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What changed for you ?

You know that stage where a beautiful child comes into your life? Whether you go back to work or not the family income suddenly decreases AND expenditure goes up.

My main change was how I budgeted our food shopping. We have never been big spenders.. I mean we do buy expensive items as we know quality lasts and we do save up for beautiful things as everyone needs to have some luxury in their life on some sort of scale but we just don't do it all the time so really the only area we could pull back on was food and going out. Funnily enough a newborn managed the later for us so I just managed the former.

I chatted the other week about how so many people seem to find parenting a tit for tat competition  and there is no doubt that parenthood is a major change for many but my boy and I see it as just as stressful for both parties.

The pressure is placed on the carer to be perfection at raising a bub and keeping a happy home (mainly by our fellow females I note) and yet the breadwinner has all the stressed placed on them to look after the family.

I know of families that changed nothing and are regretting that big time, I know of others that went back to work only to hate it so much they decided to move house to take off the pressure and I know of some that went back to work not for the money but for themselves as they love it only to be judged by others as a bad parent for doing so!.. WTF?.. Anywho, I am just curious what changed for you and how you managed it.

I have some lovely women in my life still struggling with motherhood issues and I wish I had more answers but I only know what works for me and my man.

So what changed for you? Any advice?

Stills : A Weekly Collection

: she makes me proud my little girl.. its not always perfect but the days it is no one believes a 6yr old made that bed

: pilates and I are best friends, cloud 9 and floating are the only way I can describe post pilates feelings

: front door greetings, made from nothing and with little to no talent

: training wheels, they came off and the tears have been flowing..

: uberpieces.. I have been treated of recent to a new bracelet and as I never take off my necklace I am overloaded and loving it.

: flowers from my man, he brings them often from the garden he creates

: my daughters desk, I love her little space nealry as much as I love my office .

Linking up with Em as always :)

A Fading Friend ..

I have changed so much since I left the UK. I used to be able to hang out with anyone, I could listen to any old crap and appear engaged, negativity I could brush it off with ease...

I spent over 10 years modelling in London and travelling to different countries where things, were not as the TV makes out, but did have a lot of 'falseness' and 'pretence' surrounding many of the relationships you briefly had whilst working with clients and photographers.

I can't say if it is Australia that has changed me. Maybe just lack of time?. Quite likely able to attribute it a huge chunk to my gorgeous husband but whatever the reason I have no tolerance for negativity. I can listen to my friends who need help and are in a negative space but people that just generally have a glass half empty approach to life or like to moan I just simply cannot be around.

This has meant that as I have got older and especially after I had the kids I have less girlfriends but value the friendships of the ones I do 10 fold.

The thing is I am a workaholic, I mean I love my work and could essentially work 24 hrs a day and still not have enough time so that turns me into a workaholic of sorts and unless someone forces me to meet up (*Thank you Sonia for making me have lunch *Kate our catch ups restore my soul *Jacqui you so get that I need the outlet and always call at the right time) and well not many do..

I message when I get to breaking point and am desperate to catch up but they are always busy catching up with others and then it just seems like months pass. Damn Facebook shows me them out having fun with others and I feel like if I keep going like this my poor hubby is going to be my only mate left!!

I truly do believe everything happens for a reason and I can really see some amazing new women in my life of late that I know will be around for a long time to come but I feel like I am a Fading Friend and surely that is not  a good thing?

Has life's fast pace changed your friendships? Have you ever felt you were a Fading Friend?
Am I just being a paranoid weirdo?

Stills Collection : Recently Round Here

: Reminiscing.. feeling a little sad my Dad is planning to go back to the UK
: Missing the hand holding of the school holidays
: Every week they make me smile, we collect and re fresh from the garden as a family
: Morning light.. I tried so hard to sleep in and just couldn't my body does not allow it..
: Plenty of pool time which means plenty of Papa time as Mum just hangs..
: 11 years of unconditional love, he is my silver fox that still has such a puppy side/

Linking up with Em if she posts on time, lol x

What had been happening at your pad this week ? 

My Top 5..

..Pins from my Guest Pinner for Board this week are..

I love the way your head gets filled with stunning images, feel good photos.. its the last thing I do before I go to bed.. the way to ensure happy slumber :)

What do you do before you go to bed? 

Does it need to be a competition?..

Housewife vs The Working Man

Stay at Home 'Person' (yes we do have lots of Dads at home these days) vs The Bread Winner..

Last week I was away in Melbourne and hubby had to work his way around his full time job and the to and fro of our kids at separate schools and the normal daily stuff like food, laundry, homework and the likes.

Did he manage? Yes of course he did!. Was he knackered when I returned on Friday? Beyond all comprehension he truly was.

What is the point of this post? Ever since I got back everyone (my fellow Mums) keep saying did you tell him 'welcome to my world?', did you say 'now you know how I feel'.

My answer? 'No, no need really' and it is not a no need as he knows now that he has done it but because he knew before I left. He is well aware that life juggling the kids is full on alongside running DTLL, He is well aware I fit in chores and laundry between meetings and he knows I am always working up until the last minute I fly out the door to get the kids.

He helps as much as he can outside his own work hours during the week and whilst he doesn't tell me all the time I know he knows it is not easy.

The thing I don't get is why it always seems that we have to have the age old them vs us on the who works harder front? Can't we all just respect that we work hard in out own ways and whether bringing in money or not to a family you are contributing by being present and setting and example for your kids?

Life is too short to be constantly trying to prove one up man-ship.. Be proud of what you do AND what your partner does in being a partnership not as individuals. I am. I am VERY much so.

Do you argue over who does what? Do you feel people make you justify your existence if you are 'just' a stay at home mum or dad?

Seeing it come to life..

There is so much that goes on behind the scenes with our wonderful stores, lots of our creative people run their businesses around hectic family life or even as a second job for many.

When customers send us in images to show how they put their purchases to use it is a wonderful thing it gives us such pleasure to see how well loved the pieces are and makes me personally proud we connected with them in the first place...

This image below was taken of a bride who had stunning heart tags made that her close friends wrote love notes on for her to carry and keep forever.. what memories and such a simple, thoughtful idea..

Those stunning heart clay tags were purchased here... and I personally adore this garland for a decorative at the cake table.

What did you have as a keepsake at your wedding? anything special?  

My Bondi Boy is Back..

So excited that we have an event soon we are looking to have Guy cater for soon.. I eat his food whenever I am over his way but to get to share it gives me nearly as much pleasure.

This salad is simple and oh so friggin' yum.. get stuck in....

What is your favourite salad? Got a recipe to share with me?

Sharing Spaces..

This is something we are looking to do in Sydney soon with our DTLL office but our WA DTLL employees got to it first... they still have a little room left of you fancy being part of a seriously funky crew? Visit FSpace for more deets..

Petr (the smiley guy in the flat cap) is my favourite tech boy on the planet and Saulo (the guy with the mild afro you see) is our project manager for all our mobile sites and app.. and a man after my own heart having just completed a mental long course sports event..

Where do you work? do you like having people around you? 

Life in the Fast Lane..

Do you ever slow down? I had a meeting the other day with my PR Firm, the 2 main girls I work with know me well so would never judge BUT I actually felt the need to email them the next morning to apologise for my lack of quick answers and my need to always go away, contemplate, turn ideas around and then be able to make the right decisions.

Jac laughed and said no need to feel bad. It is called having 41 things going through your head at all times and you know what she is right. I laughed so hard at the hilarity of the vision and then slowly, again, contemplated it and realised that that was TOTALLY me!

So this Monday just past I went to The Broad Place to learn more about a very unique form of Meditation.. It was a total eye opener or eye shutter if I am more literal but I am hooked on the concept and am going to be signing up as a Christmas present to me to learn it all in depth.

Do you meditate? How do you get your down time? Do you ever get a chance? 

What is a blog to you?

Its funny.. just after I started writing this post Maxabella posted one about how true blogging used to be described as raw and that for all people that could be a very different thing.

You see this week I have been drink dispenser that has had the valve released and I haven't been able to stop pouring words into posts that I then delete as they are "too raw" something I would call an "overshare". I almost felt this was nearly and overshare but after chatting with a close friend she said "Really it is up to you, it is your blog and you can do and say what you want"

It got me thinking. What do you expect to see on a blog? What do you want to see on a blog?

Essentially it is up to the owner and what they share vs what people want them to share is only driven by whether they are blogging for their own pleasure or for the praise of others and to possibly build it into a business they can make money from.

Mine is the former but I never expected it to be. I started the blog way before my website so I could share my style, connect with the style of creators I hoped would be part of DTLL and understand more about a world I had been told was fabulous for business.

I did all that and shared my feelings along the way along with me and my life. I have shared the shit times and the good because although DTLL is going great guns I can't pretend it has not been hard work or has not taken its toll on my lifestyle. That would be lying.

I handed it over for a few months to make it more about business but in the end that felt wrong for both Amelia writing it and myself.

So I am back and it will be personal, it will be my life, my thoughts and the things I love. As my girlfriend said it is your therapy and you know what, it is and I both need it and love it. It happens to be the style of blog I like to read. One that owns the words they write even if harsh bit true and one that displays bits of their life, their style and all that comes with it.

But I am still curious.. what do YOU think a blog should be?

In the Company of some rather fab people..

Well last week I was paid what I consider to be a rather huge compliment. We all know Pinterest is a rather happy place for many of us and for me it is all that and more.

Since launching DTLL I have become even more visual than I ever was, even the font used in something I read is important to me (Oh Adam * I do feel for you but no I can't change my annoying new ways). The exact crop of a picture, the scale and even the reflections can be of importance..

I can get annoyed with the mildly irritating nature of perfectionism it has bestowed on me or I can embrace the artistic eye it has given me that helps me help our stores get the best out of their storefront on DTLL. I of course choose the later.

Last week I was asked by Homelife the online version of 2 of my absolute favourite mags, Inside Out and Country Style Mag to be their Guest Pinner for the month of October!.

Previous Guest Pinners include Jan of Poppytalk, The gorgeous Pip Lincolne, West Elm and Etsy so to say I am in Good Company is an understatement and I am just a tad proud to be asked. It of course backs my decision to embrace my more fanatical visual eye and that too is a fabulous thing :)

Here is a collection of a few of my faves I have pinned so far..

You can find them all and more here
* My Graphic Designer

Are you a fan of Pinterest? Share me your URL I would love to come and nosey.. 

Stills : A weekly Collection

: Washi is such an obsession, will I ever have enough?
: The kids have finally got the beds of their dreams and I have to say they are actually sleeping better
: Breakfast on the weekends is a family affair and my favourite time..
: We have been a wandering....
: Cracking the Cider at 5pm is starting to become a dangerous routine
: I run because I can but I this is my magnetic pull
: Oh to be a child again.. I had a ball with these bombs..
: All work and no play makes for such a dull day so the kids have been playing by my work

What have you been up to this week?

Pinterest Picks : Purple

Passionate about Purple, Loving Lilac and being Moved by Mauve.. It is not a colour I wear but one I do love as an accent on my two other favourite bases.. White or Grey..

all images from my pinterest boards

What is your favourite colour this week? 

Mother Guilt? I got more than that...

Mother Guilt about me working? Nah thats not it.. I have bypassed that one long ago and am quite content that I am more than present in my kids lives and having DTLL has made me a better wife, mother and person..

So what is worse than mother guilt? daughter friggin' guilt!. My parents have moved here from the other side of the world and after nearly a year here I know they still pang for the UK.

Now being at retirement age was clearly never going to make it easy as it is a huge change for anyone but my parents were not retired, they were still working (my Dad was Project Manager for Lend Lease at The London Olypmics.. pretty important and yes I am proud) so hanging out together each day is a tad boring for them!!.

Do I feel guilty for that? Well a little but life would have been the same in the UK in a few years so not so much..

My guilt comes more from what I had assumed and where it now leaves us..

I had assumed they would arrive here, love Australia as we all do and then immerse themselves into my family by spending time with the Grandchildren and enjoy a quieter life.

My vision was just that and that they would have the kids for sleepovers, afternoon teas and then when they grew much older we would all move further up the beaches and all live on the same property just with them in their own self contained granny flat..

Does that sound idiotic? Was I foolish?

So now I have daughter guilt that my parents are not happy AND mother guilt as if they did go back to the UK my children would be devastated.. They refer to them daily, Gaga and Papa are part of their little lives and I just want to work out how to make them ALL happy.

Are you ex pats in Aus? Did you bring your folks here? Are they settled?