January 2015 archive


Mindful Photo

It’s taken me a little while to get into the swing of things but I finally feel as though 2015 is kicking off. I’ve returned to work this week, Sweet Pea is back at day care, the calendar is getting filled in and plans are being made.

One thing that I have done for the past few years after being prompted by the wonderful and insightful Susannah Conway is to choose a word that gives me a focus point for the year ahead. The word for 2014 was “surrender” and I’m not sure that I completely pulled it off – but it did give me some thinking points!

This year I have chosen the word “mindful”. Being mindful and mindfulness is a skill and technique I teach and use a lot in my work as a mental health social worker but it is not something I am very good at practising myself. The thought of meditation makes me groan inwardly. I’m always thinking ahead, planning, rushing – basically not focusing on and enjoying the moment I’m actually in. It leaves me feeling breathless, exhausted, anxious and stressed. It makes me eat more than I should and more of what I shouldn’t be eating. It makes me snappy at times, angry and frustrated. It makes me miss moments with my daughter and others which I should be capturing and holding on to. It’s not good and it needs to stop. And so – mindful…

I’ve purchased the Smiling Mind app and have already done my first meditation/mindfulness exercise (2 minutes but hey it’s a start!). I also bought this gorgeous tool from Kikki K and this book the other day – it looks beautiful and practical – a favourite combination of mine! So, I’ve got some resources to help me get started focusing on being mindful – I’ll keep you updated on my progress…

There have been some wonderful posts by other bloggers talking about their words and plans for 2015. Some of my favourites are this one by Jess and this one by Tamara. Maxabella Loves has also put together a fantastic linky post about word choices for 2015 here.

How about you? Do you have a word/intention/plan/goal/dream for 2015?


2014 The Year That Was

Year in review photo

Happy New Year everyone! I’m a little behind and am still in the process of wrapping up 2014. I love reading these review posts but I don’t often write them myself because I actually have a shocking memory! It wasn’t always like this but I guess I just have to get used to the fact that this is one of the things about me that used to be firm and perky but now, well, isn’t. But I read this post by Robyn over at Mrs D Plus 3 and she inspired me to try and write my own 2014 review post, using some of her own prompts and some that I devised myself. So here it goes, 2014, the year that was….

 Favourite memory: 

Well, please see above for the truth about my memory! But, some favourite memories/times/moments are definitely travelling to Fiji with some wonderful friends and seeing Sweet Pea love plane travel so much (at least for the first 15 minutes!) and travelling to Perth and seeing my best friend and her family for the first time in months. Also, picking up our gorgeous little kitten, George – happy times.

George 003

 Favourite photo:

Definitely this one:

Karen Barrett 010

Proudest moment:

Reading through Sweet Pea’s portfolio from day care. Starting day care at the beginning of the year was a difficult adjustment for all of us – but especially her. Reading through her portfolio, seeing the comments from her teachers and seeing the photos with her smiling face made me realise that she had adjusted well – relief and pride wrapped into one.

Favourite purchase:

Airfares! Our trips to Fiji and Perth this year have been highlights for me. Fun times with beautiful friends and introducing Sweet Pea to our own love of travel.

Favourite Book:

“Us” by David Nicholls was a beautiful, sad but ultimately spot on novel that I was absorbed in until the very end.

 Favourite Movie/TV Show:

Going to the movies seems to be a thing of the past at the moment. I have been to the movies exactly twice this year! But new favourite TV shows for me would have to be VEEP, just laugh out loud funny and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is spectacular, and House of Cards (you can’t beat Kevin Spacey in my eyes).


Favourite month:

I am going to say December because it is freshest in my memory! It does have the works for me, my birthday, Christmas, holidays, sunshine…

Biggest achievement:

Working and mothering at the same time. It’s bloody hard isn’t it?? I won’t say that I’ve got the balance right – because truth be told I don’t think that is ever going to happen (and just something I am going to have to learn to get used to) but I am proud of the fact that I am working in jobs that I enjoy and that challenge me professionally while still being a pretty good mum to Sweet Pea.

Biggest decision:

To keep working and taking on jobs despite feeling overwhelmed with trying to balance the art of being “me” and being a mum. I have been offered so many wonderful work opportunities this year – and I’ve wanted to do them all – but it has been a decision process each and every time.

A lesson learnt:

Shit happens. I knew this already but it really hit home this year. But the lesson that goes with it is to not let your attitude fall into the same heap – shit will happen but you can stay (relatively) positive.

What made you cry:

So many things – but mainly being pushed to the limit by Sweet Pea’s “terrible two’s” behavior – Arghh!!!

Wish for 2015:

Contentment. I don’t strive for happiness so much as feeling content with my life, my choices, my work, my relationships. I think it’s a fairer word – easier to obtain perhaps??


How about you? Please share with me a favourite moment from your 2014 adventure…


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