Happiness is....

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
moving your toosh...

Sometimes I am at my happiest when I am exercising.  'Whaaaaaaaaaat?', I hear you say. Yep, truth! I admit that I do have a love/hate relationship with exercise, like most people but something that I have learned over the years is that if I don't take the time to care for myself, well I become someone that no-one dares to be around.....  And another guarantee with me is that if I have had a hiatus of sorts from getting the juices flowing, (hello Winter *insert 'flip the bird' emjoy*) then I usually fall to emotional pieces and feel very sorry for myself! Blame it on the weather, blame it on hormones.... Who knows! 

I am a firm believer in putting in what you want back and for me, I feel my best when I am fit and healthy. When I go through periods of feeling sluggish I really battle, both in mind and body.  I don't feel inspired, I lack confidence and my overall demeanor goes a little cray-cray.  So, I make sure that I keep on track and I regularly exercise. Rain, hail or shine...... (in-between mothering 4 active boys and working and cleaning and, and, and.........)

Often this is rather tricky with my little man in tow as he is very quickly bored so I make sure that I have tonnes of snacks, and bits and pieces to keep him happy. We have to sing along the way which is no easy task whilst pushing his 24kg bod up a hill but if I don't sing along, he gets most upset and that is just a whole other challenge. I tell myself as I taste blood, heaving up those hills, 'this too shall pass'.  I'm sure as the years go by I will look back fondly... maybe.  It could always be worse, yes?!
Oh and it's certainly ego boosting when I limp power walk past my neighbour who 'whoops' me from her balcony! Bless her!
When I (rarely) venture out on my own, I choose to run/walk.  Yesterday I risked my life as I was seriously almost run down (here's a tip for you drivers out there.....; don't text and reverse.. pleeease).  I have spoken about my running before and if you cant recall, basically I'm pretty crap at it. I try though and that's the main thing. I'm not sure if I will ever be one of those beautifully gliding runners who flit around effortlessly but hey, whatev's. I'm awesome at other stuff!

The pay offs of moving my toosh far outweigh the lack of desire to do so and therefore I remind myself that if I want to enjoy the odd beer, the frequent chocolate and the Salt & Vinegar chips, well I just have to keep moving. One cant have their cake and eat it all, unless of course they earned it!

You've gotta live yes?!

So, go move that toosh, it will make you soooooo happy!
*Especially next time you wrap your lips around that heavily buttered Brownie that your local Cafe bakes that is put right in front of your face as you go and order your once a week take-away coffee..... 

The day I stood in the rain, amongst doggy doo..... all for the love of my book!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
I have officially had my first little bit of media advertising for my book and in true fashion, I kept the experience very real indeed!

As a mum of four it is IMPOSSIBLE to pull anything off without a little stress right?!!

The journalist arrived, a lovely guy, and we had a nice chat about my book as I juggled my 2.5 year old boy Ollie who seriously upped the anti and did everything in his power to be the main focus of attention!  Imagine running around the bench, banging his head on said bench (tears..... oh there were plenty....), yelling (he LOVES to yell), climbing onto the table...... You can just imagine!!! What irritates me in these situations is that literally all morning he was divine, its as though a knock on the door just conjures up something in his psyche and he just about implodes!!!   For once ( and I'm sure I will only say it ONCE) I was grateful for 'The Wiggles' as he agreed to calmly sit and watch a new episode and allow me the chance to try and explain my book (without looking like a complete nut!).

Once the chat was over we ventured out into my back yard with the photographer. My eldest had been rather slack up to that point with his job of being resident dog poo-picker-upperer and we delicately tiptoed towards our chosen destination being very careful of not stepping on a potential land mine of the stinky variety! Mortified much.......? Yep!

Now, as I live in Victoria, the sun disappeared into the clouds and smack bang on camera clicking time, it began to rain! So, I sat, wedged between a couple of trees (nicest spot in the garden. Yes my husband is a very talented Landscaper but think along the lines of Plumbers homes having leaking taps and you get my vibe....... Bless him) holding a photo of my mother and I, trying my best to look 'nothing-ish' in terms of emotion. Also keeping a stern eye on Ollie who at this point had given up on 'The Wiggles' and started hovering, with a look of fierce determination, just missing the poo by millimeters!

Here's the result....

When I saw it I was a little embarrassed by the photo but when I go back over the effort to get this done, I think I did bloody well!

Anyway, all for a cause so important to me and I hope it spreads some awareness about my book!

Maybe the next media opportunity could be set in a 5- star resort with hair and make-up and while I'm dreaming, even somewhere like Fiji or Thailand would be nice......

Never Say Never.....
(well maybe in this case,  never is a realistic word but one can dream..)

Aaaaaaah Motherhood.  There's just nothing on earth quite as grounding is there...... x

Happiness is....

Sunday, July 6, 2014
Giving In....

I'm sick.  Smack bang in the middle of the school holidays I have gone and caught Laryngitis off god knows who (I actually could probably whittle it down to one of the many sickies at work that I dealt with last week who LITERALLY spluttered on me over and over again...) and I feel like poo! The worst part is that I have no voice.  If I push hard enough, a little squeak comes out, which mind you the whole family thinks is hooooolarious, but for me it is so frustrating!!  I have such a loud, active house during school holidays and at times I need to reign everyone in a bit and remind the boys just who is in fact boss. Well, try doing that with no voice!  It is simply impossible and yet fascinating...  My boys however, are loving it! Never have they had such a compliant mother who just nods or shakes her head (sometimes with more gusto than usual) and yet, I'm still finding that even without a voice, I am getting my point across... Perhaps I don't need to raise my voice as much as I do after all....

Maybe I have perfected the look..

I'm not fighting this virus though. I am simply way too exhausted to even try and, so, I have given in.  I am calling every day 'soft pant day' (a term that I learned from the lovely Mrs Woog) and if visitors swing by, then they have to accept that we are all mostly going to be in our pj's (of course they are welcome to stay in theirs too..) and I am making the absolute most out of not having to rush about. It is wonderfully indulgent! I might just start getting used to it!!  *if only a magical fairy kept the house running.... then it would be pure gold!

This extra time that I have gained, that usually is filled with errands and housework has led me to conjure up a family adventure for next year and I am keeping very busy researching costs and destinations and I'm bloody excited! So, there, even in the midst of feeling like a cold, wet homeless dog who has been run over and is scraping it's neck along a gravelly road (realistic description..!?) I have managed to acknowledge the positive outcome of being forced to slow down.

Happiness is taking life sloooooooow..... (sometimes)

How are your school holidays going? Are you feeling better than me?
I seriously hope so!

My Book.... I'm beyond excited!!

Friday, June 27, 2014
Hellooooooo my darlings, how are you?

I'm fab! So flat out but great!  Its late but I thought that I would write a quick update on my book. I would hate for anyone to think that I have given up on it, quite the opposite really! Its coming along so well and is becoming something SOOOOO amazing, I just know that those who read it will gain something from it and that is what my goal has been all along. I'm so exhausted, my left eye constantly twitches and I have the most hideous black bags under my eyes, the type that are seriously a challenge to conceal but in the end it will be all so worth it!  
My current focus is on the section of wisdom from Mums and as I hoped, it is developing into the most divine, supportive collection of beautiful wise words. Its coming from REAL mums and that's what I love about it. There is no judgement, just encouragement and warm hugs in the form of the written word. Just perfect!  I have been very lucky and have received some amazing wisdom from some celeb mums too, so that is indeed exciting. The list just keeps growing..... I'm just so grateful to all who have made the time to contribute (xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox).
So, whats my plan?
Well, I will re-draft the book for the billionth time, just to be sure and then, when I feel it is right (and its soooo close to being 'right'), it will be time to seriously try and secure an Agent.  I desperately want to share it with you all!! That is my hope so fingers crossed! (oh and if anyone reading this is/knows a Literary Agent, well, I would sure love to have a chat!)
I assume this to be a lengthy process. Writing and then Publishing a book takes so much time and thought (very rare to combine the two as a mum of 4) and I have come to realise it is certainly not something to rush! I have to be patient but when its out on the shelf, for others to enjoy and gain courage and support from, I will be just Oh, So, Happy! 
So, stay in touch and be patient with me and we will get there... I promise!
Much love to you all, I hope all is well in your worlds.

Kid Heaven..... (without the kids..)

Friday, June 6, 2014
sponsored post

Last week, MYER Melbourne launched the MYKIDS Emporium store.

 Featuring world-class concept areas from major international toy brands including Barbie, Thomas the Tank Engine, Transformers and Little Tikes it is seriously a one stop shop! 

MYKIDS Emporium also features Australia’s largest LEGO concept store, a state-of-the-art space where children will be able to immerse themselves in the world of buildable bricks.  I was invited to take a bit of a look around and even better... I was sans children! Mean, I know, but much more relaxed!!

In addition to toys, MYKIDS Emporium also features the largest range of childrenswear in any Myer store nationwide with exciting custom-fit concept areas from much loved brands including Bonds Baby, Bardot Girls, Mossimo and Baker by Ted Baker. Further fashion brands include Peter Alexander, Sprout, Milkshake, Jack & Milly, Tilii, Bauhaus, Origami and Brooklyn Industries. The layout of the new childrenswear department will make it even easier for busy parents to shop, with brands grouped by age and gender ranging from newborn and toddlers to girls and boys (aged 3 – 8) and bigger kids (aged 8 – 16).
Not only are toys and clothes a main feature of the store but MyKids Emporium will also bring theatre back and engage kids with a scheduled roster of weekend events and other key times of the year including school holidays and Christmas. Fun activities on offer include musical performances, book readings, face painters and balloon artists. 

I recommend that you take a trip into the city and have a look around for yourself! Even better, be a nicer parent than me and take your kids!! They will LOVE it!

Go forth and get shopping! xx

Win a family Pass to see 'Dinosaur Adventures' in Melbourne!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Did you hear a roar? A stomp? The Dinosaurs are coming!

 These life-size creatures will be taking over Caulfield Racecourse this June and July.

Dinosaur Adventures is an exhibition that is captivating young and old alike. Explore a prehistoric world full of life-size moving dinosaurs and be amazed and thrilled as the greatest creatures ever to walk the earth return before your eyes and come alive.

Marvel at the story of their 200 million year domination of life on earth. Watch them move. Hear them roar. From the ripple of their skin to the glint in their eye, you will think that the dinosaurs really are back!

Apart from this amazing animatronics show, you will be able to become a Palaeontologist for the day. Children will be provided their expert digger outfit, and chip away at their very own fossil. Plus there will be many more dinosaur activities to take part in including dinosaur sand art, dinosaur library, fossil displays, dinosaur inflatable activity lands and rides, dinosaur sand pit, photographic souvenirs inside a life sized dinosaur egg and so much more.

Open from 21 June to 20 July, Dinosaur Adventures will deliver a realistic animatronics show like no other that will capture the imagination of children & parents everywhere.
  The event includes: 
A spectacular dinosaur exhibition with realistic animatronics
An Interactive Fossil digging area
Have your photo taken in a dinosaur egg 
Dinosaur Sand Art Camp Fire Story Telling 
Dinosaur Inflatable Activity Lands and Rides 
Dinosaur Sand Pit 
Plus so many other dinosaur activities for the whole family

Melbourne get ready to feel the Dino-Roar!

For your chance to win a Family Pass (2 adults & 2 kids) to the Exclusive VIP opening night on June 20th 2014 simply enter the competition below! 

Good Luck xxxx

Important Information:
Competition ends 06/06/2014
Tickets valid for Melbourne event only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sally O'Toole!!

Please email me at and we will organise your tickets! Congratulations xxxxx

Desperately Seeking Mummas....

Friday, May 23, 2014
You may or may not know, I am in the throws of writing a book for Motherless Mothers. It has been a looooooooong process, what with mothering 4 boys, keeping up with household chores, working part-time, ferrying kids to sports.. recovering from a fall through a roof with a 2 year old.... (long story)... yada, yada, yada....  It all comes down to very little writing time, especially when sleeping is a more satisfying option!

Anyhoo... I am at the final stage of this book.  It began as a dream in my head when my mother passed away from Cancer and has evolved into such a beautifully supportive, connective and encouraging book. I am beyond proud of it, I live and breathe it daily and just like what one million Christmases all rolled into one would be like, I simply CAN NOT wait to share it! (This is where I am reminded of the saying 'all good things come to those who wait or is it those who work their arses off...?!')

This final stage of the book needs the input of mums. ALL mums. Young mums, more mature mums, grandmothers even.  When finished it is going to be a guide of sorts.  A 'go-to' section that women like myself, in fact all mums really, can visit when they are struggling with their journey and just need a little bit of wisdom.  Mums don't just TALK THE TALK, they WALK THE WALK, day in, day out, therefore, I trust in each and every mums words as they come to me.  We are all thrust into this huge life change once we give birth, it is so important to support each other when possible.  Your wisdom will mean SO much to SO many and will continue to do so for generations to come! 
Well done YOU!!

So, I hear your beautiful minds asking just how you can help....

I kindly ask that you send me an email and I will supply you with an information sheet.  Do not feel overwhelmed, all I am asking for is a couple of sentences at the very least.  The more mums that happily share, the more amazing this advice section will be. Bring it ON!

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing an interest and I look forward to producing this book with its uplifting and inspiring words to many beautiful mummas that need the encouragement in their lives. To all who have helped along the way, YOU should be very proud. 

The sisterhood is very grateful. 

All my love xxxx

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