Cozy Time

I like to get cozy everyday. Taking time for myself, alone with no other distractions, is something I like to do at the start of the day as well as in the evening. Sometimes I am lucky enough to have some added cozy time after work before I start my nightly routine.

For me, cozy time is sitting in my very comfortable lounge chair focusing on what I want to do. In the morning it’s thinking about my goals and planning out my day. At other times it might be reading, blogging or slowing my mind down by watching a movie on Netflix.

In the above photo you can see the love we have shared over time by the creases in her folds. She has been a dear friend for nearly 2 decades now and if she could read my mind the stories she could tell.

Sometimes it only takes 5 minutes but my cozy time is my favourite way to centre myself.

Feedback Sandwich

When I think about a sandwich I don’t think about food but a way to deliver difficult feedback. I start by telling the person something they do well. Where possible I try to make it as close to the topic we are discussing. After we have discussed this for a minute or two I then introduce my difficult feedback. Where possible I look at the big picture of the issue discussing how the problem impacts the person and others. If appropriate, I will also give some ideas to help the person to move forward and make the changes required. To complete my feedback I would ask the person if they needed anything from me and remind them of the positives of what they are doing.

Often feedback is very difficult to hear but I find the more open the discussion, the better the outcome. By using the feedback sandwich, the person becomes less defensive because the news has been softened by positive feedback. It is a system that works well and has an overflowing impact of developing respect between the people involved.

A win/win for everyone, the feedback sandwich is:




Coffee Catch-Up #14

If we were having coffee I would tell you how excited I was to welcome my 800th follower to my blog this week. My current goal is to have 1000 followers by the end of 2016. I enjoy my blogging community and I have learnt a lot over the last 2 years as I’ve visited your blogs. We are all unique and together we make each others world’s brighter.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I enjoyed working at my new hospital. They are a great team although they use a slightly different system to what I am used to. However, I quickly settled into my new rhythm and was lucky enough to work a few more shifts than I was originally booked for, which helped expedite my knowledge of how things are done.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I enjoyed my birthday last Tuesday. My husband made me breakfast before he had to leave for work so I took myself shopping.  I even managed to get myself a $20 birthday discount when I bought myself some new clothes. Bonus! I then caught the train home with my daughter who taught me how to hunt Pokémon before cooking me dinner. The one thing that I was looking at when shopping was a Fitbit however I have yet to decide if I would use it enough to justify the cost. If you have one what has been your experience?

If we were having coffee I would tell you I was grateful on Thursday night after Toastmasters to be able to watch the Semi Finals of the Toastmasters International Convention 2016 from Washington DC. What amazing speakers. It was also exciting to be able to cheer on one of our fellow members, David Griffiths who came third. It was hard to pick the order of the winners although I do think that the 3 people who placed were the best speakers.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have enjoyed the bits of the Olympics that I have seen and was particularly excited to see some of the people my children used to compete against, do personal bests and in some cases come home with an Olympic medal.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that last night we enjoyed cooking pizzas in our outdoor pizza oven and chimney. The smokey flavour was awesome. One problem we found with the pizza oven was that it was too small to cook the bigger pizzas in. We solved this problem by using our chimney but it wasn’t nearly as effective at cooking them as the pizza oven. So with our new-found knowledge, when we move we have decided to buy a new, bigger pizza oven that takes all pizza sizes. We also secretly hope to be able to cook other foods in it using our various sized camp ovens. Cooking over fire – there is nothing like it.

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2016-08-20 19.37.22If we were having coffee I would ask you what is happening in your world? Let me know in the comments.

Coffee Catch-Up #13

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am looking forward to my first shift at my new hospital on Monday. It’s been 8 years since I have worked as a nurse on the floor helping patients and I didn’t realize how much I had missed this special contact.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I meet with the collaborator of my book last Monday for the first time in 3 months. I was pleased she loved the changes that I had made because it gives me confidence that my thoughts on the book progress are true. Although, it feels like the end is getting closer, I know there is still a lot of work to be done. However, I am still aiming to finish my part by end of this year.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had a fun time at the supermarket this morning seeing if I could guess the amount of sugar in the foods I normally eat. I was pretty accurate so I think I will be able limit my sugar intake to 24 grams daily most of the time. If you are confused by this statement you can catch up here Today is day 3 and I am feeling good this morning as I slept so much better last night.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this week I that to insert my drawings into my book this week I discovered that I need to draw them in Microsoft’s Paint program. I have never used it before but as I get better at using it, this program will leave me with a more professional drawings, which will be good. I would also ask if you have used Paint and have any tips for me. Just for fun I’ll show you my first very basic drawing on Paint.


If we were having coffee I would tell you that I won my Toastmasters Club Table Topics competition last week. This is an impromptu speaking contest where you are giving the topics literally seconds before you speak to it. I think my blogging experience helped me and now I move to the Area competition at the end of September.

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



Working in mental health, for me crisis management, big and small, can be a daily occurrence. And while helping someone or even myself through a crisis is a good feeling, I don’t believe it is the best part of the experience. Like Marilyn Monroe in the above quote, “Within crisis, are the seeds of opportunity,” I agree that the opportunities that arise after the event are. They create personal growth within us that transforms our lives. We are a changed person, older and wiser. due to the lessons we have learnt or have been forced to deal with due to the crisis.

For more information on my inspiration to get through a crisis stop by my earlier post below.

Getting Through Tough Times




The meaning behind the above quote is that in general perfection cannot be reached. When you aim for perfectionism in all areas of your life you stop setting realistic achievable goals. This is because you believe you can’t achieve them so  you don’t bother attempting to, which affects your contentment.

However, perfectionism can be healthy if it is isolated to only one achievable area. The difference is how you feel about yourself and why you are attempting perfection. In some sports, Olympians can achieve a perfect score. However, remember that to get one perfect score—on one skill or routine—they also have practised the skill thousands of times imperfectly. They may have also injured themselves attempting to complete the skill. Athletes accept this as part of the journey and get back on track to do their best. They know and accept that while they may achieve one perfect score—they won’t always be able to keep this up and on a different occasion, they may achieve a low score for the same skill or routine. It is what it is.

The following table considers some of the differences between healthy and unhealthy perfectionism.

Achieve your personal best Increasing anxiety due to fear of not achieving goals and self-worth is only achieved through completing unachievable goals
Do a good job at your workplace Setting yourself up to fail then being afraid to try
Do the best you can in specific areas of your life e.g. Olympians with perfect scores or students who score high scores in some exams Fearing failure to such an extent that you avoid the task at hand
Setting high but realistic and achievable goals Setting unachievable goals

If you want to aim for perfectionism, make sure it is healthy and achievable for you. Aiming for perfectionism in all areas of your life creates so much anxiety that you never get started and as a result your self-worth and content of life plummets.

Coffee Catch-Up #9

If we were having coffee I would tell you how dramatically my life has changed since our last coffee catch-up 5 weeks ago. My son has moved to Japan to be with his finance, I have resigned from my job, taking a month off before returning to casual nursing and this week it was confirmed that my husband has a new job in Newcastle, the city I grew up in. Life is definitely moving forward and the future looks bright.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about the great, wet weekend my husband, son, daughter and I spent together in the Hunter Valley before he left for Japan. The villa I rented contained a slow combustion fire place, so, despite the cold and wet we were toasty warm. I had kept this a secret from my husband to add to give him  a surprise. He was so excited that he didn’t stop playing with it all weekend. The fact that he didn’t have to chop the wood made his day even better. The cabins were in wine country and had resident kangaroos that roamed around the property. The photos below are from our verandah and we thought one of the kangaroos even had a joey in her pouch, however, because it was too wet we couldn’t get any closer. What do you think?

If we were having coffee I would tell you that since we last meet my blog has turned 2. I can’t believe how much I have learnt and grown since I joined the blogging community. This time 2 years ago I think I was still struggling to have 7 followers and now I have over 700 and fortunately they continue to grow daily. My goal by Christmas is to have over 1,000, which I think is doable if I keep chipping blogging away. My goal for my 3rd blogiversary is to have had 50,000 views. As this is  just over double what I am now on, it may be a tall order, but hey reach for the stars I say.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that since I resigned from my managers position, I have enjoyed having no stress and getting back into my blogging regularly. I don’t think I realised the impact the stress was having on me until I stopped and literally felt my body relax. Every time people see me now they are commenting on how good I am looking and how it is nice to see me smile again.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how grateful I am to A Momma’s View for choosing my poem on understanding as one of her pick’s of the week. It has helped me develop my confidence in my new skill of poetry writing. Stop by and visit her blog if you get the chance it definitely worth a look.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how nice it was last Saturday to share an Aussie BBQ with my son and close family and friends just hours before he left the country to start his new adventure in Japan. Sharing stories and future plans is great bonding experience and with the ease of travel these days nowhere is far away.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about the beautiful flowers I got from my staff after leaving work. They were so heavy and take pride of place on the table behind my desk, bringing a smile to my face daily.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that my daughter’s birthday seems like it was months ago, however in reality, it was only 3 weeks ago. Because everyone was busy, it was extended over the week and celebrated many times with some intimate gathering of family and friends at the times everyone was available.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what you have been up to since we last met. Has your world been calmer or crazier than mine? Let me know in the comments.

Coffee Catch-up # 8

Weekend Coffee Share

The Butterfly Story

Life is a personal journey. Others can help and support along the way however, they cannot do the work for us. When they rescue us, we never learn the skills required to save ourself when things get tough. Sometimes life has an odd way of putting the challenges we require in our path. But, it is important to notice what we learn from each experience — the good as well as the bad. The following true story of unknown origins explains the importance of struggles very well.

A man finds a butterfly cocoon, which develops a small hole. Over several hours, he notices the butterfly struggling to force its body through the small hole.

After a period, the man noticed that the butterfly appeared stop progressing. In trying to be helpful, the man decides to cut the cocoon open.  The butterfly emerged easily however its body was swollen and it had small-shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly expecting at any moment the wings to enlarge and expand enough to support the body.

Neither happened!

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around the ground. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not realise was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle by the butterfly to break free was nature’s way of forcing the fluid out of the butterfly’s body and into its wings so that it is ready for flight when the butterfly emerged.

Like the butterfly’s journey out of the cocoon, the struggles, we overcome help to develop our strengths needed for later life. They allow us to overcome obstacles that would otherwise cripple us. Without them we are unable to fly.

All our journeys are unique experiences and remember, there are no maps.



Understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings or behaviours is part of getting to know them. It is easy to judge based on our own assumptions of what is appropriate, but life is not that simple. It can be hard sometimes to look at a situation through another’s eyes. However, from my experience, the real growth comes as you can learn about your response to the initial trigger. Without this knowledge, you will find yourself in the same situation again and again.

To help me gain understanding I regularly review situations outside of the moment. The stronger my reaction, the more important I find it is to dig deep and be honest to develop the best outcomes for every one. In the following acrostic poem I share my thoughts and experiences reviewing difficult conversations and situations.

Unveiling the uncertainty

Negativity or neglect

Discovering the depth of the drive

Educating myself to encourage and empower

Realising any resentfulness I respond with reassurance and respect 

Secure, sensitive and supportive

Treading lightly, building trust and tolerance

Aware and authentic of my feelings

No longer nervous, nasty or numb

Delighted the situation is different now

Invigorated through involvement

Nurturing and

Getting to know myself as well as you better

Coffee Catch-up #7

If we were having coffee I would tell you about how proud I was on Wednesday evening when I was presented with my new Toastmaster badge that places the letter ACB/CL after my name. Although I was pleased to have completed the manuals, the feelings that developed when I actually saw them in print did surprise. They brought home to me the importance of presenting awards as soon as possible after completion. The fact that when I first finished my CC award several years ago, it took me over 12 months to get it recognised by anyone probably also played a part in my feelings.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about my run in with my exercise coach after which he disrespectfully dismissed me and told me I could finish up 4 weeks earlier than my original date. Given the circumstances this was probably the only option as there was no comprise possible.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how I enjoyed swimming, running in the water and relaxing in the members only spa this afternoon for the first time in 8 years. I would also tell you that I am looking forward to the greater options in my new exercise program including aqua aerobics, my long time favourite.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how I am catching up on many long time overdue jobs at work, which is inspiring to think about new systems to make many tasks easier.

If we were having coffee I would tell you what a great meal we had last night with one of my Toastmaster clubs social event at Thai Garden House. The food was fresh, light and flavoursome which is why in 2013, it was awarded Sydney Metro’s best Thai restaurant.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am excited to be back on track with my Blogging from A – Z challenge this week. It has taken a lot of work over the weekend especially as I am also keeping up with my regular features but so worth it. From my experience, the more I write the better and quicker I get at it.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what you have been up to this last week, let me know in the comments.