17 February 2015

Quote for Today

I found this quote that sums up everything for me at the moment.


2015 is my year of Happiness and Freedom. Here's to finding what makes you free and happy. I'm working on it.

xxx

16 February 2015

January in Review

Another month has flown by and we are already in the middle of February. Why does time go so fast as I get older?

January was a month of craziness. I started the year with a cast iron desire to stand up for myself and not sell myself short. My first act in this was to hand in my resignation to the that was draining everything from me. Thankfully my contract included only a 1 week notice period so Monday morning I booked a meeting with the CEO and by Friday I was waving goodbye.

While this brought a massive sense of relief that no longer was I being hammered in a toxic environment, the reality of what I had done started to sink in. I had thrown in my job with no back up plan. No savings and no other job to go too! Ahhhh sheer craziness and a sure sign of just how drained I was being there. It has been a long time since I had done something so foolhardy without a plan. But I had enough cash to pay the next 2 months of rent and a new enthusiasm for myself.

My first week was a joyous sense of freedom coupled with time with my mum who was in town completing a dream of hers to do an art course. Cue a few hours into h kitchen baking snacks for mum and her class and I had a baking business of sorts starting. Mum's teacher ordered more snacks for her class the following week and I managed to make some cash selling my baking. Not bad at all

It is funny how the world works as on my Bucket List of random things has been a for a few years to explore my love of cooking and baking and maybe turn it into a career. part of me hit full flight and I spent hours trying to come up with the best business name and branding. Then the smart part of me kicked in and said, let's just bake and see where it goes before pouring hours and cash into it.

So now I was faced with eh real story of getting another job, paying my bills and keeping my baking business ticking over. I am a realist and know that as much as I want too, I won't be able to quit my (non-existent) day job and earn enough from day baking to love the life i want. So it's back to applications and interviews.

In the  6 weeks since I left my job I have applied for 25 jobs, attended 9 interviews and worked 2 days temping. With 2 further interviews booked for this week and a 4 week temp assignment due to start next week. It has been busy. I had forgotten just how much time an energy it takes to get a job. This time I am doing it better though. I am making sure that I interview the company and stay just as much as they interview me. I know we need cash to live and dream but I want to work in an environment that suits me. One where I am valued and feel like I am part of the team. I don't want to go through another 6 months like the last by making wrong choices. While I can't guarantee that I will find the perfect team and organisation to work with, I will be smarter about listening to my gut and that funny feeling I have if something isn't right.

So as February rolls on, I continue to stay hopeful that I will find something wonderful soon. I am certainly putting myself out there. And in the means time I am enjoying the baking and hope to continue to grow this interest.

Here is a look back at January through my camera.

Summer sun from the balcony

Watching the storm roll in

Hot rain steaming off the heaters in a summer downpour

Baking - Blood Orange Syrup Cake

Baking - Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Peanut Butter Fudge Filling

Baking - Choc Chip Cookies

Baking - Death By Chocolate Cake

Mum's amazing art after 1 week

Baking - Ginger and Lemon Kisses

Baking - The 2nd Blood Orange Syrup Cake

Sunset Country Style

Baking - Raspberry Friands and Nut and Gluten Free Raspberry Muffins

Baking - Chicken Sausage Rolls

Baking - Egg  Bacon Pastries

Country views from our picnic table

I hope your January brought many smiles and moments with loved ones. In baking for relaxation, stress and money I realised that what I loved most about baking and cooking was sharing it with family and friends. Nourishing and nurturing those that I love with something I have made. That makes me sing inside. Here's to a February full of singing inside and out.

xxx



05 February 2015

2014 - A Year In Review

A belated post wrapping up the year that was 2014. I mentioned it a little previously that 2014 started well but July to Dec was a pretty challenging time for me and my family all round. From work pressure and family grief by the time 31 Dec rolled around I was more than happy to say goodbye. On reflection there were some happy points but the last 6 months have been one big stress. I learned a lot about myself, my colleagues, my family and my friends along the way. I learnt to listen to my inner voice and trust myself. 

I also learnt that your true friends will be there for you through these times and that some people have their own agenda and will step on anyone in their way. That was a hard lesson for me to learn as I trust people and believe in their good nature all the time. I am by no means "pollyanna" about things but I do believe that people are inherently good and not evil. This last year has shown me evil side of human nature. A side of some people I never thought existed. I discovered there were people out there who were happy to throw me under the bus to save themselves. While this was painful and confusing it was a good lesson to learn. I still trust people and am the same open and honest person I have always been but I do have my eyes open and am trying to use a sense of caution when my inner voice is telling me there is something not right.

So in more ways than one this year is a about moving on. Before I do, I always feel the need to reflect on what has been. The good, the bad and the wonderful. So below is a highlights reel of 2014. The good parts I want to remember and share. I will not allow the bad to take over or take any more of my energy.  I hope you are able to feel the same cathartic sense of letting go as I have done. As we move further into the new year the old one falls from my mind.

January
Burgers from Hello Sam

Baking - Apple Tea Cakes


Picnics - Always the Queen of Over Catering

The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road

February
Sunset

Baking - Oat Bran and Apple Muffins

Valentine's Day Traditions - Pizza on the Beach


March
Dry Lake, Learmonth

Amazing Sunset

Lakes Entrance


April

Birthday Dinner with Friends

Easter Egg Hunts

Open Spaces in Country Victoria


May
Raising Funds for Charity

Happy Birthday to My Man


June
WELCOME TO THE USA

Cleveland Indians

Baseball Trip of a Lifetime


July

Baking - Smoked Salmon Scrolls

Baking - Beef & Gravy Pies with Cheesy Crust

Storm Clouds Gathering

Tobogganing in the Snow


August
Comfort Food

Watching the Fog Roll In


September
Celebrating the End 

Baking - Choc Chip Biscuits

Relaxing in the Spring Sunshine


October
Baking for New Beginnings - Blood Orange Syrup Cake


November
Homemade Icecream

Sunsets - My favourite Time to be on the Balcony


December
Xmas Hampers for Family full of Homemade Goodies

Baking - Fruit Mince Pies

Goodbye 2014 - Fireworks from the Balcony

Phew, a look back at the year that was. I notice lot of baking which pleases me to see. I have always enjoyed being creative and baking and cooking is the space that feels the most comfortable for me. I am looking forward to more of this.

I hope your year was fabulous and that like me, with distance you can appreciate all the good times.

Xxx