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My May was marvelous in Melbourne.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Yep, that’s fourteen Ms.  And I’m sharing them with you in the hope of warming your winter a little.

Mums – May is the month that we celebrate motherhood. But why not every month, I say.  Call your mum today!  She wants to hear your voice.

Munchkin – My youngest turned two this month.  I’m mourning the fact that there’s no longer a baby in the house.  But we had fun making, then munching, a bright green Puff the Magic Dragon cake.

Mugs of Mulligatawny – When the chills kick in there’s nothing like wrapping your mitts around a mug of something toastie.  I’m loving Mulligatawny, the yummiest soup I’ve ever made.  It’s a gutsy Indian hug in a mug.  Try it.

Minimalism – I am enjoying Courtney Carver’s Be More with Less blog and attempting some of her mini-missions, starting with ‘five in ten’.  This  involved mining my wardrobe for five items that I have not worn in a year, then bagging and donating them.  Found this oddly exhilarating and hope it might spark a more ambitious (and long overdue) clutter cull.

Mind games – Changing my self talk from “I have to” to “I get to” is helping a little with the tedium of getting two strong-willed preschoolers to swimming lessons on time, dipped, dried, dressed and home again without meltdowns (by me or them).

Masterpieces – I’m no fine art buff, but I was lured into Monet’s waterlily pond by a gorgeous friend who has recently been appointed to a plum role at the NGV.  She treated me to a guided tour explaining the historical and social content, and how Monet literally flipped the art world on its head by painting reflections. I can highly recommend spending an afternoon getting acquainted with French Impressionism (words I never thought I’d say) by wandering through Monet’s Garden till 8 September.

Man on a mission – I love Jamie Oliver.  He inspired many in May with his Food Revolution Day.  According to Jamie, “Essential cooking skills are just as important as reading and writing, in this day and age, the rise of diet related illness has become the biggest killer on the planet”.  And so I took the kids to the market, they picked a pumpkin, and we made soup together, which they guzzled.  One small step towards hopefully passing on to them an appreciation and life long love of food.

Muddy puddles – Kinda forgotten how to entertain the kids on a rainy day.  It’s been a while.  And I’d fallen into the adult trap of seeing rain as an inconvenience, not entertainment.  But the boys convinced me to don our gumboots and get amongst it. Splashing in muddy puddles was super fun!  And the hot baths and warm Milo that followed were sweeter than usual.

MoviesACMI’s Hollywood Costume exhibition is so beautifully staged. It celebrates the costume designer’s contribution to cinematic storytelling.  I drooled over Dorothy’s red shoes, Scarlett’s green velvet gown, Tyler Durden’s blood red leather jacket, Marilyn’s delicious Seven Year Itch dress, and much more.  Eat it up movie buffs before 18 August.

Mindfulness – In my effort to live more consciously and deliberately, I’m keeping a food diary using the MyFitnessPal phone app.  It’s been an eye opening exercise.  Has not stopped me eating things I shouldn’t, but it certainly has made me more aware.

Music – Nothing lifts my mood quicker than dancing.  Mama Kin’s Apple Tree song (from the Talisman album) and The Little Stevies‘ Dear Daniel (from Most Requested) are on loop in my speakers because both are guaranteed to get the kids and I groovin’.  I love hearing my two year old sing “shoo-be-do-do-do”.  Sure beats repetitive Wiggles!

Marriage – Been surrounded by betrothed couples this month, which I love.  Went wedding venue hunting with my sister-in-law.  Lunched with a friend who’s planning a barefoot beach ceremony in Fiji in weeks.  Booked four celebrant gigs, a role which I adore playing.  Discovered gorgoeus Luminare in South Melbourne.  And found the perfect reading for a couple’s children to recite, Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss.  Weddings make me happy.

Markets – I have a hereditary obsession with handmade markets.  From jam to jewellery, if it’s been made locally with love, and packaged beautifully, I’m a sucker for it.  So my wallet got a workout at Federation Square’s Markit, which featured 100 of Australia’s most coveted independent designers.  My favourite finds included jelly mould hanging planters by Angus&Celeste, journals by Rebound Books, spunky boys gear by Furious Kingston, the fox coat by Sunday Morning Designs, creative packaging inspiration by Blank Goods, the stylish family tree by Bilingual, and lovely Martine’s Vintage Prints.  The organisers also stage The Big Design Market on 6-8 December.  Pop it in your calendar and come meet the makers, buy and admire.

Magazines – In May’s Women’s Weekly the gorgeous Sarah Murdoch talked about reprioritising her commitments according to what would most inspire her children.  She said “If I’m going to be away from them, working on something, it should be something that, when they grow up, they respect me for”.  Can I get an amen?

Thanks for indulging my May musing.

I make these monthly lists to focus on what make me happy, and stop my endless ‘to do’ task list from being the dominant demand on my brain space.

Check out Grateful in April or Magic March for posts in the same vein.

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What’s on your list of things to do for fun in June?
Love you to comment and let me know, puhleeze.

PS – Don’t forget to call your mum!


Inspired by m.a.d.woman and her Grateful in April initiative, I’m sharing some of the things that make me thankful.

This April I am grateful for…

Long time friends – Those people who really do wish the very best for you. The ones you can see after a long absence, and instantly find a groove like you’ve never been apart. The people you never tire of talking to. The ones who make your soul smile. The ones who make you want to be a better you. The ones who remind you who you really are, what really matters, and that everything will be ok. I ran away with my longest time friend for an entire week and it was bliss. Read my Reset post for more on this.

Being missed – I returned from my week away to my hubby and both boys literally waiting on the doorstep, pink roses in hand. My one year old jumped into my cab repeating “ello mummy” over and over in his heart-melting toddler tone. And my four year old’s bedtime cuddles have been a little bit tighter, and his manners just a little bit better, ever since I returned.

New babes – I was invited to photograph a gorgeous four week old bub named Roy. The pride on his new daddy’s face translated beautifully in camera. And this month I met and cuddled the the newest addition to my extended family, baby Lily Skye. She’s the first girl born after seven boys in this tribe so it was fun purchasing pink pressies at long last.

Kiwi politicians – Not something previously likely to make my grateful list, or even my radar, but this month our NZ neighbours truly inspired with their marriage equality move. And the spontaneous singing that followed made me well up. Come on Aussies, catch up!

SNAGs – My gorgeous four year old son is a Sensitive New Aged Guy. He instinctively stroked my hair and rubbed my back while I threw up my nasty virus into a bucket. Meanwhile, my hubby did absolutely everything else at home until I recovered.

Dave – My hubby and I spent three out of four weeks in different states this month. And never do I appreciate him more than when he’s not here. House is humming happily again now that he’s home.

Baking – Making and decorating cupcakes with my boys for no reason other than to pass the time. And baking spiced apple cake because nothing smells more like ‘welcome home hubby’ than fresh cake cooling. The weather has turned along with the leaves, and so I’ve dusted off my slow cooker too. While I type, gorgeous corned beef with sticky plum and balsamic glaze is my work in progress.

Healthy thieves – My kids keep stealing carrots from the fridge vegie crisper and justifying it by saying that they are rabbits. Then they hop around the house singing Hop, Hippity, Hop.

Miracles – This month I ditched a twenty year addiction to Diet Coke. And, as if that was not enough, I reversed a two year (ok, decade long) trend of creeping weight gain. I fully expect to see pigs flying by or hell freezing over any moment now.

A gorgeous dress – The latest addition to my collection is a gorgeous, cherry colored, dance-worthy dress from Queenslander Leina Broughton. It’s so nice to find beautifully cut, feminine, Australian made creations. And it came with outstanding online customer service too.

Sausage sizzle at the supermarket – The smell alone was awesome, but feeding the kids lunch, supporting a good cause, and not having anything to clean up afterwards made my Saturday morning.

Following my bliss – Having time to do things, just because I want to. This month I did a photography walk that took in the sunset from Williamstown and I learned some new tricks to try. And I took my one year old to his first dance class, which he quite literally threw himself into. It’s the most fun hour I spend with him all week.

Quality entertainment – this month I loved the adorable Australian mid-career crisis movie Any Questions for Ben and the inspiring true story of unlikely friendship The Intouchables. Add them to your must see list.

Mentors – My best mentors have always been the ones who push me into slightly uncomfortable but richly rewarding growth. This week I got an email from my most recent ex-boss and she validated my leap of faith into non-corporate life and instructed me to keep creating. It was a beautifully timed gesture of support which made me smile.

Most of all, I am deeply grateful for my recent shift in focus from making a living to making a life. For all these blessings and more, I am so very grateful this April.

Tell me, what is it that you are grateful for today?