The Epic List
This Creative Collective challenge wasn’t exactly created by me. In fact in no way whatsoever did I create the list, but I had to share it as it has inspired my creativeness over the last week or so. 
Valentine’s Day is something Peter and I take part in unashamedly. We’re not one of those couples who says “every day is Valentine’s Day” or “Valentine’s Day is just a load of crap thought up by card companies” and “we don’t need a special day to show we love each other” blah blah blah! Yes all those things are and should be true, but who cares. Why shouldn’t folk partake in a day where we spread the love a little more?
So this year I was surprised with flowers, a card and go karting – what’s wrong with a little healthy competition between partners? But our Valentine’s continued over to the next morning when I woke up all alone hearing Peter click away on the computer next door. When I went through he announced he was making me and Epic Playlist, an epic list of  movies scores to get me all inspired. In other words, a mix tape!

Mix Tapes
Ok so it’s a folder full of MP3s, but the thought and hard work is still there. Any kid of the 80’s & 90’s must have fond memories of making complex, thought out tapes recorded from the radio, TV and movies. I once spent hours trying to perfectly record God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You and the Reaper Rap from the end of Bill & Ted’s Bogus journey! Well Peter spent an entire day on this so I’m pretty over the moon with all 87 tracks, some I know and some I don’t. He even edited bits out, bits together or shortened some of them down to my favourite parts. Awesome!

It may not be my creative hard work, but listening to it every day since the moment he finished it has been like therapy, helping me concentrate on my work and designs,. Even inspiring me to come up with new ones, so in that way it totally counts! It’s also one hell of a Valentine’s Day gift from one movie score geek to another.

Here’s a little sneak peek at some of the tracks on the Epic List

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Finding ways to be more creative is always a good thing and something I’m always trying to do. So when I read about Melyssa’s Creative Collective idea over at The Nectar Collective I couldn’t wait to get started.
Our first assignment from Melyssa was to think about the year ahead:

Think of a word that you want to focus on in 2014.
Find a piece of paper, cardboard, old pizza boxes, whatever, and write your word out. You can include photos, magazine clippings, paint splotches, random household items, or anything, really, that embodies this word to you. Make it colourful, if you like. Then hang it somewhere in your house or bedroom where it can inspire you and help you maintain your focus throughout the year.

It took a while to narrow it down to just one word, but I kept coming back to the same one – Growth.

I did a fair bit of growing last year with regards to my outlook on things, but there’s still plenty to be done. I should be kinder to myself – I’m my own worst enemy and critic so it’s time to let that go and be a little bit much more forgiving.

This year I’m also challenging myself to meet my fitness goals – to grow to love myself and body more. A bit mushy I know, but hey! I’ve got the January blues at the moment being pretty unhappy with my weight, but more importantly unhappy with how unfit I am. This must change! If I get my fitness back I’ll grow healthier, more alert and more energetic – all good stuff!

With each experience we grow and I’m aiming to take on new experiences and grow and learn with each one. The Creative Collective will be a great way to get this going, get creative and connect with new bloggers – again all good stuff. 

Like I said in one of my previous posts, this is my positive year and it’s time to Make it So!

Have you linked up with Melyssa’s Creative Collective yet? Join in by hitting the button below and get your creative on!

The Creative Collective

So we are now midway through January and how many of us made fitness and weight loss goals at the start of the month due to the new year? Well, if you made a little fitness resolution to pursue in 2014, then welcome to your perfect giveaway!

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 The ‘Get Fit’ Giveaway is all about giving you all the tools, support, and motivation you need to achieve your very best in 2014! No matter what fitness goal you’ve made for yourself this year the ‘Get Fit’ Giveaway will help set you on the path to success and self-love, because being healthy isn’t just about what’s on the outside.
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Visit Cassey’s website, Blogilates, for amazing monthly work outs, encouragement, and much more!

You’ll find yourself rejuvenated by Cassey Ho’s 12 Week New Body Makeover Meal Plan and completely inspired by her Pop Pilates Total Body Workout DVD. Cassey is a certified Pilates instructor and shares her love of fitness, self-love, and empowerment for all by wrapping it all up in a ball of positivity that will keep you motivated and moving for your entire body blasting workout. Cassey is all kinds of fitness guru with a thriving Youtube channel full of quality workouts, Ho was included in the Youtube 2013 Rewind featuring the year’s top viral videos, and was even named the #2 most influential online personality by Sharecare (second to only Jillian Michaels).

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Feast your eyes on all that Blogilates Swag!! The ‘Get Fit’ Giveaway is all about giving you everything you need to make a lasting change for 2014 and here’s the lowdown on what one lucky winner can look forward to winning:

1 x Yoga Bag Bow My Gawd Blogiltes Bag $45.00 value
1 x Yoga Mat Train Insane or Remain the Same Blogilates Mat $25.00 value
1 x Pop Pilates Blogilates Workout DVD $14.99 value
1 x Blogilates Fit Journal + 12 week nutrition plan $30.00 value
1 x Beast Mode Blogilates Water/Shaker Bottle $9.95 value
1 x Sistema Lunch Box $11.85 value
Which comes to a whopping $136.79 value!
PLUS
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Yup, we are even giving away a $50.00 Amazon gift card to make sure that the winner is able to get the protein powder the 12 week plan requires. Not only are we hooking you up with all the resources you need, but you’ll even have access to me, Crystal from The Happy Type, because I’ll be doing the plan right alongside of you! Anytime that you need support just reach out to me and I’ll give you real-time support.
Together, we can do anything.
Yes, I know this giveaway is the bee’s knees, so let’s check out the wonderful group of ladies who are committed to making sure you’ve got everything you need to reach your goals.
Get Fit Collage
| The Happy Type | nomElizabeth | Jade and Oak |
| A Moving Story | Daisy Bisley | Scattered Seashells |
| Chits and Giggles | The Style Dunce | Art of Balance |
I think they all totally deserve a slow clap, don’t you? Yup.
Good luck to everyone who enters and for one lucky winner get ready for a life changing 12 weeks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Winner will be notified within 24 hours of giveaway’s end. Winner will have 48 hours to respond, before a new winner will be selected. Giveaway is open to international entries and will be shipped within 48 hours of winner verification. All entries will be reviewed and verified prior to selecting a winner.

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2013 was a great (and stressful) year. Peter and I moved in to our very own home, after nine months being out of work I was offered a great job, my freelance worked picked up to a point where I could barely keep track of it, but I managed and learned a lot in the process. Most importantly, however, is that my outlook has changed greatly over the past year.
Had I written the previous paragraph at the beginning of January 2013 it would have gone something like this: I lost my job and spent nine months unemployed being turned down by every job I applied for. This got so bad that I was convinced I was obviously terrible at what I do and almost gave up on my freelance work which ended up almost impossible to keep on top of.
I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to have changed that! I still have a ways to go yet, but it feels fantastic that I’ve been able to make that one change – to see the positives when before I would concentrate on the negatives.

With this in mind, there are a lot of posts I’ve written in the last year that I’m very proud of so I thought it might be a good idea to share some as a little retrospective on my blogging growth and to keep the positivity flowing around here.

In 2013 I met some amazing folk. Three in particular have been a constant source of encouragement, support and inspiration. Whether they know it or not, they helped me a great deal in changing my outlook and becoming more positive and I’m so grateful to them. So I’m also sharing a couple of posts from each of these great bloggers that have helped me during the last year – a positive naming and shaming if you like 😉
My Favourite Posts of 2013
How to Keep Calm and Focused While Working Freelance

Five Things We Can Learn From Rocky
Embrace Your Inner Geek
Blogging 101 – What I’ve Learned So Far
Make It So

And now for a couple of my favourite posts from the lovely ladies I was telling you about

The Happy Type

Crystal at The Happy Type
Protecting Your joy
Work It Out

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The Nectar Collective

Melyssa at The Nectar Collective
15 Tips for Being Positive

The Rules of Positivity

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http://www.chimerikal.com/

Erika at Chimerikal
Throwing Away My Bucket List
The Middles

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My blog has been sitting here in web space unloved, but not forgotten. Life in the latter part of 2013 got a little bit crazy. My freelance work boomed, I got a full time job and keeping on top of everything burned me out a bit.

After a much needed break over Christmas and New Year I’m feeling better, calm, collected, refreshed and ready to get back in to the swing of blogging. However this time I’m changing things up a bit with my approach.

There are a few conditions that come with my new blogging mission:
1. I’m making a promise to not get angry and annoyed with myself if I don’t post everyday

2. I will not give up if I feel my blog isn’t as good as others
3. I’m not going to get bogged down with numbers! My blog is for me to share and express my thoughts – not to make money
4. I must go easy on myself! Take inspiration from others, not try to emulate them – to be my own bloggy self!

These conditions are a result of what added to my burning out, taking my blog far too seriously and forgetting what my initial intentions were. Always worrying about numbers, content and whether anyone was reading.

You lovely and talented folk who have blogs full of killer content, making a living from blogging amaze and inspire me, but after giving it a go, full time blogging just isn’t for me. And that’s ok! I’ve realised that doesn’t make me a blogging failure.

2014 is my positive year, a year where I’ll be kinder to myself. So I’m taking a more chilled out and laid back approach – I’m blogging for me and my own sanity. If I make new connections and re-connect with old ones that will be amazing, but I won’t be going crazy if there’s only three of you reading this, that will be fine (and hey to the three of you).

So here’s to a New Year, new and refreshed blogging aspirations, to new connections and old! I hope you’ve all had a great holiday season. Now it’s time to kick 2014 in the ass and make it a great one!

Here’s one of my new favourite inspirational tunes for a kick start!

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Weekly Wishes 12

I’m feeling flowery today as all of my plants are still ALIVE! So far I am succeeding in keeping my two orchids, three succulents, lucky bamboo and peace lily alive – I was sure I would have killed by them by now. One of my little succulents is now big enough that I’m thinking Peter and I may get away without a Christmas tree, we could just sling some little fairy lights on it and BOOM – Christmas sorted!

So it’s Monday and that means that its Weekly Wishes time in which we all link up over at The Nectar Collective and share what our hopes and goals are for the coming week. Last week I had a little list:

  • Send off everything required for my top secret project
  • Write some postcards to three lovely ladies, Melyssa, Crystal and Erika, to express my gratitude to them
  • Tick off everything on my freelance to do list
  • Send off my giveaway goodies to the lovely Nicole 

How did I do? Well everything for the top secret project has been sent (more on that next month) and all of my giveaway prizes were posted too. As for the others, there was no way I was going to be able to tick everything off my freelance list, but I knew that. I put it there to get my ass moving!

For the postcards – sorry ladies they haven’t been sent yet, but there’s good reason. Instead of postcards I am making up some gratitude packs for you. I’ll hopefully have them all put together at some point in the next fortnight so keep an eye out! 

This week is an exciting one. I only went and got myself a new shiny job! Yuppers I’m finally going back to a full time job but this time it’s a design one and I’m so happy! My new title? Design Executive – how sweet is that?!

Although I can’t wait to get started yesterday I had a bit of a freak out. How am I meant to keep the house tidy and still enjoy a full weekend?! How is that done? How do you cope? Then came the list making frenzy. Peter, being the ever supportive hero of my need to list and chart everything, has agreed to a daily routine that I have typed up, printed and now stuck on the fridge – we do a room a day leaving the weekend for nothing but relaxing/designing/gaming. Just ten minutes a day when we get in and that’s it, easy enough? I hope so.

So this week’s wishes are that I don’t suck tomorrow on my first day, a new early morning routine kicks in and sticks quickly and that our house work chart goes well. I also plan to continue checking things off my freelance list so I can get more organised there and really start to get the freelance/work/free time balance sorted. That last one is going to be tough for the next few months, but as always, I’ll keep on plugging through it and get it done.

Have you joined up with Melyssa’s Weekly Wishes yet? Jump one over and share you goals with us all and get some love!

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After a bit of bloggy soul searching, reading Belinda’s Follow Your Blogging Compass series and a very inspiring comment from Erika I decided that the blog needed a bit of a rethink with regards to what I was posting about. I was thinking too broadly and trying to emulate what other blogs were doing, totally stripping myself of my uniqueness. We’re all different and that should be celebrated so why should I try and copy others.
A little bit of self belief has sunk in and the encouragement of others has been incredibly inspirational and I’m so grateful for those lovely ladies.
So where am I going with this? That little word up top there in my header says nerdyness and so far I haven’t been delivering on the goods. So it’s time to inject some nerd juice in to the blog starting with a new series. With Nerd Love I aim to start sharing some of the nerdy things I love, why I love them and why you should give them a shot if you haven’t already and if you have then you can share what you love about them too. Hopefully we can all start embracing our inner Geeks and Nerds and spread the love.
First up in the series I want to talk about where I believe my love of sci fi started. I was lucky enough to be exposed to Star Trek the original series when I was really young and got my little geek on when I watched it. But I only liked it back then, the love came later so it’s fair to say my geekery didn’t all start with the Trek.

No, it started in the New Mexico desert where a scientific genius stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and… all together now… vanished!


Gooshie, centre me on the best TV show ever!

Although some would argue it’s not really sci fi, Quantum Leap counts to me as in essence it’s about a super handsome guy travelling through time. It was my first true sci fi love.

It was a show that shaped me as a person not only as a mini nerd, but as a human with human feels. I often joke that Sam Beckett is responsible for my outlook and ideals, but in a way it’s totally true! What?! I watch too much telly I know! But seriously, it was very influential on a kid of seven watching googly eyed at that blue light and her favourite hero.

The whole concept of the show is that Sam, with the help of Al, Ziggy and Gooshie travels back in time to fix things that went wrong in the past. That concept alone instilled feelings of the need to help each other out once in a while and in the immortal words of Bill & Ted “be excellent to each other” (that’s another Nerd Love post for another time).

You’re part of a time travel experiment that went a little ca-ca

Quantum Leap covered a whole load of topics that were pretty daring and influential in my beliefs as an adult. I’ll admit some went over my head as a kid, but the info went in and was there at the back of my brain for when I started to fully understand what really being said. Some of the more serious themes in the series included racism, sexism, rape and the treatment of those with special needs. Each theme was handled with care, well written and acted superbly.

What I loved most about Quantum Leap was Scott Backula as Sam. He just hit that nerve in me every time helping me take in what was going on and how I felt about it. Making me really think, which is always a good thing!

Everything in Quantum Leap always seemed so heartfelt and genuine especially the relationship between Sam and Al. One always tried their best to look out for the other and some of my favourite leaps involved Sam looking out for Al from the past – with the exception of one heartbreaking leap where Sam refuses to tell Al’s wife to wait for him, that he’s alive and he will come home from war. This eventually leads you to the even more heartbreaking final leap where Sam says he has one thing he wishes he could change… 

I’m stuck in ’56 with a brain like swiss-cheese and YOU’RE having technical difficulties

There is nothing bad for me to say about Quantum Leap. It’s full of heart and feels and so much fun to watch. It also holds some great sentimental value to me too. My Dad used to let me stay up late and watch it with him so it’s been kind of a bond that I’ve always held on to no matter how rough things got during later years.
For me there has never been a show like it since and to be honest, Sci Fi really played a small part in my love for it. My love was all about the heart of the show and how involved I got. I was right along with Sam and Al totally invested in what was happening. But it did open me up to more sci fi shows and I’ll geek out whenever it’s repeated on TV so I hold solely responsible! 
What about you guys? Can you pin point your early nerdy beginnings? Do you have any favourite sci fi shows or are you a crazy Leaper lover like me? Unleash your geek in the comments.
Now Gooshie… centre me in on dinner!

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