Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Sunday, 30 June 2013


Everyday I am grateful for my health.

In fact, there is not a day that goes past, where I don't take a moment to take a HUGE deep breath, slow things down in my mind and surroundings for just a minute, re-assess my stress levels and how I am feeling, and then breath a sigh of relief to think that I am okay; I am happy and healthy.

For the MOST important thing in your life is your health.

It is not until you don't have it, that you realise just how precious it is.

It's not until you are unwell that you crave feeling normal, healthy and happy.

So today I want you to pause, for just a minute, and assess how you are feeling.

Are you okay?

Are you stressed?

Are you happy?

If you are overwhelmed, swamped and stressed to your eyeballs, then maybe you need to make some changes, for the MOST important thing in your life is your HEALTH.

Don't find yourself realising this when it's too late.

Breath. Relax. Enjoy.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Don't Tell the Guests - Special Roles

A wedding day is a special opportunity for two people to commit themselves to each other for life, in front of their family and friends.

And even though, that, in itself is cause for a celebration, I truly think that a wedding day is so much more then that.

It's a super special day for both of the families, who are bought together by the union of their children. It's the parents celebrating raising a child who is now about to start their own family. It's about the parents being able to walk their daughter down the aisle and give her away to a man who they (hopefully) trust and respect to love, appreciate and cherish their creation. It's about the parents of the groom being able to stand up amongst friends and family to acknlowedge their love and pride in the couple.

A wedding gives the opportunity for friends from different circles of life to meet, and to put faces to names that they have heard in conversations over the years.

It's a chance for friends and family from afar to come together, despite the many miles between them, to share the love that they feel towards the couple, with the couple.

There's so many people who help to make a wedding day come together, run smoothly and above all, to be a day that the bride and groom will remember forever.

To be honest, so many people place an emphasis on the bridal party being a 'big thing' on the day, but I guess Mick and I kind of had a different approach to our day. Yes, our bridal party is a group of people who we love and cherish, but everyone who is invited to our day plays a very special role. There are no group of friends or family who we love any less or more; everyone is equally as special to us!

There are some special roles that we have delegated on the day to help us make it super special.

The gorgeous Ran!
Firstly, we have two amazing girls who are going to perform our readings (of which we have created ourselves). I'm not going to give too much away, because what we have in mind is quite unique, but we have chosen these two girls to be a special part of our day, and to share something that is very close to us with everyone. Bring on down, Carla and Ran. I met Carla in my first ever geography lecture at university. She commented on my board shorts, and well, the conversation just flowed from there. Straight away we clicked, and have been friends ever since. The second is someone who Mick and I classify as a sister; our beloved Rhiannon. Ran helped me to get Mick into shape as a house husband when we lived together in Adelaide. Mick and Ran carry on like brothers and sisters sometimes, and other times Mick has been known to be a bit of a father figure! Together we've laughed, and faced my depression. I couldn't imagine the day without these girls.

My darling girl Carla! Love her guts!

Secondly we have two laid back, beautiful girls, who will be greeting our guests and setting the atmosphere for our special day; come on down Lisa and Amy. Their special role will be handing out the programs to our guests, making them feel welcome, showing them where to sit, giving out bubbles and really just making the guests feel comfortable, fed and watered haha!!! (I'm not sure if the girls even realise that this is what I had in mind yet!!!) Both girls have played a huge part in my life. I have known Lisa since school and have spent many weekends camping, four wheel driving, caving, and being beach bums together. I only met Amy a couple of years ago but I feel like I've known her forever. We share a love for musicals, sangria, Chinese and Indian, reading, girly DVDs and bumming at the beach!!!

The amazing Amy!
The bubbly and bright Bumbles!


Thirdly comes my parents. I have chosen for both my mum and dad to walk me down the aisle and 'give me away.' One of my best friends did this at her wedding and I absoloutly loved the idea. Both of my parents have played a huge role in my upbringing and life, and I therefore want both of them to be there when I get ready, and to present me to my future husband!

Fourthly comes the mums. We have decided to have my mum and Mick's mum sign the registry. Sometimes I think the grooms mums miss out on a special role - the dad gets to do a speech at the reception but the mum sometimes misses out. Our mums were pretty chuffed when we asked!!!

Fifthly comes the master of ceremony or MC. We're asking one of Mick's dads best friend, who is a funny funny guy, to speak at our reception. We're both pretty laid back people, and thought it'd be awesome to have him set the mood for our celebration, in a relaxed, humorous atmosphere!!!

Sixthly we have Mick's 10 year old brother, holding the hands of our flower girl and paige boy, who are both almost 3, as they walk down the aisle. He was pretty chuffed when we asked, and he can't wait to get dressed up in a suit! I secretly thought that Mick might have him as his best man, but we thought he might be too short for the role!!!

Which seventhly, leads on to our flower girl and paige boy. Really it was a no brainer for us; almost 3 years ago two little premature babies came into our lives, one of which is Mick's godchild, and we fell in love instantly. We've seen them battle through challenges in the hospital, right through to now when they can walk, talk, run, say our names, give us cuddles and provide us with many laughs! They're so cute and precious and we can't wait to have them their on our special day.

I know there's a couple of other roles that we still need to fill, like drivers for our cars, but we don't even have the cars yet (haha minor detail!!!)

But as you can see, there's a huge number of people involved in a wedding, and we feel so blessed to have so many close family and friends who we can ask to help!!!

What special roles did you give to people?

How did you decide which role was for who?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxxx

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Changing Priorities

How have your priorities changed over time?

What would you say are your priorities?

I was thinking about these things the other day.

A couple of years ago I would've felt satisfied if I woke up on a Sunday morning with sore feet proving that I'd danced my ass off, blisters from wearing killer high heels, a throbbing headache from one too many beverages, a camera beside my bed full of random, yet highly entertaining photos that I'd captured the night before and had drunkingly looked through and laughed at while falling into bed, scrabbling for my phone to see who i had drunken dialled, an empty lasagna dish from which I'd purged myself on with the major munchies after being out, potentially garlic breath from a yiros that I had smashed along Hindley street, a going out purse that i'd assess that nights damage with and either shudder if i saw eftpos receipts or cheer if i had any money left at all ( and even better if I had more in it then what I'd started the Saturday night with!) and probably one hell of a mess to clean up from where I'd pulled all of my clothes out of my cupboard to find the perfect outfit the night before and plastic cups, empty bottles, and pizza boxes from pre drinking.

Now, 2 years on, that exact scenario sounds like my worst nightmare.

I now feel completely satisfied if I wake up Sunday morning feeling refreshed and revitalised after a great nights sleep, ready to attack the day head on with a clean thinking mind, and full of vitality, with no hangover what so ever insight!

I'd lay in bed reminiscing about the Saturday night that we spent entertaining guests at our house, with the pot belly cranked, Webber fired up, and board games a plenty, as we sat around our outside area sharing stories, chuckling over past memories, making predications for the future, competing girls versus boys and couples versus couples in nail biting intensity, yet highly entertaining imaginative and creative thinking while playing Pictionary, Clue Do and the like! Of course, beverages are still a plenty, but gone are the days of setting out to 'get smashed' and now it's more steadily paced drinking between conversations. Background music would be playing, but at a noise level that you can finish the night with a voice that isn't hoarse from yelling in the ear of the person sitting right next to you! The night would come to an end when the yawns outweighed the conversation, bellies were full from food and beverages, jaws were sore from laughing, everyone was over playing board games, and people started calculating how much sleep they'd get and deciding that they'd rather call it quits while the going is good, so that they can also have a fun and productive Sunday!

Oh how my priorities have changed. I guess it's just something that comes with time, and cough, maturity; changing priorities that is.

Sometimes it's hard to relate to your partner, or your friends when you have different priorities.

It's always easier when you and your partner are on the same page, working together towards making shared goals and dreams come true. I think that one of the main reasons that couples fight, and potentially break up or divorce, is because their priorities change, or they have different priorities ie the man maybe working hard towards paying off a mortgage while the wife is spending money on commodities or the guy is keen to hit the town with his friends every weekend while the girl is keen to start settling down and spending time at home cuddling on the couch.

It's therefore important to discuss your priorities with your partner, in order to make sure that you are ultimately working towards the same big things together. Of course, that doesn't mean that you still can't have your own individual goals, but it just means that you have a primary focus together, and secondary focuses work around this.

Sometimes I think it is really hard as your friends start getting different priorities, as it is often hard to understand or relate to how and why people do things in a certain order or in different ways to you.

For example, my partner and I found it difficult when we first bought our house and had to start paying a mortgage. None of our close friends owned homes, so of course, their focus and priorities were all about going out, entertaining, wining and dining, holidaying and purchasing nice goodies. All of a sudden, we became house proud, and started spending our time, money and energy on renovating, and pumping money into our house. We had to start saying no and skipping certain events in order to pump money into our investment.

As you could imagine, this sometimes caused friction! But, as our friends start to also buy homes, they are beginning to understand just how their priorities are also changing.

I guess at the end of the day, it's just a fact of life that people are going to grow up at different stages, and experience a variety of challenges, all at differing times, but the best thing to do is to try not to compare yourselves to each other, and to accept that priorities do change, and that's okay.

I'd much rather sit on the couch in my trackies and uggies with a cup of green tea, writing my blog on a Sunday rather then being out and about!!!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Don't Tell the Guests; THE FOOD!

My partner and I are massive food lovers.

He loves cooking it, I love eating it, we spend many a date nights discussing our big dreams and plans over food, we love entertaining guests over a Webber, and we love all different types of cuisines, so we always knew that one of our biggest priorities and cost spenders at the wedding would be the food.

To be honest, I was secretly happy with anything but a backyard sausage sizzle that my partner had always joked about happening! Don't get me wrong, I love a good snag, but I just didn't think a sausage would cut the mustard for our big day.

At the start we thought we'd serve freshly shucked and baked kilpatrick oysters, prawns and chicken for entree, put a pig and lamb on the spit, have a self serving salad bar and cake for dessert out underneath a marquee on the farm. We soon changed our mind when we realised that we'd have to hire tables, chairs, knives, forks, spoons, bowls, plates, cups, eskies, ice, and massive spits anddddd we'd be up to our eyeballs the week prior in salads, we'd have to employ a caterer, waitresses and waitors, and a dishwasher just to make it all come together.

Fortunately for us, a quick facebook status update pointed us in the direction of a locally reknowned masterchef who happens to be one of the most laid back people that we've ever met! He has been an absoloute god send and has helped us to design a menu that not only suits our taste buds, but also came in under budget (bonus!!!)

I have to laugh as I write this, because I remember when we first met, Damien asked us how we'd like to serve the food. Us being so laid back and carefree thought straight away 'on a plate!!!' Little did we know that there were so many options for weddings from cocktail to buffets to alternate drops, menu choices and so much more!!!

Cocktail themed weddings are becoming more and more popular, where mini hamburgers, hotdogs, sushi, pies, pasties, sausage rolls and all sorts of canapes are served, but Mick and I always knew that we wanted a sit down menu (basically because we're lazy and wanted to sit on our butts haha!!) Having been in many weddings, I know how big the day is, so I knew that I wanted to be able to sit down at the reception and enjoy a hearty meal (plus it gives the guests more time to fill their belly with self absorbing alcohol content so that they don't end up going hard and then going home too early in the night!)

We decided that we'd go with an alternate plate drop option, with two choices for entree and two for main (plus the cake being served for dessert!)

When we first met the caterer we knew that we wanted oysters (Mick's favourite entree) and prawns (my favourite entree) to be served first, as well as a none seafood choice for those land eating only people!

We also knew that we wanted the meals to be hearty, and well that's about it!!!

Luckily for us, our caterer took charge, and has come up with a mouth wateringly amazing menu for us! I think I'll save the exact menu as a surprise for the guests, but will post about it after the wedding!!!

In total, we scored the entree and main course meal for $35 per head!!! Score!!! Let me tell you that we're super excited to have local seafood and meat produced around our home town showcased at our wedding!!!

Next came deciding on an alcohol package that wouldn't burn a hole in our pockets. Of course, we didn't want our guests to have to dip into their wallets for drinks, but we also didn't want to pay an arm and a leg.

Again, luckily Damien's expertise and experience in catering for weddings helped to give us a great idea of how much we could expect to pay over the bar, and what kind of quantities we'd need to keep our guests well watered.

In the end we decided on placing $3,000 across the bar for beer, soft drink and corkage, served only as schooners and not pints or jugs, to help our guests pace themselves throughout the night (as Damien said, he likes to fill up the guests bellies with hearty meals to soak in the alcohol and once you have a full belly but an empty schooner glass, it's must harder to move up to the bar!!!). Ohhh the tricks of the trade to prolong the celebrations at receptions without the guests getting too drunk too early!!!

Our caterer suggested purchasing our own wine, as you can buy it at discounted prices in bulk. We're going with some reds, moscato, a strawberry champaign and my all time favourite Grant Burge!!! Damien suggested roughly 90 bottles (which is almost 3/4 of a bottle per person!) just to be sure!!!

In total the alcohol bill is coming to roughly $3960.

This makes the total cost for our reception, catering for 140 people, $8860 for food and alcohol!!! Score, especially considering we'd budgeted $100 per head so $14,000 in total and it ended up being $62 per head!!! Gotta love country prices!!!

We truly are super excited to be able to celebrate with our closest family and friends over amazingly tasty food, and probably copious amounts of alcohol, at our reception!!!

We certainly don't know what we would've done without such a laid back, but truly talented chef who whips up the most delicious food!!!

A huge thanks to Damien Mrjden for being our master chef and bringing our personalised menu with our favourite foods to life for a very affordable price!!!

To contact Damien to cater for your next upcoming special event, just email dmrdjen@big pond.net.au

What food and budget did you have for your reception?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

What Do You Want To Achieve Before You Die?

Have you ever thought about what you truly want to achieve before you die?

It kind of sounds morbid, but I mean it in a positive, inspirational, motivational way.

What is it, deep down in your guts, that you feel like you need to do, or want to do, or what kind of a person do you wish to be remembered for, in your life?

I found myself pondering this the other day; what is it that I want to achieve - for me - for my own satisfaction? And what is it that I want to achieve for my family and relationship with my partner? And, what do I want to commit to the community and society?

There were only 5 big things that stood out to me - 5 things that really truly meant something to me - that gave me a sense of purpose, achievement and accomplishment.

Number 1. To write a book. I've always wanted to have the courage to write a book. To be honest, I think I have wayyy over thought the whole process and have scared myself into inaction. I'm scared that no one would buy it but on the other hand, I'm nervous that if it did become a huge hit, how I would handle 'fame' and recognition and just how that would change the life I love. My blog is the first step to me achieving my writing dream. Starting my blog has given me so much courage and confidence with writing, and has shown me how truly rewarding it can be. I guess I worry that writing a book would turn my hobby into a career, and I'm just not sure if that's what I want. Right now, I can write what I want, when I want. When you become a journalist, you are told what to write and when, with tight deadlines, and everyone knows that full time writers rarely pay the bills unless they strike it big. Catch 22 really. Right now I find my fulfilment in my blog, but who knows what the future holds, maybe, just maybe one day, I'll see my name on the front cover of a book (or by then probably on a tablet as books won't exist!!!)

Number 2. Own a beach shack. I was always envious of my friends who could pack up their stuff and vacate to the beach for 3 months over summer. I always hated having to pack the bag with eskies, towels, sunscreen, shade tents, fishing rods, bogey boards, bathers, snorkels, food and everything in between, only to have to pack it all up and shove it back into the car after a day at the beach to return home. I love the freedom and break from routine that a shack brings to a family. I love the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that a shack creates, as well as the family vibe (especially when TVs are replaced with board games and cards). I love the idea of spending my days waking up to the smell of the beach, and sound of kids laughing while they play out on the deck!!!

Number 3. Live on a farm. I grew up in the country but I was a 'townie'. While many of my friends grew up on a farm, and enjoyed the wide open space and freedom that a farm brings, I grew up with noisy neighbours and having to keep our music 'to a reasonable noise level!' I always envied my friends who got to grow up raring lambs, driving with their dad on the tractor, not having neighbours, being able to cruise around on four wheelers, learn to drive from the age they could walk, help out during shearing, drive the chaser bin during seeding, and well, just explore, roam and love the openness of a farm. I knew that one day, I'd want to raise my children on a farm, so that they could enjoy and appreciate the simple things in life, like new life, where milk and grain comes from, trust, respect and responsibility to do the right thing unsupervised, and to appreciate the slowed pace of life. One day I hope that we can live in a big old stone farm house, with a shearing shed, veggie and herb garden, and big wide open paddocks with beautiful sunsets and undisturbed night skies.

Number 4: To create a family out of the love that my partner and I have for each other. To be honest, I'm not super maternal, in fact, my family and I always joke about how I want my children to come out with the maturity, abilities and personality of a one year old (just not the size!) I'm not super patient with a newborn and their crying! But, one day I know it'll be different with a child of our own, and I can't wait for the love that you must feel when you produce a little human being who is half of you and your partner.

Number 5: Hold a fundraising event for mental health. It's something that I feel so passionate and strongly about. I really want the opportunity to raise funds and awareness about mental health, and how it impacts an individual, families and communities. I dream of having guest speakers talk about their experiences, and people volunteering their time and resources to help to raise money for Beyond Blue.

What do you want to achieve or own before you die? 

Look after yourselves and those around you,


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Mental Health; My Dream

I am a dreamer; I am constantly thinking of ways that I can adopt my behaviour, attitude, feelings and emotions to make myself a better person, and to think of ways to contribute to making a better society.

One of my life goals is to continue to break down the stigma around mental health in any way, shape or form that I can.

Mental health awareness was the biggest driver, inspiration and motivation for starting this blog and I am so greatful for those who have contributed, commented and supported my decision to speak openly about such a sensitive topic. But my blog is only the start of a much bigger dream that I  have when it comes to mental health.

So what is my big dream and how do I hope to do everything in my power, to achieve this dream?

I dream of a world where;

Mental health is viewed as a serious, life threatening illness by everyone, just like cancer.
I hope to;

Coordinate a fundraising event like a red and rump night to create awareness and raise funds for mental health. My dream is for people to volunteer their time and services to help to bring the night together, including a caterer, musicians, waiters and waitresses and many other roles that would be needed. I would love to approach guest speakers who have experienced mental health first hand, either as sufferers, carers or professional health workers to speak openly in an attempt to open the minds and hearts of the community, while raising money for Beyond Blue and other non for profit mental health organisations. I am particularly keen to have a male speaker who has suffered from mental health, as I am from a small country town, where men are most at risk of suicide and depression. I want to create an environment where they feel as though they can speak up about how they are feeling, and give them the opportunity to speak to a professional.

I wish that;

People didn't even blink, think or question asking for help if they find themselves struggling with anxiety, stress, depression or any other mental health related illness.

I hope that one day;

People will go to the doctor and seek help for their mental health issue, as openly and freely as they would for any physical ailment that they may have.

I want the government to fund;

Adequate health care facilities for people needing an extra helping hand with getting their life back on track after suffering from the pain and exhaustion of such illnesses.

This includes providing a safe haven for people just like you and I who suffer from temporary short term mental health issues like depression and anxiety, instead of having institutions that mix the chronically ill with the temporary unwell. Both of these patients have very different needs, and I strongly believe that the current government health care facilities can't cope, or aren't designed for temporary mental health patients.

I pray that;

Suicide can be spoken about openly instead of it being such a taboo, swept under the carpet, hushed topic. Even news reporters are required to be extremely selective and sensitive when reporting anything to do with suicide. Our own government has been questioned on the reporting of misinformation and statistics from the Census's, eluding to lower numbers of suicide then what actually occur. I think this is very frightening, and infact digusting, that our own government won't or can't recognise just how big of a problem mental health is, in today's society. Maybe acknowledging it means spending more money on awareness and facilities to prevent, control and cure mental health illness???

I would absoloutly love it if;

People had the confidence to talk openly about how they truly feel without feeling ostracised, ashamed or worried about how people may perceive them.

I truly believe that this comes back to acknowledging mental health as a serious illness, creating awareness about how it affects the sufferer and their loved ones, and  speaking openly about suicide, depression, anxiety, bipolar, post natal and all of the other serious illnesses that fall under the mental health umbrella.

I want people to understand;

The impact that mental health has on the sufferers family, friends and carers, and for support networks to pop up for those who have lost loved ones to depression, or are currently supporting someone through the illness.

I long for a time where;

Those who lose someone to depression don't feel ashamed to talk openly about the person and the illness that claimed their life. We don't think any differently of people who lose their life to drink driving, or bungee jumping, or smoking (and any other risky behaviours), or other illnesses like cancer, so why should we think any differently to those who lose their life to a recognised health issue?

I hope that the;

Number of deaths due to suicide decreases with awareness and acceptance, rather then continuing to increase due to ignorance, shame and misunderstanding.

It'd be amazing if;

People would see a psychologist as regularly as they see a general practioner, to help them work through their pain, past, memories and whatever may be adding to their illness. 

I wished people would be open to;

Trying medication to bring their illness under control, just like you'd swallow a panadol to take away the pain of a headache. The way that I have come to see it is that there is no point living with an illness that can be controlled by medication. Why suffer when you don't have to? Of course, I also believe that medication goes hand in hand with speaking to a psychologist.

I guess my biggest dream would be for mental health to cease to exist, but realistically I know that is never going to happen. So instead, I am going to continue to dream, and create awareness through my own blog, and speak openly about my experience, to show that I am not ashamed of my past, so that hopefully, other people, feel as though they can do it if I can!!!

Help me to break down the stigma about mental health and inturn help my dreams come true!!!

A huge thank you to ABC Open, Mindshare and Writer's Week for helping me to spread the word about mental health!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Carribean Pink - Redecorating for a Cause

I absoloutly adore, and admire people who go above and beyond to give back to society; there truly are some amazing and inspiring people out there. Today I welcome one of these such people back to my blog; a warm hello to Natasha. Natasha has formulated a dream, to start a non for profit organisation that endeavours to refurbish, redecorate and modify the rooms of people who are chronically sick, so that they have a safe heaven where they feel content - as many of these people are homebound, if not even room bound, due to their illnesses. I won't give too much more away. Read on to hear all about Natasha's vision.

The Dream

I have always enjoyed, and been good at, rearranging spaces/rooms to make them more comfortable and beautiful. I also have a passion for helping people, seem to have a bit of a gift for counselling, and have achieved qualifications in youth work and community work, along with a Bachelor of Theology in which I trained in pastoral care.

Since becoming sick with a chronic illness myself (see Tash's story here), I have come to understand how, when someone is stuck in bed for a lot of the time, and for a long time, it can get very boring and depressive. Something as simple as adding something new to the room or changing a few things around in the bedroom, can bring so much joy. But those who are sick so often do not have the ability to do this for themselves, and those who care for them, even if they have a knack with interior design, are unlikely to have the time, energy, mental space, or finances to be able to do much in this respect.

On May 27, 2013 I had an idea. I imagined how wonderful it would be to either create a new charity, or even better, join with an existing charity to create a new branch or project, with the purpose of using interior design to brighten up the lives of seriously ill people who are mostly bed bound or housebound. We would rearrange, organize and beautify one room of the house, probably the bedroom most often, but it would be the recipient's choice, to help bring some joy into the lives of people with serious, long-term illness.

What’s in a name?

How did I come up with the name Caribbean Pink?

Quote from the film, ‘The Secret Life of Bees’ (2008) Lily Owens: If your favorite color is blue, why did you paint the house pink? August Boatwright: [chuckles] That was May's doing. When we went to the paint shop, she latched on to a color called, "Caribbean Pink." She said it made her feel like dancing a Spanish Flamenco. I personally thought it was the tackiest color I had ever seen, but I figured if it could lift May's heart, it was good enough to live in. Lily Owens: That was awfully nice of you. August Boatwright: Well, I don't know. Some things in life, like the color of a house, don't really matter. But lifting someone's heart? Now, that matters.'

Can you help make this dream a reality?

In order for this dream to become a reality, I am going to need a lot of help. It will take a team of wonderful people for this service to happen. Some of the roles that the service will need volunteers to cover include:

* Designers/organisers/room refreshers (no qualification needed, just an eye for creating beautiful spaces)

* Shoppers

* Marketing/sales people to advertise the service and negotiate agreements with businesses, such as homewares stores.

* ‘Muscle’ for moving furniture

* Crafty/handy people – to up-cycle &/or modify furniture, hemming curtains etc.

* Administrative person/s to prepare application forms, prepare newsletters for supporters etc.

And, of course, nothing will happen without finances.

If you live in Melbourne, Australia and would be interested in finding out more about being part of this project, or if you would like to contribute financially and live anywhere in the world, please let me know by emailing me at: caribbeanpink.natasha@gmail.com

If you are from another state or country, I would still love to hear from you! You can always email me and I can sort out the best way for your donations to arrive safely in Melbourne, and can always chat via Skype if you want a role in the organisation!

Much love,


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Don't Tell the Guests - The Little Things

There's lots of little knick knacky things that can personalise a wedding day, all of which I had totally overlooked before planning our big day.

When we think wedding instantly the 'big things' spring to mind; the wedding dress, rings, flowers, wedding party, suits, cars, reception, delicious food, plentiful alcohol, photographer, music, but sometimes we forget all of the little bits and pieces that are crucial to the day.

Things like;

A cake cutting knife.

Champagne glasses (or beer mugs - whatever your individual style wants) for the bride and groom to toast with.

Wishing wells for guests to place their cards full of cash in for the loved up couple (very tongue in cheek!)

Lolly buffets with gorgeous glass jars filled to the brim with the bride and grooms favourite lollies!

Table decorations ranging from glass jars with antique paper cut out love hearts and lace filled with a candle, to flowers, candle labres, tea light candles, gems, jewels and glitzy glamour, bamboo, photo frames, favourite sayings, tea cups, goldfish, shells, sand, starfish, and everything in between, depending on the bride and grooms imagination and whether they have a wedding plans her or not!!!

Fairy lights.

Mr and Mrs such and such in white cursive wooden writing on the bridal table.

Personalised stubby holders.

Bonbonniere ranging from candle holders, to sugared almonds, to beer bottle openers and wine, photo frames, personalised candy and everything in between!
Napkins and napkin rings!

Table clothes and runners (and oh my godness who knew there was lace, silk, organza, Tull, hession, fitted, loose, antique and god knows what else to choose from!)

Chair covers in all different shapes, sizes, colours and materials!

Cake toppers.

Cutlery and crockery.

And well, phew, just about everything that brings the day together, reflecting the bride and groom to a tee!!!

Here's a sneak peak of some of the 'little things' that we have chosen for our special day.

A huge thank you to Glam Events SA who kindly donated our gorgeous champagne toasting flutes!!!

I strongly recommend checking out www.glameventssa.com.au when thinking of the 'little things' that make your big day super special. They have you covered from table centrepieces, chairs, chair covers and sashes, carpet runners, lighting, backdrops, wedding favors, pew bows, wishing wells and all the little things that add the finishing touches to your special day.

 Daniela Esposito is the director of Glam Events SA, she created Glam Events SA after falling in love with planning her own wedding two years ago. She wanted something different with a bling feel, so began to source new ideas and pieces to put together an extravagant wedding one to remember and making it into the My Wedding Mag back in 2011. Her passion is truly helping others create their own magical day with their own personal touch and style. She goes to great lengths to cater to the bride and grooms requests and sourcing new and exciting products and finishing touches. She is a perfectionist and a true professional with a great sense of style.

Quote on website- Our attention to detail and ablity to glam up your event is our passion and expertise. We listen to your thoughts and visions along with the help ours to make your event one to remember”

Looking for something special for your winter wedding, why not create a winter wonderland theme with these amazing silver manzanita trees. They are so versatile you can add hanging crystals, hanging votive candle holders to create a floating candle effect or anything to suit your theme from photos to love notes or simply supply your guests with wishing tags to leave you a personalised wedding wish.

Going for that vintage feel, the mason jars are so hot right now and cater to those on a budget, add and ribbon or hession on the outside, fill them with a candle, flowers or floating pearls they look simply stunning

Glam Events SA is known for their crystal backdrop, sure to add that touch of bling to any venue and tee it up with a matching crystal centrepiece

Want a keepsake from your wedding day you can display in your home why not create your own made to order canvas through Glam Events SA which you can hang in your home as a reminder of the best day of your life- your wedding day
Don’t forget to check out Glam Events SA www.glameventssa.com.au, follow them on facebook for all the latest wedding and event set ups and new pieces https://www.facebook.com/pages/Glam-Events-SA/161774660507979
and follow Glam Events SA on instagram

What 'little things' did you decide on for your big day?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Living In The Future

A wise man once told me 'it's great to have a vision for the future to give yourself something to strive towards, but never lose focus of the present; too many people live for the future, and forget about the here and now.'

I guess I've really only understood and appreciated this advice as I have grown older, and as my dreams, goals and accomplishments have gone from getting an a on a school paper, to renovating homes, owning investment properties, travelling the big wide world, starting a family, getting married and everything in between.

As I have become 'more mature', I have started to realise that it is a difficult thing at times, to balance living in the here and now with living for the future.

Sometimes, I think, society can be blamed for giving us mixed messages;

'Plan for your future'.

'Buy now; pay later.'

'Interest free for 12 months!'

'Set yourself up before starting a family.'

'Don't get into too much debt!'

'Young people don't know what it's like these days to start from scratch and build themselves up - they want the best of the best right away and aren't prepared to work hard, wait and sacrifice for their commodities'.

Yup, I'm sure you've heard it all. From media to advertising to teachers, family and friends, we've all been ear bashed with ways to improve our lives, and things to strive for, in the future. Heck, many companies now provide interest free loans for people to improve their life right here and now with the latest flat screen TV, iPad and roller shutters, without having to pay a cent upfront....but what many fail to see is just how they are going to manage to pay these things back, without scrimping and saving and going without food, shopping, dinner dates and life's small luxuries along the way.

So how can we balance planning, purchasing and splurging for the future while still living and loving life in the now?

I don't really know to be honest. 

I guess I'm super conscious of stopping, standing still, taking a deep breath, and appreciating life as it is, in the here and now. I'm aware that too often we 'live for the future' and forget about just how precious the moments, friends, family, memories, sense of security, love, appreciation, effort and kindness that we have in our lives, right now.

Too often I fall into the trap of thinking that life will be easier and more enjoyable once we've finished renovating, or once we've paid off the bills this week, or when we move back home and it's a slower pace of life, or when we own reliable new cars, or life will be better when we have a nice house to live in; and I forget that what I have right now, is enough; in fact it's way more then half of the worlds population has!

At the end of the day, we all know that the bills keep coming, the renovations never end, and there's always something that we'll be saving for; making things tighter then we'd like.

We all do it; whether we're conscious of it or not - live in the future that is.

We send our partners off to the mines to make the big bucks and pay off our debts faster.

We work overtime just for an extra $100 bucks to make ends meet, and to be able to afford life's luxuries.

We all put off going out for dinner and splurging on that nice dress or gorgeous pair of leather boots, because we must save and sacrifice for our new house, or new car and big holiday.

We all dream of the big perfect house (mine has a white picket fence, french shutters, huge library of books, a hammock swaying out the back, with a dishwasher and all of the latest gadgets and gizmo's to make life easier).

We all strive towards great jobs, promotions, big pay packets, success, and a sense of achievement in the work place, all so that we can afford the things that we've always dreamt of.

No one ever likes to settle on anything less but their dreams, wants, and needs.

People take out huge mortgages for their dream house, and find themselves slaves to the banks, trying to scrimp and save every last penny just to make their fortnightly repayments.

But at what cost?

Living for the future means sacrificing what? Present happiness? The thrill of some retail therapy so that you have something new in your wardrobe to bust out on the weekend, feeling self esteem oozing, confidence building, and revitalised? The chance to go out on a date night with your partner to just sit and chat, without everyday life distractions? The opportunity to relish the precious moments with your children if you work away or super long hours? Sacrificing family time on weekends to work a few extra hours for a couple extra dollars in your pay packet after the tax man has greedily gobbled up your moolah, staying in instead of going out with friends because you can barely afford your repayments let alone alcohol for the night?

At what cost does living in the future hold on the present?

In no way am I saying that it's 'bad' to be forward thinking, or to have a plan for the future and goals that you'd like to achieve together as you build your life, but all I am trying to say is that every now and again, we have to be mindful of being able to live and love life in the present, and not sacrificing those precious memories, quality time with loved ones, and your own health and well being to bust your guts for the 'future.'

For sometimes those who lose sight of the here and now; end up finding themselves very lonely and upset, as all they have ever known is to work hard for the future, and they have forgotten about the importance of the presence for relationship and character building.

Here's to loving, not just living life week to week paying bills.

Here's to life's little thrills, and being grateful for what we have, right here, right now.

Stop. Think. Appreciate.

Have a vision in mind for the future, but don't lose sight of the presence.

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx