WTH is Aquo doing?!

Many, if not all of you (including my husband) are probably thinking “what the hell is Aquo up to!” And you know what? the Amy Irvin part of me is right there with you … And also shiting myself a little bit – but the Aquo part of me wakes up every morning and hits the ground running excited for whatever is gonna come up in my face today.

At the moment, my focus is on promoting the Hinchinbrook Shire with the main focus being the future. This district is not good enough for us let alone our kids… I don’t blame them for wanting to leave Ingham as soon as they finish school. I left as soon as I finish school, but challenging circumstances had me return and the rest was history. I want to know more about Hinchinbrook Shires history, I want everyone to know about Hinchinbrook shires history. I want to make this place great again much like it was in the 90s. I talk about the 90s being better times and then I hear about the 70s and 80s being 10 times better again and it makes me want to know more about those times.

What is it that is stopping the Hinchinbrook Shire from being ten times better again, then it was back in the hay day? – “Um pick me.” teacher sighs… “yes Amy.” “Try all the negative energy that is around the place.” – I have recently (last few months) tried to put a positive spin on everything that comes my way, and you know what? it’s changed my life!

My main Focus is currently on keeping my blog going, my pics flowing and teaching myself what I can where I can. I do have a few rabbits in my hat wanting to jump out and bam! Smack all you beautiful people in the face (you know, with love) but at the end of the day my boys come first and I can only do what I can do.

I would love to rapidly grow my following to my Website – aquoonline.com But it’s not going to happen over night, I’m fully aware of that and I’m in this for the long game!

I also have a Facebook page – Amy Aquilini – Blogger, as well as an Instagram page – “aquoblog,” I’m taking the good old ready fire aim approach and I never let today take up too much of tomorrow. The more platforms you are attached to means the greater chance the amount of people on such platform will come across you…

I am not afraid to fail – the person who’s not afraid to fail will always win!

I know I have A LOT more developing to do… to all my platforms, but over time that will all fall into place. In the mean time, I will just keep on keeping on and do what I gotta do. I dare say my head is wayyy to hard to even come close to the idea of weighing in on the thought that I will fail. I’m not afraid of death – been there done that! I need another challenge, I’m not even 100% sure, but I have an idea that taking on the world is going to be it.

I got this way because shit went down and I handled it… it took a while… but I handled it!

When you focus on you, you grow; when you focus on shit, shit grows – Anon

At this point in time, none of this makes sense to me, but I believe 100% it will work out. I’m doing me, this is my way, creating this pretty amazing platform, I’m Doing thinks to make things better for my boys.

Be curious about everything, even more ask questions about everything! Keep growing and evolving.

Old habits limit you from living your best life.

watch this freaking space!

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

Our Tuesday Ritual @ JK's Deli…

On a Tuesday we go for coffee (and some yummy home cooked food) at one of our favourite cafes in the Hinchinbrook Shire – JK’s Deli located next door to the Westpac Bank in Lannercost Street, Ingham’s main street. By the looks of it Karen runs a pretty tight ship because the shop is always immaculate! The food that is in the display fridges looks like the entire town should bust their asses at gym (to burn off all the calories) because all the food looks ah-mazing!

Rita & John – two of Karen’s employees with some of their meats

JK’S Deli is located at 78 Lannercost Street, Ingham and is opened 7.30am – 5.00pm Monday through Friday and Saturday mornings, but like other businesses in the Shire when things are quiet, they will close early – save on power costs, wages etc. The smart way of doing business – which some people just don’t get…

I find it extremely hard to pick something to munch on so I usually tell one of the girls to surprise me, and I haven’t been let down once yet! For those addicted to coffee (I mean mother’s such as myself) they create some pretty awesome blends with Vittora coffee… THEY ONLY USE THE BEST!

Every Tuesday, my two and a half year old goes to playgroup at Lourdes then makes sure he is taken to JK’s for his ‘coffee.’ Each week I ask him – “So who’s your girlfriend this week?” I get the “Ummm,” Sometimes it’s Kaitlin, sometimes it’s Aimee, sometimes it’s Karen… But sorry guys, most of the time it’s Lauren or, Wawwen as Jack puts it.

Jack with his girlfriend… I mean Lauren

Kaitlin, Aimee and Lauren are Karen’s three absolutely beautiful daughters who all work at the Deli. There isn’t much in the Hinchinbrook in the way of jobs for school leavers so essentially that is what inspired Karen to put her idea into motion, to secure jobs for her daughters and others throughout our community.

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

All Karen’s staff are absolutely lovely, you walk in the shop and I promise you you will never leave depressed!

Jack with Sandra

I recently saw on Facebook other business people winging because they went past and they were closed – Well sorry we didn’t stay opened for your highness. That was coming from me… We shouldn’t be here shredding each other… WE SHOULD BE SUPPORTING EACH OTHER!

Jack is in charge of the ‘quality control’ of the marshmallows behind the counter… Kaitlin tells Jack “don’t tell mum” and as soon as he comes out from behind the counter I get this “Hey mum, look!” It’s hilarious!

I think Karen has done an amazing job with the expansion of the shop and there is such a laid back feel to the place it kind of makes you want to curl up on the couch in a ball and go nunies (sleep).

It’s not just the locals who are crazy about JK’s – read the following Reviews from passers by:-

Zil Silvester… incredible selection of international cheese I just wish I could take them all home! Rita was so friendly and helpful. This sensational cafe and delicatessen is a highlight of the town and is the place to eat when in Ingham.

Peter Maggiora… Our lunch was delicious and well priced. Coffee was great and well made. It’s a merge between an Italian deli and Cafe which works very well. One side of the Cafe has great mosaics of the local history.

Rob Boot… WC which, l think, is always a good indication of what the kitchen must look like. Anyone who has complaints about this cafe must be a malcontented whinger. We’ll definitely stop by this cafe on our return journey.

Bruce Smallbon… A beautiful coffee shop and good food.

Daniel Peacock… some meats for a platter. The team were so helpful they offered to build it all for us and it looked amazing. They were nice enough to build it while we sat and had a lovely lunch. Highly recommend both the deli section and the cafe.

Lesleigh White… Lovely and trendy!
Beautiful coffee shop.
Love how they sell little packets of goodies.
Very friendly staff.
We’ll definitely return when driving through Ingham again.

Linda Venn… Good coffee. Excellent home made slices to go with it.

Kate Suthers… from Mission Beach to Townsville and I’m so glad we did. Not only is there a cracking deli but the cafe serves really delicious food, generous portions made fresh and with lovely service. Would definitely plan future routes.

Michael Nash… Yep, good variety of food and great ice coffee.

I’m excited to see what other exciting things Karen has in store for our community. There are business owners who run their business and no more – Karen bleeds Hinchinbrook and I believe that is why her business thrives like it does!

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

Sir Arthur Fadden…

The Hinchinbrook Shire has an extremely rich history so I’ve decided to dig a little deeper and extend my knowledge on our little slice of paradise!

Sir Authur Fadden

Sir Arthur William Fadden was an accountant and prime minister. He was born on 13 April 1894 at Ingham, Queensland, eldest of ten children of Irish-born parents Richard John Fadden, police constable, and his wife Annie, née Moorhead. The son of a Presbyterian minister, Richard had served in the Royal Irish Lancers before emigrating to Australia; he joined the Queensland Police Force and, about 1900, took charge of the station at Walkerston, near Mackay. Educated at the local state school, at 15 Artie began work as billy-boy to a gang of cane-cutters and soon became office-boy at the Pleystowe mill.

As a young man he participated enthusiastically in social and sporting activities. He excelled at cricket, Rugby Union football, boxing and foot-racing, and performed in amateur theatricals as an original member of the Walkerston ‘Nigger Minstrel Troupe’. Exhibiting a flair for figures, in April 1913 he was employed as a clerk with the Mackay Town Council. Three years later he discovered defalcations in the books kept by the town clerk; the man was dismissed and Fadden appointed in his place. He married a milliner Ilma Nita Thornber on 27 December 1916 with Presbyterian forms at her mother’s Mackay home; they were to have four children.

On 20 January 1918 a cyclone hit Mackay, wrecking the town, killing more than twenty people and cutting off help from outside. Fadden and his family narrowly escaped being drowned. As a member of the cyclone relief committee, he worked tirelessly and effectively to find shelter for the homeless, and to distribute food, clothing and building materials. Having qualified in accountancy through a correspondence course, he resigned his local-government post in September and set up as a public accountant at Townsville. He became a member (1921) and fellow (1928) of the Commonwealth Institute of Accountants (Australian Society of Accountants). His business prospered and he was to establish the firms Fadden, Sutton & Co., Townsville, and A. W. Fadden & O’Shea, Brisbane.

So – it’s not mind blowingly exciting or anything, but it’s good to know where we are from. A bit of knowledge never hurt anyone…

Aquo Xx