My IdeaLife

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

How to do the celebrity intercept with substance and no style - Marc Newson

This celebrity behaviour started a long time ago, I think it is somehow related to one of two things: I'm either out of touch reality so badly I think they would actually want to talk to a stranger, or the one I prefer, that my reality is they are just human, like me and so why wouldn't they chat to someone friendly with a big smile???!!!! (I think the words "like me" are what's wrong with my justification)

Would you say no to this look? It was 14 years ago but I'm sure I recognise it...
Yet it is what it is and no amount of working out 'why' is going to stop me it seems. The following is the story of my first celebrity intercept, yes this is where all the craziness started, and how I have times be labelled, wrongly I might add, as a stalker. 

It all started back in the year 2000, I was heading to a gala evening celebrating the lighting of the Opera House for the first time back, this was the baby of VIVID. A man I had admired due mainly to his creation of quite a few biomorphic metal objects, was going to be there as he had designed the lighting. And as I had designed the event identity nothing was going to stop me from talking to this gorgeous fellow designer, marc newson. Think gluon, orgone or as I did at the time, embryo...

I think he was wearing orange - can't believe I remember that, I think he was single too. I unfortunately had my then boyfriend there with me, but this was a minor moral bump that I happily skipped over as I approached my idol. "I loved him way before I'd even met my boyfriend" I rationalised. 

I started quite normally explaining my bower-bird-like attraction to his bright shiny objects (where talking furnishings at this point people) and that I had designed the identity on the flags all over Circular Quay with his 'neon' signature within it. Which he did confirm was a designed identity rather than the real thing, "Oh yeah of course", like I knew that, arggh. 

Just in case you thought this was a work of fiction. 
Just when it looked like I had escaped a first awkward question out of the blue and with little context I blurt out "So are you making any money yet?". This does cause him pause, I suddenly see myself through his still, wide eyes and time slows as his thoughts form in a bubble above his head "wow, gold-digging and proud of it, interesting", his turn to spin a little white lie, "a little yes..." 

Mortified by now I try to start explaining at high speed, "Sorry, no, it's just that I watched a documentary a few years ago and you said there was no money in Industrial design and I studied Industrial design but have never practiced it because yes there seems to be no money in it, nor any jobs and of course I'm not as talented as you and I was just interested because I only earn..." and on I went, I can't even remember the rest as it blurred into pure desperation transformed into lots and lots of words.  

By now he was smiling, amused by my lack of filter I can only presume, or maybe impressed by my ability to verbosely back pedal, seemingly make logical sense at the same time as flirting. Our conversation was just levelling out and he was kinda getting friendly, he even complimented some brightly coloured thing I was wearing. Well that's what I was telling myself, when my boyfriend wandered over. Celebrity intercept almost turning into groupie evening foiled, damn. I did the polite thing and introduced them and in true rock star celebrity style Marc moved pragmatically on. Let's face it there were probably ten of me at every event he went to, and the other nine were cool. 

The celebrity lesson here? No it's not "don't ask celebrities how much money they make", and it's definitely not "leave them alone you groupie weirdo", I'm sure he was at least entertained. It is without a doubt - if you are going out with someone and you realise you want to go home with Marc Newson instead, chances are you're with the wrong guy. We broke up soon after, but unfortunately not as a result of me running off and living in London on a Lockheed Lounge. Damn!

Fortunately for you there are more stories like this to come - so stay tuned and if you follow my tips I'm guessing you may learn from my mistakes and end of bagging Prince Harry or something... but probably not if you have a couple of kids and are married... we can dream. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

How to do the celebrity intercept so they never forget you (but wish they could)

I am one of those annoying members of the public that more often than not will say g'day and start a conversation with a celebrity I admire. Sometimes I get a picture of reality that stops me (and I don't mean a selfie!) but if I've had a wine...no such red flag appears and off I pop.

Not sure if it is my alcohol sozzled brain or just the nervousness I can't fully shake but usually if I do end up striking up a conversation with a famous person, more often than not I say something somewhere between plain embarrassing and truly startling. 

My latest was closer to startling though. Over the weekend when engaging in what was a conversation going in a seemingly charming way with Hugo Weaving, I suddenly stated that Shakespeare's writing was "so bad". Now on its own it was a statement that would silence any room, but I happened to be talking to someone who had just come off the stage and out of the character, Macbeth. 


Hugo Weaving and Andrew Upton as happy as only two thorns between two roses could be...
What I was trying to say obviously in an incomprehensible way was how dirty his writing was and the context was I was surprised that students studied Macbeth as a result, at this point Hugo's smile was replaced with a wtf-type expression, "bad?" he almost exclaimed, and then upon my back pedalling explanation "what's wrong with sex?" he almost barked, at this point my husband was shaking his head and I was saved by another Hugo-admirer who probably thought Shakespeare was quite a talented bloke. Needless to say even with the screams of nipples, loins and blood the play was amazing, but not as amazing as this particular celebrity intercept by me. Bravo!

The one before that was with a man made of equal parts crazy, intelligence and generosity - Joe Hildebrand. Generous 'cause he publishes my better opinion pieces, thank you Joe!!!!! and says things like "I like your blog"... *writer faints from shock*. 

When I was lucky enough to steal half an hour of his time for some real writer to try-hard writer advice, he went so far as to confirm on the phone to his producer, in front of me no less, that I was definitely a stalker, but a well-dressed, articulate one so it was all ok. She was obviously worried for him...when I expressed regret at ruining his life with my so-called stalking (just because Joe, his producer and my husband say it doesn't mean its true), he gorgeously said "yes poor me, having to deal with adoration from intelligent, attractive women, its terrible". I instantly forgave him as any good stalker, I mean grateful fan would. 

In any case I think I almost made it out alive from that encounter, and by alive I mean with some shred of dignity left but only just and Joe's too kind to correct me on that one... well I'm hoping he is?!

Then there was the brilliant Claudia Karvan. That started well as I am a complete sucker for most of her series', lately Puberty Blues had rocked my world so I was keen to chat about her fantastic character in the show. I was such a fan I couldn't remember her character's name, nor that of her husband in the show who's character I also adored. She responded well to this as of course she quite liked the character too and told me how teenage girls have been expressing disdain over her characters' fall from conservative grace. But as she patiently filled in yet another blank that of her previous series name, Love my way, and that of its creator I think some level of awareness came over me and I moved on and away from the poor woman. Here's a tip, if you are planning on approaching a celeb do a quick wikipedia scan in the lead up, or just don't be so busy you cant remember what day it is let alone details about TV series!


Think she is looking to be saved by someone!
Now sometimes my celebrity intercepts are not complete trainwrecks, like the really fun conversation I had with Wippa at a charity weekend away, he actually seemed relieved to be talking to someone that evening. Woohoo. Maybe I'll ask him if I can mind his new pet piglet one day just to push our interactions into the norm of my other celebrity relationships...hmmm there's more where these came from stay tuned for more examples of how to make friends and influence really influential peeps or more accurately how not to!



No celebrities were harmed during or prior to the production of this blog post...well not physically any way, there is a chance they have been mentally scarred but they haven't contacted me to confirm that...yet...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A lifetime of beauty in a song


I can't say that this song is going to make your day because it makes me sad yet it inspires me at the same time. But It somehow captures a lifetime in minutes and I am at the same time grieving the end as much as celebrating the wonder of what is now and possible. 

Because life in all it's forms always contains at least elements of beauty. The unique outlook each individual has, what they see is what no one else ever will. We are all watching our own movie and whatever scene you are up to, one thing is for sure it is yours and yours alone, to cherish and keep, locked in your beautiful mind. 


Townsville has obviously been harbouring some deep, mesmerising souls in 'Middle East' 

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Five years of Fun... gone in a heartbeat!

It seems like only yesterday I was lying in bed begging my husband to unwind a painfully cramped foot nearly every night...At the same time my frowned upon but life-long love of tummy sleeping also came suddenly to a non-negotiable end, replaced with the unbearable side sleeping position, that five years on I now love. 

But all the woes of being heavily pregnant melted away upon first seeing my perfectly-formed firstborn through a 3D ultrasound and recognising my father's and my distinctive nose recreated again (poor thing!). That feeling of wonder and ignorant joy will always be with me, and is easily recalled despite the five years of exhaustion that followed this new human's arrival into the world. 

He was the sort of baby strangers were drawn to with his ocean blue eyes staring intently back at them, drawing in information from the start. Now he is a little man, as thoughtful, sensitive and intelligent as he was as a baby, but with a hardcore Lego habit and energy that could light a city. 


Happy fifth birthday M - the first huge love of my life xxxx

Monday, 3 February 2014

LOST...RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman


RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967 - 2014

As we watch another star at the height of success fall, none of us really know what happens within a mind capable of creating such art. We just sit, confused about what lead to the world's and indeed his gorgeous young family's great loss. All we can do now is remember, and this scene below although not his most acclaimed, has long been my favourite. 

We will deeply miss this force of nature that was Philip Seymour Hoffman. 




Friday, 24 January 2014

Leukaemia meet a supermum, gorgeous friend and unassuming genius... now get lost!


Your hair's a little shorter now
but your smile is unmistakeable
Your resilience is being challenged
by life's great enemy and its barbaric cure

Bravery awe-inspiring
vulnerability only showing how strong you truly are
Bandana as cool as your even temper
If only those who saw it knew that being you, even now, is lucky!

I'm sure I've bumbled through my visits 
the fear and helplessness sneaking into my eyes
as I desperately hide myself behind an inane story about work

But I know you see me
I know your insightfulness
nothing escapes your astute eye
even poisonous chemicals won't take that from you 

You are a rare one, sharp as a tack, 
Loved by so many
Feared by some I'm sure
but I will be there to help you strike fear into this cowardly disease
and I know there will be many of us trying to beat it away from you

I wish I wish I wish I could take more of the battle on
but please when you think you can't stand, on those inevitable down days
remember all of our love will be there to hold you up 
so you can see the light at the end of this 5 month tunnel. 

And in case you don't know - you are my hero...
and I'm so honoured to be your friend.


xxxxxxxxxx
Dedicated to an amazing woman bravely fighting Leukaemia... please sponsor me in the World's Greatest shave... I'm colouring but will shave it all off if I get over $2k!!! VISIT http://my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/wideeyedgirl


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

All I want for Christmas is ... is cheese!

Once a Christmas fire engine rolled past our holiday house running carols over its very loud PA system complete with Santa on board throwing lollies I knew it was time to "join 'em". 
Left Bottom: Even Angus was sus about this pretend Santa!


In the end there is nothing to beat when you are knocked out by beautiful christmas lights, reindeer and good will to all. Yes every year until I hear my children say the words "Mum you know Santa isn't real right?" I will struggle with the myriad of lies created to keep, let's face it, quite a complex fairy tale alive, this time last year I was struggling with these questions. BUT hearing Crash yelling in the most excited shrill every time he sees decorations or lights "Christmas!". Hearing Bang already rationalising the amount of Santas he sees everywhere with they are not the real one, they are pretend. Listening to countless renditions of Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town...and their faces on Christmas morning. Nothing beats it and I am a converted Christmas sucker lapping up every random, cheesy tradition.

So just to prove it - check this out! 



Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful and safe holiday
and hopeful new year! xxx 


Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Bachelor restored my faith in humanity...no really!


I have made no secret that from the second I saw Ali twinkle her eyes in the light reflecting off Tim's shiny hair that somehow, despite my known hatred of all things reality TV, I got hopelessly addicted to The Bachelor Australia. Initially it was more of an anthropological study for me, as I stared curiously at the motionless brows, false eyelashes with breasts to match and unnaturally thin noses, that I don't normally encounter IRL (I'm not in event planning on the Gold Coast obviously... ok so this one fashion blogger I know who doesn't do event planning on the Gold Coast seems to have a very still face, but everyone else has nerves that still work and sad limpy breasts)

As Rosie Waterland discovered Ali is Bambi!
But I digress, anthropological really is my way of saying I couldn't look away from the car crash, I was dying to see what intellectually stimulating conversations people could make through very large lips and fluorescent white teeth while teetering on 10 inch stillettos. Obviously I am jealous as have never managed any of these things, except the stimulating conversation bit...ask my work colleagues, that happens every day. 

Don't be fooled by the fact this is a still image, trust me nothing moved...ever.
Oh man I digress again, my point in all this is that watching The Bachelor and then reading Rosie Waterland's recap of it every week made me laugh harder than I had in a long while ( I have irish twins...now it all becomes clear). There were some nights I had to put my hand up as the fakeness mixed superbly with obvious intellectual handicap was too much to bear, but tonight even as I read my very cynical twitterfeed (girls where is your heart?!) I was relieved, so relieved that it actually restored some of my faith in the human race....why because the only really intelligent and genuine girl on the show got picked!!! This never happens, the fake moron or the bitchy manipulatress always wins. The natural, confident and successful girl with a funny chin misses out.....right? Especially when the bachelor's brain has been fried by a weird mix of beach-staring induced endorphins and human growth hormones. That walking bicep was so going down the Rochelle or Dani path in my version of "what's wrong with the world?". 

Dani breaks into a sweat trying to move her forehead
But no, I underestimated Timmy, maybe steroid abuse has been good for him, maybe travelling by helicopter and/or boat for 13 weeks somehow delivers some sort of intelligence via osmosis, or maybe his Mum clued him in. Poor old Rochelle's high-pitched facade was not getting past an usually very active brow that gave away Tim's Mum's "I'm a psychologist babe, and you're hiding something!" distrustful frown. I knew it was in the bag for Anna, by the polar opposite facial expressions of Timmy's Mum - replay it back, check it out, she loves her and knows she's for real - Oh f*#k it! I'm just gonna say it "I love her too!" #tragic

You can't tell Rochelle's not really comfy being real from this photo...much...not that Tim's hair can talk!
I'm going to try to restore my cynicism, but my tears when Timmy choked up telling Anna she had his whole heart, were real, and yep she and Osher's attempts at being stiff and serious, have made me believe in fairytales again. Thank goodness my knight in shining armour has already arrived or god knows what I'd now end up with. Off to buy some growth hormones for the hubby after I google whether botox actually is dangerous. And you can be sure you will not see a twinge on this face until Ali turns up as the Bachelorette! 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wrong...in all the right ways

I know I am late to this party but by accident (1 minute in a car park before work) I actually listened to the words of Pink's song "Raise your glass" and I fell in love with it and her. 

And then for some unknown reason a colleague at work sent me to this blog post about embracing your weird self (I think I might be weirder than I first thought). Then that classic scene in The Family Stone popped into my head, you know the one where Meredith (Sarah Jessica-Parker) is told by, if-only-this-guy-existed-in-real-life, Ben (Luke Wilson) that she has a freak flag that she just doesn't fly. And I realised there is something quite beautiful (in the loosest sense of the word) about being your real imperfect, nitty gritty, human self. 

We seemingly are all trying to be something that we think is the cool, "right" thing to be, appearing all detached "man", "holler". Well sod that - I get my knickers in a twist all the time and it's because I do care and I do want things to be different and I'm not going to just hang back to appear cooler than I am.


So newsflash - I have a geeky freak flag too (Wow at last Sarah Jessica Parker and I have something in common). Socially I think that over-sharing is hilarious and that political incorrectness is fun. I hate cyclists and often think they ride like they actually want to be run over by a car (I used to ride and I was respectful that cars can take off faster than bikes from a set of lights...helloooo!) I sometimes use the word 'spaz', mostly to describe myself but I know this offends some people seemingly my hubby the most (he's such a spaz!) 

I also forget to ask everyone who's asked me how their weekend was because quite frankly I can't remember my own let alone have the brain power to absorb what happened to some one else. I'm not intentionally or selfishly not interested, it's just my diskspace is full, sorry! I have an obsession with perfect typography, copywriting and layout that drives my team and our agencies crazy. I have an unsettling memory for the perfect word order of a conversation and don't accept answers that contradict the "vibe" of a situation. I like excel and picmonkey in equal measure. 

In short I am like this swearing, curiosity junkie who won't stop until I know the "real" story and have created the "scientifically" perfect layout (I would have said article but that would be insulting given the shoddy word selection of this here post that you are struggling to follow). 

It is weird, annoying and quite tiring. Mainly because I have been left of centre and "wrong" for as long as I can remember and there is no better time to say "you know what - that's what makes me me". And this freak is starting to fly her obtuse flag - look out "perfect" people you're about to cringe!

As Pink so articulately puts it "Raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways..."

Cheers to what makes you perfectly imperfect! 


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Baby vs Career? Really?

This is a thought that occurs to me pretty much every day. Stay at home Mum, working Mum, stay at home Mum, working Mum. Which is best for my two gorgeous mini-people? 

Me on maternity leave...not sure why my hubby just spat out his coffee...
It is a massive conundrum that I have not ever been able to solve in my mind even after a couple of guilt-ridden posts on Mamamia when I first returned to work, both with about 500 "helpful" comments from other women. So when Gumtree did this infographic about it I thought it time to revisit this modern day bug bear. 

Gumtree infographic baby versus career
Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

I don't think I will ever be entirely comfortable with my full-time work choice, but I can say my two boys seem happy, well-adjusted and I dare say they are in no doubt of how much I adore them.  

I have come to believe that wholly defining your life by your children is quite unhealthy for all involved, especially the kids. So I am glad to have something else. Of course it doesn't need to be work that fills that gap, I think the trick is ensuring it is not solely your children, that's too much of a burden for them to carry.  

For me it is work and I do love my job, the challenge and the personal development that is required to work successfully with others even makes me a better Mum. Some call it selfish but knowing what looking after yourself mentally and physically, individually means for you is a responsibility that must be taken seriously to actually be a good parent. So whatever that is for you, and it is different for everyone, you owe it to your children to make sure you do look after yourself. 

So stay at home or go to work, the choice is only one each individual Mum can make and whatever that choice is, as long as your children are loved well and they know it, I think you are making the right decision. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read - Witty, intelligent and previously very dangerous


Mark "Chopper" Reed 
1954 - 2013

Take away the violence, that thank goodness in later life he did, and you had a larger than life Aussie character who knew he'd lost so much through crime saying only recently "get out of it, get out of it now while you still got a dream". 

I don't know how much of Chopper was accurately depicted in the movie based on him, but I never fail to laugh at this one line and the way Eric Bana repeatedly says "neville effing bartos" in later scenes. Maybe it's my warped aussie sense of humour, honed through years of quick wit (if by wit you mean insults directed mainly at my try-hard-posh grandmother) from my own fairly gritty great uncle Neville. 

Whatever it is, the "no cash" scene is a classic... 


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Inside their head...perception is reality.

My husband wooed me with the phrase "Perception is reality", that is if by "wooed" you mean really pissed me off. When we met I was surprisingly very wide-eyed and I believed there was an absolute reality outside of the skewed perception of each human being...and I was creating advertising for a job, go figure! 

I was very idealistically attached to this purist belief mainly because it was the only explanation for why most people didn't understand a word I said...they didn't see the REAL reality obviously. 

Luckily I'm a fast learner and it only took ten years to eventually concede and admit hubby was right (damn it!). The argument he formed back then was that it wouldn't matter if there was a REAL reality and absolute truth because it would never be seen. "But" I argued passionately "that's no excuse for not trying to find it!". 

In truth the only absolute is that one scene will unfold in front of a group of people and they will each take a different thing away from it. We see the world through our filter, that is uniquely ours, built through our individual experiences and knowledge. There is only one way for us to digest the space we move in and that specific view of the world is as unique as our fingerprint. Who knew I was going to not only get a nice guy but end up ranting about relativist existentialism as a result... thanks darling, a bunch of flowers would have been nicer. 

The power of perception... Image: Thequotefactory

Anyway as I struggle through being a parent and a leader more and more I realise there is only perception and that we judge others and even ourselves on the slither of behaviour we see and think nothing of the ocean of intention or potential we don't. 

I still think there is truth out there, but now I know that it is in the eyes of humanity rather than distinct from us all. And I dream of passing on the strength of belief and perception to my wide-eyed little people, quietly mapping my every move on to the glass through which they will see the world and in turn that will define their fate... oh shit!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Carrie Bradshaw EYHO!

The last person I ever imagined as overly-inspiring was Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City. So when I saw that she was speaking at a Business Chicks event I was a little perplexed given the types that we normally see (think Richard Branson, Brene Brown, Bob Geldof). Nonetheless I was looking forward to it, I had been, like most of my age group, obsessed with SATC and I was insanely curious to hear what this nympho, party girl with a shoe fetish would say in real life. 

So I came prepared, I did what every "informed" person does, I read about her on Wikipedia. As I skimmed through the article learning about the real Mr Big and her whirlwind marriage (and subsequent divorce) to a principle ballet dancer ten years her junior, my suspicions about what to expect from the event the next day were being confirmed. I started to brace myself for some squirming and hoped the food would get me through what I thought would be quite a vacuous and superficial experience. I continued reading and a small jagged fact tore slightly at my preconceptions. At one point Bushnell, a then struggling writer, had been so impoverished that she had to sleep on a piece of foam some friends gave her as she couldn't afford a bed. "Hmmm that doesn't fit" I thought, maybe there's something more than an unhealthy knowledge of Manolo Blahniks here.

Upon arriving the next day, in my most outlandish coat (had to pay some sort of homage and I can't stand Jimmy Choos), I was greeted by a Cosmopolitan, a designer goodie bag, and a slim, tanned blonde in a shimmering pink strapless mini. My worst fears were materialising, as I smiled on the outside and took advantage of Candace's offer to sign my complimentary copy of Sex and the city. The Cosmo and the shirtless man who was happy to hug me for a photo was making this all at least fun, so I relaxed and lowered my expectations as we made our way in to the ballroom packed with 1000 seemingly giggling women. 


The shirtless man appeared again to escort Ms. Bushnell to the stage and it was only a few short moments later that I realised how wrong I had been. Candace's warmth, sense of humour and gorgeous sense of self shone through and obliterated all my misconceptions. I sat ashamed as her strength and knowledge about how women and the world work made me look like an imbecile. 

I loved how she articulated the mistake so many of us make, that is we look for love to validate us, to make us feel important and special, to fill the "gaps". Conversely the best relationships are those where you don't NEED the other person for that. Giving love is what makes a relationship work and you can't really do that when you are incomplete. In the end she told us she eventually worked out she didn't want Mr Big, she wanted to be Mr Big herself. 

And my glimmer of hope from last night turned into a shining floodlight when she talked about sticking at writing, despite being so poor she sometimes went to parties just to eat. "Most of us have an epiphany about our lives but we try to ignore it, or just dismiss it. I didn't, I knew I had to write or I would die and so I kept writing". 

And her humour about men and their ugly "hoohoos": "oh my god, what are you showing me that for, you've ruined everything, put it away!". That and "the rabbit" which still surprises her, had the room in stitches. Not to mention the real Miranda's late phone call to her once: "you have to come here now and have sex in this rich guy's cedar closet!" 

And her wisdom... Wow. The genuine support she has for other women is palpable. You can really see that the way the four characters in SATC look out for each other is a life lesson from her. She talked of girlfriends that have kept her going at her lowest points with the simple phrase "you're fabulous". And her wisest friend who's advice she left us with says "Never stop doing you. Being you is the reason you are where you are, so keep doing your thing like only you can do it." 

Gorgeous, funny, sensitive, highly successful, wise and sharp as a tack... She has it all...no wonder she's single! So Candace Bushnell, I apologise, I expected Carrie, and despite Natasha Belling calling you that once during proceedings today, we got SO much more... and some. 


And I hope the misjudgements of this world do nothing but drive your beautiful success even further. You deserve every bit of it!

Thank you, Mwaaahh! Mwaaah!
(Had to be a double kiss, I know... Don't worry it's only for special occasions)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Is WALL-E one of the greatest movies ever made?

Creativity is this strange strange entity. I can't work out why it exists. It used to be evidence that God existed; he created us so we naturally created too. But then I started doubting the whole religion thing and my own need to capture beauty and pin it down remains unexplained. But one thing is true, when creativity is allowed to find its true potential, all are left inspired. 



In our time one of the most beautiful and inspiring works of art is the motion picture. Some may say it is a lazy person's novel but I believe it is a platform for every kind of artist. It is where visual artists cross over with musicians, actors and writers amongst so many others, all to do one thing well - tell a story. I have worshipped this art form for many years and have listed my favourite funny movies and even dedicated whole posts to some of my faves. But today's list is a must see of serious yet unmissable works. Welcome to my gallery of creative genius. 

  • WALL-E
  • American Beauty
  • The Descendents
  • The Piano
  • Cinema Paradiso
  • Léon
  • The Unforgiven
  • Amelie
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • The Green Mile
  • Up
  • Blade Runner
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Good Will Hunting
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • The Sixth Sense
  • The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Kung-fu Panda
  • The Matrix
  • Life is Beautiful




WALL-E is I think one of my top five and only became so late last year, thanks to having toddlers that began to devour movies for breakfast. It is pure genius how the juxtaposition between robots and human emotion are seamlessly brought together. It's not every day a cautionary tale for humankind disguises itself in an exquisite robot love story, but Wall-e achieves both and more. WALL-E will have you entranced much in the same way he is entranced with the super-slick EVA from the first time she shoots at him with her high-powered laser arm. His quirks, imperfections, and huge heart will capture yours as much as his apple start up sound will have you smirking. This level of creativity astounds me and almost makes me believe again that there is something more to us than simply ending as dust. 

Never stop creating.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Little arms, BIG hugs.

Someone asked me today to close my eyes and imagine a place where there is love. Of course I'm sure like most people my mind flashed my hubby's face up, but I settled on the best feeling in the world...that of small arms that can't quite reach around you yet, but still surprise you with their loving strength. 

My two boys are now nearly 3 and 4 and so their little arms do reach around my neck, they can pack a punch which often lands in my stomach, they can dive on me rock and roll wrestling style with no concept that 19kg in flight causes quite a lot of pain. But when those little arms lock around my ribs and squeeze while they bury their head in my chest I just melt. 

Gone are the menacing memories of the spilt smoothie, the punch up over a ninja turtle, the refusal to eat, bathe, get dressed, go to sleep, say yes. And if they add a "whove you Marm" they could have spewed, pooed and drawn on the walls all day, and I'd still be a mess of "my gorgeous little man, I love you too". 

I never imagined finding this kind of love, I never could have pictured the experience of stroking a luminescent forehead in a way that sends it's owner to sleep, or meeting these little people that are just crashing into life with insatiable curiosity, raw emotions and ever-stretching limbs. I never imagined being asked to "sing me 'close to you' Mum" or "look at my p00!" or to be told "my wil1y goes up like magic, it's really big.... hehehee". But these are the things that have made my life. These are the things that come to mind when someone asks me about love...and I am loving every sleep-deprived, deranged and chaotic minute. 

The most comfortable sofa is seemingly me!

Friday, 24 May 2013

SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE: RIP Drummer Lee Rigby 1987 - 2013


We won't forget
We won't rest
until Humanity is restored
until life, your life, is valued, cherished
And your son will know 
you changed the world for the better
One day...one day

But today strangers weep at how senselessly your life was stolen
and hearts break at your future now unwritten.

Today we will cry and cry and cry... this can't be
Something has to change...



All strength and love to Lee Rigby's wife Rebecca, son Jack, family and friends. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Happiness is love. fullstop

I just read about the longest-running longitudinal study into human development. The Harvard Grant Study started in 1938 and followed 268 Harvard graduates for 68 years. And it is one of those crazy moments where you watch someone else's life flash before you, but more than crazy it is absolute gold. It is like finding proof of God, when with that amount of data is collected, over that period of time, the findings prove that if the men had a warm relationship with their mother and a happy marriage, their lives were not only happier and healthier but also more financially successfully. It basically shoots "the nature vs nurture" argument squarely in the head too. 


Wow! just wow! 

Wow because I am a Mum to two toddler boys, wow because I know a man that didn't get on with his Mum and wow, I suddenly feel really terrified. 

I know this is all a good thing, because I am determined to love my boys and maintain a warm relationship with them, but life doesn't always work that way and people sometimes get it wrong. 

The good news for Mums struggling with their relationships with their sons is this though, the study also found that happiness can be found later in life, by things like finding the right spouse, a health scare or finding a new community, like three examples from the study did. 

Christopher Croke wrote in The Australian, "The journeys of the Grant Study men show that most people's lives are more authentically stories of growth and change than they are tales of demographic or genetic destiny."

Scott Stossel wrote in The Atlantic"Vaillant’s key takeaway, in his own words: “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points … to a straightforward five-word conclusion: ‘Happiness is love. Full stop.’ ”

It seems apt to end hAPpyRIL with that final note. Loving others is the most powerful and fulfilling thing we can do in this life. 

Love your family, love your friends, love the humans you've never met, 
but most of all LOVE your children. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

5 peculiar habits of happy people

Shawn Achor said there were five things you had to do to every day for 21 days to change the way you view the world. Well I'm stealing two of his and adding three that have been verified in countless studies I'm sure, unfortunately though they are studies no one has ever read nor heard of. In any case I'm convinced they are little things that will improve your life and at the very least will be good to wheel out at dinner parties! 

Chores
This is definitely the weirdest on my list, but from one that has avoided a lot of chores in my time, when I get in and just do them I know it is a path to happiness. I think it is not the chores themselves but what they represent - i.e. a barrier, a blockage, a weight, a burden. My husband is an expert at relieving himself of this particular kind of unhappiness, by just getting in and doing it. Now to complete his happiness, he needs to get me to do the same! Trying dear promise, I've got to the first state of chore happiness, I've written the list (I'll give it to you later...as proof I mean, not because I know you'll get to them before me...seriously). 

Pilates
This is not that strange and any doctor will tell you exercise of any kind releases endorphins (happy hormones) in your brain and creates wellbeing far beyond just being physically healthier. I have singled out Pilates because it is like this quiet achiever that not only gives you a work out without you noticing, but has the bonus of fixing anything from a crooked walk, to a lower back issue, to bad posture etc etc. The thing is a cure-all - it may not have the buddha on a mountain-top-ness of Yoga, but I assure you it is all that.... now I have to just start doing it again! 

Flossing
Can you believe that flossing, that little habit that very few people bother with can completely change your life. Not that you would notice straight away, lack of flossing is a slow burn to unhappiness, rather than a rocket to your head as such. The bacteria that lingers in your mouth from literally rotting food travels through your body and has been shown to contribute to heart disease and stroke! And you thought bad breath was the biggest issue here, when in fact being alive rather than having a raving social life is the issue. Ok so have freaked myself into flossing, be back in a mo. 



Meditation
I met someone that went away for a week somewhere and didn't speak the whole time. He said that the result was he had a clearer brain, a week of just meditating if you like meant he could clear all the white noise that had been humming in his brain. I personally think about half my problems would be solved if I had clarity of mind, the sheer volume of thoughts that I connect up every minute is exhausting just thinking about it, and it is easy to see why my own brain simply overwhelms me sometimes. Add a bit of quiet non-interactive time to your life, they say 10mins will do it and it is meant to change your life. 

Oats
I used to ride horses a lot and when I was helping mix their feed, I suddenly got a real insight into the whole "we are what we eat" cliché. If you had a flighty horse that had thrown a few school girls in the morning classes ( you can't really blame him can you though) you had to down his Oats and mollases. Oats is basically like rocket fuel for horses, it really does get them going, and I figured it was a real shame that most of us were brought up on processed stuff like Corn Flakes, which basically has the nutritional value equivalent to a similarly sized piece of cardboard. 

Oats conversely are classed as a superfood, because they are: 
  • the only grain proven to reduce blood cholesterol lowering the risk of heart disease
  • low G.I. and therefore give you long-lasting energy
  • high in insoluble fibre in other words laxative ads are irrelevant to oats eaters (have you ever met a constipated horse? colic is not the same thing btw)
  • high in soluble fibre which is great for Heart health
  • they fill you up so you don't fill like eating a mini-Cherry ripe with a coffee at 10am
  • packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus, Manganese, Vitamin B5 and Folic acid

Is it any wonder I am writing this series as I am currently doing one out of five of these and I wonder why I am stressed out! 

What one are you doing? or are you a super happy person doing all five!?