My Top Reads - 3 books I'd highly recommend

1) Paris Time Capsule - Ella Carey

Published in 2014 this novel is based on a true story of a Paris apartment that had been locked up and abandoned for seventy years. It has mystery and romance and will transport you to France where secrets will be uncovered.

2) The Dry - Jane Harper

Crime/mystery is not my usual read of choice but this book had me up til all hours, unable to put it down. Set in outback Australia, in a small town where everyone thinks they know everything, until one day something tragic happens and leaves everyone wondering 'who did it?'

3) The Light Between Oceans - M.L Stedman 

This is a heart-breaking story so have your tissues ready. This novel will take you to a remote island off the Western Coast of Australia where a couple make a life changing decision that not only alters their own life, but the lives of many others as well. It goes deep into a mother's love for a child and have you wondering about truth, lies, morals and forgiveness.

What I've Learned So Far

Here's a few things I've learned in my thirties...

Be vulnerable
There is beauty in vulnerability. It is honest, powerful and a good way to live an authentic life.
When we make ourselves vulnerable, we open ourselves up to others and make deeper connections with people. Relationships are strengthened when someone says 'I need help' 'I'm finding this hard' 'I don't know what I'm doing'.

Be kind
It costs nothing to be kind and it makes us happier people. It takes more energy to hold resentment and to hate than it does to forgive and be kind.
Little things you do for others may be big things to them. Even a smile can change someone's day.
And don't forget about yourself. Being kind to yourself is such a nice gift to give yourself, don't you think?

Discern what matters and then ...
Don't waste time and energy on things that don't matter
The older I get, the less time I have for sweating the small stuff. There are things that matter and things that just really don't. Work out what matters to you and immerse yourself in those things. Move away from people who bring you down and get rid of things that make you heavy.

Now is the time
Because there is no better time than right now. Today. This moment. We are living and dying at the same time, so all we really have for sure, is right now. Don't dwell on what's already behind you and don't search too far ahead.

If you have your health, you have everything
Nothing matters more than the health of your family and yourself. Because once you don't have it? Nothing else matters. So what i'm saying is, look after yourself.

Find contentment
Don't search for happiness. Find contentment instead.
Life has its ups and downs - accept that and try to roll with it. Some days will be horrible and other days will be full of joy. Perfection doesn't exist so stop the endless, exhausting search for it. Give yourself a break and just LET GO. What you do and who you are is enough.

3 Ingredient Choc-Chip Cookies

These are so simple and so yummy for a quick morning or afternoon snack and make the perfect lunchbox treat.

2 medium sized ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups oats
1/3 cup choc chips

Pre heat oven to 200C
Mash the banana until smooth and all the lumps are removed.
Stir in the oats and choc chips.
Place heaps teaspoons onto a lined or greased baking tray.
Bake in oven for approx 10-15 minutes (until lightly golden).

Let them cool slightly before serving.
Keep in air tight container in the fridge.

Picking up the camera again

Today I took my three to the beach, grabbing the camera before we headed out the door.
I'm so glad I did. I am keen to start taking more photos again and practising shooting on manual.

Boring is Okay

2018 for me is being content with the fact that life has its ups and downs. We have our highs and we have our lows and the majority of in-between is just, well, rather boring. Boring is okay with me. Boring is sometimes wonderful in its normalcy.

I am trying to teach my children this as well. These past school holidays have had many highs and many lows. Emotions are all over the place and it feels like we still haven't caught up on much rest.
When we do manage a simple day at home the children wander around saying they are hungry or bored - this is always followed by an incredulous look from me. There are Christmas gifts which still haven't even been played with! I quietly like that they can experience 'boredom' as it means they need to find something to do, discover, search, create without an obvious guideline.

A 'boring' life suits me just fine for the majority of the time. It doesn't have to have negative connotations. It's the in-between of high and low, excitement and dullness, happy and sad. Really I think we expect to be happy and we expect our kids to be happy too much of the time. I know I spend way too much of my time trying to make my children happy. The fact is, they are okay. They are cared for, well fed and they are loved - probably living a life that's amazing in comparison to many unfortunate children in this world.
So yes, boring is okay. Boring is more than okay, and I for one am at peace with the boring, simple, ordinary days.