November 30, 2012

i heart blogshop

I often wish I had started blogging earlier, back when I was living in California. 

This is partly because I can't seem to find any photos from those days and partly because of my insane jealously at the sheer blogging talent that seems to stem from the West Coast. Events, summits, collaborations - all this American goodness is happening while the Australian blogging world seems to be moving at a slower pace (although admittedly in the right direction). 

When I found out that Bri & Angela from BlogShop where finally coming to Australia I couldn't believe my luck. Then I found out the class was sold out. Then I did something out of character - I took a long shot and emailed them to ask if they needed any help. The surprising part? They said yes.

So next weekend I'll be hanging out with 2 super talented ladies I've admired from afar and a roomful of other local bloggers. I don't know if I'll be serving lunch or mopping the floor and to tell you the truth, I don't really care. This is something I've wanted to do for so long and I still can't quite believe my luck. I'll be back to report back next week with more photos than you bargained for...

November 27, 2012

absolutely no regrets

I often find that life's greatest lessons are revealed only through our biggest mistakes.

That momentary feeling that you've blown it, the dreaded feeling of regret in the pit of your stomach, the over analysing, the trying to shake that horrid feeling that you've wasted an opportunity. Thankfully in most cases those moments are fleeting and when the sting of regret has washed away you're left with a feeling of clarity, a calm vision of a lesson learned and a hurdle overcome. The only thing to do next? Move forward.

I've learned a lot of lessons this year and made a lot of decisions, both good and bad. I've over analysed conversations, shed a few tears, laughed at myself and in the end have been surprised with just how much I have yet to learn about little old me.

Every year right around this time I begin to reflect back on the year that was. I look back at the moments I've been proud of and hope they out number the moments of regret (I loath regret) and luckily this year the good moments far out weigh the negative ones. The strange thing I've noticed (perhaps it just comes with age?) is the realisation that the moments of struggle have left me feeling stronger, better aware of my own strengths and of course my own weaknesses. Mistakes have been made, lessons have been learnt and a whole new side of myself revealed. Learning from our mistakes isn't an easy process but one worth the struggle.

Do you have regrets this year?

p.s  Yes, the title of this post was inspired by Madonna's lyrics in Human Nature. Embarrassing, but true.  No, these photos don't have any relation to one another but the guy lounging at the bar this weekend looked so relaxed I just had to snap a photo.

November 22, 2012

be grateful, be thankful

If I had to choose one meal to eat before I died it would be Thanksgiving dinner.  I'd ask for a massive, mouth-watering plate piled high with roast turkey smothered in gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce.  I'd eat it all and go back for seconds. Then have a slice of pumpkin pie.

Then I'd take a nap.

I love Thanksgiving and this year in particular I am bursting at the seams with gratitude.  My heart is full of love for the people around me and for those far away.  Filled with love for getting to experience moments I'll cherish. For getting to hug my grandfather again during my last visit, for meeting my niece and being overwhelmed at the profound love for this little human. To have been able to laugh and dance until the wee hours with my sisters, to ride bikes with my dad and take long walks with my mom. 

This year I'm grateful for friends that love to celebrate Thanksgiving as much as I do, an apartment to call home, our health, jobs that pay the bills and allow us to live such a fulfilled life. I'm grateful and thankful for, so thankful.  Today, take a moment to give thanks for all the love that surrounds you and be grateful for all that you have...Happy Thanksgiving.

p.s - this year we opted for a Thanksgiving themed BBQ but fear not, we still had turkey salt & pepper shakers and good old turkey napkins shipped in straight from the USA (thanks mom!).

November 18, 2012

newtown festival & urban walkabout launch

The end of the year is always busy.  This year seems to be no exception. 

Office parties, festivals, gatherings and holiday cheer fill up the calendar quickly and life suddenly begins to hurl towards 2013 at lightening speed. This week was filled with milestones - my niece started crawling, we actually started planning our trip to Vietnam and Jimmy's band had one of their songs played on FBI Radio - proud moments all around.  Because I wasn't actually there to document any of these moments in person I'll leave you with a few photos from last week's Newtown Festival and the Urban Walkabout Style Seekers Launch...Happy Sunday!

p.s - I have Freedom to thank for these beautiful flowers and amazing bow tie vase!

November 15, 2012

looking forward, looking back

My lists are long. My dreams are big. 

More often than not, its daunting to think about those long lists and far away dreams. Self-doubt begins to creep in, comparison (that evil word) begins to emerge and your goals can seem a million miles away. Suddenly things begin to slot themselves into the unreachable category.  By focusing too much on what’s ahead we often lose sight of what’s in front of us…

Lately, instead of looking ahead (and getting crazily overwhelmed) at how much has yet to be accomplished, I've been glancing back and appreciating how far I've come.  I look at what goals have been reached, what personal milestones have been achieved and what wonderful and beautiful memories have been made this year. This new appreciation for the small things has enabled me to be grateful for the little moments that make up the bigger picture.  In terms of this little blog here, I was extremely proud to be featured on the much admired Blogstar site as well as have our home profiled on the beautiful Lottie Loves blog. These 2 little moments, although not on my ‘to do’ list, signify a move forward and represent a perfect excuse to stop and appreciate things just as they are.

Go ahead and take a moment today, not to look forward but to appreciate all that you have around you and how far you've actually come.

November 12, 2012

Blog Photography Class

Every once and a while, there are just those perfect moments when you look around and everything you had planned, everything you had talked about appears exactly as you had imagined. This past Saturday was one of those moments.  

In the middle of our blog photography class, I paused to take a moment, look around and enjoy the fact that in front of me had gathered a small handful of talented women all looking to embrace the art of photography.  The room was small but perfect, the food was healthy and plentiful (well I'm not sure the caramel tarts were healthy but they were certainly delicious) and our lovely teacher Emma was outstanding and most importantly, patient.  I was so happy to see the group getting along, asking questions, shopping up a storm downstairs at Little Paper Lane and most importantly having fun.  Learning to shoot manual is going to be a long process of practice for me but a seed has been planted and I can't wait to watch my photography improve (fingers crossed) in the months ahead.

I can't thank Amanda and Em enough for helping to put this event on and look forward to many more next year!  If you are interested let me know so I can add you to our mailing list! For more pics check out Amanda's blog or use the #blogphotographyworkshop hashtag on Instagram!

November 9, 2012

life in focus

It's actually happening.

After so much time spent planning and plotting I can't wait to host our first blog photography workshop tomorrow. As a person prone to thinking instead of doing, making this workshop a reality has been a huge step for me and one I'm really proud of. The vision was clear and suddenly everything is in focus.

Emma and I have a great group on board, a beautiful little space, delicious food courtesy of the Jammy Cow (if you want to check out some amazing food photography, Clare's new blog is fantastic) and support from one of our favourite magazines, Inside Out.

I'm embracing the Nike attitude of 'Just Do It' and can't wait to see how it all comes together...

November 8, 2012

silent & unplugged

The house is empty, quiet and perfectly still.

I'm sitting here listening to the cars pass below and enjoying the utter noiselessness that surrounds me. It's a rare thing these days. A quiet, silent house. When was the last time you unplugged? Put away the laptop, placed down the phone, refused to make a list or turned the TV off? I don't do it as often as I should but for some reason it all become too much today, the constant buzzing of technology, and I craved silence more than chocolate. Strange I know. 

Nothing in particular happened to make me want to shut out the noise, just life..everyday, filled to the brim, wonderfully, busy life. Usually I thrive on busy days but tonight I'm craving simplicity. I might even read a book. I don't know about you but sometimes we have so much going on in our lives that I find it hard to really, truly relax. I'm constantly glued to my phone, checking Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram on an hourly basis, feeding my habit, pleasantly distracted and always preoccupied.

But tonight I need to silence the noise, step away from the computer, refocus and enjoy a quiet house while I can...they never stay quiet for long do they?

November 6, 2012

the week that was

Thanks to the magic that is Instagram I've been able to document the past few weeks in all it's tissue garland, Halloween costume, confetti goodness. Here's a look back at the week that was...

p.s. - It's  bold statement but I'm going to say that my niece's lamb costume is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen.

November 5, 2012

event wrap up: abcd & instagram meet-up

The rain held off and thanks to a quick venue change courtesy of the lovely ladies at Polli, the ABCD Blogger & Instagram Meet-Up went off without a hitch. Between the tea from Sweet Jane's Traveling Tea House and a table full of goodies I'm pretty sure I was on a sugar high the entire afternoon but nevertheless it was a smashing success and I'm so happy to have been a part of it. I love getting the chance meet new bloggers, share my obsession with instagram and have my iPhone glued to my hand without feeling one ounce of guilt. It was a great afternoon and I encourage you all to check out the next gathering in early 2013. Head over the ABCD Facebook page for more photos or check out the following hashtags on Instagram: #abcdmeetup or #sydneyinstameet

Special thanks to Jayde from Little Paper Lane and to the superstar planning duo of Steph from Bondville & Lisa from The Red Thread - well done ladies!

November 4, 2012

DIY Tissue Garland

In a rare moment of craft inspiration I decided to channel my inner Martha Stewart and attempt a project that I've been wanting to try for a while: the DIY tissue garland.

I've long been a fan of the trendy tissue garland but just didn't have the spare cash to dish out for a fancy one so decided to make my own using this really helpful tutorial

It was simple, inexpensive and dare I say it - easy. I'm pretty happy with the results - what you do think?

November 2, 2012

megan morton book launch: things i love

In my next lifetime I want to come back as a stylist. 

No, actually scratch that, in my next lifetime I want to come back as Megan Morton.

Last night I headed to The School with Tea and Flyn to celebrate the perfectly styled launch of her new book, Things I Love. Not only did I get to see some familiar faces but there just so happened to be large quantities of confetti, Logan Wine Rose (my fav), an instagram wall and a pineapple pinata - what more could you want? 

So it's official, my girl crush on MM has been taken to new heights and pretty I'm sure the entire room last night felt the same thing. The woman is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does talent drip from everything she touches but her warm personality and ability to immediately connect with people is a skill few people possess and even fewer can master. The woman is unstoppable and I was glad to be there to witness her moment in the spotlight - well done MM.
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