Monday, 19 September 2016

Stealing time.. from what?

How bloody complicated can life be? The grass is ALWAYS greener.. yada, yada, yada

I am sitting here at 4am U.S time as I can't sleep.

Can't sleep? I can always sleep, ok not on a plane or when I really, really want too because I am knackered and have deadlines but 4am? I haven't been up at this time since my Ironman days when the alarm went off at this time and that was 10 years ago.

It is not jet lag, I wish it was jet lag but I know what it is.

My mind needs some quite time, as in awake quiet time, and so much so that it is willing to pause sleep to get it.

So here I am in San Francisco.

I don't own DTLL anymore and have handed the reigns over to remain a partner and part share holder from here on in. This means I no longer work 16 hours a day 5 days a week or a good 8 hours a day on the weekends. This should be bliss huh?

It is. THAT part.

But who am I now? A Mum..

I was a Mum before but I could hide any insecurities I had about not doing it perfectly behind being a working one.

Now I have been with them 24 fucking 7 for the past 16 days, no joke 24/7, as in same bed in same room sleeping too. So tonight is my first night in my apartment in my own room and I am up at 4am stealing time.


Time alone to think because motherhood is proving to be FULL on!

I haven't been alone for 16 days but I know if I go off for a day alone (not that I can) I will think about them all day.

I am over telling them for the gazillionth time a day to just try and bring some happy into their life and less moody yet I still want to shape them into decent humans so won't give up.

I spent all of yesterday trying to make a unit that doesn't even have a sofa yet look picture perfect for them all when they are content sleeping in a tent..

I crave space from them so much I am up at 4am yet I never want to leave them?

Why is it all so confusing?
Motherhood is amazing so why do I seem to always be wanting to change it?
Is that just life?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

My Daughter Plays Rugby

My husband wrote the most brilliant post over on LinkedIn I just had to share..

My daughter Kitty is eight and three quarters years old and plays for the Seaforth Buccaneers Under 9 rugby union team, on the Northern Beaches here in Sydney.

My daughter does not play touch rugby but full contact rugby that requires a gum shield, under garment padding, a head guard and also some steely resolve. She also does not play in a single-sex team but a mixed team (allowed up until the age of 12). She is the only girl on the team and to date I have seen only one other girl play on an opposing team during the last 7 games.

Why is this?

If you follow LinkedIn’s CHRO, Pat Wadors, you have certainly heard about the concept of DIBs (Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging) and the article Pat wrote(Pushing Doors Open on Diversity & Inclusion). What is my take on DIBs? It needs to start early. Furthermore, is a mindset that requires exposure to real-life experiences to truly become proficient. In fact, Pat Wadors herself experienced a very similar situation as Kitty’s as she played on an all-boys baseball team growing up.

What I've learnt from Kitty is that it starts with inclusion and belonging. These are the key ingredients. Kitty is building a ​self-​confidence and assertiveness that I hope she'll capitalize on later in life. What’s more? She’s not the only one benefiting. I also believe that the young boys on the team will be more open and inclusive people for having played with my daughter. I’m proud to know Kitty is blazing a powerful and unique trail, not only for herself but for the future of girls just like her.

Where can we change?

Coaches play a key role in the early lives of children. They set examples for what adults perceive to be fair and commendable, right, and wrong (just like parents do). While they are learning to commit to the DIBs mindset, it often stops short from the fear of offending someone.

Sometimes we get so lost in the details that we aren’t able to take action on the bigger picture We get too fixated on words and by trying to show an understanding of diversity, we create sub-groups and consequently make the differences between two diverse people more prominent.

My daughter doesn't care if she is called a guy, a gal or a lad. All she cares about is being part of a team and doing something she's passionate about.

How do I feel as a Father?

Unbelievably proud for my daughter yet saddened that she is underrepresented.

I come from a family of five boys and a father who are all die hard rugby players and fans. When I was younger it was my whole life and the teachings of the game and the camaraderie of playing, have served me well in later life and in part made me who I am.

Yes, we passed rugby balls around when my kids were younger but never did I force the sport on her. It was her choice, it was her decision, it has become her passion.

Kitty doesn't play with boys, she plays with her friends. Likewise they don't see her as a girl but someone who wants to play their beloved sport (and is good at playing it). When she plays her matches she doesn't get singled out as the only girl or given privileges, she holds her own, expects no special treatment and plays hard but fair. But most importantly, she loves it.

As adults we see it as our duty to guide and teach our children. That's true but we also need to look upon our children as those who can educate us. I truly believe prejudice is learnt, but can also be unlearnt. Sometimes it takes our children to open our adult eyes and hearts to that.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tangerine Semolina Cake

If you are anything like me you have kids that devour certain fruits one day and can't stand them the next.. what is that all about?! I don't dwell to long on it as would turn me nuts but it does mean I am often looking for lunchbox idea that can use up the sudden excess fruit..

This week it was... TANGERINES..

I often manage to find a recipe but it has nuts in it and a sugar content that seems a little excessive so I have learnt to adapt.. for nut free and semolina is my friend.

If the nuts in the recipe are there for flavour you can just leave them out, if they are there for texture swap for cornflakes or rice bubbles to match the crunch. It is only when they are ground and being used as an oily element to keep something moist that you could have issues.

Sugar wise I often just use less than the recipe and swap a portion for rice malt syrup instead.

Anywho, cut to the chase.. I found and Orange and Almond Cake and made it into a Tangerine Semolina Cake.

What do you need?

3 large Tangerines (do not peel)
4 large eggs
160 grams sugar (I did 120g and a tablespoon or rice malt syrup)
200 grams semolina (if you don't need nut free you can use 200g ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free)

How do you do it?

Pre-heat oven to 180´.
Place your tangerines in a microwave safe bowl with some water and cook for 4 mins, leave to cool and remove pips.
Put mandarins in food processor and blend until smooth (in Thermomix it was 20 seconds on around 8/9)
Put the 4 eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk until well mixed (in Thermomix I added the butterfly did around 50 secs on speed 4)
Add the mandarine puree, the semolina and the baking powder. Mix until combined well.
Pour into a greased and lined 20cm cake tin, bake for 1 hour or until a cake skewer comes out clean.

The cake is not big and fluffy as semolina is dense but the citrusy taste is awesome, the house smells delicious and the kids loved it.. #forthewin

Do you adapt recipes much?
Any major fails I should be aware of before I make them too?! 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

California Dreaming..

So I need some help and as a result I need to let out a secret we have been keeping for a little bit.. My little family might be moving to the U.S of A.

We are not 100% yet but we are close to it as long as that last interview results in them saying everything we need to hear and we agree to everything they want. We would be moving to San Francisco just not Downtown and I need advice from anyone that knows.

I have been researching for hours, or is that days?.. ok maybe weeks!!

My main worry is the kids. I want to make sure the experience is endlessly positive and given that we have our fourth baby Dexter to accomodate, live in a decent size home, have a gorgeous local school, sports fields everywhere, fab beaches , all their mates around the corner and a suburb you can leave your front door open all day to come home to it still just that (yes this has happened a few times.. oops) its not an easy ticket to fill.

The areas I have pinpointed as being affordable, safe, good schools and with the sort of accomodation I would be able to live with (far out CA has some serious retro stuff goin' down and I am not talking trendy retro.. just plain old) are.. sort of 4 zones..

Cupertino, Los Gatos, Campbell, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara 
- the way I see it this is a busier more happening neighbourhood but with some amazing track runs. We would be in smaller accomodation, likely not have a spare room and that would still be top end of our budget..

Dublin, San Ramon, Pleasanton 
- I think this offers us a more sleepy suburb with good schools but larger accomodation allowing us to have guests but will leave me far more cut off with the kids..

Tiburon, Mill Valley, Sausalito 
- this seems far more Swiss Alps feeling and a lot more cut off, lots less on offer to rent and still high on budget side but a much smaller community and the closest to San Fran we would consider.

Burlingame, Millbrae - Good Schools and apparently sorta posh (which might not be our thing AND comes with high house rental) but again close to San Fran and on the radar but last on the list 

I would adore advice from anyone who has lived there, does live there, knows anyone that lives or loved there? 

My little family are a tight unit and we want to use this couple of years away to just bond, spend as much time doing sport related things together, camping, skiing and road tripping. Hanging at home with family visiting and just generally sucking up the opportunity for all that it is and taking in as much of the US as possible before we come back to our true love Australia.

Where would you go? 
Where would you live?
What would you prioritise? 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

What I am doing more of these days....

I have always known I loved helping others get through challenges they have in life by using my mistakes or triumphs to speed up their process.

I do it in my personal life as well as my work one.. I just think 'Why wouldn't you?'.

I do understand how business people can feel they don't want to give away their knowledge and possibly feel that why should they spend years learning and making mistakes only to tell everyone else how not to do so and save them all that time and money? BUT that is just not me.

I do have the ability to be selfish (I don't like to share my food) and I can easily be foolishly inconsiderate of others feelings (ask those I love the most) but it appears that on the business and life lessons side I am a total sharer. It makes me feel good, so maybe that is my selfish touch to it, but the gift it offers others is just me paying it forward from the people who have always made the time to chat with me along they way.

As a result I have been presenting at a host of different events more and more. I don't LOVE being centre of attention but I do love having people ask the questions that have been troubling them for a while and being able to give them the answers..

Now I am not here to tout for business (but if you want to get in touch for any then I won't be knocking you back) I thought I would share my next gig..

I will be at CELEBRATE  'a business bash for party makers and confetti shakers'.

I will be there with a few of my fave people (see below) and its at a stunning location (ahem.. above)..

Do you share your failures in life? 
Do you only share the success? 
You in the party industry and coming to play?