Happy Birthday ┃TWO today!

Bonne Anniversaire

Two years! It’s hard to believe, but here I am, two years after the first post!

It’s been a little start-&-stop on repeat in this CyberCorner. Not quite how I had envisioned or planned it. And certainly not because I have little to say; Au contraire! I have a caboodle sitting on the surface, waiting to pop…and even more to show and share.

But sometimes ─ or perhaps, most times, life begs to be lived away from this haven.  It so happens, that as soon as I kick-started this baby, my husband and I Olympic-style dived into the launch of our business ─ an innovative online platform for businesses! It’s been a long path of incredible ebb-&-flow on roller-coaster-wheels! To say that my full attention was called upon, may perhaps be a little bit of an understatement :)

And while I sulked at times, like a two-year-old (!) because I wanted to hang out here more, I knew better than to resist……things have this wonderful way of juuuust working out.

So. Here we are on this most magnificently sunny Sydney Saturday, and I am giving thanks for being here, in all senses of the word.

I look forward to being here, more……and more and more and then some more!

And to you who are here, thank you! Take a sweet moment today to simply be…..& appreciate.

Happy Birthday lieslg

“Your gratitude is watering your abundance” ━ ms brownskin

ANZAC DAY ┃And what I did…

Anzac Day ─ 25 April ─ marks our most important national occasion, commemorating the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

I am so proud to be Australian.  And so supremely grateful for all of those brave and young souls who fought for the freedom that I enjoy today.

I have never been to a dawn service, and this year for some reason, my desire to attend was strong.  I had planned on attending the Manly dawn service, but ended up missing the call of my alarm clock!  Insert all kinds of ‘damn!’ equivalents here!

My sister attended – also her first time.  She was in the nation’s capital, and despite the early call and the infamously cold Canberra-morning, she rugged up and attended.  In her words, it was amazing, and humbling to see so many people at the  Australian War Memorial, in the dark, in awe and in complete silence.  It was worth the alarm trilling on a ‘sleep-in’ day, and having to literally wear half of her winter wardrobe!

I took in her experience with as much humility and awe, and vowed that not only will I attend next year, but that I’d attend the dawn service in the nation’s capital;  It will be the 99-year Anzac Day anniversary.

Missed-dawn-service aside, I decided to do a pictorial stream of the things I did on Anzac Day.  It’s quotidian for sure, maybe even utilitarian, but be sure that because of this day and our Anzacs, I get to do these things, and more ─ today, tomorrow and the next.

And for that, I salute you all ─ past and present ─ in my own post-dawn tribute!

pesto eggsI breakfasted on yummy pesto eggs!

Ben QuiltyI wore some Aussie art ─ hello Ben Quilty on my chest!

WorkI did some work.

thongs

I swapped out the early-morning Uggs for some sweet summery thongs.

WaterI drank a jug-load of water.

Action Man

I found Action man!

washing

And did the laundry.

almond butter bark

I snacked on some sugar-free treats.

SparkleTown

And wore sparkles in my bed-hair.

AnzacSunset

I watched as the sun set.

AnzacMoon

And kissed the moon.

With love and gratitude in my heart….till we meet again next year!

The September Girl┃Part II: ParkPicnicPrancing!

SeptemberGirlSky

When it comes to my birthday, I am renowned for my multiple-celebration stance!

It was no different this time around when I kicked off the celebrations with an evening of indoor rock climbing on one end of the birthday spectrum, and rounded it off with some ParkPicnicPrancing on the other!

I love a picnic.  It’s no-fuss, and you don’t need an occasion to bust out the picnic rug and basket!  On the other hand, it is rather fun when you can use Le Picnic to set the scene for your special occasion, and this I did, with gusto!

PicnicPeeps

I chose Beare Park, in Elizabeth Bay as it is equal-parts park, inner-city and harbour!  I am a big fan of quirky, quaint and hole-in-the-wall even when it comes to my park picks!

The great thing about picnics is that you can do simple or go large!  You can theme it UP to the max and make it an all-day affair, or you could simply keep it simple yet stylish, and let the flourishes abound in your cake, your napery and your FrenchFroth!  For this birthday, I chose the latter.  I wanted it to be an easy-breezy Saturday afternoon shindig.

PopcornPlayful

I ordered a playful cake, gathered the ingredients for some falafel wraps ─ I wanted to do something a little different from the usual charcoal-chook! ─ grabbed my favourite French cheese and my celebratory FrenchFroth also known as The OrangeLabel!

And I was almost there….

Other essential Picnic Paraphernalia:

PicnicPrancing

♥My preferred picnic rug and basket.

♥I like to inject some simple style with my napkins, paper plates, cups, glasses and cutlery.  I chose black-&-white stripes and polka dots for the former, (candles included!), and I always bring glass champagne flutes, and my favourite vintage cutlery ─ a real treat!

♥My camera (fully charged) and iPhone (for ‘gramming purposes!) are essential for capturing all manner of birthday moments!  I will often hand over La Contessa to one of my talented photographer-friends to get a different perspective, and also to give me a chance to enjoy my birthday-gal status over photographer-for-the-day!  It’s actually a lovely stream of surprises when I’m later scrolling through my pics.  I highly recommend telling folk to feel free to grab your camera throughout the day and snap away.

SisterFinland

♥Music definitely amps up the ambience, so bring your own or pool your tunes-resources. We all have music-mates…you know the ones with the music goods, so use them!  Keep it mellow and complementary or crank up a dancing-queen vibe ─ either way will infuse some flavour!

SisterSledge & me

Once my to-take list is ticked and all is packed, I throw on my relaxed party spirit as my final touch ─ an essential ingredient for good times!

Oh, and please remember those tidbits that are often forgotten…

sunscreen & ice for the Summer picnic!┃mozzie spray┃a jacket for when it gets cold & a flashlight for when you’re packing up in the dark, slightly inebriated!┃garbage bags┃wet wipes┃bottle opener and some matches to light the candles!

In conclusion, my ParkPicnicPrancing was a super relaxed and fun afternoon that carried over into evening at a friend’s nearby apartment!  Good folk, good food and good froth kept me brimming with good ole birthday cheer – even though my actual birthday was still 2 weeks away!

Take a bow

Let’s just say I got in early and continued to have a blast!

Do you subscribe to the multiple-birthday-celebration?  And are you a picnic fan?  What would be your ideal picnic scenario?

It’s Happy Birthday at Cocktail Hour! G&T anyone?

♫Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me-eeeee, happy FIRST birthday lieslg!♬

Yes, it’s that time.  One year already – wow!  And how apt that it should fall on a G&T Friday!!

So in honour of a year IN, and it serendipitously coming about at my G&T Cocktail Hour, I’ve decided to play on numbers today ━ yes, you guessed it, the number 12 is going to be in the spotlight!

12 things for which I am grateful ━ on the 12th month of my blog-run ━ in two thousand and 12, the year in which we all DELVE…deeper!

1. lieslg.com  Of course!  We have come this far, and I am only now really getting into my flow with you, and loving the be-heck outta you to boot.  It was always my intention to transition to this digitised notebook ━ my über-umbrella under which my cornucopia of ideas can take shelter, percolate and flourish.  My own neighbourhood of crankin’ creativity, where all wave at each other over fences.  To all of this, a special G&T salute!

2. My peeps.  Family is indeed foundation!  When it’s built solid, it can withstand the mightiest wind and the angriest storms ━ the grit and the muck can slap up against your window, but.it.just.sliiiides right the hell off!  Love is a short word, but its shadow is looooong, and I am grateful in my knowledge and experience that family fluff and frivolity is one thing, but it is FamilyFoundation that rocks ━ and rules! My nuclear family – including my dad who is indeed now our heavenly father!  My love, my rock, my friend ━ Mario, often referred to here as my NumberOneMan™.  My extended family scattered all over the world and Oz, but whose hearts are always near.  My family through marriage-thread!  My Transplants and Indiggies also known as my friends ━ those ‘transplanted’ from other countries, and my Aussie mates.  AND of course the newest peeps ━ my PrettyPetticoats and BobbyBritches.  Yes, that’s you out there who lovingly let your eyes roam over my words!  To all of you, a special G&T salute!

3. Coffee.  Yes, especially the smell of goooood coffee wafting into my bedroom whilst I get dressed.  Yes, NumberOneMan™ does this well!  To you, a special G&T salute!

4. Gifted bottles of le vin rouge.  I visited Casa Mama this past weekend, and not only did we leave with the customary Tupperware containers of good food, but added to that stash came the red in multiple bottles!  One, a South African 2005 Pinotage from Môreson ━ a riverside winery nestled in the picturesque mountain settings of Franschhoek Valley. That it reminds me of Gary, is extra sweet; My dad was an avid collector of South African wines.  To this, a special G&T salute!

5. Word Mistress. Being referred to as Word Mistress!  Such a compliment.  To you, a special G&T salute!

6. Challenges.  Work.  Exercise.  Personal.  Sometimes they play on their own.  Other times they come together in one big raucous party ━ oh, the hangover!  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  If my aim is to continue to sprout in new and wonderful ways, then I have to deal with pushing through the dirt!  And the things we learn…SO big, so nourishing ━ a whole lotta messy, but that’s what the ritual of bathing is for ━ wash away the gunk and soak those aching parts!  Meeting my challenges face on, and getting uncomfortable on a regular basis, is the best comfort I can be rewarded.  To these, a special G&T salute!

7. My creations.  Yesterday, while searching for some laptop screen cleaner, I came across some of these in one of my many notebooks!  It was a lovely distraction, and an even lovelier reminder of all the things within me, and all of the things I am doing.  It’s a wink from my Universal A-Team.  And for this, a special G&T salute!

8. Gorgeous Winter weather.  Cerulean skies and the Sun-babe giving these cold days a pimpin’ polish ━ so good!  A special G&T salute to you!

9. Baby Bliss.  It’s never been in my grand plan to have babies. Strange, because I absolutely love them!  Back in the day, my friend and I would laugh when I’d say, “You pause for the dogs, & I stop for the babies!”  There is something so infinitely pleasing about them, and twice in the past two days, toddlers prompted a smile and animation from me ━ I must also add that both times I was mid-way through my training session, and not generally a time for smiles or convivial conversation! To the kidlets ━ a special G&T salute indeed!

10. A good read.  From the frivolous fun and inspo I get from magazines, to the hardcopy books of my youth, and now the online onslaught, I am just in heaven!  I read you all ━ anywhere I am!  I laugh with you, get inspired by you, I get lost in you ━ relish you; I learn from you and I meet amazing people through you!  I am a lucky lass.  So to you my bedfellows, I salute,  and a special G&T one to boot!

11. Serendipity.  In all things!  Finding your answers ━ so fluidly.  Being lead.  Discovering places and things on your radar ━ so fluidly.  I think serendipity is sweet and most definitely sassy, and to her I raise a special G&T salute!

12. Snippets!  When time is on a tight leash, many things get lost ━ often the things you most want to do!  So when suddenly I find myself gifted with snippets ━ of both time and fiery ideas, I have to just…be in awe ━ and G&T mode!  Odd things, odd times all find their way into my inspiration inkwell and I realise that all things can be done ━ we find a way.  To the bits-&-bobs, I wave at you, a special G&T salute!

And with that, I have the birthday G&T salute down pat!

But, of course, that’s not all!  As a little weird-y birthday treat, I’ll finish off with a wish and…

12 Frivolous Facts about the girl, in celebration of her blog birthday ━ bombastic! lol

1. I love double and triple-salted Dutch liquorice, and Brussels sprouts!

2. My dad’s pet name for me was appeltje (meaning little apple in Afrikaans).  He used to always say, in a lovely lilting voice and with a big smile on his face, “Hello daddy’s little appeltje”!

3. I could happily live without ice-cream.

4. My name, spelling included, is directly from The Sound of Music!  My mum was a huge fan ━ and still is today.

5. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa.

6. For the first year of my life, I had no hair!  My mum got used to the many “Oh my, isn’t he gorgeous!” and “He is sooo cute, what’s his name?”  hahaha

7.  In 2001 I wrote and recorded a song.  It was nominated in the 2011 MusicOz Awards.

8. In 2002 I surprised Mario with a recording of “Happy Birthday” for his birthday, which was promptly played in the private room at The Park Hyatt, much to the surprise and delight of all in attendance ━ waitstaff included!

9. I am an excellent parallel parker!

10. I completed my 3-year Drama degree ━ from Melbourne’s La Trobe University ━ in two years.

11. To date, I have lived in 5 countries.

12. My favourite book is the dictionary!!

Hope you were thrillingly entertained! lol

Over and out ━ have a smashing weekend! xx

Soon it will be time and…I could be excited!

In a couple of days it will be one year since I started lieslg.  Yes, one year already!  Ahh…a birthday.  The first one!

I could easily have missed it (busy with stuff you know!) but that’s just not me.  I am far too aware – of everything, especially when it’s angsty!  Angsty?  For a birthday – essentially a time for celebration, a happy time?!  Ah, yes…let me explain.

Expectations.  Yes, those dastardly things.

You see, for some reason I have it in my mind that, by now, I should be blog-savvy-BOSS!  Ms Bloginaire or some such! You know, know a truckload more than I did this time last year!  Be circumnavigating the blog-o-community, dancing with collaboration and flirting with the high life ━ of sorts!

Hmmm…thing is I do know a truckload more than I did this time last year…but for me that just ain’t enough!  That’s how I roll ━ secret’s out!  But that’s the thing, I’m pretty much done with that kind of rollin’.  Time out.  I want to unroll.

Everyday, I feel like I’m just not “doing it right”!  Everyday, I think “Am I doing it right?”  “Am I being authentic?”  “Am I being original – unique?”  “Am I saying too much – too little?” “Am I giving my folk what they want?”  “Am I wholeheartedly doing what I love and in the process finding other kindred spirits who love it also?”  “Am I?  Am I?  Am I?!”  Questions, questions, questions whirling like Dervishes within the confines of MillyMyMind™!

Unroll.  Unroll.  Unroll.

Is it spot on?   Off track?  Sorta okay?  Who knows?!

I’ll tell you what my newly unrolling self knows…

I could be excited that I finally flicked fear on the ear and started this blog.  I could be excited that I have a blog and that I write here at least twice a week.  I could be excited that it has been a lovely journey of learning ━ frustrating and fun!  I could be excited that I’ve already experienced leaving the blog dormant in the first few months of her life, and then picked up speed again in the past few – most take a lot longer to take this unintentional sabbatical! LOL

I could be excited that I am part of a unique, and still flourishing community.  I could be excited that I’ve made a heck of a commitment and that everyday I am conscious of this commitment and determined to honour it.  I could be excited that I do have sweet readers and followers who click that ✶ and also send me lovely messages –  also known as my words of encouragement!

I could be excited that as a FabFortiesFilly, I am du jour and working bloody hard to breaststroke in this ocean of cyber freestylers!  I could be excited that each day I have an opportunity to learn something and rejoice in something that I already know.  I could be excited that lieslg represents a microcosm of my life.  I could be excited that I have such a privileged playing field on which to practise ━ my musings…to write and to share…things, stuff – meaningful and frivolous.  I could be excited that I now have a massive ‘live’ folder into which I can throw all of my creativity ━ in all of its weird and wonderful incarnations.  I could be excited about my own piece of cyber real estate where I can nest like wild!

I could be excited…yes, just flippin’ plain excited ━ period!

Accolades are pretty things, and expensive ━ and sometimes pretty things don’t last and expensive things devalue, and on the off chance even break!

It is better to start cultivating our own…slowly…from the inside…slowly…by doing what makes us happy and what could potentially make others happy too…A “well done!” and “you’re pretty damn alright!” is an excellent start.

And it’s better just to DO ━ with wanton abandon.  Put the above on repeat…and keep adding to our own Accolades Quilt.

Stepping out and UP is already our Oscar moment.  Anything more…is a bonus.

So in light of my impending birthday, I am excited.  Quite simply so.

At the end of the day, when you slip out of your fabulousness, you don’t lose an ounce of your rockin’-ass-magnificence!

Post Script:  Startin’ to sing a little pat-on-the-back song…and looking forward to sprinkling myself with some serious praise-confetti on the day…..oh, it’s gonna be fun!

This Is Your Life…

It is the little reminders that can cast a HUGE net of love and hope and relief and forgiveness and belief and all-out i.n.s.p.i.r.a.t.i.o.n just like that!

Today is Friday.  The 10th of February 2012 – the year we are meant to DELVE deeper – deeper into our hearts for the REST to follow.

Today is also my NumberOneMan’s™ birthday.  We sipped on delicious morning nectar and ate good food, surrounded by lovely people.  We drove with our windows down – I let nature style my locks, au naturel aka bossie-kop!

I breathed in the sky, the sunshine and the breeze – I tried not to worry, think too much…about “stuff”.  I deliberately put my head into the day as it was – Friday, birthday, warm, clean air, a radiant city, good folk all about, alive, safe…fortunate!

My NumberOneMan™ ‘flew a plane’!  We landed at Kai Tak, in a storm;  It was brilliant!

We laughed with a best mate, & took photos of me inside a photo booth – fun!

We looked at boats;  I clung to a leopard print dress that threatened to expose my underthings every 2 seconds!  I laughed — instead of berating myself for terrible-windy-day-dressing — & knotted that dress down into a new style!

We snapped & let the video cam roll.  We sipped tea and wine, and supped on good steak!

Flippin’ sparkling day!

In short,  don’t worry too much about anything.  Do what you love when you can – if “always” & “forever” are not yet viable. Five minutes of bliss is totally bombastic!  5 minutes at a time can blow away anything you wish to cast off, for those 5 minutes or for good.  1 2 3 4 FIVE — get your feel-good game ON!  And have a FUN week following your FUN weekend!

We Love Australia…DAY!

First there was “Happy 2012!” –  now we have “Happy Oz Day” folks!

Whether it is coming down in torrents or whether the sun peeks out and colours the sky blue;  Whether you open your eyes before the dawn breaks or decide to shut-eye till whenever; Whether you hit the road in your Skins, or lazily sip on terrific morning nectar;  Whether you participate in the plethora of shenanigans or decide you’ll simply hide out with your NumberOneMan™ [or Woman!] — whatever it is you’ll be doing, do it with gusto and enjoy every minute of it, moment by moment – 26 January 2012 will not come again!

When An Ordinary Day Rocks!

Happy Chinese New Year and two days;  Happy 2012 and 24!  I am sticking to theme – slap.bang.in.the.middle.of.things – and it’s working out just fine!

I have started & restarted a few things, and in the process, reminding myself to love, let go & just start again – simple!  It’s like an experiment – you’ve started, you’re doing, you relapse, and then you just reboot once more – simple!  It’s so much kinder to our souls & gentler on our sanity.

I have learned, & continue to remind myself, that it’s not the end of the world;  It just means another round, & more practice, and practice is the key to success.

So if you feel like kicking your resolution to the kerb OR giving your goals the boot, hold on a sec…and give the-opposite-&-unexpected-reaction a go instead.  Yes, laugh with it  “Oh my you SillyTilly – sigh – we’ll just have to put on the training wheels again tomorrow and go for another spin!”

Yeah, that’s the spirit!

“When you are kind, kindness will find you, follow you & KISS you all over!” – brownskin

I don’t focus on being kind to others – the intention is in my heart always;  It’s just the right thing to do, and something that gives me great pleasure.

So when kindness found me so consistently throughout yesterday, I was thrilled & super appreciative!  From a stack of complimentary beauty samples to hassle-free retail returns, & being presented, at the traffic lights, with fresh artisan bread gratis, I was filled with child-like glee!  I felt so completely abundant in what can often be a world of seemingly stark lack!  It is the little things.  Indeed, it is the little things!

It teaches me gratitude.  It teaches me, period.  Everyday!  And I learn, I am grateful, and hopefully I pass it on.

KINDNESS is the new black – GRATITUDE, your rocking statement piece!

Winging some WednesdayWonder to you my lovelies!

In The Middle Of Things!

New Years’ resolutions.  I am not a fan.  It’s far too absolute – now or never – and far too much expectation!

Starting afresh…trying something new…editing, adding & subtracting…taking action…following up, dreaming up something new, something different…or simply trying again, now that’s more my style.  It still subscribes to the notion of the New Year’s Resolution, but it’s refreshing, encouraging and most of all, it can be initiated or kickstarted at.any.time!

No need to start on a Monday,  after the holidays or New Year’s Day!  Start whenever…just wherever you are – slap.bang.in.the.middle.of.things!

Because we live our lives every day – we don’t start it on a special occasion.  And we navigate the best way we know how, with all that we have around us – the knowledge, the resources and the support from awesome people.

So let’s not beat ourselves around the head or heart.  Let’s decide to be the head cheerleader on our TeamSelf!  Let’s laugh with it, around it, at it, and just have fun especially when mistakes happen & we slip up!

Because when we do, we can always start again – slap.bang.in.the.middle.of.things!  Bring on Wednesday, the beginning of April or that far-too-hot Thursday evening!

Beginning in the middle of things is cool.  It’s the best.

I have a whole bunch of stuff that I will be initiating, in the middle of things, and I’ve already made a start.  A week or so ago, I bought myself a brand new Moleskine – it’s the best incentive ever to start scribbling dreams & fanciful notions!*

I am excited because there is no pressure.  It’s purely some things that I want to action.  I’ve dreamed it up,  I let it simmer in my head for a spell, and then I simply got writing and intention-ing, all the while believing that it can & will be done, regardless of what the process may cough up.   After all, my get-out-of-jail card is to keep beginning where I am…slap.bang.in.the.middle.of.things!

So approach your New Year’s Eve celebrations with a sense of satisfaction, and a party spirit to rival the best!  Welcome 2012 – the year to DELVE deeper, exactly where you are…slap.bang.in.the.middle.of.things!

Here’s to swirling your skirts and kicking up those Kirkwoods in honour of a wicked 2011 wrap-up!

*Please note that the best ventures have started from fanciful notions!