Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fab Five Fri...Saturday

Once again I'm playing along with Frizzy at Heaven's Gift for Fab Five Friday.

I'm sharing five photos that I took during the week. I encourage you to click the link and visit Frizzy's blog. While you're there, check out the photos that the other participants have posted.

This photo of a pretty pink rose was taken in my backyard. I mentioned last week that I love flowers, and roses are my all time favourite. I also mentioned that I'm not much of a gardener. Unfortunately, my rose bushes have to make do without the proper pruning and feeding that they need to do their best. They do, however, still look beautiful in the summer.


This is my dog Lucy. I've taken lots of photos of her because she's just so adorable! She's 9 months old and a Spoodle (Cocker Spaniel cross Miniature Poodle). Aww... aint she cute :)

I spent part of Australia Day at the beach. For those of you who aren't familiar with Australia Day, I could write a whole post about it, and I won't try and give you an Australian History lesson today. Suffice to say that it's a public holiday marking the arrival of the first convicts to Australia and, coming at the end of the summer holidays as it does, is a "last hurrah" for fun in the sun before the school year starts and the country gets down to business.


This is my gorgeous boy Josh, all ready to jump into the surf on Australia Day.


In the centre of this photo is my beautiful girl Alana. My hubby Chris is in the foreground.


The "other Aussie flag". The surf lifesavers play such an important part in keeping everyone safe at the beach.
The red and yellow flags mark the area of the beach that is safe for swimming, and are an iconic Aussie image.

I hope you've enjoyed my photos this week, and again encourage you to visit Frizzy and check out the other participants.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fat Ass Friday and my take on The Biggest Loser.



I can't even pretend that I worked on weight loss this week. I didn't. But you know what? I don't feel bad about myself, or guilty, because I know that I don't eat excessively and my diet is generally healthy.

Watching promos of The Biggest Loser's new season is a real eye-opener. This season the trainers have to spend a week living with the people that they are going to be working with, and they must EAT THEIR FOOD. ALL OF IT. And it's horrifying to see what these people eat. They go through the drive-through at McDonalds THREE TIMES A DAY. They eat whole tubs of icecream covered in chocolate sauce and lollies for dessert FIVE TIMES A WEEK. They have their own special recipe for creamy pasta that involves whole cartons of cream AND sour cream. What the hell???

Of course these people are significantly overweight, unhealthy and lack energy. Of course with a few weeks of healthy eating and exercise, the weight will fall off them. And good for them. In exchange for personal training and support with nutrition they are putting their lives on the television screen for all to see in the name of entertainment. They deserve to have great outcomes.

But it also makes me a little bit cranky. It seems so unfair. I don't eat anything like these people. I stick to three meals a day with healthy snacks. I eat regular food - fruit and veg, breakfast cereal, sandwiches, casseroles and the like. I like a glass of wine with dinner, and I'm partial to a hazelnut latte. I can honestly say that I take care to get the nutrients that I need and don't eat too many foods with "empty calories" - foods that have lots of fat and sugar but don't provide any nutrients. I walk the dog every day, swim once a week, and practice tai chi. So why do I look alarmingly similar to some of the (admittedly smaller) biggest losers?

So, what are your eating habits like? Please don't gloat if you are one of those annoying types that can eat whatever they want and stay slim. Have you unlocked any secrets that help the metabolism to ramp up and burn those calories? Is running the answer? Lots of protein? Cutting carbs? And do you enjoy watching The Biggest Loser?

If you'd like to participate in Fat Ass Friday then click on the button at the top of the post and play along!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Australia Day!

It's hot :(

Feeling a bit un-Australian because we're not at the beach or barbeque-ing. We are instead sitting around at home with the air conditioner on, watching TV, playing on the computer, and trying to decide whether or not to go to the beach a bit later in the afternoon when it cools down a bit. Wish we had a pool!

I'm going to use this opportunity, it being Australia Day today, to invite you to indicate your interest in participating in Beautiful Bloggers Australian Adventure House Swap. Go on! Click on the link and check it out! I'll wait...

Now that you're back, I'll tell you a bit more about what I have in mind for the House Swap. Firstly - DO NOT PANIC - by demonstrating your interest you are not going to make yourself vulnerable to me turning up on your doorstep demanding entry! You are not committing to anything!

Secondly, I want everyone to be able to join in the fun of learning about Australia, my town, and the activities of my daily life. And I want to learn about other countries too. So I'd like to run a series of blogging challenges. For example, I might write a post titled "Brisbane Water National Park" and challenge all participants to post about a place of natural beauty near their home. Or I might write "Meet the Gosford Tigers AFL Club" and challenge everyone to write about a local sporting or community club that their family is involved in. Get the idea?

Thirdly, if I get enough interest we might even be able to run a competition in which followers vote for their favourite post in each category. If there are enough people following my blog and participating we might even find some sponsers to donate items for giveaways! Yay!

Of course the idea is that once my family and the other blogger's family are safely installed in each other's houses, the blogging will continue! Imagine what amusing posts we'll be able to write about our experiences with culture shock in another country, trying the local food, meeting the people and living the life.

Lastly, I'm using my readers' interest (or lack thereof) as a guide for whether or not to go ahead with this idea. If there doesn't seem to be much interest, I will put the idea on the backburner for another time.

So, Happy Australia Day one and all, and I hope that you will give me some feedback about the house swap idea.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I've decided to participate in Fab Five Friday at a blog that's new to me - Heaven's Gift. It's Saturday here at my place, but I'm not letting that stop me :)

Fab Five Friday is about sharing our top five photos for the week. So if you like taking photos, you might like to click on the link, visit Heaven's Gift, and play along too.

I don't think I actually took any photos this week, but since it's my first go at Fab Five Friday I don't think anyone will mind if I post some photos that were taken earlier.

This one is of a Gardenia and was taken in my front yard. I'm not much of a gardener, but I love any flowers with a scent and Gardenias have the most heavenly perfume. I associate the smell of Gardenias with Christmas because they bloom in summertime. This photo was taken just before Christmas.


This is the trunk of a Scribbly Gum, taken in my back yard. It was taken in the evening as the sun went down and I love the shadows and the colours where the bark is coming away.

This photo was taken just before Christmas at a beach that my kids and I like to go to. It's called The Haven because it is in a sheltered bay so is very safe for families. Because my kids are 10 and 12, I can sit under the shade of a tree sipping coffee while my kids swim, play on the sand, or explore the rockpools for starfish.


I took this photo on New Year's Eve sitting in the waterfront reserve in my town. Every New Year's they have a family-friendly fireworks display at 9pm. We got there at about 7:30pm so we could get a good position, and I took some photos as the sun went down.


This is one of my nieces, Darcy. The photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when my family and my sister's family went on holidays together. One night we got out the glow necklaces and sparklers for the kids to play with after dark. Though the photo is grainy, I just love it!

All these photos were taken on my iPhone. I don't own a camera, but my phone goes everywhere with me so I find it the easiest way to make sure I capture special moments.

Have these photos in any way inspired you with a desire to visit Australia? If so, you should check out the Beautiful Bloggers Australian Adventure House Swap

Friday, January 21, 2011

The mystery of "the camera adds ten pounds"



I'm joining in again with Brandy for Fat Ass Friday.

Just click on the button to visit her blog and hear all about her battles with Cheddar Biscuits and Zumba in the quest for a slimmer and more shapely ass!

I'm not fully on the weight-loss bandwagon yet, but I still enjoy playing along.

I'd like to pose an interesting question: Why is it that while the mirror can lie, the photograph never does?

Do you have this experience too?

I don't know about you, but I can easily look at myself in the mirror and be fooled that I look great - certainly not overweight at all! But when I look at photos of myself I see the awful truth - I am actually overweight after all. How does this happen?

Another mind-boggling mystery for us to all meditate upon... 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beautiful Bloggers Australian Adventure House Swap


Photobucket


Introducing an exciting idea that I've been working on for a while...

Do you live somewhere in the universe other than Australia?

Always wanted to visit?

What you need is a place to stay and someone to guide you so you know what to see, where to go, what to eat and what to say.

This brings me to my super-dooper, fabulous, magical-fantastical idea!

Let's do a
Beautiful Bloggers Australian Adventure House Swap

"Yes, let's!" I hear you cry!

"How does it work?" I hear you ask!

Here's the thing: I live in Australia and I'd love to visit some other parts of the world. In fact, I'd like to have an adventure and actually live somewhere else for a while.

I figure there must be someone out there in blog-land who fancies an adventure here in my little part of the world, so why don't we do a house swap? Brilliant!

Now don't worry people, I'm not advocating anything along the lines of wife swapping! I'm talking about my whole family coming to live at your place for a while and your family coming to live in mine. Whaddaya think?

Details will follow, and this post is just about running the idea up the flagpole to see who salutes :)

Here's what you can do to make the Beautiful Bloggers Australian Adventure House Swap happen.

1. Leave me a comment indicating your interest and giving me your feedback.
2. Follow my blog. Only followers will be eligible to enter the House Swap running.
3. Write a post about the House Swap and leave me a link in the comments.

If you'd like to include my button in your post, copy and paste the following code:

copy button code


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Searching for the perfect hairstyle - with funny pics!

I've been thinking a bit about hairstyles a bit. Scroll down to see yesterday's post or click here to read about my search for THE PERFECT HAIRSTYLE.

I think I'd like to go a bit shorter, but I don't want short layers all over because my hair tends to curl more the shorter it is. I'd like to keep some length on the top so that I can blow dry it straight for a sleeker, more groomed look.

Here are some pictures that I've found via Google Images:


This isn't actually much different from my current style. I think I really want to go a bit shorter than this, but the colour's nice.



This style is a bit shorter, but I think I'd like to see it blowdried a bit smoother. It's a bit messy for my liking. This colour is nice too.



I really like this one, though again I'd style it so that it was smoother. It's quite short, but retains the longer, swept-over-to-the-side fringe. And I like this colour too.

And now, for a laugh...

I tried out a free iPhone app called Hair MakeOver.


Go on, have a good laugh! I did!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Searching for THE PERFECT HAIRSTYLE

I'm way overdue for a haircut and colour. Unfortunately my holiday funds have not stretched far enough to accomodate grooming expenses.

I've decided to treat this as an opportunity, and am going to use the time until I can afford to go to the hairdresser's to come up with THE PERFECT HAIRSTYLE!!!

My hair is fine, wavy and prone to frizzyness, and is naturally a very fetching mousy colour with attractive grey streaks. I have a round face.

At the moment it is just past my shoulders with long layers and a long fringe that sweeps to the side. I usually get foil highlights in two colours, blonde and chocolate brown.

I'll do a bit of a Google Images search and post some contenders for THE PERFECT HAIRSTYLE!!!

Any ideas gratefully received :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Encouraging Brandy on her weight loss journey!

So....my great bloggy buddy Brandy has just started Weight Watchers and is blogging about it.

Cue the applause...Fat Ass Friday!



Brave girl that she is, Brandy has revealed her starting weight and is documenting her weekly weight loss for all to see. Perhaps she thinks it is the motivation that she needs?!?

I encourage you to head over to Brandy's blog (click on the button above) and send her some love. By the way, her blog is hilarious, so you'll probably want to follow her as well!

As for me, I'm feeling a bit ambivalent about the whole weight loss thing.

At the moment I'm working on self love. In my head I know that you can love yourself and still work on losing weight, but I'm having trouble reconciling it all.

I've had a few half-hearted attempts to lose weight over the last few years but -NEWS FLASH- it's hard work!!! I have to eat a lot less than I want to and move a lot more than I want to. And it's so slow :(

Maybe Brandy's journey will spur me on.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The post in which my ramblings turn into a rant...

There seems to be something wrong with my computer, so I'm attempting to compose this post from my iPhone. I'm not enjoying it nearly as much as I usually do from my laptop. Why? Because I can't see the big picture.

Because the iPhone screen is small and half of it is taken up by the keyboard as I write, I can only see a small portion of what I've written. I really hope that when Chris gets home from work he'll be able to take a look at my computer and work some magic. What a blessing to have a husband that can turn his hand to anything!

As I write, my TV is showing me round-the-clock Queensland flood disaster coverage. There have been so many pictures and so much video of rising water that I think I'm becoming desensitised to it. Every half hour or so the news anchor details new towns and suburbs that are being evacuated, new roads that are cut, new flood levels that are being reached, and it just doesn't seem real.

The flooding is hundreds of kilometres to the north of me, and it's difficult to feel connected to the people that are in the midst of the crisis. For me here, the worst of my trouble is the fact that I'm having dreadful trouble getting my washing dry due to the constant rain. Not much of a problem in the scheme of things, is it?

Today I sent off another job application. Yay me, woo-hoo...

Do you hear that I'm not feeling it?

Today I asked for some feedback from the last job that I applied for. It was for a General Library Assistant position, which is beneath my qualification level. It is more on an entry level position, requiring only the completion of high school, whereas I have sixteen years teaching experience and a Masters level qualification in Information Science.

Some of the typical tasks that the job would entail include assisting clients at library service points (checking out books), assist with collection and equipment maintenance and relocation of resources (cover books, move furniture) and maintain the clerical routines associated with this work (process overdue books, take bookings for computer labs). All of which I am perfectly able to do. I don't want to sound bitter, but all of which I could do standing on my head...with one hand tied behind my back...blindfolded. Uh oh, I think I sound bitter.

For the past ten years I have been managing my own small business providing Mathematics Tuition and Music Lessons to students of all ages and abilities. I promote my business, do all the lesson planning, do all the teaching, prepare my students for Examinations, do the books, schedule lesson appointments, evaluate my students' progress and communicate with parents.

It was a big decision for me to embark on a career change. It meant two full years of demanding study that had to be fit in to my already busy life of work and family. Now that I'm finished, I'm finding it very discouraging that it is so difficult to find a job.

The feedback from my application for the General Library Assistant position? There were close to 100 applicants, and though my application was on the right track, it didn't merit selection for an interview. The applicants chosen to be interviewed showed a deeper understanding and experience with regard to the selection criteria.

So what's the problem here?

Probably there were simply other applicants that had more experience than me working in libraries. Which wouldn't be hard, given that I have never had a job in a library other than my two weeks work experience during my study. I know that I don't have experience working in libraries, that's why I applied for the Library Assistant position, which is as low as you can go without being a volunteer...which doesn't pay...and I need to be paid. Is volunteering the only way I am going to be able to gain enough experience to actually find a job? Bearing in mind that I am going on 40 and have years behind me teaching and parenting and running a small business and generally being a responsible adult with a mortgage and living my life. You don't think that maybe I have enough life experience to cope with the work? Sorry, my bitterness is showing.

Probably I also need to work on the way I address the selection criteria when I'm writing my job applications. I need to find the words that will convince my prospective employers that I have the qualities and skills required to be a valuable asset to the library. 

I truly want to have a long term career in the information world. (I figure I've probably got 30 good working years left in me!) I see myself working in an intellectually stimulating environment in which I can provide a real and valuable service to library clients. I see myself as a dynamic member of my workplace team, a mover-and-shaker if you like, who shows enthusiasm for innovation and improvement. I see myelf writing papers and contributing at conferences...I'm dreaming big! But first I need to actually get paid to work in a library so that I can focus all my "work" attention in the one direction. If I have to continue to maintain my tuition business and volunteer at a library and search for a job all at the same time, I'm going to get exhausted pretty quickly. And I'm going to be tempted to give up. Which I really don't want to do.

Sorry for the ranting. I'll shut up now. Wish me luck with the job hunting...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hi everyone!

I'm back from my holidays and I've removed a lot of old stuff from my blog to make space for the new!

Here are some holiday snaps...















We had a lovely time holidaying with my sister and her family; now I'm feeling refreshed and ready to throw myself into 2011!