Celebrating 400

Today, only 21 months after my first post — Happy Mother’s Day, on Mother’s Day 2014, I celebrate my 400th post. This is a milestone I never dreamed possible, so to celebrate please enjoy my acrostic poem — another skill I’ve learnt on my Inspiring Max journey.

Following my dream

Out of my comfort zone

Under the guidance of those who had gone before

Rewarded by new friends in over a hundred countries

Honing my skills with

Unique and positive posts

Navigating my way

Determined to make a difference

Respecting  and responding to others

Enjoying the journey

Driven by inspiration

Trusting my instincts

Happy others find my hard work helpful

Passion, persistence and positivity

Open the way for my original

Simple success

Thankful for Inspiring Max’s amazing community


First Blogiversary

On Mothers Day 2014 I bit the bullet and started a blog. I had no idea where this journey would lead me but I stepped out anyway and the following have been my rewards.

  1. I have met many new friends
  2. I am no longer scared of the internet
  3. Writing daily has helped my word order and editing skills
  4. I have a greater knowledge of countries around the world
  5. I have learnt to reach out to others by leaving a comment on their blog
  6. Understanding WordPress has helped me download my draft copy of my book as an e-book in Pressbooks
  7. I am learning to write poetry
  8. I am learning about search engine optimization
  9. I have been viewed by people in 114 countries some I didn’t know existed
  10. I am learning to fix things on my blog
  11. I am becoming more comfortable using my experiences as a basis for my writing in a public forum
  12. I have learnt to never assume anything and to make my writing clear
  13. Over the 12 months I have had 12, 567 views and have 415 followers
  14. I have learnt that visiting other blogs is as important as writing a post
  15. I have enjoyed several Blogging University courses and learnt a lot from them
  16. The A -Z April Blogging Challenge really tested me but I was excited to join it and complete all posts
  17. I now notice fun blog ideas and can gather the information ahead of time
  18. My audience continues to grow as I learn about traffic flow
  19. Blogging events help us to interact
  20. I have developed and understand my online voice and how it connects with others
  21. I have learned about many new cultures, people, places and things
  22. Finding peace in the blogging community
  23. I have developed confidence with my writing through feedback from others
  24. Learnt to use photos to enhance my posts
  25. I enjoy writing and designing quotes using Picmonkey
  26. I have learnt perseverance—it takes time to find your community blogging
  27. Never give up, keep chipping away at it
  28. Some things you can’t control and who how many people visit your blog is one of them

Thank you for joining me on my journey and I hope we continue to interact over the years to come in the blogosphere. My first ever post on Mother’s Day is here



Making Changes

You wake up one morning and decide something in your life needs to change. You have been thinking about it for a while and suddenly you decide today is the day. How do you make the change?

Firstly, you need to know, what it is you need to change. Is it a big or small change? A small change may simply be a matter of substituting one thing for another e.g. having a glass of water instead of wine during the middle of the week. Other changes may have a bigger impact such as focusing on recovery and improving your mental health e.g. drug and alcohol rehabilitation or eating disorder recovery.

Whatever the reason you want to make the change, it is important to realise the benefits that you got from the behaviour / behaviours, you want to change. If it was a coping strategy, albeit an unhealthy one, you need to find a healthy option to substitute for it. There are no right and wrong answers here. Get support if necessary, do whatever you need to, to find alternative behaviours.

Break your change down to make it clear and easier to start. I like the What, When, Where, Why and How method. I find it makes planning simple and helps with accountability—I can easily see if I have completed the change. For example, using the initial change of wine into water, the plan is:

WHAT – Stop drinking wine mid week without a special occasion to celebrate

WHEN – Mondays through to Thursdays

WHERE – At home

WHY – It has become a habit and my body will function and sleep better without it

HOW – Drink sparkling mineral water instead using a splash of lemon or lime to make it                  special

If the areas you need to change are broad, break them down into smaller sections. Keep a list and prioritise which changes to make first. Focus on 1-2 areas at a time, as spreading your focus too thin means that you won’t change anything. It takes 3 weeks to change a habit, so practice each area for a month. This way you have the 3 weeks to change the habit and an extra week to maintain your behaviour change. Adding a few small changes together over a month—makes a significant difference to your life.

By constantly reviewing where you want to go and what is holding you back—you are able to keep your life moving forward in the direction you want it to go. Using these skills, when you get to a certain point and you find that life isn’t what you thought it would be—you can simply change direction by making a new plan.

One Lovely Blogger Award

I would like to thank Cancer Is Not Pink for nominating my blog for this award. I am excited to accept it as an acknowledgment that I am developing a voice my fellow bloggers can connect with.


The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognises blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow blogger who choose them. This award recognises bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog:

7 facts about me:

1. I am just finishing writing a book on how eating disorder recovery is possible—I have worked in the field for over 20 years.

2. I love purple.

3. A possum lives in the gum tree next to our house.

4. I am having a white Christmas this year in Canada, not with family in sunny Australia.

5. Dark, dairy or white chocolate—dark.

6. Disney is my favourite, especially Mickey Mouse.

7. I love the quiet.

My 15 nominees are:


2. Expressions of a girl

3. Bleeding My Emotions




7. Phoenix Grey

8. The Muservation

9.  Faithful Homesteader

10. Live Now – Dream Later

11. Notes Tied On The Sagebrush

12. The Beespeak


14. My Own Private Idaho

15. More thoughts, vicar



World Smile Day

Today, 3rd October is World Smile Day. The happy smiley face was created in 1963 by Harvey Ball. Ball states that “World Smile Day is open to every person on the planet. No matter what colour they are, or who they might pray to, no matter what country they live in.”

In celebrating World Smile Day, Harvey simply asks “each person to live the day with a generous heart, do one kind act and help one person smile.”


Google Images World Smile Day 2014

How can you make someone’s day, today? It is the little gestures that make a difference. Use today to launch your new—one act of kindness daily plan. Pay kindness forward and see how quickly your world changes.

Although the following film clip has no bearing on World Smile Day, I couldn’t resist putting it into the post as I think it is a clever part of the movie—Forest Gump.

What do you think?

Have a great day and smile.




End Of An Era

Have you ever kept putting off the inevitable hoping something would miraculously change and you wouldn’t have to move out of your comfort zone. It ended today for me. I have known for most of the year that my purple hair had to go. For the last twenty years, I have been colouring my own hair every 6-8 weeks with L’Oreal’s Casting Creme Gloss – Plum. It suited me and I loved being different.

My regular ritual took place in the backyard to ensure I didn’t make a mess by dropping the hair dye. Each time I would recruit a family member to come and check that I hadn’t missed any spots. It didn’t matter who was helping me the conversation usually went;

“A little bit here, turn around, again, a little bit more here, turn, and here. No not there”

“Where then?” I asked.

“Give me your hand,” replied my helper. Placing my hand with hair dye to the ready, they would then direct my hand to where the extra coverage was needed.

“Thanks, now I will be beautiful again” I relied sarcastically.

When completed, my hair did look great again adding colour to my face and instantly lifting it. The problem has been, now it only looks good for two weeks, if I am lucky. After which stage, a major grey strip would develop down the centre of my head, leaving me looking washed out and old.

From today I have joined the long line of women who have someone lovingly attend to their hair with permanent colour. I sat in the chair, watched and waited in awe as the colourist took her time dividing my hair into sections, placing the colour on each strand and regularly checked my grey hair was developing to match my other hair. This was the most attention my hair had received in a long time.

After my new natural brown hair colour was revealed for the first time, I was happy. The experts had chosen well and the colour suited me.  I would get over the fact that apparently purple isn’t a strong enough colour to cover the grey so I needed to move on. Part of me couldn’t help wondering what other excitement would come into my life now my purple era had ended and I was brunette again. I do believe things happen for a reason and now having seen the results I wish I had followed through on this thinking when I first realised—its time.

What has come to the end  of era in you life? What is stopping you from moving forward with the change you need to make?


Write Twice, Publish Once

My father taught me an important rule of building is to measure twice, cut once. If you only measure once before you cut and your measurement is wrong there is no going back. As you can edit after publishing, this is not the same with blogging, however, I find that write twice, publish once helps with my writers block and assists the flow of my blog.

By writing on the topic from scratch each time, my creativity often flows in a different direction. There are always some key points that to my surprise, I frequently by chance write identical sentences to cover these topics. This information I take as the core to my topic and build the other ideas from each writing session to complete my blog.

To date, I have found the second attempt to be more creative and fills in the detail. This practice works best when there is a couple of days between writing segments. Don’t read what you have written prior to writing your second draft. Re reading your previous attempt may stop new ideas from flowing as your mind is biased by your words.

Next time you find yourself stuck, give my write twice, publish once technique a  try and let me know about your experience.

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Fathers Day

Today in Australia is Fathers Day. The day we honour, celebrate and recognise the role our fathers play in our life. I have put together an acrostic poem acknowledging some of the roles our fathers play in our lives. Can you think of anymore?


Friend, Family, Financial Support, Fun, Fitness


Anchor, Action Roles, Adaptability, Assertion, Acceptance, Authority, Affection, Appreciation


Teacher, Trainer, Taxi, Tease, Terrific, Time Manager


Helper, Honesty, Health


Encouragement, Example, Emotional Stability, Effective Problem Solving, Emulate Behaviour,


Responsibility, Role Model, Relationships, Repair, Respect


Supportive, Safety, Sympathetic Ear, Sports, Strength, Self Direction, Self Compassion,

Thanks for everything

Change Your Body Position, Change Your Life.

If I told you about some amazing new research from Harvard that anyone could use, would you? Researchers Amy Cuddy and Dana Carney found changing your body position for as little as two minutes alters the testosterone and cortisol levels in your brain. Known as Power Poses, these changes can be planned or automatic.

Testosterone is the hormone associated with dominance and confidence. Cortisol is the hormone that measures your reactiveness to stress. People with high cortisol and low testosterone levels have little or no confidence and are very reactive to stress. On the other hand, people with low cortisol levels and high testosterone levels, are confident and able to manage stress well. They respond to stress, rather than react to it. Power Poses change the way you interact with yourself and as a result, how you interact with others.

This research is very valuable science. If you choose to use it, it can change you outcomes and your life. Give it a try. Next time you need some support or extra power to get through a difficult situation, try changing your body position. Make yourself big for two minutes. Use the changes in your brain to help you face your situation.

Just as powerful for this research is being aware of your everyday body positions. If you are regularly making yourself small, even by default, remember you are changing your brains chemistry. Get into the habit of sitting up and looking up. Be mindful of your body positions and give yourself an advantage.



The Modern Day Campfire

Throughout history the campfire has been central to the families well-being, providing warmth, food and light. Watching the flames dance is also mesmerizing.

Last year we decided to return to this family tradition and purchased a Chiminea. Initially, we were unsure how often we would use it but from day one, we were hooked. The first time it was lit my husband and daughter (the impatient ones), decided they had waited long enough for me to come home, so on my return I found them out the back looking very cozy, drink in hand watching the fire. I quickly joined them however there was one problem—someone needed to get dinner.

Over the past year, we have worked hard to find a way to cook diner in our Chiminea. The answer turned out to be simple. Place a few fire bricks at the back of the Chiminea and rest a good quality heat resistant grill pan (one that fits into the front hole) on them.

Personal wood-fire pizza oven

Personal wood-fire pizza oven

Finally, the big day came. We were testing our theory by making our own wood-fired pizza in our ‘oven.’ Using a shop bought pizza base and my daughters favourite toppings—we were ready to test our experiment. “Would it work?” “Yes or no, this was the question.” The first one worked perfectly and tasted amazing. We were excited as the possibilities seemed endless.

Tasted as good as it looks

Tasted as good as it looks

Now we can cook outside, like the cavemen before us and we never have to leave the fire. Do you cook in your Chiminea? If so, what do you cook? I would love to hear your ideas.