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SAD

Every year, around this time, I get a case of the sads; seasonal affective disorder that is. It’s totally a thing you know; depression caused by winter. A friend who used to be a nurse told me that it was one of the first things she learnt about at uni; to look out for the SADs. She said that the incidence of depression and suicide sky rockets during the winter months and I believe it too.

It took me a few years to figure out that my depression would usually rear it’s ugly head during the winter months but now that I know I try to take steps to prevent it happening. Being aware of it is always the first thing. Experts say to try to keep up the exercise and eat well…I know I definitely find it harder to do this in winter. It’s too cold to go outside for a walk and its much easier to eat healthy in summer when you feel more like eating salad or fruit. This year I’ve also tried to just embrace it and focus on the positives of winter; camp outs in the lounge room with blankets and a good movie is never better than in the dead of winter. One of my best memories from this winter is the day that I spontaneously picked up my niece  and nephew, rugged up my son and told hubby to hurry home from work. Then we drove about thirty minutes to the top of a mountain in a nearby town where it had been snowing that day. It was the first time all three kids had seen snow. There was lots of throwing snow and lots of laughter…it was the best day.

But this winter has been long… it seems to be lasting forever and my patience is wearing thin. I’m craving sunshine and warm air. I’m craving being outside…maybe I’m just craving a holiday. I’ve been googling tropical holidays like it’s going out of style, knowing full well that even if we could afford to go anywhere right now (which we can’t) hubby just wouldn’t be able to get the time off work anyway. But still, I continue to torture myself. Spring started a few weeks ago but it would appear that Melbourne has yet to get the memo. It’s been all rain and cold wind here. We’ve been blessed with a few sunny days and we all get very excited. My son made me fill up his little outdoor shell pool the other week when it was only 19 degrees, we ate icy poles on a twenty degree day. Yeah, we’re really hanging out for summer here as much for our own sanity as our past white skin!

This week it looks like much of the same; cloud, rain and wind (it’s been so so windy!). I see a little picture of a sun next to Friday and hold out hope…bring on the sunshine Melbourne!

Have you ever experienced a case of the SADs? Or are you one of those lucky people that I see on my instagram feed living in a warmer climate, wearing a pretty dress and smiling? I’m not jealous at all…..ok I’m totally jealous, can I come for a holiday?blog signature, www.sarahdipity.com.auP.S. Did you know that you can subscribe to this blog and receive every new post direct to your email inbox? Well you can! Just pop your email address in the box below. I promise I won’t annoy you with daily emails or spam (cause ain’t nobody got time for that) but it’s the best way to ensure you never miss one of my posts.



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Book Reviews- September

Book reviews september, www.saradipity.com.auI’ve been reading a lot lately, making a concerted effort to pick a book instead of the phone. I’ve been reading at night and first thing in the morning instead of watching TV. If my son will allow it some days I even manage to squeeze in some reading in the late afternoon. I’ve been making my way through a list of books I’ve been wanting to read for some time, picking up a few at the library each week. Here’s some quick reviews of what I’ve read this month:

Craft for the Soul: Written by one of my all time fav bloggers, Pip Lincolne, this is one of the sweetest books getting around. It’s filled with little bits of inspiration, activities and prompts to get you thinking and creating. The book also includes ten step-by-step crafty projects. This is the perfect book to buy your bestie or keep on your bedside table when your feeling a little blue.

Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It: This book was published to celebrate ten years since the release of the original ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. If you were a fan of that book then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one too. The book is a collection of short stories from readers who were inspired to make a real life change after reading ‘Eat, Pray Love’. Some of the changes were big, some were small yet still significant realisations. It was a quick and easy read and whilst I don’t think there was anything particularly groundbreaking about it was a good little hit of inspiration which I still enjoyed.

The Paper House: There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding this debut novel by Anna Spargo Ryan so I was a little worried I’d be disappointed. I wasn’t. This book had me with the very first line; “My heart fell out on a spring morning – the kind that rose coolly in the east and set brightly in the west.” Anna’s writing is just so beautiful, she describes the indescribable in the most poetic way. The Paper House is told from the point of view of Heather, a woman who is struggling with the  sudden loss of her unborn baby. The book delves into some pretty big issues; Heather’s story becomes intertwined with that of her mothers, a woman who battled her own demons in the form of a serious mental illness. I just couldn’t put this book down; particularly towards the end when it went to a place I didn’t think it would; it had me captivated. I can’t say too much without ruining the story but if you haven’t already done so you should really read this book, it’s one of those stories that just stays with you.

The Anxiety Book: Written by Aussie journalist Elisa Black, this book is a ‘true story of phobias, flashbacks and freak-outs and how Elisa got her ‘inner calm back’. I wouldn’t describe this as a self help book although I certainly did find it helpful. Rather than telling us what anxiety is, why we have it and how to control it, Elisa simple tells her own story. And she tells its with great honesty. I could relate to a lot of what Elisa had to say, and had many ‘a-ha’ moments throughout the book. So many times it was like she reached into my body, pulled out my thoughts and feelings and put them into words. The biggest thing I took away from this book was that I am not alone and I am not crazy! If you suffer from anxiety I highly recommend you read this book. If you don’t suffer from anxiety but know someone who does then I still highly recommend you read it; it might just help you to understand

The Anti Cool Girl: Rosie Waterland is an Australian writer best known for her hilarious recaps of The Bachelor on the Mamamia Website (you can check them out here). If you’re a fan of Rosie’s writing then you will absolutely love this memoir. She does not shy away from anything, letting you in on all of the sordid details of her upbringing, with chapter titles like ‘Your mum will be a sex worker, and you’ll have no idea’, ‘You will get caught masturbating while watching rugrats’ and ‘Your friends will find a dead body in the bush and it will be your dad’. Rosie’s writing is totally in you face, if I’m honest at some points I squirmed; felt a bit uncomfortable. Rosie’s story is actually really sad and tragic but she has a way of poking fun at everything; I guess it’s the reason she survived and has become the success she is today.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these? Any books you can recommend that I should read next?

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For the Love of Words

for the love of wrods, www.sarahdipity.com.au

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a lover of words; both as a reader and a writer. I guess maybe I get it from my parents. My Mum is an avid reader, she always has a book on her bedside table. Growing up she would read whatever book my sister and I were reading, whether it be for school or pleasure. As adults we still regularly swap books with each other. My Dad, whilst not much of a reader or writer still has a great love for words; through song. He’s known to regularly instruct others to “listen to the words” as he turns up a tune. Growing up my sister and I would endure hours of Elton John in the car. I say endure because back then my sister and I hated it. Now, I have more of an appreciation of good music and don’t mind a bit of Elton John. My Dad always used to always say “Listen to the words. Do you know the story behind this song?” There was always a story. The story behind Tears in Heaven, and Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Needless to say my tiny mind was blown when I really listened to the words of Lola by The Kinks.

As a kid I loved to write stories and as a teenager I used to spend hours writing down the lyrics to songs; I could even manage to find deep meaning in a Limp Bizkit song (true story). I had a little notebook where I would write down my favourite sayings and quotes…I still have it tucked away in a drawer somewhere. Somewhere along the line I forgot about my love for words, I wouldn’t say I lost it because I’m sure it never went away, it was always there just under the surface, I just got a bit distracted by….life. That happens. But the past few years I’ve rediscovered my love of words; I’m reading and writing more than I have before. This year I even started to get paid for my writing…which is both wonderful and weird all at the same time. I try not to get too caught up in that because I know that when money become the reason for things the love can often die and I really don’t want that. I want to keep writing and reading just because I love it and if it that opens up to other things then that’s awesome too.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk by one of my all time favourite authors, John Marsden. Growing up my sister and I were obsessed with the Tomorrow When the War Begun series and my Mum joined us in our obsession. We listened to John talk for an hour about writing and words. Something in particular he said really stuck with me. He was talking about children and how they are so open and free in the way they use their words; often mashing them up and inventing new ones. He said we end up squashing that imagination with rules; all the rules about how we must/musn’t use words. We crush their confidence and that can often cause them to retreat. Isn’t that heartbreaking? He gave the example of a time when he took his English class to a cliff face looking out towards the ocean and asked the to write about what they saw. One girl began writing something along the lines of “the sparkling blue ocean…” and John groaned, not only because it wasn’t original but also because that wasn’t what the girl saw at all. In fact, the weather was horrible that day, there was no sun and the storm clouds were rolling in causing the sea to be a menacing dark grey colour. But the girl still described it as ‘the sparkling blue ocean’ probably because she had heard that description so many times before. She couldn’t think outside of the box.  I think it’s an important thing for both teachers and parents to remember; to allow our children the freedom to express themselves in whatever way they want, whether that be through words or something else. Let’s not limit their creativity with rules. And as adults let’s do the same. Forget about the ‘rules’ to being a  great writer and a perfect blogger, forget about what you should/shouldn’t do, just write. Write for the love of words, because there’s great power to be found in just that.

Are you a word lover? Where do you think it comes from?

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Living and Loving Lately

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It’s been a bit of a crappy week in our household; one by one we’ve been struck down by the dreaded gastro. So not fun. And it’s been raining here, a lot (hello Melbourne it’s meant to be Spring!) After days of being cooped up inside watching TV, reading books and sleeping (amongst all the vomiting and cleaning up of said vomit) I decided to cheer myself up by making a bit of a list of all the awesome stuff I’ve been doing and things I’ve been loving lately. Here we go:

Reading: The only upside to all of the recent rainy days we’ve had in Melbourne? Lots of time for reading. I’ve read Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It; a quick, easy and inspiring read and Craft for the Soul; a super sweet book. Also The Wrong Girl which was total chick lit at it’s finest. I can’t wait until the TV series starts this month. Next up on my bedside table is The Anxiety Book…anyone read that?

Workshopping: I’ve been wanting to do a Digital Picnic workshop for a long time (ever since they started really). So last month I finally booked in and took myself off to the Get Social Savvy workshops. After following both Cherie and Cat online for many years it was so nice to finally meet them in real life. We talked all things social media, ate cupcakes and drank from pineapple cups…fun!

Staycation: Hubby, the lil man and I had ourselves a little staycation in Melbourne to celebrate fathers day and hubby’s birthday. I picked up a Groupon and we stayed at The Parkiew which was the perfect little base for both exploring the city and staying indoors. We spoilt ourselves with the movie channel and room service. It was so much fun. We’re going to do it more often!

Podcasts: Always the podcasts. I listen to them when I’m walking, driving and cooking dinner. Current faves include #MerryBiz, Aussie Bloggers Podcast, The Well and So you want to be a writer

DIY: In case you missed it, earlier this week I shared a little DIY project I recently did (you can check it out here). I’m somewhat in love and have many more DIY projects planned for the near future so stay tuned!

Friends: Seriously I have the best friends in the world, it’s true. To every friend who has called or messaged and checked in on me lately (you know who you are) thank you, it means a lot.

But above all, after making this hard decision recently I’ve just been enjoying taking it slow; reading, writing, spending time with my family and my friends. We’ve had a couple of days where the sunshine came out and it was wonderful (more of that please Melbourne!) And of course school/kinder holidays have officially started for us so I’m looking forward to spending even more time with my boy.

Tell me, what have you been loving lately? Share all the good things!

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DIY Project: Dark to white wooden cabinet for under $30!

DIY Project, dark to white wood cabinet, chalk paint, www.sarahdipity.com.au

A couple of months ago my Mum was doing a clean out and decided she wanted to get rid of an old cabinet she had and asked if I wanted it. I looked at the cabinet and could immediately see it’s potential and how great it would look in white  but because of it’s curves and intricate details I decided it would be way to much hard work to sand back. So I took a pic and popped it up on my facebook page to see if anyone else wanted it. The amazing Pip Lincolne commented straight away, something to the affect of “Don’t get rid of that. It would look amazing painted white!” I replied that I agreed but couldn’t be bothered sanding it all back. “You don’t need to” replied Pip “Check this out“. Turns our Pip had written a post about painting a similar cabinet without the need to sand. Say what?! I immediately removed the post from my facebook page (before someone else snapped up the cabinet) and headed off to read Pip’s post.

DIY Project, dark to white wood cabinet, chalk paint, www.sarahdipity.com.au

Unfortunately there wasn’t a stockist of the Annie Sloan chalk paint nearby so I headed to our local Bunnings to see if they had something similar. Turns out they had lots of chalk paint, just not the colour I wanted! So I asked the helpful Bunnings lady who told me that I could totally make my own chalk paint, it was super easy and cheap too. Winning! So yes, turns out you can make your own chalk paint by mixing normal paint with Plaster of Paris.

Here’s what I used:

Plaster of Paris ($7 for a 1kg bag. You only need a very small amount but this was the smallest bag Bunnings had).

Paint (I got three sample pots totaling 1.5 litres. $7.50 per pot).

Paintbrushes (I already had some at home but you can pick these up from Bunning for a few dollars).

Door knobs (I had some I wanted to use at home but again you can get these from Bunnings for a few dollars).

Total: $29.50

Here’s what I did:

Mixed 2 1/2 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cool water. Then I added 1 cup of paint and used an old wooden spatula to mix it all together thoroughly.

Dusted off the cabinet and removed the glass; I could easily do this as the cabinet had little swig tabs holding the glass in place but if I was unable to remove the glass I could’ve easily just taped around the edges.

Slapped on the first coat of paint…and I really mean slapped on. My five year old helped do the first coat and we all know how kids paint!

DIY dark to white wooden cabinet, chalk paint, www.sarahadipity.com.au

I allowed it to dry for a few hours then put on a second coat. Once that dried I then put on one final coat of just plain paint (without the plaster of paris mixed in) to give it a bit more of a glossy finish. I screwed on some new knobs, put the glass back in and voila, the finished product….

DIY Project, dark to white wood cabinet, chalk paint, www.sarahdipity.com.au

Add a few pretty pieces to and I’m in love…

DIY Project, dark to white wood cabinet, chalk paint, www.sarahdipity.com.au

What do you think? Now that I know this can be done so easily I have my eye on a few other old pieces we have lying around in the garage to fix up! Stay tuned…

blog signature, www.sarahdipity.com.auA big thank you to Pip for her super helpful advice!

 

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On beauty, having an amazinger face and meeting Zoe Foster Blake in the bathroom

Two weeks ago my sister and I were lucky enough to attend the official launch of Zoe Foster Blake’s new book Amazinger Face. I say lucky because apparently there ended up being over three thousand disappointed ladies who tried to get tickets but missed out. I thought we’d missed out too. After sending an email to the booking address I also called and put my name down on the list. Hours of waiting in anticipation later (and people starting to lose their shit on social media) I received an email to say sorry, the event had sold out within three minutes and we’d been placed on a waiting list. Bummer. One hour later I received another email confirming our spot; hooray we were in! Now time to get our pretty on….

amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

                                        My sister and I.

For those of you who don’t know Zoe is married to Hamish Blake (one half of the Hamish and Andy show) but is a celebrity in her own right. She is a journalist, published author and worked as the beauty editor under Mia Freedman at Cosmopolitan for several years. Amazinger Face is a fully revised and updated version of her original beauty book Amazing Face.

amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

                               Hi Zoe!

The launch was held over brunch at the Langham. I’d never been to the Langham before but had heard good things and let me tell you it did not disappoint! I felt fancy as soon as I walked in the doors. The food was amazing; we’re talking fluffy pancakes with Lindt chocolate sauce and meringues, fresh croissants, fruit platters and pretty bottles of waters with straws (see, fancy).

Amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

As soon as we’d found our seat (on table 1 if ‘ya don’t mind) I headed off to the bathroom. When I walked in I noticed out the corner of my eye someone standing in front of the mirror fixing their hair but didn’t pay much attention. I stood at the basin washing my hands when I looked up and realized that said someone was in fact Zoe herself!

“Oh it’s you!” I gasped. Total fangirl moment, stay cool Sarah.

“Yes, it’s me” she replied “and I’m having a really bad hair day”. She looked stunning, as always and I told her so. I introduced myself and we chatted for a bit. As I went to walk away I had that moment where I thought to myself ‘do I ask for a photo or not?’ Not one to have any regrets I asked Zoe if taking a pic in the toilets would be inappropriate.“Umm, do you mind if we do it later after I’ve fixed my hair?” She said. She was totally nice about it but I still felt like a bit of a loser. And so I walked out without any evidence of having just met Zoe in the bathroom, hoping that she didn’t think I was a total weirdo. I quickly sent my friend (who is somewhat obsessed with Hamish and Zoe) a text. It read:

“So, me and Zoe chatting in the bathroom that just happened.” To which he replied..

“No way. What was she wearing? What were you wearing? What did she say? What did you say? Did you mention me?” See what I mean? A little obsessed.

We sat down to brunch, chatted, browsed and brought some stuff from Zoe’s Go To skin care range. I also purchased a copy of Amazinger Face and The Wrong Girl (one of Zoe’s fiction books which is being made into a TV series). Then Zoe entered the room. She gave a little speech then threw it open to the room for questions. Can I just say how awesome it is when you met someone in real life and they are just as gorgeous as you imagined they would be? Zoe was down to earth, friendly and damn funny! She has an extremely quick wit about her and had us all in stiches. At the end of her talk Zoe promised she would not leave without getting a photo with each and every person in the room and signing our books, which she did.

amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

                                    Me and Zoe.

And remember that Zoe obsessed friend of mine? Well we couldn’t have him miss out now could we….

amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

Now onto the book. I’ve read it cover to cover and have put those little sticky tabs on loads of pages. If you wear makeup, you need this book. If you don’t know how to wear makeup but want to learn, you need this book. If you want to look after your skin, learn how to tame your hair or what colour lipstick you should wear, you need this book. If you have a teenage daughter, she needs this book. Basically, I think every female should own this book. Its filled with some really great tips and tricks and need to know information. And the best bit? It’s not all about ‘looking’ good, it’s about feeling good and taking care of yourself and when it comes to beauty I think that’s the most important thing!

amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

             My goodies and signed copy of Amazinger Face.

amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

That evening after the launch I posted some pics on Instagram and who should like them but Zoe herself! I know, she probably just went through and liked everyone’s photos from the event but still, it made me feel special ha!

amazinger face, www.sarahdipity.com.au

Are you a Zoe fan? Have you picked up a copy of Amazinger Face yet? Got a fangirl moment you’d care to share?

By the way this is totally NOT a sponsored post. I have not been paid by Zoe to say how awesome she and her book are.

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Cooking Lately- New Recipes to Try

I recently set myself a goal to try cooking one new recipe a week. I was stuck in a bit of a rut and felt like I was cooking the same things over and over. It’s always nice to mix things up a little and try something different, so here’s what I’ve been cooking lately…..

Winter is the perfect time for soup so I made up a big batch of Jamie Oliver’s Tomato Soup. I added some mini pasta shells to make it a bit more filling and we had it for dinner one night. Was surprised that our four year old son (who never eats soup) gobbled it down! Definitely a winner and super easy to make.

Jamie Oliver Tomato Soup, www.sarahdipity.com.au

I’m a bit obsessed with loaves at the moment. They’re so easy to make and you can cut them up and freeze them for a stockpile of lunchbox snacks. We tried making this Coconut and Lemon Yoghurt Loaf recipe by Kidgredients. Oh my god, so yummy!!

coconut and lemon yoghurt loaf, www.sarahdipity.com.au

Do you ever pick up the free Woolworths Fresh magazine? It has some really good recipes in it! Last week I made the Lemon Chicken, Peas and Rice. Hubby thought it was delicious, our son thought it was disgusting and I wasn’t too sure….the verdict is out on this one but it was very easy to make was something a bit different at least!

lemon chicken, peas and rice, www.sarahdipity.com.au

What have you been cooking lately? Got any yummy recipes I can try?

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My Life Coaching Experience (and a special offer for you!)

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Back in April I received an email from a total stranger. She had come across my blog post on Creativity and Career and decided to reach out to me. Her name was Katie and she was studying at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy to become a life coach. In order to graduate she need to coach three clients pro-bono and after reading my post she wondered if I’d be interested in giving life coaching a go. I jumped at the chance. I’d always been interested in life coaching and was curious to see what I would get out of it. Last week was my final session with Katie and I’ve since had a few people ask me what it was like so I thought I would share my experience with you all and offer you all the chance to give it a go too (stay tuned for that bit at the end).

So, once I agreed to work with Katie I completed a personalised survey and answered a few questions which gave us somewhere to start. From there, we worked on setting some main goals that I wanted to work on. I managed to settle on two main goals:

  • Practice self care so I feel the most energised I can and
  • Nurture my creativity and create a clear strategy for my blog and freelance writing.

Over the next three months Katie and I caught up via Skype every two weeks. We would begin each session by looking at those two main goals and then breaking them down into small, manageable steps that I could action over the following fortnight. I found the whole process really helpful. Katie was so easy to talk to and I felt she really understood where I was coming from. Knowing that I would be speaking to her every two weeks gave me some accountability; I knew she would be following up how I went with the actions I had set and so that gave me the extra motivation to actually do it! A lot of it was about exploring and seeing what worked best for me; some things worked, some things didn’t; we were able to recognise that and change things up when needed. We did a lot of work; from meal planning and trying different exercise regimes to mind mapping and developing a writing plan; we fit a lot into the six sessions!

So how did I feel at the end of it? What did I actually get out of it? Well, at the end of the six sessions I feel as though I am now so much clearer about everything; what I want and what I don’t, where my priorities lie and what’s important to me. In our final session we reflected on my journey and Katie pointed out that she thought I had a real turning point at about week three and I total agree. It was when this happened. I suddenly had several different opportunities come my way. One was quite a big opportunity that in the past I probably would’ve just said yes to (because I have this problem with saying no). But this time, because I was becoming clearer about what I wanted, I said no. I followed my gut instincts and I found the confidence to say no and it ended up being totally the right decision. Because here’s the biggest thing I discovered through my life coaching experience; when you say no to the things you don’t really want to do it leaves space to say yes to the things that you really do. Seems simple doesn’t it? But sometimes it takes some work to figure out exactly what it is that you do want to do!

So right now, I’m in a really good place. I’m doing work that I love, I’ve had a few articles published and have actually started to get paid for my writing (a dream I’ve held for a very long time). I’ve got lots of exciting things going on and even better things planned for the future. So yes, life coaching was totally worth it and I will continue putting in place the things I learnt from it.

Now, for the exciting part. Katie has just launched her very own coaching business. Katie has a background in PR so she is going to be focusing on working with entrepreneurs and business owners in this area. Here’s a bit about it:

life coaching, www.sarahdipity.com.au

 

Although Katie is specialising in PR Coaching she has graciously offered to open up some spaces in her life coaching series to any of my readers who
may be interested. Katie will be offering this at a special introductory rate of $250 a month (two sessions a month) totalling $750 for the six part series. If you’re interested you can email Katie directly at info@katiemaynes.com I’d really encourage anyone who is considering life coaching to get in contact with Katie and give it a go!

Have you ever considered life coaching?

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Loving

Loving...www.sarahdipity.com.au

A happy, positive post today; Winter can be a bit of a drainer so I just wanted to share with you all some things that I’m loving lately….

1. Lunch Lady Magazine: People have been raving about this magazine since it first came out last year and I finally got my hands on a copy. I absolutely loved issue 3 so much that I have since ordered issues 1 and 2. If you’ve haven’t check this magazine out yet, get onto it people! You can buy it online here.

2. The Merrymaker Sisters: Love these girls! They’re like little balls of energy and sunshine. I’m addicted to their podcast and recently signed up for their free ‘find your perfect diet’ e-course which I found really useful. Their recipes are great too; hello gluten free, sugar free chocolate self saucing pudding!

3. Reading: I’ve been trying to do this every night before bed instead of scrolling through my phone (much better for winding down). I’ve just finished The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is the first fiction novel of hers that I’ve read. I have to admit it took me a little bit to get into; I’m not really a fan of historic novels but it ended up drawing me in and towards the end I couldn’t put it down. It is an epic novel, and whilst I didn’t exactly ‘love’ it I can certainly appreciate the beauty in it and what an amazingly intricate piece of writing it is.

4. Being part of The Melbourne Mum Squad. This fun idea put together by Bron from Flat Bum Mum, Erin from The Mum’s Group and Tegan from Bump into Mums is all about giving Melbourne mums the chance to meet up, catch up and chat. For their first event we’re heading out to drinks and a private screening of  the new movie Bad Moms  (which looks hilarious by the way!) There are still tickets available so if you want in just head here and be sure to sign up to the Melbourne Mum Squad to be in the loop on future events.

5. Make up. Yes, make up. You see I’ve never been much of a make up wearer, but my bestie has recently started selling Younique make up and I’ve fallen in love with it! My sister and I recently took ourselves off to a make up course (something we’ve both wanted to do for years) and after learning how to apply it properly I now feel more confident about wearing make up. So I’m slowing saving and buying up the things I want. If you want to check out the Younique range head to my friend Kat’s website here.

6. Speaking of make up, Zoe Foster-Blake is officially launching her new beauty book ‘Amazinger Face’ this month and guess who’s going to be brunching with Zoe at The Langham Melbourne to celebrate? Yep me! I’m super excited to both meet Zoe and check out her new book which you can pre-order here now. Of course I headed straight to instagram for a public vote on what I should wear…I ended up choosing this pretty number from Feather and Noise.

7. Being part of the new Kiddipedia website; I’d love you to head over and check out my first article ‘Talking to kids about the hard stuff’

8. Dance exercise videos. No seriously, don’t laugh! I’ve always struggled with exercising on a regular basis and find it even more of a challenge during winter so I recently plugged my ipad into the TV and looked up ‘dance exercise videos’ on youtube. The best thing is I can do it from the comfort of my own home, regardless of the weather and my son loves it too. We pump up the volume and dance around the lounge room, it’s fun and is also a really good, quick workout. I think I may have finally found my thing!

9. My new role and that my awesome new boss has been nominated for the AusMumpreneur Awards. You can vote for her here by selecting ‘Brooke Findley’ in category four.

10. This yummy coconut and lemon yoghurt loaf, I made it on Sunday night for lunches this week and my god it is good!

Other things I’m loving: camp outs in the lounge room, hot baths,  spending lots of quality time with my boys and sunny winter days.

What are you loving right now?

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A Winter Family Giveaway!

Big Freeze Festival, www.sarahdipity.com.au

Heads up Melbourne Families, The Big Freeze Festival is coming to town! Being held at the Cranbourne Racecourse 2 to 10 July this brand new event is an indoor winter wonderland for kids of all ages. The festival is split into a bunch of different zones with a variety of fun activities including snow play, arts and crafts, construction zones, live performances, workshops and more! You can read all about it here. And while you’re there you can also read my article ‘Winter Warming Family Activities.”

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And guess what? I’ve got  2 adults and 2 child super pass tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader to attend the festival opening on Saturday 2 July. This is what the tickets will give you:

  • Snow play session the snow pit
  • Bucket of snow for snow ball toss
  • Unlimited slide rides
  • Snowfall forest
  • Giant snow globe
  • Snow village
  • Superhero training circuit
  • Little Shredders snowboarding come’n’try
  • LEGO play
  • An art activity
  • Live performances
  • 1-2 workshops
  • BONUS! 4 Park Pass to Phillip Island Nature Parks (Penguin Parade, Antarctic Journey, Koala Conservation Centre & Churchill Island Heritage Farm) valid until Dec 25, 2016

Pretty awesome huh? To win, all you have to do is tell me what your favourite thing about Winter is in the comments below.

And a bit of boring (but important) stuff: Entries close 9am Friday 24 June. Winner to be announced shortly following that time. You must be available to attend the festival on Saturday 2 July, snow pit session time will be allocated when the winner’s tickets are processed based on availability. This is a game of skill and the winner will be chosen by me!

Good luck everyone!

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