Blog…

Letting go of the things that have hurt you & freeing yourself!

All of us have been hurt in some way or another in our lives. My story is probably a bit more complex than some others as it all came after a massive, life changing event – not just for me, but my immediate family as well. It’s now almost six years after said event, and I finally have myself in a good place where all those people who used to mean something to me, can no longer affect me – I have chosen to rid my life of them.

I think turning to many spiritual practices like Reiki, meditation etc. has really helped me to overcome a part of my life I thought I would never be able to escape from. In the past five+ years, there aren’t many people still around who I thought would never walk away. It just goes to show how when a major event happens in someone’s life, you get to see people’s true colours, even the ones who walk out after five years when everything has settled down (and to be honest they come across as the weakest ones).

This statement is one which really ‘hits home’ for me

I’m in no way sitting here typing away thinking “woe is me” – I’m much too strong to think like that! What I’m getting to is some people just aren’t strong enough in themselves to deal with the misfortune of others, they’re not true with themselves – that’s why they just disappear, without so much as a “bon voyage!”.

If you hold onto the past you will never move forward and reach your goals. Two years post accident, I started a little notebook – ‘Aquo’s Goals’ and every year between Christmas and New Years I review them and make any changes necessary. This has really helped to keep me on track and keep moving forward. So – why do we hold onto crap that does not benefit our lives in the slightest of ways you ask, well my response to you is quite simple when broken down – It’s because in a messed up kind of way there’s comfort in familiarity and justification, even when it’s stems from negativity.

But, ultimately, not knowing how to let go has no real benefit – it only holds you back from achieving your true potential. Sometimes, we use the past to justify our current decision-making, and that’s the reason why we don’t want to let go. Remember that nasty thing someone did to you years ago? That keeps you from going to that family gathering or from having an extraordinary relationship. Those memories justify everything for you. When you’re unable to let go, that becomes a part of your “story” and works against you, holding you back.

Below is a list of ways I kept my mind, body & soul engaged so that I had less time to stress/worry about the (for lack of a better word) shitty things going on in my life post accident:-

  • I engaged myself with obsessing over fitness and what I was fuelling my body with.

I built myself a small gym and used to work out a ridiculous amount of time a day. When I first moved back to Ingham, I was slow-er moving than I am now, but would do an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. I was very conscious of what I was putting into my body, it took me ages to start loosing weight but once I did, I signed up to my local gym – Tweak Fitness and kept persevering which really helped me to transform.

  • I did a lot of meal prepping/cooking.

I did a lot of cooking & creating. I’m shocking when it comes to using recipes, I don’t use measuring tools – I’m ITALIAN what more do you want from me! I do everything by sight & taste – so I used to muck around with different herbs & spices and create different soups, stews, etc and started a recipe book so I can pass on my awesome creations!

  • I became a whole lot more family orientated – if that’s even possible!

Post accident, my family and I became extremely defensive of each other, and after my brain healed it was easier for the kids to deal with me. We became omg so close! God forbid anyone says anything to anyone when it comes to the six of us – You will most likely get an ear full to say the least.

  • I did a fair bit of gardening.

Gardening became my therapy! My dad made med a garden patch on the side of the house where I started growing vegetables, I would spend hours out there everyday, it was a lot of work and I quickly lost interest. I then bought a garden bed kit that was much smaller that was so much more manageable in my condition. Building it was a really good day, a few of my mates from school days came out to help me build it. Mum still has that garden going today!

  • I started writing a book.

In the early stages of my recovery, I started writing a book, It probably wasn’t a good idea starting it when I did because I was so angry at the time and it turned out to be a big hate fest! That’s part of the reason why I waited to start this blog, I’m so happy I waited, I know I have to get better, but that’s a working progress and will come in time.

You need to learn how to let things go, so that you can focus your energy on living positively and proactively. You and only you have the power to change your story!

Regardless of who initiated the breakup or the reason behind the split, you need to move on. Don’t worry about forgiving them for now. Instead, work on learning how to forgive yourself for getting so caught up in the drama of your personal life and allowing your anger and resentment to hurt you and hold you back.

Learning how to let things go is not as hard as it may seem. It’s true that bad things happen, but you cannot change the past. Continuing to perpetuate it only hurts your own emotional (and even physical) state, keeping you from fully enjoying life. Embrace living in the moment, and accept that there are things you cannot control.

My next tattoo

The key to letting go of a relationship or a painful past experience is that you have to face what has happened, accept that you can’t change it and then move on. Once you’re able to move on and close old doors, inevitably new doors will open up, better opportunities will arise and, most of all, you’ll have a better story that moves you forward, instead of holding you back.

Something to live by

Start writing your new story today!

Aquo Xx

Breastfeeding Triumphs & defeats…

Some help for those who don’t know a lot about breastfeeding.

Enjoy Xx

Why the actual F^*K aren’t women born with steel nipples?! When writing this article, I was 10 days post partum & had to contact my midwife as bub wouldn’t latch, I tried a million different positions – nothing. Thankfully Vera Tate my Midwife popped around to help me out and gave me a few tips to help me in future.

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Today, finishing off this post, I am 12 days pp and have been mutilated and almost put in the loony bin from a lack of sleep! Thankfully my first born sleeps 12-13 hours at night so I only really have to deal with my newborn. My husband has moved into the spare room so he can get a good nights sleep for work, he started back 6 days after the new bub was born. I’m happy to do it myself – then it’s done my way (control freak)! However, I do wake him through the night for nappy changes when I’m at the stage of not seeing straight.

A week before I had my second baby I met with Ingham’s Lactation Consultant, Georgina Bosworth – Mumma G. We had spoken at the start of my first pregnancy about breast feeding but at the time there wasn’t enough info/research on the medication I was on and breast feeding. This time around was a different story. The doctors that I had seen, firstly said I could breastfeed this time around but then were second guessing their decision, so they just decided to tell me it was unsafe rather than look into it.

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I decided to give as much info as I know on the medication i’m currently on – Pregabalin & Sertraline, as they are very common medications. Pregabalin, trade name Lyrica is for the nerve pain I suffer as a result of my quad bike accident back in 2013. Sertraline belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), it’s used to treat depression, anxiety disorders & post traumatic stress disorder. I know there a handful of people I know that take one or the other for various reasons. 

Mumma G found info on studies done with pregnant & breastfeeding women who were on doses from 150mg-600mg/day in divided doses of one of Pregabilin (Lyrica – nerve pain). Throughout my first and second trimester, I was on the lower dose of 150mg twice a day. As I entered my third trimester, my nerve pain became unmanageable – So my doctors decided to increase my dose to 300mg twice a day.

The second medication I take (I only take two), Sertraline, I was put on about half way through my second pregnancy and my daily dosage is only 50mg. One of the studies that were carried out were on doses from 50mg-100mg/day and a very minimal amount was detected in the breast milk/infant. The maternal plasma levels of this drug ranged from 18.4 to 95.8ng/ml (nano-grams/millilitre).

Mumma G knows where to find the info doctors just don’t have the time to search for. I was handed various handouts regarding the medications I was/am taking with a heap of different statistics listed. The one that was bought to my attention was the RID (Relative Infant Dose) – The relative infant dose is the dose received via breast milk (mg/kg/day) relative to the mother’s dose (mg/kg/day). It is expressed as a percentage. A dose of 10% or above is the level of concern, but this is rare. Pregabalin sits at 7.18%, which is quite high, whereas Sertraline sits at 2.2% – So my husband and I weighed up the pros and cons, and decided I would give breast feeding a go. I’ve always wanted to breastfeed, it’s just something I always wanted to try, as it promotes so many benefits, not only for your baby – but yourself as well.

I know breast feeding is quite controversial in this day and age, but I believe every mother should have the choice to experience breastfeeding. Obviously there would be factors that make it too unsafe to even consider, I’m just lucky that this information came to light before I had my baby.

How to breastfeed: breastfeeding positions

I decided to record how my breastfeeding journey was going, here are a few diary entries:-

Day 3 diary note:- So It’s day three of my breastfeeding journey and today things are looking up – sore, but looking up. Vera has taught me about baby led attachment, which has helped make things easier. I have been able to adapt to ways of positioning bub and myself so that he latches well, the little Hoover!

baby-led attachment

Day 6 diary note:- I take back saying things were looking up. My right nipple is split so bad it’s bleeding! I had to express, my right side felt like it was going to explode. I expressed 90ml and had to dump it all because it was a lovely shade of pink – super…. (sigh).

Day 9 diary note:- Healing well. Still tender but it hurts a lot less than it was when feeding. I’m currently feeding on the left and pumping on the right. If I was a cow, we would always have fresh milk! Other breastfeeding mother’s would want to smash me in the face… with a chair…. I’m pumping anywhere from 60-80ml from each breast, three times a day!

Avent breast milk storage containers I use.

Day 12 diary note:- At day 11 I started feeding on the right again, however – This is what happens when I feed at night because of lack of sleep/I’m unable to concentrate the slightest!

Mutilated boobie!

I’ve decided I will only feed on the right during the day now, no longer at night to prevent me from giving up all together! Who are we kidding – my head is much too hard to give up! Everything else is going well, I’m hoping in the next few days I can express enough milk to send bub packing! Mummy needs a good night – so nanna & nonno’s or grandma and dad dad’s it is! First time away from mummy for more than a few hours, hello separation anxiety!

It is so good to have the medical/baby/breastfeeding support we do here in Ingham. It does make things much, much easier! There should be these services with the level of dedication these teams have in every town/city. Or – more people could just move to Ingham! more businesses would open up rather than more shutting down – creating more jobs for those who move here. OK, side track! – I’m back, i’ll continue with breastfeeding.

My current plan is to have enough breast milk frozen, for those nights I just can’t cope with the nerve pain I suffer from. I either take heavy pain killers that usually just put me to sleep or end up at ED to get a shot of Toradol which I found to be the best thing for me. It attacks my nerve pain and lets me sleep through the night.

Below, I have listed various links that I have found helpful over the last 12 days:-

Breastfeeding mums support group (Australia) – Facebook Page

Newborns: How To Breastfeed – raisingchildren.net.au

Newborns: Videos – raisingchildren.net.au

Babies & Early Childhood Health – QLD Government

Baby: Following Birth – QLD Government

In the past 12 days, I have accessed all these sites for various reasons and have found they were actually quite helpful. There was various info I wasn’t aware of, plus it refreshed the info I had learnt with my first bub. I hope this post is beneficial to other mothers out there who are currently, or are looking at breastfeeding their newborn/s.

All in all, I will come out the other side of my breastfeeding journey a warrior, I won’t let it break me – (even though you have days were your like – not today Satan!) Those that know me will agree my head is wayyyy too hard to give up. Lastly, I just wanted to give a special thanks to my Midwife Vera and my Lactation Consultant Georgina for all their support, not only since I gave birth, but the whole way through my pregnancy. You ladies seriously are angels sent from above!

Mumma G, myself & bub and Vera <3

Aquo Xx

Getting pretty – it’s nearly time!

I am feeling so ‘whaleish’ at the moment, I really can not deal with this North Queensland humidity rubbish! So to change my whole mindset, I booked an appointment to get my hair done with my neighbour and friend, Erin Giliberto from Hair by Erin who operates out of Heaven Scent – a florist shop in Ingham.

Erin is passionate about hair and she was telling me her story about why she absolutely loves what she does. I love hearing people’s stories, however – it’s not my story to tell.  I have never had a bad experience with my hair, I get on really well with all my past hairdressers but I was absolutely AMAZED with Erin’s end product. For the last year, she has been working away at a balayage look – but this time I just couldn’t believe my hair ended up looking like it did. I was over the moon!

After I had my first child, I lost so much hair – it was super scary! I told Erin – I was completely freaking out! She explained to me why it happens – it all has to do with postpartum hormonal balances. Those who have researched it recommend not to worry, as it’s temporary and the hair grows back. As many women are breastfeeding at six months and sometimes beyond, checking in with your GP can help determine if the hair loss goes beyond the effects of pregnancy and childbirth. While your baby becomes your priority, ensure you are also eating a balanced diet that is rich in protein and vitamins, this will help eliminate other possible factors of hair loss like vitamin and iron deficiency.

I have always had reasonably healthy hair, until I had my accident. Then it was always so oily I had to wash it everyday just to keep it clean – which damaged it more.  Over the years I have learn’t different tips and tricks to make sure I don’t wreck my hair with too much colour, not enough love, etc. The following list is what I’ve learnt over the years:-

  • Use a salon quality shampoo and conditioner – This ensures there’s no nasties that will damage your hair.
  • Only condition the ends – because the scalp produces a natural oil, there is no need to condition the entire head – just the ends. I found since I started only washing my ends my hair looks cleaner for longer.
  • Get it trimmed regularly – This helps to keep it healthy as it grows. Hair begins to split somewhere between 3-4 months so getting it trimmed around then will help you maintain healthy hair.
  • Use a wide tooth comb before you wash conditioner out – doing so means less split ends and you don’t have to brush it while it’s wet (which means less split ends).
  • Do not use Pantene – Pantene contains silicone which can build-up on the hair with repeated use, and one of the active ingredients will dry your hair out leaving it more prone to damage.

As I have had some education when it comes to looking after my hair, and as my hair now has a few different shades of blonde through it – I want to be able to keep it healthy. When it comes to basic care it all starts with a good washing routine – here is the system I follow:-

  1. Get it soaking wet – This means you save $$ on shampoo as you only have to use a minute amount.
  2. Use a small amount of shampoo – A small blob is plenty, I then repeat this process.
  3. Massage the shampoo into your scalp – Don’t scrub the scalp too hard – remember those salon head massages? Yeah… like that.
  4. Rinse really well –  until you don’t see any more bubbles or suds on your head or going down the drain. I do this by feel – when it feels like it does when you first wet it.
  5. Gently dry your hair with a towel – I use a hair towel,  I leave it on for a while then I let it air dry.
  6. Comb it out carefully – with a wide-tooth comb, especially if it’s curly. Don’t yank or tug on it, because that can break the hair or pull it out.
  7. Try to use heating devices as last as possible – these devices will cause damage to your hair, limiting usage will reduce the severity of damage.

I have been using TreSemmè until my last hair appointment, I have since asked Erin to order me in some of the blonde shampoo & conditioner she uses – Base Blonde, it smells like marshmallows! I also just ordered salon quality moisturising shampoo & conditioner off eBay – Oasis natural look hydrating. When it comes to buying your shampoo & conditioner, buying the most expensive products isn’t the right way to go about it. You can buy products that keep your hair in tip top shape that are actually quite reasonably priced. It’s all about marketing for the big hair companies, a lot of the time your paying for bells and whistles you don’t really need.

“I think that the most important thing a woman can have- next to talent, of course- is her hairdresser.”

Joan Crawford

Heaven Scent (where Erin operates out of) is an absolutely AMAZING shop! Gail Guandalini (the owner) has created an awesome set up! There is a cafe, so going in and getting my hair done, having lunch and a coffee (and maybe some of their amazing corn flake biscuits) is an awesome escape from daily life for me. They also cater for events like birthdays, luncheons etc. in their cafe. Check out their website by clicking on the link below:-

Heaven Scent Flowers & Gifts

P.S:- I had another healthy little boy on the 3rd May 2019.

Aquo Xx

The importance of family…

There are lots of people in this world that don’t realise how important family is. Specifically, a lot of teenagers that try pretty hard to not spend time with their family or try to rebel against their parents (haha sound familiar mum & dad), I could seriously teach the kids of today a thing or two! When thinking about this objectively, parents/family only want the best for you.

When times are rough and you think that no one believes in you, your family will always be there to cheer you on. Your family will always have your back. A lot of people in this world really only help people for self-gain, but (most) parents are willing to act selflessly for their kids.

My family has always been close, when mum and dad went somewhere, the four of us kids (my siblings and I) would always go – holidays, shopping trips, even when dad went to harvest in the Burdekin in 1998 we went as well. 

A negative event (my accident) was actually a positive being that it flushed out all the people around us that just weren’t strong enough to handle the horrible situation we were dealt. I’m not sitting here saying ‘oh poor me’, because I feel now we all have a really close knit group that actually respects one another, and doesn’t act like teenage girls in high school. Honestly, me personally, I don’t miss that rubbish at all!

We have always been quite defensive of each other, but since my accident that has amplified to a million! If anyone says anything in a negative way about our family, you will probably receive quite a hostile reaction out of all of us – and god forbid anyone has anything bad to say about me to my mother, good chance she will bury you alive!

It’s hard for us to let people in, especially me, I think it’s because of all the hurt that is the result of loosing family members and so called friends out of the circle. 

My relationship with my in-laws was great until I had my son, the first grandchild for both families. It then went rocky for a while as I felt like I was constantly being judged about the way I choose to parent. I’m so EXTREMELY happy that now we are closer than ever and I think on both ends we are now happy to discuss anything and everything whereas before it was like Chinese whispers, which sucked to say the least. 

I really don’t know what changed in me, but I’m finally asset peace in myself with 95% of my life and I feel amazing. Some time ago, I started reviving Reiki (a form of alternative medicine called energy healing) and slowly slowly I started noticing small differences in my being.  I learn’t to send love to those who hurt me and I was released from all the negativity in my life. I now feel so much lighter in myself. 

All those that have hurt me, well now they’re just somebody I used to know. I’m finally free of that tangled web of hatred, negativity, sadness and hurt. 

Life goes on, all the hurt and suffering you endure in your life will undoubtedly make you a stronger person and you will come to see and believe that everything is right in your world. For a long time, I ignored a lot of people that used to call family because I thought it was the easiest way of dealing with everything. WRONG! I learn’t standing up and facing your demons will transform all that negative energy in your life and you will then be able to let go. 

I am now able to have a civil conversation with those I used to be friends with. I don’t have time anymore for many of those I grew up calling aunty and uncle – many of those in that circle act like school children, winging, bitching, playing mind games and back stabbing their friends, imagine how they carry on about my family and myself! It’s so childish and it’s disgusting that people act like that. 

There’s many different ways to enhance your relationship with your family, but ultimately you need to learn how to let go of those that no longer serve a positive purpose in your life. A counsellor can teach you techniques for changing your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours to be the person you most want to be, despite what your family has done to you. Alternatively, you can turn to God – if you are a believer or for those that are more spiritual beings – Reiki is a wonderful option (it really helped me!). 

I really hope this article can serve a purpose to help others that are bearing a heavier than usual cross, to make you feel more at peace and realise that even if you are going through a hard time with your family – things will get better. I never believed that things would improve for me on the family front, but started chipping away, offloading a lot of it on my Reiki therapist (Sorry Nat!) Who after I left was probably cursing me for Making her so tired with all the negativity I was releasing. It took a few years to work through, but finally I’m at peace and feeling as if I could conquer Everest! 

“I’m learning how to walk away from situations or people that threaten my peace of mind, self-respect or self-worth.” – Unknown. 

Aquo Xx

The chorus says it all!

Faster, Stronger, Better

My husband made the comment to me the other day that my journey has been similar to that of the six million dollar man – He had a horrific accident, I had a horrific accident – he was rebuilt to be faster, stronger, better – I have rebuilt myself to be faster, stronger, better.

On 14th June 2013 was when I had my quad bike accident then on my first weekend home to Ingham I was in another car accident (that sent me back ages in my recovery), and from those days so many doctors, specialists, surgeons – you name it, put so much energy into rebuilding me for the better. I had to put in a lot of effort to get myself to where I am today – rehab, research, implementing what I had learnt from all those wonderful people to build myself up again.

I was extremely depressed after the second accident, all my injuries had been agrivated! I had come so far and because of some wanker not paying attention my life changed all over again! I was set back in my recovery and at times I didn’t know how I was going to go on. I HATED being in a car!

In April 2017 I had my right arm fused to try and reduce the pain, before that I struggled so bad there were days I wouldn’t get out of bed, it was too much effort to make something for myself to eat so I just wouldn’t eat, and frankly I was too exhausted to do anything about it. This operation was life changing to say the least. My pain reduced significantly (although I will always live with pain), my mood improved significantly, and my mind started working better than it ever had before.

I used to spend four days out of seven in bed, after the operation, once I recovered, I would spend maybe a day a fortnight. Now when my son goes down for his lunch time nap, I go for mine too, it’s not everyday either, sometimes I have too much housework to do. I no longer spend days in bed, I’m not palming my child off to everyone else because I am incapable of being a mother.

Before the op I was a mum who was flat out functioning, in the mornings I was flat out getting Jack ready for daycare, but in my head I pushed myself to get through to drop off time, go home and die for the day and pick him up by 5pm. I had Jack in daycare for five days a week from 4 months. I felt like crap. I wanted to be the one teaching him about life and at that time it seemed impossible.

I had a lot of help from my family, which I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am. They would go shopping for me, some days, a lot of days pick up Jack and take him home for outside play, feed him, get him ready for bed, then daddy would pick him up and bring him home for bed.

I’m now able to do all the things I was unable to do without significant effort before the operation, things like running errands, shopping, visiting – you name it! And to top that – I’m able to do it with an almost two year old, that’s right – one functional arm with a two year old.

Pain does horrible things to a person – it really screws with your head! I was an asshole to my in-laws to say the least. I felt that from the time Jack was born that I was constantly being judged and it made me feel as if they thought I wasn’t good enough for their son, and I wasn’t good enough to be Jack’s mum. I have had a really hard time dealing with negativity since my accident and my go to response is to shut people out. I shut them out, I feel like shit about it, they missed out on quite a bit of our lives, so much of Jack’s first 18 months, and it’s all my fault.

I’m one of those people who really could not care less about what people thought about me, but to me, being my husband’s parents, there opinion mattered.

I wasn’t just an asshole to them, I was horrible to my family as well – probably even worse, because you know, they understand you the most out of anybody, they have been with you your whole life.

I had my operation and it improved my quality of life significantly! I became a functioning mum, it really is the best success in my life to date. I have mended my relationship with my in-laws and we are now closer than ever! I love seeing Jack interact with them, he’s such a little character it’s so heart warming to watch.

Try not to be so hard on your judgement of others, they may just be having a down day, you don’t know, your not living in their body, and, more likely than not, you don’t live in chronic pain.

Aquo Xx

The Six Million Dollar Man
The Six Million Dollar Man opening clip

A farmer’s life for me…

I’ve decided to write about a subject I’m very passionate about – farming. I grew up a farmer’s daughter and always knew I would end up a farmer’s wife. From a young age I lived and breathed sugar cane. My husband’s family goes back to when the sugar industry started in the Herbert River District, way back when in the 1870’s! My nonno got into the sugar industry back in the hay day after leaving Travagliato, Italy. The sugar industry became the Aquilini’s way of life, we have been here for four generations.

My dad started harvesting at a very young age, this year will be his 40th year in the high chair (driving a cane harvester), he’s only 54! So it’s safe to say it’s a lifestyle we were all born into. In the Herbert River District, the cane harvest season runs for about 5-6 months every year from mid June, weather permitting. From the early 90’s, when there wasn’t the technology there is available now in machinery, it wasn’t unusual to cop numerous 15 hour days every roster.

It wasn’t unusual to go days without seeing dad as a kid, I think that’s why I spent so much time with him in the harvester, and as I got older in the haulouts. I was used to having to go to events without dad, school do’s, things he would have loved to be at but due to break downs, late drops etc he just couldn’t. I couldn’t tell you how many times he came to school functions in his work clothes. In saying how much I love the season, it’s always been hard, mum has always done a lot! I have a lot of respect for mum in the way she always carried us four kids through the season with school, after school events, sports, socialising – you name it!

From the second we were born, we were raised to be very resilient kids, I think that’s why I have gone through my last five odd years with such a positive attitude (most of the time). We were always taught “you’ve gotta do what you gotta do to do what you wanna do”, and even then, I heard my mother saying that haha!

I was always helping dad with farm work, I would go disking, we would fix the roads and mow the farm, just to name a few. As a teenager, mowing was my job when I wasn’t working on weekends. I would have to cover a massive area, a few acres! Thank god we always had decent mowers! The four of us kids were bought up with a good work ethic. I landed my first after school job when I started high school doing a bit of office filing.

2005 was our first season with Case Maxi Hauls, I was thirteen, that’s when I knew I wanted to live in the Herbert forever and be a part of the sugar industry. I started spending more afternoons after school and weekends learning to drive, then on weekends I would occasionally do full days. The year before my accident I learnt to reverse fill (which is quite simple in those machines, but the female in me couldn’t quite get it)! Earlier in 2013 there was talk of me sitting in the seat permanently the following season, 2014, which was always a goal. For 6 months, the money is awesome and a massive plus is how passionate I about it! My aim was to own my own house by the time I was 25, I got there, but it would prove to be a lot harder than first anticipated.

I always wanted to own my own farm. I’m now part of a farming family that operates in the Herbert, although a lot differently to what I’m used to, and honestly, I struggle to understand it at times. But at the end of it all I married my farmer! I always knew I would!

It’s honestly a lifestyle I have had to really adapt to. I learn’t differently, Dad’s way of doing things, he was never home for days at a time, if we wanted to see dad we went to work, as kids, we loved it, my sister and I still do. With my husband it’s a different story, partly because of our situation (me, my health), partly because certain times of the year are quieter than others. I’m always asking “why aren’t you at work?” Not oh it’s nice to see you. I’M NOT USED TO IT! Haha.

From a young age, I came to realize being a farmer’s wife you come in second – and that’s ok! My mum is such a strong woman because of it. Think of it like this – do you want money? Yes, well your man has to go farming so that the money keeps rolling in. I love being an independent woman, it makes me feel great and it’s so good for my self-esteem!

I think growing up a farmer’s daughter, I have a better understanding than others that are, say, city kids of what sacrifices you have to make to live this trying lifestyle. My husband tells me that I have a better understanding out of any of his previous partners – I put it down to being the life I’m used to.

Aquo Xx

The Rolls Royce of haulouts at the time 2011

Aquo at midnight ready to head to Wilmar, Orient for a full day

My son heading to work at the farm with grandma ❤

Our son and daddy waiting for nonno to pull up

Daddy taking our son for his first ever harvester ride with nonno

Grandad, daddy & our son, nonno and mummy

Us after a morning with nonno

My son drove a harvester before me!

My favourite photo of my son & nonno!

Honesty – The quality of being truthful…

“The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones. They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.” 
― Cheryl Hughes

So ‘Your Dictionary’ says that “the definition of honesty is the quality of being truthful.” I believe honesty is the greatest quality you can carry in life, its a massive plus for people to respect you, and really, for you to respect yourself. 

Honesty is going to take you places in life that you never could have dreamed and it’s the easiest thing you can practice in order to be happy, successful and fulfilled. Honesty is part of the foundation of my core values and principles. Honesty cuts through deception and knifes its way through deceit and lies. Honesty leads to a fulfilling, free life.

For myself, I have come to realise that if your not telling the truth, why speak at all?

Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life. Honesty promotes openness, empowers us and enables us to develop consistency in how we present the facts. Honesty sharpens our perception and allows us to observe everything around us with clarity.

Today, there are so many more shady people out there, you really can not trust anyone, its incredibly rare to come across people that are 100% straight down the line. I don’t know if Ingham has changed, or it’s that so much rubbish has moved here because it’s cheaper to live. But lets face it – Ingham will ALWAYS have small town syndrome, where some old men are worse for chasing gossip than the old ladies. Rumors float around on a constant basis about pretty much everyone, if you haven’t come across a rumor about yourself or your family, just wait your turn.

So many people get caught out cheating – if you want to cheat on your spouse, move to a city where your not known to every Tom, Dick & Harry! it’s pretty simple but, if your not happy, change your situation or leave. Only you have the power to change your thoughts or your thought pattern, don’t hang the blame on anyone else for the way you are feeling – that’s weak. Since my accident, I can’t lie to save my life! Seriously – you will know straight away because I will have a ridiculous smile on my face I can’t wipe off. I have also had to grow up pretty quick to deal with my situation – I’m now acting like an adult whereas before my accident, I was quite childish.

One thing I came across quickly was – if you don’t lie you don’t have to remember all the rubbish you have been going on about. My memory now is pretty much like an 80 year old – not even kidding! I forget everything! A few weeks ago, I went to a Diversity Forum at Tyto and after it was done I went back to speak to my father-in-law about it and my memory was blank! I had to pull out the run sheet, just to give myself some triggers to remember. If you don’t lie you won’t get caught out, it’s pretty simple. 

For myself, becoming the person I am today I am honestly feeling so good in myself! I have been able to let go of my past (most of it) and have started to work on my future. I no longer get caught up in gossip and I feel so much lighter in myself for it! Positivity is key! I try my hardest to be positive about pretty much everything going on in my life now.

Connect with honest people. Find honest friends. Find honest clients. We know they are there but they don’t like to show they are honest publicly. Whereas dishonest people are always trying very hard to show that they are honest. When something seems too good to be true then there is something wrong. So be careful and just enjoy your life. Do good have good and remember,  God or whoever you believe in – is watching everything.

That’s the why honesty is so important in our life. I know you want to say something, then please don’t ignore your great thoughts, share with me by commenting. So other people can also learn from you. The more we try to become honest the better this world will become.

Aquo Xx 

P.S – I found a few some interesting resources on the subject whilst doing my research.

Enjoy Xx

https://blog.owenfitzpatrick.com/the-true-power-of-honesty/

The Power of Honesty: Is It Really the Best Policy?

Himalayan Salt Lamps – Benefits and Properties…

I absolutly LOVEEE my salt lamps! I have one in every room of the house, I think their great! Read my article to find out where to get them.

There is one product I will not go without in my home – Himalayan Salt Lamps! People use salt crystal lamps for a number of different reasons; Their soothing, pink glow can stimulate deep relaxation. They make an attractive and organic-feeling addition to home décor, creating a more balanced and mindful space. For these purposes alone salt lamps make a welcome addition to almost any home.

Salt is hygroscopic, which is a scientific word meaning that salt attracts water molecules from the surrounding environment.

Water molecules float around in every room in your home. However, water molecules aren’t the only invisible substance hiding all around you. Alongside these water molecules are dust, pollen, mold, and other allergens. Even bacteria and viruses can hitch a ride on these water molecules.

Himalayan salt lamps are made from pink salt crystals mined from the edge of the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan—the only place where you can acquire authentic Himalayan pink salt. However, the lamps themselves range in color from light pink to pink with an orange hue, depending on the mineral concentration. The pink Himalayan salt crystals are mined, then hollowed out and fitted with a bulb to provide both light and heat. Himalayan salt rock lamps also come in baskets of crystal salt blocks with a light underneath.

large block of salt, like a pink Himalayan salt rock crystal, works by attracting the water molecules in your room. In so doing, it also pulls in all the pollutants and contaminants attached to these molecules. The salt rock lamp helps to detoxify your room by capturing and holding these particles so they aren’t left floating around for you to breathe in. Then, as the bulb heats the lamp, the water vapor is released back into the air, but the rock salt lamp retains the contaminants.

Along with the hygroscopic benefits, Himalayan natural salt lamps are also said to release negative ions into the surrounding environment. For those curious, negative ions are simply oxygen atoms with an extra electron.

These negative ions occur in nature via the effects of water, air, and sunlight. Have you ever gone for a hike through the mountains or near a waterfall only to feel rejuvenated? Negative ions are partly to thank for that wonderful feeling. Nature has the ability to heal, and proponents of Himalayan salt lamps argue these pink salt rocks can mimic, to an extent, the feeling you get from being outside.

All naturally occurring minerals contain trace amounts of heavy metals. These heavy metals, like lead, are found in the air, soil, and food. Only when lead concentrations reach high levels do they start to pose a threat to your health.

Because these metals can exist on salt particles, many worry salt lamps could pose a threat. While true that pink salt can contain these heavy metals, they do not contain enough to pose a health risk. Especially because they aren’t being ingested. So unless you plan on licking your Himalayan salt crystal lamp every day, you’ll be fine.

However, what does not pose a threat to humans can be harmful to your pets. Too much salt can be toxic to many kinds of animals, like cats and dogs, so it would be wise to keep Himalayan salt lamps out of the reach of any household pets who may want to sneak behind your back and have a taste when you aren’t looking.

In January of this year, Michael’s issued a recall on some of their salt lamps sold under the Lumière brand. Rest assured, the issue and recall had nothing to do with the Himalayan salt itself but reported hazards with the dimmer switch and plug. If you’re looking to purchase a lamp, talk to the retailer and make sure it has been assembled properly and that the piece you’re interested in was not included in the recall.

Lastly, be sure to purchase authentic Himalayan salt crystal lamps so you can get the full health benefits, but also avoid health concerns with artificial and counterfeit devices.

As mentioned earlier, there are many different types of salt lamps that range in color to style. Among the most common are lamps created by inserting a light source directly into a salt crystal or a basket of crystals with a light source underneath. In these cases, the differences are for the most part purely aesthetic, and your choice comes down to finding the right solution for your tastes and complementing the environment in your home.

That being said, one thing you will have to keep in mind is making sure you avoid purchasing a fake Himalayan salt crystal lamp. Most salt lamps emit a soft, warm glow. Be leery of lamps that give off too much light. Also, some crystal lamps are white. Himalayan white crystals do exist but are rare and expensive. So if you find a white crystal lamp and a low price, be cautious. Lastly, make sure the crystal was mined from Kewra, Pakistan, or elsewhere along the Himalayas—the only place where true Himalayan salt is found.

In Ingham, you can purchase these at either Vanessa’s Day Spa on 0400 741 267 or at Good Energy Massage & Health located beside Brumby’s on Herbert Street. Remember – shop locally! Your light bulbs may be sold by your retailer, or you can purchase them from Woolies or Coles etc. However – if you aren’t from here, any of the following websites have good reputations for the purchase of your salt lamps:

There are so many health benefits when it comes to salt lamps, I personally love the light it sets off – I’m bold enough to say the one in the bedroom sets the mood if you know what I mean! But they are truly relaxing, especially at night. We have a salt lamp in our bathroom which was the first one I brought into the house and I have noticed the mould that would grow on the ceiling above the shower recess has reduced significantly. I then put one in the baby’s room, our room & the spare room. After my net purchase I will be done – or so my husband thinks (insert evil laugh here).

Aquo Xx

Health benefits of salt lamps
The process of the salt lamp

In memory of Louise L Hay: 1926 – 2007

I was getting up on the massage table when I started to talk to my therapist about Louise Hay when she replied “isn’t she dead?” – haha love ya Mon! But seriously! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS! I idolise her! I have ever since my cousin put me on to her book ‘You can heal your life,’ back in 2008 when things were happening in my life that every parent dreads happening to their child. I instantly fell in love with her and have followed, recommended, even pushed some of her resources on people in times of need.

So… “Who is Louise Hay” you ask, well, Louise Hay was an American motivational speaker, author and she also founded the ‘Hay House’. She wrote a heap of amazing self-help books, including my favourite of all time – You Can Heal Your Life, written in 1984 and copied numerous times since then!

She lived to be 90 years of age and was dubbed “the closest thing to a living saint” by the Australian media, Louise Hay is also known as one of the founders of the self-help movement. Her first book, Heal Your Body, was published in 1976, long before it was fashionable to discuss the connection between the mind and body. Revised and expanded in 1988, this best-selling book introduced Louise’s concepts to people in 33 different countries and has been translated into 25 languages throughout the world.

The journey begins…

You are able to create anything in the world for yourself to be successful, if you have a strong belief, you can do anything! It’s all about turning everything you see in this world as negative, into a positive. I’m not trying to kid myself here, if you see EVERYTHING in this world as positive there’s something wrong with you. I personally, choose not to watch the news, and if something isn’t remotely going to affect me in some way, I try not to concern myself with it – ANYMORE!

I found Louise’s affirmations in her book – You can heal your life, and a heap more online in a google images search. Those affirmations helped me to change the way I see the world now. I have a ridiculously harmonial balance now, and I feel absolutely wonderful! Each morning when I wake up now, I spring out of bed – no longer the whole “I wonder what shit I’ll have to put up with today.” Some of my favourite affirmations include:-

  • I choose to think positive and fulfilling thoughts.
  • Everything in my life will happen at the precise moment it’s supposed to.
  • I am willing to change.
  • I want to change.
  • I can do this.

I have learnt many things from Louise over the years, but it wasn’t until I started having a hard time (as we all do at times), that I turned back to her work and started all over again. “I love myself and I create loving relationships in my life.” We are all on a journey to express our full potential in this life, some find it and some never will – usually the people who never will are the people who think the world owes them something. If you put a thought out to the universe, the universe listens and that thought is then mirrored back at you, however – you have to truly believe in that thought for anything to change in your life. 

Louise started her motivational speaking etc. back well before there was much of the sort in this world and science proved decades later what she was already teaching – that you have the power over your life, not the other way around. With every thought you think, you are creating your present & your future.

Seriously, if you, or anyone you know is going through a hard time, introduce Louise Hay. There are a HEAP of online resources that are free, I will include the resources I have used which have helped me get by in the past. Louise is an absolutely amazing woman, the way she has helped millions of different people around the world is incredible! she really should have been made a saint at the time of her passing.  

Aquo Xx

Louise’s Official Website: https://www.louisehay.com/

Louise’s Legcy: https://www.hayhouse.com/

 

You Can Heal Your Life trailer
Take Charge – Create New – Louise Hay
The Power of Affirmations – Louise Hay

Mummies – looking after yourself easier said than done…

Happy Monday ladies! This post may just hit home for some other mummies out there! Stay well Xx

Since becoming a mum in June 2017, I have tried my hardest to be fit, healthy and well because my son needs me. But in all reality, some days it’s just too bloody hard! But that’s just it! – Give yourself a day to feel like crap, eat chocolate but then the next morning when you wake up, go for a walk in your back yard, do a Pilates class (youtube is free, so there’s not really any excuse), or hook in and do an abt class at home. There are so many different things you can do at home regarding your fitness, and there are heaps you can do with the kids!

One thing I found with myself is that my head needed to be in a good place before I would even consider working out at home. I started following a heap of health & wellness blogs and over time, condensed my list to the ones I felt related to me the most. Below is a list of the ones I have stuck with through my journey:-

The Fit Busy Mum

As a mum of three kids, a physiotherapist and fitness and health author, Rosemary Marchese completely lives and breathes the pressures faced by mums every day. But she also knows that busy mums can also be fit mums. We are busy and she doesn’t set out to change that.

On this website they consider ‘busy’ to be positive – they say that by being busy we are ‘fully engaged’ in life. Instead, this website has been designed to empower and inspire you to get active and lead a healthy lifestyle that suits you, at whatever time period you are at in YOUR life.

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Rosemary Marchese founder of F.B.M with her three kids

Healthy Mummy

Firstly Healthy Mummy is about healthy and REALISTIC weight loss and healthy living. It is not about trying to achieve a 6 pack – but about empowering mums to learn about healthy food, healthy living and doing it in a supportive environment.

Being a mum is HARD WORK and the team at Healthy Mummy totally GET IT! And this understanding and empathy shines through in the recipes, the exercises, the products and the amount of budget and family friendly products available. The two biggest products are the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and the Healthy Mummy Smoothies.

There are also LOTS of other products – over 52 books, supplements, singlets, active range, snack bars and lots more which cover Healthy Kids products and Healthy Pregnancy products. Plus they have over 130 Healthy Mummy Consultants who are working mums themselves. At Healthy Mummy, they are passionate about ensuring that The Healthy Mummy network offers 24/7 support in a safe, non judgemental and supportive environment.

The aim of the The Healthy Mummy focus is to educate mums how they can make small changes to their life to become healthier and also show them how they can change their life to a healthy one for them and their family

Rhain the founder and CEO of Healthy Mummy with some of the healthy mummies

Honest Mum

Honest mum was founded in 2010 and became a multi-award winning parenting and lifestyle blog, Honest Mum®, a space where Vicki Psarias shares her passions: family life, food, fashion, film, tech, business and travel.

As a former director, Vicki set up her blog while on maternity leave as way to help her rediscover her voice and regain confidence after suffering a traumatic birth. Blogging and vlogging soon became her full-time career taking her work from mostly behind the camera to firmly in front. You might have seen Vicki on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Lorraine, Channel 5 News or SKY News.

Vicki Psarias founder of Honest Mum and her two sons

Mommypotamus

Heather Dessinger started Mommypotamus, she has three children that she birthed in water in her living room, she’s not a doctor or certified nutritionist. There are no special letters behind her name. She’s just a mom that’s passionate about nourishing her family in every way possible.

Heather wasn’t always this way, though. Her along with husband Daniel were junk food fiends when they got married. Part of every dinner came from a box or takeout, and they were fine with that. But years of eating MSG, genetically modified foods, and hormone “enhanced” meat took its toll. About two years after they said their vows – just when they were thinking about starting a family – Heather developed a debilitating autoimmune disorder.

Blood tests also revealed that years of low-fat dieting had lowered her cholesterol to nearly undetectable levels – lower than those long distance runners who don’t get periods. Cholesterol is necessary for producing the hormones that sustain a pregnancy, Heather was told. “Don’t get pregnant, you’re not strong enough to carry a baby to term” were her exact words. Fine, then. She went home and drank 8 oz of oil straight up. (Do not ever do this! You will puke for 10 hours.)

She wanted cholesterol. She wanted a baby. She wanted my horrible acne, acid reflux, anxiety and chronic exhaustion to just GO AWAY. She wanted all of those things and more, but what she really NEEDED was real food.

So, with Nourishing Traditions in hand, Heather hacked away at her old food habits until every single one was gone. No one else she knew was eating this way and she kind of felt like the unabomber while concocting ferments in her kitchen. Heather said “it was frustrating, but oh-so-worth-it.”

Through nutrition and laser therapy she recovered my health, got pregnant, carried her baby not only to term but to the very last day of the forty second week, nursed for two years, got pregnant AGAIN, continued to nurse through her pregnancy, had another baby at 41 weeks. Heather now had a three year old and a one year old and had been continually nursing for 46 months straight. That’s a far cry from not being able to carry a baby to term!

Of course, that was just the beginning of the journey! The best part has been figuring out how to nourish her vibrantly healthy, energetic children and writing about it on her blog.

Heather Dessinger founder of Mommypotamus with the three children

Fit Bottomed Girls

It began as a single blog with a tongue-in-cheek play on a Queen song. Today, the Fit Bottomed World, run by Jennipher Walters and Kristen Seymour (who are certified fitness professionals but also just everyday regular women), is an online phenomenon reaching millions of women (and men!) each month. And, of course, the focus is always on the idea that fit bottoms come in all shapes and sizes — and that you’re more than the number on the scale.

True pioneers of the body-positive movement, Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead began Fit Bottomed Girls in 2008 as friends looking for a fun, fresh and no-diet approach to being healthy. Months after the site launched, it took off — readers were clearly hungry for something other than “how to lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes and get the perfect man.” Infusing their own experiences (both failures and successes) they created a community of “FBGs” — welcoming everyone in, including writer Kristen Seymour, who would later become a business partner.

From there, the Fit Bottomed Girls expanded into new verticals and products to serve its growing readership, including Fit Bottomed Mamas, Fit Bottomed Eats, a book, Fit Bottomed Zen, a podcast and the online course Love Your Body. Love Your Life.In 2017, Erin left the company to pursue other interests and focus on her family, while the Fit Bottomed World expanded into more speaking engagements, retreats, and brand consulting.

Jenn and Erin also continue to work with major brands such as Brooks Running, Marshall’s and Pure Protein on campaigns and other influencer projects that are fully aligned with the Fit Bottomed Girls’ mission. In fact, Jenn and Kristen were named as one of The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness by Greatist in 2016 and 2017, and were listed as one of the best healthy living bloggers of 2018 and 2019 by Healthline. And the one thing that will never, ever change is the company’s mission to continue to let women (and men!) know that you simply can’t hate yourself healthy.

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True pioneers of the body-positive movement, Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead

We’re All Mad Here

Claire Eastham has been writing her blog, We’re All Mad Here, for five years in an attempt to help people realize that social anxiety is more common than many believe. The name of the blog was also used as the title for her book, published in 2016, that acts as a “no nonsense guide to living with social anxiety.”

Both her blog and book provide a thoroughly well-written and personal account of life with social anxiety and panic attacks, doing so with liberal smatterings of humor and wit.

The success of her blog has resulted not only in a best-selling book, but it has been a launchpad for Claire’s work as a public speaker and mental health advocate. Aside from her blog, Claire’s writing can be found across the web, while she has made plenty of appearances on TV and radio.

Claire Eastham founder of We’re all mad here blog

No, I’m not one of those mother’s that just sit on social media all day neglecting my kid, I will jump on during nap time, as of late it has been to grow my knowledge of blogging as well as still researching the above sites as they all have useful info that I can use to create the lifestyle I want for my family.
 
I hope other mummies out there struggling find some light with the list of blogs I follow, they have all helped me in one way or another, whether it be physically, mentally, spiritually, or just life in general. I used to portray myself as a hard ass so that people couldn’t see me struggling or think that ‘I’m weak’, but now I understand I’m not the only mother out there who has bad days.
 
I’m at the stage now (probablely because I have 5 weeks to go before kid # 2 is here), that if you were to say anything to me in a negative way, I may just stab you in the eye with a fork, think about it, how much pressure you would have to use to actually stab someone through the eyeball! Yeah, I’m that pregnant!
 
I hope that over time, one day my blog will become as successful as some of the ones I follow, I know it’s a working progress, and with a new bub here soon, I know it’s going to be hard to keep my blog active. But – as I said in my Organisation blog, I am always thinking ahead, I will have 7-10 blogs ready waiting, just in case I am completly off my head like I anticipate.
 
Aquo Xx
Louise Hay – Positive affirmations to change your attitude