is my life at the moment. I am taking some of my own advice though and making some changes that will make things a little easier.

We set goals with our trainer this round and I am happy to report that today I ticked one off! I have 3 main goals, all of which relate to running of some description. We have a lovely road here on the edge of the range that is often a haven for walkers, runners and bike riders as it provides some hilly challenges coupled with amazing views of the valley below. It's 4.13km around and my goal was to run the whole way. I knew that I could run that distance, I have done it plenty of times before, it was whether I could run that distance with the long and sometimes steep hills, but I am stoked to say I DID IT!!!

Am guessing because of the hills and the fact it's on the edge of the range the GPS must have dropped out on my Lorna Jane app, so the distance and map is wrong but the time is right! Was so happy to get it in in under half and hour!
My sweaty every part of me hurts selfie at the end!

Running is probably my exercise of choice, not sure why but I do enjoy it, but everything else that my trainer is pushing me to do is only going to make me a fitter and stronger runner and that's gotta be good for me right? If I had to choose an exercise I didn't like it would probably be burpees.. (and I'm really hoping my trainer doesn't read this or she'll probably make me do more!)

So confess, are you a lover or a hater of exercise??

Check out My Home Truths for other confessions and One Mother Hen for Open Slather.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

for some advice

So yesterday I had a bit of a rant and rave about things I would say to students if I really could.

Today I want to share some advice of sorts, that was given to me not so long ago that I would also love to give those same students..

One of the (few) positives in my job is helping students figure out what they want to do with their lives and help them work out how to get there.

So when the Defence Force sent out an invitation for me to take 2 female students interested in signing up to a High Tea, I was excited and knew would I would take straight away.

At the High Tea we had 3 key speakers, from completely different backgrounds with different links to the Defence Forces, who gave inspiring and thought provoking speeches and who excited the students even more about their chosen career path. Heck, they were so inspiring that for a brief (very brief) moment I thought I might actually be keen to sign up....then I remembered the whole potentially shooting people and going to war bizzo and quickly moved on from that thought.

One of the speakers really hit home for me and I found myself being just as inspired as the girls were. She talked to us about the three C's (and no it wasn't Chocolate, Champagne and Chardonnay which are three C's I often like the sound of!!!). What she was referring to was Choices, Chances and Change.
She talked about how each morning we wake up and we have a choice about how we are going to live our life, how we are going to behave that day, what we are going to do with it to make a difference. I have always been a strong believer, and have often preached, that we choose our attitude, that we may not always like what we have to do but we can choose how we do it.
She encouraged the girls to take chances, to say yes to things, to experience different things and get involved in as much as they could to broaden their knowledge, their horizons and their eyes!
The third C was change.... if you are not happy with what is happening make a change, you have the power to do it, you just need the strength and the courage.

It really was a message that struck a cord with me.

As we left we were given a pack of goodies which included this little book
If you follow my Instagram you would already know that ;-)
It is a goal setting book filled with fantastic quotes and activities that are designed to help work out where you want to be in 5 years. I feel this is something that, despite being in my mid 30's, I have never really sat down and thought about. I want to do this book and this process justice so since it was given to me I haven't done much more than just flick through it but I am keen to get started and see where it leads...

Stay tuned....

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT!

Monday, 19 May 2014

to tell the truth

I feel this post has been brewing in me for some time and so I am using this week's I Must Confess to get it off my chest.

It has been prompted by three things that have been shared with me via Social Media these past few weeks. Bullying or Anti bullying is something that is often in the media and rightly so.

The first was actually a post written by my hostess Kirsty at My Home Truths where she wrote a post titled I don't want my kids to be bullies. An honest and hopefully thought provoking post for all parents about not just protecting their own children from bullies but making sure that your own child does not become a bully.

The second was a letter (of sorts) written by a teacher to her students telling them what they really needed to hear. It is such a powerful and honest piece that I found myself nodding along with the whole way.

The third was the clip from Britain's Got Talent where 2 boys sang a song they had written about Bullying. It brought goosebumps to the back of my neck and a lump to my throat. If you haven't stumbled across it yet where have you been do yourself a favour and spend the 8 minutes listening to their story and the song.

So my confession today is all about things I would say to students at my school if I really could....

For some of you this is as good as it may ever get. I can't tell you that everything is going to be ok and things will get better because they may not. These may very well be the best years of your life.

When you cry and ask me why people are being mean to you, I don't have the answer, sometimes people just suck and there's not a lot you can do about it.

STOP blaming everyone else... take ownership and responsibility for your actions!

STOP hurting each other - you are all fighting your own battles and I don't know why you insist on making each others lives so stinking miserable! You don't know what the person next to you is dealing with so shut ya mouth and get on with your own life, mind your own business.

For each one of you that enters my office looking for someone to listen to you, I am sure there are 10 of you who I haven't met yet feeling the same way. Promise me you will talk to someone.

I am sorry that you ended up with sucky parents who don't pay attention to you. The power to change your situation lies within you, should you choose to make the jump.

I know you probably don't know the answer but I really really want to shake you by the shoulders and ask you WHY???

The grass is NOT always greener on the other side and you don't have it all that bad so stop being a selfish little brat and appreciate what you have!

Sometimes there is nothing for me to say....and I sit there in silence and I just look at you and swallow the lump in my throat because I know what you might be going through, because I see myself in you, because I have no answers, because I know that nothing I can say will make any difference. 

When you think no-one cares about you, you are wrong, I care....that's why there are some nights that I can't go to sleep (and is also the reason I can't give up chocolate) because stories you have told me are on repeat in my head and I worry for you and about you.

If the truth be known, and in the spirit of confessing, I am exhausted, I feel physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted most of the time, I am not sure I can sustain the energy and the mental strength required to continue listening to you, that you deserve, that you need. I am not sure that this is the job for me.... 

Linking up this Monday with My Home Truths for I Must Confess and One Mother Hen for Open Slather

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

for my third book review..

In case you missed it, I am doing a reading challenge this year. I have joined with many other reading lovers to complete the 2014 Australian Women Writers Challenge, where we read, review and promote stories written by Australian Authors.

I am on track to have 6 books read for the year as I have just finished my third book before the 6 month mark!

Keeping with my little theme of country romance stories the third book was Nowhere Else by Fiona McCallum. It is her second book but the first that I had read.

Nicola Harvey seems to have the world at her feet - she's at the top of her profession, part of Australian television's celebrity A-list, has a wealthy, successful fiance and a beautiful warehouse conversion in Adelaide.

So in 'typical' romance novel style, the girl who seems to have it all, is not particularly happy and when life throws her a few curve balls she finds herself somewhere completely unexpected but truly finding herself.

When Nicola arrives in the tiny town of Nowhere Else, it's nothing like she expected: there's no spa in town, the locals are tight-lipped and she senses it's not just the drought that is making the town nervous. So why has her boss sent her out here? 

The deeper Nicola digs into the town history, the more she realises this was not a mistake and it could actually help unlock the mystery to her own past.

There were so many twists and turns in this story that it really kept me guessing and turning the pages. There were surprises and questions as you travel the journey with Nicola but in the end I found it a little far-fetched and predictable. Having said that Fiona does have a good way with words that makes you want to keep reading.

My other book reviews are for:
1. An Outback Life by Mary Groves
2. Poppy's Dilemma by Karly Lane

Linking this book review up with Essentially Jess for IBOT!

Monday, 12 May 2014

to confess the yuckiest food I've ever eaten.. and some other stuff

I'm back.....

I must confess the A to Z Challenge in April has really left me blogging exhausted. Considering I have no real theme or purpose to my blog other than my random ramblings, sharing a story from my life for every letter of the alphabet has left me a little....what do I write about now?

I must confess that I am so far behind in my blog reading, responding and commenting that I don't see any way of catching up. I was so focused on making sure I completed the challenge for myself, but really part of the challenge was to discover and read new blogs but I just have not had the time (as usual). I will try my best to get to you I promise!

I must confess that I love the I must confess link up because I don't have to think too much about what to write about because Kirsty does all that hard work for me.....

What is the strangest and most exotic food that you’ve ever tried?

Yep that is me, and yep that is a chicken foot, yep I am smiling but that, I assure you, is fake and for the purposes of having my photo taken. You would be forgiven for thinking that this was taken in some exotic Asian country but no, this was in the heart of Sydney some years ago. My friend whisked me off to Yum Cha not long after I arrived off the plane with the promise that I would find it amazing and never forget the experience, and that eating chicken feet would be awesome! To be honest, some years on, I am pretty sure I took one nibble and quickly dropped it back in the bowl, so I am not sure that I can actually lay claim to eating it.

What strange and exotic food have you eaten? Head to My Home Truths and confess!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

for the challenge to end.

OH.  MY.  GOD...

I did it!! I wasn't sure I would but I did! I completed the A to Z April Challenge! A challenge where we had to post every day in April (except Sundays) using the corresponding letter of the alphabet.

There were times where it was tricky trying to come up with something, racking my brain trying to think of memories and events from my past, and my teaching career, that make me who I am today! (I have a shocking memory and often joke that I would take those tablets that help your memory if I could remember the name of them!)

If you missed any of the posts here they are for you:

A is for Aunty
B is for Boarding School
C is for Coke the Cat
D is for Dominic
E is for Evacuation
F is for Farm
G is for Gifts
H is for Holly's Hotties
I is for Infertility
J is for Jorja
K is for Kathy
L is for Lost
M is for Missing Child
N is for Normanton
O is for Overseas
P is for Poppy
Q is for Quiet Time
R is for Rottweiler
S is for Songs
T is for Townsville
U is for University
V is for Vicky
W is for Wobbly Bits
X is for Xtreme
Y is for Year 5
Z is for Zita

So if there is anything there that takes your fancy please feel free to stop by!
I am truly thankful for all those who have stopped by during this challenge and left a comment and for sticking with me. I know that I definitely have some catching up to do with replying to comments and reading blogs... I'll get to you I promise!

There are some other wonderful blogs who have joined me in this journey so please go and check them out as well.... Over Cups of Coffee, Pinky Poinker, Flood-Proof Mum and Big Girl Panties were some of the blogs I enjoyed reading during this challenge.

 Linking this post with A Parenting Life for Thankful Thursday!
What are you thankful for today?