Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dreaming of sun, sand and sipping cocktails

Vanuatu here we come!

After a crazily busy time for my husband and I, we finally booked a much needed holiday to Vanuatu in January and we can't wait. Time to catch up on some reading and getting some rest.

Considering consulting or freelancing?

It has been a very long time in between posts - sorry!

The last few months have been incredibly busy with my business stepping up a notch. It has been a challenging juggle attempting to fit around the kids, who are only in daycare two days a week. It has meant many late nights of working once the kids go to sleep and a few boring weekends, but these are the things you have to do if you want to run a business and have a good balance with kids.

While I am not actively looking for work, the work seems to be finding me at the moment. I guess a nice position to be in, but it is often hard to say no too.

But I have been lucky that I know so many wonderful professionals that I have been able to refer a lot of the work to that I can't take on.

For anyone considering marcoms or PR consulting or freelancing, there is an abundance of work out there and doesn't seem to be letting up.

It just shows how valuable your network of contacts are!

Another low life .............

This just infuriates me - a mother ........ actually she doesn't deserve the title of mother ......... a low life tried to sell her baby so she could buy a car. Well I guess at least the baby would hopefully find a better life, but very sad all the same! Only in the US.........

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back-seat Parenting

I had to share this funny, but very true article on back-seat parenting written by Mia Freedman in Sunday Life Magazine.

In Mia's words: "The best parents are the ones who don't have children. I was a perfect parent once. I knew exactly how kids and parents should behave and I shared my grand philosophies with anyone who was interested and many who were not .............. then I had babies and it all went to hell."

Nothing can quite prepare you for parenthood. We all have these grand ideals about what it will be like when we have kids and how kids are supposed to be. 

Throw out the text books I say! Every kids is different. I don't know many parents who have experienced parenthood the way they thought it was going to be before they had kids.

Some babies will quite happily sleep through 16 people singing happy birthday at the top of their lungs and in the noisiest Mexican restaurant in town (Master 3 was one of those!). Whereas others will make a huge fuss any time you want to sit down and have a bite to eat in a cafe or restaurant (Little Miss 1 is one of those). 

I was blessed with a first baby who slept well, we could take to restaurants, on holidays, etc and still feel relaxed. Then number two came along and it was the biggest shock to our systems - she was the complete opposite. She woke every 2-3 hours until she was 10 months old and she knows exactly what she wants and when she wants it.  

As Mia so wittingly discusses, as a parent you find yourselves doing things you always said you wouldn't like using the TV as a babysitter, using food as bribery, etc. Sometimes you have to do what you can to survive!

Having said all of this, parenthood is the best thing ever! I have two beautiful children who I love and adore. They make me laugh and there is nothing better than a cuddle from your children or hearing the words "I love you mummy." 

There will always be fantastic days, but there are also very difficult days where you just want to run away. We are only human! 

We have all looked at parents and made judgements. All I can say is unless you have experienced what it is like to have the ups and downs of parenthood, please try not to judge us! We try our best to do the best we can - well most of us anyway. But often it is not what the textbook says!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Australia's first female PM!

Interesting times in Australia this week with KRudd ousted out of power as Australia's leader, replaced with Australia's first female PM - Julia Gillard. I think the whole nation has been taken surprise as this wasn't the result of an election, rather a Labor party overthrow - and it came with little warning. One day KRudd was in power, then next Gillard.

Many are excited that a woman is finally running the country. This certainly is history in the making! What remains to be seen though once all the excitement has settled, is whether she is the right person to lead this country and whether she can keep Labor in power once election time comes around ........... which could be as early as August.

Rightly so, Gillard is keen to be elected by the Australian public to make it official - and it will be interesting to see if she does. There are of course many differing opinions across the country - I think that many are still in complete shock and not sure what to make of it all yet.

KRudd gave the most emotional speech of his life in his farewell to the Australian public. Whether you like or dislike him, you would have to have a heart of steel not to feel a little sorry for him. Not the way you want to lose your job!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bitchy, sly and exciting - another series of Amazing Race is over!

Sad as it is I actually missed watching The Amazing Race this week. The series finale was last week with the gay brothers winning, with a few cunning ....... but smart moves in the final legs. I was secretly hoping the cowboys would win - so close but no cigar!

But the highlight had to be the scornful lesbians who couldn't move on from the fact that they were road blocked by the models. So rather than celebrating a great achievement of the "not so smart" models making third spot on the finishing line, the lesbians let the loose on the Miss South Carolina beauty queen. Boohoo life is not fair - c'mon move on ladies! It is not as if you could have won anyway.

But the real reason for this post is to use this as an excuse to share the beauty queen's ever so famous speech she made as Miss South Carolina a number of years ago, which continues to haunt her and will for the rest of her life.........and for good reason. Just in case you have never ever seen it - it is priceless. So enjoy!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fate vs coincidence

There was a segment this morning on Sunrise about fate vs coincidence that got me thinking. They picked the worst example ever to demonstrate fate - even Mel and Kochie had to ask what fate was involved. Some guy met some girl ...... blah, blah, blah. After he proposed to her he got a phone call from her relatives in the US - they had never called that number before and didn't know he was proposing. Pathetic example of fate. So I wanted to share my fate story as I feel it warrants sharing ........

I never really believed in fate until something happened to me a number of years ago. I went on a trip to the US for work and spent a weekend in San Francisco. In the lead up to my trip I had been wanting to get in contact with one of my close friends who moved to New York from Australia a number of years beforehand to see if by chance he would be on the other side of the country, but I never got around to it. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in years.

Once I arrived at San Francisco airport I was on my way to get a hire car, when there in front of me was a limo driver with a sign with someone’s name on it – and it was my friend’s name (but only with the first name as an initial). Normally there are heaps of drivers with names waiting for passengers but there was only ONE.

I went up to the driver and asked him what the passengers name was and he didn’t know but said the flight was coming from Salt Lake City. So I went on my way thinking it couldn’t be him.

When we were driving something was still eating away at me so I called my friend and got his voicemail so left a message. 15 minutes later I got a call and it was him in San Francisco airport …….. and our flights arrived at about the same time.  I was excited beyond belief - what are the chances!

We spent all weekend catching up on old times. It was the first time I truly believed in fate! And in case you were thinking ........ this is no love story! ;0) 

So what do you think - fate or a huge coincidence?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Will I ever find the gadget geek inside me?

So the new iPad launched in Australia this morning to a huge amount of hype and excitement. People cued outside the Apple stores in Sydney overnight to be one of the first in Australia to get their hands on one. 

Apple also launched its new store in Bondi Junction on the same morning - ambitious maybe, but from all accounts was a huge success.

I am an Apple fan by all accounts - proudly owning a MacBook, an iPhone, an iTouch and various iPods. It would be fantastic to own an iPad as well ......... but I just don't get why you need to queue in the freezing cold and lose precious sleep just to be the FIRST to have one, when you could wait until a decent hour and walk into JB Hi-Fi and get one in 5 minutes on the same day. Do they really think anyone else cares that they are one of the first to get a copy? 

Crazy I tell you ...... crazy! Maybe I haven't found the inner gadget geek in me yet ........ waiting to be unleashed perhaps? Hardly!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

C'mon Blues - give us our dignity back!

Tonight begins another illustrious battle between the Blues and the Maroons, with the first of the State of Origin clashes set to be a very wet one in Sydney. Maroons have won the last four State of Origin's, so the Blues have to dig deep to try and regain their (and the rest of NSW's) dignity.

C'mon Blues - do us proud!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Celebrating Gran's life

Thought I'd share the eulogy I gave today at my Gran's funeral ........

Thank you all so much for being here today to farewell Gran. She meant so much to so many people, but to us she was our Gran. So I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words on behalf of all of her grandchildren – David, Philip, Andrew, Anneliese, Jessica and myself, Emma.

There is so much we would all like to say …… so many memories, so many good times and so many wise words. It is hard to put it all into such a small little speech but we will try to do it justice.

It seems there are a lot of memories that we all have in common from our wonderful time with Gran that we will never forget. From feeding the constant visitors to Gran’s kitchen window ledge – the lorikeets; to helping Gran tend to her roses and garden; to catching cicadas and collecting their shells in Gran’s backyard; to the wonderful Sunday roasts she use to cook – we all especially loved the novelty of the hole in the wall to pass the food through!

Then there were all of the naughty goodies she kept in her pantry that none of us were allowed to have at home (like cans of soft drink and yummy biscuits); enjoying pomme noisettes as veges with dinner; playing with her in the school grounds at Pymble Public; sharing her avid interest in jigsaw puzzles; collecting all the colourful souvenirs she bought back from her travels to Japan and other places; and finally there were the succession of Camira’s & Torana’s that she drove – always the Holden woman!

Of course we all have our unique memories from our moments with Gran – far too many to mention, so I’ll just share one from each of us.

  • David remembers taking trips to Melbourne with Gran, particularly the time they went to pick up his very first car together. On the way home David decided to see what his new car could do and sat on 140km/h for a while, surprised to see that Gran, who was following in her car, was happily putting her foot down too.
  • Philip use to love sitting in Gran’s sunroom playing with all the old toys ... particularly an old half broken metal forklift. He still has that old forklift today and his son Alex now gets the same enjoyment from it.
  • Andrew fondly remembers playing hide and seek in Gran’s backyard time and time again ….. she always seemed to find him in the same spot behind the compost bin in the far corner of the yard, but she always pretended that she didn’t know where he was hiding.
  • My interest in documentaries stemmed from being made to watch the “World Around Us” on TV every time I slept over at Gran’s on a Saturday night – of course at the time “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” or “Baywatch” would have been more fun, but it was always a good learning experience!
  • Anneliese remembers a time when she was playing chasings with her brother Clinton and took a shortcut on what she thought was moss-covered ground. It was in fact a large pond! Before anyone else had time to react, Gran had jumped into the pond, shoes and all, to fetch Anneliese out – she was always there when you needed her.
  • Jessica treasured the early morning moments with Gran when she stayed over – when everyone else was asleep, she would run into Gran’s bedroom, climb into bed with her and read the paper together until everyone else woke up.

Although we may no longer see her, we’ll always have these moments we shared with her. Gran will always have a special part in our hearts and we are thankful that we knew a special lady like our Gran. 

I’d like to finish today with a little poem to Gran:

Gran, you were just a girl,

So many years ago.

You had your loves and had your dreams,

You watched us come and go.


You watched us make the same mistakes,

That you had made before,

But that just made you hold us tight,

And love us all the more.


We haven't always thought about

The things that you have seen.

To us you've just been our 'Gran',

No thought of who you've been.


But we remember now in love,

Your life from start to end,

And we're just glad we knew you,

As our 'Gran', and as a 'friend'!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Social networking overload

I think I am suffering from a case of social networking overload ......... too many things to update and I'm not doing any of it very well anymore!  

There's the four blogs I decided were a good idea at the time; Facebook - which was an absolute addiction for far too long; and for some silly reason I decided to join Twitter recently.

Of course I love all of them ......... just need to find a bit more time in the day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Classic IBM blunder

Hilarious - IBM sent an email to AusCERT conference delegates today to inform each delegate that the USB devices they handed out during the conference contained malware and "we suspect that all USB keys may be affected." Ouch!

In case you are not aware, AusCERT is the biggest information security conference in Australia every year. Big oops!

Naturally most IT journos are having a field day with this one. Don't blame them really!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Powderfinger to end on a high note!

Sad news this week with the announcement that Powderfinger have called it a day! The end of a fantastic era for a brilliant Australian band who have entertained us for over fifteen years. 

My memories of Powderfinger go back to my uni days, when all I did was see bands, wear doc boots, long black skirts and band -t-shirts, with hair down to my waist! One of my fav t-shirts was my Powderfinger one with "Skinny jean loves Brazilian roast beans" on it, which I got during a concert at Narrabeen Sands.  

Double Allergic was a brilliant album that put Powderfinger on the radar. DAF, skinny jean and pick you up ...... oh the memories.  Parables for Wooden Ears actually came out two years beforehand in 1994 but never had a single that grabbed. Still a great album though!

From there came a raft of brilliant albums and singles that have kept a loyal following until now.

During Powderfinger's hiatus in 2005, Bernard Fanning began his solo music career with an album that would be in my top ten album's of all time - Tea & Sympathy. Unlike Powderfinger's alternative rock focus, Fanning's solo style is a mixture of blues and acoustic folk. Brilliant! Hopefully we haven't heard the last of Bernard Fanning too!

For more details about the breakup and final tour dates click here: Powderfinger to breakup

Thanks for some great music and fantastic times Powderfinger!


Time to face reality - winter is on its way whether I like it or not! Did I mention I hate winter, being cold and basically anything to do with winter ............ and yes I moved to the Southern Highlands. Now that's crazy I hear you say! Thankfully the central heating is keeping me going!

That and dreams of lying on the beach, cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jack's back!

Jack Johnson has a new album coming out in June - 'To The Sea'.

I always get excited about a new Jack album, but have to admit that I'm not overly impressed with the first single 'You and Your Heart'. Certainly no 'Bubble Toes'!

But I am sure I will love the album all the same!

Hopefully an Australian tour is on the cards. I need a Jack fix!

The Juggle

I am about to discover tomorrow how to juggle a working day with school holidays!

Jackson moved from daycare to pre-school in February and of course a few weeks later I took on a contract. This now means Jackson has school holidays off. I am sure he can be kept entertained with his train set, the odd movie and drawing/painting. Let's hope!

At least Madeline is in daycare - she is the more demanding one!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Time flies by

I am finding it hard to believe my little baby girl will be one in two weeks and my little boy will be three in just over three weeks. Where does time go! Time to treasure every moment..........

Working, working, working!

After a slow start to the year on the work front, it is now pouring in - yikes! The moment I mentioned that I needed to take on some more work, the floodgates opened. Certainly a great place to be, but now I am just trying to juggle it with the kids.

Madeline is about to start in daycare two days a week .......... it's time! No fun for her crawling around and entertaining herself while I work.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Can Tiger Woods ever be a sporting legend ever again?

It is amazing how such a prominent and seemingly indestructible and perfect sportsman's reputation can so quickly get shredded so publicly. But the question remains, if it wasn't for that one single car crash that generated so much attention in the first place, would these so called 19 mistresses have unfolded? Would his career gone down the gurgler in one night?

So can he ever regain his career after this? His reputation has been severely tarnished and sponsors have run 500 miles in the other direction. Can good sporting prowess alone get him back on track to become a golfing legend again?

I guess only time will tell ............ and whether he ever comes out of hiding.

Happy Australia Day

This Australia Day marks a year (+2 days) since we moved to the Southern Highlands and the second year we have ventured into Berrima to celebrate Australia Day. After spending many Australia Days on and around Sydney Harbour, it was great to see how a real community gathers together to celebrate.

Citizenship and Australia Day honour ceremonies in the Court House kicked off festivities, celebrating the new and outstanding members within our community.

The grand parade transformed the main street through Berrima into a centre stage for the local community to show off its best – marching bands, vintage car clubs, rural fire service among other groups marched proudly. Berrima’s Australia Day celebrations certainly know how to gather patriotic crowds.

Other activities kept the crowds fed and entertained all day, with many food and market stalls, music by the Correction Services band and my son’s favourite – the animal barnyard.

With temperatures rising to the mid-30s, water and shade were in demand!

A great day was had by all, with many heading to the Surveyor General to celebrate with a nice cold beer or three in true Australia Day style.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it is already 2010 ...... even harder to believe that the Sydney Olympics was almost 10 years ago!

Last year was a massive year for the Keens - we relocated from Sydney to Mittagong, had Madeline (now nine months), Paul changed jobs, my dad had two heart attacks and we finally got rid of our Kennards Hire fence! Eventful to say the least!

I am hoping 2010 will be little less eventful .......... but fantastic all the same!