Let’s Talk About That Baby

Let’s Talk About That Baby

Let’s Talk About That Baby. A real article that confronts the topic of PND for what it is, honestly, so please give it a read.

My thanks to the blog author, Robin Riedstra, who although I’ve only found recently, I’ve been super interested in her articles because of their honesty and interesting subjects, so keep up the awesome work, Robin!

Yes,  that woman needs help and if there was more pr in hospitals, at the Dr surgery or that we moved to a place in the future women just knew that there were places that would take care of them, or their baby, when things got too much, with no judgement, just real, honest long-term support and continual care.

Oh yes, I know it’s only a dream, but hey, I’m allowed to, aren’t I?

If you’re feeling sad, down or worried that you may harm or neglect your little one, please get in touch with beyondblue.org.au immediately as they will have staff on hand to support you through this time. Your other option is to get in touch with your GP, or PANDA.

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Do you know about ‘The Grommet’…

Do you know about ‘The Grommet’…

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Have you checked out The Grommet?

The Grommet is an awesome online store that launches undiscovered products and helps them succeed – Grommets. Grommets aren’t just things. Grommets are products with a purpose invented by people with stories.

 

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A Grommet is an innovative, unique product that is created by a Maker with a story to tell. Often a Grommet is new to market or has not yet been broadly discovered. Grommets are ready to find a wider audience and their product launch platform gives them the amplification and attention they deserve.

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Special attention is paid to underrepresented entrepreneurs: People under age 25, people over age 65, and women of all ages. These entrepreneurs tend to have a harder time raising capital and striking partnerships because their profile does not match the typical stereotypes of a successful company. The founders and creators of Grommets also tend to be building businesses that align with one or more of these values:

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Preserving a handcraft
Solving a problem in a fresh way
Creating jobs in a struggling or developing region
Building a social enterprise
Fostering green and eco-friendly practices
Manufacturing in the USA
Inventing a new technology

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So, although Grommets don’t tend to be Australian, they don’t seem to have a specific policy against us Aussies trying to make a Grommet so get yourself making, makers! And anyway they are a U.S company so more luck to them!

But the reason I’m telling you about all of this is because you’re sure to find something totally original to pop in the stocking of somebody special this year.

So get to it and start shopping!

meh…

meh…

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just thought I’d share my ‘meh’ day today. quick and simple.

as my regular readers know I’ve had back problems that caused me to be hospitalized and I’m now on the long road to rehab.

now I have a ‘hooray’ moment – I’ve been accepted into the pain clinic officially. and seriously, honestly and truly I am so thankful for this and so very committed to learning, changing and getting control of my pain.

but…

here comes my selfish ‘meh’ moment. after two separate appointments at an hour each, plus another three earlier this week, I’m kinda fresh out of ‘yee ha’ and now into ‘meh’ mode.

I’ve got to commit two afternoons and six hours a week to this. my ‘meh’ isn’t because I’m being selfish about my time, it’s more about the fact that I’ve now got to find somebody to look after Miss E for six hours a week (that’s a fair bit to put on a 15-mth old, as well as the carer/s) and I’ve got to find somebody to pick up The Boy after school. I’ve also got to fit this around my life and it’s not just the hours it’s also the brain hours and body hours that I’ll be suffering with…

meh…

I’m just tired thinking about it already.

but, my friends, as you know my back is super-bad and my pain (as you may not know) is pretty much constant to the point where I’m currently on a fair bit of rather serious medication and I have a hydrotherapy and a Pilates session already each week.

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argghhhhh… this is usually where the anxiety kicks in and I have a mild breakdown. I’ve already pretty much withdrawn from all social and not-really social but necessary for community-life currently because I just cannot do that along with constant pain.

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Plus looking after husband and children, plus putting my health first, plus keeping food on the table the house reasonably clean (that actually does make me crazy!), plus organising my husbands 40th birthday, having his relatives come to stay from interstate, add to that this blog (which keeps me sane because I adore it), and what I consider my ‘real work’, Mrs Jones & Me, which really does keep me sane and gives me contact with other women who are trying to do it all and run a creative business at the same time.

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I’m kinda unsure how I’m going to honestly continue to share ‘slowing down life’ tips with you while things are at this pace because I’m hardly doing that, am I?

But you know what… I’m gonna take few deep breaths, have a line of Cadbury Top Deck (my fave!) and find a way to fit everything in without having a total breakdown. I think…

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Whew!

I feel better after venting.

Apologies about that…

Love to you all and stay tuned to see how I fit it all in…

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Love Mrs Jones x

16 – 22nd November is PND Awareness Week…

16 – 22nd November is PND Awareness Week…

Postnatal Depression Awareness Week is 16-22 November.

Help raise awareness and reduce the stigma.

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Ahhh, pregnancy… do you remember yours fondly? Perhaps yours was awful and filled with illness and worry? Perhaps everything was great, until you started worrying and feeling depressed? Or perhaps everything was fine until about 6 weeks after you’d settled back in at home and then it hit you. You are now responsible for a whole other little person who totally relies on you and you can’t back out now…

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Did you know that up to one in 10 Australian women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to one in seven in the year following birth. Anxiety is thought to be even more common.

Now here’s where I give you my story to inspire YOU to be HONEST with others to CHANGE people’s lives and STOP THE STIGMA AROUND DEPRESSION.

I’ve suffered from mental illness since I was about 16 – anxiety and depression – and because I am treated by a psychiatrist both of my pregnancies were closely monitored by medial and psych staff to ensure that I wasn’t succumbing to depression.

My first pregnancy, although filled with constant vomiting and feeling hideous, was fine in regards to depression and anxiety. At six-days old my son was rushed into hospital and there he stayed for 6 weeks with heart problems, accidental overdoses by his medical team and a number of other ghastly issues; still I stayed ‘together’. In fact, I kept things ‘together’ in regards to his illness, my subsequent divorce and our battle to survive alone for another 4 years! I did pretty darn well, I think! Sometimes however, survival mode kicks in and you just can’t have the time, nor introspection to deal with a deep depression that is lurking in the background.

Over the coming years I suffered on and off with severe bouts of anxiety and depression – but didn’t allow myself to explore the reason behind it – probably due to the fact that I felt so bloody lucky that my boy survived that I didn’t really want to bring back all of the drama and feelings that I had about being on the very, very knife-edge of losing him. So, I pushed it down and talked with my psychiatrist about other ‘issues’!

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Nine years down the track, in a wonderful new marriage with a fantastic husband and a well, happy and kinda awesome 9-year-old son, I blessedly became pregnant again (hooray!!!!!)) and yes, I suffered – although I believe it wasn’t actually possible, much worse all-day hyperemesis (that’s constant nausea and vomiting). Also 41 isn’t your prime time to reproduce ladies – there is a name for us in medical circles and it’s a geriatric pregnancy! Humph!

This baby was the one I had prayed for. I had dreamed and begged and not been able to get the urge away that I needed to have another. For any guys reading this, I’m sure it’s biological – you just cannot be rational about it!

So when she arrived, she was perfect – okay, we had 24 hours in the special care nursery, but after my previous experience that was nothing! Everything was super, super awesome and I was so blissfully happy with my new bubba, my gorgeous boy and my darling husband that I didn’t put my finger on the little signs that had begun.

Things I was very much used to being aware of… unexplained worry about grand and insane tragedies that may befall my baby, my son or my husband. A constant feeling of unease. A few all-night insomnia bouts not related to the baby.

Yep, the anxiety had started and started in a big way. My psychiatrist and I had been planning for any potential PND and it happened pretty much right on time! Six to eight weeks after the birth…

So what was to be done?

Well we increased my daily medication, I had more frequent appointments with her and I began to learn the technique of mindfulness to combat the feelings – at times this works, at others, not so much! But I have been very, very blessed to be surrounded by amazing health professionals and a husband who has suffered depression before and felt it was very important to know what signs to look for in me so that we could attack the PND before it got any worse.

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So, two totally different pregnancies; two totally different first months of looking after a baby – boy child was looked after by nurses at the Royal Children’s Hospital, and missy was home in three days; two totally different situations in regards to my personal happiness and situation at the time (first marriage – abusive and frankly, awful and frightening on most levels – this time around I learned and learned well – we’re true partners, deeply in love and are happy, oh, and we laugh all the time!).

So girls, Post Natal Depression can strike you regardless of your situation, your personal feelings about parenthood, marriage, career or life, you can get it when you’re a normally happy-go-lucky woman or somebody who is more sedate and a planner. There seems to be no correlation other than you’re at a higher risk if you suffer from depression, or have had episodes prior, or if you suffer from anxiety. Also lack of sleep is a huge monster that makes PND much, much worse and as we know babies don’t like it when you sleep!

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My friends: I ask that you do something to change our world. Something in honour of your own mother, your female friends, your male friends, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers.

RAISE AWARENESS OF POST NATAL DEPRESSION.

There is NOTHING to be ashamed of in suffering from a mental illness – I discuss my experiences because I am DETERMINED to show that you can be a normal, unscary, and contributive member of society, a mother, a wife, a volunteer and a businesswoman and suffer. Yep, some times (not days, but weeks and sometimes months) are worse than others, but at 42 I’ve learned a lot about what gets the ‘black dog’ off my back quicker than I used to be able to and I’m in control of my illness – it DOES NOT control me.

So DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SHARE YOUR STORY – it will help others. It will give others the courage to speak out and share. And it will help others to seek treatment.

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How can you help? It’s easy-peasy! Just hop on over to beyondblue.org.au where they’ve got lots and lots of great materials that you can download, as well as helpful advice for mamas-to-be, dads-to-be and new parents.

There are also some other ways to get involved, you can:

  • Pop on over to the beyondblue’s Just Speak Up campaign website and add YOUR voice to the campaign. Take a look around the site and you’ll find lots of great stories to inspire and support
  • You can change your social media profile pictures to the Just Speak Up profile badge
  • Display the badge on your blog or other forum (you’ll see mine is over there on the side!)

More practically, you could:

  • Hold an event to raise money for beyondblue and you can even order FREE resources (including information booklets and flyers for women and their families as well as posters and postcards) to hand out
  • Display Just Speak Up posters on your community or work notice boards.
  • Include information about perinatal anxiety and depression in your workplace newsletter.
  • Include a link to the beyondblue and Just Speak Up websites on your workplace intranet and/or website.

Here are some files that may help you out!

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Good luck and remember NEVER be ashamed to be yourself. You are you and you are good enough JUST AS YOU ARE! The world only has one of you and it would be a lesser place without you.

I would LOVE for you all to share your experiences on depression, anxiety and also PND here and hope we can all be of support to each other – it does help a lot!

With extra-special hugs and hand-holding courage,
Mrs Jones x

Giving Thanks or ‘Friendsgiving’…

Giving Thanks or ‘Friendsgiving’…

I’m now featuring on MumCentral.com.au and here is the article we’ve published for November – An Aussie Thanksgiving!

Mrs Jones Vintage Thanksgiving
This month I thought I’d share a tradition my family has taken on – Thanksgiving. Not the American kind, but a very special Aussie kind that is much less stress, more fun and heaps easier than all of the dramas that come with Christmas!

Are you on board? Yup. Okay, first, a quick history lesson…

Thanksgiving Lowdown

Moving into 2014 things have changed a little. Thanksgiving is officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November – this year it’s on the 27th; it’s a major US holiday and the focus is on travelling to be with family, giving thanks and giving to others.

“Yawn. I’m not American, Mrs Jones.”

Don’t leave me here! I know, I know, we’re not American, Thanksgiving has nothing to do with us, and we’ve already got enough to do each year before Christmas! I hear you! I know… Once you become a wifey or a mama the fun stops and it becomes all about everyone else and making sure ‘stuff’ happens.

Gifts purchased. Tick. Oh, wait, didn’t the boy ask for that new water pistol they’re advertising now – two weeks before Christmas – and I can’t find them anywhere… Arghhh… That’ll have to wait!
Menu organised. Tick… wait a minute… I’ve got to find a bloody recipe for my brother’s vegan girlfriend… Do I need to get her a non-leather dining chair? Hmmm… That’ll wait.
Dinner or lunch. Still deciding.
Their place or ours. Can’t we just stay here for the day. Just once? Packing the kids up for another car trip is just too much. I’ll talk to hubby and see if his parents will come here.
Real or fake tree. I know the kids want a real one but do I want to vacuum pine needles for 4 weeks running?
Re-decorating the tree. Tick! I’ll redo it once the kids have gone to bed.

Okay, so we’ve established that Christmas is pretty much about everyone but us!

Hmmm… but what if things were different?
What if there was a celebration YOU actually enjoyed?
What if you could have a fun, relaxing and easy get-together leading up to Christmas that became something the whole family looked forward to?

Girls, you can! And that celebration is Aussie Thanksgiving!

Quick, easy and simple as you like. Take a look at the infographic below.

KISS Thanksgiving

Just remember a few of my KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) principles:

  1. You’ve got to invite REAL friends. People you know and love and WANT to spend time with!
  2. Keep the food simple. Barbecuing is an awesome idea because there’s little prep and it keeps the men busy and it also means you can ask friends to each bring a side dish
  3. Keep dessert simple. Ice cream cones or if you want to go crazy, an ice cream decorating bar for the kids (big and small!)
  4. Have some outdoor and indoor game ideas for when the kids get bored
  5. Ask everyone to bring a food donation (there’s your giving to the less fortunate)
  6. Make some time for everyone to sit together and get real. What is everyone really thankful for?
  7. Here’s the best part. Australian Thanksgiving ISN’T on the fourth Thursday in November, it’s on the fourth SATURDAY. This gives you time and headspace.

So that, my darlings, is it!
It’s that simple.

Now, I don’t want to hear any, “Seriously, I don’t have enough time now, why on earth would I add ANOTHER thing to our already insane schedule?”

Why? Well, girls, let me tell you why.

Because you can. Yep, it’s that simple.

Also because if you don’t start making time to simplify life, and start a few family traditions your kids will have nothing magical to look back on. This is easy peasy and kids will look back on this as such a fun time spent playing with friends, with no timetable to work to. A time of shared food, laughing until it hurts and coming together to do something good for those who need it.

Now my darlings it’s time to make this tradition yours! Take a deep breath, take charge, simplify a few things and make time to fit it in – I promise you won’t regret it!

I’d love to hear your stories of how your Aussie Thanksgiving went and any tips you’d like to share with others!

With Love
Mrs Jones x

Here’s To You, Gough…

Here’s To You, Gough…

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Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st Prime Minister passed away this morning, aged 98.

He was a giant of Australian politics and, in my opinion, with the exception of very, very few have there been any others who have even come close to this great man.

Although he only lead Australia for three years, his party launched massive reform, both economically and culturally. Controversially, he began the reform into Aboriginal land rights; began universal healthcare in Australia with the Medicare system; normalised diplomatic ties with one of our closest trading partners, China; gave all Australians the right to a free university education; and ended conscription of young men in Australia, also withdrawing our forces from Vietnam.

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Today is a sad day for me as one of my first, distinct memories as a three-year-old was of a group of my parents friends listening to the radio on the evening that Gough was dismissed by the governor-general, John Kerr on November 11, 1975. My father, a teacher, was probably pretty radical in his time – as were the group of friends my parents had – and each and every one of them was in tears, angry and I remember a lot of anger and disbelief.

It is a memory that now, as a forty-two year old, has stayed with me incredibly clearly throughout the years and began my passion with politics, international relations and social justice for all Australians.

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This morning opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Labor Party had “lost a giant” and “the nation has lost a legend”.

“Like no other prime minister before or since, Gough Whitlam redefined our country and in doing so he changed the lives of a generation. His vision, his ambition offered Australia a new sense of what it might be,” Mr Shorten said. “Our country is different because of him. By any test, the country is different and by any test the country was different significantly and better.

“He reimagined Australia as a modern nation where equality of opportunity belonged to all. There will be millions of Australians who feel his loss and will mourn his passing in the days to come.”

Mr Whitlam did inspire a generation of young people to get into politics; to make changes that would have seemed impossible to their parents; to get out there and change things they felt were unfair. He inspired me. He inspired my parents. He inspired many Australian songwriters, others currently and previously in public office and other notable Australians.

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So, to quote a song, by ‘The Whitlams’ I say,

“Here’s to you, Edward Gough Whitlam.”

And may the nation always remember you as a giant. A humble man who changed our nation. Australian politics has become a much less brave and inspiring place once you left.

Love Mrs Jones x

Vacation = Done!

Vacation = Done!

Mrs Jones

Ahhh… What a great vacation was had by all. And as you can see, I got some time to think about a few changes this blog needed to spruce it up! So folks, here ’tis!

Thank you to Virgin Australia who, honestly, are a really super airline. We paid a little more for our tickets, but we had ourselves a little snack on the way and knew that we could take whatever luggage we needed – and if you bring an under-two with you they let you bring quite a lot of kiddo-important stuff for free. Baby seats, prams, travel cots and the like are all included when you bring a little one who sits on your knee during the flight.

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I’m back home which I love. I’m a homebody, friends, and not ashamed to admit it. Vacations cause me stress and I find that relaxing is super-difficult for me. Not that I don’t enjoy myself, but I’m not the lie on the beach-type gal who relaxes as the plane lands. As you’ll see by the sign below – Aviation Security is NO Laughing Matter… I find vacations the same 😉

Flying is serious!
I feel rested – not relaxed however, but rested none-the-less.
I had time to think. About priorities. About family. About slowing down. About my life and my work.

Me and the kiddos spent time with their grandparents and gorgeous Aunt & Uncle in the balmy surrounds of Palm Beach, Queensland. It sounds kinda beautiful, doesn’t it? Well, it certainly was! We didn’t have a day below 22C and the hottest it got was 29C – so all in all, not too hot and not too cold.

Miss Edie had a lovely day with her grandparents, although there were a few concerns that I may never return…

IMG_7956 Lots of kisses when we returned. I did tell her that I’d be back…

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The Boy and I went to Warner Bros. Movie World… lots of lines, lots of waiting, expensive food and surprisingly cheap merchandise!

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We spent a lot of time in the Justice League shop buying gifts for Mr. Jones, and a little something for myself too. Friends, this top is probably the most loved thing that I could now wear from Mr. Jones’ point of view! No sexy lingerie for him, it’s all about Batman…

I’m so glad to be home with Mr. Jones, in my little house and slowing life down again! And it’s not just me – Edie can play with all of her cars and other stuff ‘that goes’, The Boy can read to his heart’s content and Mr. Jones has his family back again!

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Love and kisses to you all
Mrs Jones x

Regarding vacations…

Regarding vacations…


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So, I realised that it’s actually been more than 12 years – seriously, OVER twelve years since I had an actual vacation. Yes, I shall admit that I’ve travelled but it’s been for work and frankly, as you’ll know, that pales after a while and you don’t get time to relax, which is EXACTLY what I need.

This year has been absolutely TERRIBLE for me on the health front and I’ve had to change a lot of things around in my life. But, you know what? It feels like I’m coming through the other side. Each week there is a setback and be it minor or major, I’m 100% done! Done, I tell you! People talk about how health is the most important thing to them, and I’ve always thought ‘yeah, yeah, I agree’, but it’s not until you’re stuck in hospital, or at home and unable to look after your family that you really take stock and decide to give yourself a kick up the bot-bot and do something concrete about it….

I shall hold myself accountable to you, my cyber-friends, you! I have started a 100-day journal for this blog so that I actually turn it back into a proper website that details all of the services that I shall officially have back on the market come, January 2015! Yay! I’ll be offering photography for all of you delightful ‘vintagey-indie-gorgeous type product’ selling people; personal ‘small-home-based business’ mentoring to the same type of clients – but with a twist! – and workshops for all of you guys who are running small (in fact, let’s call them what they actually are,  MICRO-businesses!) micro craft or creative businesses. A business where it’s just YOU, well, there is probably a partner, friend or love who is on hand to help out when things get busy, or perhaps they’re not so busy? Well, that’s where I come in!

We’ll have fortnightly mentoring sessions, just you and I, over a cuppa and discuss vintagey/crafty/creative things and how they are going to make your business some money. Yep, you read right, M.O.N.E.Y!

We’ll also work on putting business goals into action and getting you ‘out there’ and by out there, I mean out in the marketplace, where and when it works for you. Do you need to work around family? You know what, if you’re going to get serious then we need to take very clear stock of exactly what can be achieved, in what amount of time and at what sacrifice to your family. Yep, you can have just about anything, but you cannot – I repeat – CANNOT have everything! Anyhow, we’ll chat about that kind of thing too.

I’ll also take some time to go over your marketing, PR and advertising – and we’ll work out just why you’re not getting the type of business you need, or not getting enough.

Oh, and we’ll talk about strategic planning for your business – you know what are you going to do to prepare for Christmas? What if you’d like to take a holiday every now and then (yes, I expect that once we’re on track with your business, you’ll have the time and money to take one of those!), and what should you do if things start growing and you’d prefer to stay small…

Basically friends, when it comes down to it, running a small, creative business is darn hard work and while ‘makers gotta make’ there is other stuff that YOU SIMPLY MUST get done if you’re going to have clients to sell your gorgeous goodies to.

So, there it is – Mrs Jones Vintage, may have a tiny, wee, rebrand come December, but I’ll be bringing the above to the amazing micro business ladies (oh, and of course guys if there are any who need help, but mostly we’re talking mamas here!) of Melbourne in January 2015… And I cannot wait! I really look forward to getting to know some of you better and bringing the skills I have to more people, more often.

Anyhow… back to the fact that I haven’t had a vacation in forever… well, my gorgeous husband suggested that I take the kiddos up to the Gold Coast to visit his family so I can have a break (they cannot get enough of their grandchildren!!) and I have a feeling he’ll be getting one down here even though he’ll be working each day! A holiday apart isn’t ideal, but it’s all we can manage this year and I think we’ll both be refreshed, miss each other and revived both personally, family-wise and professionally.

Love, Mrs Jones x

 

Lauren Bacall…

Lauren Bacall…

Sadly, it does appear that media reports are confirming the death of the beautiful Lauren Bacall at age 89

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If correct, it appears that she died on Tuesday at her home. Bacall was best known for her roles in ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’, ‘Designing Women’ and ‘To Have and to Have’.

She was also known for her marriage to Humphrey Bogart, which lasted 11 years until his death in 1957.

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Click here to go to her bio and all the info you could need on IMDb.

Like A Girl…

Like A Girl…

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Having a daughter, I found the Always, ‘Like A Girl’ campaign poignant and, hopefully, world-changing for young girls out there. Get on board and support the Always #LikeAGirl campaign.

‘Always’ are trying to change the negative connotation of the phrase ‘like a girl’ to one that is positive and affirming to help pubescent girls gain the confidence they deserve.

It’s not easy living in a world saturated with messages that being a girl is somehow weak or never quite good enough, strong enough or sexy enough. That being who you are, just as you are, will never quite make the grade – and believe me (as most female readers will understand) this isn’t something that stops after puberty, it is a constant and unrelenting message that the media, in all of its forms, bombards us with on a daily basis.

I want more than that for my daughter and that’s why I’m supporting the promotion of this campaign.

It’s okay to be a stay-at-home Mama. It’s okay to work. It’s okay to be kind and gentle. It’s okay to be strong and fast. It’s okay to read books or play sports or prefer being outdoors or staying indoors. It’s okay to be a girl. In fact, I think it totally rocks to be a girl!

We can do all kinds of things and being fortunate enough to live in a country that is free from war, famine, pestilence, and a generally safe one, the majority of girls here in Australia have many, many opportunities to achieve a life they can be proud of. Of course, there is an undercurrent of sexism, a silent epidemic of domestic and sexual abuse, and myriad other terrible daily ordeals that both boys and girls, men and women endure and we will only make lasting change with revolution of the people – I do not believe that this will ever happen however, and experience has taught me that the only way I’ll make a difference is to help, love and support those in need as I come across them.

But you know what? I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud of the girl I was and I’m excited to rock the establishment by bringing my daughter up with the strong and unrelenting message that doing things #LikeAGirl is awesome and NEVER something she should be ashamed of!

Check out the Always campaign and get behind supporting #LikeAGirl!