Thursday, August 29, 2013

Where in the world...

Whooohooo! I'm so keen for Day 22 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge!  Act 3, the third part of this journey is focused on how to live the travel dreams you love to imagine while living the business dreams you aspire toward!

If you chose to live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

As excited as I am by the question... I can't answer it!!!  I can't say just ONE place I'd settle down and live my entire life if I had all my wishes come true!  There are so many beautiful places in the world that call me for so many beautiful reasons.

At the risk of being cliche, I think I know that no matter how far, or how wide I roam, I'll still call Australia home.

But that doesn't mean I'll LIVE here! Is that bad?

My family and all my childhood friends live here.  My memories of growing up, growing into myself, growing into a parent, are all rooted firmly in the Australian soil.

I remember the day before I first travelled overseas, I went for a long walk and as I passed beneath the rustelling laves of the gum trees down my street, I wondered if there would be any such backdrop sound where I was headed to.  Or if that greyish green foliage would be matched by any other plants I might find over the oceans...

The answer was no...  Nothing I've found so far makes up for the special place a row of gum trees has in my heart.  But oh how did I LOVE the new exciting discoveries I made.  I have so many new places in my heart for the things I saw, learned, experienced, for the people I met.  And there are so many places in my heart that have yet to be filled.  But they will when I spread my wings and fly again.

So... now I've made my heart's enduring tie known, acknowledged my belonging - no matter what.  Where would I live?

My dream come true image from

I definitely want to live where the leaves change colour in the autumn.  Where snow comes on the winter winds.  I want white christmases, to ice-skate on a natural lake, to wear a real winter coat and make snowmen with my kids.  I want to crave the first blades of grass in spring, the first flower, the first  new baby deer, or rabbit to be seen for the year.  I want to sit and soak in the warmth of the sun while the children run under he sprinkler, and I sip on cool lemonade.

I want community where I live.  Where people talk in the streets with one another, whether they are long lost friends or never laid eyes upon each other before.  I want the local cafe to know how I like my coffee and the librarian to set aside books they think I might love.  I want my kids to attend a school that feels like a second home filled with one giant family.  I need a fresh green grocer, a butcher a baker, not a over-priced carbon cut out supermarket selling me year old frozen produce from the storage bins.  I want to know the name of my postman!  I want to talk to the other parents in the park, know that they are keeping an eye out for my children and have them feel confident that I will do the same.  My neighbours are welcome to borrow a cup of sugar, stay for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat.  My friends can just drop in, and I can do the same to them.  I want my kids to have that wonderful extended  group of Aunts and Uncles that are not any blood relatives at all!

Where I live, I want freedom!  Green grass to roll in, hills to slide down on cardboard boxes, woods to ride horses through or take a walk in.  I want a place to sit and enjoy nature, watch the sun come up and go down and maybe even take a swim beneath a beautiful old tree.

I also desire adventure!  Easy access to arts, culture, fairs, concerts, historical tours, sightseeing, things to see and do!

I don't want much...

And when I'm not HOME in Australia, or HOME, wherever the above criteria lies, I will be everywhere else in between!

30 day challenge

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Day 21 has no topic for the 30 Day Blog Challenge assigned to it.

I'm both excited by this and a little bereft.

I have been enjoying the challenge of addressing a topic each day.  Even when those topics sometimes did not light my creative fire or even spark my interest.  The fun of a challenge I guess!  But to have no topic at all, is just free and a little bit empty.

But I shall fill the space with words of review and anticipation.

In Act 1 of The Suitcase Entrepreneur's 30 Day Blog Challenge I was given permission to dream.  I was encouraged to spread my wings and imagine myself living my future.  It was a beautiful and enlightening experience.  Not only did I learn that my aspirations are far more humble than I anticipated that they would be, I was also blessed to realise just how close I actually am to getting there.  The divide between where I am, and where I aim to be, really is not that wide.  Now, I have a clearer view of where I am headed, why and indeed, how to get there sooner.

Act 2 was admittedly much much harder to explore.  It felt less creative and more intangible.  This is mostly due to the fact, I think, that I do not actually have a business or a clear idea for a business, and this Act was all about determining and refining how to make a business happen.  Despite the obvious challenges however, I learned a great deal about myself.  I have definite ways of doing business that I gravitate toward and some that I absolutely do not.  I feel that in the future, when I become more clear about ''what" I want to do as an online business, it would be EXTREMELY beneficial to revisit these questions again.  To delve into them with an actual concept, a baby you want to birth, in mind, could change so many of the answers, or reaffirm some.  That could make all the difference to an outcome.

And Act 3... I'm looking forward to Act 3... It is all about taking off and flying on those Sparkling Wings to far off places and experiencing freedom in all its forms.  It is about being ABLE to live a nomadic lifestyle anywhere in the world and still be anchored to the real world requirement to make money to support that lifestyle.  But even better, it is encouraging that anchor not just to be a source of fuel for the hip pocket and feet, but also to be gratifying and satisfying to the heart and soul!  Plus, I suspect, there will be many expert tips to make the nomadic lifestyle much simpler to implement.

It has been a long time since I last travelled.  I have taken a trip or two and glimpsed that sense of freedom that comes from REALLY travelling.  But it was only the tiniest hint of sensation, the essence of it.  I ache to feel it again.  The freedom, excitement, anticipation, mystery, discovery, learning, confusion and relief, drama, peace...  I want to roam.  I want that heart-racing feeling that begins with the smell of an aircraft and the force of being propelled into the sky!

I realise there is nothing stopping me from having all of this right at this moment.  I just need to seize it and make it mine.  I can travel and feel so much of this even without going anywhere or having any money. But I anticipate that the next 9 days will really bring this idea into full focus for me and get me one more step closer to that magical life I envisioned in Act 1.

Bring it on!

30 day challenge

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tools For Future Time and Money Saving

Day 20!  Happy Dance time!  Two-thirds of the way through the 30 Day Blog Challenge 

I'm beginning to wonder just what it is that I'll write when this challenge is over! I'm sure I'll find something because I actually look forward to writing now, and miss it when I don't find time.  I shall update my list of topic ideas and get busy on it soon! :-)

But for now...

State your top 3 tools that you already use, or will use, to save time and money in your online world more seamless.

So far, I don't really have any experience with online tools to make life simpler or aid in handling money but what I do know is, PAYPAL rocks!  I've used it many many times purchasing books and cd's from international sellers, items from ebay and transferring money to friends overseas.  It is secure, convenient and easy to use.  I love it.  If I were going to take on any kind of business dealings online, Paypal would definitely be part of my equation!

I have played with HootSuite before and can see that, as a business grows, using this tool to manage multiple social media avenues would be ideal for reducing time consumption.  I am sure it has far more features than I delved into, but as my blog/business grows, I can imagine and see the potential HootSuite has to help smooth the way and keep people up to date with what's going on in my sphere!

The third tool I'd have to say that I lean towards is InfusionSoft for email marketing, e-commerce etc.  I honestly know NOTHING about it except that several other small businesses that I know use it and I tend to feel that if its something they trust enough to use, then it may be a service I could too.  Naturally I'd do my research if and when the time came.  But what I have seen to date leaves a good impression.

There you have it!  Short and simple.

30 day challengebr />

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hot, Workmen Free Zone... Sigh...

Oh oh... Again Day 19 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge from The Suitcase Entrepreneur is a doozy that does not sit well on first glance  It is too businessy and out of my league.

But I'll answer it anyhow!

Which methods do you want to use to build your platform and increase your influence?

The sarcastic comedienne in me wants to procrastinate here by saying "by hollering at the hot workmen brandishing electric screwdrivers, of course!"  But anyway...

For this exercise, I am choosing to focus on the platform I have here and now, my blog.  Nothing too dreamy and future focused.  Just the "what I got".

If I am to grow what I have in this little corner of pixellated freedom, I simply need to keep on doing what I have been doing so far - regularly write and share my thoughts.  I simply need to layer post upon post upon post and see where it takes me, and what kind of readership it brings!

All of the questions to date have been making me think about what it is I have to offer, who I want to offer it to, what terms I want to offer it under and so on.  I have more direction and thought out detail than I have ever had.  But even so, I have a deep desire to just grow in whatever direction the light comes from and just see how far or wide (or weed-like) I can become.

If I let my writing here be free as well as follow the directions I do have planned, I hope to have enough structure, content and mystery to draw in those who have wings of their own and want to glide on my breeze.  I don't want to push, pull or "influence" but rather put out a little magic magnetism and enticement.

A beautiful image from

30 day challenge

My Week in Review!

My Weekend
  • Cleaning the house
  • Preparing party food
  • Entertaining my birthday boy's friends and family.
  • Cleaning up
  • Napping
My Week
  • Wrote a post for Day 11, Day 12, and Day 13 for the 30 Day Blog Challenge
  • Posted My Week In Review for last week.
  • Cleaned my cutlery and utensil drawers in my kitchen after my daughter spilled juice into them!
  • Took my Bunny to the vet and learned to give oral medicines to her via syringe.  I hope it helps!
  • Went to belly dancing class and played with hot pink fan veils!  So pretty and very energetic!
  • Posted for Day 14 for the 30 Day Blog Challenge after listening to Natalie Sisson's Podcast twice!
  • Completed my e-learning for Lifeline on Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault (because it didn't record my result last week!  Grrr) AND Child Protection
  • Chilled out with a jigsaw puzzle while listening to said podcast
  • Helped two friends with some very different copy writing needs
  • Listened to The Desire Map AGAIN!
  • Wrote my Day 15 and Day 16 posts for the 30 Day Blog Challenge
  • Took the kids out to dinner
  • Did some art journalling - first time in ages
  • Made a call I was not looking forward to making
  • Sent some emails I have been meaning to send
  • Started fundraising for the 2014 Step Up For MS Challenge
  • Created new reward charts for my kids
  • Wrote Day 17 post for 30 Day Blog Challenge
Dreams for my weekend
  • Sleep
  • Smiles with my children
  • Study
  • Writing
  • Editing
  • A new bunny! (No, before you wonder, not to repace my sick bunny.  Another new furry bundle of love!)

Friendly Teams!

Image from
Day 18's question is uninspiring!  This 30 Day Blog Challenge has had it' challenges but this is one of the bigger ones because I just don't 'feel' the question at all.

But that hasn't stopped me for the previous 17 days, so here goes...

What does your dream sales team look like and how will you ensure they help you buld your business?

See what I mean... VERY BUSINESS ORIENTED.  It is hard to think about what a 'dream team' of any kind would look like if you aren't quite sure what was in the dream!

But I'm just making excuses. I'm whining and not taking action that will inch me into forward momentum.


My dream team would look like a thousand friendly faces that love what I do, say and who I am, in my sparkling glory and my cruddy blueness.  We all have the cruddy blueness and the best growth, I find, comes from the fertiliser that surrounds those days.  And I want those that follow me to not just be excited by the wonderful sparkling days but also by that growth that occurs in the warm sordid scrambling moments that feel like decay but are perfect conditions for flourishing.  I want to help people see the beautiful parts that make up the bulk of life, and the beautiful parts that hide in the shadows too.

So... I guess I envision an affiliate program of my own, promoting whatever it is that I end up producing.

I am very much people centred.  Big corporations don't excite my senses.  They actually turn me off most times.  I'm not into hoopla and catch phrases and marketing strategies (I don't think anyways... I don't have a lot of experience here to base anything on!)  I don't buy into brand names, don't know who celebrities are or what or who they are doing for the most part.   I don't pay any heed to mass media 9 times out of 10.  But I do love people, variety and natural progression.  I don't want to push and cram and bustle people along.  I just want a natural, beautiful flow of life, and marketing, if that is in my future.

I feel that it would be an honour to be recommended to others.  It would be a blessing if those others purchased anything I might produce, as a result of that recommendation.  I think it is only fair, just and respectful to acknowledge that wonderful support.  Sharing the love by spreading the word for exchange for a few dollars is a win for everyone involved.  It is quite beautiful really. Not only does it ensure the growth of a business, it creates financial flow to everyone involved, circulates information, that I create, more widely than I could ever possibly achieve alone, but most importantly it creates community and TRUST.  Who can't love that idea.

And it would all happen in an organic flowing natural way rather than a contrived, glossy package with a mind-achingly catchy jingle to keep you awake at night!

The only other part of a dream Sales Team that I can envision would be the involvement of friends and family to support me through the process of creating something to actually market.  Encouragement on "good" and "great" ideas, or "perhaps you should rework that!" suggestions would be crucial.  But choosing the right people to support me is essential too.  Picking only the real "supportive" members among my circle and leaving the ones who could shrink my shine to fulfil other roles in my life that they are more suited for!  It's all about delegating! :-)

So... for a topic that didn't inspire me, I think I did ok! Don't you?

30 day challenge

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Want Community. Who Wants To Play Along?

Day 17!  I am loving these high teen numbers!  It's so amazing to me that I, or all people, have stuck to this 30 Day Blog Challenge this long!  I usually give up on things like this much sooner, particularly if I'm not all that 'into' the theme.  In this instance, I'm not all that into business building, but its been an educational ride nonetheless and my interest is beginning to be piqued!  Just what could I do here?

So today's topic...

What three steps can you take to build trust and credibility online for you, your brand and your business?

My first answer to this is keep active and in the spotlight!  Keeping on blogging like I have done, with regularity and something of interest to say. This will keep whoever is already looking, coming back, and will encourage new people to join!

Keeping active will mean following up on my ideas for taking this blog in a new direction and cultivating others.  I am absolutely up for that challenge!

My second response would be to keep up with my Facebook page for this blog and perhaps expand into other social media avenues. This certainly won't deter people from coming here to visit and spend a few minutes (or dare I dream - a few hours?) reading.  If I make people aware that this little blog exists, and keep people reading after their first visit, not only will my blog readership grow, but my own credibility will grow as a natural consequence!  My gut says that social media activity is very important here.  The blog is where the action is, but there is a strong possibility that the socail media networks is where the INTERACTIVITY and TRUST will grow best of all.

My final thought on what I can do is to take any and every opportunity that comes to my attention to promote my blog.  Even taking up this challenge has increased my reader stats and thus, the knowledge that I'm here, in my little corner of the world wide web.  I think keeping active and getting the word out as much as possible, in any way, can only be beneficial.

I'm looking forward to interaction the most.  I want to know what readers think and feel and if they want more or less from me.  I want comments...

Comments people, please?

I started this blog for me.  But its slowly morphing into something new.  It would be nice to know who is on the journey with me and if they want something in particular from the ride too.  Perhaps I can make us both grow!  No harm in asking, right?

Image borrowed from

  30 day challenge

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Teams Make Light Work

Day 16! This is actually going quite quickly, and despite being business oriented, I'm enjoying it!

30 day challenge

Today's topic is:

How will you build a team round your vision and work smarter instead of harder? 

I actually love this question because although its intent is to make you think about your business vision, it could actually be applied to any part of your life.  It encourages you to think about what you value, what skills you have, what talents you need those around you to exhibit and how you can make it all happen.

The first thing I imagine that you'd need to have BEFORE going after your team is to know exactly what your vision is.  

So for me, at this moment at least, it would be to have a happy loving family, a comfortable home, enough time and money for needs to be met and a few creature comforts and fun to be had. It also means having purpose in my life, right now that is motherhood and undertaking my study.

What do I bring to the table to make this vision a reality?  Love, desire and passion to make it happen, the ability to plan and coordinate the implementation of plans. The energy and enthusiasm to pitch in and do the hard work that's required to make the plans take shape.  The tenacity and enthusiasm to delegate and manage others to help keep the ball rolling.

I also acknowledge that I don't have these abilities every day of the week...  

This means I need tools and people to help me.  

Guidelines, rules, routines, incentives and rewards.  Plans with stepped out strategies of achieving them.

But all of that is hard going if you don't have a team to help bring it to life.  It is possible to do it alone.  Millions of people create a vision single handedly.  But I have to wonder if they could have made their vision that much more significant and sparkling if they shared the work...

Presently, my team includes:

  • My Husband - Bread winner, cooking, parenting, yard work, supermarket runs, chief fixerupper, other duties as required
  • My Friends - Support, mentor, kick my ass, dry my tears, have my back, help me dream and bring me wine and/or chocolate, give me permission when I can't give myself permission.
  • My Children - Give me reasons, create work LOL
  • My Family - As for friends with the addition of bringing lasagne, playing taxi and emergency childcare
  • My Teachers (all of them, including Natalie right now!) - They teach me and support my growth
  • Service Providers that I depend upon - Childcare, home delivery shopping, public transportation etc
Now if I had a business, I know I'd need a more refined support team who fulfil delegated tasks.  Some of those people I may have no relationship with beyond those delegated tasks besides a, "hi, how are you?" said out of courtesy.  But they would be a part, and a valuable part, of making my vision come to be, none the less. They would be a valuable part of the team.  

So too would be my clients, customers and followers.  As my children are my purpose right now, they would be my purpose in a business model.  

To develop the team you need to look at what you have, what you need, what you want and find just who it is, and in what way, you can meet all the requirements to make what you dream a reality.

It isn't weak or lazy or a sign of lack of commitment to let others help create your vision.  In fact it is strong.  It is smart.  It is efficient.  You get to pool your own talents and resources into what you do well and love the most while knowing that the other stuff that matters, is being well taken care of by others who have those specific talents and who are lit up by those things.  It makes sense!

Newsletters Prevail Over Junk Email!

Day 15! The half way mark for the 30 Day Blog Challenge!

Today's topic is a little bit of an adaptation on the actual topic that Natalie Sisson has set out.  I'm not quite ready to tackle my own mailing list but I'm ready to dream...  So...

If you had a mailing list for your blog/business, what content would it include? How frequently would you send it out? What purpose and value would the email have?

So I just wrote a whole bunch of stuff and realised it was filled with BITCHING ABOUT EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!  Apparently I have issues! LOL

I deleted what I wrote.

Instead of torturing you with my ranting, I am opting to summarise in point form my irritations.  I wonder if you can relate?

  • Too many! (Particularly if you're reminding me of something for the umpteenth time!)
  • Too messy! (If I have to read a ton of filler or search for the good bits in a sea of crazy fonts, advertising or junky graphics, you've lost me!)
  • It's just FILLER - no good stuff!
  • Too SALES PITCHY! (I'll buy if I like what you have to sell, not if you cram it down my throat!)
What is it that I LOVE about email newsletters?  Good wholesome meaty VALUE in each edition that I love to open and read.  That I will skip over a dozen others to read!  I love to expect good stuff inside and find it easily. I want to SMILE when I see that subscription in my inbox. I want to smile even bigger when I read it.  And I want to LOOK FORWARD TO next time!

My time is valuable (even if I am a procrastinator... LOL) and I don't want to waste it deleting 1000 emails and potentially great value content, simply because of one of the above occurring one too many times!

If I had an email list of my own... I would want the following:

  • To SMILE as I wrote the newsletter
  • To have GREAT FEEDBACK about my newsletter
  • To FEEL GOOD about the whole process

Image from
I would provide a clean, brief, interesting and informative newsletter.  I imagine it to include an update of what's going on or recently occurred, maybe something funny or inspiring, a suggestion or tip or two and all formatted in a simple, easy to follow manner that is repeatable and dependable.  If there's QUALITY content I don't think there's any need to send out more frequently than every 2 weeks UNLESS something BIG is about to happen! If what you offer is LOVED then you won't be forgotten.  In fact, I believe you'll be craved!

30 day challenge

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dreams Count!

DAY 14!  Whooot Whooot!  2 whole weeks of blogging almost daily (or catching up within days!)  How awesome is that?  That is an achievement in itself!

So... Day 14 is perfect.  After Day 13's Sparkling New Directions, hot on its heels is a day of learning dedicated to making those directions one little bit more attainable!  The prompt to write upon is...

What are two key ways you could use the habits of a millionaire to monetize your blog in the next month?

30 day challenge

So here goes...

The first habit that calls to me is NO EXCUSES!

I have a lot of excuses not to do things that could potentially bring me more joy, make life better, move me forward and so on.  There's laundry to be done, I will do it later (my favourite), I can't afford that, I can't invest the time required, there are too many other things to do, I don't have the energy/patience, I can't think straight with my house a mess or when the kids are running  around.  See I'm full of excuses...

So... The first thing I can do, bearing this in mind is to JUST START!  No more excuses, self doubts, needing permission from "someone" or anything else I can think of to keep in my comfort zone.  I think I need to just get active and start each project and run with it!  Run like the wind and don't stop even if the tricky stuff that makes it a project gets in the way.  Hurdles are not an excuse to stop, they are a reason to leap!

The second habit that resonated with me was to always move forward.  Every day, do something to get closer to the destination.  Be it big or little, forward momentum of any kind is wonderful!  

So to this end, I will set up a project book.  I will sit down and really hone in on what it is I want to create.  I will figure out what I know and don't know about making my creation a reality.  I will isolate what it is I need to learn and go after it!  Then, when I know what I need to, it really is full steam ahead with NO EXCUSES and just making it happen.  

I realise now that I need to drive what I want to achieve.  It won't grow from a idea seed if I don't give it the right conditions, nurture and nourish it.  I need to MAKE this happen.  I need to do some work, quit finding reasons not to and I need to keep the momentum up regardless of everything else in my life that is vying for my focus.  

My dreams matter as much as anything else in my life!

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Week In Review!

I forgot to post this last Friday!

My Weekend... :-)
  • Completed my Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault module for Lifeline Crisis Support training  
  • Played Monopoly Revolution with the kids!
  • Watched a movie with Rob.  Identity Thief
  • Did some food shopping
  • Got some clothes bargains for the kids for next year
  • Spend the afternoon with the kids at an 8 year old's birthday party
My Week:
  • Paid bills
  • Located a lost file
  • Scheduled a Krispy Kreme fundraiser for my 2014 Step Up For MS Challenge - details coming soon!
  • Wrote Day 5 and Day 6 blog posts for the 30 Day Blog Challenge.
  • Belly Dancing!
  • Wrote Day 7 blog post for the 30 Day Blog Challenge and added in my own Day 8 topic!
  • Baked banana bread muffins and a double sized banana bread that met a tumbling fate
  • Made wheatbix slice
  • Took my baby boy to the doctor after a mystery allergic reaction
  • Bought a birthday present for my big boy, to add to the one that's a little too big to open (There has to be something to unwrap on the big day!)
  • Snuggled and napped with my sick little one
  • Wrote my Day 9 post
  • Created dozens of little cup cakes for my birthday boy's class, and a huge mess in the kitchen
  • Delivered cakes on foot as well as birthday macaroni cheese
  • Had coffee with Jenfriend
  • Soaked in the bath!  
  • Wrote my post for Day 10
  • Took my birthday boy out to dinner with the family
  • Cleaned my house for the birthday party!
  • Rearranged my kitchen cupboards
Dreams for the weekend...
That my sweet little 8 year old boy has an amazing birthday party to remember!  And that I survive the experience! LOL

Sparkling New Directions

Whoohoo!  Day 13 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge!

Today's question is EASY!  Loving it!

What 3 things would you most like your website to have and how will you go about getting them?  

In lieu of a website, I shall use this blog as my base.  :-)

I want to use this blog to study, explore and share the greatness of others.  I have thought about this for some time, but now is the time to develop those thoughts in black and white.  I know so many amazing people who I admire for one reason, or many.  There are many many more I do not yet have the pleasure of knowing, and I would like to.  I want to explore each of these people, their goals, achievements, dreams, mistakes, beliefs and so on.  I want to examine what makes them tick, what makes them shine and what makes them LOVE their lives.  I want to know what 'their secret is" so I can soak it in, use it to my own advantage and make it available to the world to use for theirs!  I have been considering doing this with a series of interviews/guest posts all with a specific 'format' to follow, so that the questions that will reveal the 'secrets' will be addressed and we hit the mark every time!  I envision it to be something of a spotlight on an individual, a lesson in 'making things happen'.  I want it to be enlightening and educational and inspiring.

The side benefit from taking on a project like this will be that entrepreneurs I know, who are strugging to be known, will get one more avenue for exposure.  People I admire from afar, who dare to dabble in my little dream, will find a new source of admirers and followers, and hopefully a new perspective to look into themselves.  And for anyone just reading along, a wealth of knowledge, all in one place, to draw upon and improve their own lives.

So the second thing I would like to see grow within my blog/website, would be community.  I already have a facebook page where people who read this blog can connect and see what I've been up to here.  But I guess the logical approach would be to expand the blog, expand the readership, encourage more facebook friends, possibly start an email newsletter...

I began this blog for me, to get out of my shell and open up to the world.  It is funny to think that in just over half a year I'm now thinking that maybe, just maybe, I can help others with doing the same, as well as benefitting myself with their natural and learned wisdom.  But to do that, to share that around and make it happen, community is essential.

The final thing I'd love to see my blog allow me to do is further explore my creativity.  I see myself doing this though writing about topics that move me, inspire me.  By unleashing my creativity with colour, drawing, crafting, maybe even sewing.  Poetry perhaps?  Creativity with my children...  Making life beautiful ans sparkling.  That is what this blog was about in the beginning, life in all its aspects, soaring and dipping on sparkling wings.  The part that I feel has been missing to date is my creativity!  So I guess I just need to make time in my life to make it happen then be brave enough to let it be here!

So, there you have it!  :-)  I just honed in on a direction to head in!  Wonderful!

What a beautiful direction to head into!
Image from

30 day challenge

Unique Special Proposition

Day 12!

This 30 Day Blog Challenge has been enlightening, and challenging.  I learned a lot about myself the first week.  The days since have been more business oriented.  I find this far more difficult.  But I shall soldier on.  I just hope its interesting to read...?  

If nothing else, it is building my writing habit muscles.  And I did miss writing the past few days break.  

30 day challenge

Today's question looks a little juicier...

What is your Unique Special Proposition that sets you apart from the crowd?


I'm ME of course and no one can do anything in quite the same way as ME!  Is this really a question?

:-D  LOL sorry...  Ok, tackling the topic...

So what do I love going more than anything else?  What do I do better than anyone else?  What is remarkable about me?  What can I offer someone, or the world, that no one else can offer?

If there are answers to these questions and others like them, then I will have my Unique Special Proposition.

The tough part of answering this question is tooting your own horn!  I've never been one to self promote.  In fact I'm more accustomed to self doubt and self critique while blending into the landscape!  But I can see how beneficial this question is to face up to, both personally, and later, from a business perspective.  It is just uncomfortable to do...  But growth doesn't happen if you sit inside your shell now does it?

I guess the things I love to do most are help people and to laugh.  I enjoy taking what I learn about myself and others, and forming a picture about life and what it could be, for each of us.  I feel that one of my best qualities is empathy.  I care about others. I love positive outcomes and solutions to problems.  But if problems can't be 'solved' I love the process of growing into understanding and acceptance and persevering.  I believe that we can survive anything, we can be great, we can LIVE - regardless of our lives and our circumstances.

I feel as thought I hover between introversion and extroversion.  I am comfortable with my own company and I need alone time to regenerate my resources.  But I thrive when I am surrounded by people.  I am sure that one aspect would win out if I put it to the test, but I feel that essentially I am quite balanced (most days anyhow) and I am open.

Ok... I've wrung the sponge of self-boosting enough for the moment.  I'm sure I could get another drop or two out but I am happy with the little bit I extracted.  It gives me a little foundation to build upon...

Branching Out to look at Business Modelling!

Ok, so I had the weekend off blogging.  We were birthday-partying instead!  Fun tun fun!

But I'm back and ready to catch up.  So onto Day 11 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge!  The question to answer this time is, tricky, to say the least.  Again, no business...  But...

Which business model is best for you and what one revenue stream is most feasible.

I am going to tackle this in a futuristic tone. Mostly because I know that IF I were to pursue a venture at this moment it would look significantly different from what I would love to create later.  This is due to my commitment to motherhood.  I'm not able to commit the time and flexibility right now as I will when all my children head off to school.  So I will focus on my dream, and not this moment.  It will give me a clearer picute of where I need to steer my imagination for later.

Part One:  What business model?

I'm a people person, a helper and a healer.  What I want to do is assist others to create better, happier, healthier lives.  It feels useful and fulfilling to support others.  It feels expanding to learn from others as I support them.

With this in mind, I can only imagine building a business that centres on me and my ability and willingness to help others.  It needs to promote my skills as a helper as well as my compassion and capacity for empathy.  It has to be all about what I can offer others to make their world better.

Due to the nature of the work I want to focus the majority of my effort on, a personal one on one type of assistance is essential. It pivots on my active involvement.  It will mean my being there, interacting, to provide a service.

Of course, I can supplement my lifestyle with other avenues of work and income.  Running a business that requires my own ACTIVE participation does not preclude me from creating other things that could be used by others to help themselves, or bring joy.  It does not mean I can not sell or promote products created by others.  But it is where I want my focus to be.  I love making a direct difference and seeing first hand, the results.

30 day challenge

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mining For Gold Nuggets

Ahhh today will be tricky...

Day 10 of The Suitcase Entrepreneur's 30 Day Blog Challenge...!

I'm so impressed at myself for sticking in there this long!  :-)

Today's mission to write is:

What are the key ways in which you want to make money online in your chosen business OR Which are the key online revenue streams you want to focus on in your existing business?

See why its tricky?

I don't have a business... LOL  Well, not really...

BUT - I really would like to have 'something'.  So lets get writing and see what little nuggets I can mine out!

I'm not sure about KEY ways... But there is one way that I'd like to make a little money from online.
My Nutrimetics page and facebook page.  Nutrimetics is a beauty and cosmetic company who's products I adore and use myself.  Many are formulated with the oil from the apricot kernel.
I have neglected this opportunity for a long time and only half heartedly put effort in prior to that.

So... Something to focus some attention on!

That nugget wasn't so hard to find.

I also have affiliate programs set up for The Amazing Biz and Life Academy and The Desire Map.

These are both products I use and love!  The Amazing Biz and Life Academy is a whole host of goodies that teach you how to make your life, and business, AMAZING! (LOL Seriously!) And The Desire Map is all about reshaping how you look at setting goals in your life.  It turns the process on its head and looks at the Core Desired Feelings you long for in your life and THEN the goals, rather than the goals themselves, and hoping you get to feel what you hope you will, when you get there.  If you get there!  They are both FABULOUS and you should check them out!  Click my affiliate links, please!

If there are any other products I fall in love with in the future, I won't hesitate to become an affiliate.  It is an absolute win win win situation.  Win for the product creator with a sale, a win for me with a percentage of the sale, and a win for the lucky person to finally have their hands on something not only beautiful and insightful, but possibly life changing!

As for what else I could pursue to make money online, perhaps advertising on my blog once it grows a little more and I find my feet for real rather than just being committed to a challenge, like I am at this moment.  I think I need to be more secure in my ability before that.  But its something for the to do list.

I have several other ideas floating around in my mind that I would like to sink my teeth into and tackle. Some involve writing, some involve general creativity.  Some involve specific technology to allow them to become a reality.  But what they do have in common is the necessity for me to let go of my self conscious, self defeating mindset and allow myself room to create.  Without that these ideas can not be born.  After that, their potential to be lucrative, will be based upon my ability to market and spread the word and conduct the hard work of running a business.  I have so much to learn!

Then there are the physical, real life, offline opportunities I'm pursuing.  Counselling and completing my Education Assistant Certification.  Both could be considered somewhat location independent if you consider the ability to counsel and coach from anywhere in the world via technology.  And the creative aspect of being involved in education can only aid my ability to unfurl my artistic wings... surely!  And if not, the supreme organisational skill required in a job light that might help me to get the rest of my business life running smoothly.  But if all else fails, it could be very interesting doing relief work in various locales..

The sky really is the limit.  And with Sparkling Wings, I can reach it if I want to!

30 day challenge

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Catching the Tranquility Bug

Day 9 of The SuitcaseEntrepreneur's 30 Day Blog Challenge!  Whooohooo!

Today's topic isn't as touchy-feely as the previous ones, to my mind anyway.  But the challenge was to get writing!  I'm tackling it head on.  It's just that I have chosen to participate in a blog challenge with a business twist and I don't actually HAVE a business.  Nor do I know what I want to be when I grow up.  So, hurdles can be expected.

But hurdles were created to jump!

Whose online business do you admire most, and why?

There are hundreds upon thousands of online businesses out there.  I'm sure I have only encountered the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to goods and services available on the internet. 

But when I ask myself this question.  One Entrepreneur-Extraordianaire stands out for me.

Kimberly Wilson, is the founder of Tranquil Space yoga studio in Washington DC, designer of an eco-fashion line named TranquiliT, author of three books, Hip Tranquil Chick, Tranquilista, and Tranquilologie, as well as the co-founder of Tranquil Space Foundation.  She is a passionate animal rights activist, hosts a fortnightly podcast, hosts global retreats, creates e-courses and has a wonderful sense of style. She blogs, indulges in creativity, is well educated and has an AMAZING ability to pack life full of goodness while remaining (to the observer) unfrazzled, and indeed, in a state of TRANQUILITY!

How does she do it?

If I could emulate anyone's online business style, perhaps even some elements of lifestyle, it would be Kimberley's.

She has so many beautiful strings to her bow of life:
  • A physical workplace where she holds classes, runs a business, employs others and works with her passion for yoga.  
  • The ability to explore her creativity in her writing.
  • The ability to extend that creativity into a totally different direction with fashion design.
  • Fulfilment from do-gooding in a variety of ways, most notably her own non-profit organisation and animal rights activism.
  • Jaunting off around the world for yoga retreats and all the bliss that travel entails.
  • Creativity through blogging and podcasting and even video podcasting.
  • Creating e-courses.
  • Seemingly an endless thirst for knowledge through study and oh-so-much reading. (She's an excellent source of great non-fiction books to sink your teeth into!)
  • Lover of sparkles, cupcakes, furry creatures, all things pink, Paris, vintage and cute. 
  • She's into art journaling and journaling.  
  • A strong sense of family.
And that's just the public side of her!  I'm sure there has to be more beneath the surface.  The part that makes her who she, is as a person, as a woman. Not just the who public profile.

I admire how she has drawn so many ribbons of passion into the bow she is living.  I'm sure there are parts of running several businesses that don't make her feel giddy with pleasure or even bring on a sense of tranquil bliss.  But the fact that she's obviously living her dreams would go a long way in counteracting the inevitable drudge aspects.  

I also admire that she has so many passions and seems to immerse herself into them fully, and they support her lifestyle completely.  It appears to almost be a positive spiral upward.  She loves what she does. She is rewarded for it, which makes her love what she does even more.  

Who wouldn't want that kind of life?

So, what can I do to emulate Kimberly's lifestyle/business style?

Reading between the lines, I imagine she is IMMENSELY well organised and a tiger when it comes to time management!  I have already identified in Day 7 that I need to hone these skills so that all strings of my life bow can come together neatly, even attractively, rather than what feels some days, to be a helpless ball of knotted wet string!  

Again, in Day 7's challenge, I identified that I could use a permission slip to just let go and be creative.  I need to hang the "I don't care" sign on the door and forget the judges and critics and do what makes me glow! Kimberly seems to have this down pat!  I can't see how she could be negatively criticised, or if she were, how it could possibly stifle her.  It seems she would never allow that to be.

I would also love to develop multiple streams of income that allowed me a life where I could nest or fly free, whenever, wherever.

How can I bring all of this together?

Keep doing what I have been I suppose.  Delving deep into who I am.  Exploring life and what opportunities shine brightly for me.  Keep my mind open, my heart open and my wings open.  Fly with purpose, but let the breeze help guide my trajectory.  

30 day challenge

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No Prompting!!!!

Eeek!  Day 8 of The Suitcase Entrepreneur's 30 Day Blog Challenge, has not got an actual challenge topic!  And I'm itching to write!  Who'd have thunk it?  :-)  I've been so hit and miss with blogging that I never imagined I'd be itching to write and not actually have a topic to write on! Let alone encounter that problem within the space of a week!

What an incredible revelation... I actually enjoy writing!

This past week has been filled with revelations actually.  It is very liberating when you grow into your skin.  There is a long way to go, I know this. But I am feeling more and more comfortable as I go.  And I like this feeling very much.

I love the realisation that I have the majority of the framework of my life already in place.  There are some missing beams and pillars.  There are also some structural modifications that need to happen.  But essentially, a there is a form, a shape of a life that I love, already in existence.  I have my family that I'd die for.  I have passions that keep my mind churning.  I'm learning about myself daily.  I've tasted travel and want more, more, more!  My spiritual self is growing and revealing itself, and in turn, I am also growing and unfurling my wings, showing the colours in the sunlight, finally.  My life framework just needs some remodelling, refurbishing and redecorating...  And maybe a bit of bling!

It isn't just this 30 Day Challenge.  It has been a long succession of high moments, low moments, slaps of reality and well deserved kicks in the pants!  It has been intensifying in the past year or two. But this challenge is keeping life, and what I want from it, square in the forefront of my mind right now.  Right where I need it to be so that I can REALLY dig into it and do something amazing and wonderful.

I posted on my facebook page on Monday, saying, "Oh, how easy it is for LIFE to distract you from LIVING!"

I've done this almost my entire life.  I've done a million things without heart and soul involvement.  I've made choices based on the needs and desires of others.  I have gone against my instinct.  I have even done nothing, letting fear, self-doubt and shame overshadow my light.  In fact I have even given away my power and waited to be rescued.  I am certain I will do all of these things again and again in my life, in the days to come.  We all make mistakes, we all misjudge, we all make choices based upon limited knowledge.  We all gamble with life.  It is how we live.  But, what I hope for in the future, is that I do more LIVING in the now than being distracted by the stuff of LIFE.

Butterfly image, courtesy of

Bring on Day 9!

 30 day challenge

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tools Make Life Easier!

The 30 Day Blog Challenge continues onto Day 7!!!  One whole week!

30 day challenge

Today's topic to address is, which key tools will you turn to regularly to maintain your mindset and how will you use them effectively?  This is quite easy for me to answer, but a little bit harder to put into action.  But practice makes perfect doesn't it?  The more I think about the tools, the more likely I am to use them. And the more I use them the more I will benefit and grow.  As time goes by I will either continue to use them or I will graduate to new tools that will impact my life as it continues to change for the better.

The first tool, that has already made a HUGE impact in my life is the e-courses, companionship, meditations and various other tools offered by Leonie Dawson's Amazing Biz and Life Academy.  There are so many gems here that can work wonders in helping to focus my attention to creating a better life for myself.  My favourites so far have been the 2013 Create Your Incredible Year Calendar and Workbook and the Business Goddess E-Course.   I'm now thinking that my best course of action will be to focus on the Creative Goddess E-Course and the Goddess Haven E-Course in the next 30 days, so I can advance closer to the lifestyle I want, as I identified in the post for
Day 6.

Another tool that I am adoring and planning on diving deeper into is The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte.
The Desire Map is a holistic approach to planning your life. It guides you to identify your core desired feelings, and to use those feelings as the drivers of what you want to do, have and experience in your life.
It turns goal-setting inside out.
The idea is to identify the FEELINGS that you desire the most as opposed to the GOALS that you want to achieve.  Once you've done this, you can work more with your 'gut' and get where you long to be.  I've read the book over several times now and worked part way through the workbook.  It is a liberating inside out way to think about life planning that clicks with me.

Another tool that I am compelled to utilise more regularly is the power of routine.  For example, this activity of blogging each day has started to form that routine of writing in my life.  I need to keep going with it and expand it to other areas of my life that need that push of regularity to make them happen.  Routines, although they may sometimes feel restrictive, can free up so much valuable time and space to expand into with the more passionate and wonderful aspects of life that keep us flying high.  I'm not sure exactly how I will build on routines... But - I'm sure there are a million programs and suggestions out there.  That's the next thing I think I need to focus on and learn and most importantly, implement!

I think exercise should also feature in a daily form in my life, as I'd love it to be.  Again, routine perhaps?  Something more to work on...

Look out life, you're set to get better!  Whoohoo!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Doing it MY Way!

Somewhere to sit and watch the world go by.
Image from–-why-everyone-should-have-one/
Day 6!!!

30 day challenge

I'm learning a lot about myself doing this 30 Day Blog Challenge by The Suitcase Entrepreneur!

Most surprisingly is that I'm not actually as far off from where I want to be as I thought I was!  There are many tweaks to be made, but really, there are many things in my life that are what I want them to be!  All I had to do was really look closely and SEE what I have rather than what I have not.  And now that I have done so, the next step is to focus on those tweaks to make it better than it already is!

What an amazing discovery? :-)

So Day 6's topic to address is:

What are my THREE priorities for the next 30 days that will move me closer to living my life on my own terms?

The tip here is to aim high, but achievable!

It seems that the best place to begin to answer this, is to identify what isn't as I want it to be in my life so that I know where to invest my energies for the next 30 days.  It is never too much fun to face up to what isn't working, but here goes...

Money...  Things have improved vastly in the past 6 months.  But they can be better.  Focusing on creating additional streams of income (permanent or temporary it does not matter) will definitely help other aspects of my lifestyle improve.

Creativity...  Ahhh creativity...  How I long for you but never really give myself permission enough to immerse myself in you.  Lack of time, self doubt, lack of space to spread out, limited knowledge of how to create what I have in my imagination, waiting for its chance to be real.  So many excuses...  If I want to be creative, I have to jumpin and BE CREATIVE.  It seems so simple!

And finally, my third life area to focus on that will propel me toward the life that I want to live I think would have to be HOME.  I feel that my home currently holds me captive in many ways.  It is not as conducive to being creative as I'd like.  There are many things on that "Honey Do" list.  There are things that just don't belong and take up valuable space and thought time that they simply do not deserve.  Recreating my home may well have an incredible positive spin on giving me more freedom in life to enjoy other aspects.

I could name a fourth aspect but That may well be asking too much and spreading my focus too thin, so I shall keep this one under wraps.  Its time will come.  By focusing on just 3 aspects for 30 days, I can see, will give momentum.   I want it all, I want it now.  But that attitude never pans out the way we want.  So, Pace Yourself!

What I wasn't isn't as far as I thought it was...  I need to keep reminding myself of that fact!

A Blissful Day

Here we are, Day 5 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge by The Suitcase Entrepreneur! How exciting, and fast, can a week fly by?  Just 2 days and the first week is over!

Today's challenge topic is to write:

What does your perfect day look like?

I think I may have already inadvertently covered this in my blog post for Day 2. You can read it here.  So I am going to do another perfect day, this time, in a slightly different format to keep it interesting.  :-)
The tips for writing this post suggest focusing on the senses, writing in the present tense and be extremely descriptive to really paint the scene, make it vivid.

The staccato of rain drops on the balcony roof and scent of freshly rained upon earth wafts through my bedroom window.  I open my eyes and the dim, cool blue of the dawn, before the sun rises, surrounds my warm bed.  I see the soft billowing of the curtain as it catches in the breeze.  I poke my toes out from their warm blanket cave to feel the cool caress of that breeze on my skin.  It's delightful, so I unravel my legs from the covers and lie there, legs exposed.  
I think about my day and I remember the previous night.   I smile.

I sit on the floor facing the window.  The soles of my feet are pressed together and I feel the amazing stretch of muscles down my back and in my thighs.  I watch the sun as it creeps over the horizon across the paddock.  I see the silhouette of horses grazing. As I move my body, stretch my limbs, the sky turns from dusty blue to gold and then a brilliant blue emerges as I feel beads of sweat rolling over my skin. I do a final salutation to the sun and head for the pool.  The cool clear water shocks the senses but it feels silken against my skin.  I do a lap or two then roll onto my back and float beneath the morning sky, listening to my breathing in my ears that are below the water line, slow, steady and deep.  

My love dives into the water beside me and swims a lap or two then comes to greet me, all cool and fresh.  We swim and float together.

We sit beside the pool and enjoy our breakfast of croissants filled with ham and cheese and salad.  There's fresh fruit salad and an enormous frothy mocha too, besides the pulpy yumminess of orange juice.  We talk and laugh together and soak up the morning sun.  The children join us, giggling and roughhousing.  They eat their breakfast whilst telling silly jokes and making faces that leave us all laughing. 

I try to get dressed and put makeup on but its difficult when I keep being swatted with damp towels and having socks flung at my head.  I give up and dive onto the bed where my love sits, laughing at me and we rough and tumble and lose ourselves in one another's attention.  Fast forward to...

Attempt two of getting dressed is more successful and is only interrupted by meaningful glances, gentle caresses and promises of 'later'.  We meet the children at the front door. We collect our bags and load everything into the car.  We get in, belt up, crank up the tunes and drive with the windows open and the wind blowing our hair.  We  sing and laugh and chatter excitedly about the day.

As we sip juices in the cafe attached to the aquarium I listen to the excitement of my son as he tells me about feeding the penguins, his favourite of favourite animals.  It's impossible not to be infected by his enthusiasm!  My other son is entertaining us with his best seal impersonation.  I notice the family at the table next to us is also appreciative of his throaty comical barking!  My daughter is talking non-stop about the seahorses that she saw, and the crabs, and the turtles, and the stingray that was looking at her though the glass!  We gather or rubbish, put it in the bin and head off the MY thrill of the day.   

I slip my dry clothes back on over my cool skin.  I roll up the wetsuit to return to the amazing staff members who helped me make a dream come true!  Finally I have been able to swim with dolphins!  I'm still reeling at the feel of their soft, sleek leathery skin as they propelled me so fast through the water!  I hear their little clicky squeaky voices singing and I want to go right back in and do it all over again!  It was incredibly magical.  But I am itching to see the photos and tell my children how it was, and lunch... pooh lunch...  I need food!  Its tiring being so excited!

I share my excitement with the kids, and we all agree that its something we all want to experience.  Perhaps we'll plan a holiday somewhere where we can all swim with dolphins together?  Or maybe next holiday we can go see the Elephants in Thailand?  We talk and dream in our restaurant booth and I soak up the amazing flavours of my pasta and salad.  I love fresh basil and greens!  When we are all contentedly full, we head back to the aquarium to explore some more!

I'm sitting at the top of the slide with my kids all lined up in front of me.  Whoosh, wheeee go down and land at the bottom in a squealing, giggling heap!  My love and I play on the see-saw together, then I retreat to the park bench near by to catch my breath and take some photos.  I love playing in the park!

We all sit on the grass, soaking in the sun whilst sipping icy juice and munching watermelon and grapes.  

The white curtain in my bedroom billows up as the wind catches it.  I feel the cool on my skin as I snuggle onto my bed and succumb to a delicious nap.

I awake to discover my little one snuggled on the bed beside me, still sleeping.  I kiss her head and hug her gently.  I crawl out of bed and freshen myself up in the bathroom.  A lovely warm soak in the tub brings me to life again.

I sit at my desk, checking messages and returning a phone call while I watch my boys play basketball in the yard.  After half an hour of doing paperwork, I make a call to a client.  We talk on the phone after he finishes work, every second week.  The call lasts about 40 minutes.  I then pack my bag with the papers I will need tomorrow.  I lick my filing cabinet and close the office door behind me.

I sit on the lounge room floor with my family, around the large pile of fish and chips that are on the white butchers papert between us.  We laugh as we eat, watching a comedy movie.  We snuggle in blankets on the sofa afterward and enjoy one another's company.  I sit curled in the arms of my love and feel the warmth of our babies around us.

I crawl into bed and nestle into the pillows at my back.  I sip my tea and feel my kitty purring on the bed beside me.  He's always so warm and loving.  That sound makes me so calm.  I put on my glasses and lose myself in the pages of my book.  

My love crawls into bed beside me and I put my book away.  He kisses me and we curl together in the dark.  I close my eyes and drift off to dream of dolphins and waves and seagulls flying on the breeze.

30 day challenge

It seems that my Perfect Day could, with not so many tweaks, be closer to my Real Day than I thought. :-)  This is so nice to know.

It seems we spend so much time focusing on the negatives of a day and dreaming about what could be tomorrow that we lose sight of what we have, and what can be easily implemented, into today and right now!
Busselton sunrise, Western Australia. Photographed by Coralie Plozza from
Rainbow Farm Photography.
Please see for more.