Journey to Self…

SONY DSCIn the busy lifestyle many people lead, it is difficult to find anytime for yourself. I recently attended a seminar for women in business and was pleasantly surprised by what I learned.

I thought I was going to gain the secret code to running a successful business, and in many ways I suppose that is what I learnt. However, the secret code wasn’t a mathematical formula that I simply had to apply and instantly my business would triple in profits. The secret code was me. I had to indulge myself on spending quality time reflecting on my last, my present and my future, visualising what I saw.

PAST – I learnt that from a little girl, I have always tried to make other happy. I would change who I was to mirror the people around me. If those around were unhappy, I would blame myself, often punishing myself for not being the person they thought I should be.

PRESENT – My chosen career reflects the woman I have always been. I make beautiful books for families who have lost loved ones, cherishing those memories ( I am still trying to make people happy at their saddest hour.

FUTURE – I can see my wonderful family laughing as we venture on another family holiday. I can see the success of my business, feeling a sense of achievement that I am making a difference in people’s lives. I AM HAPPY.

By indulging in myself, I have not only altered my path but those around me that I care deeply about. When have you taken time to improve yourself?

cheers natalie

The most self-indulgent thing that I think I do is read. I love reading and I always have and it it’s one of things I do just for me and not for anyone else. I also love to write and by write, I do mean write things other than blog posts. I love writing about anything that comes to mind but usually gory or depressing stories (mum says they are my speciality).

As well as reading and writing, I love to listen to music. I am one of those people who desperately fails at anything to do with music, except for listening to it. I love the way I can lose myself in the lyrics. I also love being able to distract myself from anything that’s going on in the world.

When it comes to my body, I love playing sports. Whether it’s playing in my team for netball and basketball, or a lesson of PE at school, I absolutely love it. I do quite a lot of exercise and love how energised it makes me feel. As much as I have to do PE and I am committed to my sporting teams, I play these sports because I enjoy them and want to do them for me.

Something I wish I would do for myself is running. I am not a very good runner but I wish I was. Every time I decide to start getting fitter and going for more runs, I find an excuse or some reason why I can’t do it that night. If I could do one more thing for myself it would be running because after I go for a run, I usually feel really good about myself.



Book Review – “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman

imagesIf I Stay, by Gayle Forman, is basically one of the most heart wrenching novels I’ve ever read. I got so attached to Mia, the protagonist, and cried anytime she had an even remotely sad thought. I fell in love with Adam, her boyfriend, as her entire relationship played out before me from the beginning.

The book is written a bit weirdly. Mia’s family died in a car crash. Mia was also in the car and was critically injured. The story follows Mia as she makes the decision whether or not she decides to stay on earth and live or whether she wants to die and join her family. The story is set in two different times, Mia reliving her past (whether with Adam or her family) and Mia as she watches herself undergo surgery.

The story is like an emotional roller-coaster. One second I was laughing at a funny memory and the next I am crying after Mia receives heartbreaking news. I cried for a good fifty percent of the book (but that might have something to do with the fact that I am apparently a big sook who cries at everything). The novel is so well written it’s really hard to remember that I am not Mia.

I think that If I Stay is appropriate for people over the age of twelve purely because of the overwhelming tear factor I felt throughout the whole book. I also think it is directed more towards girls mainly because I can’t see either my brother or my dad enjoying it. I think this is a “chick flick” book like The Notebook or My Sisters Keeper.


If I stay by Gayle Forman is book based around how one decision can have a major impact on your life. The main character Mia, a senior school student, is involved in a car accident where her life has been affected in irreparable  ways. It is ultimately up to Mia to decide whether she dies or whether she lives.

Mia’s inner soul is watching over her body in the hospital, analysing the life she had and the life she will have if she lives. Her interactions with her boyfriend Adam, her family members and her best friend Kim, aid in her making the ultimate decision, one I hope never to make.

Yes it was an emotional book but I found I couldn’t relate to the characters in the first half of the book and only began to understand them in the later half. It was an easy read, even though it contained serious themes. Would recommend it but be ready for a slow start.

cheers natalie


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Bali Holiday

SONY DSCIMG_1337People get excited over lots of different things. Some of the things I get excited most about are; school holidays, Christmas, my birthday, going on a holiday, movie release, book release, getting tickets to see my favourite band live in concert and getting to sleep in. Of course I get excited over little things too (usually the little things that no one else cares about, like my favourite TV show being renewed for two more seasons!!!) but, generally speaking, it doesn’t usually take much to get me excited.

The reason this topic has come up is because we are going to Bali very shortly. Our whole family has been counting down how long we have left until we leave (yes we do that) and are currently in the final days of waiting before we can leave. I can’t wait until we can leave as Bali is one of my favourite places I’ve ever been (we went there a couple of years ago.) Being excited is something that some people hate but some people love. I, personally, love the feeling of being excited.

There is nothing better than having something to look forward to. Whether it be school holidays or going for a run after school, being excited seriously helps to get through the boring things such as school or work. I love having something to think about when I’m bored which is part of the reason I can’t wait to go to Bali. I love looking forward to something so much that when I actually experience the thing I have been excited over, it feels just that little bit better.


Teenagers and stress…


I don’t remember stressing about much as a teenager but one thing I know made me feel sick in the stomach was exams. Even though Ashlea is not quite doing exams, she must complete end of term testing in all her subjects. I haven’t seen a change in her behaviour, in fact, she seems to thrive on the testing and loves getting her results.

When teenagers are dealt with a difficult or an uncommon situation, how do they handle this in our busy world of technology? There is nowhere to hide now, and many teenagers feel the pressure ( or the perceived pressure) unsure of how to handle their emotions.

Teenagers see themselves through other people, constantly comparing. Friends are a major influence on teenagers and many will mimic their peers when it comes to handling stress. The last thing we want as parents is to find children turning to alcohol, drugs or other substances to elevate stress. Parents are still major influences on young teenagers and if they see their parents unable to cope with daily stresses, often the child will develop the same coping mechanism. Asking for help when the situation becomes too difficult is essential when dealing with stress and allowing the teenager to understand that there is always someone who can take on some of their burden. Some quick ways to handle stressful situations:

  1. Taking 10 deep breaths before taking any action.

  2. Sleeping on the problem makes the mind clearer.

  3. Taking time out, gene to go for a walk without distractions can help clear the mind.

Another great way to communicate with a teenager on handling stress is to have boundaries in place. As a parent, it is our job to set up the safest learning environment possible, giving our children the highest chance to succeed. This environment requires boundaries, safe and secure boundaries which children may try to move, but overall feel a sense of security within them.

Finally, try to put the situation into perspective for the child. Often they see only the one event which is causing them stress. It is our role as parents to show them the bigger picture, guiding them in the direction of their goals with as minimal of stress as possible.

How do you teach your teenager to handle stress?

cheers natalie

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