Did someone say free coffee???

So anyone who knows me well, knows that the way to my heart is by providing me with coffee. In fact, when any of my work colleagues present me with a mocha I have been known to say “Did you just sprout angel wings or is the smell of that coffee making me delusional?” or something else corny and completely weird like that.

So as you can imagine, my heart was filled with all sorts of joy when my local barista informed me that my coffee was on the house!

What!? On the house!?

Yep. One free large mocha for me!! No I didn’t have a freebie on my loyalty card, and I was certainly not mistaken! Yet I found myself standing there with a free coffee in hand! Are you wondering how?

What had happened was a lovely gesture by a total stranger. A woman had visited earlier and handing the barista a $50 note told him that she insisted that she pay for the next $50 worth of coffees.

Some wonderful woman out there spent $50 worth of coffee on complete strangers! She doesn’t just have angel wings, she’s got a halo too.

When the shock of free coffee settled, I smiled and felt all fuzzy inside (perhaps the warm liquid chocolate helped with that) but mostly, I was just amazed. Amazed that there are still such thoughtful people in our society. She absolutely made my day, and it’s a comforting thought to know that there are people out there as kind and as thoughtful as this stranger I’ll never meet.

Maybe we can all learn from her actions?

If you don’t have $50 to spare, perhaps there’s another way that we can all help each other and make our days brighter. Have a think about it, I will be.

Positivity makes the world go round after all.


My Writing Tip for the Week

I have to remind myself of this every time that I open my laptop.

I become such a perfectionist while I’m writing, and as I sit obsessing over the perfect word, all I end up with is imperfect sentences. It makes me lose pace, forget where my characters are going and what’s driving them. Most importantly, it stops me from moving forward.

Tell me what you’d rather; 20,000 perfectly polished over edited words, or 40,000 words consisting of basic sentences and blunt plot points?

I’d take the 40,000 any day.

So write badly, and keep writing badly until everything is on the page. You can fix it all later.

My Writing Tip for the Week

Adjectives are evil, and I never realised how many of these little suckers had snuck in to my work.

So this week when someone said this to me, I decided I had to share it for my weekly writing post.

Less is more.

I’m Writing a Novel

So I’ve been rather MIA with the blogging world lately, and I feel incredibly guilty. The truth is I’ve been sharing my writing need with something else. A rather big project for someone who always feels time poor like myself.

I’ve been working on a novel.

Now I know I’ve referred to a mystery manuscript in an earlier procrastination post of mine, so to be honest I have actually been tackling the first draft on and off for the last year.

However I’m typing this post to make it more official now that I’m working at it more seriously. I read somewhere that the first step to writing a novel is to actually tell people you’re doing it, so here I am, telling the world!

I don’t know how far it’s going to go, or even if it will be read start to finish by a publisher but that uncertainty combined with determination is what the writing journey is all about.

So while all of this is rather exciting for me I don’t want to neglect my blog so I’ve decided to commit to a post a week until my first draft is finished. One post for one writing lesson learnt.

Maybe these lessons can even be applied to blogging? I mean, writing is writing after all and it would be great if you could all take something away from my new weekly posts as well.

So if you’re interested stay posted, this happy little writer has some work to do!

What I learnt from holidaying with a teething baby

I know I’ve been a little MIA with my blogging since finishing up my Top Three Thursday posts. Truth is, I’ve got significantly less time lately due to signing up for a six month writing course – more on that later.

We also had our first family getaway. It was only two nights on the coast at Batemans Bay but that’s all we needed.

This post is all about said trip, so if your interested keep reading.

As we arrived in Batemans Bay the sun was high in the sky trying its best to fend off a nippy breeze. We arrived a little later than planned, but I didn’t mind because Eleanor got a longer sleep while we travelled than I expected.

When we arrived at our home for the next two nights I breathed a content sigh at the sight from our front door. The front verandah over looked the inlet and the river front main street of Batemans. The sun glistening over the water surface was just as pretty as the view across the water at night when all of the lights from the river front businesses reflected like fairy lights over the water. It was beautiful watching Eleanor point at them before bedtime, all of those little gestures never fail to make my heart melt.

Our first time travelling with Eleanor was fun, and tiring at the same time. It’s definitely different holidaying with a one year old rather than just the two of us! That being said, it was so much fun!

We visited Mogo zoo, where Eleanor and I fed a giraffe then daddy helped us feed some deer. We even ordered Eleanor some food off the kids menu, which was a sobering but very proud moment.

Our baby girl isn’t really a baby anymore!!

The only real struggle we had with Eleanor was getting her to sleep. The change in routine and the teething was to thank for that. The first night was tough, she just wouldn’t settle and screamed every time I tried to nurse her or put her down so I caved and let her sleep in with us. The second night was a little easier and we managed to get her to sleep for a few hours in the portable cot, but she was still a little bit unsettled. It’s safe to say that two nights away was enough for her.

During the trip home I had some time to reflect on how we coped with a teething baby on holiday, and decided to share on my blog what I learnt.

1. Don’t go anywhere without bonjela but be careful to wait at least 3-4 hours between applications or your child will turn in to a drooling mess! Not only that, it’s really not recommended.

2. Make sure to pack kids panadol and add a little bit to the bed time bottle if bubs is remotely unsettled before bed.

3. Having plenty of snack food handy is a must because when teething sometimes it’s best to offer less food but more often. It seems to be less painful for them.

4. Take your own cot bedding and pack comfort toys. It reminds babies and toddlers of home. It kind of worked for us!

5. Be prepared to have to change your routine. If something that normally works suddenly doesn’t don’t be afraid to try something else.

6. Stay somewhere with a fridge so that you can store some teethers in there. If you forget teethers wet a face washer and store it in the fridge in a ziplock bag.

7. Lastly, make sure everyone enjoys themselves!

I’m going to leave these here for future reference and hopefully these little tips can help anyone else reading this post too.

For anyone interested, we have a much happier little girl now after cutting her third tooth in two weeks!

Hopefully that’s it for a while now.

Here’s some photos of our trip.

Top three books that made me feel…

A good book makes your reader really feel something. Books that make you feel are usually the ones that leave you with a whopping big book hangover, and to me that’s my ultimate reading goal. So here are three books that really drove that home for me.

1. Life to the limit – Bev Brock

What? An autobiography/memoir at the top of my list? How on earth did that happen!?

Admittedly I have a small lady crush on Bev. I had he honour of meeting her at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 a couple of years ago. I was there for work, I barely knew anybody and whenever I was sitting alone she’d come and keep me company. Such an inspirational loving woman. After meeting her in person I just had to get my hands on her book, and I’m really glad I did. Very emotional and empowering read. The same can be said for the woman herself.

2. Marley and me – John Grogan

I’m a dog person, I’ve never been a cat person because my mum’s allergic. Maybe that’s why this book was so relatable for me. It made me feel so emotionally attached that I cried, and not just while reading the ending. This novel managed to make me laugh and feel frustrated at the same time on more than one occasion. It’s such a beautiful story. It makes me wish that mans best friends could live forever.

3. Dear John – Nicholas Sparks

I know what you’re wondering… why Dear John of all his novels? I’ll tell you why, because I’m pretty much the only one in the world who hasn’t read The Notebook! (Haha) Had I read that, I feel like that might be here in its place… but I haven’t, so here we are. All Nicholas Sparks novels are designed to hit you in the feels. Make you love, hurt and hope. This one was no exception. I enjoyed every minute of it, even as I drew closer to the end.

Now I know this post is a couple of days late. It just goes to show how badly Thursday works out to be a writing day for me. When I set out my 12 weeks of top threes I had just started back at work, and after looking at my roster I decided that Thursdays would be a good blogging day. How wrong I was! I didn’t realise that working mid week would make the back end of my week so terribly busy and unorganised. Throw in a gastro attack on the household and now a respiratory virus with Eleanor and everything is thrown into snotty nosed chaos!

Needless to say, in future I won’t be committing to a weekly Thursday post! Maybe Mondays would work out better…

Our baby girl is 1!

I don’t know how many times today that I had the thought, “this time last year…” and was hit so hard with nostalgia that I had to fight off the tears, but I know there was a lot.

Absolutely no words could prepare me for motherhood, I see that now. No books, no online articles, no movies… it’s something else entirely. Something that you don’t feel until you’re here.

Even though it’s tough, and challenging at times it the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. The best thing I’ve ever done.

I think back to the moment when I saw that positive pregnancy test, the moment when I told my husband that we were going to be parents and remember feeling overcome with emotion. Yet as sweet as that moment was, it was nothing compared to how I felt when I finally got to hold Eleanor in my arms for the first time 12 months ago.

It was a sign of things to come, a glimpse into the wide range of emotions that hit me every day that I’m with her. I never even knew those kinds of emotions existed until she entered our lives but I’m so grateful that I know they exist now. Even if they can make me laugh and cry in the same second! All you other parents out there could totally understand that one!

Anyway, I’m not here to bore you with all of my soppy mum moments, but I will share one.

The moment in question came as I stood on my back veranda holding Ellie on my hip, watching the sunset. I’ve always loved a good sunset. Yet in that moment what filled me with joy more, was watching our little girl point at the glowing orange sky with a smile on her face. It sounds simple, because it is. It’s the innocent wonder that she experiences every day with the simplest things that fill me with the sweetest joy.

I can’t help but wonder what sort of world we’ve brought her in to, but it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s enough. As long as she can continue to find joy in things, and enjoy discovering the world around her.

It’s been an amazing 12 months, we’ve got ourselves a smart, strong little girl who in all honesty seems to know something we don’t all the time.

We wouldn’t have it any other way, and I hope we gave our little girl an amazing first birthday! Even if she won’t remember it.