Louisa Claire

Read more posted in February, 2012

life lately, according to my canon

I’m loving my “life lately” posts, and capturing special moments during the week. This week the photos come to you courtesy of my Canon Ixus 80 rather than my iPhone as it was out of action last week.

Not the most beautiful of pictures and none of my gorgeous girl as she wasn’t that keen on the camera this week – but check out my gorgeous boy, isn’t he growing up??

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If you’d like to join in on some “life lately” posts then please link up in the comments and I’ll come say hi :)

x


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5 More Things I’ve Learnt About Blogging

Last week I shared with you 5 thing I’ve learnt in 5 years blogging. Of course, the list could go on and on and so today I bring you 5 more things that I’ve learnt and that might help you if you’re just starting out…

Have a read and let me know what you think…

1. Use pictures
They don’t have to be great pictures, it can be good if they are your picture and if they aren’t your pictures then you really need to give the source. I love blog with pictures, they help bring emotion into the story – even when the picture isn’t directly relevant they can help set the tone for your blog and the way people feel about it. With so many great apps and filters available online, it’s not hard to wack up a photo as part of your post and it’s really worth it. Promise!

2. Don’t use dark backgrounds or quirky, hard to read fonts.

There’s not a lot to say about this one except that it’s part of a bigger blog “rule” which is make it easy for people. You want people who visit your blog for the first time to do three things. Firstly, you want them to stay, second you want them to engage with you in some way – perhaps via commenting or connecting with you on twitter/facebook and lastly, you want them to come back.

If they can’t easily read the posts, then they are most likely going to click away to the next blog…keep it clean, clear and easy to read!

3. Not everyone has an iPad, promise.
Sometimes it feels like everyone else is doing the latest thing or using the latest gadget. They’re not, I promise. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’, you don’t need to.

4. Invest in your blog
Blogging can be entirely free but, like any hobby, the more you invest yourself emotionally into it the more you are going to want to spend money on it. Maybe it’ll be via a self hosted WordPress blog, or getting it professionally designed, maybe it’ll be attending a conference (or three!) Whatever it is, if it matters to you then be willing to invest in it. Save, sell or find other creative ways to develop a ‘blog fund’ that you can draw from for the things that you want to do.

5. Accept that not everyone will like you.
Well that’s not entirely right, people may like you just fine – they just may not like your blog. Be ok with that. I’ve made some great friends online and we regularly read each others blog, and comment. I’ve also made some great friends online and hardly ever read their blogs – there’s no real reason for this other than there are only so many hours in the day. Accept that not everyone who you know online will read your blog, and don’t feel pressured to read everyone else either. There is a wonderful world to experience offline, you’ll miss out on it if you spend all day reading and commenting on blogs!

 

What has blogging taught you? What lessons are you learning now, that you wish you’d always known?


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I Don’t Know How She Does It

 

It was no small irony that a couple of weeks ago an amazing gift pack with the film “I Don’t Know How She Does It” arrived on my doorstep. It was a Wednesday and I had had one of those crazy days you imagine when you think about the whole motherwood-work-runningabusiness thing.

In between arriving 20 minutes late to pick up my beautiful Bear on his first morning of childcare. (Let’s just say I’m very thankful he is too young to remember that and be utterly traumatised by it. Me? not so much) to The Architect being called into an off site meeting half an hour before I was supposed to drop Bear off with him and hand over the afternoon pick up of Bliss and dinner-bath-bed routine (let’s also just say that leaving my baby boy with the office receptionist, as lovely and trustworthy as she is, does not leave me feeling like mother-of-the-day let along mother-of-the-year) it was a strange day.

When I first heard about this film, I immediately wanted to see it. Whether you are a SAHM, WAHM, working mum or something else who hasn’t at some point related to the “doing it all” vibe of motherhood? It’s everywhere. Clever to make a film about it really :)

I expected to feel a bit uncomfortable watching it; since becoming a Mum I’ve had seasons of being home full time, working part time and now running a business and each have offered unique challenges. Through each season I have realised that whether I am working or not, I am the sort of person who will be doing something and having (and sticking to!) boundaries is an ongoing challenge. There was one scene where I avoided my husband’s gaze but mostly, it was fun and lighthearted look at modern day living and I really enjoyed it!

I’m excited to say I have a wonderful gift pack containing I Don’t Know How She Does It and 4 other great DVDs to giveaway to one lucky reader…

 

to find out more, and enter visit my Facebook Page.

 

 


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Stress

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been dealing with increasing feelings of stress. Some of it is as a result of real concerns and issues and my inability to see a way through them. Some of the stress has to do with my tendency to cope poorly when the stress starts and to let a snowball effect take place.

Either way, the bursting into tears at the Apple store and collapsing into bed at 4.30pm tell me somethings amiss, and I don’t want to live like this. (I did not mean for that sentence to rhyme!)

There’s no real reason for me to share this today except to say that sometimes when I write a happy update on Facebook or tweet, what I really want to says is “Far out I am a not coping right now.” but I don’t, because finding the positive in my day or something positive in the world helps to re-frame my focus. And that’s a good thing.

Other times, like this morning, I sit down and think “crap, I just don’t know where to start” and so I’m not going to just spurt out the positive; to do that would be false.

Many of you know that I’m a person of faith, and my belief in a God who loves me and cares about what’s good for me is not just a comfort but a practical encouragement that the burdens I feel so heavily on my shoulders are not mine to bear alone. Reminding myself that that His care and involvement in my life is a real, lived, experience is where I get stuck when the feelings of stress take over. Faith is not stagnant, but an active experience just like any other relationship. But sometimes, I just feel like that sick, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach is going to take over. I suspect that is a feeling you too may be familiar with.

To win the battle, I need to win control of my mind - to choose trust, and faith as my response and to seek practical ways to cope and respond to the challenges I can see ahead for me. It’s also to choose to enjoy the moments that I’ve been given, that are wonderful…and to make as many more wonderful moments as I can.

Some days that’s a whole lot easier said, than done.

How well do you cope with stress? What do you do to keep the waves of anxiety at bay, or is this something you struggle with too?

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The Secret To Being and Feeling Fashionable Revealed…

Last week I started writing a post about wanting a make over. I was feeling in a rut about my “look” and wondered what do to…

Then I realised something, the secret to fashion is confidence. Change it up, embrace wearing the things you want to wear and be confident. So I did, and it was great!

Simple, right?

I’ve had the same hair for years…and years…and years…so I set myself a little challenge: to wear my hair in pigtails everyday for a week. The first day it felt really strange, but after a few days it felt good, fun, normal!

It’s also helped me make a big hair decision…I’m excited.

Oh, and I’m also embracing pink lipstick.

Louisa Claire, pink lips

 

What makes you feel fashionable? What would make you feel more confident about how you look?


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Let’s Agree To Disagree

I have an opinion. Lots of them, in fact. I’m partial to sharing them occasionally…and sometimes while I respect another person’s decision not to agree with me, I *gasp* don’t always respect their decision. In fact, sometimes I think that another persons decision is wrong.

Telling your child that they are stupid and worthless? Nope, don’t respect that. Actually think that’s bad parenting. Yep, I said it bad parenting.

Feeding your baby coke? Let’s throw that into the bag of bad parenting too.

Cheating on your spouse? I feel pretty strongly about that too – human relationships are complex but cheating is such a betrayal. I don’t respect that decision, I don’t see it as a valid “I say potato you say potato” situation.

There are other things that I think that I’ll keep to myself, for while they are opinions I hold to strongly I’m mindful of the diversity of human nature and experience and am not arrogant enough to blithely dismiss another’s for the sake of making a point in this post. Which is really what’s at the crux of the idea; that some people don’t care about the validity of another’s opinion and will roll right over it with a monster truck of a mouth. I know, I’ve been there. Regretfully, on both sides.

But the fact that some people are idiots and others make mistakes doesn’t mean we should reduce the argument to “we all have to respect each other’s choices 100% of the time”.

A value that says we need let each other do what’s best for us actually impinges on that very same thing – in my opinion there are some values that are more important that respect. More that that, it’s a truly adult centric and individualistic view of the world; “do what’s best for you” doesn’t leave space for the other half of the picture – be they a child, a partner or passing bystander.

When you live your life just doing what’s best for you, people get hurt. Even to broaden it slightly and say “do what’s best for your family” is to suggest that somehow we live in a vacuum, where the decisions we make within our families don’t impact on other people and their families. Though of course, they do.

The more we embrace a philosophy that keeps the focus on ourselves and not on the broader family and communities that we are part of the more isolated we allow ourselves to become.

That’s not a world I want to live in.

I’m uncomfortable with a mantra that says “you do what you do and I’ll do what’s do”. It doesn’t allow for real reflection and discourse about the big issues of our time and yes, some of these issues are deeply personal and uncomfortable to talk about. Yes, sometimes we will feel judged and angry and sometimes we will be judged and angry. We will naturally react in defense of our choices, but hopefully we’ll also reflect on them.

Not talking is worse, so much worse. Isn’t that why we blog? And why we read blogs? The minute bloggers buy into the idea that we all have to smile and nod and not say what we think, not say things that are hard and awkward and controversial – not just for the sake of it, but in pursuit of real dialogue…we lose one of the most precious aspects of blogging and the blogosphere.

I’m not ok with that.

So let’s not agree to disagree, let’s talk it out – respectfully, honestly and humbly, together.

Do you shy away from saying what you really think in the pursuit of “togetherness” or do you think a bit of diversity is a good thing?


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