Sweet Beffy finally stopped vomming and went back to her wild elfin self. Thank goodness! Was starting to worry about my lil fluffy haired peach!
Oh cooooool then me and Mr D had Beth’s gastro. Magical. Just magical. “Having restorative holidays” while “being a parent” is an oxymoron.
It was one of those Crap Parenting days where me & Mr D had both succumbed to Beth’s gastro and we were in quarantine so we didn’t pass it on to anyone else and our kids had to be babysat by the television. Ooooof. What a shitter (literally and metaphorically) of a day. Here a photo of Beth wearing a gift from Luna Bird to cheer us all up. Also, I’m handing out (weak, shaky handed) vag slaps for anyone who says “enjoy every minute!” I’m declaring a moratorium on it.
“Gastro makes me feel like a real goddess”, says no person, everrrrrrrr.
Mr D starts work on video and audio engineering of the Shining Biz conference. We will be releasing the complete two day conference recordings to all our Academy members free of charge. We know many teachers would charge $1-$2k for conference recordings like this. That’s not our model.
We much prefer to just keep making the Shining Biz & Life Academy the most insanely affordable, generous program out there. Can’t wait to share the conference with you!!!!! It’s equal parts funny, ridiculous, wise, deep inner work & big business mojo… Lots of tears were shed… Connections made. Holy and sacred. So grateful for it all!!!!
My BFF (and Ops Manager) Sonya went to see Brené Brown speak live the other night in Sydney. She sent me this photo of her journal. I don’t have FOMO ATTTTTTT ALLLLLLLLLLL. #massivebreneboner #fuckkkkkkwanttobetheresooooobad
I then proceeded to live stream our text messaging as she kept me updated with everything Brené was saying.
Seriously… I have my BFFs trained super well. Haaaaaaaa!!!!
Surprise delivery of books from my darling mentor Hiro Boga cheered me immensely!
Woah. This one. Janis Joplin (one of my favourites) talking about the possible origins of ambition. This touched me.
Bonza new show we are watching. British, of course. Travel Man. #leoniewatches
One of my favourite business books – Kelly Cutrone’s “If you have to cry, go outside”! I read it on Kindle a few years ago and was enamoured by its utterly Scorpionic sharings of business, life, spirituality and sex interwoven. I found a paperback copy in a local bookstore and leapt at it. It feels so good to have a physical copy in my hands.
Cold grapes in the hot backyard before a storm comes our way.
I was on a Book Finishing Binge … Have been feeling overwhelmed with the number of partly read books scattered around the house. Just finished this one – Lisa Messenger’s Money & Mindfulness. That woman is a force of nature & I’m grateful for her honest sharings. Definitely on my list for #leoniestopbooks2016
A lot of time has been spent revolving around this table. Tea and newspapers, books and art and journaling.
Two years ago, at this very moment, I was laying in bed as the first waves of labour rolled through me. Soon, my nine month personal hell of hyperemesis gravidarum would be over. Soon, our darling Beth, elfin queen, would enter the world. The world tilted the moment I first dreamed of her and the conceived her. She is sage and wild and hard and easy and whirlwind and grace all at once. Exactly what we needed for all of us.
“What is love, Starry?” “Love is like the moon that makes the flowers in my heart grow.” “Who do you feel love for?” “I love my friends, I really love my mummy and daddy but very most of all I love love LOOOOOOVE Beffy. She is the one I love the mostest of all.”
Two years ago I gave Starry the gift of a little sister, her most favourite thing in the world.
Happy 2nd birthday Beth, our elfin princess.
You are so very loved and adored. Getting through nine months of hyperemesis gravidarum was the biggest sacrifice for love I’ve ever made. Your Papa Bear got me through it… I truly couldn’t have held on to you and to me without him. We were surrounded by angels that whole time… Doctors and nurses and midwives and acupuncturists and therapists and healers and supportive friends and a whole lot of medication to keep us alive. You were a tribal baby from the very beginning… We needed a whole community to bring you into the world. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, but you are a miracle and I can’t imagine who we would be without you. You were the sweetest newborn and easiest baby on the planet. You healed so much for me and made me want to adopt so I could have more sweet babytime. You are a gift and a joy and a wild one. Thank you. Thank you for choosing us and marking us as your own.
Happy birthing day my love. Love, Your Mama Who wrote this on the toilet Where you found me And now you are tearing vast quantities of toilet paper up To make snow.
We spent the morning – just me and her and her papa – wandering down alleyways and eating until we were in a food coma and reminding each other of tender memories from her pregnancy and birth.
And then the fourth corner of our family was home and so we ate ridiculously good cake (from Patissez the inventors of the FreakShake.) HAPPY BIRFDAYYYY BEFFFFFYYYYYYYYY
Granto Grantacular came baaaaaaack!
We were in content creation lockdown for a week…
Hired a quaint b&b just for writing & filming in. Best idea ever!
Brilliant, beautiful, slow, gentle, intriguing. British TV really is the best.
I bought Starry some gorgeous handmade patchwork dresses from Etsy… She’s a tall almost-6 year old and fits into size 9 clothes which is out of the kids range and heading into tween territory. I’ve had such a hard time finding lovely, innocent, age-appropriate dresses for her (her favourite thing to wear.) After my failed efforts at sewing some myself I turned to Etsy and got these beauties.
They just arrived so I’ve laid them out on her bed for her as a surprise for when she got home from school. The only issue is… They camouflage in with her quilt that Twisty Rob Designs made her when she was a baby. Can you spot the two dresses??? Hahahahahaaaaa!!!!
Our Creative Cave/Writer’s Room/Course Recording Den/B&B had a beautiful pond filled with goldfish. We liked to visit them after we were all sweaty from exerting ourselves with words and ideas. #hardwork #needbeer
Don’t worry guys, me and our LDI Operations Manager are suuuuuuper profeshunal. Us 10 years ago at a Wild Women Gathering. No, we weren’t drinking. Yes, we are wearing large underpants over our jeans. Doesn’t everyone?
My beyoooootiful friend Sandy Forster sent my girls the most amazing book… I am in magical enchanted love… Uni the Unicorn!!! Highly recommend!!!
The biggest live event I’ve ever created happened two weeks ago. I feel utterly amazed at what we were able to create. It was a magical, teary, loving weekend filled with the most precious souls from all around Australia & the world. I love that we got to spend such intensive time connecting & learning about what it really takes to grow an amazing business.
Thank you to all the beautiful, wise souls who I got to meet and hug and hear the stories of. Thank you to my co-teacher Grant for making it a joy and an ease to be on stage teaching for two days. Thank you to Sonya for being the greatest event manager to walk the planet. Big thanks to Denise Duffield-Thomas, Kerry Rowett, Melissa Prince and Gini Eagle for flying in from all over the country to be the most incredible guest speakers and serving our people so beautifully.
Thank you to our wonderful helpers – Tam, Jen and Jenny. And huge thanks to The Abbey for being such a wonderful event space. Tracy Lee Photography was our incredible photographer. And Blue Clay professionally video recorded the whole event so we can give it all to our Academy members. This was definitely a communal event… It ran so beautifully because of so many supportive hearts and hands. My heart is so full. I am so grateful to be doing this work. And I deeply love every person in this photo and their dreams and hearts.
Had a huge morning doing Full Tourist. Woke up at 5:30am, bundled everyone in the car (husbo, kids, Grant and wifey), and headed into city to watch the Hot Air Balloon Spectacular. Watched the sunrise, ate Dutch pancakes on a dew-soaked table, danced to live music that included a French horn, watched the kids chase bubbles with the usual perfect melting pot of Canberra families from all over the world, walked along the lake, had a ridiculously scrumptious breakfast #2 at National Library, then headed to Parliament House to gawk around. I needed a nap after all that, so we all just had a mammoth one. I’m reading another Bill Bryson book and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be on my list of #leoniestopbooks2016. So… That’s me. On a day when I am ridiculously happy to be living in my beloved Canberra once more.
I just bought Nayyirah Waheed’s poetry books and they are so scrumptious I’m lettering them out in my journal. Yes to this. So much yes. Let’s share our wars and our stories and our pain and our whole hearts.
Me & my blue eyed girls at the hot air balloon festival. We got to watch the sun rise & it was precious & perfect. We went off on more adventures with our American tourists… Helping them live up their last couple of days in Australia. Canberra in Autumn is a dreamboat… Glorious weather and festivals aplenty. But it’s basically perfection the rest of the year too. #Canberra, you’re my bae.
I went hunting for Cheralyn Darcy’s colouring books after meeting her at our Shining Academy conference. She is a publishing sensation and the most angelic fae soul. Have you heard of her amazing work yet???
SO cool… A serendipitous moment happened for me… We were wandering around Old Bus Depot Markets and I was looking over at these scrumptious soy candles… And the store owner recognised me & she showed me her 2016 Shining Year workbooks hidden behind her table to work on!!! We got to talking and hugging and laughing and discovered that not only do our kids go to the same school, we are also neighbours that live just down the street from each other!!! I reckon I’ve made a new friend… One that smells pretty good HAHAHAHA!!! I love you already Carrie!!! Serendipity and magic all around!!!
Portrait Artist of the Year is one of my very favourite shows… Reality TV for creatives!!! Just discovered it’s sister show Landscape Artist of the Year!!!! Orgasmic eye bliss and inspiration!!!! #leoniewatches
Canberra Balloon Festival = the best reason to wake up before dawn. Grant and Jen left the next day but we showed them a ridiculously good weekend!!!
FARMER WANTS A WIFE FINALE FUCK YEAHHHHHHH
Just said goodbye to Grant after a month of making him do this IRL instead of over Skype. This was taken at our Shining Academy conference. Sometimes when we make stuff together there’s this magic and awakening and ideas fling themselves between us. I’m glad we got the chance to do it face to face for a wee while. See you on Skype, Grant!
Today’s medicine: moonstone on my heart finger. A return to feminine wisdom, strength, intuition, the gloating of spirit. Moonstone is a dear friend. She is grandmother and full moon and mystic and wonder. She holds rainbows in her womb. If you look deep enough, if you are still enough, if you listen enough, you will hear them. A stone of magic and mystery in the very best of ways. A woman’s best friend. :::: that’s how I feel about moonstone…
Went to take a serious selfie, Mr Dawson cracked a joke. That man is the funniest person I know, hiding behind the mirage of a serious, quiet man. Also: hot. Don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that before. I just thought you should know. #importantinformationsharing
Opened the mail… And there was my Charlie boy… I ordered a custom doc portrait from Basova Art on Etsy… She has so captured his spirit and it makes my heart sing and feel so sad all at once. Now to find a frame and hang this in our family portrait hallway. The boy that made us a family. He was (and still is) the sweetest, funniest, most ridiculous, healing soul wrapped in a dog’s fluffy body. We miss him. We were so lucky to be loved by him and to adore him so much.
Got to hang with the incredible Peace from Ausmumpreneur between her meetings with Federal Ministers. She is an incredible advocate for Australian businesswomen and I am so proud to know her and be her friend. We got to talk all things business & books, motherhood & mayhem. I’m in awe of everything she has created & am so excited for what’s next for her & her sister Katy. We met last year after I was shortlisted as a finalist for Ausmumpreneur of the Year Award. It’s knowing women like this that inspire you to dream bigger. It creates a new kind of normal being in company like this.
What’s coming up for me…
It’s a big, beautiful week ahead!
My darling Ostara girl turns 6 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) years (!!!!!!!!!!!) old (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
My Dad & his girlfriend are flying in for the Easter long weekend. Hilllllarimo story – I set them up on a blind date over a year ago. I’d been friends with her for a decade already, and she is the loveliest soul, and thought it would be SUPER FUNNY to set them up on a blind date because they each have five kids. You know… SO MUCH IN COMMON!
Anywaysies… that blind date has been lasting an awfully long time now. I think I’m surprised that:
1. My matchmaking skills have actually WORKED FOR ONCE! I always have the best intentions that die up the ass within a nanosecond.
Annnnnnd we’re having an Easter/Ostara party with some sweet friends.
(And yes, Ostara DOES sound like Easter! Ostara is the Celtic Goddess that Easter was named after. Ostara was an Easter baby and told me very firmly when she was in my belly that it was her name, and that she was a “child of the stars.”)
This is a special time of year for us… the turn of the seasons into Autumn… reminding us of the miracle days of bringing first Ostara into the world and then Beth (both March babies)… it’s rabbits and miracles and so much wonder. Here’s our very own Easter miracle story.
I’m grateful, when I’m not sleep deprived, or when the kids aren’t breaking all my shit, or destroying my art journals, or Beth is losing her fucking shit in public places.
Apart from those times (which is often), I’m happy as a pig in mud! Ha!
At both events, I’ll be speaking honestly about the journey of building a multi-million dollar company, how I’ve become a best-selling author, the mistakes I see business owners making + I’ll also doing Q&A sessions.
Come see me! Come play! Come have inappropriately long cuddles!
My interview with Eventual Millionaire went live this week which has been a LONGGGGG time in the works… getting on that podcast is like Podcast GOLD, I tell ya!
There’s an application process, and you need to prove you’re an actual millionaire (instead of just one of those shammy internet shonks who talk the talk but aren’t walkin’ the walk) and then there’s this intense process of trying to get on the recording calendar.
It’s pretty full on and super selective and for good reason – it creates such a great, thoughtful podcast filled with super legit, super smart peeps like David Allen, Tim Ferriss, Michael Port, Laura Roeder and Verne Harnish… all of whom give me a #businessboner. So that was pretty damn excitlement.
Anywho, what a pleasure it was being a guest on show where Jaime and I discussed rainbows, unicorns and success.
I was looking back over the last year at the things that were good investments for me.
Things that I’m glad I spent the money on in my life.
Things that were in some way a game changer for me (sometimes in little ways and sometimes in big ways).
I wanted to share them with you…
Basically because I can’t keep my mouth shut at the best of times.
If there’s things in my head, they need to be shared.
So we’ll start with the BIG one.
Last year we bought a Hybrid car. A Toyota Camry Hybrid, to be specific.
We needed a second car, so we went to buy one secondhand. They had a Hybrid there.
And I’ll be honest – as much as I was a hippy, I wasn’t thinking of buying one.
The idea just seemed really… foreign and strange to me.
Driving it for the first time was super odd too. They are so much quieter than a traditional car… they kind of glide effortlessly. There are definitely a different feeling to drive… and I wasn’t sure if I could adjust.
Chris ended up deciding to buy it, and I am SO glad he pulled decision-making rank on me.
I have fallen head-over-heels in love with it. So has Chris.
The fuel consumption is INSANELY CHEAP.
It saves us thousands of dollars a year in fuel.
Why the fuck isn’t everyone driving them?
We laugh everytime we drive it at how much driving range we have before we have to fuel up again.
Our other car is a mini-van, which is not a Hybrid or electric. There isn’t much in that size range that is.
Our plans are to keep the mini-van for the next 10 years or so (we don’t change cars very often), and hopefully by that time there will be more electric and hybrid cars on the market, especially in the 4WD category.
Plus… that Camry Hybrid is fast and powerful. It takes off faster from traffic lights than nearly every car out there – considerably so. I’m not really a speed demon or car-lover by any stretch of the imagination, but gosh it rocks to drive.
Hybrid + electric cars FOREVERRRRRR!
So, I got my first facial last year. And it ROCKED.MY.WORLD.
Since I was a teenager, I’ve always had rough skin around my jawline and over my nose. I’d tried exfoliating scrubs, but they helped very minimally. At my first facial though, they used a facial brush over me and it made my skin feel like a baby’s (non-shitty) bum! I naively thought it was something that only beauty therapists had… like it was expensive salon equipment or something.
I went to a few other beauty therapists for facials, and none of them had it, and none of them could make my face feel smooth again. I was addicted to the smooth feeling, so I went on an online hunt and discovered facial brushes!
They have gotten super popular, and are pretty cheap. I got one with a larger body brush and pumice stone attachments in addition to the smaller face brush. When it arrived in the mail I tried it out gingerly and quickly got obsessed. It leaves my skin glowing and feeling so very clean and smooth!
Even Chris loves getting a facial with it (don’t tell him I told you that… mwahahahahahaha)… it’s like a face massage and a cleanse all at once.
I’ve also used the pumice stone attachment on Chris’ dry heels and it’s worked a bloody TREAT.
Word of warning: being a typical obsessive Scorpio, I totally overdid my first effort… I brushed for so hard and so long that my face was sore for days. I was pretty sure I took half my nose off with it. Now I strictly follow the guidelines to only do it for 60 seconds. HA!
I’d heard a few mentions about Who Gives A Crap toilet paper before I jumped on board.
I’d heard from the outset that it was:
eco-friendly toilet paper made from bamboo/recycled materials
philanthropic – it supported a range of charities.
I definitely expected it to be more hassle than it was worth, and that it would be too pricey/annoying to do.
I looked into it further and realised it was actually a huge saving – almost 50% cheaper than store bought toilet paper, and it came with free shipping. I signed up as a subscription thinking I would cancel when me or Chris hated it, but we both thought it was super cool. And it’s ended up being super awesome to just get a big box of toilet paper turn up when they know you’re running low. (You sign up according to how many people you have in your house, and they seem to have their timing ratio pretty brilliant. Plus you can change the timing if you need.)
Anyways, we are a rabid fan. It’s so super cool!
A win on the wallet, a win on the environment, and a win for charity!
So, I’m not a fan of cooking. I mean, I used to do it just because it needed doing. And Chris shared the job with me. But mostly, it was something that was a total chore. And we didn’t always eat as healthily as we wanted, and when things got busy, we’d order takeaway.
I decided to just give it a go without telling Chris – just order some meals and see what it was like. He’s definitely the more risk adverse of us and finds it harder to give new things a go.
Once it arrived though, we were in seventh heaven! We are now devotees and have been using them ever since. They taste so much better than frozen meals, and they are much healthier. It’s freed up so much time – we don’t have to cook, and we don’t have to meal plan, and we don’t have to do much grocery shopping anymore, and we don’t need to run to the shops to get food. We just have a bunch of healthy food in the fridge. BOO YAH!
It also had some happy consequences we didn’t realise it would have:
It evened out our energy levels… we no longer had energy crashes in the afternoon when we didn’t plan out meals and either ate breakfast late or bought takeaway for lunch. I also started having so much more energy that I actually WANTED to do exercise (!!!!!)
And we both started shedding weight without changing anything else in our diet. It’s been about 8 weeks, and I’ve lost about 5kgs.
If you’re a mum business owner or a mum or a business owner… get onto it babe. You don’t have to be a superwoman. You don’t have to do it all. You absolutely CAN give yourself the support you need to thrive.
What’s more, you and your family will be better for it.
Hope this was helpful!
Let’s keep talking about ways we can support ourselves even more, and the good things we discover.
I’m taking a look back over the past 12 years of blogging/2,000 blog posts/nearly one million words written and sharing with you my 20 most popular blog posts of all time.
I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve sworn (more on that here) and this blog has been somewhat of a form of therapy for me.
There’s freebies, there’s life stuff, there’s business, there’s big deep soul sharings as well…
It’s been a true honour sharing it with you… this job is really my favourite thing ever… and I hope we can share another 12 years and 2000 blog posts together. It’s been a joy… and such a blessing. I’m so grateful for your support, friendship, kinship and encouragement.
When I started 12 years ago, it was just that fun hobby thing I did at night and on weekends. I was 21 and me and Mr Dawson had just moved to Canberra and it was really a time of play and exploration and learning how to be an adult. I worked in the public service and explored all the rest of my passions and studied part-time. I started blogging just before I found women’s circles and before we adopted Charlie puppy.
Me and Charlie in ye olden days of blogging…
And now we are married, have two kids, adopted another doggy… we’ve moved all over the countryside… and this blog and company has been both me and my husband’s job for nearly six years.
I’ve met so many beautiful souls, had so many adventures and mostly just felt soaring joy at the very opportunity to be able to write and share and create and help. That’s all I could ever ask for or want. Ever, ever, everrrrrrrr.
So… here’s the top 1% of my last 2000 blog posts my loves!
The truth of parenting is I absolutely do not enjoy parenting every single minute of every single day, and I think it is downright bullshit and so harmful when any person claims to or tells you should to.
I love my children deeply and ferociously. I would choose them again.
I was born to be their mother. And still, it is hard.
When you write a post about your boss – you really want to say nice things, right?
But, if you’ve been around Leonie and I at all, you might already know we make it a practice to be radically honest. Well, let me restate that – she makes it a practice to be radically honest and I’m just surfing along uncovered in her wake. Frankly, while I love the effects of this trait, often it scares me to death.
I’m going to set that aside and give you an inside look at what it’s like to work with Leonie. Leonie, who asked me to write this post, but won’t publish it unless she thinks it’s really an honest look, so here it goes…
Another guest post from Grant Andrew, our Chief Operations Officer. I always get the grins when I see a new draft blog post of his has pinged into my inbox. I love the messages that come through him. And it’s such a delight to creatively collaborate with him + illustrate his words.
Lily has a little business. Always the creative type, this year, a friend told Lily about Leonie. Lily now finds herself at her little desk, flipping through the pages of the 2016 Shining Biz Planner.
It almost seemed like too much, tasking her tiny business with a whole volume of goals and commitments. It was too concrete, in a way.
Turning the color-splashed pages of the her Workbook, she stumbles on a word that seems foreign to her hand-drawn, each-one-different world. “Systems” it said. . Something in Lily recoiled. Hers was a systems-free world. She had left systems for one-of-a-kind. She competed with systems.
Maybe you’re like Lily. You’ve found a niche of un-system in a systems world. You’re a throwback from a different era and you like it that way. Your clients like it that way. It’s working for you.
Or is it? Click here to read why you actually need systems (even for your creative business!)
One thing that’s been super fun to see pop up this year is people getting creative + innovative with how they customise their 2016 goals workbooks, to do list pads + weekly diary-planner to be perfect for their life!
The 2016 workbookers Facebook group is busy + thriving with brilliant ideas + shining souls… so inspiring to see and be a part of! Make sure you join it… it really is incredibly motivating!
Let’s talk GOALS for a moment, shall we? The fact is this – the vast majority of us will end this year no different than how we began it. Our dreams still tiny seeds that have not taken root. And that makes me bloody sad.
Goal-getting + dream-birthing is a LEARNED skill. A pragmatic practice that all too often is not shared, discussed, understood or worked at. And yet it’s the skills that make all the difference.