It's been 14 months since I last posted… I'm so sorry. So much has happened. There's been love, laughter, tears, dancing, 4 holidays (more on those later), three house moves, one job redundancy, one new job, one crashed car, one new car, one heartbreak, and one heart slowly healing.
In the immortal words of Game of Thrones, "…let's begin, shall we…"
It's been 14 months since I last posted… I'm so sorry. So much has happened. There's been love, laughter, tears, dancing, 4 holidays (more on those later), three house moves, one job redundancy, one new job, one crashed car, one new car, one heartbreak, and one heart slowly healing.
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016! Another year over, a new one just begun.
I know I’m a little late with the New Years message but truth be told I’ve been struck down by the filthiest cold/cough. Literally I feel like I’m dying….Or trying to cough up a lung.
The cold/cough beast arrived just in time for New Years Eve. I was feeling a little run down after Christmas and figured it was due to all the travel. Really it was due to all those wonderful hugs from my mum and sister who have been suffering from this beast too. At first I just thought I could fight it with green tea, loads of water and some early nights. But by new years eve it was upon me and Mr Forrester whisked me off to the late night pharmacy to get some proper drugs to fight it.
So my new years eve was one of the quietest I’ve had in a long time. Just Mr Forrester and I wandered down to the beach (me dressed like a bag lady in layers to keep me warm – in the middle of summer and he dressed in shorts, t shirt and flip flops) to eat wood fired pizza and watch the early fireworks. Then it was back to his for another glass or 2 of mimosa (I figured I was doing the right thing mixing champagne with orange juice to up my Vitamin C levels) while watching Fargo on NetFlix. Seriously I am in love with NetFlix and how good was Fargo season 2?
We saw the New Year in back down on the beach with fireworks again and a quick kiss on the cheek so not to pass on the dreaded cold. Then it was back home quick smart for bed. I know you almost can’t believe how hard we partied, right?
It’s always good to look back on the year that was. Reflect, celebrate or take stock. My 2015 was all about travel, work, family, coco pop the dog & of course meeting the wonderful Mr Forrester. I know I blogged a lot less than previous years as I was too busy living life to update the blog – I’m very sorry about not keeping you all in the loop!
In total I wrote 34 posts, I have 143 followers (thank you), and 4053 views (phew)! My top 5 posts as voted by you are:
- Bachie Files #7 The subtle art of ghosting
- Mr Grey will see you now
- Bachie Files #5 The tale of 2 dates
- Of Monsters and Men
- A day in the life
My, my, my what a mixed bag that is! It’s really cool to see what you’ve enjoyed the most this past year.
My personal favourite posts for the year:
- 34 I do love a good birthday
- The Bachie Files #8 Exclusive
- 4 Another year with my Coco Pop
- Paris & Paris Part II
- Of Monsters and Men
If you don’t already follow me on instagram (why not) you will have missed my Best 9 photos:
I’m not really into New Years resolutions. However I do have some goals for the next 12 months:
- Save, save, save money for more travel and just in general (did I mention my washing machine died last week? Guess what I got for Christmas…A new washing machine)
- Reduce debt on my credit cards
- Travel More, Worry less
- Laugh hard, love with my whole heart
I had an amazing 2015 and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!!!
What about you? How did you celebrate the arrival of the New Year? Do you have any resolutions or goals?
On the 19 end of October it was Coco Pop’s fourth birthday. I call it her birthday but really it should be called her forever home day… It’s the date she chose me. It’s been 2 years since she came home to live with me. I try and write a piece on the year that was to remember her forever home day but this year the words didn’t want to come easily….
Goodness I had such grand plans when I brought my girl home over 2 years ago. I had visions of us wandering off to cafes for breakfast, daily walks by the beach, doggy play dates at the park, and of course my pocket princess would be perfectly behaved when we were out in public! If you’re not laughing at the above then you’ve never owned a dog!!!
The reality is coco pop is perfectly imperfect dog:
- She hates cafes (I’ve tried a few times and it’s been so awful for both of us I don’t whether to laugh or cry);
- Doesn’t care for children;
- Considers ibis birds a national threat and it’s her sworn duty to chase and bark at them;
- She is either indifferent to other dogs or she tries to dominate them;
- She has a particular issue with black Labradors;
- If lunging, barking, jumping around, trying to pull off her halti, and cutting other people off while walking is considered good public behaviour then Coco Pop is a star!
Even though she is imperfect, she’s perfect for me. This crazy dog who was such a timid girl when she arrived has blossomed this past year. I’ve spoken to experts, asked friends, reached out via Facebook, and even done a bunch of my own research to address some of Coco’s behaviours; specifically her barking while I’m at work.
Despite 2 big walks a day, sleeping inside my room of a night, and a weekly visit to doggy day care it would seem that the pocket princess likes to be kept company all day. I don’t blame her; it gets boring when you’ve only got yourself for company. Unfortunately until my work agrees to become a pet friendly hotel I can’t take her to the office with me and home she must stay.
Thanks to some great feedback I’ve brought Coco Pop a radio for background noise when no one is home, she’s the new owner of a range of fun interactive toys including the foobler where she pushes it around until food falls out of it, plus we’ve been doing some new training. The awesome trainer/owner at doggy day care told me that unless Coco Pop is going with me I should walk her before I get ready to leave, then feed her and put her outside, shutting the door and telling her goodbye. Then I get ready; he said she’ll know I’m in the house but she isn’t going with me. So far these techniques are working and the barking has stopped.
This past year has helped me to find my feet as the person of a crazy GSD too. I’m still working on remaining calm when things don’t go exactly to plan……I don’t care what people think when they see me trying to walk her and she’s too busy trying to lunge at a seagull, I love that she snuggles into me and tries to lick my face when I’m sad, I like that she barks when people come up to the front door (she’s just saying hello), my favourite thing to do is to take her to the beach and let her run wild (she used to be terrified of the water) and chase pesky seagulls, I laugh when she yet again destroys another stuffed toy or chases around her ball, and every day (even on the days when she wakes me up at 4am to play) I am so thankful she chose me. She is my perfectly imperfect dog and I’m her perfectly imperfect person.
Perfectly Imperfect Photos of the pocket princess
Coco Pop, River, Mr Forrester and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year x
Rob over at the V-Pub inspired me to write about my Christmas tree. I put my tree up on the 2 December, I wanted to put it up before the start of December but my Flatmates insisted I wait.
I’ve got an artificial tree I brought a few years ago. I know real trees are better but fake trees don’t require so much cleaning.
Here’s the tree set-up:
Coco wanted to be a part of Christmas too:
Gosh this dog loves me, she let me dress her up and take photos.
How cute is River???
Who else has their tree up???
I have to tell you guys this story from the weekend…. For those of you don’t know I have a phobia of spiders. A serious; wouldn’t touch one for a million dollars, phobia…Well maybe for 2 million. Actually no. I can’t.
So I noticed a few weeks ago my emoticons in my iphone updated and I got a few new things: more food, a unicorn and a freaking spider…. WTF?!
So I posted this on twitter because I can’t even. When I see this I quickly swipe left so that I don’t have to look at the little creepy spider. In my opinion the only good spider is a dead spider. Period.
I have my house especially pest treated for the purpose of killing all the spiders. I can handle cockroaches (they are gross though), moths, snakes (I once had an ex-boyfriend who had a pet python and I used to wrap it around my neck), bats…Pretty much anything that doesn’t have too many legs. I think it’s the legs, the eyes, and the creepy sideways way they move that freaks me out the most about spiders. Ugh! They are horrid. In Australia we happen to have a bunch of large and hairy spiders. The most venomous are funnel webs, then red backs, white tails and Huntsmen. Well truth be told the huntsmen spider isn’t really venomous; it’ll probably hurt and you won’t feel too great but you won’t die if you don’t treat the bite like the funnel web and red back.
So one of my friends saw my post on twitter and decided it is her job to help me overcome my fear of spiders…..This is what she sent me:
I love Anna; but on Friday she was pretty much dead to me. I can’t even look at the pictures she sent me without getting shivers up my spine.
Then yesterday Ridge Forrester and I went shopping for Christmas gifts for our families (we’re having lunch with his family, dinner with mine) and I spotted this in Kmart:
This was in the kid’s toys section of the store. Who would give a child that? Mr Forrester (who is well aware of my spider fear) thought it would be a great gift for me….I told him if I unwrap this Christmas morning he is never having sex with me again. I feel I’m completely justified in making good on my threat.
FYI next year I’m doing all of my Christmas shopping online! We were at the mall for over 3.5 hours. It was chaos. But we survived as a couple, so yay! Go Mr Forrester and I.
How about you? Do you have any phobias you want to share? More importantly have you completed all of your Christmas gift shopping?
I didn’t sleep all that well on the first night in Paris. I woke up a few times throughout the night as my body clock reset itself. I know I was nervous about sleeping in…Today was the day I was finally headed to Giverney (pronounced Ghe-Varn-ey) the home of Monet’s garden.
Now for those who aren’t aware I’ll confess that I’ve got little sense of direction when it comes to places that aren’t familiar to me. I almost got lost on the way back to the hotel the night before. So I was pretty proud of myself for finding my way to the tour office (opposite the Louvre) from my hotel on foot. Once I saw the Seine I knew I would be fine.
Once again Viator came to my rescue in picking a tour to Giverney. I knew by booking a tour I would be guaranteed a speedier entrance to the gardens and Monet’s house than those who simply arrived on the day. My tour was a half day Private Giverney Tour. This means that you are transferred out to the estate in a private van with 6 other people – It’s not a private tour of the estate. You get to share that with around 100+ of your closest friends from other tour groups. It was raining when we arrived and I hadn’t had time to grab an umbrella (despite spotting stores selling them the night before); luckily the tour guide leant me hers. We were given a little over an hour to explore the gardens and the house where Monsieur Monet created his masterpieces such as the water lilies series.
Giverney has been a dream of mine since I found out about Monet. He is my favourite impressionist artist and I may have cried the first time I saw his paintings at the Musee D’Orsay. I can say now the dream lived up to the reality as I wandered about in awe of the gardens. The area around Giverney is all woodland so Monet and his family would’ve spent years creating the beautiful gardens.
When I got back to Paris I promptly brought 2 umbrellas for Renee and I. Renee arrived from Bordeaux in the afternoon sore but triumphant from running her first ever marathon – Marathon Du Medoc. We found a little Thai place nearby our hotel for a late lunch and I got to cuddle a random American family’s 6 month old baby (he was very sweet and a total ladies man cooing at us). That night we found a nearby restaurant offering a 3 course meal special. We toasted Paris and Renee’s marathon debut with a glass of champagne and then washed down our meal with a bottle of the lightest Rose.
Our last morning in Paris we walked the streets of the Quarter lost searching for H&M to indulge in a little retail therapy. After finding the store and picking up 2 items (a khaki maxi dress and black shell top with ruffles: both very on trend) we made it back to the hotel and then loaded up bags to carry down the stairs and towards the train.
The Saint-Michele/Notre Dame train station was a very short away from the hotel. Unfortunately not all Paris train stations are luggage friendly and there were a lot of stairs to get down to the platform headed to the airport. It was just 10 Euro to get from the city to the airport – cheaper than a taxi or Uber by miles! Once at the airport we battled the security gates coming off the train platform. We watched other travellers try to drag their cases through the small laneway between the gates only to have the gates shut before they could get their cases through. The best solution? The bags went over the gates and the other person caught them on the other side. Aside from this little hiccup I would recommend the train to anyone looking for a budget friendly way to get out to the airport.
Side note: the Air France terminal at Charles De Gaulle Airport was pretty nice. I was impressed. Not a massive heap of food options (Paul or mini market) but I liked the bliss zone where you could get a massage or mani/pedi before boarding your flight. We didn’t have time to investigate the cost for this as we were running a little late. Next stop FLORENCE. ITALY….
Have you been to Giverney? Would you visit Paris now?
- BNE – ADH (Brisbane – Abu Dhabi) Ethiad Airways
- ADH – CDG (Abu Dhabi – Paris) Ethiad Airways
- Where I stayed: Hotel Saint Andre Des Arts
- Rate: 250 Euro (approx $415 AUD)
- Highlight: Day tour of Giverney
- Lowlight: our room was on the 3rd floor and as almost always in Paris there was no elevator (almost 50 steps either way)
In light of the horrific attacks suffered in Paris last month I’ve finally finished my post on my travels to the city of lights back in September. I sat in my car that Saturday morning (Australian time) reading what had happened in my beloved Paris and cried for the innocents who lost their lives all in the name of terrorism. I know it is scary to travel with so much un-rest and the threat of terrorism but please, please make sure you visit Paris soon. Take in the wonder of the city and don’t let the fear and hate stop you from living.
I’ve been told Paris is a city you either love or you hate…. The lovers tell you; it’s beautiful, the gardens and city are so chic, the galleries are outstanding, the city oozes romance and seduction at every turn, and as long as you remember hello, goodbye, thank you in French they will be delighted! The haters tell you; the city is dirty, the residents are arrogant, and it’s expensive.
My love affair with Paris began over 8 years ago on my first ever overseas trip. My ex Harry Potter (he bore a striking resemblance to the actor Daniel Radcliffe) and I had 3 nights here. From the moment I spotted my first French balcony I was hooked. Then that first night we stumbled across Notre Dame and I swore to love Paris forever.
I last visited Paris on a whirlwind 4 years ago onboard a Topdeck bus tour. We arrived into the city late one evening and were given a tour of the city ending under that famous tower which sparkles through the night. We literally had 1 full day there and I spent it well visiting Versailles, the Musee D’Orsay, fitting in cream brûlée and wine at lunch, then a picnic style dinner under the Eiffel Tower, and finishing in style with a River Cruise on the Seine.
When planning this trip Paris wasn’t on my list. I was planning London and some UK, followed by Italy and Greece. Of course plans changed and when I saw a flight Brisbane to Paris I knew I had to take it. Picking a hotel wasn’t easy! Paris hotels are notoriously expensive especially in central arrondissements of the city. Having just 2 nights in the city I was determined to stay as close as possible to the city rather than waste time travelling back and forth on the metro. Also I figured my almost non-existent French would be tolerated in the city centre over the outer areas. After pouring over TripAdvisor reviews and trying to keep to a realistic budget I finally selected the Latin Quarter as the place to stay in the 5th and 6th arrondissements at Hotel Saint-Andre des Arts.
I’m not going to lie; if you want authentic Paris, then the Quarter is probably not the place to stay. It’s very touristy with oodles of shops selling umbrellas with “Paris” printed all over them (a must in the city which always seems to rain), lots of street vendors selling prints of Paris monuments, and restaurants offering the meal of the day as a hamburger with French fries. Despite this, and maybe because I’m a lame tourist, I liked the Quarter; I find the touristy shops charming, and if you ask for a menu at a restaurant you’re sure to find something other than a hamburger. Plus it’s helps that you’re a short walk to Notre Dame, the Seine, and the Louvre.
There’s all the hallmarks of Paris too – the beautiful balconies with wrought iron railings curling gracefully, cobblestone streets, cafes with hundreds of forward facing chairs to take in the city as it bustles around you, the beautiful gothic architecture of the buildings.
Arriving into Charles De Gaulle airport you could be asking yourself how is this Paris? For one of the most fashionable and chic cities in the world it has an ugly airport. I treated myself to a transfer from the airport to my hotel rather than battle the train. I knew I wouldn’t have the stamina after an almost 24 hour travel time to get here. Thanks to Viator I was able to pre-book this and it was a pretty smooth experience with English speaking drivers.
I arrived at the hotel and after making my way up the multitude of stairs (elevator, anyone?) I gave myself a nap to help recover. Then I was ready to explore. Europe in early Fall means long days – the sun doesn’t set until almost 9pm! I had a rough idea of where Notre Dame was and after about 10 minutes I spotted it. I snapped a few pics at Magic hour of this beautiful cathedral before heading over to a nearby café for a glass of champagne (thank you Adventurous Kate for the suggestion that when travelling alone a glass of champagne is always a good idea)! I must’ve looked the part as a Frenchman bid passing on the street bid me good evening before asking something in French. I smiled and offered back; “Desole monsiour, non parle Francois” (sorry sir, I don’t speak French). The wait staff were a little rude despite my smile and Bonsoiree as I walked up to claim a table. I simply gave them a raised eyebrow and ordered fromargie from the menu when they asked if I would like a hamburger for dinner.
The cheese platter was lovely and washed down with a glass of French red made it even better. I love crème brulee so I had to have some for dessert….Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I’ve had before. The wait staff and I became brief friends when I left as they almost forgot to add my glass of champagne to the bill – my honesty earned me a smile and Au Reviour Madame as I wandered back to the hotel…..
To be continued….
Have you been to Paris? What did you think – love it or loathe it? Best experience you had there?
What does one pack for 3 weeks in Europe in Spring? I’m a desperate over-packer (fuelled by my fear I’ll miss out on wearing something lovely) so I decided to consult the experts in packing my Europe holiday wardrobe.
The seriously stylish Nikki from styling you went to Europe at the start of the European summer. Being a helpful woman she listed all she packed (you can see her wardrobe here). I followed her advice and voila here’s my choices…. tops… from left side and clockwise: sports girl wanderlust t-shirt $29 (grabbed on sale at end of season), witchery white sleeved blouse $129.95 (this season), grey asos v-neck $24.95 as a two pack (this season), cream (this season $39.95) and pink t-shirts both witchery, white H&M tank, and witchery cream tank (last year).
Bottoms from black left then clockwise: $20 target soft joggers (this season on sale when I got them), Sussan black drapey pants $59.95 (last season), witchery shorts (last year), Kmart shorts (last year).
Casual/day dresses (left to right): unknown brand (brought in Byron Bay a few years back by dear friends for my birthday), unknown brand (picked up in a boutique at Currumbin post breakfast one morning), Eb & Evie dress (last season – grabbed on sale at birdsnest).
My something extra: a jumpsuit from a few years back from Ally that I picked up for less than $40!
Swimmers from bottom left: capriosca rash vest $95 (this season from sequin and sand), capriosca one piece (last summer picked up on sale for $109 from sequins and sand), tie dyed wrap (cotton on – a last summer steal for $10), black bikini top $24.95 (cotton on body this season), $29.95 per item for bather bottoms (all cotton on body last season or later except for the black and white stripes which is this season). Since taking this pic I’ve put the pink/purple bather bottoms back in my cupboard.
Workout gear from bottom blue centre clockwise: blue tank and pink patterned tank both cotton on body (last year), black ronhill tights (last year from wiggle), black Kmart tights (last season). Sports crops from Lorna Jane.
Shoes: you’re not seeing double, I was just too lazy to re-photograph all the shoes together! I packed them all because I couldn’t choose between the nude and gold sandals or the silver ballet flats. As I had the room both went in.
Nude/gold sandals: next UK, they were a gift from a family friend. With a small heel they are surprisingly comfy.
Nude flat sandals: ASOS! An all leather bargain for less than $40.
Silver flats: Rubi shoes last season purchased on sale for around $15.
Black joggers: Witchery leather joggers this season $129.95.
Extras: target beach bag $10, target black flip flops $4, Witchery leather cross body bag (last year), forever new scarf $15 (last season), a travel journal and glossy mag to keep me amused on the beaches in the Cinque Terre and poolside in Santorini!
I’ll keep you posted on my travels ….who else is going on vacation?
Warning this post deals with domestic violence.
Update 25 November 2015: today is white ribbon day. It’s the day we pledge to stop violence against women. This year we’ve seen more than 1 woman per week is killed by an intimate partner. I resubmit this post in honour of the victims and the survivors of domestic violence.
ABCs documentary hitting home was broadcast over the last two nights. I watched tonight’s episode and was heartbroken by what I saw. As of tonight 78 women have been killed by domestic violence. We must band together as a society to stop this epidemic. Keep conversation going! To ask our government to please dedicate more funding to this matter, for refuges to shelter those in need, for lawyers in legal aid, for further training for our police to handle domestic violence, for an update to national education standards to teach this generation and those that follow that we must treat each other with nothing but respect, and for support for the people who perpetrate these heinous acts in an effort to ensure they don’t commit these offenses again.
I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time! Months in fact. Sitting and waiting and thinking about how to articulate my growing horror over the domestic violence epidemic we are witnessing worldwide. As of this morning 62 Australian women have been killed by a man who was known to them (be it a lover, husband, father, or ex). The average is 2 women per week are killed by a man known to them. Oh. My. God. What has become of this world?
Last week a young mother was brutally attacked by her ex partner. She died on Wednesday night due to her injuries and he has been charged with murder. I won’t detail the horrors she encountered – you can read them here. Yesterday morning a woman was shot at a McDonald’s by her estranged husband (before he turned the gun on himself), she died on the scene…They have 4 children – who now don’t have their mum or their dad. Both of these woman died within 1 hours drive of my house.
A few months ago some girlfriends and I were chatting about all things life. We were attempting to change the world after a few bottles of red. I was telling the girls about my views on the global epidemic domestic violence is. I kept saying I was blessed to not have experienced this in my life. One of my friends corrected me, “You’re not blessed. That’s normal. We must stop thinking people are blessed to not have domestic violence in their lives, this is normal. It’s what everyone deserves.” Truer words have not been spoken.
One of my friends corrected me, “You’re not blessed. That’s normal. We must stop thinking people are blessed to not have domestic violence in their lives, this is normal. It’s what everyone deserves.” Truer words have not been spoken.
Despite the lateness of the hour and the bottles of wine we’d consumed we didn’t have all the answers on how to solve this horror of human behaviour. I believe it must be a multi-faceted approach but first & foremost the victims are the priority.
More support for women to leave their abusive partners. Better legislation to protect them from violence and to punish the perpetrators.
In the case of Tara Brown who died last night she approached her local police station seeking advice on how to leave her abusive partner showing them threatening text messages he had sent her. They sent her away; they couldn’t help. The police officer who turned Tara away in is now under review due to Tara’s death has died. Before she died Tara had moved out from her partner and was trying to rebuild her life. But he found her and now he has killed her.
I remember the night I went to my local police station to find out what my options were because I was scared my ex-partner was going to harm me. He’d sent abusive texts and had verbally threatened me indicating he world physically harm me. He also destroyed items I owned in anger to upset me. The police officer I encountered that night was so lovely. I stood there bewildered, scared and angry (holy shit I was angry – how dare someone threaten me). I kept repeating to her, “This isn’t my life. I have a great job, friends and a family who loves me.” She responded with, “It isn’t meant to be anyone’s life. We see women from all walks of life in here with domestic violence issues”. She explained carefully what my options were: an apprehended domestic violence order (ADVO). I would apply through the police for this and then my ex would be served, there would be a hearing and if the judge found there was suitable evidence an order would be imposed. As a result my ex would have to obey the three order conditions always included:
- Assaulting, molesting, harassing, threatening or interfering with the Protected Person;
- Intimidating the Protected Person; and
- Stalking the Protected Person. Anyone in a domestic relationship with the Protected Person is also protected by these conditions. This may include your children.
She advised me it could take weeks for a hearing to occur and I knew he was moving out in a matter of days. Once he was gone I knew I would do anything to not see him again. I decided against this. I didn’t want to see him again. Truth be told I also felt these orders were for far more serious issues than mine.
Of course if my ex had have physically assaulted me then the police could’ve charged him with assault and remanded him in custody until someone bailed him out. After he was out though he could still legally approach me until the ADVO was in place. Not much protection is it? How much help is a piece of legally binding paper when you are in fear for your life? This is what victims of domestic violence face.
Rosie Batty (an amazing woman and the current Australian of the Year…You can read her story here) is determined to see domestic violence change in Australia. She’s an anti-domestic violence campaigner who overcame a great personal tragedy to bring domestic violence out from the shadows into the mainstream so it can be addressed. Her vision is that…
Together we will give victims a voice and demand our leaders act.
We will stand with the victims of family violence so that they are supported in the community and have a powerful voice in the corridors of power. That’s my mission – but I can’t do it alone.
Please stand beside me and every woman and child who experiences family violence.
I support Rosie Batty’s goals – one of which is to start teaching respectful relationships in kindergarten. Once we have provided support for the victims of domestic violence we must then provide support/rehabilitation for the men who commit the violence. I may not get likes for this belief but we must address their behaviour and attempt to shift their psyche in order to potentially stop them from abusing again.
We must also support the next generation of younger men and women so they know that violence is not the norm. It’s not acceptable. It doesn’t just happen. We have to create a ripple effect to change the view that domestic violence is a way of life…. That rape jokes and violence against women jokes are ok and funny (they’re not). It’s a major cultural shift to move beyond the frame of mind that what people do behind closed doors isn’t any of our business if they choose to ‘touch up’ ‘smack around’ their partner we shouldn’t get involved.
We must educate our children on appropriate behaviour. I’m not a parent and I’m terrified to expose children to the horrors of domestic violence so I can only imagine what parents think. Do you more often than not turn off the news or tell them not to worry about it if they see something that is awful. I’m not advocating that we should invite that horror into our homes. But don’t think domestic violence is something that happens to other people. Educate your children on how it’s never ok to hurt another person. Tell them when they ask why the lady on the news died; that someone hurt her and how that is evil and wrong, and you mustn’t ever do harm to others.
So I ask this of you: Don’t shy away from the topic of domestic violence, talk about it openly without humour (there’s nothing remotely funny about people harming each other), educate your loved ones about how it is never appropriate to harm another person, refrain from making domestic violence and rape jokes, and if you overhear one of your friends making fun of domestic violence educate them of the horrors of this epidemic. Talking about domestic violence in the open is the first step to addressing the epidemic.
Finally, if someone you know is a victim of domestic violence offer them help (even if you’re scared and it might be against your ‘better judgement’). Tell them you are there for them and if they need anything you’ll do what you can to assist. Tell them their live is worth more than the violence, that they are loved, and no matter what you are there to help. Don’t judge them for staying too long or going back; just be there. I believe support is vital in assisting women leaving domestic violence situations.
If you or someone you know needs help for domestic violence:
Never Alone – website featuring assistance information
Lifeline 13 11 14
Post Note: Since I drafted this post the Queensland Premier has vowed to fast-track laws offering greater protection for domestic violence victims. You can read the good news her
It was my birthday last month. I turned 34. I started writing a post about being 34 and the fact that I decided to spend my birthday in Melbourne with my BFF rather than Ridge Forrester. But I got distracted and the post never made it out of draft….Because well, Life. I’ve been so busy living I’ve been neglecting my blog which isn’t good. I’ll try to be better from now on.
So here’s my updated draft on turning 34…
I love birthdays. I believe they should be celebrated. A true Leo I delight in my special day and being feted as the royal lion I am.
Last year I was dumped the night before my birthday by Manly Matt. Though in retrospect you could say as we weren’t actually in a committed relationship (we were just dating…He treated like a sport, I was trying to make a go of it) it wasn’t really a breakup (it still hurt though). Despite this I put on my glad rags and invited a bunch of people to dinner at a local restaurant (read the recap here and here)… I didn’t need a man and celebrated my birthday surrounded by loved ones.
This year, despite my romance with Ridge Forrester, I decided to book my annual sales trip to Melbourne over my birthday week. I did this in part to take away the birthday ‘pressure’ I put on myself when I’m involved with someone. What will he get me? What if he doesn’t get me anything? So much stress!! Then when it worked out Mr Forrester would be overseas on a pre-Brooke-booked holiday when it was my birthday it felt like the right decision. There’d be no chance of me stressing/moping miss him as I’d be too busy visiting vibrant Melbourne to do so. Not to mention I could catch up with my best friend R. You can read my recap on Melbourne 2015 here plus some handy travel tips!
I found this little quiz on Facebook today and I thought I’d answer it as a 34 year old.
A- Age: 34
B- Biggest Fear: Death of my loved ones.
C- Current Time: 11.40am
D- Drink you last had: Hot Chocolate from Zaffaras
E- Easiest Person To Talk to: My mum.
F- Favorite Song: A Sunday Kind of Love
G- Ghosts, are they real: Yes. But feel free to believe what you want.
H- Hometown: Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
I- In love with: Mr Forrester
J- Jealous Of: Beyonce’s bootilicious body!
K- Killed Someone? Not yet.
L- Last time you cried?: Over a week ago
M- Middle Name: Anne
N- Number of Siblings: 2
O- One Wish: That refugees find sanctuary
P- Person who you last called: My Dad
Q- Question you’re always asked: How’s your day?
R- Reason to smile: Mr Forrester, Travel, Friends….Life x
S- Song last sang: Marvin Gaye (Let’s Marvin Gaye and Get it On)
T- Time you woke up: 5.50am
U- Underwear Color: Pink
V- Vacation Destination: Europe (in 4 days)
W- Worst Habit: Talking over people (I can’t stop).
X- Xrays you’ve had: My Left Foot.
Y- Your favorite food: Wine.
Z- Zodiac Sign: LEO
I’d like to use this again and again on my birthday….Who know’s what the next year will bring?
Oh and in case you missed it; I’m in love with Ridge Forrester.
He is truly so lovely, respectful and kind, thoughtful, funny, handsome, good to his mother and sisters, as well as a tiger in the bedroom (sorry mum TMI). From the first date it’s been so good and right; and things just continue to get better each day. He’s never far from my thoughts and he admitted last night I’m not far from his. He’s been telling me for weeks that I make him happy and I’ve secretly been thinking; ‘You make me love you’ in my mind. Last night he murmured into my ear that he is falling in love with me….Don’t worry RF, I’m already there and I’ll catch you.
It would be amazing if you could cut and paste the above A-Z questions and re-post with your answers. I promise it’s really easy, quick and relatively pain free. Just comment below with a link to your blog with the answers if you feel like trying it. Go on, it’ll be fun and I can’t wait to see your answers.
I travel to Melbourne once a year for sales appointments for the day job. I spent a week in the city back at the start of August! Here’s my recap plus travel tips….
Highlights & lowlights of Melbourne:
- A special birthday dinner with my gorgeous best friend Renee (State of Grace had divine cocktails mixed with hit and miss service)
- Good Food & Wine (read my review of my special birthday lunch at The Press Club here)
- Quirky lane ways with street art and cafes offering a hot cooked breakfast plus coffee for less than $15 (bonus: Free live music and the bustle of the city passing you by)
- Catch up with lovely friends (Colin and Marc. Bethany, Chloe, Dean & Mark)
- Time to reconnect, chat and laugh with my beautiful bestie R (not to mention her taking me to Gold Class for Magic Mike XXL…I’ve got some thoughts to share on that soon)
- cold, cold days (seriously nothing above 13 degrees Celsius)
- Getting lost on the trams and/or the streets and feeling frustrated…. Melbourne I swear I’ll work you out one of these days
- Less than warm welcomes with some of my work meetings (side note: kindness costs nothing)
- Not being able to relax at some meals due to wait staff constantly checking if I needed a new drink (before the previous one was completed)
- I flew Virgin Australia from my home (Gold Coast) to Melbourne return and racked up more FF points. I love how they give you a snack on every flight now plus a free entertainment system through an app on your tablet or smart phone. Not to mention I was lucky enough to have a spare seat beside me on each flight!
- I stayed at my faithful Punthill Apartments on Flinders Lane, it’s my second year staying with them and I keep returning for the location and the funky decor (black, white and purple reign supreme). Located in the heart of the CBD just one street away from the iconic Flinders Street Station and Federation Square plus 2 blocks (my tip: take the shortcut through those famous laneways filled with cafes and shops) away from the shopping Mecca that is Bourke Street Mall.
- Do sign up to the direct guest program (it’s free) on Punthills website. You’ll have access to special rates and free wifi. The apartments are semi self contained with a full kitchen (there’s 2 supermarkets within walking distance of the complex) if you need a break from Melbourne’s food scene (as if).
- My nemesis the Melbourne trams now offer a free tram service around the city centre from Flinders Street Station and up to Queen Victoria Markets (where you can grab everything from the finest fresh produce to a leather jacket) as well as out to Docklands and Treasury Gardens on either side of the city making it easier than ever to get around. The free tram zone map can be downloaded here: PTV_FreeTramZone_Map
Overall my week away reignited my love for Melbourne. From its quirky laneways with street art, the river that snakes through the city centre, the shopping, to the food (oh my god, the food), my lovely friends who live there and make the effort to catch up with me, and finally those silly trams who I can’t seem to spot the right stop for every time! Melbourne I heart you real hard.
Have you been to Melbourne? What are your favourite things to do in the City?
It’s Friday, Friday, Friday!
Detox Day 3 can be summed up as follows:
- Dog walk
- Good breakfast (sausage and eggs)
- More Chilli for lunch
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Ridge Forrester is back tomorrow morning after 3 weeks away so whatever extra calories I’ve eaten I’m sure we’ll find ways to burn them off *wink.
I’ve never considered myself as someone who is depressed but the last couple of years I’ve realised something….Everyone can have bad days or in my case FML days.
Today’s FML day commenced with my laptop dying…Seriously it just died whilst I was trying to do my stupid tax return (that could also be contributed to a FML day). Then my friendly neighbour dropped by to let me know my darling dog Coco had been barking again (there’s a WHOLE back story here….I’ll go into another time), then I couldn’t find batteries for Coco’s special dog barking collar and all of a sudden life felt too hard. I was seriously overwhelmed with tears.
Now I know you’re probably shaking your head thinking, “First world problems princess. Really no need to cry over split milk.” I 100% agree with you but on FML days it’s the little things that become BIG things.
Then to add further insult I was running late for work. I had a day of meetings in Byron Bay to attend to. When I finally got into the car I realised I was at least an hour late #winning.
Then something happened to me in Byron to change my FML day to a pretty sweet day. Everyone was genuinely lovely. Every single meeting was great – they were engaged and I felt like I actually made some headway with some new contacts too. The sun was out and it was a mild winters day. It was magical.
Byron Bay is good for your soul
Then to top my day off I caught up with an old friend who is just a doll. Her name is Julie and she works in the local railway station. She was telling me how one of the homeless men who sleeps near the station fell over and broke his hip and is in hospital. As he has no one to care for him she has made a point of dropping in each day to check on him and keep him company in the hospital. Today she ran errands for him as he can’t move with the broken hip. She also told me how she’d donated some money to the local Vinnie’s charity because they always bring down blankets for the homeless people who sleep near the station. God she’s got a beautiful heart.
What a selfless gorgeous woman she is.
Before I even dropped into Julie I was happier, I could still feel the black cloud of the FML day loitering; but the sunshine was pushing through.
I also managed to grab a final piece of my travel wardrobe too. I’ve been thinking about this top for weeks now after seeing it on another bloggers post. To my delight it was in stock, on sale and in my size….What are the odds?
Then I found these awesome sunglasses which were also on sale! Plus they are literally rose tinted lenses…I love them. There is no way my FML day could touch me now.
To be absolutely sure though I dropped into the supermarket and brought myself a chocolate bar. Yeah, yeah I know; it’s emotional eating. But it tasted damn good. And once I’d seen what my flatmate had left for the magical dishwashing fairy (that’s me in case you’re wondering) I knew I deserved it.
To finish my FML day I had Chilli and a BIG ass glass of wine! SO you could say that Detox Day 2 was a write off…Who cares at the end of the day I was happier than I started!
Do you suffer from FML days too? What do you do to combat them??
So a few months ago I completed a 4 week long clean eating challenge with my old gym (you can read about it here). After I WON the challenge (modest, aren’t I?) I celebrated by treating myself to some lovely food and drink. I kept treating myself to all the things I wasn’t allowed to have that before long I’d slipped off the eating healthy wagon and was back to where I started all over again!
I tried a few times to eat better….I joked with friends I was on a farewell food tour and that meant I would have to eat everything that wasn’t on the ‘clean eating list’….FYI this included (but wasn’t limited too) the following:
- Chocolate….Be it a candy bar (hello timeout I’m looking at you), a block (eaten over a few days), or even a pudding I didn’t refuse myself. I embraced it and almost skipped over to the supermarket for my morning ‘snacks’.
- Cheese….Oh My, did I have some cheese boards with wine (and then more wine); which ended up in the ‘drunk munchies’ and me searching for chocolate to soothe my drunky sweet tooth.
- Crisps….Glorious crisps! Delicious crinkle cut crisps or the thinly sliced, it didn’t matter which; I ate them all. Then the marketing geniuses at Coles reduced packets of my beloved Twisties to just .88 cents and in my mind that’s what heaven is like!
- Ice Cream…Not even the fancy pants stuff like Messina or Gelati. In the middle of winter I’ve managed to eat bowls of vanilla and chocolate Blue Ribbon. Mmmmmm.
- Take out…..Hello Hungry Jacks and MacDonalds. I haven’t met a hamburger I haven’t liked so these guys are my go to for fast food. I prefer HJ’s over Maccas for burgers but I like the fries more at Macca’s and don’t get me started on the total perfection of McFlurries. Needless to say I have been eating takeout at least twice a week over the past 6+ weeks.
The problem is my farewell tour kept going….I kept eating what I wanted and before long I noticed my middle had spread. My build is like a pear ….smaller on top with a big booty! Or you could compare me to a snowman. So as my middle spreads I get what I refer to as my ‘sugar baby’. My middle to lower abs take on a decidedly round look and depending on how full I was my body resembled that of a pregnant woman. A couple of weeks ago I brought new swimmers and whilst I love them (they do amazing things for my boobs) I couldn’t help but notice how prominent by sugar baby was. Of course I swore I’d eat better….I went out and brought healthy stuff and attempted to hide my bad stuff in my cupboard. Unfortunately I didn’t actually cook with any of my healthy stuff and as I was headed to Melbourne for a week of sales calls I just kinda gave in.
The other night I decided I had to make an effort to eat better before I jet off to Europe (did I mention I’m going to Europe in less than a MONTH?). The benefits would be that I’d re-teach my body good foods so would be less likely to eat too much ‘bad’ stuff whilst away; plus I’ve have the added advantage of a smaller sugar baby! All win wins, especially for those swimmers.
Today is day 1 of what I’ve been referring to as detox. I need at least a week of no processed food (OMG that means no chocolate), wine (Holy Shit….Am I really doing this), or takeout to help my body remember how much it loves good healthy food. I remember doing this last time and found the first week to be the hardest! In fact my flatmate told me last night that during the last detox I was a f***ing b**ch (charming). But seeing as she won’t be paying my medical bills when I’m older and still obese she doesn’t get a say in it!
Day 1 achievements:
- I drank a whole litre of water before midday (winning).
- I really, really, really, really want a piece of chocolate! Seriously guys I need something. I feel the sugar baby tap dancing in my belly demanding I feed it something yummy.
- Last night I food prepped for today! Roast pumpkin, grilled chicken, mini mince patties (snacks), carrot sticks and celery. Prep is King. If I can keep on top of prep then I can keep eating healthy!
- It’s now almost time for dinner which means I’ve made it through most the day without eating something that isn’t on the ‘list’.
I’ll keep you posted how each day goes….Wish me luck!
Is anyone else on detox? Or just trying to eat less krispy creams to fit into swimmers??