Coffee Catch-Up #21

If we were having coffee I would tell you that instead of coffee today we were having champagne to celebrate Inspiring Max turning 3 recently. Wow! I can’t believe how quickly that time has flown. When I started I knew nothing about blogging or where this journey would take me but I am so glad I took the plunge and dived head first into the deep blogging pool. I have learnt so much and love the sense of community out there in the blogosphere.

I love it when I connect with new blogs. My geography has also improved as I discover someone from a small country or island I didn’t know existed has visited Inspiring Max. Thanks for being part of my world and I hope our journey continues to deepen.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about our recent visit to Copeland Tops State Conservation Area, just outside Barrington Tops National Park. We walked the Hidden Treasure Loop Track, a 2 hour bush walk through a dry rain forest. The area is an old gold field and is scattered with old mine shafts throughout, so it is essential to stick to the path or risk serious harm or death. The highlight of our walk was Hidden Treasure mine entrance. Despite it being sealed up, with the help of flash photography we could see the old quartz seams that had once held gold. It was quite spectacular in its natural forest surroundings, but I wouldn’t have wanted to walk that distance to work every day.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I am enjoying working in my garden at our new house. I have always wanted to develop a vegetable and herb garden, but I’ve never had the time to devote to it. Now with only working part-time and not having children to run around my time is my own so I’m hoping to prove I have green thumbs. This week I began by making a herb garden, which so far is going well. I also bought a modern version of the Yates gardening guide to help me prepare for Spring planting. As Winter starts in Australia next week I’ll be planting soon enough. I am interested in any advice you may have of things to do or not do when growing my produce.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about King Street Boutique Motel, the accommodation my husband and I stayed at on our recent trip to Gloucester. It was created from one of the old homes of the area and contained a communal lounge, dining and kitchen area with 4 rooms on each side of the communal real. It was great value and our fellow travelers were friendly. Our room also had a little verandah that overlooked the driveway and from which you could see the  mountains in the background.


If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Let me know in the comments.

Coffee Catch – Up # 20

If we were having coffee I would tell you I can’t believe its nearly 5 months since our last coffee. Doesn’t time fly when you don’t keep an eye on it. Today I was also struck by how quickly I have lost my writing skills. From writing nearly everyday in my old life, I am struggling for inspiration today. I know it is purely because I haven’t written anything for a while, so I’ll make a commitment to myself to get back on track as I have missed you all.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that back in March my husband and I finally got our furniture delivered from Sydney. It was very exciting to see the big truck pull up outside. Finally, our move was complete. So we did what anyone in our situation would do and had a glass of bubbly (champagne) to celebrate. Yes, it tasted good.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I love the Sydney Royal Easter show.I love to spend hours walking around the pavilions — arts and crafts, food, leisure and kids — they are all amazing. Some people are so talented. I love the creativity especially in the fruit and vegetable displays every year. Each area creates a display using the fruit and vegetables they grow in a design that depicts where they are from. This year  my 3 favourites were


If we were having coffee I would tell you about my brother and his partner’s housewarming party. It turned out to be code for secret wedding. It was very exciting and caught many family and friends of guard as they had dressed for a backyard BBQ and ended up having their photo taken with the happy couple. Fortunately, my father who was in hospital was able to get a leave pass so was able to attend. As for me I was very suspicious they were up to something and was very happy to be proven right. I loved their wedding cake — chocolate mud cake topped with cute umpa lumpas to match the chocolate factory theme of their house warming.


If we were having coffee I would tell you how great it has been catching up with family and friends since moving back to Newcastle. Recently we meet some of our diving friends for dinner at Valentine Bowling Club and while the catch up was great, the sunset over Lake Macquarie was amazing. I had forgotten the joy a simple sunset can bring.


If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Let me know in the comments.

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


Party Time

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!

I love to celebrate my birthday. I take the day off work and do something fun—its my way of reminding myself that I am special. For my significant birthdays however I throw a party to share with my friends and family. My parties are simple affairs held at home.

Food is either a good old Aussie BBQ or pre-made finger food requiring heating only on the day. Everyone always loves my choices:

  • Cheese Dip
  • Chipolata Sausages
  • Chicken Sticks
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Frankfurts
  • Meatballs
  • Party Pies
  • Prawns
  • Quiche Lorraine
  • Salmon Quiches
  • Sausage Rolls

Save some room for the sweet options:

  • Caramel Tarts
  • Chocolate Slice
  • Fairy Bread
  • Home-made Ice-cream With Lollies and Sherbet
  • Jelly Slice
  • Vanilla Slice

All of this is washed down with a few glasses of champagne or cocktails. Clever conversation is what follows—with maybe the odd party game or two. Basically whatever we feel like doing. My last party was my 50th birthday a few years ago. Remembering the food for this prompt has helped me as I am plan my daughters 21st celebrations over the coming weeks. Here’s a glass of bubbles to celebrate.

Photo Credit: Google Images


Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

Inspiring Max was born on Mother’s day—12th May 2014. I knew nothing about blogging but thought I would give it a go anyway. As a self-hosted blog, I soon realised I had a lot to learn about how I was different to other sites. It was a very slow process. I was frustrated. In July, after  completing Blogging 101 I had—34 views, 13 visitors and only 1 follower. So I stopped blogging and prioritised other things.

In late August I was off work sick for a week. I had nothing to do so I popped back to my site. To my surprise I had a few followers, several more views and an Inspiring Blogger Award. I was humbled and excited. Suddenly I got it. Blogging is a long-term journey—a commitment not only to yourself, but also every one who reads you blog. We all grow together and allow each other to reach our own individual goals. By the end of December 2014, my goal was 100 followers. I ended the year with 110 followers and now I have 335. It may have been a slow start but Inspiring Max is on the move.

Somewhere around September I learnt not to focus on the followers but the views. If people were regularly viewing more than one page of my work I was happy. This usually meant they would come back again. The more I connect with my blogging community—the more they connect with me. I view 3 new blogs a day that I interact with. As a result, I am excited to have been viewed by people in 105 countries—many of whom I didn’t know existed. I love the coloured in world map of where Inspiring Max has been.

My advice to bloggers is make sure you have great content and keep going. When you are discouraged visit new blogs. Connect with your community at every opportunity and overtime—your community will connect with you. Blogging is a rewarding experience that has allowed me to grow in ways I would have never imagined possible before. Thank you for sharing my journey. I look forward to our future together. To celebrate I offer you a virtual glass champagne instead of a cigar.



Today is a day of celebration. Pop the champagne—I have 3 things to celebrate:

  • My 100th post—yeah! and most have been put up since late August. These are exciting times. This week I also achieved my 3,000th view—2,000 of which were in October—more than double my views for September.
  • Today, is my mother’s birthday. The irony is I didn’t plan it this way, it just happened. The funny thing is that I started Inspiring Max in May on Mother’s Day as a present to myself. Back then I knew nothing about blogging—but I went for it anyway. Now, although I still call myself a new blogger I understand a little more than the basics and my voice, views and following are growing. Inspiring Max has direction and is meeting the goals I set.
  • My third celebration is that I will be self publishing my book next year with Balboa Press. This was my preferred option and is the self publishing arm of Hay House. My ultimate dream publisher. My feelings at present are a weird mix of scary and excitement knowing—my book that I have worked on lovingly for 5 years will soon be available for anyone who has an interest or need for it. Although, this may not be the final cover, here is my latest option for the cover of Inspiring Hope. What do you think?


New Inspiring Hope picture



What are you celebrating at the moment? Never say never. The only way to achieve is to dream and make an achievable plan.