31 December 2010

What I learnt in 2010

2011 is a stinking hot day, some fireworks, a long floaty dress and a bottle of wine drank from a plastic cup away.

2010 has been an amazing year for me. The best I can remember. I hope 2011 is just as great, if not better, for all of us.

I hope that in 2011 I will be writing more, find true love, and save some more. I hope I continue this good streak of low sick days, and that I recommence my early 2010 interest in going to the gym. I hope to see more live music and cook more (I know it seems I do these things a lot already, but I don't do them as much as I should). I want happiness and success for me and everyone I love.

Happy New Year! Celebrate safely.

Here is what I learnt in 2010:

You can't wear red, checks or stripes on TV. Autocue is difficult to use. The word 'congruent' should not be used on autocue until the word gets easier to pronounce and autocue gets easier to read from. Working on TV is not glamourous. There will be hands thrust down your top and up your dress to affix the microphone.

A cheese platter is not a meal.

Wearing skinny jeans to a gig is difficult when a singer invites you on stage to hold their lyrics. It's best to plan future gig outfits based on this possibility.

Seeing a band is best when you're up the front. Crowded House. Powderfinger. Basement Birds. Angus and Julia Stone. Bob Evans. Steve Poltz. All superior gigs compared to the others I've been to this year because I was at the front.

It's perfectly reasonable to book a ticket to a band because you've seen their concert on DVD.

I don't get nervous much. Not on camera. Not giving an off the cuff speech at an awards ceremony. Not in a job interview. Only when I meet Callan Mulvey, the nicest man on TV.

I love my Macbook but hate my iPhone.

Saving money is wise and useful. And makes me feel like a grown up. But I still adore shopping.

Most of my weekends have been full. I have treasured these, but also treasured doing nothing.

It's just as traumatic losing a pet as it is losing a human in your life.

I blink a lot. Seeing myself on camera has shown me this.

My friends are awesome. So are my parents. I am so thankful for them.

Some of my best new friends are those I am yet to meet, or those I speak to on the phone or via email at work.

Some friends continue to let me down.

I really enjoy mentoring someone at work.

Don't do something if it's not your passion. Give that opportunity to someone whose passion it really is.

I made a really difficult decision this year. I will soon carry it through, and the day I do will be really difficult.

Writing this blog and meeting people through it is wonderful. Readers respond best to the honest and sometimes confronting blog entries.

The most googles that lead readers to my blog are 'Callan Mulvey', 'Nina's clothes in Offspring' and 'Your sister's a six at best'. People google me too. This used to freak me out. Now I'm ok with it. Sort of.

Dreams can come true if you persevere by working hard. I am now a writer, just like I dreamed of being.

Being recognised alongside journalists from The ABC, Triple J, SBS, Crikey and The Australian for my opinion pieces on DiVIne is pretty amazing. So is being asked to write for the ABC.

Success has come quickly. I am scared of failure.

It's ok to take risks. I took a risk by loving someone. This was equal parts the best and worst thing of my 2010. I wouldn't change it.

Just because you love someone doesn't mean they're right for you.

I can make a difference in this world, just by being myself.

What have you learnt?

30 December 2010

Callan Mulvey got married

Though the locusts are flying thick and fast in country NSW, the internet, or interNOT, is chugging along like me on a hot day. S L O W. I believe the locusts could somehow play a part in delivering faster internet - there are many and they are very fast.

Due to my lack of (limited because of speed) internet, I missed the news of the week and was alerted to it via Twitter today while I sat at the tyre place having my front left tyre replaced. iPhone coverage is good in Albury, not good 20 minutes north of it. I am three days behind the eightball of celebrity news gossip.

My celebrity love, Callan Mulvey got married (not to me).

He married school teacher Rachel Thomas in Byron Bay.

There is a New Idea magazine spread. I RUSHed out to buy it today.

Rachel looks beautiful! I love her dress.

Congratulations to them both - I wish them much happiness together. Callan is one of the nicest celebrities I have ever met - Rachel is a lucky lady.

From the Herald Sun:
ROMANTIC Callan Mulvey has Rush-ed down the aisle and married his schoolteacher sweetheart Rachel Thomas.

The pair tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in the Byron Bay hinterland after a whirlwind, long-distance romance.

"It was hands down the most beautiful, incredible night of my life," Mulvey told New Idea.
The blushing bride looked stunning in a dusty pink 1930s vintage gown and lace-edged veil.

Her young son Charlie, 6, was ring bearer in a little pin-striped suit as his mum and Mulvey exchanged vows in front of 25 guests.

The ceremony was written by a meditation teacher and a local chef prepared a vegan wedding feast.

Handsome Rush actor Mulvey met Thomas in 2002 when he moved to Byron Bay to focus on music.

A year later, Mulvey was fighting for his life after being injured in a head-on car crash.

He has since recovered, but he lost the sight in one eye and still suffers headaches.
Mulvey told the magazine it was not until this year that "the planets aligned" and their friendship blossomed into romance.

With Mulvey in Melbourne filming Rush and Thomas based in NSW, the pair managed a long-distance love and Mulvey proposed on holiday in Bali in June.

"Rachel is my lover, my best friend, my everything. It is just so special and so right," he said.

Edit; Callan Mulvey's wife reads my blog! Some more wedding photos.

29 December 2010

Love and other Drugs film review

Being on holidays means going to the cinema. Today I went for the second day in a row, this time to see Love and other Drugs, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.
Love and other Drugs is a genre hard to define. It tries to be a romantic comedy, but is more like a relationship focused blockbuster with an intelligent message. Generally I dislike romantic blockbusters - they seem to be unrealistic and assume the audience is dumbed down. Love and other drugs wasn't and didn't.

Set across 1996 and 1997, the film reminds us of long lost musical hits(?) such as Two Princes, The Macarena, Praise You, Liz Phair's awesome Supernova, and oddly from another era, 2006's brilliant Fidelity by Regina Spektor. I thought he music was lacking in the latter two thirds of the film. The film also reminds us of 90s fashion - Doc Martens and denim dungarees worn with only a bra underneath - the latter, like Two Princes and The Macarena, is best left in the 90s.

The film also highlights the competitive pharmaceuticals sales market. The spruiking of pharmaceutical drugs to doctors by sales reps with little medical training is dangerous.

James Randall, played by the incredibly good looking Jake Gyllenhaal, is a smart underachiever who becomes a salesman for the Pfizer drug company after he loses his retail job in an audio-visual store. He is also very smooth with the ladies - charming and bedding them, usually to make a sale. Through his one time undercover role as a medical intern with Dr Stan Knight (played by Hank Azaria) - aiming to find out what patients want in their medication, he meets witty and intelligent artist, Maggie Murdoch (Anne Hathaway), a 26 year old with early onset Parkinson's disease. He ogles her breast, she hits him, then he charms her number from the receptionist he's playing naughty nurses with. 

Both commitment phobic, James and Maggie agree to sleep together, just once. Once turns into frequently, but Maggie does not want James to get close because of her illness. She doesn't want to fall in love and have to let James see her at her most sick, or worse, become a burden on him.

The acting was good. There were funny scenes. Sad scenes. Very moving scenes. A lot of nudity and sex.  The film showed some of the realities of living with Parkinson's disease, in both serious and humorous ways.The film doesn't trivialise or glamourise disability (well, if you don't count the good looking lead roles).
Nor does it solely define the character with their disability.

The story reminded me of Lara Irvine's article on Ramp Up, and also my blog entry about sex. We all want love and we all want to feel needed. I identified with so many parts of this film, and I am sure some of my friends and anyone with a chronic illness or disability would do too. I identified with the desire not to lose the true 'you' because of your illness. Wanting the one you love to believe in themselves as much as you believe in them. The cost of medication. Finding others with similar illnesses. The tiring and desperate search for a cure, generally by someone who loves you and is without your illness. The fear of being a burden on someone because of your illness. The fear of being someone's 'pity fuck'.

Love and other Drugs is a movie that left me thinking, and a bit teary, after I exited the cinema. And it wasn't just about how hot Jake Gyllenhaal is.

28 December 2010

Happy birthday to my Mum!

Today is my wonderful Mum's birthday!

We had a nice day celebrating her birthday - opening of presents, lunch at our favourite Thai cafe and Gulliver's Travels at the cinema. I bought Mum another Nelson Mandela book (Conversations with Myself) and a cute wooden earring tree, and Dad bought her season 3 of The Librarians on DVD plus a surprise day out with lunch and film.

My Mum is the best mother in the world. She is so selfless, generous and loving. She's funny, stylish and smart. She looks much younger than she is. She always sees the good in others. She is a fantastic cook!

I've been pretty sore this holiday, and last night we sat on the couch watching TV, and she combed the skin from my scalp just like when I was a kid. She's pretty amazing!

Happy birthday Mum! I love you so much ♥

Here we are in the glorious sunshine today!

27 December 2010

Triple J's Hottest 100 voting

I voted for Triple J's Hottest 100 again. It was a tough choice, and had to leave out a few of my favourites to get to my top 10.

I wanted a top 25 - with more Angus and Julia Stone and Washington, Sia, Sparkadia, Sarah Blasko, Boy and Bear, Pendulum (ABC theme), Sally Seltman, Kimbra, John Steele Singers and Gypsy and the Cat.

My top 10 - comprises mostly Australian artists:

Angus And Julia Stone - For You
Angus And Julia Stone - Hold On
Basement Birds - Bus Stop
Birds Of Tokyo - Plans
Gyroscope - Baby, I'm Getting Better
Kings Of Leon - The End
Little Red - Rock It
Paul Kelly/Angus Stone - Four Seasons In One Day
Washington - Sunday Best
Wombats, The - Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)

I've technically got four Angus and/or Julia Stone songs in my list.

I love Australian music!

My picks for number one are Washington's Sunday Best, Angus and Julia Stone's Big Jet Plane or Sia's Clap Your Hands. I know I didn't vote for two of those songs, but as I said, the choice was tough.

Isn't this video beautiful?

What is your top 10??

26 December 2010

Little Christmas miracles

I'll preface this by saying that a proper documentation of my Christmas day - present photos and food photos - will be coming soon. Internet service is poor here in the country, so it takes about an hour to upload four pictures. I will get to that when I return to Melbourne.

It was lovely on Christmas day. It was spent at home with my parents and grandfather during the day, and then with friends at night. We had feasts for lunch and dinner. And I received (and gave) Amazing presents. Vouchers, money, Mimco purses and hair clips, books and pyjamas. I was seriously spoilt.

Christmas to me isn't about religion or spending a heap on presents. It's about showing those you care about how much you love and value them.

There were a few little Christmas miracles for me yesterday. They came in the form of text messages from friends.I received some beautiful and unexpected messages that made me feel so loved. A friend who I used to see a lot of and now not so much told me how lucky he is to have me as a friend. I received an unexpected thanks for a present and letter I sent someone - he loved it (phew!)! Another friend told me I am her favourite person she's met this year. And there were many other messages of love, encouragement and appreciation of friendships. It does not cost a lot to show people you care. I am truly blessed to have the friends that I do. Thank you. And wow :)

Plus my parents are super proud of me and are spruiking my success and business cards at every chance they get!
I hope you all had great Christmas days.

PS: I finally heard a funny joke from a Christmas cracker! I know. Another Christmas miracle!
Q: What do you call a woman standing between two goal posts?
A: Annette!!!

24 December 2010

Christmas eve - new dress!

I arrived at my parents' house yesterday afternoon, collecting lots of locust guts on my car. It's great to see them (my parents, not the locusts!) and also familiar faces in Albury, and to be pampered.

It's been a leisurely Christmas eve, spent doing a small amount of food shopping, preparation for Christmas lunch tomorrow (blog post on Christmas day and its food is planned!), reading magazines and starting to read The Princess Bride. I am a bit sore today so this rest and relaxation is just what I need.

I bought a new dress today too! It was love at first sight.
It is from Brown Sugar - the first piece of clothing I've got from there since 1997 when Mum bought my year 10 work experience suit.
It's a beautiful day here in country NSW. I was only outside with the sunshine on my shoulders for two minutes, but my, it felt great!

One more sleep til Santa comes! Hope you're all having nice Christmas eves :)

22 December 2010

Last day at work for the year - food, flash mob, present, Anna and Bob Evans

Today was my last day of work for the year! I am spending time with my family from tomorrow.

It was a fantastic day at work - I love my colleagues and the work I do. I don't blog about my 9 to 5 job at all, but today warrants a blog!

I work as an events planner/writer to enhance the social fabric and corporate engagement within my organisation. It is often a lot of fun and I work directly with and meet a wide range of great people. I think it's such a rewarding job. I have made wonderful friends, including some who I only talk to on the phone and have either not met or have only met once or twice. That's the beauty of working in such a large organisation.

The day started off with special end of year breakfast out at a cafe where I was treated to a yummy breakfast of field mushrooms, goats cheese and guacamole on sourdough with a side of salmon, and juice. This picture does not do it justice. The pink filter is on? My breakfast was soooo good!
Then at around 10.30 am, my immediate colleagues and I commenced our 'grazing day' - where we grazed on yummy food all day. It was so wonderful. We'd planned this day for several weeks, calendarising and discussing menus. People baked and brought delicious foods - nuts, cheese, pannetone, carrot cake, bread, dips, brownies, cookies and cheesecake. Heavenly!

Brownies - thanks S! So rich!
This cheesecake was the best I've ever had.Thanks C!
I baked two things - custard and berry tartlets...
...puff pastry cases baked for 10 minutes, topped with French vanilla custard and frozen berries cooked in a little water and sugar...

And asparagus and brie tart - a great way to use up my leftovers before the holiday...
...seven free range eggs (the colour of the yolks was amazing) beaten into a custard with King Island cream...
...some fresh chives and mint, salt and pepper, the last of the tasty cheese, and two bunches of blanched baby asparagus all poured into a shortcrust pasty lined dish and topped with sliced brie. Yum!!

We ate all day. Seriously. Such fun.

At lunch (when we DIDN'T eat) my colleague M and I saw this performance at Melbourne Central.
75 singers, a conductor, microphones and speakers, and a huge crowd around every balcony.

A flash mob choir - the Skin Opera. It sounded amazing - unexpectedly because of the vastness of the shopping centre. It was pretty special to see and hear!

We bumped into the lovely Anna from the Cock Tales podcast - I had never met Anna but she recognised me because I am good friends with her podcast co-host Scott (as featured on previous blog entries such as this one). We hugged and chatted for a while, and decided we need to have a drink together.

I also received something wonderful in my mail box - hand delivered tonight!
A seriously beautifully wrapped and packed Vogue Forums Kris Kringle gift from Esz at Kitty's Drawings. Sorry for the blurry photos.
Inside there was a Portmans silk scarf, some lollies, fabric brooches and a necklace from my favourite Etsy seller, Wiyomu.
Wow! I am so lucky - this was a fabulous gift - I am very thankful, and I wish you a happy Christmas, Esz.

When I returned home, I received a heads up that this video is now on YouTube

Thank you Peterdaicosisgod for recording and uploading it! It brings back great memories of my favourite gig of 2010.

And finally in other great news I received an email at work to say I've won an award, to be presented in January 2011. I am honoured.

Today was a wonderful day to end my working year. :)

I hope you all have/had great last days at work before the Christmas break, and that if you are working over the Christmas period, that your days are good. A special shout out to the emergency service workers and charity workers who forgo Christmas day celebrations with their families to help others.

PS: thank you to everyone for being so supportive and encouraging about my previous blog entry about sex. It certainly took some deep breaths and courage to write and publish! I am glad some of you can relate, and that it's provided a new perspective for others. Your comments have made me think a lot too.

PPS: this blog just turned over 100,000 visitors in just over a year. Well 11 months as I only started the stat counter in January. Thank YOU!!

21 December 2010


Last week I wrote that sex is something I refrain from writing about in this blog. I guess I refrain so I can project the best image of myself to my readers - be it strangers, my parents, friends, colleagues, and most importantly, potential employers. I am conservative about discussing sex in real life too. Though when I blushed (in only the way I can - going white) at someone mentioning the word orgasm, I gladly took part, on several occasions, in risque conversations with my No Limits friends.

Today I am going to take the plunge(ing neckline) and write about sex on this blog, in response to a great opinion piece I read on ABC's Ramp Up.

Lara Irvine wrote a very funny, personal piece, Dating, disclosure and disability, and I can relate to it so much. Here's an excerpt:

Generally though, people have no idea the kind of things I do in the privacy of my own home to keep up the appearance of a 'normal' life. I know that's a luxury a lot of people with disabilities don't have, but it creates a whole new set of problems about disclosure. Is it on the first, second or twenty-seventh date that you tell someone that your digestive system is up shit creek and IV nutrition is what keeps you going?
I also come with all these rules now; like don't stay up too late, be careful what and when I'm fed and never go swimming. A bit like a gremlin but with less eighties haircuts on the supporting cast (unless I'm visiting my aunty Kerry, but that's getting off topic). I'm just getting used to this new lifestyle myself, so how can I foist it on someone else?
'Definitely don't say anything until the third or fourth date,' advised one (fully able-bodied and healthy) friend. 'That kind of stuff would freak anyone out.' Hmm. Thanks for that little ego boost, buddy. So I tried her method, but at the time that meant keeping up the ruse that at 27 years of age, with two university degrees and no apparent impediments, I was unemployed and well-versed in the intricacies of daytime TV by choice. As it turned out, I never got to tell that guy about my illness because we never made it to the third date. I can't blame him - I wouldn't be interested in someone who knows as much about The Circle as I do either.

So keeping quiet til I decide the guy is a keeper doesn't seem to work, but then I'm not sure I want it as the headline in my RSVP profile either. 'Hi, I'm a girl who tires easily and takes Gastro-stop every single day ;) Let's chat!' Obviously that's not going to fly. I don't want potential partners to think of me as the kind of person who uses smiley emoticons, for one thing. Also though, there is a very unglamorous side to life with a digestive disorder... It's not all parking stickers and pension supplements, you know. Even if I do figure out how to tell Dan Sultan about all my issues (because clearly, that's who I intend to date), the reality of it all would turn anyone off. Even someone who loves me as much as Dan is sure to.
I have mentioned similar challenges to Lara's in my Someone will come along one day blog entry and DiVine article. Just as the dating market is tough for people without disabilities, it's tough for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. It's hard to get past the explanations and questions about my illness. It's difficult to meet someone under the influence of alcohol who is reasonable enough just to accept that this is my appearance and that I will have my illness forever. When there is a pretty blonde with non-scaly skin dancing over there and me, the easier and more attractive option for the man is usually the pretty blonde.

Knowing when to, and how much to disclose about my skin is kind of up there with deciding the best time to first have a poo in a boyfriend's toilet. (I once went three days not doing a poo, but he did see me naked.) I wonder if it's best to tell all, and risk failure of the relationship to thrive, or tell nothing, and let him fumble in the dark to make discoveries (figuratively and literally)?

At dinner last week, there was a discussion about cold sores. I piped up and said that before I kiss a boy I ask him whether he gets cold sores, because if I were to get a cold sore, it could be very detrimental. The people I dined with asked me whether I ask as I lean in for the first kiss, and whether it is a passion killer. Yes and potentially, I answered. I have to ask them before I kiss them. I may end up with a cold sore ridden face, and a blood infection, and at worst case, death (well, from the level of concern my dermatologist shows about me and cold sores, I assume a cold sore may kill me). To date, I haven't had a cold sore, so I also assume the boys I've kissed have told the truth. I don't think it has been a passion killer because I've gone onto kiss them, but I imagine there is potential for future boys to change their mind about kissing me because of that question, and if they do have a cold sore, then I could not kiss them. And when I think about this potential passion killer of a question, what if a cold sore rules out Mr Perfect for me??

To be honest, writing about sex here scares me a little. Like the question about how much to disclose to a potential or new partner, how much do I disclose here? And who can I really talk to? I've talked on TV and radio on topics of sex and dating but have steered toward the dating side of it. But Lara Irvine's article inspired me to write about my experiences on my blog - I've thought about this topic for a while, so here goes...

When I am faced with potential sex, my first thought is not the size of their manhood, but whether I can I trust them to see me in my natural state, skin and all? Will they want to touch me? I don't do one night stands because of the difficulty of disclosure, and need for trust, compassion, acceptance and understanding. Meaningful sex is what I am after.

I have met a number of guys who I could have had sex with but didn't. This annoyed some of them - they saw it as me leading them on. But when they're drunk and horny, I'm sober enough to try to reason and maintain control, and my jeans are being unbuttoned, the chances of me explaining what my skin condition means (at this stage they know it's not sunburn) are nil.

When I was about 23, I met this guy in the city after I saw a band. I was waiting for a taxi, and the one he got out of drove off. He walked with me to find another taxi, and then we got talking, hit it off and had a drink. He was cute and I went back to his hotel room. At his hotel room, I found out he was dead boring and only 18. He kept on asking when I wanted to have sex with him. My reply was 'not yet, we don't know each other well enough'. I ended up leaving after about four hours. Looking back now, I am not sure what I wanted to achieve in going back with him. A few months later, I received a booty call from him, though. I didn't take up his offer.
Footballer Spida Everitt tweeted "Girls!! When will you learn! At 3am when you are blind drunk and you decide to go home with a guy ITS NOT FOR A CUP OF MILO! Allegedly......". For me, I don't want to have sex with someone when I go home with them for the first time. Nor do I want a cup of milo. But there's not really a compromise, is there? Even when no should mean no. Yes, I'll kiss them, and maybe fool around, but there is no way I am getting naked and intimate with someone I've only just met and probably never going to see again. It's not an insecurity of mine - I am happy with my body size and shape, and even comfortable with my skin in most situations, but there is always a fear of mine that when the lighting is no longer flattering he will see my redness, and when he reaches down to stroke my thigh he feels a rough patch of scaly skin and is grossed out. I worry about my skin in their bed (black sheets are awkward), and the way I look in the morning (I once crawled under the covers to the foot of the bed to avoid a boyfriend seeing me looking like Freddy Kruger before I had a shower).
I once set a rule for myself that I won't have sex with anyone unless I love them (and assumingly they love me back). It's not about religion. It's about my own values. I set this rule because of my need for my partner to be compassionate and understanding, and for me to trust them. I have strictly maintained this rule. I think this rule, and my ichthyosis, has meant that I am more prone to heartbreak. And so I've not slept around. Maybe if I was more blase about sex, and had more of it when the chances arose, I'd be emotionally stronger (and better at sex).

When one of my boyfriends dumped me by saying 'didn't I tell you I don't love you anymore?', I was devastated. I was even more devastated when he said that he only had sex with me the previous week because he knew that I loved him so he would get sex. This hurt me for a long time. We no longer speak now, but after our break up, we did speak for a while and he said he still wanted to see me casually. I didn't want this - it was either a relationship or nothing for me. I think I saw him a couple of times, even though he was a douchebag, and looking back, I only returned because I felt like I had the right to use him like he used me. And there was the familiarity factor - he knew my skin, and so I didn't have to explain it all to him again.
A friend observed that I don't seem the type to have casual sex. I agreed. I am not the type. I learnt this fact this year, with the boy I love/d. This brief thing, a several-night-stand-followed-by-friendship, if you like, played with my emotions so much, even though we both knew the outcome was not going to be a relationship. I loved him, I think he loved some things about me, and I trusted him, he was understanding and compassionate towards me - so my rule was satisfied. And because of these traits, the sex was more meaningful than if it had just been a true one night stand with a stranger. I think my reason for sadness was not solely because of him, but because of me. At times I felt like a failure, like I disappointed him. It takes so long to find someone that understood me like he did, and then when a relationship is futile, it's back to the drawing board. What's worse is going from talking to each other every day, then sex, then very little communication. For a while I found it hard to articulate my feelings after things ended with him. While I didn't disclose too much (and still haven't?) to many friends, I felt like so few understood.

For many people, it's ok for them to have sex, end things and move on. Sure there are feelings of hurt and love lost, and also body insecurities, but there's often not the issue of disability or chronic illness to navigate. For me, sex is not just about the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. It's also about the need to find someone I can trust who is accepting, understanding and compassionate. And not afraid to get a little greasy from my vaseline.

PS: not sure whether writing frankly about sex will be a help or hindrance for potential boyfriends...

20 December 2010

20 Something Bloggers blog swap

I have been a member of a few blogging communites for some months now. These communities are a great way of reading new blogs, meeting new bloggers and gaining exposure for your own blog. One of the blogging communities is 20 Something Bloggers. Today is their blog swap, where members of the community are paired up and swap blog posts. The topic of the blog swap is Action. What will you do next year that you've been putting off for too long?

I have been matched with Saumirah McWoodson who has written a guest blog entry below. I have checked out Saumirah's blog and she seems like a very intelligent, mature and driven woman. Her blog is focused on her transition between college (university) and adulthood. She writes very well and like me, explores herself through words. Here is her biography:

Saumirah McWoodson is an entrepreneur and blogger from the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She graduated from the University of the Pacific in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Recently, she founded her own dance program, called Dance Daze, and she is looking forward to being part of its growth and the positive impact it will make. Saumirah is passionate about dance, education, working with children, entrepreneurship, and writing.

Thanks for writing, Saumirah! (You will be able to view my guest blog entry on Saumirah's blog soon.)
Blog swap: Delving into myself

Hi Everyone!

My name is Saumirah McWoodson, and I blog at SaumirahLikesArt.com. As a member of 20-Something Bloggers, I'm writing this blog to participate in my very first blog swap! The topic they've given to us, which I like, is: "Action. What will you do next year that you've been putting off for too long?"

After giving this topic some thought, I've finally decided how I want to phrase my response. Next year, I want to delve into myself. In other words, I want to actively pursue getting to know myself. I've been flirting with this idea for a while, but I've never actually committed to it. However, I feel that the time in my life has finally arrived where such an undertaking is mandatory if I am going to continue developing into the person I want to become.

I feel like I grew as a person during college, but that it was just enough growth to get me to the point where I am now. Besides, I know my growth wasn't really intentional. Looking back, I think I just sort of adapted to my situations and surroundings. Next year, I don't want to merely adapt. I want to be proactive about getting to know myself, finding out what makes me tick, satisfying my needs, and being the person I want to be at 23.

The past 5 years have been busy for me. I spent 3 years studying at my undergraduate university, studied and worked in Europe for a year after that, came back to the states and worked in Virginia and Southern California, then went directly into a graduate program in New York City. In the past few months since I've been back in California, I've started my own business and discovered how much I miss the identity I had as a university student.

In the new year I plan to gain a better understanding of what exactly it is that I'm currently missing in my life and fill each of those voids. For example, a few days ago I realized that it's not actually the tests and quizzes I had when I was a university student that I miss, but the thrill and adrenaline rush of working my butt off each week to successfully accomplish the goal of receiving a high score! I had never previously considered how important regular, short-term goals are to me until now. Short-term goals give me a daily sense of purpose, and purpose is something I've realized I can't live without. So in part of my exploration of who I am as a person and providing myself with what I need to remain happy and to continue contributing positively to society, I will be taking on activities such as discovering what type of short-term goals satisfy me in the ways I need to be satisfied.

Though this task I'm setting in front of myself is something I believe I've been consciously or subconsciously avoiding for some time now, I suppose I'm a bit excited that I've finally accepted my mission. I'm also excited to discover all of the wonderful things about me that I may not have been allowing myself to see. Within a year's time, though, I hope to be able to see myself more clearly than ever before.

19 December 2010

Winners are grinners :D

I drew the winners of my birthday extravaganza giveaway today!

The prizes were...

A little baking set:

 A super cute panda spoon from Bob Boutique:
And a gorgeous necklace by Melbourne designers Oh Deer:

And the three lucky winners are:
Heidi - baking set
Carmen - necklace
Dee - panda spoon


Congratulations, I will be in touch soon to post your prizes to you.

And to everyone else who wished me a happy birthday, thank you so much.

What's been happening?

It's been a busy week. I am exhausted!

I did the Enough about me let's talk about YOU for a minute series of guest blogs, which were so well received - thanks to my guest bloggers and to the new readers who stopped by and read and said hello.

Here is my week in pictures.

I saw this stuck to a city building wall on my way to buy a new (hideously expensive) charger for my MacBook. Isn't it lovely?

I did my only (and final) belly dancing class for the term - these are Isis wings - so beautiful! Can't wait to return next year! After dancing my friend and I had Grill'd and Shakeaway, our regular shopping mall treats.
I stayed in a hotel for a week while my shower was being replaced/repaired. (Shower is now ok and I am home!) It was close to work and home, and a few nights I ducked home to check my mail and do washing.

Staying in the hotel taught me convenience food management with a small, one facility 'kitchen', and hideously expensive convenience foods.
I tried to be healthy.
This was $5.99!!
I made chicken and salad one night.
Considering I only had limited ingredients and facilities, it was delicious.
I seemed to get a lot of 'admin' done in the hotel. This could be put down to needing to rest, lack of good TV reception and having spent all my money on convenience foods/MacBook charger/car alternator and battery.

I organised a post box after both my Muse ticket and birthday present went missing.

I made a mix tape for a friend, and transferred music onto my computer.

I saw a lot of Oprah on (mind numbing) morning TV. Not interested.

I read skimmed the Ben Cousins autobiography. I have no interest in drugs or football. I bought the Ben Cousins autobiography on his looks alone. It needs more pictures.
I wrapped presents and wrote Christmas cards. I posted some of them, and gave them out at work.
Being in the hotel also taught me wardrobe management skills. I loved having my week's outfits planned. It was limiting, and I only had a few accessories and one pair of work shoes, but I felt very in control of my clothes. Might need to work out a similar arrangement at home.
I went to two work functions. The first was dinner at Maria's Trattoria in Peel Street North Melbourne. So much food, great value.
The second was a tramboat cruise on the Yarra and Port Philip Bay.
Champagne cocktail #4
This is on the top of the boat. Windy.
There was a rainbow on the walk back from the tramboat/post tramboat drinks. So pretty.
Before Muse...
...I went to the Grit Media/No Limits Christmas party.
I only stayed for two hours, it was a lot of fun. I didn't want to leave!
The promo posters for the Tell Someone video came out.
It was the last day of No Limits filming yesterday.
It was a hoot as always, and I made some new friends there too. I had the fun task of assisting with catering (filming was in Coburg - SO MUCH YUMMY AND CHEAP FOOD!!), and on the way, J and I walked past the circumcision clinic. Or 'circumcision cafe' as J called it. She thought I was far too excited about this clinic!

It is a coincidence we passed this clinic because, look what someone googled to reach my blogg earlier this week...
K, the lovely makeup girl did my hair and it was teased up like an afro!
I gave Elvira her Christmas present - some pretty drinking straws, and this, her 'ultimate boyfriend'.
Once again there was a high chair for me to awkwardly mount.
And before Bon Jovi last week, a stranger complimented me on this outfit, she said I look hot! So awesome getting compliments from strangers.

That was my week, how was yours?


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