Bits and Blogs #2 (plus tips)

What have I been reading to, listening to, being inspired by this month? I’m so glad you asked…

A podcast that has me pumping: The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus are the minimalists and have built up a massive following via their blog. Just recently (as in 10 episodes ago) they started up a podcast. Their motto is ‘Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.’

The standout podcast so far: Stuff which is pretty self explanatory but very eye opening.

Podcast Tip: So when do I actually listen to a podcast? I squeeze in one or two shows each day – that said, it depends on the length of the podcast and the kind of day we’re having. I mostly stick the earphones in when we go for a walk, others listen when they are cleaning the house (I don’t really clean so that doesn’t apply to me) and of course driving is a great chance to tune in. I sometimes look for an excuse to mosey on out to Trundle just so I can lend my ears to a new episode.

Inspo from Instagram: Jetsetmamma

I have mentioned this mumma previously as being someone who gets me through the day. Her honesty about motherhood is so spot on that I sometimes blush when reading her posts. Mother of two boys and an intrepid traveller, Claire Alexander-Johnston is actually telling it how it is – broken legs and all.

Check her baby’s birthday post: You may well tear up.

Instagram Tip: You can check out public Instagram accounts without being an Instagram account holder. This was a game changer for me – now I can look and love images and posts without being sucked into the vortex of scrolling, commenting, checking back in & all of my mind games that go with it.

Best Blog: The Rare Pear

Our special guest on the show today is Shani Nottingham who lives in Cowra – our neck of the woods.

We asked her a couple of questions about her creativity & recent successes in the world of blogging. Yes, she is a winner! Shani took out the Kidspot Voices of 2015 Competition for Australian creatives in the ‘Home and Wellbeing’ section. Pretty amazing stuff.

Our radio interview was a bit of a muck up – I had originally told Shani the wrong day – so it threw us all. Mental note: I will take my time when writing emails and making sure I get the finer details correct. In the end Shani was able to make the interview and her enthusiasm and brightness shone through. You can listen to it HERE

If you have ever wondered if telegraph poles could be beautiful then you’d best check out Shani’s latest blog post to see how she has captured these monstrosities.

Wonderful images from our part of the world.

Telegraph poles




Bits and Blogs #1

I do a lovely little segment each month on ABC local radio called Bits and Blogs. Actually it was exactly this time last year that I started. Mum and I were in Melbourne watching the tennis – my idea of the perfect week in January – and I did my first stint with Angela Owens.

It’s funny how excited I was…actually still am. I treat it like a real job and there is something very satisfying about planning and making a real go of it. I decided a while ago that most of my best work is either unpaid or done as a favour or in return for a service. I don’t work well under pressure, and I found that money puts me under the most pressure. The few times that I have worked on an hourly rate seem to send me into a spin (have I worked hard enough? Did that really take me two hours? Should I have worked more quickly? Am I really worth X amount? ) I guess it’s a combo of not being confident in my ability, and also feeling bad for taking someone else’s money.

Enter ABC radio – where absolutely no money changes hands.

It’s a love job and it means I can combine my love of reading blogs, listening to podcasts, checking out social media…and talking.

So here we go for 2016. I now work with Kia Handley and she and I just happen to be on exactly the same page (I’m sure that’s a generalisation but in the world of radio and magic then I am happy to stick with it!) We are going to make it our quest to uncover local bloggers & social media fiends and interview them. How fun!

Presenting our first of the season:

Best Blog: Smaggle How to Win at Life by Carly Jacobs

I resisted this blog at first – I thought I’d seen a million like it. Someone telling me where to shop, how to dress, what to eat, how to own my life. But I am a total convert. Carly speaks my language and I have slowly but surely become a devotee.

The posts that got me over the line:

7 Habits of Charming People (and while I find the word ‘charming’ a bit smarmy, I get the sentiment.) It’s about how to be kind and show love. And we all need a bit of that.

How to have an insanely productive morning I admit that mornings are pretty great in our house…my most favourite part of the day & about as productive as the day is going to get. What I loved most about this post is Carly’s admission of not liking showers. ME NEITHER.

A podcast that has me pumping: The Inspired Table by Jordanna Levin

This is from a blogger who loves food and how food leads to a more wholesome life. What I love about the podcast – there are only three episodes to catch up on – is that it combines the idea of healthy eating and how that effects all aspects of your life. What I crave (pardon the pun) in a podcast is people spilling their guts & being completely honest & so far so good. I love a juicy back story.

Jordanna’s podcast is the interview technique – which is my favourite kind of podcast – and allows a real cross section of ideas and personalities to be explored. Guest #1 Melissa Ambrosini speaks candidly about choosing fear over love. Yes its a bit woo woo but it is January & I’m all for it.

Inspo from Instagram: The Trundle Berry by Jaime Berry

Yes, she is from Trundle. Yes, she is my friend. Yes, she is creative. Yes, she is a vet in a former life.

JB takes pics of Central Western NSW – amongst other pretty impressive places (did someone say Russia?!) and they are just so damn pretty and interesting…and make me feel a little bit nostalgic.

I asked JB a few questions about her Instagram photography and you can hear our interview, along with the whole radio segment HERE

Oh and did I tell you that Jamie takes great photos?

Cherie Wend Helen at Vanfest

With ma two sisters…


Time for change…

Blogs are a funny concept. And the one thing I have noticed lately is that if it’s not happening, then it’s just not happening. I have lost my little spark, where I felt motivated to write and comment on progress of ‘Northcote’. And sure, it served a purpose for a while – I was able to keep family in the loop of the happenings, and it was fun to keep checking in with progress.

But like many things, there comes a time for change. The fact that I haven’t been able to tie myself to the keyboard in months, to try and belt out a new blog post, is a sure sign that it had run its course.

But I really love the ‘idea’ of blogging – just not the practicalities. Like typing. Or writing words. I much prefer to talk. In person preferably.

And I have had a couple of opportunities to talk about blogs lately – once in Bathurst and then again this week on ABC radio. And I think it’s the medium for me. So I’m going to re-jig this little baby, and there’ll be a few ‘sweeping changes’ in the wind.

Oh and there is a small person expected in the next two weeks (don’t worry, this isn’t going to metamorphosis into a mummy blog) but I think the timing is right to mix things up a little.

As they say in the business ‘Stay Tuned’

On the radio this week, I spoke about some cracking blogs that have me hooked. And I actually think they could be life changing (I saw that eye roll) especially the ‘Slow Your Home‘ beauty.

If you want to listen to the rather brief radio segment, then here’s the link to Soundcloud HERE so you can listen online.

Or, if you want to just cut straight to the blogs themselves, then be my guest:

1. Deliciously Ella: This UK dynamo really is delicious. She is a foodie who documents – via text and videos – her lifestyle changes that were implemented when her health took a dive. Her recipes are simple, her (short) videos are easy to watch and she has a great outlook on life – I’d call it confident but not a love job. I would have killed for this kind of inspiration when I was in my 20s.

Deliciously Ella
2. Slow your Home: Oh so much to talk about here. Blogger Brooke is based in the Blue Mountains (so many ‘b’s) and she speaks of a slower paced life that brings so many benefits. Her podcasts have me hooked, and I seem to be making up excuses to drive everywhere just so I can listen to another instalment. I am convinced this slow paced business is the way forward for me…

Slow your home

3. The Squawkin’ Galah: The gorgeous Tracy Sorrenson lives in Bathurst and we met a couple of weeks ago at a blogging panel thingy-me-bob as part of the Sydney Writer’s Festival. Her blog is calm (I sense a theme) and beautifully written – firstly about her fight against cancer, and more recently about her life and musings post cancer.

Tracy SorrensonSo it’s a bit of a ‘chick-fest’ this time around. I just can’t believe how so many great things can be found and learned via blogs. Cheaper than therapy.

Let’s hope this blog in particular manages to keep up with that philosophy. See you soon with a change of pace.




In a bid to be authentic…

I’m not quite sure where March went, but let’s just say it might have been taken up with school teaching, turning the big 40 (yikes) and getting amongst this pregnancy thing. Yep, it’s happening and there’s a small person growing inside…which makes pretty much everything (except eating) pretty hard to concentrate on. I am still pinching myself.

Here’s how the March instalment of Bits and Blogs on the ABC radio went…

We chatted about authenticity and the influence that bloggers can have on their followers. This is a theme that has reared its head just in the last couple of months – that of bloggers being in a powerful position to influence people. The die hards amongst the world of journalism still can’t believe that bloggers can have so much clout… considering they don’t have a degree in writing or some such skill.

Jess Ainscough aka The Wellness Warrior (website now taken down) blogged about her battle with a rare form of cancer, whereby she undertook a relatively radical approach – known as the Gerson Therapy – seeking to use food and alternative therapies to treat her condition.

Jess Ainscough

Jess Ainscough

Sadly Jess passed away only two weeks ago and her blog has been put under the microscope. The concern is that many readers may have pinned their hopes on Jess’ experiences and advice, to help them recover from similar life threatening illnesses.

Healing Belle (who has now gone removed herself from Instagram and Facebook) is one such blogger and social media sensation that has recently come under criticism for apparently making false claims via her social media accounts that she has cured cancer via her diet. All sorts of gossip surrounds this young lady, but the crux is that many of her claims to actually have cancer in the first instance are believed to be untrue. Still, she has apparently made a lot of money via an App called ‘The Whole Pantry’ that was developed as a result of her experiences with cancer.

According to an article by ‘The Age’ some online media celebrities could be doing more harm than good “Dr Bartone says the Internet has made people into online sensations and pseudo-experts.”

Read more about it HERE

The bottom line…make informed decisions, and by all means read blogs for interest, but also do your own homework.

3 of my favourite blogs at the moment:

Food & Craft: Meet Me at Mikes

Pip Lincoln aka Meet me at Mikes

Pip Lincoln aka Meet me at Mikes

In keeping with the above theme of authenticity, author Pip Lincoln makes a lot of sense in a recent blog, and the problems associated with social media and the need to feel ‘liked’. She refers to this recent phenomenon as the ‘like-cycle’ and how some ‘wanna be’ celebs will do whatever it takes to gain likes and followers. Apart from that, she does amazing online courses – one of which is an online blogging course that I have just taken up – and has published several books.

Life: Sarah Wilson

The Sarah Wilson

The Sarah Wilson. Image via

I can’t believe it has taken me until March to talk about my favourite blogger Sarah Wilson! I have a healthy woman-crush on this lady, which began in about 2009 when I started firstly following her articles in a weekend magazine, and then on her blog. She has gone on to create the online business ‘I Quit Sugar’ but her own personal blog goes into many topics about life and living authentically and happily. I could go on for hours about this one!

And yes, she weighs in on the debate about what to believe, and what not to believe, on the internet.

Regional: The Central Nest

Screenshot 2015-04-19 16.39.10

Kayana is based in Bathurst – so nice and close – and as a result, her blog is very relevant (except the owing a Thermomix part!!) She is honest and humorous and this is a great lifestyle blog to have in your feed.

She has practical tips (the parent mode on an i-phone so you can lock your child on just one screen and they can’t get out of it!) My girlfriends are going to love this!

Best of all, this girl does not claim to know it all. Authentic and real.

As for my take on the whole shebang, you can listen to my take on authenticity and blogging right HERE

Feel free to let me know of any brilliant blogs that you are following.