On 2015

Well, it’s been a long time between drinks, hasn’t it?

In 2015 I blogged TWICE. Two times. Once more than once.

Good god, I think that’s a new low, even for me.

Not that I haven’t thought about blogging. The closer the end of 2015 came, the more I thought about blogging (or, if it weren’t for autocorrect: bogging). As in, more than just me flippantly saying “there’s a blog post in that” to be funny. There are a couple of drafts in my Evernote or my Keep, but nothing ever came of them. There are whole bunch of excuses (you know the ones), but deep down, the real reason is the slow return of my depression.

My anxiety been well-managed for the last two years, but the longer I stay on what I call my “brain lollies”, it’s given oxygen to my depression. Not deep, dark depression, mind. It’s like spag bol on the stove – warm, bubbling along and, if left long enough, it burns around the edges.

And in the last couple of months I’ve realised that I need to stir things around in the crockpot of my brain. I’ve spent a lot of 2015 year not spending time working on ME. Staying home wherever possible. Not getting out of my comfort zone. Not challenging myself. Falling victim to the 5-second rule. In short: I’ve hesitated for the majority of 2015. And you know what they say about hesitating: snooze, you lose.

So, I don’t plan to give up my naps (glorious, glorious naps), but I don’t intend on giving up on myself, either. Better than that, I’m going to bet on myself a Whole Lot More this year. Watch this space :)

But! Enough about mental health. It’s time for my annual navel-gazing session, now in it’s sixth year. Check out 20142013201220112010 and 2009 too.


  1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
    ugg boots thermomix, georgia, eliza
  2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    My 2015 resolution was to ride the rollercoaster at Luna Park once a month. And I didn’t even make it there once. I realised there’s something creepy about adults being at fun parks on their own. And I didn’t want to be creepy.
    I have a pipe-dream to read more in 2016. Printed or Kindle, I’m not that fussy. I’ve started the year off with something I know I’ll enjoy – Amanda Keller’s memoir. Let’s see how I go when if I finish that one.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Yes! Gorgeous Georgia was born, my first grand-Niece. Great Aunty Rah has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
    Georgia Marie
  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    No, thankfully *sigh of relief*
  5. What countries/states did you visit?
    All I had was a long weekend on the Gold Coast for ProBlogger conference. But oh boy, what a long weekend it was. Hang on, long-winded explanation incoming in 5, 4, 3…
  6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
    More cupcakes, man. I need. to make. more. cupcakes.
  7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    Friday 14 and Saturday 15 August. Because DOOCE. Oh my god you guys, I met Dooce at ProBlogger. She’s the mommyblogger I’ve been reading since my LiveJournal days. We did the maths and I’ve been reading her for 13 years. I was SO NERVOUS about meeting her, you guys. As in, couldn’t move my feet toward her-levels of nervousness. Then I met her on the first night and she was lovely and I had to run away afterwards to get something out of my eye. I was hoping to talk to her again the second night and just as I gave up hope (no joke, I was on my way back to my hotel room), I saw her like RIGHT THERE, near the door I was leaving through. It took all my balls to go over and act cool in front of her, which must’ve worked because I made some smartass comment about “us bloggers are all such assholes” and she doubled over laughing (literally) and then hugged me (involuntarily, omg) and said HOMIGOD I LOVE YOU.
    Dooce said she loves me, and all I had to do was imply that she and I are assholes.
    But wait, it gets better: just as I was starting my emo “you’re great” speech, Jennifer Lopez’s Let’s Get Loud starts up on the dancefloor. And Dooce was all OMG I NEED TO DANCE TO THIS and I was all OKAY YOU GO DANCE I’M GOING TO BED and then she was like NO YOU HAVE TO COME WITH ME. And then we held hands and dragged each other to the dancefloor. FOR REALS, OMG. We twirled and shimmied and gyrated and even did the Conga. People were either laughing with me or at me, I don’t care.
    I boogied to JLo with Dooce and I can die happy now.
    And yes, that’s how excited I still am about it, four months later.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Even ignoring the whole Dooce thing, it’s definitely ProBlogger. It was my first year attending without my wingwoman Leigh and I had to psych myself up for MONTHS to make sure I didn’t let my social freak outs get the better of me. And it was totally worth the effort. I met so many new people, started so many conversations and walked into so many rooms on my own and didn’t falter. It was awesome :D
  9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    Winter was The Worst. I was sick every five weeks for the entire season. It was ridic. The only saving grace was that I’d had the flu injection, meaning the severity was pulled riiiight back. I love the flu injection, man.
  10. What was the best thing you bought?
    Klaus, our Thermomix! Allow me to take a moment to convince you convert:
    Nah, only kidding. But Klaus is pretty awesome you guys. Though you’d want him to be for the price tag. Egads.
  11. Where did most of your money go?
    Vet fees, probably :/ Elvis and Bear were both diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, and we’re still taking each of them back every 3 weeks to monitor their progress. Our poor old boys :(
  12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    I spent the first part of the year ridiculously excited that Nat and I were going to Star City to see Miguel for the first time in FOREVER. He was part of the international tour of Thriller Live and it was so good to see that boy performing again.
    We realised that we’ve been doing this for 20 years and the only thing that’s changed is that instead of going out for dancing and shots of Black Sambucca, we’re going to ice cream parlours. Adulting, ftw.
  13. Best song of 2015?
    The Weeknd’s Can’t Feel My Face. SO GOOD. And then Tom Cruise lip sync’d to it. Amazing.
  14. How did you spend Christmas?
    Christmas Eve drinking whiskey with the in-laws til 2am, Christmas Day with my crew (including Georgia for her first Christmas! <3), Boxing Day leftovers with Dan’s mum.
  15. What was your favourite TV program?
    Has to be The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It was too long without him on the teev, you guys. He’s still getting used to the format, but it’s SO much fun to watch him.
  16. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Filtr US’s Phunkadelic playlist on Spotify is The Best. So damn good:
  17. What was your favourite film of this year?
    The Force Awakens of course. Total redemption for the horror of the prequels.
  18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    Turning 37 was going to be quiet, cause Dan was overseas for work. BUT THEN LIZ FLEW UP TO SYDNEY AND SURPRISED ME. I luff her.
  19. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
    Outdoor Ugg boots. They’re amazing
    Outdoor Ugg Boots
  20. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    I developed a weird crush on Karl Stefanovic, you guys. I think it’s his sense of humour.
  21. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
    “Today I don’t feel like doing anything
    I just wanna lay in my bed
    Don’t feel like picking up my phone
    So leave a message at the tone
    ‘Cause today I swear I’m not doing anything”
    The Lazy Song, Bruno Mars

You are not your business cards #pbevent

There’s something very important you need to have for a blogging conference.

It’s not what you think…

It’s not your elevator pitch.
Having an elevator pitch is awesome if you’ve condensed your blog concept into a single sentence. But you don’t necessarily need to have a snappy sonnet to bandy about while you network in the line for the loo.

If someone asks you about what you blog about – be yourself. Be passionate about what and why you blog. If it takes you longer than a mouthful, screw it. It’s not the end of the world.

It’s not your outfits.
You don’t need to turn up dressed like you’re going for a job interview at Mammamia*. Turn up in whatever gear makes you feel your best. People who judge you entirely by what you’re wearing are not worth the price of the business card they’ve just handed to you. I’ll be wearing jeans and a fave t-shirt. And probably thongs. Because Gold Coast.

That said, if you’re the type that LOVES planning outfits (or you’re a fashion blogger), then go to town. I wanna see you there in your Sunday best!

It’s not your tech.
You don’t need your Macbook with its retina display, or your Samsung phone with two power banks for backup. You don’t even need the Wi-Fi that’s provided at the venue. You’re not going to suck if you don’t type furiously during conference sessions.

There’s nothing wrong with going old school and scribbling your notes on paper.

It’s not your business cards.
I confess to being a mad collector of business cards. There are SO pretty and feel nice when I pat them at networking events. I have a box of the ones I’ve collected over the last six years. I’ve got about 6 different designs of my own business cards – some that I’ve had designed and printed professionally, some that I’ve created in Word and printed at home. But you know what? After the first couple of hours of receiving someone’s business card, I never do anything with it ever again.

You’re better off just handing out scraps of paper – something your new bloggy BFF can refer to when they’re having their next introvert moment in a quiet room and check you out online. Then if you’re their cup of tea, they’ll follow you and voila! No more need for your business card.

What you really need…
Is a recent blog post. Ideally, one that’s less than, oh, 168 days old.

Cause what sort of blogger turns up to a blogging conference not having blogged in, well, forever?

Not this blogger!


Photo yanked from YourTango.

* Why anyone would want to work for Mamamia, I have no idea…

Ostrich lady goes full cat lady

There’s one thing I’ve been good at – oh, only my entire life – and that’s staying in my comfort zone.

In my family we call it ostrich syndrome; stick your head in the sand where it’s nice and safe and nothing can hurt you.

(Except maybe worms. I never thought of worms. Gross.)

I really really liked it with my head in the sand. I’d pop out occasionally and challenge myself here and there, just enough… and then I’d crave my comfort zones and stay in the sand again, all warm and safe.

Last year I was knocked out of the sand big time – landing an ahhhmazing job that I knew was going to bring out even more of my awesome. I knew my ostrich days had to be left behind and I haven’t regretted it since.

And I got used to not being in the sand and learning to say YES to more things. Or asking for things. Because if you don’t ask, the answer’s already NO.

And one of the more recent things I’ve said YES to is super cool. I was realllllllly unsure when I started, but just quietly, I’m having a ton of fun.

catladypodcastIt’s this: The Cat Lady Podcast.

It’s Liz‘s brainchild and she deserves all the credit – she does the interviews, hosts, designed the logo, edits the audio… you name it, she does it. I was blown away when she asked me to co-host with her; this is a chick who can do anything she sets her mind to (she really can) and she trusted me to join her on this feline audio shebang. I hesitated before saying yes; because I knew this was another out-of-the-sand gig and I wanted to check that I knew I could follow through.

Sofa king glad  said YES. It’s an awesome podcast. (If I do say so myself.)

We’ve been listed as ‘new and noteworthy’ and made the top list in the hobby section on iTunes,which is freaking amazing. I’m learning to get used to hearing my own voice and I’m learning to love my bogan accent.

You can subscribe via RSS, find Cat Lady Podcast on iTunes, follow the Twitters and the Instagrams.

We’re almost at the end of the first season of the podcast (9 episodes, genius, no?) and I think next season I’ll be brave and even do some interviews of my own :)

On 2014

Is it this of year again already? Farking hell.

<settles in with a can of coke and a couple of Merryteasers>

Righteo! It’s time for my sixth annual review of the year we’re leaving behind. Also check out 2013201220112010 and 2009.

Happy New Year to you and everyone around you. Be safe xbi

  1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
    I successfully grew carrots, lettuce and tomatoes on our balcony! Far easier than bloody herbs.
  2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?I only realised when I re-read my 2013 post that I didn’t technically make any resolutions, which is totes fine by me. I had to come up with a 2015 resolution to be published at work, which is “to ride the roller coaster at Luna Park in my lunch break at least once a month”. Stay tuned.
  3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    No new babehs this year!
  4. Did anyone close to you die?
    A family member had a miscarriage earlier this year, which was awful :(
  5. What countries/states did you visit?
    Had a week in Fiji on the Coral Coast and a long weekend on the Gold Coast for #pbevent14 :)
  6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
    More determination
  7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    Friday 9 May 2014. The day I got offered an amazing job and resigned from the job that I’d had for ten years. The morning beforehand, I was minding my own beeswax and not even thinking about leaving ye olde job. But when amazing opportunities fall into your lap, you just gotta SAY YES.
    Hands-down the best (work-based) decision ever made.
  8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Getting medicated. I’m not one to tell all and sundry, but I happily and willingly tell people when I feel it’s benefitting the conversation. After living my entire life thinking that anti-depressants were for Other People, I finally confided in my G.P. (all hail Dr Joe!) that I needed them and it has been The Best Thing I’ve done for myself… ever. Totes legit. I could not have done the things I’ve done this year without them. I’m so so lucky that I haven’t needed to tweak the dosage at all, I just need to remember to take them every day :)
  9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I got tendonitis that was SO painful, I can’t even begin. And it was courtesy of shoes that I thought were appropriate for catching public transport to my new job. Turns out, Nikes are shit for that. Had to throw out 3 pairs of shoes that I’d bought especially.
  10. What was the best thing you bought?
    Boxes (and boxes) of Merryteasers. Online, because shops couldn’t keep up with demand.
  11. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    This year it has to go to Liz, the cat lady who has shown me amazing trust and patience this year. She’s gone from being my friend to being my freelance manager to my referee and now my co-worker. It’s been tough at times and Liz has wanted to throttle me multiple times, but I couldn’t have had this year without her. I owe her many MANY cookies.
  12. Whose behaviour was appalling?
    Tony Abbott, I can’t even look at you right now.
  13. Where did most of your money go?
    Mortgage and Opal card tap-offs
  14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Getting a Galaxy Note 4 and returning to the world of phablets <3
  15. What song will always remind you of 2013?
    Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson. Funk yeah!! \m/
  16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
  17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Waking up earlier
  18. How did you spend Christmas?
    This year was my family’s turn and we caught up in the Blue Mountains for a Very Long Lunch at the Hydro Majestic. On the day itself though, Dan and I desperately wanted a quiet day, so we had an introvert’s Christmas with tonnes of food and naps on the couch. I seriously had 3 naps on Christmas day, it was amazing.
  19. What was your favourite TV program?
    My fave new show of the year is @Midnight, internet game show nerd funtimes :) This year was the last of How I Met Your Mother though, and I sobbed like a baby.
  20. What was the best book you read?
    I re-read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In this year. She’s still amazing.
  21. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Nothing specific, but I’ve become a Triple J listener. Never thought that would happen, but regular exposure to it at work has turned me.
  22. What did you want and get?
    An amazing job that I’m proud of
  23. What did you want and not get?
    Moar kittens. Maybe next year?
  24. What was your favourite film of this year?
    Guardians of the Galaxy was so. much. fun.
  25. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I got to celebrate 36 perfectly – lunch with Leigh, dinner at Blacktown Drive-In and a few days later, I was taking  simulated flying lesson and then a week’s holiday in Fiji.
    Not bad, right?
  26. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Meeting Barack Obama when he was in Brisbane for the G20
  27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
    More focused on shoes
  28. What kept you sane?
    Cat gifs
  29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Bruno Mars, mostly in the video clip for Uptown Funk. You had me at pastel pink jackets and gold-plated hair rollers
  30. What political issue stirred you the most?
    Anything to do with Tony Abbott. Ugh.
  31. Who did you miss?
    The friends and family I haven’t been very good at keeping in touch with this year. I’ve focused so much on work and my social life was the biggest loss as a result.
  32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014
    That it’s okay to put in effort and not succeed. Biiiig (and scary) lesson.
  33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
    You don’t have to fall in line
    Life is such a crazy fight
    – – –
    Put the rules back on the shelf
    Let your freak out, be yourself
    – – –
    Get up and dance like you dance when there’s no one around
    Sing a song the way you sing when you’re in the shower
    Lose yourself, let your soul redefine a new kind of cool
    – – –
    Don’t be careful, don’t think twice
    Just let your heart speak its mind
    One foot forward make your move
    No one does it quite like you!
    Live Louder, Nathaniel

The one with the carrots

I’m a very chuffed balcony gardener this week.


I grew carrots, you guys!!

About three months ago we did one of those trips to Bunnings where you end up walking out with WAY more than you intended to buy.

We were meant to go in to get a sausage sizzle replacement toilet seat (long story), and walked out with like $150 worth of of new pots, seedlings and a determination to actually do this shiz properly this time.

We’ve tried balcony (or concrete backyard) gardening for 7ish years and I think my fatal mistake has been to grow herbs. Damn thirsty, sensitive herbs. I always thought that herbs were easier to maintain (which they are, to an extent), but miss a couple of days in summer and those buggers just DIE. OMG.

This time we’ve got carrots, tomatoes, capsicum, strawberries and passionfruit … and seem to be doing really well so far.

Touch wood.


These carrots are spesh round numbers for pots. The hardest part has been knowing when the hell to rip them out of the dirt. This week I got sick of waiting and just yanked them out anyway. They kinda look like they forgot to grow their bottom halves, heh.

Elvis LOVES when I play with the carrots. The green leaves are just too damn irresistible for him.


Bear isn’t as interested in the carrots as rolling around on the hot tiles in the sun.  He rolls around on his back like a worm instead.


More carrots for Elvis, then!