Another day bites the dust.


Saturday evening and I am sipping wine, munching on dip and biscuits, listening to some very strange chill out music. I have been trying to convince my husband to cook dinner tonight. He has gone to the kitchen and is making a lot of noise, so I am very hopeful.

The day has been spent organizing paper work for contests and trying to use easySpeak for my Cranbourne Toastmasters club. It is my personal project for the weekend to work on.  My new role of VPE ( Vice President of Education) requires me to set up the agenda for the meetings.  I am struggling with create a template for the contests.  There is always that one thing I don’t know what to do. Solution after some Couch Carol videos, and playing around, I find myself growling at my computer. It is at this point I grab my phone and make a phone call and ask for help. I find my fellow Toastmasters are always willing to help.

It Saturday evening, the chill out music and wine, give a real Saturday night feel. Still I need to get this blog post done as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, so here I am on my couch computer on lap, my fingers tapping out the words.

This is  a personal/lifestyle blog, I tend to blog about life. I love journaling, Toastmasters and personal develpment. My newest hobby is photography.  My biggest learning curve has been navigating the resources, funding and programmes for my 16 year old son with a disability. I am not an expert rather a Happy Suburban Chick trying to improve each day and be the best person I can be.

Got questions? Ask me anything!

Today I invite you to ask me anything and leave your question or comment in the comment box.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!







The Problem With Housework!


The Happy Suburban Chick must come face to face with her reality of housework. It certainly does not fit into the area of domestic bliss. Here is a list of 5 housework problems that every Happy Suburban Chick must come to terms with. They are as follows:

Housework is like Groundhog day, same thing day after day. I empty the wash basket, and the next day it is full and I start all over again. I make the beds and the next day I make them again. I do the dishes and the next day I do them again.

The biggest problem is nobody really appreciates it especially when it is done well, things run smoothly everyone is happy and life just goes well.

When it not done, you soon hear the complaints, the inconvenience is well and truly noticed. Like where are my jocks, did you buy me my deodorant, post my letter, and I am hungry what is for dinner tonight

I don’t get paid to do it, even though I work hard and put a lot of hours into it.

It doesn’t require much skill, but rather takes up a lot of time. I can not develop my skill and knowledge.

Being distracted by housework when I could be doing something more interesting, challenging and fun. Yet somehow that housework is very persuasive because I find myself doing it.

So what’s a Happy Suburban Chick to do! Put on the music and get stuck into for a start. Acknowledge that it will never be complete it simply and ongoing project with no end date. If no one appreciates your work you must be doing a magnificent job. They can sack you, and give your job to someone else. Funny thing is I have never been given the sack from doing housework even when I suck at it. That’s right it’s unpaid work. Finally when you find yourself being sucked in by the persuasiveness of housework, set boundaries and give it definite time frames, and say no when it demands more.

A Happy Suburban Chick must learn to control the times she spends on housework so she can spend more time doing what makes her happy.

How do you cope with housework? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Wishing you a wonderful day!


Photography Bliss : Alfred Nicholas Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges


Wow! Magical, Picturesque, Amazing colours, these words all describe the Alfred Nicholas Gardens. These gardens are situated of Sherbrooke Road in the Dandenong Ranges. They are run by Parks Victoria now, and entrance is free.
I went at the end of Autumn and the Autumn foliage colours were just gorgeous. It not just the colours it is also the ornamental lake and boat house with a couple of small bridges that just make this place so picturesque. Whilst the gardens are surrounded by rain forrest. It is a delightful place for a walking adventure with a camera.  I was in my happy place taking lots of delightful photo’s.
This day was the perfect day, late afternoon and slightly cloudy for taking photo’s. I am a new hobbyist photographer and are still learning how to navigate the settings of my DSLR camera and take good photo’s. All I know is I need to get out there and practice and take a lot of photo’s. This place makes it easy to take pretty photo’s because it is just so delightfully beautiful.

You can discover the Alfred Nicholas Gardens for yourself by going to Dandenong Ranges,  Sherbrooke Road, Sherbrooke, Victoria. Admission is free, and the photography opportunity is great. To find out more go to Parks Victoria’s site. 

This post has been inspired by the Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 11, which I have been encouraged to share some photo’s. This year I am also sharing a picture a day on Instagram, which are mostly iPhone photo’s, because that the camera I always have with me.



Wishing you all a wonderful day!



Five ways to turn traffic time into happy time.

sad critter

Stuck in traffic, crazy that is what it is, crazy out there on the roads. Stop, start, beep, beep, surrounded by angry frowning faces in the cars all around me. I can feel my stress levels rising, and my frustration getting to me. I don’t want to be miserable for this amount of time. Time is too valuable to waste on being miserable.

This is my sucky current reality. The developers have gone crazy and there are housing estates going up everywhere. They are blocking roads and even closing some completely. It completely sucks, road works everywhere, dust everywhere, and potholes everywhere. The roads are a mess and the traffic is horrific and I am afraid I don’t know where all the extra cars are going to go. There are frustrated drivers, pushing in, beeping, and taking risks. I am a little over being beeped at, one even beeped me for stopping at an unmanned school crossing and letting some student cross the road. Seriously!  It should be ok to let children cross the road safely. I think this is the saddest part when people no longer are considerate of other people. The roads around here are crazy, and we are all struggling to get places on time or to get home. Yes, it sucks! It is the Traffic Jam paradise, and don’t bother riding a bike because that is too dangerous because of all the angry frustrated drivers on the road. Oh if you would like to catch public transport, good luck, you will need extra time for that too due to the rail works. Okay, that’s a big rant. At the moment you could describe me as the frustrated grumpy suburban chick.

happy critter

I have to live with it and somehow turn traffic time into happy time. This is why I have come up with five things to do when stuck in traffic.

1. Sing, sing, sing really loudly and bop away as much as you want. It feels good.
2. Listen to audio books, they can be entertaining or informative and it makes the time feel productive.
3. Practice speeches or presentations in the car, you can really work on remembering your content and practicing vocal variety.
4. Practice breathing exercises and try to relax.
5. Daydream,  about all the wonderful things you could be doing if you weren’t stuck in traffic.


Sometimes it is just really, really hard to be a Happy Suburban Chick. However, time is too valuable to waste being miserable and stressed. That is why it so important for me to turn traffic time into happy time.
Help! What are your tips for turning traffic time into happy time? Please leave a comment.


( Day 3 of the Ultimate blog challenge, I am taking part of this challenge and will be blogging everyday this month of July)


Carefree Sundays

Don't power walk. Saunter slowly in the

Quote of the week by S.A.R.K.

I love a carefree Sunday without any plans, and this day is so gorgeous, it is bright blue, sunny and warm. It just feels like the perfect day to venture out into nature and enjoy its glories and surprises. The perfect day for a stroll around the lake. 

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday!

The Waiting Room



Today I started the morning in panic mode. My young Mighty Mouse had a cardiology appointment at the hospital. Now my son has lots of appointments for lots of different things. I am a grateful for his good health at the moment, and grateful for his amazing quality of life. Still he has some health issues that need to be managed and monitored.
 So that means lots of different doctors appointments and clinics. Some our outpatients clinics that don’t need referrals.Some are specialist that we have ongoing referrals for. Then there is this one clinic that sort of outpatients/specialist that needs a new referral every twelve months.
This morning I realised it was that clinic and no I didn’t have a referral. So panic stations, to my relief my one of the doctors at my son’s family medical clinic has organised a  referral for him. It is not easy co-ordinating  my son’s medical management.  The system doesn’t make it easy, after all I am just a Mum not a case manager or events co-ordinator which would probably suit this role better than just mummy skills.
So here are my Mummy tips for the long wait in the waiting room: Take something interesting to do!
  • iPads, DS NIntendo, Game boy ( Kids will happily spend two hours playing computer games)
  • Books and Magazines ( The long wait is the perfect time to catch up on some reading)
  • Podcasts ( You could probably listen to one or two podcasts during your wait time)
  • Music put the head phones in and listen to your favourite music.

I love technology it has made the long wait in the waiting room so much more enjoyable. I remember a time when you had to take books, and toys along and kids would get so bored they were driven to naughtiness. Whilst those hours of naughty screaming kids resulted in  me having a throbbing headache that required Panadol. I often think they should just have referral, X-rays, medicare card, and most importantly bring some form of entertainment to occupy yourself and child during the long wait clearly documented on the appointment letter. That way we would all be prepared, and the long wait could simply be a time to relax and be entertained.

Resources on the web:
This was the only site I could find with any practical and fun ideas.
Wishing you all a wonderful day

The Garden Party

Sunday~Last Day Of Our Weekend Holiday!

Sleep in Sunday, more reading and drinking coffee, followed by a quite breakfast outside overlooking the magnificent view. So quiet and tranquil with only the music of the birds to be heard. Just beautiful living, even if only for a weekend.

The Garden Party

The Garden Party

Then it was off to the final event of the Yarra Valley Wine and Food Festival, the Garden Party at Healseville Racecourse. We enjoyed the local music. We tasted the wines,ciders and ales. I am not fond of the sparkling pear however I really enjoyed the sparkling shiraz.We enjoyed the cooking demonstrations on how to make chilli salt squid and salad, and also the Greek cooking class. I learnt so much, I should be much better at cooking now. The racecourse with it’s lovely big shady trees, grass areas and seating provided a lovely relaxed setting. Whilst the weather provided a perfect Autumn’s Day. It was a great day out.

The Local Music Bands Played and Entertained the Crowd

The Local Music Bands Played and Entertained the Crowd

It made me think about what events are happening in my own area, and as I flicked through the local paper I saw a heritage day and a fun festival on. It is a pity I am working that weekend. However when I look there is something always on. I found that since starting this blog and becoming aware of what is on around me, I have become so much more able to find interesting things to do and go. I encourage you to check out your own local newspapers,and local radio and find out what interesting place to go and things to do are happening in your area.

Lazy Scrumptious Saturday!

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

The view from the back great place to sit have coffee and contemplate.

Relaxing in bed, drinking coffee and reading a book. Eventually we got up around late morning, and sat out on the pergola admiring the view and simply sitting quietly listening to the birds making their music. We then headed into town for bunch. Which was cooked breakfast at lunch time. Yummy. Oh we were super lazy!

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Yarra Valley Dairy.

Then we went for a drive into the surrounding hills to the Yarra Valley Dairy. We sat and watch a cooking demonstration. I learnt something about making pasta. Finally we finished with taste testing. The food was so yummy.

Yarra Valley Dairy

Yarra Valley Dairy

With our tummies full, we went for a scenic drive to Mt. Donna Buang. This is the tallest mountain that is closet to Melbourne. On a clear day you are meant to see panoramic views over Melbourne,  the Yarra Valley, and the  Dandenongs. It was not a clear day the sun and blue skies had turned to clouds and rain.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

The 21 meter hight tower at the summit.

I faced my fear of heights and climbed the observation tower. It was still a great view. It was so windy and wet, I did not want to let go of the bar. Did I mention I am afraid of heights, yes scardy cat Francine when it comes to anything involving heights, it required lots of deep breathing and some encouragement from my husband to climb the tower. It was totally worth doing, there is something special about being up so high and just looking into the distance.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

At the top. No way was I letting go of that handle bar.

The evening saw us venture out to one of the local restaurants The Basement for a light and tasty Tapas meal. This place had a lovely open space, full of contemporary art, chandeliers and lots and lots of delightful candles. The restaurant was a little hard to find, so glad we kept looking until we discovered where it was hiding. It definitely was a gem of a place to dine.

Evening time was spent siting in front of the wood fire, sipping wine, listening to music and having conversations. It was followed by a bubble spa bathe by candlelight. So romantic!

Lazy Saturday ends and yes it was a totally scrumptious day!


Aromatherapy Favourites Simple and Easy.

oil burner

So busy not time to do anything so I thought a quick post about self-care would be appropriate.



For many years I have possessed the most useful aromatherapy book, Health Scents by Alan Hayes. A book about aromatherapy for health and healing.

I feel that aromatherapy can be a very affordable way to care for a health. It is a simple way to focus our mood and let our natural body heal itself. It is easy to just take a pill however I think sometimes we can avoid the pills by using so aromatherapy especially for self-care and health maintenance.

Here are some simple combinations to use in the bath. Just dilute 10 drops of  essential oil into 40 mls of carrier oil such as almond oil, store in an air tight bottle and keep in a dark cupboard to protect from light and sun. You can get special bottle but they cost a lot more.

Just add 10 drops of your favourite combination mixtures to your bath. I like to use my in a carrier oil like above as this infuses into my bath better and gives just the right strength of the aroma. I don’t like to aroma to be too overpowering.  I just add the 10 drops of mixture under a running tap of hot water into the bath.

A couple of my favourite combinations from the book are as follows:

Revitalise Combination.

5 drops of bergamot essential oil

5 drops of ylang – ylang essential oil


Relax and Unwind Combination

5 drops of lavender essential oil

5 drops of rosewood essential oil


Then just one final simple and easy trick for a good night sleep is to place one drop of lavender oil on a piece of cotton wool or hanky and place it under the pillow slip, this can help you relax and drift of to sleep.


Use oils with common sense, and always be careful about what oils you use if you are pregnant or have allergies. Don’t put essential oils directly onto your skin remember to dilute them in an appropriate amount of carrier oil.


I am only a novice in aromatherapy, and only know what I have learned over the years on the subject from my interest in it as a hobby. I have found many helpful books and have learnt about the subject from short workshops. This information is not expert advice.


Easy Meditation Exercise





My little Buddha

My little Buddha

Today I have chosen an easy meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh from an old favourite book of mine, Peace Is Every Step. It has been many years since I have picked up this book. However recently I have heard lots of people mention it. Then I thought it is time to read it again. I have recently been trying to find a lot of joy from the outside world, this book has reminded me to look within and simply enjoy being in this world. A favourite an easy meditation that can be done anywhere is this following one:

Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment,

I Know this is a wonderful moment!

(Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step, pg. 10)

Wishing you wonderful moments throughout your day!

This is the month of April and I am pleased to be doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge!



Ultimate Blog Challenge