Posts Tagged ‘life’

new house front 2

So there was one thing I didn’t mention about my Christmas break in yesterday’s post, which is that we bought a new house!!

The Man and I had been looking on and off throughout last year, with varying degrees of seriousness (we weren’t in a hurry but it’s a good time to buy here as the prices are predicted to rise soon). A couple  of months ago we put it on the backburner til the new year but we were still keeping an eye on the market online.

When this place popped up I was intrigued by its potential. I knew The Man wouldn’t be too excited about it (he was more keen on older properties with more character) but a couple of weekends before Christmas we were on our way out and decided to pop in anyway.

Pop in we did, and when he saw it in person he was just as keen as me!

A few days later, on a sweltering 43°C day, we went to another open inspection and put in an offer. By that weekend (a couple of days before Christmas), they had accepted our offer.

It’s a deceased estate so there is a bit of rigmarole with the will before we can settle at the end of February, but that’s fine with us since it gives us more time to prepare.

We are actually keeping our current home as a rental which makes the process a lot simpler (and the absence of a ‘conditional on sale’ proviso would have helped us snag the other house so quickly).

We are having another viewing tonight to select furniture we hope the family will sell to us so I will take some more photos and share them with you soon, along with more details about the layout, rooms and features.

The best Christmas present ever, that’s for sure!



Hello friends! How have you been?! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

I had a brilliant couple of weeks of family celebrations, lazy lunches, movie marathons, blissful sleep-ins and plenty of wine and chocolate. We even snuck off to a friend’s river property (above) for a relaxing weekend.

After a full-on year of working really long hours and not having a proper break, I was totally burning out and needed some time off. I was uncharacteristically good at putting all my to-do list aside and really just enjoying the holiday period with family and friends.

Instead of a wordy recap of the year, I thought I’d mix it up and do a quick Q&A instead.

Favourite place:


Favourite food:

Pulled pork soft tacos.

Favourite drink:


Favourite look:

Still loving anything 60s inspired.

Favourite music: 

Too many to list – loving discovering new music and enjoying old favourites on Spotify.

Worst thing:

My baby nephew spending the first several weeks of life in hospital.

Best thing:

Becoming an auntie for the first time.


The Hunger Games trilogy.

Proudest moment: 

Standing up for what I’m worth as a blogger.

Most surprising moment: 

Getting a part time job and being okay with it.

Most looking forward to in 2014:

Celebrating The Man’s and my 30th in Hawaii with our families.


I’ll be back tomorrow with a big announcement!!


Melbourne Arcade


The Man and I snuck away to Melbourne for the weekend to go to Derby Day (horse racing carnival) with friends. It was a quick trip but a lot of fun. I never get sick of Melbourne, especially shopping in its gorgeous arcades.

Believe it or not, I didn’t take any photos apart from the above. I don’t know whether it was the fact that we weren’t travelling alone, or that I’ve been there many times before or that I just wanted to be in the moment, but I lugged around my DSLR and two lenses for nothing! I don’t even have a decent shot of my race day outfit.

In more exciting news, we have just booked tickets for next April to Hawaii! My brother and his wife and their new baby (yes, I’m an auntie as of a few weeks ago!) live in San Francisco and since we already visited them there last Christmas we thought we’d see if they wanted to meet somewhere in the middle.

The rest of the family will be coming too so it will be a bit of a birthday celebration for the Man and I who turn 30 in May… although to be honest I’m much more excited about meeting a certain little person.

Have a great week, you guys!


Doubtful Sound

Please excuse the radio silence recently – my computer died on me the other day which as you can imagine is a bit of a disaster when you run a blog and a graphic design business! I ordered a new one but I wanted it custom configured so I have to wait for it to arrive. Boo.

Thankfully The Man lent me his laptop (I declared him my Knight with Shining Hardware) but with all the workarounds and file transfers everything is taking three times as long as normal.

The timing could not have been worse: I had an epic amount of work to get tied up before I go on leave and was already having a bit of a panic attack about how I was going to do everything! In fact I still have a list as long as my arm and we leave tomorrow… oh and did I mention I haven’t even thought about packing?! (My Type-A tendencies are not used to this level of last-minute chaos!)

Anyway, all that aside, I am SUPER excited to be heading off to that beautiful place in the picture. Well, sort of: that’s a photo of the South Island of New Zealand from our honeymoon and we’re going to the North Island, specifically Hamilton (for The Man’s work conference) Auckland and the Bay of Islands region.

I haven’t had any time off since January and have been working long hours lately so I know it will be really good for me. I’ve got a couple of guest posts that will be scheduled while I’m gone but for the most part I’ll be taking a much-needed blog break.

I’ll see you back here in two weeks!

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Atypical Type A Book Nook: The Happiness Project

Alright, it’s time for the June book nook!

I had been following Gretchen Rubin’s blog on and off for quite a while and enjoyed her bite-sized morsels of food for thought so I was really looking forward to digging a bit deeper in her book The Happiness Project.

So what’s it all about then?

The premise is that Gretchen decided to undertake a year-long experiment to see if she could improve her own happiness. She established 12 resolutions, starting with one in January and adding a new one each month until she was practicing all 12 by the year’s end. Each resolution was paired up with a relevant Commandment (such as ‘remember love’ for the marriage month).

Gretchen then shares her own experiences, punctuated by the wisdom of philosophers and snippets from her blog readers. She also weaves in so-called Secrets of Adulthood and Splendid Truths as additional guiding principles.

Personal highlights

I won’t analyse each chapter individually since there are so many (it’s a much longer and denser book than what I would typically be reviewing here). Instead, I’ll share a few of my personal highlights.

  • I found it funny that the opening chapter recommends getting enough sleep and uncluttering your home as the first step since I was in this process before I started the book. She is right: it has decreased my stress levels and given me more energy during the day.
  • Tackle a nagging task – left undone they drain your energy and make you feel guilty (don’t I know all about that!). I had been thinking about implementing a semi-regular Get It Done Day so this gives me more motivation to do so. Oh, and I have a dentist appointment tomorrow.
  • One of her Secrets of Adulthood is ‘act the way you want to feel‘. You know what? It works. After weeks of unsuccessfully trying to drag my arse out of bed early I changed my attitude this morning and bounded out of bed looking forward to getting a head start on my day. (Okay, I lied, there was definitely no bounding but I did get up at 6.20 without hitting the snooze button.)
  • Happy and unhappy are not two sides of the same coin, they are independent. You need to work on increasing happiness and also reducing unhappiness. I have never thought about it like that before but it’s true for me that if I minimise the negative (stress, clutter, money worries) there is more opportunity for happiness.
  • Be a treasure house of happy memories by keeping photo albums, stories and keepsakes. Note to self: need to get on to updating those photo albums!
  • Find more fun in your life – and be honest about what you actually find fun as it may not be the same as what others enjoy.
  • Buy some happiness by directing your money (within reason of course) toward things that bring you joy, strengthen bonds with others or reduce unpleasantness in your life. (We already do this with things like travel and socialising but totally need to take her advice of treating myself to a decent pen!)
  • Practice gratitude and mindfulness in everything from food to spiritual matters.
  • Make time for your passions (if you don’t know what you’re passionate about, ask yourself what you did in your spare time when you were 10 years old).
  • I need to try to forget about results and enjoy the process.
  • Growth is more important than achievement. I am constantly growing in my professional life but I need to cultivate the same atmosphere in my personal life.


I’m not into the woo-woo meditating brand of finding happiness so I was delighted to discover someone tackling this big topic on a practical, every day level. Her Happiness Project was not about running away from her life to some exotic locale on a soul-searching mission; it was about finding the pleasure and joy in the moments of daily life.

Like Gretchen, I’m not unhappy, but I often find myself losing patience easily, being too hard on myself and focusing too much on ‘getting things done’ at the expense of enjoying the moment. Most of all, I am such a goal oriented person that I have trouble enjoying the process.

I have a lot of similar personality traits as her so I found her struggles very relatable (almost uncomfortably so at times!) but she does share other people’s experiences too to give a broader relevance.

I didn’t necessarily agree with everything she advocates (e.g. keep an empty shelf and a junk drawer) but everything is presented in a non-preachy way that encourages readers to find what works for them.

The only minor issue I had was that there were a few too many Lists of Things in Title Case (12 Resolutions, 12 Commandments, Secrets of Adulthood, Splendid Truths, True Rules…). The wisdom in these were great but there are so many I can’t possibly remember them all which loses some of the effectiveness.

It was gratifying to find that some of the recommended actions I was already doing (maintaining relationships, getting enough sleep, fighting right, asking for help, making time for passions) however there is still a lot of room for improvement in a bunch of other areas (ahemexerciseahem).

While I don’t have any plans to do some kind of formal, documented Happiness Project, I’ve been given some great ideas to try as well as the methods and motivation to get me there.

The Happiness Project was one of those books I can see myself re-reading year after year gaining something each time.

Buy this book if you:

  • Find yourself just ‘going through the motions’ and want to experience more joy.
  • Know that you want to improve yourself but aren’t sure how to go about it.
  • Are going through an upheaval or transition in your life (e.g. bereavement, graduation, career change, break-up, empty nest, retirement, children, marriage).
  • Are generally happy but want the best out of life.
  • Are a person. Any person. Read it.

This book may not be for you if you:

  • Are looking for a book with advice about depression.
  • Are looking for spiritual guidance to find happiness.

Buy the book here!

Have you read The Happiness Project? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Post contains affiliate links.

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I was going through some of my recent Instagrams and thought it would be fun to share what I’ve been up to when not chained to my keyboard…

Turner exhibition

Visiting the Turner from the Tate exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.


Out and about in the city.

Alpha Box & Dice

The very cool cellar door of Alpha Box & Dice on a wine tour with friends.

New Akimbo business cards

My new business cards.

Shoot day with Jen Sando

Product photo shoot with Jen Sando.

Foxy new bag

I got the bag I wanted for my birthday, yay!

Akimbo Bowerbird stall

My stall backdrop at Bowerbird Bazaar.

Pretty flowers at Bowerbird Bazaar

Floral arrangements at Bowerbird Bazaar.

Flowers and new print

Sweet little vignette at home.

Shopping at Freedom

Shopping at Freedom.

Making pie

Making my first pumpkin pie.

You can follow me on Instagram for more!


I’m a little bit bummed that I’m not attending the Kidspot Voices of 2013 Launch Party this weekend as it’s in another state. So I think I should do something fun to cheer myself up.

What are your fave activities for a fun weekend at home?

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Scoutie Girl: Tooling Around - Make 2013 your best year yet

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, however January is a great time to consider your plans and goals for the year, don’t you think?

With that in mind, my first Scoutie Girl post for the year is all about defining your goals (business or otherwise) and some tricks to help you find the time to achieve them.

You can read the post here.

My goals for 2013 you ask? This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here are a couple of things:

  • Edit our overseas photos and create an album (February)
  • Launch the Atypical Type A redesign and shop (March)
  • Finally renovate the bathroom (Easter break)
  • Do something special to celebrate The Man’s and my ten years (!) together (August)
  • Do up the porch and front garden (September)

Plus many, many plans I have for the business!

How about you? What’s on your agenda for 2013?

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laundry after2

When The Man and I were preparing to move in together almost five years ago, we set about discussing who would do what in the household.

Having been responsible for cleaning the bathroom at his parents’ home, he volunteered to keep doing that (SCORE!). On the other hand, I don’t mind doing the dusting because I can arrange things how I want. We agreed I’d take care of vacumming the upstairs floors while he’d mop downstairs and I’d wash the clothes while he’d do the sheets and towels.

Some things were based on skill/interest (I’m more interested in cooking so I plan the meals) and others based on logic (he takes care of the car since he’s the one who uses it every day).

Bigger and more frequent jobs such as shopping, cooking, dishes and finances have been shared responsibilities.

Overall it’s worked really well, but over the last year we’ve both had increased work commitments so our previously smooth process developed a few bumps. Mail would pile up and each of us would secretly hope the other one would deal with it. After a long day we’d forget to ask if the other one had paid that bill.

None of which is conducive to a properly functioning household (or marriage, for that matter).

So we sat down and had a chat one day recently and divvied up a few of the shared tasks. A word of caution: Do not attempt this when you have done the dishes for the twentieth night in a row and are resenting it.

Giving each person more individual responsibilities might seem like a strange thing to do to deal with being so busy. But in reality, it was a huge help and I noticed a difference in not just my actions but my outlook overnight. No matter how busy I am, I know that it’s now up to me to manage our receipts. On the flipside, I don’t have to worry about the cleanliness of the kitchen floor because it’s not my responsibility.

No more silent stand-offs or building resentment.

I definitely prefer having 100% responsibility over 50% of chores rather than 50% of responsibility for every chore. How about you? That’s not to say we don’t communicate with each other about the household (even if one person pays the bills we still regularly discuss finances) or that the system is not flexible (The Man will throw on a load of washing for me if I’m having a particularly hectic weekend).

The balance will vary between couples, of course, depending on your commitments and lifestyle, but I do think it’s helpful to have a clear set of expectations and responsibilities. Otherwise you risk falling into the trap of doing certain chores and end up getting stuck with that expectation and start getting resentful of your partner.

I know we don’t talk ‘relationship’ type stuff here very often, but I firmly believe that a well-oiled household routine is as much a part of a beautiful home as how you decorate it, so I thought it was worthwhile dipping our toes into these murky waters.

Now that I’ve shared how we handle chores chez Parsons, I’d love to know how things work (or perhaps don’t work!) at your place.

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Madeleine & Padraic invitation

Happy Friday everyone! I’m currently in Melbourne for the weekend to celebrate my cousin’s wedding (three guesses as to who designed the invitations).

It’s actually the second time we’ve had the whole family together this year (my brother got married in March) so that’s a lovely treat.

I’ve been working really long hours lately so it’s going to be fantastic to take three whole days off, enjoying plenty of food, wine and celebrating with family and friends.

What’s on your agenda this weekend?

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My latest guest post is up over on Scoutie Girl!

Today I’m revealing my ten daily business tech essentials for keeping me sane. It’s not just for biz owners though, the majority of the tools would be useful for anyone juggling everyday demands of work and life.

Head over and check it out and don’t forget to add your own faves and ask any questions.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

read more…

New? Start Here!