Where to pick your own apples in Perth

You know that saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away?

Well, I’m popping in to let you know that will be ringing true for us for at least the next 127 days and it can for you too, because this:

You see, it’s apple season so we took a little day trip to the hills and found an awesome orchard that let us pick our own fruit.

The orchard was huge, which was also awesome, because this:

We had the place to ourselves!

We did bump into another family about five minutes in who were headed back to their car with their haul.
Watch out, they’re heavier than you think,” the Dad cautioned, which, at the time, we didn’t really get because, well, she’ll be apples right!?

We ventured in and let me tell you, I’ve never seen so much fruit. Fresh apples, hanging from the tree apples, literally ripe for the picking apples.

Most of ours came from the lower branches because Mr O did most of the picking…

While I took the photos…

Made sure I didn’t lose him…

Did the necessary taste test…

Um, amazing!

While the mister carried this…

There’s totally 127 apples in there!
It was at that very moment we understood what that Dad meant. Yes, the walk back to the car was long!

But totally worth it.  The box of apples, all 127 of them, cost just $25 and the experience gave us all a good few hours of fun, both in the field and on the drive. Mr O was in his element and isn’t it great to teach your kids where their food actually comes from {other than the shops!}.

You can say hello at Valley Fresh Produce, 50 McCorkhill Road, Pickering Brook.

It’s best to call before heading out to check times {it’s a good hour’s drive from Perth} but we were told that apple picking is open to the public every day from 10am – 4pm until mid-June. Even better, it  might be extended as the season this year has been so good {or should that be fruitful}?  Ripe for picking are Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji and Sundowner varieties.

If you want to try something similar, around September you can pick your own strawberries too. And I can’t wait to do that again!
Do you know any other places to pick your own fruit?  Let me know, I’d love to say hello!

Advertisements

What would you be if you weren’t a mum?

When I was pregnant, I heard that becoming a mum meant losing your identity because it’s just not about you anymore. I was equal parts cool with that and also on a mission to debunk that myth.

I’m still a person,” I thought. “I’m still me.” Sure, I might be a tired, messy and mummified version of me but I am still in there, somewhere.

Truth is over the last four years I have kinda forgotten about debunking the myth and, as a result, kinda forgotten who I am. Turns out, it is all about Mr O. These days I’m a bit of a distant second. Third,  actually, if you put my husband into the mix and fourth, if I put my work in there too.  At this rate, I won’t even find myself in the top 10 by the time Mr O starts school full time.

And, you know, I’m actually cool with that.  I’m happy if Mr O is happy and if my husband is happy and my work is going well. Fourth, I can live with fourth.

But it has got me thinking in the lead up to my fourth Mother’s Day next week, what would I be if I wasn’t a mum?  I’m asking because I actually can’t remember my life before I had kids. How would I define myself? How would I identify to people I’d just met?  What would my life be like?  Would it be like it was before? Would it be better? Worse?

  1. Would I be a traveller?
  2. Would I ever get to stay in that over-water bungalow?
  3. Would I plan a holiday that involved JUST. DOING. NOTHING?
  4. Would I sleep in till midday?
  5. Would I sleep through the night?
  6. Would I wake up at 5am regardless of what time I went to bed and without an alarm?
  7. Would I be out at midnight on Friday, Saturday nights? School nights even?
  8. Would I ever go out to more than just the shops, the park, the school drop off and pick up?
  9. Would I spend my Sunday afternoons at the session and then paying for it at work on Monday and then all the next week waiting for payday?
  10. Would I know where all the latest bars are?
  11. Would I watch what I wanted on TV instead of Fireman Sam, Peppa Pig and Peter Rabbit?
  12. Would I be able to stay up past 9.30pm just to watch a movie?  Would I even know what a grown up movie is anymore?
  13. Would I still have a nice house? A tidy house?  Would it feel lived in?
  14. Would I wake up to find Elmo, fire trucks or blocks in my bed?
  15. Would I pick up the same toys each morning and then each night? Day after day after day?
  16. Would I sit in parks watching and climbing and running around?
  17. Would I slide down slides at least once a week? Jump on the swings?
  18. Would I be addicted to coffee?
  19. Would I look tired?
  20. Would I be so tired that I’d forget what normal feels like?
  21. Would I recognise the person staring back at me in the mirror each morning as I get ready?
  22. Would I clean up red paint off my kitchen floor before leaving for work?
  23. Would I change my outfit three times before leaving the house because it got kid-ified?
  24. Would I feel like I’ve lived an entire day before even walking into my office each morning?
  25. Would I get that promotion?
  26. Would I have pretty much the same thing for dinner each night, every week? {Tonight it’s roast pork, roast veggies and corn}
  27. Would I find myself repeating myself all the time “put your shoes on, because I said so, do it now“?
  28. Would I find myself smiling at other mothers as we make eye contact, that knowing smile?
  29. Would I sing along to what’s in the charts or the theme song to Fireman Sam, Peppa Pig and Peter Rabbit?
  30. Would I talk about current events instead of school lunch box ideas?
  31. Would I always feel rushed?
  32. Would I feel guilty?  Guilty for working too much, or too little?
  33. Would I shower alone? Go to the loo without a witness?
  34. Would it take me over an hour to leave the house despite only taking 10 minutes to myself to get ready?
  35. Would I wear my hair pulled back for the third day in a row because I just can’t be assed washing it or have run out of time for ME TIME?
  36. Would I buy myself new clothes or just recycle my fave work dresses week-on-week and then my mum uniform on my days off?
  37. Would I use my money spent on school fees and day care and kid stuff, all the thousands of dollars of kid stuff, on any stuff for me?
  38. Would I still have the same friends? My pre-kid friends?
  39. Would I have found new friends? My mum friends?
  40. Would I be happy? WOULD. I?

Make no mistake, mum life is hands down the best thing that’s happened to me in the last four years but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss parts of my old life too. Well, maybe not the hangovers but you get my gist.

Happy Mum’s Day for next week, Mummas.  How lucky are you that you get to celebrate all that is you {even if, like me, you don’t quite know what  “you” means anymore?} 🙂

sayhellojo_signature

 

 

 

Embarrassing tales of school holidays

So, school goes back this week and with it is me receiving my merit badge for passing my first round of school holidays. I say passing because well, I didn’t totally fail but didn’t sail through with flying colours either. If you recall, there was the incident of losing Mr O, and, on top of that, I’ve said hello to some pretty cringeworthy/awkward/wishing-the-ground-would-open-up-and-swallow-me type moments this past fortnight.

So in no particular order, I present to you, the embarrassing things I have survived these school holidays, thanks to my kid.  This is the stuff that no one warns you about:

  • Your kid will open the toilet door on you in IKEA while you’re still in the cubicle {mid-wee no less} because they have finished and want out. The toilet door will of course be one of those ones that open OUT so despite your valiant efforts at squatting, your arms just aren’t quite long enough to grab the latch and pull it back closed to cover your dignity which of course has already been lost because the line of about 100 women waiting to go in {thanks, school holidays} will have already heard you say “Ollie, not yet, Ollie, mum’s not ready, Ollie, stop, Ollie, OLLIE!”. So you will find yourself sitting there, pants around ankles, smiling awkwardly as people look in on you and your own reflection in the mirror while your kid starts washing their hands but then thank the universe for kind-hearted strangers who save your ass {literally} when they push the door closed for you and say “don’t worry love, we’ve all been there”. Um? have we? HAVE WE?!
  •  See above but replace “IKEA” with “the zoo” and delete all references to kind-hearted strangers.  Thanks universe.
  • Your kid will say very loudly “I. DON’T. LIKE. SUSHI. YUCK.” as you casually hand over your $10 to the lady at the sushi shop who has just packaged up your sushi lunch and gives you a sushi smile as you hot foot it out of there faster than you can say “wasabi later”.
  • Your kid will help you look for a book in a second-hand bookstore and within earshot of the owner say {and again very loudly}, “IF WE DON’T FIND A FIRE ENGINE BOOK, THIS WILL BE AN EPIC FAIL”. You won’t find a fire engine book.  This fact will be repeated as you go to the counter to pay for a book on fairy tales and be met with a politely awkward smile from the owner.
  • Your kid will want to get in the trolley in K-Mart, but not just any old trolley, the one at the back of the trolley line, behind about 30 others and will have a little meltdown meaning no one at that time is getting a trolley until you think “fuck it” and proceed to pull all 30 trolleys out and temporarily block the entrance so you an get the magic trolley just to have a little peace.
  • In Target, your kid will want out of the trolley.  You will proceed to lift them out until your finger gets stuck between the plastic seat and metal bars while picking your kid up so you can’t actually move any more than a finger length from the seat which isn’t good enough for your kid who starts moving which just makes your finger-trapping situation worse and so you start saying “Ollie, the trolley.  Sit back in the trolley, Ollie. My finger, Ollie.  Don’t move, Ollie. The trolley, Ollie. Ollie. OLLIE.” Somehow your finger might actually be broken but becomes free about the same time you realise all the other shoppers have stopped and are staring and listening to yout poetic rant.  You will smile just like you did at IKEA.
  • And finally, your kid will spew in the back of your car on the final Friday night of school holidays after drinking an orange juice when you are in the Red Rooster drive though picking up a whole chicken for dinner and you will smile feebly as you look at the horror on the 16-year-old attendants face before driving all the way home with the windows down, which only takes five minutes but feels like five hours and smells like fifty shades of wrong, before deciding that you’re not really hungry for chicken anymore.

Bring on Term 2.  And the July school holidays because I AM READY!

 

sayhellojo_signature

Losing a child 

This morning I lost Mr O. I was at the park {the toilets to be totally specific} with a friend and her three kids and HE. JUST. DISAPPEARED. Literally from right under my nose.

It was stifling and scary and something I wish on no one. I have never felt a feeling more foreboding than one of losing a child. 

Walking the playground yelling his name – each time a little more urgent and louder and desperate than before – and scanning the playground to try to find him amongst all the other kids who were incidentally fucking everywhere but none of them were wearing his distinctive red and white striped top and of course no one was answering my calls. No one was him.

This wasn’t one of those moments when your kid momentarily disappears only to reappear two seconds later because they were behind a tree/crouching down/climbing up/just exploring. Of course I’ve experienced that before and know that feeling. This was gone. Totally gone.

In my heart I knew he couldn’t have run off. He’s not a runner. Never has been. Generally he’s pretty cautious by nature.

What made it worse was that my friend and I visited a park that was near to the area where those two young children were abducted and assaulted this week.

It’s funny what can happen in that moment. Your mind starts racing. Has he been taken? Is he ok? Why can’t I find him?  Why did we come here? How did this even happen? He’s not even four years old.  I am a good mum. All of this. Over and over and over and over as you walk, then run, looking and yelling and thinking.

Then you start feeling sick. And sweaty. And stressed. Stress, in this situation, is a total bitch. 

And then you get teary because your friend yells “he’s here” and you run over to see him in his red and white striped shirt completely oblivious to the racing of my heart which at that very moment feels like it’s about to lurch from my chest. Is this what a heart attack feels like?  
All up it was probably 30 seconds. It felt like 30 years. 

What had happened was that he simply walked out of the toilets and went left and I went right. And in the craziness that is school holidays with about 20 other {way older/taller} kids lined up to use the loos he simply disappeared underneath them. I was three seconds late leaving the loo because I stopped to pick up the paper towel that had fallen out of the {full} bin and onto the floor {see, I am a good mum} and then couldn’t get out easily or quickly because all the other kids and their parents were just milling around waiting to go in. 

It’s taught me a couple of things: Hug your kids a little tighter tonight. And pray for anyone who is living the horrible life of ever having their kids taken and not found. Or as I joked to my friend as we left today, DON’T EVER VISIT PARKS DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS. 

sayhellojo_signature

No phone zone 

So, for the last few days I’ve found myself smack bang in the middle of a no-phone zone.

What’s that you say?

Self imposed, for the good, and all that?

Hell no. I smashed it while cooking dinner.  Not in the dinner, but smashed all the same.  It was just a light knock off the kitchen bench as I turned around but it turns out a little knock makes quite the thud when you have floorboards and the phone falls face down. 

I was, funnily enough, actually pretty ok with it.  Picked it up, saw the damage (um, A LOT) and put it back on the bench before carrying on cooking. Roast potatoes wait for no one.

I’ve had this particular phone repaired twice before and the current screen right before this latest shattering had actually been cracked for months so this was kinda the next instalment in an ongoing series of Jo vs phone, and for the record it’s Phone: 4 / Jo: O.

It’s taken me three days to get it fixed, then restored and finally up and running.  It was so bad this time they actually gave me a new one which was awesome but not so awesome when it came with a $410 price tag.  #yesreally #fourhundredandtenbigones #motherfucker

Despite that, it’s actually been pretty sweet to be off the grid.  If you would’ve told me last week I’d be phone-less for a few days I’d have broken into a cold sweat and then looked for a spare phone to find out why I was in a cold sweat.

So, since finding myself stuck in a no-phone zone, what did I discover?

  1. Of all the contacts saved in my phone, I only have about three committed to memory.
  2. Because all my appointments are saved in the phone calendar and no where else I had no idea when to turn up for my planned waxing appointment on Thursday which didn’t really matter anyway because I also had no way of calling to check {because point 1 and also point 3, as we don’t have a land line}
  3. Public phones. Do they even exist anymore? Anywhere? 
  4. Making plans the old fashioned way {I’ll meet you at 12.30pm at the coffee shop} ain’t so bad, and actually works!
  5. Apple won’t repair your phone if you’ve had it repaired previously at those kiosk type places because the “non-Apple parts” mean all warranty is void.
  6. Point 5 means taking out a small mortgage to get a new phone if you’re still in contract. 
  7. It also means losing ALL YOUR PHOTOS.
  8. Despite all that, I SURVIVED.

The biggest observation came though in the final hour while I was sitting at the shops waiting to pick up my new phone. 

I was by myself drinking a takeaway coffee and normally I’d be on my phone to pass the time but in the absence of one I found myself people watching.

What I saw was sad. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was on their phones. No one was talking, just scrolling. Walking and scrolling, eating and scrolling, drinking and scrolling, semi-watching the kids run riot and scrolling. I don’t even think people knew I was watching because they were so engrossed in their screens.  That used to be me. How sad. 

So I’m taking this week as a lesson. A four-hundred-and-ten-dollar lesson, but a lesson all the same.  

Put down the phone {gently!}.  Step back into that no-phone zone by choice and regularly.  Because you don’t need to check your emails/ text / be social on social media ALL THE TIME,  and especially when cooking dinner!

What’s your phone shattering story? I know we’ve all been there and I’d love you to share, either here or over on Instagram or Facebook, come say hello!

sayhellojo_signature

An open letter to strangers   

Today I’m writing an open letter to all the strangers. Specifically the chocolate strangers. You know, those people that think it’s ok, because it’s Easter I guess, to give you or worse, your kid, chocolate – without asking – on the street.

I mean really: WHAT’S. UP. WITH. THAT?  

Am I overreacting or does that just smack of all sorts of crazy ass weird? 

Because other than people that I actually know, the only other person allowed to give my son chocolate {or any food for that matter} is no one.  This weekend I’ve allowed a special exemption for the Easter bunny.  And that’s only because she earned it. I know from bitter personal experience that Mrs Bunny was traipsing around my garden at 5am dropping off eggs in a flurry in nothing but her underwear today, so yes we shall smile at that memory and indulge on her behalf. 

Point being, if you’re not sporting a fluffy tail in my backyard and we’re not actual friends, I got two words for you: hop off. 

Lemme tell ya why. 

We got this in the mail on Saturday afternoon, the hubs walked in with it after finding it in the letterbox.

  

My immediate thought {after Jesus loves me and that he also shops at Coles – who knew – and how come I’ve never seen him there, I’m there ALL THE TIME?} was that I ain’t eating that chocolate, my son ain’t eating that chocolate and my hubs ain’t eating that chocolate.  I don’t care if it came from the big holy man himself and is the most heavenly tasting chocolate in the universe, it don’t belong in my house.  Because, hello stranger and hello stranger chocolate.  Plus stranger with dodgy handwriting patrolling the neighbourhood. 

It was like that time last Easter when we found ourselves at a park and a heap of chocolate eggs had been hidden in the grass and under the trees.  I didn’t see them at first but when I realised, I actually thought we’d inadvertently sat in the middle of some massive family gathering. It was a tad strange though because no one was hunting. 

I scanned the park and my eyes settled on a couple, in their mid to late 30s, who sat silently watching everyone. The hiders. They’d hidden the eggs hoping that we’d think it was the Easter bunny or the kids would get excited at the discovery.

Cue awkwardness because it turned out the other parents were like me, collectively thinking we ain’t eating no stranger chocolate either. Just like I ain’t eating Jesus’s holy chocolate eggs this weekend.

And then that time at the zoo with my sister and her kids and when we stopped for ice cream my niece {who is four} said to the 20-something lady sat next to us that her ice cream looked nice.

It IS nice,” she replied before extending her arm and offering her a bite, which she readily accepted because she’s four!

My sis and I were a little mortified at that exchange, one at how my niece was so brazen but also what the hell was that lady thinking?  

And then the time when Mr O and I stopped to watch a real fire engine crew put out an actual fire at a house the next suburb over from us. An older lady walked over, asked if Mr O liked chocolate and proceeded to give me some to give to him. Floored. Me and where that choc ended up.

So chocolate {and ice cream} strangers, let me say to you, anything you give me to give to my son is going straight in the bin.  Yes, even you Jesus.  Sorry. Just don’t do it. You’re wasting your money and your time.   I’m sure it’s meant with the best intentions and growing up I’m sure I used to eat it but things seem different now in the world and unfortunately feasting on caution seems to be favoured over feasting on chocolate.   Or is that just me?

What’s your take? Would you take food from a stranger for you, or your kid?  Drop me a line, here on the blog or over at Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to say hello.

sayhellojo_signature

The best rainbow walls in Perth

Hello colour lovers!

I’m taking you on an adventure today. You’ll definitely need your camera and most likely your sunnies too. Things are gonna get a bit lot bright.

We’re hunting colour in the form of the best street art in Perth and what better way to start this series than kicking off with the brightest walls in town: rainbows!  Get ready, there’s so many opportunities to find your pot of gold!

All of these rainbow walls are within just a few kilometres of each other so if you REALLY wanted to you could visit all of them in a single day.  But, half the fun with a wall hunting mission –  I think – is to make it part of a broader adventure and seek out other pockets of the community at the same time {hello, new coffee shop!}.

Before I share my faves, I wanted to say that I’m not usually one for rules, but when it comes to photography and walls there are a couple of things I like to abide by.  I shared these first on Fat Mum Slim’s blog but just to re-cap:

  • Look out for the sun and try to shoot in the shade:  Shadows and walls are just not great friends.  Overcast days are perfect because the light is great but the shadows aren’t there to detract from the art.  Let the art on the wall shine by itself.
  • Stand “square on”:  The best wall shots are captured when you’re perfectly parallel to the wall.  The art will be balanced but so will the viewer’s eye because they won’t be looking at things on an angle.
  • Use a prop to show scale:  Most of the walls here are massive but unless you have something to compare, the viewer won’t get a true reflection in your photo.  I use Mr O as my willing wallflower but if you don’t have little ones, look for a bike, a pole or include some of the ground so that people can relate to the scale {plus, including the ground in the frame means that you’ve got more chance to get the “square on” alignment right too}.
  • Watch out: most of the art is near busy roads or laneways so keep an eye out for cars.   I find too that it pays to have good shoes on when exploring as there is often broken glass or rubbish to navigate, particularly when seeking those walls in quieter parts of Perth.

So, sunglasses on?  Camera charged?  Hold on tight and let’s go!

Rainbow wall 1

This is my go-to wall when I need a quick colour pop in my gallery and because it’s on a hill, you can literally climb a rainbow!  Colour and coolness!

Say hello at: Lucky 9 florist/convenience store, 527 Beaufort Street, Highgate {opposite the Queens Hotel}.

Rainbow wall 2

Painted by Jerome at Blank Walls, {and a fun example of trying to make a little bit of shadow bombing work!} this is the old Beaurepaires building in Subiaco.  Parking is tricky so it’s best to park on Olive Street and walk around the corner.  The building is actually twice as long as shown here but to get that shot you’d need to find a break in traffic as you’ll be standing in the middle of the {busy} road!

Say hello at: 269 Hay Street, Subiaco.

Rainbow wall 3

About a five minute drive from wall 1 is this little find which is actually a paint shop.  Again, it’s on a busy road, so parking on Seventh Avenue is the safest bet.

Say hello at: Bonanza Paint Place, 845 Beaufort Street, Inglewood.

Rainbow wall 4

This beauty by Anya Brock stops me in my tracks every time.  It’s actually in a locked car park so it’s best to visit mid-week when the office workers will let you in the gate!  Again, parking is tricky here so it’s best to hunt for this one on foot after parking in one of the many city bays.

Say hello at:  Wolf Lane, 321 Murray Street, Perth (near King Street end).

Rainbow wall 5

While you’re in Wolf Lane you can’t miss this piece by UK artist Maya Hayuk.  It has to be the biggest piece in Perth {this here shows about 2/3 of it}   I have no words for this one other than: GO VISIT.

Say hello at:  Wolf Lane, 321 Murray Street, Perth (near Murray Street end).

Rainbow wall 6

While you’re in the city, go hunting for this piece which is actually a collection of squares in the shape of an arrow.  Being in a shopping centre near the food court, it’s a main thoroughfare for city workers so getting a shot without photobombers means you have to get your timing right!

Say hello at:  Raine Square (lower floor near the lifts), enter via William Street {opposite Jamie’s Italian}, Perth.

Rainbow wall 7

Oh.My. Rainbow. This building is quite possibly the brightest street corner in Perth.   It’s also one of the busiest, so if planning a visit and a photo shoot, make sure you’re  prepared for the obligatory “hoot” from the passing cars!

It’s the Telstra Exchange building and was recently painted by Leanne Bray.  The building is seriously massive {this photo shows about a quarter of it} so get creative, get snapping and say hello to a colour explosion.

Say hello at: 1331 Albany Highway, Cannington {opposite the Police Station}.

Rainbow wall 8

This one is proof that walls aren’t always walls because this is actually a painted shipping container!  If you’ve got kids, go hunting and be prepared to play because it’s located within the fantastic Esplanade Youth Plaza.  Again, its a bit of a people magnet so be prepared to wait a little bit if you want to get a clean shot.

Say hello at: Esplanade Youth Plaza, south eastern corner of the Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle.

Rainbow wall 9

If you’re a colour lover and coffee lover, like me, this place is a must visit!  It’s one of my fave cafes in Perth, not the least because of these colourful guys.  The zebras are by Anya Brock and are named after the café:  Ootong and Lincoln, although I’m not sure which one is which!

Say hello at: Ootong & Lincoln, 258 South Terrace, Fremantle.

Rainbow wall 10

A short stroll from Ootong & Lincoln is this eclectic creation on the side of one of Freo’s most colourful shops.  This mural is really difficult to shoot as it is high up from the ground and there is a lot of street signage, plus to get a decent shot you’re practically standing on the road!  Go and have fun and see what you can create!  It’s not everyday you see a gold-chain-wearing chicken right!?

Say hello at: The Corner Store, 147 South Terrace, Fremantle.

  

Rainbow wall 11

You can’t quite see it in this pic but Mr O’s t-shirt says AWESOME which a pretty accurate description for this place! Next time you’re over Subi way, go hunting! This amazing piece is by @wellshaken and is in a rear lane way so parking is a cinch. 

Say hello at: Meeka Restaurant {rear}, 361 Rokeby Road, Subiaco.

One thing I know for sure is that Perth street art is ever evolving so when I find another rainbow I will add it here and share on my Instagram too, to help with your search.

When you do go hunting on your own wall rocking mission, please share your captures to #sayhellowall so that I can see them.  Of course, there is a high chance I will see you out and about; I hang around these colourful parts of town a lot!

Do you have a fave rainbow wall? Or do you know one that should be added to this list?

Drop me a line here or over on Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to say hello!

sayhellojo_signature

 

 

 

10 ways to get 10k steps a day 

Hello!

Hope you’ve had a fab week. If you’ve been looking for me, chances are you’d find me out in the garden, pacing, repeatedly, in circles, at about 10.47pm, most nights this week anyway.

You see, it’s been a week since I got my fab new fit bit and, you know, I gotta get my steps up!

I’m a little late to the fit bit party and the whole 10,000 steps a day thing but it’s definitely grabbed me, well, when I’ve been still long enough to grab!  

I seriously cannot believe how motivating it is to wear a fit bit and see five little dots flashing on my wrist knowing that each one represents 2,000 steps and I’ve met my goal.  Addicted, I tell ya. 10,000 kinds of addicted!

On Monday I’m stepping things up even more by joining the  City of Perth Activity Challenge which will see me and a heap of others aim to do 10,000 steps every day for 12 weeks.  That’s 840,000 steps over the next 84 days.  Holy garden pacing Batman.

Some of you told me it’d be easy, some of you said it would be hard. And in just a week I’ve seen it from both sides. On the days I don’t work I think I’ll smash it {hello running after a toddler!} but the days when I’m in the office, I’ll struggle and will be back outside saying hello to the garden! 

My work is very much about writing and researching so I’m a bit of a slave to the computer and when I do walk around the office it’s mainly to the printer or the loo.   In just a week, it’s been a real eye opener to see just how sedentary my type of work is, so I’m using the flashing lights on my fit bit as motivation to get up and move.

I imagine my time too is much like yours: poor. So much of everything needs to be done so much of the time and ALL. OF. THE. TIME. 

So today I’m sharing how I’m gonna kick the 10,000 steps a day’s butt by incorporating little strategies into my everyday which over time will add up to something big.

Thank you to everyone that sent tips, I’m totally pumped about them and have included some here. 

From today I will be:

  1. Parking further away from the entrance to the shops and the office and the cafe where I get my coffee each morning.
  2. Pacing out the front of said cafe while my brew is being made {seriously that’s 300-500 steps right there!}
  3. Walking on my lunch break or around the streets after work.
  4. Walking Mr O to and from school {we live close and that’s an easy 2,000}.
  5. Bringing the grocery shopping inside one bag at a time.
  6. Dancing in the kitchen while dinner cooks {quite possibly the best suggestion sent in! How fun!}
  7. Checking social media while I walk around the house {normally I do that in bed before anyone else wakes or in the kitchen while dinner cooks… I wonder if I can do that while dancing?!}
  8. Taking the stairs over the lift or escalator.
  9. Walking around the playground while Mr O plays and around the oval during his Saturday sports practice instead of sitting and watching.

And when all that still finds me chasing that last elusive flashing dot, I’ll be pacing in my backyard or around the house!

Please come say hello won’t you?

Do you wear a fit bit? What’s your tips on getting the recommended 10,000 steps a day? 

Drop me a line here or over on Facebook or Instagram, I’d love to say hello! 

sayhellojo_signature

It’s cool to be kind

Hello!  How’s your week been?  Good I hope.  Stick around for a bit, because I want to make it even better.

Earlier this week I shared a post about kindness.  It got me thinking about what I can do to spread a little of that around because I feel like all of a sudden, there ain’t much being shared.

Seems you all felt the same.  I was so blown away by your response to that post.  Unfortunately many of you think kindness is on a permanent holiday these days too.

Part of me thought it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one alone in my thoughts but let’s be real: we’re talking about situations where people are just being rude and quite frankly the less of those stories the better, especially when you’re on the receiving end right?

Today I’m starting a photo project on my social media with one key purpose: to let you know that it’s cool to be kind.

I’ve bought some simple props, rounded up some willing hand models and will be scouting the best coloured walls to share with you some regular injections of kindness.  Kindness in the form of inspiring quotes, some with themes, others random.  If you’ve got a few fave words of motivation that you want me to create, then please let me know.  I’m on a mission to share some happy!

Photography brings me so much joy as does colour and words so I’m combining the three to pay it forward.  My hope is that people see it, particularly the ones that need it most {hello shouty lady at the supermarket!}, and they pay it forward too.  And, who knows, in an ideal world, people might stop shouting. Because, there’s too much of that going on in the world already #amiright?

For me, and many others I think, social media is a form of both inspiration and escapism.  I know it’s not really “real”, but things are good in this part of the world.  And I’m not advocating that you spend all day engrossed behind your screen but I am wanting to bridge the disconnect that seems to occur between social media and real life.

Real life is dominated by shouty supermarket ladies, people rushing, people ignoring, people shoving, people flipping the bird when you’re driving and inevitably passing on their bad vibes to everyone else.  Ask yourself this: if you paid it forward by passing on kindness instead of rudeness or aggression, what do you think those on the receiving end would do?   It’s cool to be kind peeps.

It all started with this quick little photo shoot, which I shared for World Compliment Day on March 1, and it got me thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to share something like that more than once a year?  Wouldn’t it be nice to read nice things when you need it most?

So, you need a little pick-me-up or want to share a little happy with someone, you can find them on my Instagram and Facebook as well as under #sayhellowords.

Now, if you live in Perth there is a likely chance that you’ll see me doing this little project. I mean, standing against a coloured wall with a silver clipboard and a phone is likely to get a few looks right?  PLEASE come and say hello!  It will most likely result in you hand modeling for me! How fun would that be?!

So, are you in?  Will you help me share a little kindness?   Tell me your fave quote, and colour and I’ll make it happen.  And feel free to share the happy with your networks so they can find their daily dose of kindness too.

Let me know by leaving a comment here, or over on Facebook or Instagram.  I’d love to say hello!

 

sayhellojo_signature

 

 

What if…

I’m sharing a little personal insight into my last fortnight today.  When I’m not blogging, or photo taking or kid wrangling I think my world is pretty normal.  Probably very much like yours, whatever part of the world you might find yourself reading this.

Let me just say straight up that it’s a great life and I feel pretty fortunate to live it.  But this post isn’t about that.  It’s about kindness and just being, well, nice.  Doing away with the unnecessary BS that seems to have somehow crept into the world of late.    And I’m not talking about the bad stuff you see on the news.  The stories and themes covered there don’t deserve any more air time.

I’m talking about the everyday negativity and our propensity to tolerate it.  The bullsh*t from everyday people.  Normal people, or what I thought were normal people before they suddenly and unexpectedly morphed into people that felt it necessary to spread their BS.   I’m here to tell those people one thing:  it’s unnecessary.

In the last fortnight I have been yelled at in Coles by the lady in front of me {loudly and for TEN MINUTES} for putting my groceries on the conveyor belt thingy while she was still paying.  Sorry, have I been doing that wrong all my life?  I just stood there silently, staring, and apologised in shock {because did I really do anything wrong?} and then listened to the check out girl apologise to me {after the lady left} which I thought was a little ironic considering it wasn’t even her fault at all.

And then there was the time I found myself sandwiched between two Dads and their kids as we all lined up to go on a giant inflatable slide at a free community fair last Sunday.   The kids ran through the gate together when finally, after about 20 minutes, we all got to the front.  One Dad accused the other of pushing in, the other Dad took offence and pushed him, which made the other push back and me and Mr O kind of duck for cover, not even making it near the slide, let alone going down it.  I did say we were all at a FREE community fair right?

And then the lady at one of my regular coffee shop haunts who yelled and simultaneously pointed “none of that one shot business” referring to her obviously double shot flat white, as she pushed to the front of the queue and had a go at the girl serving who didn’t realise she was in line because, well, she was actually outside putting her bag on the table. I mean, I know we all need coffee, but… really?

And don’t even get me started on those people who, when driving, don’t bother to acknowledge with a friendly wave when you let them in.  What’s up with that?  I always do that but somehow lately just don’t get the kindness vibe back.

It got me thinking, what if?  What if the lady at Coles had had a better morning and didn’t go off her trolley {literally!}, what if those two Dads could appreciate the moment of enjoying a free community fair and the simple joy on their kids faces as they rode that slide, what if that lady at the coffee shop hadn’t pushed in, given the girl at the counter a roasting and leaving us all with a sour taste in our mouths as we waited to order.

And then my “what if” changed to “what can I do”?  I don’t profess to have all the answers and my ideas might not even be right but I do have something.  A start. I’ll share more in a separate post this week and hope you’ll join me on this crazy adventure to share a little happy.

Have you experienced any crazy stuff lately?  Drop me a line here or on Facebook or Instagram.  I’d love to say hello.

 sayhellojo_signature