Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

We will remember them…

April 25, 2013

I think of my grandfather who served in WW1 – I remember him as a child gazing upon an unfamiliar face, etched with the markings of time and tragedy and later as a woman through his memoirs which my Uncle published a few years back. He passed on when I was only young – leaving a small inheritance which helped through my university studies – I honour him and the legacy of freedom that he left me….


Today we celebrated Anzac Day in our new community of the South Burnett.


Then onto the races at Wondai!




“At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.”


Ten days in Tasmania

April 15, 2013

I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking in this post (and you can find more here on my facebook page)….we recently had the magical opportunity to spend ten days in Tasmania…..hiking in the reserves, national parks and the wild wilderness of the west, snuggling into the arms of huge ancient trees in the Tarkine, the rich scent of leatherwood forests, breathtaking ravines and gorges, drinking water so fresh and clean, breathing air as crisp as apples, standing on the rugged remote shores of Arthur river, stretching our gaze to Argentina, it was so wonderful…..











À bientôt Cara Luncheon

March 28, 2013

The invitation read:

Please join me for luncheon, @ UrbanPantry from noon
Send me off in style, wear something to make me swoon


Maree looking fresh as a daisy in her 1940’s floral ensemble (check the hair do in the group photo below) – she looked sensational. Maree and met only recently at the Chamber Philharmonic Cologne @ St Paul’s. I spied this amazing looking woman emerging from Mehfil’s just before the concert with friends. She wearing a fabulous outfit and we struck up a conversation during the interval.



Megan channelling Jackie O here – I just love this outfit and those little accessories really make it! Megan and I met on a few occasions before becoming friends last year. It was however a moment as we crossed paths at the lights on the high street (corner of Ellenborough and Brisbane) when she really caught my eye. I thought to myself she looks sensational! Then she came into Cultiver a little later, we struck up a conversation and the rest, as they say is history! Ok you may be starting to think I am a style stalker….


This is my dear friend and colleague Figen who is setting the trend for girls in scarves and will no doubt soon launch an online fashion store to address this growing demand!

small table

Natalie what was Figen saying?


Monica sporting a fabulous new dress from Cue – the colour and style suit her so, so well! Mon has been a fabulous colleague to work with and has helped me on many occasions with her compassionate and professional insight.

big t 2

Everyone together – from left Maree (check the hair), Karen, Jan, Helene, Monica, Kerri , moi, Agnes (then back row) Figen, Natalie, Megan and Donna). Well nearly everyone, there were friend who wanted to join us that couldn’t make it and I know they’re thoughts were with us. We’re also missing Cassie who had just popped next door to Mortgage Choice to take care of some very exciting business. Not even out of their honeymoon year, Cassie still in law school and this young couple are already purchasing their first home. Cassie has been doing work experience with me and has been my right arm on Thursdays! An exceptional young woman always immaculately presented, she will do so well in all she puts her hand too.  It has been a true pleasure to mentor her.

Beautiful mother daughter team Wendy and Lisa, the wonderful proprietors of Urban Pantry in the high street, hosted our luncheon today. Since they set up camp in the the Top of Town, Urban Pantry has become my favourite spot for café with friends. Their personalised and heartfelt service is simply wonderful. If you haven’t dropped in, give yourself a treat and stop by for a piccolo!

Simply said, I was swooned off my feet…

A friendship that began an incredible journey….

February 26, 2013

I love the tale of the Lord of the Rings – Tolkein has such a beautiful way of reminding us how important love, friendship, loyalty and journey are – the elements that bring true substance and meaning to our lives.

This afternoon I spent an hour skyping with a dear friend of mine who lives in a small town in North-East Thailand called Payak. Hannah and I begun a friendship via email after my husband connected with her and her family in 2002 on a trip he made with his father. We met over a year later when I spent a week with her community in Thailand and it felt as though we had been friends our whole lives. I was moved by Hannah’s love for the children in her community and the way she embraced those who needed her help despite her own limited means at the time


Our friendship saw us embark on an exciting venture together in 2006 when we partnered in founding Samuel’s House, a home for displaced children. Together with another amazing couple, we were able to see Hannah’s vision for providing a loving, family run home for abandoned kids realised. The journey has brought us, and many friends and family who have come on board, immeasurable joy and we always love a chance to spend a week with our ‘Thai family’.


On our last visit in 2011, we discovered that Hannah and Nehamee had started a small mushroom business which was really doing well. I can’t recall exactly when Hannah and I first discussed the concept, but essentially we are now working together on a project called The Mushroom Project (30 second clip here) which empowers women in the region of Isaan to replicate her mushroom business. Isaan is one of the poorer areas of Thailand and is not frequented by tourists. Most people subsist on rice farming. The project incorporates a formalised micro-loan, business mentoring and gives an opportunity for women to add an additional stream of income to the family budget. Our first project started in April 2012 and is now completed with the funds rolled into Project #2. Today Hannah and I discussed a candidate for Project #3  who lives near the proprietor of Project #1 and has started learning the business from her which is super exciting as it incorporates the concept of paying it forward for the participants.

Han promo

I am so thankful to have begun this friendship with Hannah through a simple email. I have loved being a part of these life-giving projects and I wanted to share this story with you because it always makes me think “Who am I going to meet next and what exciting adventures await us….?” Building friendships is such a valuable investment in life – they can open doors you never expected, not only for you but for others whom you can also bless in the process.

Seeing their dreams take flight

January 7, 2013


Recently we watched the heart warming film “The Odd life of Timothy Green” – a magical little film that juxtaposes two strikingly opposite human traits. One being the heartache that we put ourselves through in our passionate attachment to strongly desired outcomes. The other being the joy of investing in others and seeing their dreams take flight. Whilst this film focuses on the parent child relationship, parallels can be drawn into other spheres where we seek to influence and encourage others. True contentment and joy in life I believe comes from a healthy and balanced fusion of these two concepts.

little pilots

One of my favourite authors on leadership and business is John Maxwell. If you have never come across any of his material, I’d highly recommend having a read. His writings on influence are based on timeless principles that will serve you in many areas where you wish to see growth – business, relationships, community and personal development. I am coaching a friend in her own personal health and fitness goals for the month of January and whilst we have just begun, the growth and transformation she is already experiencing is such a kick! As part of your plans for 2013 why not incorporate a personal growth plan that includes opening a door of opportunity for someone, coaching someone, perhaps committing to a personal achievement event together or a simple, genuine word of encouragement to those around you from time to time. No matter who we are – we all have something that we can give to others. The joy of being at the finish line to cheer someone on as they cross the line is hard to match, come on and give it a try – I know you’ll be hooked!

Life Drawing….

December 12, 2012

LifeDrawing003Artwork by Tom Grevera []

A few months ago I attended my first life drawing class at the Old Ipswich Courthouse, a beautiful historical building now home to the Ipswich Art Society. It was inspired by a ladies day out earlier this year visiting the Matisse exhibition at GoMA. It was delightful, I loved the work inspired by his travels to the middle east and orient, rich colours, garments, fruits and the exotic contours of his subjects eyes. We had a break for morning tea before spending some lovely time in the drawing room where a lovely young lady serenaded us with classical pieces on the violin – I was in heaven! I brought along my little love heart tin box with walnuts for a snack and enjoyed them with a nice tart cranberry juice whilst the other ladies had some lovely teas and espresso with Italian shortbread. The four of us discussed all sorts – art, fashion, photography, our dreams and goals for this year and beyond. One of the ladies suggested that we have another outing to the Life Drawing class in Ipswich and whilst we couldn’t quite make the diaries match together, I eventually made it along taking my sister-in-law who is herself an amazing artist and mother of three young boys. For her it was a lovely way to reconnect with her love of drawing, take some time out and the two of us enjoyed a lovely evening. I found it such a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours and as my little drawing debut unfolded, my appreciation for Matisse and his work that I had viewed earlier this year certainly deepened to a new level.

Life Drawing classes are on certain Wednesday evenings and open to the public.