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 I’ve already pretty much withdrawn from all social and not-really social but necessary for community-life currently because I just cannot do that along with constant pain.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

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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

A Very Vintage Halloween…

A Very Vintage Halloween…

Hello Little Ones, Being Australian we really don’t do Halloween, although this isn’t stopping every major retailer from here to Tasmania giving their October marketing dollar a red hot run. So rather than spend the whole (I’m only spending a small portion) post bitching about it I shall share some gorgeous Halloween vintage photography with you instead! I’ve got to say unless you’re American and want to have a fun gathering teaching us Colonials all about this delightful tradition, I feel that by ‘celebrating’ Halloween here in Melbourne you’re likely to get, at best arrested, and at worst, never spoken to again by your neighbours who (I presume like most Aussies you ignore for the whole year, including Christmas Day) can find it rather surprising, to say the very least, to see their close neighbours ghoulishly-dressed child magically appear on their front porch, come early evening on October 31st, demanding sugary treats… Honestly friends, just give it a miss or use it as a good excuse for a catch-up with a few other families and have a backyard BBQ, letting the kids run free, now that daylight savings has arrived. Take a look at the tradition of Halloween and how and why it started; base your celebrations around that if you wish. So, rather than feature anything spooky, scary or gruesome, don’t into the hype here in Australia (this comment is to be thoroughly ignored, my darling and most delightful followers from the good ol’ US of A – this is your celebration; enjoy!) I thought I’d share some awesome vintage Halloween images for you to enjoy! So darlings. Enjoy!

Vintage Halloween kids

These little devils files look like they’re having fun!

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Every year since 1952, Margery became more and more concerned that her sons may not find suitable wives.

Vintage Halloween monkey boy

Timmy was told to sit on the naughty step after he stole another banana.

Wolf man vintage Halloween

Giving Frank the table scraps seemed to be giving his coat a glossy shine.

Vintage Halloween kids

It was going to be a long night…

Vintage Halloween

Gladys and Bob were thrilled that adoption laws had finally been relaxed.

Vintage Halloween

The spacesuit always made Bobby feel he could punch above his weight.

Vintage Halloween

Edith kept kept a momento from each of her ex-husbands.

Love Mrs Jones x

Nice Day for a Picnic…

Nice Day for a Picnic…

Basil Bangs Picnic RugFeeling like a picnic?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re at the beach, in the garden or on the back deck, the Basil Bangs Love Rug from ‘Top 3 by Design’ marks your spot with very cool vintage style.

The Love Rug, a collaboration with “We are Handsome”, is perfect for a family picnic, at the beach or just relaxing on your favourite grassy patch on the back lawn – or if it’s raining, bring it inside for use as a play mat.

The Basil Bangs Love Rug features:
– A spacious family size 1.8m diameter circular size
– Internal urethane padding for comfort
– Underside lined with water-proof backing
– Topside features sublimation printed, water-resistant outdoor polyester canvas
– Hidden pocket for stashing your phone, wallet and keys
– Contrast colour edging
– Padded carry handle
– Adjustable shoulder strap

With Love
Mrs Jones x

Do Me A Favour…

Do Me A Favour…

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Hello Friends,

Today was a strange day because I had to go to my grandfathers house and grab some of the things I wanted to keep before his house is sold. You see, he went into a nursing home a few months ago and it’s now time to sell his place. Grandma died a few years back and there was still a bit of her stuff there too.

It was a really weird feeling walking around his home, the home where he and Grandma had lived for over 20 years. It still smells the same and looks just as it did when he was there, but he wasn’t and he’s not going to live there again, so practicalities must take over and that’s why I was there.

It struck me, as I looked at his qualifications on the walls of his study, at his guitar in the corner, at the family photographs on every surface; that at the end of your life there is only a handful of ‘stuff’ to show that you were actually here. And unless you’re in people’s hearts and minds, there really isn’t much left at all…

And it got me thinking that life is incredibly short.

So quick.

So brief and you’d better make the most of it. You’d really better be you, truly and honestly you and not live somebody else’s life because all that will be left will be a handful of stuff that really wasn’t you anyhow.

So friends, I ask you to do this for me. Take stock. Just do a quick little inventory now. No matter how sucky, low long, how frustrating or how generally crappy your day has been today, please, just take a few minutes to think about this and do something for me now. First.

Take three slow, deep breaths. Take a look around you. Are you happy? Are you comfortable in your life. Happy with the person you show to the world? Are you being you?

The awesome, loving, kind, wonderful you.

You.

Just you.

Or are you unhappy. Are you feeling that life is sucking the fun and kindness out of you?

Take a moment. Take a moment to remember who you used to be when you were at your happiest. Perhaps it was only this morning before you made the lunches, the beds, did three loads of washing, made dinner, listened to the complaints, the whinging, put everyone to bed and it’s just now you’re finding a few minutes for a cuppa or a glass of wine. Then you can relax. Relax and find you. The happy person, the person who isn’t overwhelmed with life and it’s demands.

Perhaps it was a few years back, when you were happy. Maybe life has been crushing you slowly. Bills. Work. Negative people. Unhappy people. Mean, nasty people.

Perhaps you can’t even remember how long ago that it was when you were truly happy. Perhaps you’ve been eating too much. Maybe you just can’t find the energy to go for that run or walk you keep promising yourself you’ll find time for. Perhaps you’ve been controlling everything around you to try and find something you can grab onto.

Maybe you’re living with somebody who makes you feel small. Feel afraid. Feel worthless. Maybe you’re trying to escape, but you can’t because it’s all too overwhelming. Or you’re afraid for your life.

Well friends, today is it.

Honestly, today is the day.

There really mightn’t be another and do you really want all that you are, all that you’ve been to just be a pile of stuff that people will remember you by?

Think back to the feeling you used to get as a kid.

Remember how it felt to walk barefoot on the grass.

How it felt to have no responsibilities except for playing with friends and laughing. Having fun. Being you. That awesome, wonderful, gorgeous, happy, kind, loving you.

The you at your ‘you-est’.

Well the time has come to remember that kid.

Remember who you were and who you wanted to be; and who you actually still are inside and who you WILL show the world that you are again.

Stop the madness.

Get off the wheel.

Stop playing games and get real.

Stop the worrying. Stop the excuses. Now…

Make a change. A little one. A big one. Anything. Just do something to find that perfect person you feel is in the shadows and be that kid again.

Don’t waste another day letting others control you.

No longer will you let others control your destiny or make you feel that you can’t be you.

Do me a favour and just be you.

You’re good enough.

In fact you’re probably much more awesome than you’ve ever realised!

And whenever you start to forget who you are, remember walking barefoot in the grass; the smell, the cool feeling between your toes and how light and free you were. That kid is still there.

Be that person.

Be awesome and be you.

Always.

Love to you all

Mrs Jones x

Slow Toys from Little Citizens Boutique…

Slow Toys from Little Citizens Boutique…

I’ve just read a great blog post from a fab online store I stumbled across today, all because I was searching for one of these…

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So, anyhow, do yourself a favour and read this article because this great article has only strengthened my belief in slowing down our lives to a mid-century pace…

With love, Mrs Jones x

“May 25, 2014 How Slow Toys make for better child development.

What in the world is the Slow Toy movement? Like the Slow Food and the Slow Fashion movements, we now have a Slow Toy movement and thank goodness for that.   Along with their darling baby there are two things that arrive at the house of every new parent 1. noise and 2. plastic.

Toy trends of the recent past insist the louder and more plastic the better. Walk up and down the aisles of the biggest toy stores and you notice most toys today need batteries because they do something. Sometimes they even masquerade as educational, think of the loud A’s, K’s, P’s resounding through your living room –but the tide is changing. A new movement is gaining momentum.

It’s called the Slow Toy movement and it celebrates old-fashioned ideas of play because children don’t actually need all the bells and whistles. The theory is that children can be taught and encouraged to explore their own ideas, through listening and by giving them creatively designed toys. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to take the time to get down on your knees and play with your kids, this will help them slow down long enough to ignite their imaginations.

Thierry Bourret, a French toy distributor in the UK coined the term in 2011. Bourret also founded the Slow Toy Awards, held annually in London, they award toys that are well made and nicely designed. There is an element of educating children on taste, the way you would teach a child to enjoy the flavour of a tomato, but most importantly– the toys must allow children to make a world of their own. Another important goal of the Slow Toy movement is to buy ethically and it’s no coincidence that many of the manufacturers of slow toys are small family companies. The inspiration often stemming from their own genuine parenting values and not from the board rooms interested in licensing TV characters. Your purchase helps to support a way of life for villagers, crafts people, families and artists.

There are similarities to the Slow Food movement as well, like the desire to draw attention to the drawbacks to the globalization of toy brands. Why should ever little girl in the world want to be a Disney princess? There is a risk of homogeneity and not celebrating individual differences. The reason it’s so important to wake up to this new trend is because there is sound science backing up its benefits for our children. Studies, including one recently published by the Mid Continent Research for Early Learning, an important learning think tank in the US, have shown that when children have time to engage in unstructured play and make-believe they develop a critical cognitive skill called executive function. Executive function helps kids to self-regulate, which means controlling their emotions and behaviours.

The study concluded that, “today’s 5-year-olds were acting at the level of 3-year-olds 60 years ago, and today’s 7-year-olds were barely approaching the level of a 5-year-old 60 years ago”. The study explains that self-regulation is incredibly important. Poor executive function is associated with drug use and crime. It goes so far as to say that a good executive function is a better predictor of success in school than a child’s IQ, which is really quite revolutionary. Howard Chudacoff, a cultural historian at Brown University, publishes on the subject a history of play. He has studied the radical changes that occurred in the second half of the 20th century. He says, “Instead of spending their time in autonomous shifting make-believe, children were supplied with ever more specific toys for play and predetermined scripts.

Essentially, instead of playing pirate with a tree branch they played Star Wars with a toy light saber.” Chudacoff calls this the commercialization and co-operation of child’s play. In other words those loud plastic toys may be doing our kids a disservice. Let kids do what they do best, use their imagination to explore the world. And then hope that you can keep that spirit alive well into adulthood.  “

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.

ThanksVirginAustralia

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!

Playing cars

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

 

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!