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Why I sold out.. I have totally done it.


I hoped to write this post one day and yet right now I can't believe I am writing it.. The last 4 months of my life have been some of the most negative I have had in all time owning, running and adoring DTLL.

Truly.. WTF life? Had I not had a seriously hectic year already? You thought I could take a little more just before the year closed out?

It goes a little like this.. when we made the decision that we would be open to the idea of moving to the U.S there was very little time between Marcus actually signing on the dotted line and us needing to board a plane. I had to decide what I would do with DTLL as clearly running it from the U.S when half the Aussie Day is whilst I would be asleep was not going to work..

I had quite a few offers to buy it and my conundrum was that half of them had no idea how to run it and I felt they would fail. Should I really have cared? Probably not. I could just take the money and run. Thing is I am a bit of a dick like that and my moral compass gets in the way..

I decided to pass the baton to someone I had worked with before and I knew have the tech skills to run the website. Instead of getting a payout I would retain shares in the company and he would run it and re develop it over the next year or so in return for more shares than mine..

The story looked good.. I boarded the plane and within 2 weeks I had complaints that he never got back to anyone on time. The Instagram feed was dropping likes and not getting any new followers, FB the same and Newsletter Opens and sales were actually dropping.. FARK!!

The icing on the cake was when I checked into the bank account to find chunks of cash transferred to his account under the wording 'LOAN' .. oh really? And when did we discuss that? Oh yes, that's it.. NEVER!!.

So mid trying to settle my family into life in San Francisco I informed him I was pulling my credit card from the backing of DTLL (the debt was rising and I was petrified it wouldn't stop) and that he would have to use his.. the result? He walked away.. stopped answering emails or doing any work and I was left to decide what to do in the run up to Christmas..

I chatted with hubby and asked if he would be ok with me working through until mid December? OF COURSE he said yes and so there we have it I was back to working full time.

The kicker to the story before it started to look up was he cut me off from the bank acct in Aus and continued to empty every $ that came in into his account. I couldn't change what came in as it would have required new accounts, new coding on the website.. too much time and too much expense..

I should have seen the red flags when his last business partner jumped ship on him as he couldn't deal with him anymore but I just thought that was a personality thing. I had no idea he had done the same to their business and 'borrowed' money then also..

SO what happened?

 ‘You can’t force chemistry to exist where it doesn’t in the same way you can’t deny it where it does’

When two businesses sit in the same genre the healthy rivalry breeds better business if the owners are open to it. HTF had sat in the Australian market for a few years before DTLL arrived and this arsehat threw all his toys out the pram I just knew I needed to sell. Chemistry meant conversation with Eri was one I could not ignore.


Eri owns HTF  and like myself has worked in it from day dot when she was at home on the dining room table at all hours of the night.. for her to purchase DTLL and offer their platform to our stores and customers was an easy choice.

I spoke with Eri over the phone and immediately knew it was a done deal, she knew where I had been too through the process and for DTLL to become merged with HTF? .. it was like a little sister moving in with her older sibling.. easy to do and pretty comfortable..

I don't walk away a millionaire (in actual fact we will be in the negative thanks to him and Marcus and I making the decision to pay the only other minor shareholder we have all our personal takings as we feel bad their investment didn't manifest the outcome they had hoped for) but it has been a the busiest year of my life and I am at ease with the good, bad and the ugly of it all..

As I enter a period where I will have time to reflect.
I know I will re read all the beautiful emails I got from our stores telling me all manner of things way beyond what I feel I deserve and fly.
I know I will sit back and think about how much I have learnt along the way.
I know I will have mixed emotions but the best one will be strength..

Do you believe in Karma?
I do and it is how I can just walk away with not a care in the world for that man.. no hatred, no nothing.. Karma will come and wipe the floor clean with that douchebag.
I sorta hope I hear about it just 'cos inside I am clearly a bit of a bitch but I won't be keeping in contact so that I can that is for sure!!..

So whats next? Oh thats for another blog post.. I am tired from writing this one!

How was your 2016?

Easy, Last Minute, Cheap Christmas Gifts..



I wanted to make gifts for the kids teachers this year.. in previous years I have purchased from DTLL or been part of a group gift but DTLL no longer exists and in the U.S this is not end of year time so not the time we give 'bloody hell you are a total saint' gifts so I wanted it to be a token rather than some grand gesture.

I have been busting to make Sammie's Fudge for literally years as I first tasted it a couple ago and have been lucky enough scoff it a few times since SO.. it was an easy choice..

Mason Jars here are so friggin' cheap and between them, some muslin, a little wooden ornament and a mini hat from Target it was simple.. 




I made mine in the Thermomix but of course it can be adapted to a saucepan using a sugar thermometer
170 g // 6oz white chocolate melts
1 small can sweetened condensed milk, (not skim)
160 g // 5.6oz  brown sugar
120 g // 4.2oz butter
75 g // 2.6oz golden syrup
50 g // 1.8oz glucose syrup (corn syrup in the U.S)
Its so simple...
  • Add all the ingredients apart from chocolate into TM bowl and cook for 8 minutes on 100C on speed 3with Measuring Cup OFF. 
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of TM bowl with spatula.
  • Cook again for 20 minutes on Varoma temperature on speed 3 with Measuring Cup OFF.
  • Add chopped chocolate to mixture and chop for 10 seconds on speed 3-4. Check chocolate has melted. If necessary, chop again for another 10 seconds.
  • Line a 20×20 tin with baking paper. Carefully pour the mixture into the tin and leave to cool, and then refrigerate until set. Cut into small squares.
Once I had cut the perfect squares I had lots of left over sides and even some spare so I wrapped them up in baking paper, added some stickers and have been gifting them to all the people I see each day in my life that are not even aware they make my life happier.. 



You got any cheap, easy gifts I can make others?  

Life Lately.. Dogs, NY, Juicing and Living..










Dogs : Man's best friend.. well he is one of mine for sure.. It has been lonely at times up and moving countries and whilst I have so many people offering coffee's and a catch up I am sorta used to my own company.

My new home..


Of course those of you who follow me on Instagram will have already seen lots of snippets of my new life in San Francisco..

What to pack when moving countries..



This is such a loaded question as for starters it depends where you are going, for how long and even how soon you will be there.

Everyone thinks I am something I am not..



Over the years I have presented to 100's of people about how to build a successful business, I have chattered on FB family of 70k+ inspirational titbits, blogged about it and of course told little stories on instagram.

How to spring clean your house of clutter ..



So you all know that I moved to the U.S huh? Possibly not.. I have been in and out of this blog over the years and the last year of my life was the most testing ever so the poor old blog just disappeared onto the back burner.

When you can't rely on Facebook...

I will be back with moving country info and what I am up to now soon, I promise but life just got busy again and I am back working for DTLL for a while.. more to explain on that front soon..

Its a little odd working for DTLL whilst not being the boss, I think I quite like it..

Before I left I had a few talks I presented and I also filmed a piece with the fab team at Chello for The Collective (which just happens to be the only magazine I have shipped over here as I had 8 mags still to read and was not willing to wait until I returned to Aus!!)..

Oh shut up.. don't laugh.. it is not like I have resting bitch face.. just caught mid ramble!!

Making It: Episode 5 | Tessa White from Chello on Vimeo.

I know watching this that I am going to want to get out there and work within the digital marketing, PR and advertising industry again. I am so motivated by the results I know I can get and it is just infectious..

I am thinking I may start doing a round up of my favourite stores world wide each month and share more of the individual products on Insta? Would you follow?

Did you suffer from algorithm changes on FB? 
Has the Instagram change to knock out chronological order changed your reach? 

How to build a business you can sell...

What a whirlwind last 4/5 years I have had. I have started 4 businesses and now I only have a shareholding in one of them and no longer 'work'.. (Motherhood is a bloody full time job so I can't leave out those inverted comma's!!)

So in that time I have mentored, helped, chatted with and advised a whole host of people who were either at the start of their business journey or stuck after a few years that just were not panning out as had been expected.


In leaving Australia to live in the U.S I had to sell out of my businesses and I learnt a whole host during that process about what adds value to a business and what simple key features make it easy to sell over not so easy..

Here are my key points that everyone can slip into their model.

  • Above and beyond you want to create a business that has something unique about it over your competitors. This will help you pimp it up to any prospective buyers.
  • Keep it simple. If a business has too many 'arms' it makes it harder to sell.
  • Know your place in your industry and be ready for questions that try to devalue what you consider of value to your brand.
  • If you are on line ensure you have a presence on all the social media platforms and really do put some time into the ones that are relevant to your industry.
  • If you business is on line ensure the platform is as simple as possible so that it can be easily handed over and does not take tech geniuses to run it (they can be expensive and whilst you may be one yourself your purchaser may not)
  • As you build your business create a brand guideline that can be documented for someone else to have as a guidebook of sorts.
  • All those day to day admin bits? List them. Even if you don't need a diary to keep up with your schedule do have one as it will be a fabulous way to show a new owner what sort of time they need and also help you look at where you are at and value the time needed to be put into your model and what it returns wages wise for the new owner.
  • Paperwork is key. Keep it up to date and ensure each 3 months you print off Profit and Loss sheets so you can easy show the future projections of the business.
  • Know that a buyer will not value revenue, they just want to know about profits
  • Know that a buyer will not purchase 'future predictions' they are now going to spend money on a maybe/possibly/might...
  • Know that you 100% have to take out the personal side of it.. this is business not friendship so be prepared.
If you can prepare all those and prepare yourself you can then soft launch the sale yourself or get a broker to do it for you. Depending on where you are in the world there are websites that can help but I have found my close network was a great place to start as I was selling more personal and small businesses.

Have you sold your business? 
Do you have any tips to add? 
Are you thinking of setting one up and need some advice? 





HOW could you?


So I have been asked why would you? HOW could you? I have been reminded by so many people that there was no way they could do it, that they just couldn't risk it not working out..

Yep all the re assuring type of conversations you want to have just before you move to another country with your kids.

And now I am here? I may just be muttering those same words back to myself at certain times, ok quite a few times, oh ok at least 3 or 4 times a day!.

So Sydney to San Francisco.. how did it happen and how is it going are now the 2 most common questions I hear every day, that would be assuming I can ignore the obvious ones of  'Mum, can I have XYZ?' from the kids like clockwork on the half hour, every hour of the day that they are within earshot.

So why did we move when you were so in love with where we lived?

Easy, why not?

I should be a little more honest and not proclaim such a fly by the seat of my pants attitude as this wasn't my answer straight off.

When Marcus asked me last Christmas would I be interested, willing and able to move to the U.S next year some time I immediately answered..

'HELL NO!'.

'Oh O.K' he said sheepishly, I thought you might be a little more open to the idea...

'What?.. I have 3 businesses here, the kids are happy, we just got a dog and we are remortgaging to  put a pool in at the house'.

'Yeah, put it that way and it does sound a little stupid but I am just thinking about the future and where I can get with my career at LinkedIn in Sydney vs the U.S'

I won't bore you with how the next few months of random conversations panned out but suffice to say we discussed it more and I agreed I was being a tad ego driven with my head saying to me 'how can I walk away from a business I have put my heart and soul into?' AND own 2 of them with best mates, possibly a little bit narrow minded (staying was the easy option) and certainly fulfilling one of my strongest qualities of being SERIOUSLY stubborn... (I said no and I want what I want..).

As I started to think outside my box I realised what an opportunity this was for the kids to see and actually live another country, an experience not many get the chance to do.

I took a little ego check and confirmed to myself what I already knew, that my businesses were already taking up so much of my time that the kids were missing out and they certainly were not yielding an appropriate wage for myself given the time I spent on them.

I also took the time to think about the future and what made sense for us as a family, not just me, or just the kids, or just Marcus for that matter.. ALL of us.

Marcus and I were both working ridiculous hours and were shattered all weekend in between still working and if we could move to the U.S for a few years and have me not work at all and still be ok budget wise then what the hell was stopping us?

The best thing about our final decision to go was that there was no desperate search for a better life. We loved what we had in Sydney, so this was simply an adventure, an experience to share as a family and an opportunity for us all to get more time together which was something we hadn't managed for at least 2 years prior.

Yes we would miss friends and family but it is only temporary and heck we moved away from the lions share of them 16 years beforehand when we came from the U.K so we know what it is like to do it alone and we knew we could do it again.

So that was that, a decision was made. Marcus put his name in the ring for the U.S job and when he won it we had 6 weeks from signing the contract to when we needed to be in San Francisco.

I will write another post about how to organise, de clutter and pack up a house like a boss another day as it would be seriously useful for anyone moving, even if just locally.

I will also write another one with tips for anyone moving to the U.S as I have some fab shortcuts and networks on line I had never heard about until I got here and they would have been useful even before I landed rather than 2 weeks later when  I finally found them!.

So anyway.. that is HOW.. and now I am here.. well its awesome so far.. again another honest post with the highs and lows to come but all in all the place is amazing and the experience is a positive one.

Have you moved countries? 
Did you love it?
Did you go back? 


Stealing time.. from what?



How bloody complicated can life be? The grass is ALWAYS greener.. yada, yada, yada

I am sitting here at 4am U.S time as I can't sleep.

Can't sleep? I can always sleep, ok not on a plane or when I really, really want too because I am knackered and have deadlines but 4am? I haven't been up at this time since my Ironman days when the alarm went off at this time and that was 10 years ago.

It is not jet lag, I wish it was jet lag but I know what it is.

My mind needs some quite time, as in awake quiet time, and so much so that it is willing to pause sleep to get it.

So here I am in San Francisco.

I don't own DTLL anymore and have handed the reigns over to remain a partner and part share holder from here on in. This means I no longer work 16 hours a day 5 days a week or a good 8 hours a day on the weekends. This should be bliss huh?

It is. THAT part.

But who am I now? A Mum..

I was a Mum before but I could hide any insecurities I had about not doing it perfectly behind being a working one.

Now I have been with them 24 fucking 7 for the past 16 days, no joke 24/7, as in same bed in same room sleeping too. So tonight is my first night in my apartment in my own room and I am up at 4am stealing time.

WTF?!

Time alone to think because motherhood is proving to be FULL on!

I haven't been alone for 16 days but I know if I go off for a day alone (not that I can) I will think about them all day.

I am over telling them for the gazillionth time a day to just try and bring some happy into their life and less moody yet I still want to shape them into decent humans so won't give up.

I spent all of yesterday trying to make a unit that doesn't even have a sofa yet look picture perfect for them all when they are content sleeping in a tent..

I crave space from them so much I am up at 4am yet I never want to leave them?

Why is it all so confusing?
Motherhood is amazing so why do I seem to always be wanting to change it?
Is that just life?




My Daughter Plays Rugby

My husband wrote the most brilliant post over on LinkedIn I just had to share..


My daughter Kitty is eight and three quarters years old and plays for the Seaforth Buccaneers Under 9 rugby union team, on the Northern Beaches here in Sydney.

My daughter does not play touch rugby but full contact rugby that requires a gum shield, under garment padding, a head guard and also some steely resolve. She also does not play in a single-sex team but a mixed team (allowed up until the age of 12). She is the only girl on the team and to date I have seen only one other girl play on an opposing team during the last 7 games.

Why is this?

If you follow LinkedIn’s CHRO, Pat Wadors, you have certainly heard about the concept of DIBs (Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging) and the article Pat wrote(Pushing Doors Open on Diversity & Inclusion). What is my take on DIBs? It needs to start early. Furthermore, is a mindset that requires exposure to real-life experiences to truly become proficient. In fact, Pat Wadors herself experienced a very similar situation as Kitty’s as she played on an all-boys baseball team growing up.

What I've learnt from Kitty is that it starts with inclusion and belonging. These are the key ingredients. Kitty is building a ​self-​confidence and assertiveness that I hope she'll capitalize on later in life. What’s more? She’s not the only one benefiting. I also believe that the young boys on the team will be more open and inclusive people for having played with my daughter. I’m proud to know Kitty is blazing a powerful and unique trail, not only for herself but for the future of girls just like her.

Where can we change?

Coaches play a key role in the early lives of children. They set examples for what adults perceive to be fair and commendable, right, and wrong (just like parents do). While they are learning to commit to the DIBs mindset, it often stops short from the fear of offending someone.

Sometimes we get so lost in the details that we aren’t able to take action on the bigger picture We get too fixated on words and by trying to show an understanding of diversity, we create sub-groups and consequently make the differences between two diverse people more prominent.

My daughter doesn't care if she is called a guy, a gal or a lad. All she cares about is being part of a team and doing something she's passionate about.

How do I feel as a Father?


Unbelievably proud for my daughter yet saddened that she is underrepresented.

I come from a family of five boys and a father who are all die hard rugby players and fans. When I was younger it was my whole life and the teachings of the game and the camaraderie of playing, have served me well in later life and in part made me who I am.

Yes, we passed rugby balls around when my kids were younger but never did I force the sport on her. It was her choice, it was her decision, it has become her passion.

Kitty doesn't play with boys, she plays with her friends. Likewise they don't see her as a girl but someone who wants to play their beloved sport (and is good at playing it). When she plays her matches she doesn't get singled out as the only girl or given privileges, she holds her own, expects no special treatment and plays hard but fair. But most importantly, she loves it.

As adults we see it as our duty to guide and teach our children. That's true but we also need to look upon our children as those who can educate us. I truly believe prejudice is learnt, but can also be unlearnt. Sometimes it takes our children to open our adult eyes and hearts to that.

Tangerine Semolina Cake


If you are anything like me you have kids that devour certain fruits one day and can't stand them the next.. what is that all about?! I don't dwell to long on it as would turn me nuts but it does mean I am often looking for lunchbox idea that can use up the sudden excess fruit..

This week it was... TANGERINES..


I often manage to find a recipe but it has nuts in it and a sugar content that seems a little excessive so I have learnt to adapt.. for nut free and semolina is my friend.

If the nuts in the recipe are there for flavour you can just leave them out, if they are there for texture swap for cornflakes or rice bubbles to match the crunch. It is only when they are ground and being used as an oily element to keep something moist that you could have issues.

Sugar wise I often just use less than the recipe and swap a portion for rice malt syrup instead.

Anywho, cut to the chase.. I found and Orange and Almond Cake and made it into a Tangerine Semolina Cake.


What do you need?

3 large Tangerines (do not peel)
4 large eggs
160 grams sugar (I did 120g and a tablespoon or rice malt syrup)
200 grams semolina (if you don't need nut free you can use 200g ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free)

How do you do it?

Pre-heat oven to 180´.
Place your tangerines in a microwave safe bowl with some water and cook for 4 mins, leave to cool and remove pips.
Put mandarins in food processor and blend until smooth (in Thermomix it was 20 seconds on around 8/9)
Put the 4 eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk until well mixed (in Thermomix I added the butterfly did around 50 secs on speed 4)
Add the mandarine puree, the semolina and the baking powder. Mix until combined well.
Pour into a greased and lined 20cm cake tin, bake for 1 hour or until a cake skewer comes out clean.

The cake is not big and fluffy as semolina is dense but the citrusy taste is awesome, the house smells delicious and the kids loved it.. #forthewin

Do you adapt recipes much?
Any major fails I should be aware of before I make them too?! 

California Dreaming..


So I need some help and as a result I need to let out a secret we have been keeping for a little bit.. My little family might be moving to the U.S of A.

We are not 100% yet but we are close to it as long as that last interview results in them saying everything we need to hear and we agree to everything they want. We would be moving to San Francisco just not Downtown and I need advice from anyone that knows.




I have been researching for hours, or is that days?.. ok maybe weeks!!

My main worry is the kids. I want to make sure the experience is endlessly positive and given that we have our fourth baby Dexter to accomodate, live in a decent size home, have a gorgeous local school, sports fields everywhere, fab beaches , all their mates around the corner and a suburb you can leave your front door open all day to come home to it still just that (yes this has happened a few times.. oops) its not an easy ticket to fill.

The areas I have pinpointed as being affordable, safe, good schools and with the sort of accomodation I would be able to live with (far out CA has some serious retro stuff goin' down and I am not talking trendy retro.. just plain old) are.. sort of 4 zones..

Cupertino, Los Gatos, Campbell, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara 
- the way I see it this is a busier more happening neighbourhood but with some amazing track runs. We would be in smaller accomodation, likely not have a spare room and that would still be top end of our budget..


Dublin, San Ramon, Pleasanton 
- I think this offers us a more sleepy suburb with good schools but larger accomodation allowing us to have guests but will leave me far more cut off with the kids..

Tiburon, Mill Valley, Sausalito 
- this seems far more Swiss Alps feeling and a lot more cut off, lots less on offer to rent and still high on budget side but a much smaller community and the closest to San Fran we would consider.


Burlingame, Millbrae - Good Schools and apparently sorta posh (which might not be our thing AND comes with high house rental) but again close to San Fran and on the radar but last on the list 

I would adore advice from anyone who has lived there, does live there, knows anyone that lives or loved there? 

My little family are a tight unit and we want to use this couple of years away to just bond, spend as much time doing sport related things together, camping, skiing and road tripping. Hanging at home with family visiting and just generally sucking up the opportunity for all that it is and taking in as much of the US as possible before we come back to our true love Australia.

SO? 
Where would you go? 
Where would you live?
What would you prioritise? 





What I am doing more of these days....



I have always known I loved helping others get through challenges they have in life by using my mistakes or triumphs to speed up their process.

I do it in my personal life as well as my work one.. I just think 'Why wouldn't you?'.

I do understand how business people can feel they don't want to give away their knowledge and possibly feel that why should they spend years learning and making mistakes only to tell everyone else how not to do so and save them all that time and money? BUT that is just not me.

I do have the ability to be selfish (I don't like to share my food) and I can easily be foolishly inconsiderate of others feelings (ask those I love the most) but it appears that on the business and life lessons side I am a total sharer. It makes me feel good, so maybe that is my selfish touch to it, but the gift it offers others is just me paying it forward from the people who have always made the time to chat with me along they way.

As a result I have been presenting at a host of different events more and more. I don't LOVE being centre of attention but I do love having people ask the questions that have been troubling them for a while and being able to give them the answers..

Now I am not here to tout for business (but if you want to get in touch for any then I won't be knocking you back) I thought I would share my next gig..

I will be at CELEBRATE  'a business bash for party makers and confetti shakers'.

I will be there with a few of my fave people (see below) and its at a stunning location (ahem.. above)..


Do you share your failures in life? 
Do you only share the success? 
You in the party industry and coming to play?

This weeks Giveaway on Instagram


We love to share the love.. its just a thing we have done since day one and like to feel it shows how much we value our customers and the community we are surrounded by.. this weeks giveaway on

Insta is live and you can see it here..

To win this stunning print from 4 the love of Paris, follow @downthatlittlelaneshop . Regram this image and tag it with #DTLL4theloveofParis. Comp is open to Australian residents only and the winner will be announced Monday. This competition is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram.

Can be everyone's perfect..


I am not all that old.. (yep I am as grey as the hills are old but I am only 40) but I have done a huge amount in my little lifetime. I have been in lots of very polarising scenarios over the years and had to work with, contend and mix with all sorts of personalities.

The one thing I have learnt the hard way is you can't be everyone's perfect.

Each and every person has their own set of situations. No two people are the same whether it is their family dynamics, their financial situation or even their mental health. In the last 5 years I have had all those AND all at the same time.

I lost someone I thought would be a best friend for life as I wasn't able to give her enough time - I had to work and it was building DTLL from the ground up on my own.

Depression set in as the stress of trying to be there for the kids in school and build a new business on a budget took more than I had - something had to give and I am only human.. my mental health buckled big time.

Family has to be the toughest and I have one member of mine that continually seems disappointed in me as I am not Thankful enough or thoughtful enough or.. well I am sure I could go on but we live different lives in every scenario and basically I am just not cut from the same cloth and that makes me an inferior version.

The thing about all these stages is you can let them get you down or you can find a way to grow from them and for me it has taught me to look at what means the most to me and nurture those things.

These days I concentrate on my relationships that are natural and fluid. I have a feeling as the years pass my circle of friends will get smaller and smaller but each and everyone that remains will be that much more important to me.

I know that my husband and kids mean more to me than anything, more than my work and more than my own time. I want to be there to support them whilst I can and if that means me taking a bit of a step back at work and having to budget a bit more with less income then so be it.

The most important thing is that I accept I cannot be everyones perfect and I don't need to be. I shouldn't feel judged by someone else just because they live their life a different way. We all make our own choices and we all have different priorities and my priorities are just as valid as anyone else's whether they are polar opposites or not.

It is not about thinking you are perfect and everyone else has got it wrong it is about accepting the cards you have been dealt and being happy with what hand you are playing.

I question so many of my actions and I will often reach out to my girls to see what they think but at the end of the day as long as my kids and my husband agree I am all good..

It's ok not to be everyones perfect as long as I am perfect as I can be for me...

Do you try to be everyones perfect? 
Does it wear you down?




Going Grey..

So a little back story on my history with hair colour..

I have been colouring my hair since I was 18 but the kicker in this scenario is that I have been colouring it my natural colour.. nothing wow, nothing trendy and certainly nothing new.

My hair is pretty much jet black and just as I have only ever known my father as a Silver Fox it appears I took his genetics on that front and started my 'silver streaks' at about 16 years of age.

If any of you get your hair professionally coloured you will know that there is no change from $100 and possibly $200 depending on your salon.. as a result I did it at home myself and as my hair grows fast it was a twice a month gig.

So call it a mid life crisis, call it getting so bloody fed up with the routine or call it feeling empowered at 40 (I claim the later), I decided to stop and just go grey.

I was inspired by Annika Von Holdt but Kitty was worried I would look old. Just quietly this spurred me on to show her that its not right to judge someone that way and that I could rock anything I wanted too!




The reason for my post is that loads of people have asked me how I went about it.. so here it is.

1.  I started to colour my hair in lighter brown and plum colours so that I would have less build up of heavy dark colour..
2. When I was ready to take the leap I got a product that strips colour from your hair but doesn't use bleach so won't dry it out hideously.. 
3. I was left with funky two tone hair so I chopped it into a bob and it now is 3 tone :)
4. I just let it grow.. 

I have done one conditioning treatment but the grey is softer and healthier than the rest so once it has grown more I will go to a pro to make the grey look even sexier with maybe some blonde tones or to even it out and also get a another haircut so shape it up and let it grow out with form.

Curious what I look like now?


Kitty likes my 3 tone hair and a few people have asked who does my colour!!

How so I feel? I feel empowere.
I get a little insecure when I bump into my much younger friends and their eyes keep flicking to my new halo as they talk to me but truly I feel like I am making a statement.
I feel like my statement is that I just don't feel the need to be perfect and that is a good thing.

Are you grey? 
Do you want to be?
What age did yours start? 


This weeks Giveaway on Instagram..


We love to share the love.. its just a thing we have done since day one and like to feel it shows how much we value our customers and the community we are surrounded by.. this weeks giveaway on

Insta is live and you can see it here..

To win this beautiful bed cover from Sanctuary Studio, follow @downthatlittlelaneshop . Regram this image and tag it with#DTLLSanctuaryStudio. Comp is open to Australian residents only and the winner will be announced Monday. This competition is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram.

19 Years... F*%K..


Yep that was my husbands response yesterday when he realised it was our anniversary today and I said yep it will be 19 years tomorrow..

'FUCK'..

Well I would have to agree..

After quickly seeing the tail end of Seven Year Switch on TV and they had peeps that were, well 7 years in, and hadn't had sex for 11 months and 17 months respectively I figured us still shagging at 19 years gone means we must be magical.. right?! (Sorry kids if you read this in the future).

I would hate to add up how many weeks my boy has been away this year as in our 19th year he has travelled more than in the previous 18 and this Mum don't like it but he does it for us just like he always has (Well the Marathon De Sables was totally for him but who wouldn't want their partner to go and do such an amazing thing).

My husband is an absolute 'keeper'.
Marcus is hot and sexy and doesn't act like it... I love that.
As a Dad he is their idol, he shows them how all Dads should be.
He knows all the things I love and supports me in doing each and every new thing I dive into.
He is my all, my everything and that one person I truly know I could live in a shack with and still be happy.

19 Years.. fuck!!

That is nearly half my life and he has been with me for the ones that have challenged all emotions, pushed me to the edge, made me dig deeper than ever knew was possible and the best bit is he is STILL here..

Happy Anniversary Marcus White.. I LOVE YOU..

P.S Bronze wasn't easy for a gift.. lets hope 20 years is an easier tradition!! ..

Do you buy traditional yearly gifts for your anniversaries? 
How long have you been playing the game of love? 
He's a keeper huh?! 



The Long Road


On the 10th April my husband will find out if the 'Marathon of the Sands' is truly is the toughest footrace on earth...

He leaves Sydney tomorrow with his final destination being Marrakesh in the northern Sahara region in Africa.

Here are a few stats on his journey so far
  • Run and cycled 2646 km since November 2015, on three different continents
  • Lost 6.4 kg (apparently might loose another 5 kg during the race itself). Just calling it out that hot cross buns do not help his waist line :-(
  • Run through 4 pairs of trainers
  • 7 Osteopath sessions
  • 26 acupuncture sessions
  • Rabies, Typhoid, HepA, Polio and Tetnus injections - ouch
  • Raised $4,753 for BeyondBlue.... heartfelt thank you
  • Raised awareness for BeyondBlue....... again a heartfelt thank you
These are the stats on what he will have to look forward to
  • Run (crawl) 257 km over 6 days, with one 90 km multi stage run
  • Self sufficient for the trip, to carry all his food, clothes, sleeping bag, mat etc etc (debating whether I should pack him the Nespresso machine..!!?)
  • Water ration to 10 litres per day
WHY, WHY, WHY ....... 

It is personal and it is for a cause he is hugely passionate about and vested in beyondblue.

Thank you to everyone who has donated and a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reach out to family, friends and colleagues and ask them if they are okay. It is such a small thing to say but has huge ramifications.. 

I am so proud of what he has acheived even before he makes his first steps in the race. You can continue to follow the adventure and support BeyondBlue via his Charity Page. The 5 boys are on Instagram too under @6days5whites.

Want to see the lunacy? Here is a preview..




If you did want to track him live during the race, you can join my kids and I by jumping on the following link MDS Live subscribe and then enter his race number 517. You'll then be able to watch via satellite as he navigates his way through the sand dunes, and hopefully not in the wrong direction..

Has your partner ever done anything you thought was a little bit OTT? Trained for an event and left you holding the reigns? Have you ever done MDS?

Suck it up Sista!!

Last week I shared an image on my Instagram where I captioned how I am not in the best place I have ever been..


 I quote ..

'Today I attacked it. I currently weigh 1kg more than I have ever (outside of pregnancy) and 4kg more than in the last 4 years.. Life is not all that easy at the mo and I am feeling really crap about myself, enough to have a cry about it.. so today started with a killer bush run with Dex. Exercise does wonders for your mental attitude, don't forget that.. Just over a month and I will claim back some serious training time from my mad @6days5whites husband!! Your day is what you make it.. So make it good'

I am fine.. I do these posts as I feel the need to be honest.. it is as much for others as me. I just know so many people who don't talk about it and suffer thier stupid thoughts and feelings thinking no one else has them..

My mental health is so good these days in that even when I am down I know its for a reason and I can rationalise my emotions. I know that crying can be cleansing and I go for it. I feel like a prat after as crying seemed way over the top given the situation but who gives a crap I feel better and no one else even knew!

Yes my work is hard at the moment, my husband is travelling and training a lot and life is 'FULL'.. futures are up in the air and it all takes a toll

BUT in the grand schemes of things my life is bloody awesome. I have so little to worry about compared to 90% of the world and I just have to remind myself that sometimes :)

My brother arrives to Aus in 7 days!!..WTF.. how can life be bad !! I won't have to discuss my irrational thoughts out loud to myself I will be able to call him!

The reality is all of us find it tough not to feel 'woe is me' when we are having a shitty week or seem to be getting the raw deal of a scenario, yet in the bigger picture I am like suck it up sista!!

your reality is still your reality..... and its still hard....

I am just sharing this here again to say share it out loud, share it, own it and don't be ashamed. You will be amazed at how many others are right by your side and right there ready to help.


Eight Things I WON'T Be Doing Before I Die

So Sonia did it  and when I read her blog I thought.. how hard can that be to say 8 things you will not be doing before you die but to say things you felt were 100% true was actually a little harder than I thought!!


1. New York, NO WAY!!.


I have visited and yes I am possibly too easily influenced by films and TV series but the US scares me, well certain parts. Gun rules are just too loose for me to ever settle and I would be a paranoid wreck coming from Australia


2. You won't find me playing Computer Games for 24 hours solid ever again..


We finally got the kids a Playstation this year (they are only allowed to play on weekends and school holidays) and I haven't played once. 
Years ago my boyfriend and I sat and played Resident Evil for 24 hours straight. I think that was my fill for life as I just can't seem to go back.


3. I will never be a smoker.


I was for 3 or 4 years from about 17 years old.. 1-2 packs a day and then I met my boyfriend, who is now my husband and he didn't smoke. I was so madly in love and in total honeymoon period that I decided to use it as a time to catalyst my giving up and it worked. 
Even if we had not lasted I would have been ever grateful to him for that. 


4. I won't allow my moral compass to be compromised.


I like to think that I have become a good person. I was a much more materialistic, self absorbed individual in my younger London days. These days I see myself as a very loyal and devoted friend, wife and mother.
I believe strongly in Karma and I go out of my way to be the best business person I can be with a strong moral ethic that I won't even compromise for cash.. I plan to keep that going forever..


5. I will not have any more bubs of my own.


My hubby is one of 5 and would love more kids, I sort of would also but we won't as our family is perfect for us and it is time for us all to grow older together with no distractions apart from each other.
I say my own as if someone I was close too ever needed a surrogate and I could do that for them, I would. 



6. My material belongings will never be valued over and above my family..


I have got to a point were I truly value family time above all else. I would be happy living in a tent with my brood. OK a tent is pushing it but point is I would sell everything and anything  to keep us fed and together. I would move anywhere (just not New York) and I just don't crave materialistic things the way I used too as I would prefer to buy an experience over a handbag.


7. I will never free climb a cliff wall 


Rock Climbing on a sheer cliff face with no ropes? WTF? Why? The idea of dropping and splitting my head on rock just paralyses me in fear..



8. I will never run the Marathon De Sables


Marcus is doing it this April with his 4 brothers. I would have loved to have done it with him but we would have had to wait until the kids were older so we could have trained together and as I know I wouldn't go it alone and he will not want to do it twice I am crossing it off my Bucket List and will find something new!



Eight Things I WON'T Be Doing Before I Die

So Sonia did it  and when I read her blog I thought.. how hard can that be to say 8 things you will not be doing before you die but to say things you felt were 100% true was actually a little harder than I thought!!


1. New York, NO WAY!!.


I have visited and yes I am possibly too easily influenced by films and TV series but the US scares me, well certain parts. Gun rules are just too loose for me to ever settle and I would be a paranoid wreck coming from Australia


2. You won't find me playing Computer Games for 24 hours solid ever again..


We finally got the kids a Playstation this year (they are only allowed to play on weekends and school holidays) and I haven't played once. 
Years ago my boyfriend and I sat and played Resident Evil for 24 hours straight. I think that was my fill for life as I just can't seem to go back.


3. I will never be a smoker.


I was for 3 or 4 years from about 17 years old.. 1-2 packs a day and then I met my boyfriend, who is now my husband and he didn't smoke. I was so madly in love and in total honeymoon period that I decided to use it as a time to catalyst my giving up and it worked. 
Even if we had not lasted I would have been ever grateful to him for that. 


4. I won't allow my moral compass to be compromised.


I like to think that I have become a good person. I was a much more materialistic, self absorbed individual in my younger London days. These days I see myself as a very loyal and devoted friend, wife and mother.
I believe strongly in Karma and I go out of my way to be the best business person I can be with a strong moral ethic that I won't even compromise for cash.. I plan to keep that going forever..


5. I will not have any more bubs of my own.


My hubby is one of 5 and would love more kids, I sort of would also but we won't as our family is perfect for us and it is time for us all to grow older together with no distractions apart from each other.
I say my own as if someone I was close too ever needed a surrogate and I could do that for them, I would. 



6. My material belongings will never be valued over and above my family..


I have got to a point were I truly value family time above all else. I would be happy living in a tent with my brood. OK a tent is pushing it but point is I would sell everything and anything  to keep us fed and together. I would move anywhere (just not New York) and I just don't crave materialistic things the way I used too as I would prefer to buy an experience over a handbag.


7. I will never free climb a cliff wall 


Rock Climbing on a sheer cliff face with no ropes? WTF? Why? The idea of dropping and splitting my head on rock just paralyses me in fear..



8. I will never run the Marathon De Sables


Marcus is doing it this April with his 4 brothers. I would have loved to have done it with him but we would have had to wait until the kids were older so we could have trained together and as I know I wouldn't go it alone and he will not want to do it twice I am crossing it off my Bucket List and will find something new!



New Starts..



This year I have made a promise to myself that I will be here maybe just once a week but that I will be more present when I am, that I will share more openly.

I want to be more proud of what I achieve and allow my mistakes to be something I share for others to learn by..

I feel like I started blogging to build a profile for business, I went more personal once I launched the business and loved it so much more but then I got busy and instead of pulling back and be true to myself I just content created. The thing is as I make no money from this blog, nor do I plan too, I was an idiot as it just lead me to get confused and frustrated.

SO thats it, here I am and I am back to doing this for me. It is how/why most blogs start and its why we like them so regardless of whether I am talking to crickets I am going to go back to a form of honest journaling approach.

I think it might be the turning 40 thing but I am happy with where I am and what I am and already 2016 has been massive for me in how I approach my work life balance.

So far this year I am proud that Sonia and I have really got DTLLWorkshops into a flow.. we have amazing creatives we truly adore and are now looking to hire an intern so we can take time out from being present at every workshop and see our family more often. Its a big step for a young business as it will really hit us on the hip pocket as it were BUT it is us knowing what we need to do to take it to the next level and ensure we maintain our love for what we are doing instead of burning out..

On my other work fronts I have dedicated Monday and Tuesday to DTLL so that I can get the guaranteed weekly requirements all done by Tuesday evening it means the rest of my week is for yummy stuff like press calls and just dealing with customers and our stores. The yummy stuff takes up so little time in comparison to those first two days that I get to be around for my kids and I truly feel like I can afford the time to spend on The Cult List, DTLLWorkshops and Crossroading.

The Cult List we are taking back to the bits we love and enjoy, those are designing our own products and pieces and simply releasing maybe 6-8 items a year and keeping them truly limited editions and everything we are about.

Crossroading is going gang busters and we are getting the most immense amount of pleasure helping other businesses brainstorm their way through hurdles and navigating the sticky stuff. We are very honest and it can feel a bit brutal but each and every business we have worked with leaves smiling and comes back for more so we must be doing something right.

And lastly on my personal front I am back training for me.. making time to do some longer sessions not just sneaking in a 30 minutes here and there.
I don't work the afternoons the kids are home so I can have playdates over and bake banana cakes for tea.
My hubby is travelling more but I am seeing it as time for me to get crappy house chores done and re connect with the kids by taking them to the beach to eat after school.
I am having other kids over for sleepovers so their parents can get date nights and just feel good about dedicating my solo parenting time to a good cause.
I am saving up to do a Vedic Meditation Course with my gorgeous friend Jackie and the biggest change is I have decided to go grey.. hair wise.. I will do another post on that another day x

Bringing some colour back in to the Outside!!

Today I am having a chat with Terri from Moteef.. she brings some colour to your outdoor and in actual fact of late she is bringing divine smells and some monochromes for those who like it that way :)

HOW DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
I’m a trained graphic designer so I’m no stranger to creative business. After taking and abstracting photos for fun for at least a year, a chance conversation with my sister in 2012, inspired me to look into how I could develop my digital patterns into a collection of outdoor scatter cushions. Finding the right fabric base, having it printed in specific colours and then lab testing them for durability and colour stability was a journey over 1 year as I slowly learned about the processes involved - as well as marketing, social media promotion and ecommerce. I was finally ready to officially launch my first collection in September 2014. 
    
A year later I launched my Luxe outdoor candle range which I’m very proud of too. I teamed up with Self Organics, in Perth, to create 3 unique, hand poured soy wax candles, using our collaborative blend of essential and fragrance oils known for their insect repelling properties. The cherry on the top was the gorgeous vessel we had custom made for the project – a reusable double walled coffee glass with a snug bamboo lid. The packaging incorporates 3 signature patterns I designed for the project.




WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
I love all my designs but ‘Circles’ is very close to my heart. In 2013 we discovered, the hard way, that my young daughter Lauren, who was then 3, suffered anaphylaxis to some tree nuts. This diagnosis very quickly brought to the family's attention that research into new treatments and cures for allergy and other immune diseases, as well as community education and improved access to care, was urgently needed.

So, as a family commitment to raising funds and awareness, I digitalised a design that my son Ben painted and that our family loves and we now donate $5 from the sale of every Circles outdoor cushion as part of our CUSHION FOR A CURE initiative to help fund medical research into allergy and immune diseases through the efforts of The Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA). Of course, Ben also gets a royalty for the use of his artwork with every sale – something that the now 9 year old is very proud of.



WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
I absolutely adore a donut! Nothing fancy, just a fresh, unfilled traditional glazed! Shhhh!!

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I’m drawn to bold abstract art, 70’s Op art and modern, mid century influenced furniture. I’m particularly inspired by the decorative arts of Africa, the Middle East and South America - I love their textured, painted urban decay and their tendency towards striking colour and pattern. I try to draw on these things when I create my designs.

WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE CARED MORE ABOUT? 

Conversation starters - It sounds like a joke answer but it’s not.

There’s so much information that we can graze on daily that it’s hard to find the time to digest it all, discuss our findings and grow ourselves and our own ideas. I imagine a world where people are supportive, in-touch, considerate and curious. They share their food, experiences and knowledge, enriching each others lives with challenging ideas, fun experiences, humour and culture. 

I design so people are inspired to relax, share food and really connect in comfort all year round.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BOOK? 
Paulo Cohelo’s The Alchemist. I’m not a spiritual person but this book has a very simple message – the importance of having a dream, going after it and never giving up. It’s a simple book that you finish and instinctively “know” what the story means to you.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE RECENT PURCHASE? 
In early December my family holidayed in Queensland. While in Noosa, I bought myself a delicate, silver ring with an ‘XO’ stamped into the top of it - I’m my own worst critic and I wear it daily to be reminded to be kind to myself. It’s working too!

WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU LOVING RIGHT NOW? 
I have extremely eclectic taste so I tend to pick music for the situation.

Designing – I prefer music with few words, ‘cos I’m easily distracted, so I listen to any kind of trip hop/chillout music that I generally stream online.

Chores – Something high energy. I’m fond of Sia and David Guetta at the moment.

In the car – Nova, on the radio (gotta stay up to date with my kids!) Faves we’re enjoying at the moment include Birds of Tokyo, Rudimental and Maroon 5.  

Sunday morning breakky on the Patio - usually a mixture of oldies including Cat Stevens, Bread, Joan Armatrading and Bob Seger. (A nod to my upbringing!)