April Sun

For the first time in over a year, I am currently on a week’s leave from work.

Why? Well, I thought it best to do it now when things are pretty quiet after Easter, as to not put my co-workers in jeopardy while they fill in for me.

What am I planning on doing this week, I hear you ask? At this stage…nothing. I plan on reading, writing, catching up on my favourite TV shows and spending time just breathing…doesn’t that sound spectacular?

After I began my job last year after  month off due to my redundancy, I was refreshed and had no desire for the rest of 2016 to take time off. Of course, there were a few moments where I had wished I could – when things got to be a bit stressful or when my personal wellbeing wasn’t at it’s best – but I carried on.

At the start of this year for about 2.5 months, my life revolved around work. My role as a receptionist in a community college during peak enrolment period really tested my patience and my ability to solve problems quickly and without fuss. It was a demanding time period, yet as I said to a fellow co-worker, I didn’t notice just how busy we were until things started to die down and the pace returned to normal.

I was exhausted. Absolutely spent. Drained from so much customer contact, from answering 100+ phone calls every day for months. Really…over it. Thankfully, my boss noticed my deflation and recommended I plan some time off. Now, I know how lucky I am regarding this – not all bosses will suggest their staff take a week off just to recharge. I saw my opportunity, weighed it against the fact that I hadn’t taken more than a weekend off (and even in some cases, I had worked multiple weekends during that busy period) in over a year and agreed.

Now, here I am. Day 2 of my official days off. Not counting the Easter long weekend, which has already left me refreshed.

I adore this time of the year. April in Australia brings on a cool change, while keeping the sunny days we love. Mornings are brighter, evenings darker earlier and sunsets much more photographic. It’s all so relaxing and cosy.

For Good Friday this year, my family and I packed up our cars and headed to our local lake for some fish and chips by the water. It was such a beautiful, cloudless day looking out onto the water.

I cherish time with my family the older I get as it’s not s regular as it once was. My childhood memories are full of family drives to the lake; piling into the car with our walkmans and Barbie dolls and setting off on an adventure across town. The drive always seemed so long – now we’re there in the blink of an eye. It’s like that with so many things these days in comparison to days gone by. I miss those days immensely.


Easter was relatively quiet. I ventured out of the house Sunday afternoon to see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema with my Mum, sister and Zia (that’s Aunty in Italian if you weren’t aware). As the original Beauty and the Beast cartoon was and is one of my all-time favourite films, I was a bit wary as to how I would enjoy the film, but I was left pleasantly surprised! Highly recommended to those who love Disney, magic, music and romance!

Autumn is all about nature stripping itself of the past as it makes way for new and exciting things. Beautiful things. It can get dark and cold, but it’s all how you look at it. Much the same can be said about our lives and the way we choose to live them.

We can run ourselves down and not do anything to pick back up again, or we can take a break to stop and take the reigns again and prepare whatever is coming next. It’s a time for change, growth and rebirth.

I, for one, can’t wait to see what the rest of Autumn has to offer.

Hoping you all had a spectacular long weekend, regardless of what you celebrated – I would love to hear all about your adventures!

6 Months – Moving On & Self Discovery

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6 months. That’s how long it’s been since I started a brand new chapter of my life.

They say that you shouldn’t let your professional life affect your personal life. That work shouldn’t be as important as your relationships/friendships/family. But when you’re suddenly left without a job, you quickly realize just how important having a professional life can be and how it can affect you as a person.

6 months ago, I was made redundant from my job that I had held for the past 5 years. It was always something I was proud of for my age – securing a job which I not only enjoyed doing, but one that I had been able to stay at for 5 years. So many people in my generation seemed content with switching and changing, picking and choosing and trying a bit of everything before finally settling into what they wanted to do. I felt so lucky to have found something I enjoyed doing, doing it well and continuing to do it well for 5 years.

I learned that a lot can change in 5 years for a person. You learn so much about yourself both professionally and personally. But I’ve also learned how much one can learn about themselves in as little as 6 months. How much I can impress myself, looking back on what I have achieved since leaving my job in May, 2016 and how far I have come personally.

You would think that being made redundant would have broken my self-confidence and shattered my belief in myself that I could find another job that I loved just as much as the one I had. 6 months ago, I would have let my anxiety get the better of me and probably would have made myself sick through fear of the unknown.

The truth is, I do fear the unknown. I worry about not only my future, but the future of everyone I love. The difference between who I am now and who I was 6 months ago is that I realize that some things just aren’t up to us to decide. We have to be open to change, to possibility and bend when the wind tries to break us.

I’ve been working in a new job for a wonderful company for the past 4 months. Something I never saw coming, yet when it happened, it just felt right. I knew it was because I kept myself calm and positive, even though the second month of unemployment (which definitely tested my strength).

This whole post isn’t about me. It’s not about overcoming a hard time or my pride in myself for riding through the roller-coaster of change and being left relatively unscathed (although I do reflect on both regularly). I want whoever is reading this post and is dealing with hardship to know this: nobody knows what is going to happen in their lives. We have no idea what we will be doing a week or a month or 6 months from now.

I say to you, do not be afraid of change. Do not let others’ worries for you become your own. Take care of yourself, of your anxieties and your fears and do not close yourself off to change in whatever area of your life you are hoping for some kind of miracle.

6 months ago, I started a new chapter and I feel as though I am a different woman because of it on so many levels. Learning to roll with the punches that life throws at us can be tough, but once you can duck before you’re hit, things start to become a whole lot clearer and the challenge of life becomes so much more.

Try your best, take care of yourself, love yourself and never stop creating positivity within yourself.

6 months has gone and I’ll never look back.

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5 Ways To Get Organised At Work


Since starting my new job last week, I have had organisation on my mind. I wanted to begin this new chapter with a clean, tidy and organised work life, and although sometimes things can get hectic, I feel I have managed (and will hopefully continue to manage) the art of organisation within the workplace.

Here are 5 quick tips on how to organise yourself so you are getting the most out of your workspace and work time…

  • Write lists

Something I have done for years (since I was in high school) is write lists. Whether it is a list of things I need to complete for the day, week or month, I find that writing things down at the start of the day/week/month can be really helpful in getting things out onto paper. Take a moment each morning while you drink your first of many coffees for the day and write down the important tasks you need to complete/start on. When you have completed a task, cross it out – it feels so satisfying to see your list decrease as time goes on, and it also keeps you up to speed in the instance of someone asking you for a status report. If it’s crossed out, it’s done!

  • Prioritise

Taking the above List tip to another level is the art of prioritisation. Write your list and then take a moment to go through your tasks and have a think: what needs to be done ASAP? What can wait a day? Number your items from 1 (most important) to help you organise what you need to achieve. Another really important thing with prioritisation is speaking up and asking questions. If 3 people give you work that needs to be done ‘ASAP’, sometimes asking when exactly the task needs to be done can help ease stress. Sometimes people are happy to wait a day or two for things and others need things arranged right away. Speak up so that you aren’t caught in the middle of a rush that may not be needed.

  • File

Group your paperwork into files and store them in the same spot. Same goes for digital files on your computer/laptop – the easier you group things together, the easier it will be to find them in future. Be basic with what you call your files (for example: Invoices, Bank Statements, Customer Records) and then break things down further if you feel it works better that way (for example: Invoices – May, Bank Statements – 2016, Customer Records – A-C). Remember to be very basic with the names you give your folders/files so that finding files in future won’t be a headache.

  • Use Microsoft Outlook’s ‘Calendar’and ‘Tasks’ Features

Take advantage of the tools you have to schedule and plan your days. Once you get the hang of Microsoft Outlook’s Calendar and Task features, it is so easy to not only keep track of your own productivity, but others’ as well. Calendar allows the user to create events and invite other attendees to the events, creating an event on their calendar as well. You can send Tasks to others with instructions on what is needed to be done and the date which it should be prioritised for. Once the task has been completed and ticked off, you will be notified. I find it really worthwhile to use whatever calendar feature your computer may have to really set out what time you are using.

  • Keep Tidy

This is really a given, but it needs to be said – clean up. Tidy your desk. Wash your coffee cup. Put your waste paper in the recycling or use it as note paper. File away books and bundle up your spare pens. The tidier your office/deskspace is will help you in the event of a stressful day and will hopefully make it easier when you are desperately needing to find a certain thing. Take 5 minutes at the end of each day to tidy so that you can arrive to a clutter-free area the next morning.


So, those were some of my tips on getting organised within the workplace. I’d love to know what your top tips are – a girl can never been too organised! Or maybe she can!
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Life Advice – having empathy

Having and expressing empathy towards others can be difficult for some people. Sometimes you probably use empathy in every day life and don’t even realise you are doing it.

The ability to forget your own views and opinions on a person or situation and see the world through another’s eyes for a short time can be tough. Especially if you are seeing through the eyes of someone who may have hurt or upset you directly.

Being present, focused and open is an important part of empathy. Putting yourself in the shoes of another and trying to understand why they think or feel the way they do can be difficult, but once you master it, it can change the way people see you as a communicator and confidant.

Having empathy for others is a life skill which should be taught to children from a young age. For children to think of how others’ may think or feel in certain moments can help them become caring adults who are able to look at life’s challenges in a much more compassionate way.

Using words like “I understand how you must feel…” when responding in times where anyone confides in you helps that person to trust that you are listening to them and that what they are saying is important to you. Repeating certain facts back and trying to relate their story to your own experiences can also help – not by making the conversation about you, but by showing that you understand the situation which that person may be in.

Personally, I have found empathy as a great tool in understanding why people in my life may have chosen to take certain paths or say certain things. I also think it has made me more compassionate towards the stories of strangers and celebrities who have made mistakes for the world to see and helps me see them as human instead of ‘celebrity’.

In the end, treating others the way you would want to be treated is incredibly true. Use respect and compassion when helping others and try to place yourself in their shoes.

Knowing that others are making an effort to understand us and rather than judge us without waiting is something we all deserve and would appreciate.

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Life Advice – when it’s time to move on

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It is important to know when some things just aren’t worth fighting for anymore.

Whether it is a relationship, friendship or job, there comes a time when you just can’t do it anymore. And that is perfectly okay. Not all relationships last a lifetime. Actually, it’s healthy to move on and start new chapters sometimes.

So, you’ve made the observation that things just aren’t working the way they should. The difficult part of it all is when is it time to move on?

  • You Feel Undervalued

When you are consistently looked over for your abilities – whether they be as a partner/friend/employee – and you feel you are given more negative feedback than positive. Know your worth and know you are worth more than what you are currently being given.

  • It’s Not Exciting Anymore

Again, whatever situation you are in, it should be constantly changing, evolving and exciting for you to be part of. When things start to get stale and there doesn’t seem to be a way to spice things up, it’s time to look at what other options are out there.

  • You Have Been Disrespected

To truly love and get along with people and to work in a healthy environment, there must be certain levels of respect places and adhered to each day. There are different levels of respect for a romantic relationship than there may be in a professional relationship, but in the end, we all are taught how to treat human beings from the time we are taught to share our toys as babies. Know your level of respect and know you deserve to be treated with kindness and fairness. If someone is not living up to those standards, it’s time to first voice your opinion to them and then move on if things do not change.

  • You Have Tried Talking But They Just Don’t Want To Listen

Any relationship needs good communication skills. That means speaking what is on your mind when you feel the need to and to also listen when being spoke to. Having empathy for another person’s situation is also important to understand where they may be coming from with their explanation, and how you may be able to help them in making your relationship stronger. When people don’t communicate, it creates a negative effect. This is especially true within the workplace.

  • It’s Just Time To Go

Sometimes you just know it isn’t working anymore. Making change is hard, but knowing within your heart that you have made the right decision makes things much easier. Take time to go over your options and if you are most happy with a decision that includes starting over, then know you have made the right decision.

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Life Advice – how change can be positive

I have always called myself the Pollyanna of my workplace.

With a positive, optimistic outlook on life, I have always managed to take a negative situation and spin it into a somewhat positive situation. It’s something I take pride in – the ability to see the bigger picture over the here and now.

However, in recent weeks after deciding to take a voluntary redundancy from my job – which currently will leave me unemployed within a month – trying to remain positive and optimistic has been hard.

Change can be a wonderful thing if you are able to look at it as a good thing. Most endings bring new beginnings, and while I couldn’t see it for a while, I know my job ending leaves me open to a new chapter. Not just a new professional chapter, but a new chapter in life if that is what I want.

It can be so easy to fall into a negative slump. Trust me when I say that I have been there many times and it is hard to hold my head high and look further down the road to where things may get better.

Important things I try to ask myself during times of important life changes are:

  • “How do you feel now the decision has been made?” 

I was once told that the feeling of relief after making a very difficult decision is a sign that it was the right one. My recent decision to take redundancy was a hard one, but once things were finalized and the weight was lifted off my shoulders, I felt a huge wave of relief. Trust those feelings.

  • “Think of life this time 6 months ago – how much has changed in such a short amount of time? How can life change again in another 6 months or even a year?”

Looking into the future is something I try not to do too often as it can cause stress and worrying about things that probably will never happen. However, in times of change I like to think of how much positive change can occur in such a short space of time. It happens every day and sometimes we do not take enough time to appreciate just how far we have come and what barriers we have broken in order to get to the place we are right now. Keep your thoughts positive and perspective optimistic.

  • “Am I open to the world and whatever positive changes are about to come my way or am I shutting myself off, blocking any possible change that may be trying to make its way through to me?”

I am a big believer in being in-tune with the world around us. If we shut ourselves away and let negativity take over our minds and bodies, how do we expect those around us to help us? Not just friends and family, but everybody. We are all connected by energy and we all are drawn to certain people because of the energy they radiate. If we want good things to happen, we need to be open to it. Sometimes things we think are too far out of our reach just need to know you truly want them before they make themselves known.

  • “Who in my life can help me through times of negativity?”

Staying positive through times of change can get hard. Some days are harder than others. It is important to have people surrounding us who we can count on for support and confiding. Whether that is a parent, friend, work college or counselor, it is important to offload and receive validation that our thoughts and feelings are understood. There are even telephone hotlines you may wish to call who offer free counselling support 24/7 if things get to be too much.

  • “How can I help guide myself through times of negativity affected by change?”

Because we have to live with ourselves all day, every day. And if we can recognise that things aren’t so great at the moment, it is important for us to also recognise ways that we may be able to make things better. Whether it is treating yourself to a pedicure, or watching your favourite movie, or going for a walk in the sunshine while your favourite song plays on your ipod…there are endless things you can do to make yourself feel better.

Take a moment to focus on your breathing techniques. There are some amazing apps which assist in regulating breathing during times of stress. Sometimes 5 minutes a day of focused breathing can make a world of difference.

Wise words from my favourite lady, Miss Swift.

Change can be incredibly scary but you never have to go through it alone. Try to see the bigger picture and remain as positive as possible. If things get too much, it is also OK to let things out and if you need to cry or get angry or eat a pint of ice cream to feel somewhat better – I recommend it!

Lastly, if you are experiencing some kind of uncertain change at the moment, I hope things go well for you soon. Life is interesting in the way good things happen to people and sometimes you need to experience low moments before you can soar back into those incredible heights.

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