Friday, October 30, 2009

12 word story

This is such a fun idea for a Friday afternoon - Nambucca Valley Youth Services Centre is running a competition: tell your story in 12 words. The comp's called 12 words (caught you by surprise hey!) It's pretty fun - give it a go if you feel like it! (Don't forget to let me know if you enter too.. )

To enter the competition you need to be under 25 years but they still want others to contribute - just for a bit of fun :o)

Here's mine: Life is like a box of chocolates. It's over way too quickly.

What's yours?

PS - The very lovely Cath from SquiggleMum will be chatting about blogging tonight on connect2mums and giving away all her advice and tips (that's what I'm hoping anyway!) If you want to pick the brain of a very successful, award winning blogger (already, even though she's only been doing it for about 11 months - I think), then register and join in. The chat will stream from 8pm-9pm Qld time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's your take on Halloween?

Is it just me? It seems that Halloween in Australia is really taking off, last year it barely made a ripple. This year it's everywhere!

It's interesting to hear everyone's differing opinions. I'd love to hear about what you're doing this Halloween. If you're celebrating, how will you celebrate? Will you take your kids trick or treating or will they go with a group of friends? Do you stock up on treats to give out to trick or treaters? If you're not into Halloween, how will you approach 'trick or treating' children on your doorstep and why have you decided not to participate?

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think so in the spirit of sharing opinions, here's mine (assuming that you're the least bit interested!);

Halloween has been a hot topic this week in our household. My husband and I decided not to celebrate Halloween a few years back, when the American tradition became popular here. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it's an American tradition. Do we really have to follow along with everything the Yanks do? Surely we're creative and inventive enough to think up a fun celebration of our own. I think so! Don't you? We are a smart bunch afterall :o)

Our second, and most important reason is that Halloween is directly opposite to our spiritual beliefs. As Christians, we believe in celebrating the good in life and not evil.

Having said that, we also believe that it isn't our job to go around telling people what they should do or believe. While talking to the kids about Halloween and our beliefs, we've made a conscious effort to make it clear that other families and friends may choose to do it for their own reasons and that that's their choice to make. As Charlotte Manson said, "It is very important that the child should not be allowed to condemn the conduct of the people about him. Whether he is right or wrong is not the question; the habit of bestowing blame will blunt his conscience." (or hers, obviously!) We have similar conversations when it comes to different words and phrases which some families allow and others don't.

So Halloween won't be happening in our family but I don't want to be stodgy and mean about it. The thought of turning away all those smiling little painted faces made me cringe, so I though of a solution. I made a daggy (but friendly) little sign to hang on our front door. I wanted to politely let people know that we didn't have anything to give for trick or treat, without ruining their night with yet another huffy - 'No, we don't have any lollies to give you!'

Here's my grass roots approach (down below). What do you think? If you were out trick or treating with your kids, would you appreciate signs on doors, indicating whether or not there are lollies inside for enthusiastic trick or treaters, or would you prefer to knock and find out that way? If you're not celebrating Halloween, will you store up lollies for the smiling faces waiting on your front step or not?

As I said above, this isn't a 'let's beat up on people with differing opinions' post - not at all! I just wanted to hear what everyone thinks about it...

Oh, and please vote in my Halloween poll, it would be muchly appreciated :o)

My daggy little Halloween sign:

Halloween kids photo above thanks to

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Kid on the Blog: SquiggleMum

Today's new kid on the blog is... (drumroll please)...

the very lovely Cath from Squiggle Mum! I enjoy reading Cath's blog regularly. It's one place where I find inspirational parenting stories and advice, without the mother-guilt. It's also refreshing to have a mum putting her ideas out there, confident enough and humble enough to do it beautifully. Cath's ideas and tips are always practical and fun. I absolutely love her site design too - it's a really good looking site! Anyway, enough of my blabbing. Let me introduce you to Cath.

Why do you blog?
I don't think you choose to be a writer. If you are one, you just are. Words choose you. I figured I might as well be doing something productive with all my words so started blogging in November last year!

Please introduce your blog.
I blog at SquiggleMum ( sharing ideas and inspiration for other mums. I write about indoor and outdoor crafts and activities for young kids, literacy, faith and parenting. I also share useful resources like my Tantrum Tracker. My background in primary education comes in very handy when blogging! I'm not a perfect mum (not even close) but I do try to have a positive outlook on parenting, and I hope my readers feel like they're having a conversation with a friend when they're at SquiggleMum.

What is your favourite blog?
Oh so hard to choose only one. My friend Christie (who I haven't actually met in real life... yet) just won Best Parenting Blog at the Nuffnang Awards in Singapore. Her blog Childhood101 is fabulous ( and packed with information about the early years.

If you had a factory, what would it do?
Dip perfectly ripe strawberries into chocolate for me and remove the stalks. 24-7.

If you could jump into a massive pool or anything, what would you choose?
sparkling bubbly mineral water in the middle of a rainforest. Heavenly. Any chance my choc-strawberry factory could be nearby...?!


I'm with you on that one Cath - rainforest, strawberries, chocolate, it's all sounding way too good to be true! Congratulations to Christie - what an amazing achievement! I'm on my way over to check her site out right now.

If you'd like to be a part of 'Let's Meet the New Kid on the Blog', please email me at

Cheers xox

Thanks for your quirky question ideas :o)

Squiggle image thanks to

Blogging inspiration

I had the luxury of going to the movies yesterday with my beautiful friend Leanne - DURING THE DAY. Wow. That's pretty decadent hey. The best part of it was what we watched: Meryl Streep in Julie&Julia. It was amazing! I'm not generally a movie drooler. I'll watch a movie once, smile and nod, maybe have a chuckle and generally move on. But not with this movie. Julie&Julia inspired me! Those bubbles of happiness ran through my veins right from the opening scene and are still floating around today. After it finished, I could've turned right around, bought another ticket and sat myself down to watch it all over again - except that I had to get Leanne to the airport, pronto!

This flick made me excited about everything all over again. Blogging, cooking and writing. If you feel like you need a bit of a chuckle and revitalise that flame within you, stroll on over to the nearest cinema and sit back and enjoy. I know, I know. It's just a casual, funny, not very life changing movie. But you never know what will be the next saviour to your senses, fanner of flames, and this movie has so done it for me. Don't laugh, it has!

Julie&Julia is based on two memoirs. One, written by Julia Child (an American cook, famous during the 60's, 70's and 80's) is about her adventures while living in France (entitled My Life in France. Quite original I thought). Julie Powell forms the other half of the equation, an unfulfilled 30 year old who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's famous cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blog about it as she goes.

Much to my great excitement, Julie still blogs! Find her here.

Let me know if you've already seen it or want to see it. Did you enjoy it too?

Have a lovely day.

Joni xox

Monday, October 26, 2009

Etsy all about Aus

Something strange happens to me when I go on Etsy. A wave of tingles rolls over my shoulders. My eyes glue themselves to the computer screen and I spend long drawn out moments, wondering whether I'd ever be clever enough to make these trinkets. I always come to the same conclusion - my Visa card would have better luck getting results via PayPal than my well meaning (but poorly executed) crafting skills. Thus said, this week's challenge suits me just perfectly. With my imaginary $200 Etsy shopping voucher in hand, I've traipsed around the store, searching for the perfect little knick knacks to call my own - virtually, of course. And even though I'm sure, in fact I know, that crafters in America, Europe, India... in fact every other country are just as clever as our crafters in Australia, I prefer to shop locally, support the neighbours, so my list is all about the Aussies and made by Aussies. Enjoy :o)

I absolutely love chunky jewellery and this massive delight by Killer Jewels is just lovely. $12 + $4 postage.

How cute is this Hi Deer card by Small Stakes! They have heaps of other gorgeous designs too. $5 + $1 postage.

You too could make this funky little character thanks to the patterns at Twinkle Kids 2. Buy the pattern for only $3.50. Delivery via email.

I saw Julie&Julia (Meryl Streep's latest flick) today and am SO inspired... both to blog and to cook. This apron sums up the movie perfectly. Available at Wonderland Avenue for $28.50 + $2.50 postage.

Isn't he cute! This little fella and his matching bibs can be found at Indigo Elephant for $27.50 + $5.50 postage. Irresistable.

Just for a bit of timeless class, this Domany design 1960's vintage dress is at Retrospace. But not for long - it's just $25 + $7 postage!

This makes my heart flutter every time I see it. The word pendant is hand stamped, hence the gorgeous effect, dripping with character. This, and a myriad of other wonderful creations, is available at Princess Allure. $41 + $4 postage. Take a look - you won't regret it!

I didn't actually spend all my magic $$, there's about $33 remaining.. perhaps I'll keep that handy for a rainy day.

This fun window shopping excursion was inspired by BlogThis Challenge #22. If you feel like it, please pop on over to to vote :o)

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Kid on the Blog: Kristalee

How exciting! The first New Kid on the Blog miniview! I blogged my idea yesterday, half expecting to be met by a deafening silence (aka empty inbox) but I was pleasantly surprised to hear from two lovely ladies, Kristalee of Lola Constance Evelyn and Number Chic from Your Number is Up!

Today we're meeting Kristalee (tune in for Number Chic's miniview next Friday). Kristalee's blog, Lola Constance Evelyn, is really something special.

Let me introduce you to Kristalee:


Joni: Why do you blog?

Kristalee: I started my blog initially as somewhere to write the birth story of my daughter who was stillborn at 41 weeks gestation. I wrote it on a blog as I thought it was somewhere I could link people to so they can decide yes I want to read it or no I don't, without it being in their face.
As it happened I found that I needed an outlet about the journey I am now on and so it continues as an account of a mother finding her way through the loss of her baby girl.

Joni: Please introduce us to your blog.

Kristalee: It is called 'Lola Constance Evelyn' named after my daughter. I would describe it as 'sometimes happy, sometimes sad and mostly a reminder of how lucky we are to have the little people in our worlds and to appreciate every moment.'

Joni: What is your favourite blog?

Kristalee: My favourite blog is 'Meet Me at Mikes'. The author is so cute as is everything about the blog.

Joni: Do you remember the last dream you had?

Kristalee: No. I have crazy, vivid dreams every night and am amazed at what has happened in my mind while sleeping and then promptly forget within seconds! My husband was talking in his sleep last night quoting the law! He is doing his Detective Training course next week and has been studying hard. He must be having fascinating dreams at the moment!
Joni: What colour is your toothbrush?

Kristalee: I have a green toothbrush at the moment.


Thanks Kristalee for sharing your story with us - what a wonderful way to get your feelings out and also to leave a lasting tribute to your beautiful little girl. May the next six months be so much better than the last. xo

PS: I must thank Cath over at Squiggle Mum for inspiring this post with her monthly Real Aussie Mum posts.

PPS: Thanks also to for giving me some question ideas :o)

PPS: If you want to be 'gotten to know' shoot me an email or just comment below... enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Volunteers, Anyone?

I've been a really slack blogger lately but let me tell you that there are many and varied reasons why. First, school holidays. That's reason enough all by itself! Secondly, we went away for a week and third, sometimes it's just great to have a break. But I'm back on the www's now and hopefully will have my lovely new site up and running sometime in the next month (or so!)

Knitting is going well. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, my five year old daughter wanted to start knitting so she could make a Trauma Teddy for sick kids. We approached it as a school holiday project but I now see that it's going to take a little longer than that... The current practise piece is very cute but, well, it's a practise piece. Not sure that the Trauma Teddy is going to happen for a while... but maybe we'll make a couple of little gifts for school friends along the way. Will keep you posted.

I've been meaning to say: Welcome to all the new followers! It's always very exciting to have a spurt in followers (even though my spurt means that I now have 16 followers. Instead of five. Everyone say woo hoo for me!) I'd love to start a new weekly activity to celebrate (I'm loving all these great blogging ideas floating around and I want to give a few a go) entitled: Let's Go Meet the New Kid on the Blog. So, the whole aim of the game is that I want to get to know the lovely people who follow my blog (and give their blog a little bit of love) - just like I love getting to know the wonderful bloggers I follow. If you want to be my very first New Kid on the Blog (and all of you would qualify for that!) and you want to answer a few short, snappy and (maybe) strange questions, flick me a quick email or comment below - whatever tickles your fancy. I look forward to hearing from you all! Don't bombard me now. I already have too much fan mail to get through as it is!

PS: I REALLY love the That Vintage earrings being given away on The Red Deer (that's them up above) so this is my little plug. The earrings are gorgous, so go take a peek - you won't regret it!

PPS: I don't really get fan mail. That was a joke. I really do want your emails. Promise! Do I sound desperate? Okay it's getting lame now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And the winner is...

Hi all. I'm very excited because I've just received my first ever blog award - One Lovely Blog Award! Thanks so much Mrs P :o)

So, here's how it works: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

My new-found hobby is surfing blogs so the hardest part for me is choosing just 15 from all the beautiful blogs I've discovered!

Here are my absolute faves:

SquiggleMum I'm always inspired by the lovely posts here - and the site artwork is gorgeous :o)

The perfect spot catch up on some beauty advice - the pics are always lovely too!

The Rockgarden Awesome, fun, a great read. That says it all!

Sleep deprived and losing it Charmingly honest about the ups and downs of motherhood.

It's impossible to be unhappy in a poncho
So, so funny! I love the art too :o)

Chic Mummy Chic and yummy - I love it!

Design Is Mine A lovely little blog: just as the name suggests :o)

GodAmongUs Lovely tidbits of Godly inspiration!

The Happy Home Such beautiful home inspiration - this chick's a genious!

Red Boots Gorgeous pics all the way from the UK..

Little Bit Funky Think creative genious/kids, think Little Bit Funky!

Life As A Goff
A fun look at life, kids and family.

Domestic Sluttery This blot is so much fun. A cheeky take on domestic godessery.