Christmas Countdown 1.1…

So here we are again… still bloody counting! This is the most craziest time of year where we all try and jam pack everything in and just get it done!

Those who know me well know – I am all sorted for Christmas by the end of November :/ Sad… but true! Well – until recently I had the time to super ahead of myself in all aspects of life.

I love this clip so much! I am so going to use this system next year! I wasn’t even this organised with my wedding!

This clip! OMG SOOO FUNNY!

That’s some bloody funny Christmas tree fails… Yeah I’m THAT mother… you know – the one that laughs in every situation (we haven’t had any broken bones yet) no matter who gets hurt.

ANDDD to finish off…

I’m sorry that bloke deserves an Oscar! I have never laughed so much – Andrew thought something serious went down… I had tears and everything!

Comment with some of your fave clips relating to Christmas I would love to hear from as many of you as possible! Remember – not everyone has a great experience with Christmas so be as kind as you can be to every human… even those who are not so human 🙂

Aquo Xx

Christmas Countdown…

Christmas is coming really soon – 9 days to be exact. A lot of people celebrate this holiday season in different ways. For some, this is one of the year’s most special events since this is a time of giving and sharing. 

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Christmas!!!

It was once said that there is no sincerer love than the love of food. Christmas proves this to be true. Festive food is up there with the things that we love most about this time of year. And yet for those who actually have to prepare the Christmas dinner, it can be a rather stressful time!

Here are 5 recipes I can’t go without during holidays! And – there healthy-ish… or so I tell myself as I’m having the smallest portion known to man!

Pecan, pear & pomegranate salad

Broccoli & cauliflower gratin

Sparkling pear and orange champagne punch

Pork chops with bourbon molasses glaze

Crock-pot honey mustard glazed ham

So guys, I would love to hear what your go to recipes are for the festive season to make all your family jolly! Leave us a comment or a link to your fave recipes – and before you go, check out this 5 Last Minute Christmas Recipes clip.

Aquo Xx

Merry Christmas…

It has just come to my attention that Christmas will be here in 12 more sleeps… only 12! OMG!

And so I’m laying here reflecting on the year because although this past crushing season was quite ominous – to say the least, I have so much in my life that I’m greatful for…

1 – MY BOYS! Even though Jack’s in the two year old stage… you know – the one where the little turds don’t hear a thing you say… but at night when I tuck him in (mummy do it), I get a “mummy, prayer” – we say the guardian angel prayer. Then I get a “mummy, stay…” “mummy has to put Harry to bed.” “No daddy do it!” – melts my heart!

2 – FAMILY! My family means the world to me!

3 – HEALTH & WELLNESS! – I am so consumed by my health & wellness at the moment, and you know what? – it’s the best thing for my mental health. If you see me at Tweak on the floor dieing – I’m ok, I just push that hard cause my goal is to look like this!

4 – THE SUPPORT FROM THE HINCHINBROOK SHIRE! – I love the support I still receive throughout our beautiful district! Everytime I go grocery shopping, there is a group of these lovely men that meet for coffee at Alfresco Cafe that insist on helping me load the car. A massive Thank you to those amazing blokes!

You have helped me tackle my BULLSHIT ANXIETY of going out in public alone with my boys. I can do it – myself! 😉

To all the positive influences in my life that keep me going – much love! 😚

My amazing mentors in all aspects of my life – Thank You for everything! Xx

5 – THE SETBACKS THAT HAVE MADE ME STRONGER!

I have had many set backs so far in my life and I bet many people have. However, I believe that those set backs in my life have only make me stronger. They have made me mentally, physically, and emotionally stronger. Some people may look at the obstacles they face in life as negative things but when I see them, I see opportunities for growth.

I choose to take the obstacles that come my way with open mind to how the outcome will improve me. I choose to look at the glass half-full rather than half empty. Plenty of times during my 27 years of life, I have had experiences that have made me want to give up but I always found the courage to overcome the difficulties and to rely on the positive outlook of the situation I faced.

I’ve learnt – to accept the things I can’t control and focusing on what I can.

Learning to free myself from the aftermath of years of domestic abuse – from previous partners. It has taken years – I think it got worse after my accident…

This link will take you to a blog from the Forbes website – 8 ways to have more gratitude everyday. 🤗

Merry Christmas to you all! Stay safe, sink many a beers, and live life to the fullest! – GO HARD… OR WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING HERE?

Aquo Xx

Wallaman falls…

Wallaman Falls is a pretty amazing place to escape from the rat race, if only for a day. I have never actually walked down to the bottom (I know – sad right!) but that is one thing I would really like to do – when it’s cooler! I had never been up there until Jack was born, I think I’ve been up there twice… yeah he beats me and he’s 2 and a half!

Australia’s highest permanent single drop waterfall, in Girringun National Park, west of Ingham. Head out Trebonne way and keep on going :p It’s an absolutely beautiful place surrounded by World Heritage rain forest, Stony Creek plunges 268 meters in a clear single-drop, often through a rainbow-fringed cloud of mist.

Gaze at Wallaman Falls from the main lookout then walk to the second lookout which provides stunning views of the gorge and the Herbert River Valley – Which I’ve heard you have to be super fit for…

Explore rainforest and enjoy spectacular gorge views on one of the short walking tracks near the falls. Wallaman Falls is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Girringun National Park is also the gateway to the Wet Tropics Great Walks. Discover plunging waterfalls, lush gorges and inspirational views as you tackle one of the two day walks that start from Wallaman Falls and trek down the Herbert River valley.

Wallaman Falls is defiantly a beautiful place to visit if your ever in the Hinchinbrook Shire – get a group of mates together and go camping for the long weekend or take the kids for a picnic!

Wallaman Falls camping area is adjacent to Stony Creek. Wood fire barbecues, picnic tables, shelter sheds, water and a cold water shower are provided. Remember to treat all water before drinking it – you could end up with some kind of twitch :p

If you prefer to rough it, limited bush camping opportunities exist as part of the Wet Tropics Great Walk. These are ‘hike-in’ sites and campers need to be totally self-sufficient. Read more about the Wet Tropics Great Walk, which may be closed during the wet season, and for management purposes.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Picnic tables, toilets and water are provided at both day-use areas—near the camping area and near the falls lookout. A gas barbecue is available at the day-use area near the camping area.

Take a few snags and a loaf of bread – don’t forget the tomato sauce! Make an adventure of it, go for a hike, have lunch – catch ups with old mates is always great! Below are a few pictures of the falls and few from down the bottom… ENJOY!

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Aquo Xx

The most influential people to me…

Role models have an astounding effect on the lives of young people in our society. A role model has the ability to shape the views, ideals, and actions of a young person. Role models help youth to discover how they wish to become in the future. The influence that role models have over young people is tremendous. It is important for role models to be positive and responsible in instilling good morals and values because future generations are directly dependent on the role models of today. By examining the influence of role models, role models in the community, and role models in the media, we will be able to determine the true effect that role models have on the lives of youth.

Wait a minute… let’s all laugh at ‘youth’ hahaha! I am currently 27 But hey – I lost a few years of my life after my accident, well didn’t really loose them I just can’t remember them. Best thing, I don’t want to remember them – always looking forward, never looking back – you can’t change yesterday, but you can start changing tomorrow, today!

There are a few influential people in my life at the moment that are quite inspiring to me. So let’s start with the people that are residents of the Hinchinbrook Shire.

1 – My dad – Big Al – So if anyone out there hasn’t read the piece I wrote on dad I suggest you do…. IT’S FREAKING AWESOME! I surprise myself sometimes!

https://aquoonline.com/2019/12/04/my-dad-big-al/

My dad is a legend for reasons I can’t bring myself to discuss – I’m crying on my keyboard as I write this. He’s been through a lot in the last decade and has come out the other end swinging. When you’re a kid at school, and they ask you what you want to be when you grow up – I want to be just like my dad.

Dad with my eldest son Jack

2 – Karen Venables – Karen is the owner of JK’s deli in Ingham and has been a great support, whether she knows it or not, for me in discovering who I really am and how powerful I actually am. Karen is a bloody superhero – I have no idea how the hell she gets as much done in a day as she does! And on top of running a successful business (with amazing coffee and some of the best food in the Hinchinbrook Shire) she has raised three absolutely beautiful daughters and married a man that reminds me so much of my dad it’s not funny.

I recently had Karen signed one of the books that she put me on to right when I started out, and it means so much to me because in years to come when I am taking over the world I can look back and read the message Karen wrote me. Karen is one of the most loving, humble, successful women I know. “I’m nothing special lovie.” – Um correction yes you freaking are!

From left to right – Kaitlin, Aimee, Karen and Lauren Venables

3 – Rachel Finch – So someone who’s not too far from home, she’s actually from Townsville! I’ve met Rachel a few times at modeling gigs when I was younger.

Rachael was born on 8 July 1988 is an Australian TV host, model, and beauty pageant titleholder. She was awarded the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for the 2006 Miss Teen Australia and finished as 3rd runner-up at Miss Universe 2009.

Since 2011, Finch has worked for Seven Sport as a roving reporter at events such as the Australian Open, Melbourne Cup and Olympics.

I read her book ‘Happy Healthy Strong‘ and it hit pretty close to home. Rachel proves that it doesn’t matter where your from, you can become anything you want to become.

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Rachel Finch

4 – Louise Hay – 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.

Louise’s book and dvd set ‘You can heal your life” has helped me turn my life around. From being a typan full of the deadliest venom (I was cranky) to now the most positive version of myself – I really have healed my life! My cousin put me on to it after an incident happened with a friend’s father when I was younger. I never understood how powerful Louise’s material was until recently – and WOW!

This link will take you to Louise Hay’s official website.

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Louise Hay

5 – Bethany Hamilton – Another influential person to me is Bethany. Bethany Hamilton (born February 8, 1990) is an American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but who ultimately returned to professional surfing.

She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released. She now has a new movie called, Unstoppable, where she shows the struggles and happiness of her family. Hamilton has been in the WSL league for quite a few years. Her best friend, Alana Blanchard, is also a pro surfer.

So like me – She only has one functional arm BUT her other arm was bitten off! She will never regain any kind of movement, it’s not there – at least I still have my arm, no matter how functional it is. She also has two beautiful little boys, as do I… Boys rock!

This link will take you to Bethany Hamilton’s official website.

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Bethany Hamilton with her family

6 – Leanne Hall – Is a Psychologist who has been in private practice for over 15 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, as well as qualifications in both nutrition and fitness.

In addition to her clinical practice, Leanne has held various academic teaching and research roles. She has particular expertise in illness and disease prevention and early intervention, as well as working with people suffering with anxiety, depression and body image issues. Leanne’s holistic approach to health means that she also works with patients experiencing chronic and acute health issues and lifestyle diseases; such as IBS, Crohn’s disease and colitis, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and auto immune disease.

When I was a few months in on my fitness journey, I bought her book ‘Head first health fast.’ It was all about changing your whole mindset from wanting to loose weight to achieving sustainable health. It helped me change my mindset on the way I look at food and exercise to enable me to change my life for the better.

This link will take you to Leanne Hall’s official website.

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Leanne Hall

These 6 individuals all played a part in helping shape me into the person I am today a completely different person I was 7 years ago. “When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” Paulo Coelho

Aquo Xx

Positive & Negative – with a brain injury…

So – so today my depression has me writing this piece in bed. I just had a shower – my first shower in 32 hours. My family are meeting at Rollingstone, and there’s no way I can bring myself to face anyone. I was born into the Sugar Industry in the Herbert and have been Sugar Cane mad ever since, but this year the season has broken me. This season has made me despise the Sugar Industry – amongst other things… and it makes me hate myself because of it. I feel so alone…

My husband has been home 9 out of the last 72 hours and I could cut the tension between us with a knife. The sugar cane season in the Herbert is set to finish over the following weekend and I’m telling you it’s a week too long. I’m all for making a living and working hard but I feel so neglected it’s not funny!

Today (the following day) I went training at Tweak with Louise (my trainer) and she can always put me in a better mindset. Georgia Satellites -Keep your hands to yourself was the first song that came on and it put my head in the game – I worked harder than most times I work out. The angry bird in me wants to come back BUT I wont let it.

This season has taken my head to some pretty messed up places – It got me thinking – There is no way I am the only wife in the industry that this has happened to. It sucks because I FEEL SO FREAKING LOST! I feel – I’m all alone… there’s no one here besides meee…

Yes – my sense of humor is pretty messed up, to the point where my father-in-law dropped in the other day and I said “Your lucky there’s no knives flying your direction!” He kinda gets my sense of humor – more than my husband most times.

Give me a month and I’ll be back on top of the game (of life) again. This is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life, It’s not I had… It’s I have a brain injury and I’m going to have to accept that. My best mate said years ago – “I admire your resilience, the way you bounce back.” Because I ALWAYS DO! BUT – I push myself. I am so hard on myself, I say things like “stop being a little bitch and get your head back in the game!”

This season has me thinking – maybe I’m not cut out for this, and that makes the way I’m feeling 100 times worse – Cause I’m dad’s little operator (well, not anymore) but that’s what my life would of been had I not had my accident. I think there needs to be support for the wives in the industry. Nothing to do with Canegrowers or QSL but maybe Wilmar? I still have to figure it out but I’ll have a chat with some of my contacts and see what we can come up with!

This is not – oh I want to kill myself, It’s actually far from it, and yeah – at times I’m selfish… but I would never do that to my boys if no one else. Shits bad NOW but I think I just need time away BY MYSELF – to get inside my head and reset… on a nice beach… away from this town for a night even… to see how good I really have it!

Stop being a little bitch…

Aquo Xx

Where’s the positivity at?

Where’s the positivity at?

Morning all you beautiful people! Just a quick thought – My boys and I watched Sunrise this morning (what! Your saying daddy was actually home? 🤔🙄😂) and Sam Mac was wearing a banana suit trying to boost the ‘positive vibes’ in Melbourne – well, I think that’s where he was… it was hard to hear the tv with my two and a half year old screaming TRACTORRRR! It got me thinking – It’s not just Melbourne where positive vibes need promoting… IT’S THE WHOLE WORLD!

The way we perceive ourselves and the world around us has an enormous impact on our experiences. Yes – It is so much easier to sit there and be negative, trust me I know… I’ve had to try very bloody hard to bring myself back from some pretty dark places. That’s not big noting myself or anything, that’s the honest truth.

Positive energy doesn’t just help us better enjoy our day to day experiences, it also impacts our health and relationships. Look around the place (Ingham and surrounds) – so many people are ‘throwing in the towel’ when it comes to their relationships.

I’m not saying I have a ‘perfect relationship,’ our marriage is far from perfect – especially towards the end of the sugar cane harvesting season. HOWEVER we talk – we talk about everything. I’m not just talking marriages, it’s friendships etc that are falling apart.

I go through my little ‘hate session’ for a few weeks, but having had a brain injury I have educated myself on mental health since moving home at the end of 2014. It’s much easier being able to recognize what’s going on inside my head and being able to redirect my thinking to be more positive – it makes life so much easier!

Positive thinking helps reduce our stress, improve our physical health, and drive us toward our goals and accomplishments. Positivity seems to come naturally for some, while others have to work for it. A saying dad taught me young was ‘shit happens’. And – that’s just it – shit does happen! It’s all about how you respond that matters. If you choose to be victimized by what happens, your negative energy will gain momentum. 

I am currently mentoring a person in Melbourne suffering from poor mental health and I feel it’s helping me uphold a healthy mental health outlook. Trying to help someone else is a way to see the world with a more positive outlook.

Another method I have used to help me be a more positive person when I start thinking negative thoughts is interrupting myself, with a BUT – The weather is shitty today BUT the cane really needs it.

Every single person reading this piece should take the time to watch this video…

COME ON ALL OF YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! I DARE YOU TO TRY PUTTING A POSITIVE SPIN ON EVERYTHING FOR A WEEK! – then make up your mind on weather you feel lighter in yourself or not. Let me know how you go! COMMENT… SHARE… LIKE! I want to hear from you!

Aquo Xx