Get up

Happy Friday people. It’s been a long week for me. I flew home from Sydney on Wednesday night and then was in the city first thing yesterday for an all day team planning workshop. It was a great exercise for the entire division looking at where we’ve come from in the past two years to now and from now looking forward to the next 5 years. We often do this professionally, I’m not sure if we do this as well personally unless we’re outsourcing to planning professionals and coaches, which not everyone can afford. That old saying about failing to plan has been ringing in my ears on a number of fronts and as I’ve got older, I’ve become better at thinking strategically although it’s been a learnt skill and I still trip up. We can all benefit from stepping back and asking why we’re doing certain things in a certain way, if we need to do them at all and if we do, how they all fit together and benefit us as a whole. Big pictures not little ones need to be drawn.

I didn’t get to see a lot of Sydney while I was there which is generally the case for work trips – it’s more the inside of your hotel room (note to self: throw in your bathers next time!) and the four walls of the conference room. I did go for a walk around Hyde Park (above) when I arrived taking in the sights including the Australian Life outdoor photography exhibition and the Night Noodle Markets set up on one side. And I wish I could say I spent time enjoying Darling Harbour – I did enjoy glimpses of the view while at networking drinks on Monday night. And while room service is often the easy option, I did venture out two different nights on my own as I was near Regent Place, which was a lot of fun and I’m sure made some of the Asia-Pacific conference goers happy.

Closer to home, my team and I had lunch at Touchstone Cafe in Macleod the other week and it’s recommended. It’s had a write up on Broadsheet and the food and coffee were great. My only criticism – and I’m not sure whether it’s a suburban or cost thing again – is the use of fake indoor plants! A pity, as someone who enjoys nature and the benefits that indoor plants bring and indeed what this whole part of the world is about.

Lots going on this weekend and I’m glad the weather looks like it is starting to warm up. The Finders Keepers Melbourne market is on this weekend if you’re wanting to start your Christmas shopping early (I already have) and I did want to mention the Marysville Jazz & Blues Festival Weekend which is also on from today. I’ve been listening to both The Teskey Brothers and The Meltdown and love that both bands are from Melbourne, and the Teskey Brothers are from Warrandyte. The north-east taking over the world…

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State of Escape

It’s the name of the Australian made and designed neoprene handbags that have been pretty popular for a while now.  It also sums up my state of mind this week after being sick pretty much the whole time save for a quick dash to the Botanic Gardens to witness a family wedding ceremony.  Aargh – FOMO – fear of missing out!  I’m on my way back up but it’s been a long week.

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Wolgan Collection image via State of Escape

Back to the bags – they aren’t cheap at $300 or over (I do love the now sold out Pewter/Ochre combination specially made for the Emirates Wolgan Valley health retreat in NSW) but I think they are highly practical for every day (they can be washed in the machine!), gym or beach use and a number of mothers I know now have them.  If you’re after something cheaper, Chuchka and Prene bags also have some great styles and colours.

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Noosa bag image via Cabana Lifestyle

If you are wanting something purely for the beach – Cabana Lifestyle has a range of more affordable waterproof beach totes and would make a nice Christmas gift.  As much as I have some lovely cloth bags and basket bags for the beach – practical bags such as these are a lot more durable and I still use the same Crumpler Messenger Bag I bought as a nappy bag over 10 years ago.

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Rejuvenate kit image via Sodashi

Interesting too to read about Sodashi skincare – an Australian brand meaning ‘wholeness, purity and radiance’ in Sanskrit which is also stocked at the Wolgan Valley retreat.  Again, it’s not cheap but the beauty junkie in me is always interested in finding out more about natural Australian skincare products.

Some local events which start today – the Night Noodle Markets if you’re heading into town.  Be warned that they are very popular and expect to queue for food if you go.  They are also cashless so take cards with you if you decide to venture in.  You’ll find roving performers, DJs and live music all on offer if you make the trip.

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Image via Montsalvat Facebook page

Closer to home, Puesta del Sol starts at Montsalvat tonight –  a mash up of food, drinks, live music from Flamenco group La Rumba and art all poolside in Eltham as the sun goes down.  The Rotary Eltham Festival is also on this Saturday, as well as the Heide Makers Market in Bulleen while the Makers & Shakers Market is being held on Sunday at the Coburg Town Hall.  Stay well people.