anxiety, Uncategorized

A Positive Approach

On Bullying – No Way day, watch this video about staying positive.


It draws the distinction between someone being mean, hurting feelings and violence.

I think this is something we need to teach our kids.


anxiety, Uncategorized

Bullying – No Way

Here in Australia it is March 16. That is Bullying- No Way Day. 

Bullying has been around forever; we all know that. However, with the advent of social media, it seems to have achieved a far greater impact on our young people.

Perhaps it is the anonymity of the Internet that inspires people to be so vile and cruel. Kids are being made to feel worthless and unwanted even as they sit in their own homes. Every time they look at the screens of their phones, tablets, laptops, or computers they are seeing messages deliberately crafted to wound and destroy confidence.

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Take a Stand

This is a scourge on our society. Nobody deserves this sort of treatment. When I read about young people taking their lives because of bullying, it breaks my heart. Another young life wasted – before it has had a chance to blossom into full potential.

This is unacceptable. We must all stand up and speak out against bullying. However much our voice shakes, we must speak out.bullying-3096216_1920 copy


My contribution to speaking out comes in the form of a series of books for young readers (7-12). I call it Gummshoes because the main character’s name is Frankie Gumm. He and his best mate, Olly, have been the victims of bullying for most of their school lives. They know how it feels and, so, they set out to protect younger students from the school bullies, the Boneheads. They also solve weird and mysterious happenings at their school. They are detectives, gumshoes – but because Frankie’s name is Gumm, they have made themselves Gummshoes.

There are two books so far in the set.

Mission #1: The Nobbled Numbskull where the school’s star soccer player, who is also the chief Bonehead, is being prevented from playing. The boys set out to find the person who is sabotaging the team effort.

Mission #2: The Medal Muddle where the latest craze, MODO (Masters of Deimos One), is sweeping through Carson Road School. Everyone is collecting the cards and medals. Excitement is everywhere. But something weird is also happening. Nits, the school bully, wants to be friends with Frankie and Olly. He is actually being nice. Will Nits become a Gummshoe – or will Frankie and Olly become Boneheads

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The books are available through if you live in Australia or through Amazon for overseas readers.

My aim in writing the books is to develop in the readers self confidence and resilience. At one point in the second book, Frankie says to himself,

“Just because they’re loud, doesn’t mean they’re stronger than you are.”

We have to teach our kids that they are loved, that they are valuable, and that they are strong enough to deal with any nasty people who may try to make them feel otherwise. Nobody has the right to make someone else feel less valued.

Each and every child deserves to be able to enjoy a life unthreatened. 


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Please, do not stand by and watch or allow bullying.








Travel Tuesday: Packing Cubes

How to Pack an Organised Suitcase

Travel has become more complicated today. Most airlines have placed  restrictions on the weight and number of pieces of luggage that can be checked in or taken aboard a plane. This has put a lot of pressure on travellers to pack lighter and simpler. Anything that makes travel less stressful is a bonus as far as I am concerned.

I have found that I can make sure that nothing is forgotten, and that I can find whatever I need when I need it, by using suitcase organisers such as packing cubes. They are a perfect solution to my packing problems.


What are packing cubes?

Packing cubes are small, ultra lightweight zippered bags that are often rectangular in shape (go figure). They come in a variety of sizes and are designed to fit into carry-on bags, backpacks, duffles and checked in luggage. If your trip is only for a weekend, then you may not need packing cubes, but for any longer, they are a fantastic idea.



Minimise wrinkles.

When the New York Times asked flight attendants how they packed over 40 garments in a single suitcase, the universal answer: roll your clothes to save space. When you roll instead of folding, you’ll find that you can fit more outfits and maximise the available space. But if you want your clothes to stay rolled, that’s where a packing cube comes in handy. It ensures that every time you open your suitcase, your rolled clothes stay exactly where they need to be. (


Organise clothing.

Packing cubes allow you to organise your clothing into categories – underwear, t-shirts, pants etc. You don’t have to rummage around in your suitcase in search of an item; just take the appropriate cube out.


You can also sort your clothing into outfits, or if you are travelling through different climate zones, into lightweight or warmer groupings.


Where to Buy.

Depending on how much you want to spend, you can find packing cubes in specialist luggage stores or online. Here are some links for you. These are just a few. Happy searching.


Light In the Box




A to Z of my childhood

The A – Z of My Childhood: Why I Turned Out the Way I Did

X – Marks the Spot


When I was a kid, I loved making treasure maps.

We had been taught in school how to reproduce maps from the atlas using tracing paper and a soft pencil. This was a long and somewhat tedious process because, once the trace had been made, it had to be transferred onto art paper. This was done first in pencil and then in blue using a pen and ink.  The lettering had to be done in perfect copy book script,  the page bordered in red ink and the whole thing carefully shaded with coloured pencils.  Using the pens was a messy business and one blot ruined the entire piece of work, meaning that one had to start over.


Also, one was not permitted to use any creative license when naming the places on the map.  Brisbane had to be marked as Brisbane not Blood-Sucking Leechville.

When I drew my treasure maps, I used my best coloured pencils and sometimes one of those newfangled BIC ballpoint pens and I always had creative place names. The kitchen was Dorothy’s Dungeon of Dastardly Deeds.  The garage, in which many small lizards lived, was marked as the Pit of Foul and Ferocious Pythons.  Far more interesting, in my humble opinion.


The purpose of my treasure maps was not so much to conceal some item, but rather to send my brother off on a wild goose chase and thereby get him out of my hair for a while.  My parents had this mad idea that we should want to play together.  Where they got that idea from, I have no idea.  We rarely wanted to play together. He liked to annoy me, and I liked to annoy him, but we did not like playing together.

So I made treasure maps, lots of treasure maps…and, in a treasure map, as you know, X marks the spot where the treasure can be found.


Well, it does in most treasure maps but, in my maps, not always.  I found that it was much more fun to hide the item and draw the map so that when my brother arrived at the X, I would be lying in wait, ready to leap out and scare the socks off him.  Of course, this practice usually resulted in my being sent to my room to think about what a mean, nasty big sister I was, while my brother sat at the kitchen table enjoying a calming snack of milk and cookies.

I didn’t really care. My bedroom, aka Hepzibah’s House of Brain Melting Horrors, was where my books and my real treasures were.  My collection of tiny bottles, my miniature china tea set given to me by Nanna, my gold bangle (real gold, not just yellow metal), my shoebox full of cards and letters and my special set of colouring pencils in a wooden box, sent all the way from England by my great aunt…all my most precious possessions were hidden in secret places in my room.


And yes, I had made treasure maps for each of those secret locations, just in case I forgot where I had ‘buried’ my treasures. I had attached them to the back of my bookcase, the side that faced the wall, so that any snooping, pesky little brother wouldn’t find them.

Nobody was going to find my treasure…and in those maps X really did mark the spot.

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anxiety, mindfulness, organisation

Thursday’s Question

Thursday’s Question

Thursday is Question Day, so here is today’s question.

What is your favourite essential oil?


My Answer:

I have two faves.  Lavender and Wild Orange. I use DoTerra oils. I do not sell them but I appreciate the quality of their oils.

Lavender was my Nanna’s perfume. She wore Yardley Lavender every day. Even today, a half century she she passed away, the scent brings her back to me.

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Lavender has been used for centuries to relieve tension and insomnia. It is a most versatile oil and is a must in my house. Uses include:-

  • soothing skin – acne, razor burn, skin nourishment (masks, moisturiser)
  • cuticle care
  • deodorising the home – a few drops of oil in a spray bottle of water – blissful.
  • sleep promotion – add to the bath or diffuser
  • cooking – lavender cake -yum
  • easing stress and anxiety – apply topically (dilute with fractionated coconut oil) or diffuse


Wild Orange

Wild Orange is strongly scented oil. It has an immediate uplifting property that I really like, almost like it is energising the air. I love diffusing it in my office. It gives me the energy and focus to work on accomplishing my goals.




What is your favourite?  Please comment below, and don’t forget to say how you use your favourite oils to enhance your wellbeing and lifestyle.