Over dressed

In a sarcastic mood recently, when I was informed that I was to not get dressed up at a function I was invited too, I replied.

“That’s a shame, I had my wedding dress airing out, all ready to get another wear out of, not I am going to have to go to the trouble to box it up again!”

(Yes, I am immature, yes, I am a shit stirrer!)

In a conversation afterwards with Sassy from  Sassys Sanity  http://sassyssanity.blogspot.com/, we spoke about what a shame it is that you only get to wear your wedding dress once.  I have got to wear mine twice, as it was also in a fashion parade for wedding dresses amongst the years, but regardless, it hasn’t got much use, and it does seem a  pity that,  after our wedding day, our dress just gets bundled up and put away.

Jamie and I on our wedding day, August 2004

 On my wedding day


Then our conversation turned a tad silly, imagine how fun it would be to dress up in your wedding dress and just do “stuff” in it?!  It didn’t take Sassy and I long to decide to go ahead and do just that!

Cooking delicious macaroni cheese for dinner, complete with a horse shoe I was given on our wedding day, and the lovely tea towel draped over my shoulder (ended up burning the saucepan!)

hoola hoop time!


having a go on Kiara's scooter


Needing to chop down a tree? Why not do it in your wedding dress!


Although you can't see it in this picture, Kiara and I are actually table top dancing (what a great role model I am hey?! NOT!). She wanted to get dressed up as my flower girl!


Pretending I am Kate Winslet in the Titanic, swapping the Titanic for a Triton.


now its just getting silly

pretending I am flying on the roof of my car?! Alright, time to end this, its just getting down right ridiculous!

I promise I wasn’t drunk when these pics were taken, just a little bit crazy!
In the end, I wasn’t able to go to the function in question, dressed up or not. I ended up staying at home with the kids.
So Sassy, now it’s your turn to show us your wedding dress up pics, and if anyone else out there wishes to do the same, please feel free to post yours on my facebook page.
 Lets get a tad crazy together!

Negative Nancy

We all seem to have one of those negative people in our lives, or what I refer to as a “Negative Nancy” (no offence if your name is Nancy!).

They are the people who leave you drained after you have had a conversation with them, they moan, they whine, they complain, they are downers, they zap your energy.

We all have down moments in our lives, and we can all do with a vent every now and then. In fact the down moments can be a blessing in disguise, as without them we sometimes take all the great moments in life for granted.

I am going to be completely honest, moments in my life I have found myself being rather negative, this was after all one of the main reasons why I started my Gratitude project, I wanted to focus on the great things in life, to see all the beautiful moments, even if they were little treasures laying amongst a really shitty day.

The negative people will look for anything to complain about, they refuse to see the little moments of joy in our daily lives, forget to thank people for their good deeds, and will be found moaning and complaining about any little thing if given the chance.

 The Passive Aggressive, The Narcissists, The Selfish ones,  The Martyrs, The Abusive, and some are all rolled into one!

Sometimes I will leave interacting with some of these people feeling utterly drained for days on end, or I will find myself with an internal dialogue of what I should have said, or how I should have reacted.

I have come to realise some of these people will NEVER change. Some relationships are severed due to how draining they can become. While some people are ones in our life we just can’t walk away from, but we can choose to spend less time with them, and/or work on how WE react to their negative energy.

A few weeks ago I put a call out on my facebook page for ideas on how to deal with other people’s negative energies, I was so impressed with the responses, and how well they have worked, that I thought I would share them as well as some of mine with others who may need some assistance in the Negative Nancy area. Here they are :

  • Distance yourself from the negative person, or spend less time then you usually would, remember to protect yourself from being too drained.


  • Know that you have the right to stand up for yourself and be assertive. Do not allow the negative person to use their issues to verbally attack you, you deserve to be treated with respect.


  • Imagine mirrors deflecting the negative energy back to the person, also imagine yourself in a bubble of  protecting golden light, in which their negative energies cannot get in.


  • Take a moment to stop, breathe, relax, remember who you are, that  you are happy, complete, and whole.


  • Do a meditation of imaging yourself breathing in pure, white air, and breathing out thick, black smog, which is the negative energy. Continue this until you can picture yourself only breathing in and out the pure white air.


  • Think of happy thoughts, memories, or take yourself to a place that makes you the most happy.


  • Send positive, loving thoughts to the negative person.


  • Remind yourself that it is about them, not you.


  • Acknowledge the feelings this person brings up in you, accept them, and then realise them back into the world.


  • Put the best of yourself out there, be the best person you can be, knowing at the end of the day, however they receive you is beyond your control.


  • Allow people to vent to you to a certain amount, but change the subject when it becomes a bit too overwhelming for you.


  • Ask the person what actions they are going to take to change the situation that is upsetting them so much.


  • Whilst taking a shower, imagine that the water is washing all the negative energy off you, and down the drain.

I would like to thank the lovely people who contributed to these fantastic tips, I have used many of them since reading them myself.

The other night I used the last one on the list, and as I stood in the shower, after a very draining hour and a half phone conversation, I immersed my head fully under the shower head, and was imagining all the yucky feelings being washed off me. I was so immersed in this relaxation state, that I didn’t know that my husband and 2 kids were standing in the bathroom for a good 3 mins, watching me without my knowledge! Apparently I looked pretty peaceful too!

Happy Birthday Sis

Today my sister should be turning 35, instead she will eternally be 22.

I am tired of thinking about all the things she missed out in life, all the little moments she didn’t get to experience, it makes me sad, it makes me want to change something that I just cannot.

So today, instead, I am going to focus on all the moments in life she DID enjoy, and the moments that made her the special woman that she was, and always will be in my heart.  

Here are some of the memories I have of my beautiful sister.

* My sister was without a doubt my best friend, someone I could talk to for hours, ask whatever question I wanted, and guard my secrets with. We had so much fun together, and created so many personal jokes, that everyone else just did not understand.

us as kids

Tamina and I as kids

* Tamina had a huge scar on her left leg, running from just above her knee, all the way down to her ankle, this was a result of surgery to remove a tumour from her leg. She got sick of explaining this procedure to people, so she started making up weird and wonderful stories, including that the scar was the result of a shark attack, falling out of a boat in crocodile infested waters in Africa, and many others.

*We had almost the exact same voice on the phone, so we would often prank each others friends, we had some funny moments doing this, including a time a guy rang to ask her out on a date and was talking to me, he thought I was Tamina, so at the end of his nervous speech, I had to say “I don’t know, I will have to ask her for you”, much to the poor guys embarrassment.

Tamina with her dog Kokereka, whom she got as an end of treatment present after her first battle with cancer

*I viewed Tamina as some sort of superhero, she showed so much bravery throughout the painful treatments she had to undergo for cancer, she never got upset when people stared at her bald head, and even though she vomited a million and one times, got jabbed by too many needles and had countless operations, I never once heard her say “why me?”

* Tamina was a young Mum, who looked even younger than the 19 years she was when she had her daughter Jazmine, once again she had to deal with judgemental people and their comments, but never once did I see it get to her. She loved her daughter so much, and was a wonderful Mummy.

* I admired Tamina’s adventurous and fearless nature, whereas I was always the one who was scared to try new things as a child, rather than tease me for this, she would support and encourage me to try new things, together we conquered many brave feats and adventures in our backyard.

*Despite being sick and weak,  Tamina insisted on taking me clubbing once I turned 18. She was bald, and wore a lovely realistic  wig out that night, half way through the night the itch of the wig on her head was unbearable, so, in the middle of the night club she took it off and threw it on the dance floor. A few nearby people almost spat their drinks out in surprise! The looks on everyone faces was hilarious! 

Tamina Michelle Burns 20.12.76 - 07.04.99

 18 years was not nearly enough time to share with my beautiful sister, it feels like she was only given a drop in an ocean of life.

I feel blessed to have been able to spend anytime with Tamina, to have laughed with her, grown with her, and been inspired by all she gave to this world.

I really wish that you were here to celebrate your 35th birthday big sis, to blow out the candles on your cake, and to watch your daughter grow, to meet your niece, nephew and brother-in-law.  I wish you were here so I could sit and talk to you for hours, to give you a giant big hug, and to tell you exactly how much you have meant to me.

You are here, in spirit, the  wonder and joy you showed me, the spark you left in my life just by being a part of it, lives on.

Today I raise my glass to you Tamina, to the best sister I could have asked for, and the extra gift of a wonderful friend as well.

Happy Birthday big sis, wherever you are.


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen of even touched, but must be felt with the heart

– Helen Keller

The first friend.

When I was 4 months pregnant with our first child, my husband suggested we get ourselves a dog, one that could grow up with our baby.

Later down  the track he would make the same suggestion when I was 4 months pregnant with our second child, and we would go on to purchase our second dog from an animal shelter. Oh boy I am glad our baby making days are over, otherwise we may well end up with a zoo!

So that is how Storm became  a part of our lives, a gorgeous little labrador pup, who was in a way our practice baby, and if possible made me more excited about becoming a Mum.   She would snuggle up to my pregnant belly, as though she knew that in there was her best mate, growing, ready to come meet her at last.


Something that made Storm extra special was finding out that she shared the same Birthday as my sister, it was strangely comforting to know that had something in my life that would grow each year, and celebrate a new milestone on that day, as my dear sister would no longer be able to celebrate her birthday, and that date had been marked with sadness up until now.

Before we knew it, our little bundle of pink was born, and after a few days, we got to take Kiara home, and that’s when a true friendship began.

Kiara and Storm meeting for the first time

Kiara and Storm meeting for the first time

Storm was in love from the first day, when visitors came around to see our new baby, Storm would sit and watch as they held Kiara, only being at ease once she had been handed back to one of us.

If Kiara would cry, so would Storm, the bond was noticeable by all. Jamie and I joked that she thought she was a nanny dog.

That’s not to say that Storm was an angel dog, she chewed, she destroyed, she stole, she created mischief. While she was still a pup, I read the book “Marley and Me” about a rogue labrador, and on more than one occasion I could see the similarities between Marley and Storm.

We have never been able to grow any garden in our backyard due to Storms destroying abilities, and the kids have learnt the hard way not to leave toys out there, in fact we have even witnesses Storm eat a variety of things including aluminum cans!

"What are you looking at?!"

Storm looked on as Kiara met many of her important milestones, I also felt like she was a friend for me as I entered Motherhood, she would sit beside me when I was exhausted and in tears after trying for hours to get a colicky, insomniac baby to sleep. Her presence in itself has always been a comfort.

"She is chewing up another one of my toys isn't she?!"

I feel a bit guilty now, as I admit, as life has got busy, we have not been the best dog owners, both Storm, and our other dog Zen don’t get walked nearly enough, but we do run around in the yard with them, throwing sticks and having fun, sometimes they will even join us on the trampoline, most of all they are loved.
I guess it’s not right to have a favourite animal, and it’s not as though I love Storm any more than Zen, but I think she has brought so much into our lives, little did I know when we made that one purchase all those years ago, we were in fact buying our daughter her first friend.
When Noah came along, we had a playmate ready for him in the form of his oldest sister Kiara, someone to show him the fun that life had to offer, with prior knowledge to all the great hiding spots of our house, and all the nooks and crannies that were best for exciting adventures. As a first child, Kiara didn’t have this, but she did have Stormy the wonder dog ready to explore life with her.
The bond between these two girls still lives on, Storm is well aware that she is Kiara’s dog, even the other day as I ventured outside to put some washing on, Storm snuck in and went straight to ‘ room, waking her up by licking her face.
I watch on now, and see a friendship between girl and dog, a friendship that was forged from day one.
Our big family

Now we are a bigger family, Noah joined the ranks close to 3 years after Kiara was born, and of course once again we purchased a fluffy friend for our unborn child to grow up with. The bond between Noah and Zen is there as well, just not as strong as that between Kiara and Storm.

Sometimes I joke that the dogs add the feeling of having 2 extra children, but I really am glad we have them as part of our family, they have enriched our lives, and taught us a lot along the way. This week Stormy will turn 6, a bit like when your children have a birthday,  I find it hard to believe that she has been a part of our lives for that long, but I feel blessed that she is.
I thank you Storm, for showing me that even though you are a tad naughty, and destroy more things than I choose to count, you really are a good dog.
Most of all, I would like to thank you for being Kiara’s first friend.

Dancing through life.

This year, at the age of 30, I took up dancing for the first time since I was a child.

I watched my daughter and niece perform on stage at their dance concert, and was filled with pride, and gratitude to be able to witness their achievements. It takes a lot of courage, determination, and practise to get up on stage in front of many people to perform.

After the concert I got thinking, I would really love to dance as well, I remembered how much fun I had performing as a child, even if I was never a great dancer, I wasnt even able to work past one level of dancing as a child, but I did enjoy it.

I thought of all the reasons why I couldn’t start dance classes, I didn’t have enough time/money/courage/patience. I realised they were  just all excuses. In the 5 years since I had become a Mother, I had not done one regular activity just for myself, I had made myself a bit of a “Mummy Martyr”, and it was about time I changed that.

So, before I could think it over much more, I signed up to dance classes. I was petrified. I was scared of making a fool of myself. I found it hard, but fun at the same time. I was uncomfortable, and  worried a few times throughout the term that the dance teacher was going to expel me, due to lack of skills!

When the term ended and it was time to perform. I thought I was going to have a heart attack before going on stage,  my mind went blank and I couldn’t remember my dance moves (or so I thought!). Many nights previously had been spent laying  awake thinking silently “what the hell have I got myself into?!”

I vowed to just make it through that term, attempt to perform without making too much of a fool of myself, and then move on, happy at having “given it a go”.

But something happened……….

I performed, and I loved it! I felt myself shaking with nerves throughout the performance, but I got through it ok, and felt proud and relieved when it was all over.

So I signed up again for another term, this time we learnt a disco themed dance. It was a bit more upbeat, as I practised each week in the dance studio, I would catch sight of my reflection in the mirror, and see I had the biggest smile on my face.

Performance day arrived quicker then expected, the late nights awake with worry thankfully didn’t return, I knew I could get up in front of strangers and perform, and I would be ok.

Finally it was time to go on stage, the music started and the fun began, I felt myself smiling, having a blast. Then all of a sudden I missed one of the dance moves, I was heading in the opposite direction then the other 15 dancers I was sharing the stage with.

At that split second I had a choice to make, either freeze there on stage in front of the hundreds of people watching, or just keep dancing.

I choose the second option, I threw a few groovy disco moves in, and slid myself across the stage to get back in sync with the others. In my mind’s eye it was the most obvious thing for everyone to see, but when I commented on it later to friends and family who had been watching in the audience, everyone said “I didn’t even notice you  make a mistake”.

The story doesn’t end here. It is now a few weeks after our performance, I have thought a bit of that day, and have decided that “moment” on stage is a good analogy of life.

Sometimes things don’t go to plan, lets face it, nothing at all is perfect, so we are all going to encounter mistakes, mishaps and wrong turns along the way.

The important thing I have decided is that it is not so much what happens to you in your life, it is how you react to it, what you learn from the mistakes, and how you grow as a person from them.

I have decided that I need to treat life like a disco dance routine more often.

If things don’t go to plan, I am going to aim to throw a few funky moves in, let the sparkles shine, and move on, it is sure going to make the journey move fun!