Bliss. That feeling we all crave.

What is it exactly?

It's pure joy, love and adventure all rolled into one.

It's the feeling you get when you are doing what you love to do. It's when you are so focused on the moment that nothing else can get in. Your thoughts are on the task at hand and nothing else matters to you. You feel calm and happy.

That's bliss.

So, can we get that feeling more than once every now and then? Oh yes! And it isn't too difficult to do either, but it does require that you make a commitment to yourself.

A commitment to look for the joy in your day. A commitment to taking time for yourself to quiet your mind a little. A commitment to being true to who you really are. (You may need to dig a little to find this out - it gets buried very early in life!)

Meditation is a wonderful thing and can be life-changing.

Try taking five minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. In. Out. In. Out.

When your thoughts start clamouring for your attention, acknowledge them and then re-focus on your breath. In and out.

The more you practise, the easier it will become. Like anything. It's so definitely worth it though - for the calm it brings if nothing else. But as you continue, you'll find that you gain more clarity and insight about your life, allowing you to make better decisions for yourself.

When you are making good decisions based on what is best for you, then bliss isn't too far behind. Feel it, appreciate it and love it. It will come back to visit you more often if you do, and you will find that your days are more blissful and beautiful than not.
I wish you your bliss.

Do you ever get the feeling you're in your own way?

As human beings, we spend an awful lot of time trying to control things. Usually things we have no control over, like what someone else thinks of us.

Trying to control others is like trying to control the ocean. Actually it's exactly the same. It's attempting to control things external to you. It doesn't work, yet so many of us insist on expending a whole lot of energy on it.

What anyone else thinks, feels or does, has nothing to do with your reality. This little gem dropped into my inbox yesterday:

"If you could actually stand in someone else's shoes, to hear what they hear, see what they see, and feel what they feel, you would honestly wonder what planet they live on, and be totally blown away by how different their "reality" is from yours.

You'd also never, in a million years, be quick to judge again."

Interesting huh?

To change your life, your reality, doesn't depend on others. To make a difference all you need to do is change your thoughts and perceptions. If you come at things from a point of love, rather than hate. From abundance not lack. From giving, not selfishness. If you can do these things, your outlook will change.
Focus on the good in your life and more of that will come. Focus on the bad and again, more of that will appear.

Stop trying to control that which you have no control over and feel the frustration ebb away. Get out of your own way and feel the flow start to come back into your life.

Most of all have fun with your life - that is what you are here for!

Last week, I had a day that wasn't going so great. I was getting that feeling - you know, stressed and almost panicky.
I got up, and grabbed a few things: bottle of water, ipod with motivation, current book, journal and pen, and favourite quilt.
I am lucky enough to live a mere 20 minutes drive away from Mt Tamborine - one of the lovelier spots on our planet.
I went off to the the botanic gardens there, and just took some time to be.

I spent about two hours listening to some fantastic motivational teachings, writing in my journal and lying in the sun. It was just the tonic I needed, and I am incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to take the time to do these things for myself.
Once I got home, I was feeling a hundred percent better. Funnily enough not half an hour later I received a phone call offering me a fabulous working opportunity, that puts me in a place I need to be to achieve my personal goals over the next 2 to 4 years.
As you can imagine I was feeling really great after that!
So when things are getting on top of you, if it's at all possible, take some time out to reflect, meditate and get grateful for what you have. I believe it's these things that change our attitudes and open doors for us.
Take the time to breathe, take the time to open your mind as well as your eyes. Look at everything as an opportunity to learn.
Love your life.

I have been musing about trust recently. Not for any particular reason, just contemplating it and looking at it.

Trust is something incredibly important to me.
It has to be the basis of any relationship I have, whether with a lover, friend or my children.

I need to know that I can trust the people I love to not lie to me, and to do the best they know how within our relationship.

But even more important than trusting others, is the need to trust myself.

For if I don't have faith in myself, how can I possibly have faith in another?
I have to trust myself to do the right thing for the best life.
I have to believe that I'm always doing the right thing for myself.

On the whole I'm pretty honest with myself - I may not shout out my weaknesses to the world, but I'm well aware of them all the same, and trying my best to work with them and turn them into strengths.
If I deny that part of me, I'm saying those character traits are bad, and I don't believe that, they are a part of me, and I'm not bad.
We all have elements of light and dark within our personalities. The trick is to accept the dark, and treat yourself gently and with love.

Trust yourself to know what's best for you - you know yourself better than anyone else on this planet.
Trust yourself to treat everyone you meet with the same care.
Develop a trusting relationship with yourself, so that you can build trust in your dealings with others. If you trust yourself and listen, you will be more aware if others are trying to do the wrong thing by you, and you can take steps to distance yourself from that.

Once you start listening to yourself and trusting your own voice, your confidence will soar and all sorts of wonderful things will start to happen.
Trust me.
I am a woman, and a mother.
That means I am always taking care of others. Which I like to do and it is my job as a mother after all.

And you have probably heard this all before, but it's true: if you don't look after yourself, you can't do a decent job of taking care of your loved ones.

It's so important I can't stress it enough.
YOU are so important. To those who love you, you are their world. They rely on you, so it's your responsibility to make sure you are able to look after them.

To do this you need to take time for you - not just every now and then, but every day. Yes, every single day. No excuses.
If your significant other has a problem with you taking an hour out of each day for yourself, you might want to rethink the dynamics of your relationship.

This is not about being selfish - it's about recharging. No-one can go for days on end without a break, so why should you be expected to?

So take the time to do what is important to you, whether it be meditating, prayer or reading romance novels. It doesn't matter as long as you get something out of it.

I would also add take 30 minutes a day for's the best way I know to feel fantastic. Make it something you enjoy, that's easy to incorporate into your daily routine. It could be dancing around the living room with your toddlers or a brisk walk around the neighbourhood.
You don't have to go to the gym, there is a whole world out there where you can work out for free.

The other thing that helps you to feel your best is a good diet. Fruit and vegetables, lean meats and wholegrains make a difference to your wellbeing. You feel lighter when you eat well, less stodgy.

Take a moment to think. Who is looking after you?

Then take charge of your own life and look after yourself. You will thank yourself a hundred times over for doing so. You will be happier and healthier and less stressed.
I promise.

Just for fun, I made a "mind movie" the other day.
It works along the same lines as a vision board but more technological!

It was fun to make...and by it's very definition asks that you think about what you want in your life. I'm going to make more - this was a practise one.

If you need more information on these you can go

And because I have no shame, you can watch my movie too if you are so inclined...

I'm going through a phase right now. It's one that happens on a semi-regular basis with me.

It's called "I don't care much about what you think."

That's people in general, not specifically you!

Let's face it, most people are out for themselves. Which is fair enough, I happen to put myself first too, because if I don't no-one else will.

But every now and then, it kind of irritates me that folks are so self-involved that they couldn't give a hoot about what is happening with their friends, family and neighbours.

It annoys me when individuals say what they want to make themselves feel better, and have no thought about the other person's feelings.

It really irks me that people don't look after themselves (physically or emotionally) then expect those close to them to pick up the pieces.

When these things start crowding in on me, I tend to take a step back and stay away from it. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive, but I believe that we need to take responsibility for everything we do, say and think.

It isn't up to anyone else to make you or I feel good, only we can do that for ourselves.

Let go of blame. Forget thoughts of hate and revenge. They won't help you in the long run you know. Instead, think about what you can do to adjust your thinking, try and change the way you look at a situation, and remember that this is your life, and you get to say what goes.

Start creating your everyday in a manner befitting someone as amazing and individual as you.

You can do it!

It's incredibly hard, and incredibly rewarding.
It's where tough love comes into it's own.

It's a job you can't walk away from, no matter how much you need a break.

But I have to say that the older my kids get, the better it gets.
I put in the hard yards when they were little (oh boy did I!).
Give me teenagers any day!

My son is a delightful boy.
My girls are intelligent and beautiful young women. We talk, we laugh and we cry together.

It breaks my heart to see them hurting.

It's hard when your child learns so very young that life is short.
It's not fair that teenagers need to attend their friend's funerals.

To my kids - I love you very much, all the time, no matter what.

Go tell your kids you love them too.
So what do you think of the "do what you love and the money will follow" line of thinking?

There are many thoughts on this, I know. And almost everyone will have a different answer.

Here's my take.

We pretty much all have to work, yes? (I have thoughts on this too but that's another post). So when you wake up every morning, how do you feel? Excited, happy and motivated?

Or sluggish and dreading the day ahead...

I've been there. In fact I recently left a job purely because I hated it. I Itried to turn around my thinking in regards to the position, but I just couldn't do it. Every fibre of my being was against me.

I believe in taking the time to listen to my inner self - she knows more about me than anyone else around! I don't believe in making myself miserable for a job.

And when it's just a job, then I can do without it. I can make the choice to go without the flashy stuff, because my inner well-being means more to me.
It has taken me some time to reach this stage, and my kids can be quite disagreeable with it. I take the stance, however, that it's not necessarily a bad thing for kids to not get everything they want!

To be perfectly honest with you, I would rather think outside the box on this one. I believe we are here to enjoy ourselves, not work ourselves into the ground because society says so.
If you enjoy your line of work, then life has more flow, and you are happier.

Why wouldn't you do what you love? Why would you continue to do what makes you miserable?
It differs for everyone. I wouldn't expect you to love the same things I do, and I also wouldn't expect you to judge the things I love to do. I'll afford you the same courtesy.

Food for thought.

You know, I'm a pretty ordinary type of person. I'm not really "out there." I lead an ordinary lifestyle. More so than I would like actually.

All over the internet, there are these exceptionally motivated people making bucket loads of money on a daily basis. At least that is what they would have you believe.

Honestly, if they are I think that is fantastic.

What I love most about the world wide web are the opportunities for sharing and learning. You can find out how to do pretty much anything you want. And I love the fact that these days, successful people are happy to share their "secrets to success" if you will.

Like I say, I'm an ordinary girl and my motivation and enthusiasm waxes and wanes. But I have learned a few things over the years, and the older I get the more it all makes sense to me (I'm a slow learner!).

So here's my version of the road to success...

  • Think. Long and hard. Think about what it is you really love to do. Work out what brings you joy. This could take a while - in my case years, but I think that's normal too.

  • Plan. This involves more thinking. And lots of writing. And lots of scratching out and re-writing. Talk with your loved ones. If you don't plan, life just happens to you, and that's not usually a path to a fulfilling and joyous life.

  • Take steps. Baby steps to start with if you need to. Look for information. Find others who do what you want to, or are where you want to be. Learn what they know. Go to school if that is what you need to do. Make every decision a part of your path to a joy-filled life.

  • Keep moving toward and reviewing your goals. If you aren't moving forward then you're either standing still or going backwards, neither of which is a good thing. Constant thought about your goals brings them into focus and makes you more likely to achieve them.

  • Keep thinking. Once you reach that first goal, you are going to want another and another.

It sounds simple doesn't it? And yet so many of us find it difficult to stay on track, we get discouraged and eventually give up.

I don't really know how to fix that, but I believe the more passion you have about your goals, the more likely you are to reach them. Which is why thinking long and hard about what you want is probably the most important step in my mind.

I am currently following my own advice. I am at the baby steps stage. And I'm excited and passionate about it. I'm ready to thrive. Are you?

So, how do you cope with disappointment?

Not heartwrenching, change your life stuff, but those little things that you really hoped would turn out great. The closing off of possibilities I suppose you could call it.

Is it you that disappoints you, or is it other people?

I have very recently had an experience with disappointment which has caused me to stop and think about what I project. About what I put "out there."

About exactly what I'm attracting into my life.

Actually this disappointment has been ongoing for a while now, and that is because I'm the type of person who likes to hold onto things til the bitter end. Even when I can see it's not working for me. Something I would like to change in my personality, by the way (I'm working on it).

After some thought, I realise that I chose to look for the possibilities only, rather than open my eyes to what wasn't there. Isn't that a set-up for disappointment?

I think that when something that seems full of promise sails into our lives, we need to take a little time to get to know it, rather than jumping on board all gung-ho. If we don't inspect the vessel, we could end up sinking in the middle of the ocean.

I was lucky, I hadn't even made it out of the harbour before my boat capsized, but I could have been in way over my head had I been given the opportunity. Dangerous.

And how do I cope with all of this? By this - thinking about it, working out that it was me, not the person/situation. That didn't change, it was my hope for it that created my disappointment in it. By taking responsibility.

The lesson I have learned:

  • Feel blessed at the joys that come into your life.

  • Take the time to really look, not just at the possibilities, but at the lack of them too.

  • Turn everything over in your mind slowly and more than once.

  • If it's not what you want, walk away. Don't keep hoping the situation will "change" or "get better."

  • It is what it is.

  • Be thankful for the lesson.

I've been thinking. You might have gathered that I like to think and you're right. I do it a lot, and it's something I'm very good at!

Anyway, this time I've been thinking about mail. As in letters in the post.

I don't believe there are enough of them, and it's time to bring back the lost art of letter-writing.

Wouldn't it be lovely to go to your mailbox and find a wonderfully pretty envelope with your name and address beautifully enscribed on the front? And when you open that envelope out slides a hand-written missive just for you...

Someone has cared enough to sit down and compose a letter. Someone has actually taken time out of their day to think of you and put their thoughts on paper. How nice that would be!

Don't get me wrong my friends, I absolutely am a fan of email and text - as a matter of fact I prefer to communicate that way, but oh! There is just something about a letter. Something that stirs the soul a little, don't you think?

It's very Jane Austen and a very mindful way to communicate - so for me that's double the reason to write.

And think of all the fun you can have searching out divine papers and delightful envelopes in which to enclose your little pieces of grace.

Have I convinced you yet?

There are many people in this world who know what it is they want to do with their lives, and good on them I say.

I'm not one of them.

Actually, that isn't entirely true, I have found many things I love to do and am formulating plans for yet another passion. But it changes for me frequently, so maybe don't take me as an example.

But the reality is, many of us muddle along for years, doing what is expected of us, before realising that there is more out there.

We get up five days a week and head off to the job we at best tolerate, at worst hate. We do this because everyone else does it so it must be the right thing.
We do this because we are on automatic pilot. Because we aren't living mindfully. Because we have no idea who we are and what we want. Because we haven't thought about it. It all comes down to the same thing really.

What we percieve as our safety net, our comfort zone.

A friend of mine asked me recently what I think about our comfort zones. Well JJ, here is what I think.

I think that we get entirely too comfortable for our own good. I think we need to shake things up a little. If you are the kind of person who shudders at the thought of something different, then you need to start small, but you need to do something! If you never try anything different, then how on earth will you ever discover what - or who - you really love?

I'm not advocating you quit your humdrum job and travel the world (although if you want to, go right ahead - or at least make plans and take steps.)

Be an adventurer - even if on a small scale. Open your eyes, your heart and your mind. See what this amazing world has to offer you.

Get passionate! Get lively! Get excited!

Opportunities come to us from the least expected places. If you don't peek through the door, you will never find them.

Be greedy - grab for those opportunities when they come along, and don't let them go.

Stop worrying about what others think - my favourite quote ever: "What other people think of you is none of your business."

Create your own luck, and live your own life.

An exercise in self-discovery.

To know yourself is important don't you think? To be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. I think it's good to know, for only by knowing yourself, can you be the best you can be.
I did this the other day, and you know it's harder than I thought - and I think I'm a person who knows myself quite well. After re-reading it, I notice I focused on all the positive mostly - not a bad thing, but there could be something in that, perhaps I avoid openly looking at the so-called negative traits of my personality.

See? You really do learn about yourself with this!


My name is Suzie. I am 39 years old. Sometimes I feel a little lost, but this is what I know about myself.

I am:
Strong and brave.
Always learning.
Slightly crazy sometimes.
Full of life.
Motivated sometimes.
Lazy sometimes.
Honest with myself.

I Have:
A strange sense of humour.
An incredible imagination.
Three kids.
Unlimited potential.
Everything I need.
An open mind.

I Like:
Sleeping in.
Playing sport.
Challenging myself.
Learning new things.
Chemical-free living.
Fabric. Fabric. Fabric.
Being organised.
Teaching people.
Making pretty things.
Spending time with my kids.
My alone time.
Hot air balloons.
The theatre.
Sparkly things.
Being crazy in love.
Classical music.
Helping people.
The internet.
Seeing smart people doing things they love.
Gene Kelly movies.
Jane Austen.
Using all my senses.
Playing Scrabble.

I have been musing of late, about the way we humans make things so difficult. We do this not just to ourselves, but worse, to others.

To me, it comes down to the way we treat people. I really don't understand why we can't be pleasant to each other. It doesn't take much effort and the rewards are so worth it!
It isn't hard to tell the truth in a non-hurtful way. You know, if we were more honest with each other and ourselves, I think there would be a world-wide epidemic in happiness.

Think about all the times in your life when you have been hurt by someone - was it because that person told you the truth? Or was it because they withheld the truth from you, making you believe something that was not so?

In my experience, the truth can sting, but it's quick and you can accept it and move on. When you are being fed untruths, or the reality is being kept from you, you can't make a decision based on fact. In a case like this, sometimes it's just better for your sanity to cut your losses and remove yourself from the situation.

Trust your instincts, they don't let you down. However, no matter what decision you end up making about any given person or situation, own it and be happy with it. Don't regret it, because our choices are the only things we have that are truly our own.

So my advice to you today is:

Treat others in a kindly manner.
Keep your eyes and mind open.
Trust in yourself.
Make your own decisions.
Do everything with a loving intention.

As a woman, I find it can be all too easy to fall into a dull and dreary routine. Working, housework, children's commitments, the demands of everyday life. We allow ourselves to be so full of obligations and must-dos.

I believe we need to take time for ourselves, for if we don't take it, it will never be offered to us.There is more to life than running around doing everything for others.I am of the thinking that if we are not whole and happy, then the things we do for others only cause resentment and anger.

Lets make our lives fulfilling and allow ourselves the luxury of time. Bring some love and romance into your life - by you and for you.

As far as romance goes, do we not put it all onto the shoulders of the man in our lives, and feel eternally disappointed when he fails to meet up to our expectations? On the whole, I have found, men aren't really a romantic bunch. It is us women who adore the trappings of what we perceive as romantic love. The flowers and chocolates, candlelight dinners etc.

In my experience, men really like romance themselves, but would prefer if they didn't have to organise it. If you have a husband or partner that pampers and adores you on a regular basis, love and appreciate him madly!

Or you may be single, as I am, and craving some romance in your life. Just because there is no man around, does not mean you need to be deprived of those wonderful things that make you feel special.

Here's how I put romance into my life.

I have a bath with my favourite marshmallow bubbles. I light candles and lay back and let the warm water soothe all my cares away. Sometimes I have a glass of wine while I'm at it.The trick is to ensure you have everything you need. Fluffy towels. A robe to put on when you are dry. Make it so that you can just relax for as long as you need to. Then climb in and shut out the world.

Dinner by candlelight. This is so easy to do, yet how many of us eat in front of the TV every night? Put your prettiest tablecloth on the table, bring out your "good" china and cutlery (why don't you use it everyday?), put some candles on the table and enjoy your food and any company you may have. Turn the TV off!
You will be amazed at how enjoyable this is. It actually gives you space to think, without the onslaught of rubbish that is our usual dinner companion.

Love flowers? Just bring them home for yourself. If it is something that brightens your day everytime you look at them, why shouldn't you have them in your home all the time? It doesn't need to be an elaborate bouquet, you can pick up a sweet bunch of blooms from the supermarket. What does it matter where they came from - they are from you, for you.

If you happen to get given some beautiful flowers, I guarantee you will still appreciate both the gift and the giver!

If I'm going to have wine and chocolate around, I make sure it's a good red wine that I will savour, and as for chocolate, Green & Black's Organic is my weapon of choice.

In the end, putting romance into your life comes down to treating yourself to what it is that makes you feel good. It should be done on at least a weekly basis. If you have a special someone to share the romance with, all the better, but don't rely on someone else to bring you what you need into your life - and that doesn't just mean romance.

Far better to provide for yourself, be happy now, and enjoy what you attract into your life when you are content with what you have.

I was going through some files on my computer this evening and I came across this little gem, written some years ago. It made me laugh. Thought you might like a giggle too.

I have a secret. I want to be a writer. Not just any writer, but one of those humourous British types.

The only problem is, I’m not British. Nor do I think I’m particularly humourous. Funny word to look at, humourous. Humourous. Humourous. I’ve been reading too much about permaculture gardening. It reminds me of hummus. Oh, or is that the dip stuff? Never mind, I don’t think it really matters.

Anyway, I have decided to muse about the daily grind that is my life - because I can, and if no one ever wants to read it that’s fine. My kids will read it one day and realise they were right all along. Their mother really was a loony.

They think these unkind thoughts about me, because I am into what is commonly called “New Age” stuff. You know, spirituality, meditation and all the associated loony things that go along with it. I am also a homemaker (I don’t profess to be a particularly good one, but I do try when I remember). I love to sew too. Not clothes or anything. Quilts and bags, and cushions and all those sweet things that go into making a house a home. I think maybe because my childhood was kind of disjointed (sorry Mum), I crave that perfect family life. Mom, Dad and two wholesome, well-behaved children.

My reality is somewhat different. I have three children. The eldest has never met her father, and I haven’t seen him since she was one. The other two are from a ten year relationship (we might go into that a bit later), and I have recently come out of a 6 year relationship with an alcoholic. Don’t ask, it’s a long story.

Most of the time I’m an optimist. A woman who used to be my neighbour told me sometimes I have negative thoughts. I’m aware of that, but really, I quite enjoy the occasional wallow in self-pity. I usually get over it within 24 hours. Mainly because it takes too much energy to feel sorry for myself for too long. I think I’m essentially lazy. I would love to be self- sufficient, and I plan to get things done, but then the computer beckons, or someone calls or drops in, and it all goes out the window. I have so many organisational websites saved into my favourites, you wouldn’t believe. I like to think they motivate me - and they do. Until I get off the computer. I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not the only one with this problem, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many
sites dedicated to ridding the world of clutter, one closet at a time.

I have two best friends, and a few others not so close. The ridiculous thing is, they haven’t met each other yet. I must get around to that, I think they would get on famously. Linda and Dianne. Both very practical, hard-working women, who have suffered through some awful stuff, and emerged out the other side, stronger and wiser for it. Without becoming bitter and twisted, which amazes me sometimes. We are all blonde. Scary. Di and I are Cancerians and Linda is a Pisces. All water signs and all emotional. But only if it’s warranted. I love them both to bits. They are my support, and I am theirs.

So I have introduced myself, albeit superficially. Nice to meet you. As we travel along this road, you will learn more about who I am and what makes me tick. It seems supremely obnoxious to me, to think that my life is so damned interesting that anyone would want to read about it, but there you go.

I’m going to be as obnoxious as I like. It’s my blog.

I'd still like to be a writer of some description but maybe not a humourous British type (am currently dabbling in chick porn, otherwise known as erotic literature!). My children are still convinced I'm a lunatic and I am still currently single (I did update that part by the way, as I didn't really think you needed to know just how silly my previous relationship was).

My best friends are still the same and still damn wonderful people. I still spend far too much time on the computer with all the really cool kids - that's you guys :)

The more things change the more they stay the same it seems...

Being comfortable.

What comes to mind when you feel the word comfort? Allow yourself to turn the word over in your mind and take note of what images and feelings you get. Interesting exercise this, as it allows you to learn a little more about yourself, if you let it.

For me, comfort means feeling safe and happy.

A big bed piled with pillows and blankets and throws.
Snuggling under a quilt on a winter's day with my daughters watching a much-loved movie.
A steaming hot cup of tea and a good book - most likely in that bed again.
A long phone conversation with a good friend.
A home-cooked meal enjoyed as a family.
Photos of my kids.
A new book by a favourite author - or just a favourite book.
Piles of freshly washed and folded laundry waiting to be put away.
A drawer full of prettily scented and ironed tea towels (this is where you start to get an idea of my strange little habits).

I believe that we all need comfort in our lives. I'm not talking about the comfort zone here - that is a whole other post - but actual, physical comforts.
The things we do that give us the feeling of "life doesn't get much better than this."
Or the things we turn to when we need reminding that this too shall pass.

These are rituals we bring into our lives to soothe our souls. They are intensely personal and strikingly individual. It helps to be aware of both what they are, and the reasons we use them.
Sometimes I want comfort because it's a cold and grey day. Sometimes I am sad. Sometimes I just need alone time to rejuvenate.

If we become aware of our comforts, then we know that when we crave them, we are mindful of them. We know then that we need to be comforted, that there is something not quite right within our world.

We stop just doing and become a thoughtful being.

There is less drift and more direction.

And that leads to more comfort within.

A nice goal.

You read a lot about being authentic these days. Almost every self-help book has a chapter on it somewhere.
But what does it mean really?

Every person you ask will have a different answer to that question, but this is my blog so I'm going to share my perspective and experiences with you.

Throughout my school years, I was pretty much a nerd (there's those labels again). I was a bookworm, an academic. I was never labelled as a sporty type, but when I look back now, I was very sporty. I did athletics, netball, softball and orienteering - making the district teams for most of those sports. Funny.

Once I left school, I fell into a career in hospitality, which I loved. People are pretty great on the whole. Somewhere along the way, while I was still in my teens, I discovered crafts and became very interested in the self-sufficient lifestyle.

I had my children fairly young, and that took me in a different direction again. I was a working mum, but I still had the interest in making things and living a very simple, and I guess wholesome, life.

Over the years though, I veered away from the things that made me happy. There was no time, no money etc. Always plenty of excuses.
One of the things I like about getting older is realising that you need to make yourself happy. You need to do the things that make you feel real - authentic if you will. And it is by making time for the things you love that the feeling of joy becomes your reality on a daily basis.

These days, I am trying to give up doing things that don't bring me joy.. I am learning to say no. I am realising that it's ok to be who I want to be. I don't have a lot of people in my life who understand me, but as long as they accept me that's ok. If they don't accept that this is who I am then gently they slip out of my life.

So what am I doing these days then?

Funnily enough it is everything that was there all along - being active and exercise is important to me, I create and craft, I read alot, I try to live a simple, mindful life. I appreciate everything.

I no longer work in an office in a job I loathe. I'm no longer with a man just because I thought I couldn't look after myself.

There comes a time in everyone's life where you have to make a decision - stay on the safe path or explore new territory, as scary as it might be. After getting off the path, I find that cutting my own way through the undergrowth of the forest isn't as scary as I thought it would be. It's hard work, yes. But it's more rewarding than I could imagine and brings more joy into my life than that safe, smooth and uninspiring concrete path.

In the end, being authentic is, I think, about making choices.

We are all where we are because of the choices we have made in our lives.

I believe it's time to take responsibility. To make choices based on who we are, not what the world expects.

It's time to be authentic. Live your own life, for you.

Although I try not to, sometimes, usually when I'm not being mindful, I label myself.
I've never been a girl into labels of any type, be they designer or personal.

Recently, it has occurred to me that I have always thought of myself as someone with no patience. Granted, I'm not particularly fond of waiting - however I don't think I've met any people who enjoy that particular activity.

It has come to my attention now that I have put a little thought into it, that when there is something I am interested in that isn't in my life to the degree I would like, I will wait.
I may wish for it to manifest faster than it is, or spend more time thinking about it, but on the whole, I have to wait. There is no point in pushing too hard, because timing is paramount.

Have you not found that certain things or people appear in your life when you need them? You may not have even been aware you were waiting for them. Which is the nicest way to wait :)

I believe we all have this gift for patience. If we want something that much, we don't stop wanting it in our lives just because it hasn't arrived yet - the house, the lover, the job.

Just because your dreams haven't come to you, is no reason at all to give up on them.
Develop the gentle art of patience, keep dreaming and living and being the best person you are.

Keep working towards your field of dreams - like the voice says "if you build it they will come."


"I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die"

No one is sure to whom these haunting words were addressed. But one thing is certain: since the beginning of time there have been women like that, women who seem to have been born with a grace and charm that makes them live on forever in the hearts of those who know them.
What makes them unforgettable? Why does one woman have this magic while others, though they are kind and attractive, pass and are gone? There is no easy answer. Yet if you query men (who should know) certain characteristics are mentioned again and again.

Sex appeal, of course, most unforgettable women have; yet by itself it is not enough. Many of the memorable women of history retained their captivating charm in old age and kept the devoted attention of the men who had loved them in their youth. Beauty, certainly, does no harm, but some of the most intriguing women have not been beautiful.

Perhaps the most universal answer is that the unforgettable woman is warm and responsive. In my own informal poll three out of four men thought that responsiveness was what indeared a woman to them most of all. "There are people," said the brilliant French essayist, Raoul de Roussey de Sales, "who transmit to others their particular emotional atmosphere; who show you how to love, to suffer, to be happy, to laugh at the humorous things in life."

The unforgettable woman is like that. You know that she is aware of you. Her mind is hospitable to your ideas, her heart to your joys and sorrows. She is not an onlooker of life. On the contrary, she is in the middle of it. She cares; things happen to her; she happens to them.

Everything a man does with such a woman becomes a memory. Because she was delighted, intrigued, curious...he remembers the morning he took her to the Fisherman's Market for breakfast; because she made it fun to walk in the rain the night the car broke down, he remembers her every time it the reain falls. She can eat happily in a rowboat or in the most exclusive restaurant. "She belongs to the moment she is in," said a stockbroker. "She gives herself to the thing she is doing." Almost all greatly loved women have had this quality of joy in the moment.

Since she is responsive, the unforgettable woman has a genius for discovering what is worthwhile in another person. This one is witty, but his shyness prevents people from knowing it. She sparks that wit and sets if flowing. Under a hard-boiled exterior, this other one is a dreaming idealist. The responsive woman comes quietly on this hidden bloom and rejoices in it.
Paradoxically, the unforgettable woman has a deep core of "aloneness." She is a person in her own right. She is not lost in the crowd, and this is not to say that she stands out as the life of the party. It is rather that she has a sense of serenity and personal security, that some of her joys are inward, that she has a satisfying existence in her own mind and imagination. This integrity and inward richness keeps such a woman from any slavish desire to please. It gives her a wonderful simplicity and protects her from fussiness and pettiness.

The unforgettable woman is also feminine, but she is not necessarily assertive about it. Recently a young dance instructor, who sees hundreds of women a year, make a remark that struck me as illuminating. "The woman who keeps pushing her femininity isn't really feminine at all," he said. "The really feminine woman isn't proving anything. She isn't always getting into the conversation. She doesn't try to make you notice her and her clothes. It's just that when you are with her you feel like a man."

Other men agree. This feeling, they say, is induced by the fact that the very womanly woman has a tenderness for a man. She never thinks of herself as engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle to get what is coming to her. She likes men, respects and admires what they are trying to achieve, hopes to make them happy. It is not sexual prowess or a fawning helplessness or the ability to wear clothes that makes a woman feminine, but tenderness and concern and the willingness to sacrifice for others.

Must the unforgettable woman be intelligent? "Yes," say an astonishing number of men. Intelligence can flower into a rich and mellow wisdom, a magic something that helps us get the most our of the world we live in; or it can be a weapon with which to destroy. If a woman's intelligence is the whetstone on which she hones the little barbs that destroy a man, she'll be unforgettable all right-but not in a way that can give her much joy. But if her intelligence is an adjunct to the subtler understanding of the heart; if it helps her to build a bridge between a man's thought and hers; if, when he talks to her, he finds himself thinking more brilliantly and profoundly that is his wont, then he will remember her with warmth and delight.

What else? Victorian though it may sound, a woman is unforgettable because she is good. To be sure, some very unvirtuous ladies, both free with their favours and stingy with their love, have lodged themselves in men's minds. But, to an astonishing degree, the women who have lived in history as unforgettable have been "good" women not always conventional, perhaps, but honourable, loving, courageous and generous.

Indeed, the woman who lacks these qualities has a short tenure on charm, for goodness is more imperishably beautiful than anything else. Pettiness and hatred, meanness and greed take very little time to inscribe their unlovely handiwork on a woman's face.

Finally, the unforgettable woman makes other people feel larger than life. She gives a man the sense of being more than he thought he was, leads him further than he thought he could go. "When you're with a woman you really know and trust," said a thoughtful acquaintance, "you say and do things you've always wanted but somehow couldn't bring yourself to say and do with your everyday friends. In the end, the most unforgettable woman is the one who leads the spirit out of its hiding place."

Not many women can blaze through the pages of their time bright in the memory of thousands of people. But every woman could be unforgettable to the man who loved and chose her. For the woman a man remembers in the end is the woman he needs, the one who comforts, the one who can give him security and fruitful experience. And the more a woman seeks to live naturally by the best of herself, the more she loves, the more gentle she is in her life, the warmer her responsiveness, the more she will be the woman needed and, therefore, the woman unforgettable.

~Ardis Whitman

I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other. For, if it lies in the nature of indifference and of the crowd to recognise no solitude, then love and friendship are there for the purpose of continually providing the opportunity for solitude. And only those are the true sharings which rhythmically interrupt periods of deep isolation....

Rainier Maria Rilke

Now all that remains is to continue on my search for those who believe that this is so.
Print "Comfort In Solitude" Available at FreeSpiritArt
I have been thinking recently (a dangerous thing), about how we put our friends and family into boxes so that we can be comfortable with who they are.
About how we put ourselves into boxes because that is what others expect of us.

You know what? I don't want to be in a box of my own, or anyone else's creating. Do you?

Our friends and family are usually full of the best intentions, but sometimes you have to be brave and do what feels right for you, even if all around you are telling you how bad it is.

If you have no support for what you want to do, get out and find some. There are resources everywhere, for everything. You only need to look on the internet and you can quickly and easily connect with like-minded souls. People who have been where you are, and are more than willing to offer advice and support as and when you need it.

If we don't take risks and tear down our boxes, we are living a life half full. A little danger and fear can be good for you - it gets the adrenaline pumping and gets you motivated.

You need to figure out what it is that makes you feel alive and take steps to live it. You want to feel that every single day of your life - the glow of being true to yourself and doing what you want to do.

One small step at a time equals big changes over the course of a year - or you can do what I do and leap without looking and make it up as you go along! Life without a safety net :)

Trust in yourself - you know what's best for you.
And when you trust yourself, you know there will always be someone willing to believe in you.
The other day I wanted to make cupcakes. Actually Miss Brooklyn wanted to make them but she is notoriously bad at cooking - never reads the recipes properly and usually leaves out some vital step or ingredient...

Anyway, I googled cupcake recipes and came across this one from the Crabapple Bakery which I thought I would share with you.

Crabapple Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes - makes 24

2 & 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

200g unsalted butter, softened

1 & 3/4 cups caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tblsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 170c and line muffin tins with papers.

Sift together flour and baking powder. Beat butter for 1 - 2 minutes until creamy. Add caster sugar 1/3 at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. After last addition beat until light and fluffy and the sugar is almost dissolved.

Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.

Add 1/3 of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add half of the milk and beat. Repeat. Add the remailing flour and combine. Do not overbeat or mixture will toughen.

Fill patty pans 3/4 full and bake for 1-20 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before frosting.

Butter Frosting

220g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup milk

1 tblsp vanilla extract

8 cups icing sugar

Note: I halved these amounts and it was more than sufficient for 24 large cupcakes.

Cream butter for 1-2 minutes. Add milk, vanilla and half the sifted icing sugar and beat for at least 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes and until mixture is a spreadable consistency.

Ice and decorate to your liking.

These cupcakes were extremely good and didn't last long at all in our house!

To be completely honest with you Dear Reader, I haven't really thought about what direction Seaside Magic will head in.

The basic mission of this blog is to encourage the search of beauty in the everyday. As much for me as for you, because sometimes I get bogged down in the minutiae of the daily grind and forget to open my eyes to the romance that surrounds me.

The how may change often though, because I am a mercurial, flighty creature who adores change and constantly pushes for new and exciting things.
This means I am versed in many different arts, including soap making, cooking, sewing, embroidery, painting and a mish-mash of other mediums. I will endeavour to provide documented evidence of some of these as we travel along our way.

This journal finds me at a time where I am re-discovering the essence of what is me. I am single, with teenage children, which presents it's own set of challenges. However, I find I am feeling more free than ever before in my life. Free to really let go and be. It's an empowering thing to experience. I am feeling less need to explain my decisions to anyone. When I say no, it's simply no. I have no need to justify. Maybe I am just growing up.

So this is an interesting time for me, because I have a need to support my children, yet all I really ever want to do is be a homemaker. At heart I'm an old-fashioned girl and I really do love being at home and making it so cosy and comforting that no-one ever wants to leave. The children don't appreciate this as much as I'd like, but they will probably never leave home either!

So at present, this means working part-time, and creating the business side of Seaside Magic – the Etsy Shop, selling my creations and vintage and re-loved finds.

I hope I have introduced myself well enough, feel free to ask any questions you like at any time!

Wordle: Seaside Magic

A word cloud of some of my favourite words.


To old friends and new.

I hope that we can create some magic together in this little corner of the web.

Here is where I will share my thoughts, creations and inspirations with you in the hope that by doing so, we can all be inspired and motivated to make our world and our homes more beautiful and comforting.

I love to be surrounded by beauty and if I take the time to look, I can find it everywhere.

In the faces of my children.

In the slightly too long grass in the back yard.

In the flame of a candle burning.

In the bubbles as I wash the dishes.

In the smell of supper simmering on the stove.

In the satisfaction of an arduous task finally done.

In a tidy room.

In the controlled chaos of creativity.

There are so many opportinities to appreciate - I'm so glad to have you along on my new adventure.

Let's make magic!