holiday check-in + my staycation essentials

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Now unless you are only just dropping in here today, you would know I’ve had some holidays [from the full-time paying job only].

But it was only a staycation with the start of the school year so I’ve made sure to inject a little bit of that holiday feeling while also making sure I didn’t waste those precious days.

Now to be honest, I head back to work  today with a jumble of thoughts in my head and a feeling of unpreparedness.

It’s more about the things I didn’t quite get to, not all were on the list, and not enough focus on the things I did do.

You might remember I had a list. And it’s check in time!

  • Organise a morning yoga routine ~ I started putting this together but neither started a daily yoga practice or locked one in. I did, however, pick up a treadmill for some more exercise!
  • Do the taxes [big frog] ~ I didn’t finish but got all the tough stuff out of the way. I should be able to easily complete this one evening or on the weekend.
  • Sort out a blog editorial calendar ~ I did manage to sort out a couple of weeks and draft out some posts in advance. 
  • Maybe restart pay more attention to the newsletter/shop/associated blogs and new ideas [we’ll see] ~ newsletter, tick [going out today]. The rest, not so much.
  • Clean the study [may not get anything else done if I start this …] ~ can we talk about something else … [that would be a no, didn’t even manage to clear my desk]
  • Relax, read, rest ~ tick, tick, tick. I did, this, probably a little too well!
  • Find my pen [lost my favourite pen – it has to be around here somewhere!] ~ no luck on the pen front unfortunately.
  • Get better at regular baking ~ I did do a good cook-up on Sunday afternoon with muffins, nut and seed bread and a soup that will see use through the first few days. 
  • Drop off dry cleaning [this is what we call a doable task] ~ have yet to pick up dry cleaning *face palm*
  • Go to optometrist [appointment tomorrow] ~ did, done and got new glasses.

So all in all, I give myself a pass. I think if in the holiday wash-up I clear my desk a bit and finish off those taxes I might feel a little better and raise it to a credit.


But it wasn’t all a bust so I’ve put together a short, simple list of a few things you need to get that holiday feeling, anywhere, anytime.

  • A plan ~ so a lovely fresh notebook [like this one from kikki k ~ appropriately from the why not? range] to write all  those lists and ideas in.
  • Banana lounge and umbrella from Bunnings. [Bonus, it can be used at anytime.]
  • Sunscreen and a hat if you’re relaxing in the rays.
  • A pile of reading pleasure ~ perhaps fill your trolley at Bookworld.
  • Time for a little pamper ~ head to your local salon for some me time. Me, I’m a Dermalogica fan.
  • Portable speaker so you can have your favourite tunes everywhere you go.



starting high school … what I learnt


This year was another one of those milestone years for us as the eldest started high school.

We are in a slightly unique position in that he is going to my old high school where some of my teachers are still imparting wisdom [and, as he has already discovered, remember me].

He also came from one of their “feeder” schools which meant he had an excellent transition program which featured four separate visits to the school, not to mention the primary school used the high school for its annual presentation ceremony.

So starting school last week, there were few surprises. But we have a little bit of an Anxious Andy and he even though he appeared comfortable and laidback, I was worried it might all hit home about 8.30am on the first day.

A week in and, aside from a few nervous moments, he is soldiering on quite well.

There were a few simple things we did though that I think helped him on the first few days that I wanted to share, for when you cross this bridge, but also so I remember when No.2 faces this hurdle in a couple of years’ time.

  1. We made sure we knew as much as possible heading in that initial day, re-read the introduction letter, what he needed to take and walked him to the first gathering in the hall before making a dignified exit. [Apparently it is not cool for parents to stay, once you get to high school, so you know.]
  2. I pre-armed him with options. Take a book to read for that moment you end up in the playground waiting for your friends. Take a spare exercise book until we work out which book is which for your subjects. Walk home with this person but if their mum tells me they are not walking home after all, I will meet you at this location. Little things to have in reserve in case things don’t work out as expected.
  3. Set up predetermined routes, meet-ups and times if your little [and not-so-little] one is a little nervous about arriving alone. Especially at large schools when in the second and third days more students are filling out the grounds.
  4. History will repeat. Seven years later, our first days in Year 7 were remarkably similar to our start back in kindergarten, albeit with a lot less tears. While the first day was surprisingly easy, the second day is always less so and that early confidence can desert them. Be aware and refer to point three.
  5. Don’t make a fuss. Yes, it’s a big step and it should be marked in history accordingly but they will be a mirror to your attitude. An elder remarked on this very thing to me on No.1 son’s seemingly devil-may-care approach to starting high school and I realised that while we had expressed much excitement and wow, it’s going to be different, we had also taken a very much “you’ll be right”, and he believed in that, too.

As someone much wiser than me once said, “I’m not going to say it will be easy …”, but with the first days out of the way, we’re ready to tackle each obstacle as it comes, get used to the homework that’s due to descend any day now and hope that we continue to build resilience, compassion and strength in our charge.

How have you found the new school year?



what are you reading?


I got on to a really good reading kick a little while back.

The local library is just across the way from my office so it was nothing to saunter across to return my books, borrow some more and settle in at home for some reading time.

One week I was so enthralled with my books, my blog reader [ie. feedly] was completely out of control and in four figures while I eschewed online for the printed page.

As easily as it began, I’ve slipped out of this habit*. I returned my books but didn’t bring home any more. And I can’t quite bring myself to buy one that I know I will probably only read once.

But I have a holidays coming up and surely, some days languishing with a good book will be high on the agenda.

What are you reading at the moment? Or got a long-held favourite? Got any recommendations? 

PS. Sir Richard Steele was  was an Irish writer and politician from the 17th century, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine The Spectator.

* Not sure reading free romance novels on my iPad Kindle app while the husband watches the football counts as reading, or good exercise for the mind at any rate!

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