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Weekend Rewind - Batting for another team..

I think it is fabulous in life to have differences in opinion.
I welcome others opinions on a matter I voice an issue with.
I have learnt a lot and adjusted my views in many areas thanks to others input.
I no longer always think my way or the highway (well don't tell my kids that)
Life can be enriched by people talking and sharing.

The part I don't agree with is individuals passing judgement on someone who has a different opinion to them.

We recently had a huge thread build up on Facebook about the 8 year old images of Glen McGrath hunting. There was nothing hugely negative against me (apart from one woman that proclaimed that everyone should be appalled that DTLL didn't give more than 10%.. um I only make 10% so that was us giving everything we could for the month - Thanks lady).

I had lots of people remind me that regardless of what the ambassador had done either rightly or wrongly that the charity was still amazing and my money had gone to a great place (and I adjusted my views, yay!)

The part that got me was the people that were pro hunting vs anti hunting.. they got vicious with each other, they called each other names and well it just seemed ridiculous that they couldn't allow someone to see the world a different way.

Thanks to Dexter I walk each day with this fab man that became a stay at home Dad 8 years ago or so. He of course views the world of parenting from the male perspective and sheds the funniest of visions on scenarios I describe.. He is not judgemental just states the 'blokes' version we both guffaw and keep walking.

I have been reading a forum 'that should not be named' regarding bloggers this week and I am just so disgusted that it even exists. Why would anyone want to be part of a community dedicated to hating on other people, a place where they make up stories and cast opinions about people they have never met.

It reminds me of being at school.. I excelled at certain things so there were people that went out of their way to make sure any of my weak spots were screamed from the roof tops.. JUST to make me miserable..

I guess what I am trying to say is regardless of your gender, race, situation or views there is nothing wrong with batting for another team and by all means cheer for that team. Just don't go telling the other team they are worthless, that they don't belong because they are not in your team. Shit you could EVEN cheer for them too (just not as loud as you do for your team of course).

Do you think people are more openly rude on line because they are hidden? Surely these people wouldn't say those things to your face? Is it just going to get worse? 

I am honoured to say I am joining the 4 of my fave girls this week, Bron from Maxabella Loves, Sonia from Life Love Hiccups, Kelly from A Life Less Frantic and Sonia from Sonia Styling to guest host one of my all time favourite link up parties the Weekend Rewind.

The Weekend Rewind is a weekly linky party. It kicks off every Friday from 8pm, when you can link your fave post of the week with any of these lovely ladies, and for this week only you can link up here as well. It doesn’t matter where you link up, you’ll show up on all five blogs as if by magic! Like any good party, it’s an all weekend affair and it’s a wonderful opportunity to catch up with your best loved blogs and find some new ones to follow!

My 5 Favourites..

I was asked the other month to share my 5 favourite things by the gorgeous Malinda and it was such a delight to really have a think about what makes my day, things that create shine in my life and quite simply the things that make me smile..

I had such a lovely time writing it I thought I would share it here.

1. Family - 

My Family are my be all and end all and that sentiment extends to my very close group of girlfriends that I also consider family. I have a small family on my side and they are all in the UK. My husband has a huge family that are spread around the globe so that has meant my husband and I are a very tight unit with our rugrats (and our dog).
They motivate me to be a better person, to be a good role model and to show teach them to follow their dreams

2.  Where I live -

I love my house and I love our neighbourhood, my house is filled with memories and is truly a space we have created as a family so I adore hanging out there. Our local shops are fab, my neighbours rock, school is close and is a gorgeous community and to top that off I have beaches in every direction with a 10 minute turnaround 

3. Exercise-

I met my husband at the gym so exercise is a shared passion, we are both very sporty and the kids are proving to be following suit. I have raced 3 Ironman Races, 2 Ultra-marathons and a couple of Marathons so exercise is something I adore and quite frankly need in my life. These days I am a little more sedate and whilst I still train 5 days a week I do Japanese Yoga and Pilates Reformer missed in to be a little kinder to my joints!!
That said I am planning to race a Marathon this year for the first time since having the kids

4. Work-

I am lucky enough to have two businesses, Down that Little Lane and The Cult List. DTLL is still a very family run business and I work my socks of beside two of my favourite women in Cherie and Sonia. I might be the boss but I liaise with those girls daily and we are a little dream team that get kicks out of helping our stores go from being sometimes unknown to well respected within the industry. The Cult List is a new brand I am Partner in with one of my best friends Kate.
Both brands make me so proud in different ways and both brands have me honestly saying I do love my job

5. Flowers-

We have to love something materialistic in life and I could say shoes or handbags but truly my toss up was between Chocolate and Flowers.. I could think of adequate substitutes for chocolate but not for flowers so they got my last vote.
I love simply greenery, succulents, wild flowers or even herbs. A single bud in a vase can raise a smile on my face so its not about abundance or expense just simple beauty of nature

What would your 5 favourite things be? 

We are thinking Workshops.. what about you?

Down that Little Lane has surprised me over the last few years and in a good way.

When I launched it in Nov 2011 I had many hopes and dreams. Of course I needed it to bring in a revenue and a wage for me, it does the first and one day it will the later but the main thing I wanted was for it to truly be seen as a gathering of amazing stores and to have true support from the community that follow them and us on social media etc.

I could certainly be earning a wage better if we charged more commission, had our stores pay $500 an FB shout out etc etc but that is not what we are about and one of the things that has surprised me is how much I care about our sellers being able to support them as they do us.

We have been looking for other avenues to further connect and support our creatives and are thinking about co ordinating some workshops.. 3 hrs to learn a craft have a chatter with other kindred spirits and meet one of our gorgeous artists or designers. I would cater you with refreshments and then send you on your merry way with a little DTLL Goodie Bag..

What do you think? How far would you travel? What would you like to do? Any stores you would love to meet? Would you prefer weekdays or weekends? 

Introducing The Cult List

So I spoke earlier in the week about Kate and I presenting at Mums Society next month and whilst I have linked to The Cult List before I have not actually explained what or why I am merrily creating more work for myself when I already moan about struggling with the work life balance..

8 years ago I met Kate when I ordered my first piece of Uberkate, we bonded over the love of bespoke and personalised items, of quality pieces that you want to keep forever and that make you feel special every time use them.

I was possibly a bit of a pain in the butt for her as I would often order far too late, wanted to design a piece that was a mix of two designs she already had or fit font on something that pushed her capabilities for my friends and family. 

I remember one day ordering a ring for Marcus to replace one I had previously given him that no longer showed it's inscription. I was deep in the middle of really researching DTLL and mid dreaming of what could be. I rocked up to collect the ring from Kate's house and told her about what I was planning, she loved the idea and we spoke often in the run up to launching Down That Little Lane.

Since that day we have ridden the waves of owning our own businesses together, we share all the knowledge we can with each other. 

Kate is part of my inner circle and I tell her my embarrassing stories to make her laugh, text her my triumphs as I know she will be proud, ask her advice before making many decisions as I know she will be honest and enjoy the fact that she is someone I don't need to hide anything from.

Over the last few years we recognised how well we worked along side each other. We have such similar design tastes and share so many creative passions that we couldn't shake the urge to launch a business together. 

We wanted something that represented our passions, our friendship and our beliefs

It had to be unique, designed and created by us, have soul and be a collaboration of both our visions...

Soooo a few months ago we finally welcomed our newest baby – The Cult List was born.

We are having a ball, we look at what we like best in fashion then re design to create the best bits from a few of them into one. We design the pieces we have been searching for forever but never found and we ask our people what THEY want and then storyboard ideas for the future

Our #partypocket pants are our first offering in @thecultlist clothing range. They are the perfect trans seasonal pant.. team them with a fresh crisp white shirt and a bashed up denim jacket. They look amazing with heels too! sling your fav slouchy leather bag over your shoulder and you are out the door looking #cultable.

To be first on #thelist for a chance to see what we have on offer you need to sign up for a our special newsletter.

We want @thecultlist to be about all of us and we plan on keeping it small and intimate – just for those ‘in the know’.

Sign up to be ‘on the list’ and ‘in the know’ here.

Follow us on Facebook here or keep an eye on on what’s happening on instagram here.

Completing your Circle

Next month I am presenting with my girlfriend Kate and its about completing your circle..

Most people would consider themselves complete if they managed to create a brand that was well known across most of Australia but not Kate and I. Between us we have 15 years in business running our family owned businesses and now we have formed ANOTHER!!

We are both very driven, we value lifestyle and family above all including wealth and in doing so our brands hold the same ethos and are constantly looking for ways to continue the path and grow it at the same time.

Building DTLL has taken dedication and growing it required knowledge. It has not been an easy path but Kate and I have ridden some amazing waves along the way. We have shared, networked, collaborated and listened all in the pursuit of rising stronger and wiser collectively than we could alone.

We actually love sharing our knowledge and are firmly aboard the karma train.. so next month, we are sharing our journey so far and how partnering to form The Cult List was just something we couldn't ignore and why we are super excited about the idea of adding another brand to our names whilst still running our other babies as well.

We are just us in The Cult List our new brand that was born of friendship and is all about making life a little luxe with simple fashion and accessories designed by the us and all with a little trademark TCL sparkle.
Kate is part of my inner circle, a group of people in my life that mean more to me than chocolate, that I trust implicitly and am fiercely loyal too.
There are only a certain amount of people that can complete your circle, they are the ones that hold powers you don't. The ones who are yin to your yang, the strength you need in your weak areas.. you could call them soulmates but if you are in business with them they are more than that as the dynamics change and that is what we are going to be talking about.. 
How to find them and keep them, completing your circle and making you whole..
I will talk more about what TCL is on Thursday but if you are local come and have a coffee with us at The Grounds.. its just the most beautiful place..
Have you been in business with a friend? Are you still? 

The conflict of captivity..

There were a few things I battled with whilst travelling, you know the things that you don't think about much in day to day life but when you come across them when not so busy it gets you thinking?

My first was the homeless but that is for another day.. the one I wanted to talk about today came in San Diego with our visit to Seaworld..

I wrote on Instagram.. Went to see Shamu at Seaworld today.. It's like a constant fight with your inner thoughts.. How amazing to see these beautiful animals close up but longing to let them free.

Seaworld had signs saying that different whales have different dorsal fins and that some stay floppy all their life but I have read their dorsal fins indicate their mood and that a depressed whale will have a droopy fin.. Shamu has that :(

When you see the show I have to say the whales look to be having fun and they get awesome rewards of course but the in between times? that tank is tiny for the size they are and living in groundhog day however many sweet treats you gave me would get on my nerves. 

There are lots that take the view they are being protected from being slaughtered and becoming extinct yet the Shamu show has a whole film piece about how Shamu being born was a miracle and that it is not often they are born in captivity so surely exactly that is why they should not be there? 

I did find it astonishing to see them only glass width away, to see their amazing size yet graceful actions and just to take in such rare creatures up close but if I thought for one second they hated their life I would prefer to see them on National Discovery Channel.

We came home and watched Free Willy with the kids and they were horrified that it might be how Shamu and his compadres were feeling.

I have been told to watch Blackfish but I think I will have to wait.

I truly am conflicted, I love that I can teach my children about the wonders of the world by going to Aquariums and Zoos but as I can hardly stand a whole weekend indoors thanks to cabin fever it kills me to think these animals may feel like that 24/7.

How do you feel? Have you watched Blackfish?

Switching off..

I think we all have different levels of 'switching off' I can't say I ever really get to switch off as running your own business means that unless someone else takes over every job you do then you will always have little chores to do whenever and wherever you are - other side of the world or not.

That said there are so many other factors of 'on' in my life that even if I still need to contribute to magazines, be contactable for business decisions  or just deal with the difficult customer service issues I can adequately switch off and get a decent recharge just by not doing it all.

What do I mean?

working late into the night
staying home instead of going out with the family for a walk on the weekend
never taking a short holiday with the family (in 3 years!)
not making time lie in a hammock and read a book (in 5 years!)
hoovering the house daily
having my phone with me constantly
skipping the gym because work needed me more

I could go on but in the last 3 years I have been guilty of all those things and when we went on holiday I nearly slept through most of it because my body finally got enough time out to switch off and in doing so it collapsed.

From now on I will still work loads, like loads and loads but I will also walk away from the housework, leave my phone in the car sometimes on purpose and choose the gym not the emails.

I owe it to me, my body, my family and my friends to switch off once in a while. It can only make me a better human and truly where the hell is it going to get DTLL or TCL if I drop down from a nervous breakdown!

Do you switch off? Have I at least reminded you that you should? Please do even if you don't work.. Parental 'on' time is just as full on :)

Facebook Connections

This funny thing happened the other day.. I bet you have done it too.. I am pottering through my old pictures and come across a comment by someone. I click on them and remember they know someone I am no longer connected with and wondering what that person is up to these days I click on them also.

Up pops an image of this person with a new baby. I immediately go to write 'Congratulations' as I am over the moon to see he and his wife have had a child (I am aware it would have been a long road for them to get there) but I can't write anything as we are not FB friends.

I don't want to ask to be friends as that time has passed and the reason we are not is history not related to me directly, just an old workmate of my husbands that I knew I would never see again so unfriended. His wife is no longer on FB but I had also unfriended her and she didn't like it. There was never any malice in it just lack of time in my life for everyone.

I now want to say Congratulations because I am over the moon for them but do I message them? find their address via someone and send a card? Leave them be and not remind them of some random time they got unfriended and didn't like it?

What would you do? 

Mexico.. The Final Stop.

Sorry I took a while to come back to the end of my holiday.. work is so busy between DTLL and TCL and then with the kiddlywinx back to school it has been a tad frenetic but oh so much fun.. next week I promise myself I will find my groove.

Do you constantly make promises to yourself that you know are lies before you start? AND no one else knows you are telling them but you? Nutso I tell you, nut.. so!

Anyway, Mexico. WOW.

We stayed at an all inclusive resort in Tulum called Dreams and it was fab.
The staff were fab, the rooms were lovely.
Kids club was 8am - 10pm so you would assume I never saw my kids but not so, they didn't find it that engaging and to be honest they just wanted to hit the pool ALL day long that we had no reason to send them.

They had a decent gym (Pilates Reformer Machines included.. I was in heaven)
The spa was amazeballs I was told by all my relatives (it was a bit to expensive for Marcus and I)
Food was brilliant in the buffet area (really great selection and freshly cooked) whilst just good in all the other areas, we found they claimed to be amazing at Japanese etc but coming from a country that has such fresh sashimi and amazing knife skills at the local fishmonger let alone restaurant we were not so swayed :)

We mainly just spent time as a family hanging out as we had come together as 23 people from 3 countries (UK, Aus and US) and for some of us it had been over 6 years since we had seen each other..

We went to Tulum Ruins and learnt all about the Mayans from the most amazing tour guide called Ceasar who also took us to Coba where we climbed to the top with the kids. 100% if you ever go there for tours seek out Ceasar he was a full Mayan descendant and his passion showed, his storytelling was enthralling and his command of the English Language was superb. He rounded off our tour with a little speech he spoke in Mayan and it had me in tears. I had no idea what he was saying but I could feel his pride and it had me in goose bumps in the most beautiful way.

Christmas was spent by the pool with my other Mrs.W's and  one soon to be with no doubt our gorgeous Rachel to follow in a year or so..

Harrington celebrated his birthday whilst we were away so we went swimming with turtles that day and diving in the local ceynotes (natural forming underwater caves). Between those outings, beach combing with the kids and early morning runs with my man that was our holiday on enjoy, sleep, repeat.

We had an adults only night out in Tulum at a club called CocoBongo which was a total experience.. awesome club music, waiters to your tables and a whole evening of themed stage shows with dancers and acrobats. We were set on the fact we would bail by 1am as we had a massive days with the kids and knew they would be up at 6 again but we stayed until close at 4am and got back to the hotel for 1 hours sleep before the kids came in for snuggles and to wake us again.. I put it down to the entertainment as it broke up the night and stopped gave me chance to re charge my dancing feet!

Our last night was New Years Eve and we had the kids up dancing until they dropped.  Kitty lasted the whole night and came to bed with Marcus and I it was so European to me having the kids involved and I loved it as it reminded me of my childhood Christmas's that I spent in Spain.

We came together for Christmas and New Year as The White Family but there was a much bigger celebration going on that was my father in laws 70th and our family picture on New Years Eve just sums up the love and energy that this family have for each other. They epitomise my favourite saying to my kids #familyiseverything

We are back to the UK in June for the wedding of Chris and Laura (the tallest duo in the back row) and I cant wait to have all this group together again AND my side of the family around too.. I only add 3 to the mix but they are a very special 3 to me :)

Have you done Mexico? Are you planning too? Don't go for the markets thats for sure as we have all that stuff here but for the people, culture and the place.. get on that plane!

Giveaway : 3 Winners can each have a stunning art print!

                       Congratulations to Fleur Horsley, Elisha Ross & Janine Maria Gardiner

I change my kids gallery wall in their room as often as I buy them new school shoes and lets just say they are not easy on their shoes :)

For me I like colours to compliment, quotes to inspire and images to have them smiling. Sprout and Sparrow deliver

Together in a cross promotion with Babs from Patchwork Cactus , we have 3 A3 prints up for grabs for 3 lucky winners. 

All you need to do to enter is tell us in 25 words or less;

What is your favourite colour scheme for a kids bedroom? 

Then follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter widget below to be in with a chance to win.

Competition is open now and closes Sunday 15/2/15 at 11.59pm AEST