Advice on Advice

Advice. (noun) guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent action. Synonyms include: aid, encouragement, instruction, input, judgment, lesson, suggestions, help…


I realised a very long time ago that I am often much better at offering sound advice than following it.


Any given day you’ll hear me spout off about the importance of kindness, patience, resilience and integrity. I’ll tell anyone who will listen how important it is to be non-judgmental. HA! I ought to be ashamed (and to be honest I often am) of how judgmental I actually can be! I have been known to write people off as douchebags just based on the industry they work in or the clothes they wear. I occasionally have to reconsider this snap judgment when I actually get to know people a bit better.


My beloved Grumpy husband pointed out as I read this aloud to him, that experience has taught us both that there are red light indicators on people’s almost certain douchebaggery. Sometimes it turns out they ARE quite terrible. Other times, it turns out that they are amazing and I have so much to learn from them. We avoid certain social and business circles completely because the chances are, we will be as appalled or disinterested in the people that frequent them as they would be in us and our chosen friends and colleagues. So maybe being a little teeny tiny bit judgemental saves us all a bit of time? Now THAT is a slippery slope to start traveling down, so do not take that as any sort of sage advice please.  I would suggest that you reserve opinion and judgment on anyone/everyone until you actually know them. Seriously. Once you do know someone, if you can’t say something nice, try not to say anything at all. This, of course, is another piece of advice that I suck at following almost daily.


So yes. I’ll pontificate on the importance of gratitude and generosity, and then I’ll be horrendously hypocritical and say something like: “generosity is wonderful, but remember to never give more than you can afford, financially, emotionally or otherwise” which is ridiculous because we run ourselves regularly ragged giving far too much time, energy and resources to too many people and projects.

Now that I think of it, I’ll even offer advice on things I know very little about like nutrition, exercise or diet. Pfft. Have you seen me lately? Not exactly the poster girl for peak physical or mental condition.


No one needs to tell me how full of hot air I can be, because I actually acknowledge, perhaps even embrace this truth about myself (and every other human I’ve known) already. But you know what? I am going to continue sharing and receiving advice. I am going to continue asking people what they think about things.

So in a grand and ironic gesture, I am going to ply you all with MORE advice.

Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. You aren’t. I can promise you that much.

Don’t expect perfection from anyone else. They aren’t. But please try and believe that they are doing what they can to be a better person, and if you can’t abide by something about them or their actions, you can always walk away, and I suggest that you do if you find them upsetting.

As you read this, you wil know what your moral compass and inner truth is. Just follow that. Our lives unfold as they should, based on the choices we make and the advice we do and do not act upon.

Try and be the best version of yourself, and if and when you have failed in this measure, just keep on trying I guess.

Have a great rest of the week.

Thank you for reading and OH MY GOODNESS it feels good to be writing!


Spitballing About Starting a Seriously Sustainable Sisterhood

This planet is bursting with resilient, diverse, fascinating, kind, warm, uplifting and, funny WONDERFUL women.


I am personally very blessed to have an army of lovely ladies in my life. The relationships I have formed and sustain are absolutely one of the most important sources of spiritual sustenance I have access to.  The women in my life offer me a sense of community and belonging, and buoy me through bad times and good.


Courtney, Dee, Caroline, Simone

Courtney, Dee, Caroline, Simone

This is James at four days old with one of my very favourite people on the planet.  I'll not publish her name though, as she's far more online shy than I am.  Love her to bits though, and glad she got to meet him when he was still nice and fresh!

This is James at four days old with his Godmother

Birthday girl grabbing a cuddle

My gorgeous Canadian Cohort Leigh

My gorgeous Canadian Cohort Leigh

I have thousands of stories about how awe-inspiring, kind, quirky, unique and wonderful the women in my world are.  I’ll share just a small snippet of stories with you now:

One dear friend was on a road trip with her family recently. She’s a vehement social justice campaigner, and has dedicated her entire life to fighting for the needs and rights of our society’s most vulnerable. She came across a homeless man in Hamilton, and her and her family took him out for a hot breakfast and arranged a lunch for him as well. He did not have the capacity to tell them too much about his situation, as it seemed he didn’t really understand it himself, but she did manage to find out that he had an appointment to talk about emergency housing within a few days. She reached out (safely and thoughtfully) with a kind hand.  She talked to him like a human being, because we are ALL human beings.  This story has touched me deeply. The social and economic issues and growing disparity in this country mean more people are living rough, and we are a small and nimble enough population that the growth of this kind of poverty is simply unacceptable.

I have another friend who has recently finished a gruelling course of cancer treatments. She is an honest, warm, HILARIOUS human being who stands up for animals, people, and our environment and fights vehemently for the underdog. She volunteers with community groups, her family were extremely early adopters in Electric Vehicle technology, and she sees and nurtures the good in the people she loves. She is an amazing mother, a concerned friend, and she can see the pain in my heart when it starts to creep in and take over.  She sees it because she is one of the few people who face the same darkness. “Who makes the clown laugh?” She often says to me when one or both of us are confiding that the darkness has crept in.  We are both clowns, and share our energy and laughter generously as it feels like medicine for ourselves, and, I hope, for those around us.

Just a few final examples of friends who do amazing things (trust me when I tell you this doesn’t even scratch the surface:

I know a woman who holds people’s hands at hospice and comforts them and their families. And another gorgeous, elegant friend who feeds and socializes with people at a retirement village between modeling and acting gigs. I know and love a group of women who catch babies and dry mother’s tears during the most beautiful and vulnerable time of their lives (the births, and sometimes, the loss, of their babies). Another group of wonderful women I know have dedicated their lives and careers to helping women out of the cycle of domestic violence. Another woman has recently stood up to one of the biggest and most notorious boys club in the country, and her voice is being heard! She’s a feisty one for sure. Another friend homeschools her two beautiful girls and has become an integral part of that community. I know award winning creatives, women engineers, a superstar nanotechnologist, journalists, advocates for awesome in general, lawyers, accountants, teachers, nurses, business women, matriarchs, writers, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, artists, doctors, poets, philosophers, travelers, cleaners, cooks, gardeners, activists, volunteers and modern day feminists… And they are all my friends. And they are all my heroes.  And they all have a story to share with some other woman or girl, that could well change the whole trajectory of her life if she lets the advice and guidance percolate.

A book containing all of the amazing I have witnessed, just in the women who I know and love would be volumes long.  And every day there are several new chapters to add.

It is no secret that I have for a very long time wanted to mobilise a community and movement to support women and girls of all ages to conquer fear and find a path to their own awesome.  A physical and virtual network where we mentor each other to be fearless and actively pursue dreams and goals.  A safe and uplifting place where girls and women can go for sustenance for the mind and soul.  A place to get sound and accurate advice for personal, professional, mental, educational, and general concerns.  A place where people can connect if they get stuck on a project or in a rut.  A place to obliterate pain points and punch obstacles IN DA FACE with the help of superstars from various fields and with varied skill-sets.

The current problem is, I have NO idea where to start.

So I thought I would start here, with a public announcement of my intention to regularly celebrate and say thank you to all the women who are taking names and kicking butte.

If you are a woman, and you are awesome (which you are, I can assure you) please consider joining me.  Please consider sharing your skills, stories, strength and positivity.

I’ll start a FB cause page and call it The Seriously Sustainable Sisterhood.  I will share intelligent and uplifting articles, happy thoughts, funny pictures and it will be a safe and secure forum for women to connect and encourage each other to identify and follow their dreams and goals.  I’ll share great content from some tried and true sources like Mighty Girl, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Huffpost women, The Cultureist, Psycology today, various amazing blogs etc.  And we will work really hard to have robust and useful discussions.

We all have to start somewhere right?  Well, this is the start of something that I hope will uplift and sustain the ideas, dreams, and goals of many women far into the future.

Have a great weekend.  Feel free to like the page.  Actually PUHLEEEEZZZEEEE like the page.



Monday Morning Meanderings (AKA How Husband Decided He was a Superhero)

I proper LOVE mornings. Winter mornings are a special kind of fabulous. I say this, because I am lucky enough to live in a house with more than adequate insulation and heating.

Our only daughter (currently 8)  taking a selfie this morning in our bed.

Our only daughter (currently 8) taking a selfie this morning in our bed.


Foggy winter morning just outside our bedroom window


Our children one morning a few weeks ago, we are totally outnumbered.


Our Two Teslas cutting a formidable silhouette through the winter fog.

Well over half of the people in the country probably don’t like mornings in the winter because they are in cold, damp, often overpriced housing, and they spend the winter sick or shivering.

As soon as we’ve witnessed the true tipping point on the EV and greentech movement, and this gorgeous country is finally truly #LeadingTheCharge on renewable energy and sustainability, then we are going to find some clever people from here and around the world to work with and tackle poverty and (at the same time because the two are inextricably linked) women’s issues.*

Strong women mean a strong society. We live in an age where childcare and domestic chores do not automatically have to be a woman’s domain. There are fabulous stay-at-home dads who support driven and successful partners and successfully pilot thriving households. Strong, educated women with a self-esteem do not stay in harmful relationships. They make better decisions for themselves and their current and future families. They make wonderful role models in their own nuclear and extended families, and they give other women (like DEE!) tangible sources of inspiration to keep going when things get tough and obstacles appear.

So yes, where was I again… Oh that is right, mornings.

The feeling of being snuggled up as the children file in for morning cuddles and cartoons is one of my favourite things in the world.

Recently, the baby has been sleeping through the night in his own crib, in his own room at the other end of the house where it is warm and snuggly and quiet. He goes down around 9:00 and gets up around 6:00am. This is the light at the end of the tunnel and we’ll be able to escape the children for days, perhaps weeks at a time in a few short years when they are all big enough to be farmed out to various family and friends and happy to be so.

The conversation I wanted to share with you this morning, and apologies for taking so long to get to it, is this:

As is often the case when something goes well (or even if something goes terribly wrong) is that we take a moment to retrace the steps that led to things panning out they way they did. What I have noticed recently, is my husband has adopted an almost superhuman ability to take credit for things panning out well. I think I am fine with this, as he’s a fairly wonderful human and churns through more awesomeness when his confidence is high.  Trust me when I tell you, that his confidence is currently somewhere in the stratosphere.  For the most part, I really enjoy seeing him like this.

“I like this baby sleeping through the night stuff.” Said my chipper husband before dutifully heading to the kitchen to make me an espresso. “When did this start happening I wonder.” He continued.

We went through a number of factors that contributed to the warm, cozy environment that the baby now enjoys for several uninterrupted hours a night. And then, like a small bolt of lightening, Steve piped up and said: “I know, it was when I put the heater in that room.”

To which I responded; “Yes darling. I do believe you will find, that it won’t be much of a stretch to find that every single good thing that happens to this family, or every single person who we have ever meet, seen, or known, can be fairly easily traced directly and indirectly to you.”

There was a pause. There was a laugh. And when the laughter subsided Steve piped in with: “You’re probably right.”



And so our day began.  My husband the ever humble superhero was ready to take on another day.

Have a magnificent Monday if that is when you are reading this, or a great week if this crosses your eyeballs on a different day.

Thanks for reading.


*Relevant but worthwhile tangent to discuss.

Observations on Life from Adam on an Entirely Unremarkable Friday Night at Home

Adam didn’t like the fish I cooked, or the pasta from last night, or the ribs his brother picked up at the deli counter, or the mashed potatoes we made.

My and my firecracker middle child Adam

Me and my firecracker middle child Adam

So tonight – as is frequently the case – Adam made a peanut butter sandwich for dinner.  We really must stop giving into him and start arranging better food.  We’re seeing a dietician after school holidays and will up our game in this area soon.  I’ll keep you posted.

So, during the serious business of sandwich construction, the peanut butter broke the soft bread and a tiny (compared to his trade-mark Mt. Vesuvius explosions) tantrum commenced.

Managed to reign it in with humour. Can’t recall exactly what was said, but he chilled out before an epic explosion occurred.

Then, with all the solemness and sincerity any five-year-old could ever muster, Adam looked at me and said:

“You know what.  I wish I could just go back to when life was simpler.”

I of course laughed out loud to the point of pain (which doesn’t take much with my tender side at the moment) and asked him to elaborate.

“Well, I wish I could be three again.  Everything was better.  I got more treats, and less discipline.  Yeah, life was waaaaaay better when I was three.”

I hugged my thoughtful little man and lamented on the troubles he has been working through with his temper for most of his life.

Things were a bit easier when he was three I suppose.  But he still had issues with his temper.  I’m glad we’re working hard with an army of experts to help him get to a better place and learn to be less frustrated all the time.

But as we’re doing this, I absolutely relish the moments like tonight, when we made a sandwich together and he pined for simpler times.

I thought it best not to let him know that things get a whole lot tougher with puberty and beyond… He’ll figure it out.  And we will be here to guide him and Love him through the ups and the downs.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thank you for reading!  Here are some more pictures and a video of bedtime song time in his room (which were indeed more frequent when Adam was three)


Adam painted as his Chinese Astrological sign: Tiger


Adam hamming it up for the camera and Napoleon (the family dog) wondering what is going on.

Tuesday Truthiness After Taking Stock of Tasks

Someone suggested I sit down at the end of the day and take stock of what I managed to accomplish that day. cheklist I did this, half-heartedly, as I do any administrative task. I’ve shared it here, I strongly suggest you fully just skim/skip over it and rejoin me after the bullet list. So yesterday, some of the stuff I did was:

  • Wake up at 5:00 to baby
  • Flat tyre on the way to first meeting, dropped the car off but still made it to the meeting in time as mom rescued me and dropped me off
  • Reminded/told at least 30 people that I respect/admire/Love/appreciate them (or a combination of all or more of these things) in absolute earnest. About a third of that happened on social media or over the phone, another third at a morning networking meeting I attend, and the final third were my family or they work with me or I ran into them during the course of my day or evening
  • Bumped into or came across a small number of people who actively dislike me and did my best to play nicely
  • Got the tyres changed on the Tesla
  • Moved money around to pay for the Tyres. I proper hate banking
  • Took two of the tyre guys on a test drive shared on Instagram, FB and twitter (FB had best engagement as usual)
  • Finally bought a MacBook air as it is easier for me to carry around for blogging/writing on the go. Have been meaning to for months, so our Office Manager can inherit my MacBook pro, as she does a lot of design work for us and needs the tools and functionality far more than I do
  • Wrote, posted and got final editing advice on a blog about two of the people I reminded/told that I admired – need to do final edits and share that link from the page over social today. Joe wrote most of the content, I just did some editing/massaging
  • Talked to my husband about ten times
  • Talked to my mom about five times
  • Cried at a prelimary life-coaching meeting (not because it was suggested that I write a list, but because I cry a lot just recently)
  • Had a very nice young man and his beautiful partner pop in to the house to collect one of our electric cars to demonstrate to a gaggle of New Zealand CEO’s. We will pick it back up from him in Newmarket on Friday morning before the gym and after I collect Grumpy from the airport
  • Had some chats with friends who work in the office next to me. One of them is mending a broken heart and asking some hard questions about life. Hope she’s alright
  • Thanked a friend for arranging a cover story in a reputable business magazine that will feature Charge Net
  • Got briefed on flowers/candles and staging for a photoshoot at the apartment that we are renting out through air bnb
  • Briefly caught up with the nanny/housekeeper (who is obviously also a friend, because that is how we roll) about plans for the rest of the week and how everyone enjoyed the movie (Inside Out)
  • Got a task list from Priscilla (completed two of the things, have more to do today)
  • Arranged to visit a friend and advocate of the EV and sustainable movement and bring them up to the off-grid treehouse for a break from the sad circumstances that brought them to the Auckland region. Very good people and I am blessed to have crossed paths with them.
  • Touched base with the people staying at the Treehouse this weekend, and encouraged them to arrange some extra wood for heating and to feel free to kill possums if they have the means and the inclination, because the possums are a huge problem and obviously affecting the bird life up there.
  • Culled about 30 inactive twitter “followers”
  • Checked in on all the social campaigns (mostly facebook stuff) I am keeping an eye on
  • Organised a playdate for Steph tomorrow
  • Read several articles
  • Laughed dozens of times (I know it was at least dozens of times, as every time I laugh it hurts rather a lot as I broke my rib on a waterslide on Sunday)
  • Posted a video that I put together several weeks ago for our sustainability work
  • Edited some copy
  • Answered some emails
  • Spent a bit of time on the phone to Oliver, Pam, Aaron and the nice man named JP at Carters Tyre Centre
  • Left some messages on some phones about some things
  • Plugged in the Tesla to charge, locked up the office, made it home before 4:00pm
  • Made a roast chicken with Israeli cous cous and veggies (nobody but James and I enjoyed the cous cous but I assure you it was AMAZE!)
  • Disciplined Adam and sent him to his room for melting down. He missed out on black and white pudding that is his favourite. He’s been having so many challenges. We adore him and we’re tackling issues head-on with extensive testing, help from many people, and an amazing support network
  • Yelled at the children to get off of electronics (estimate about half a dozen times between three of them)
  • Ate dinner with mom, dad and mother in law and the children (we normally just get take-out and throw food on the table and hope some lands in the children, so last night was really nice)
  • Played some crib and lost
  • Drank A LOT of tea
  • Watched a lot of cartoons
  • Spent a good two hours scouring newsfeeds and liking/commenting on stuff…

There were more bits and pieces. Several things fell through the cracks, as several things do every single day. I have omitted these things, as dwelling on them won’t get them done any faster. I have no idea how that day would measure up compared to any other people’s day. Cooking for and eating with my family was a rare treat. I was home before it was dark, and managed to throw some food together and that was probably the highlight of the entire day. Truth is, I remain absolutely in a stone-cold funk despite my best efforts to shake it. I’ve been lucky enough to hurt myself so that every time I pivot, laugh, pick anything up, bend down, or breath to deeply it is painful. That pain often makes me laugh as I automatically think about how the injury occurred (flying inelegantly through the air and crashing down in a chubby 37 year old heap in a dark waterslide). On a few occasions yesterday, it hurt rather a lot. There were some lessons and truths that stuck out a country mile when I reflect on yesterday’s somewhat standard and beautifully banal day.

  • I really, truly Love and appreciate a lot of people
  • Haters gonna hate
  • In my home with family is a wonderful, safe, warm… and very loud and chaotic… place
  • I have no control over other people’s thoughts and actions, but my thoughts and actions can be very impactful (build up or tear down)
  • There’s never quite enough hours in the day
  • Every day there’s some level of progress or a win to be celebrated regarding the sustainability passion projects we are currently championing, and, although it never seems to be fast enough, I am grateful for forward momentum
  • I could (perhaps should) reign in my crazy a bit and piss less people off, but that genuinely seems inauthentic to me, so I am making a councious effort to continue to let it all hang out (within reason, trust me when I tell you I do hold it together more than some could ever imagine, but still openly share my struggles and brace myself daily for the fall out of this)
  • I totally want to spend more time with my family and get back to cooking meals and baking with the kids and things…

So that’s it. Not ground breaking stuff by any stretch of the imagination, but that was a slightly-less-hectic-than-usual typical Tuesday.  No major epiphanies.  And even though I have been bitten on the bottom again by a severe case of the sads, I am full of gratitude. Right now it is just after 4:00am so I’d be grateful for a little bit more sleep. Thanks for reading (or probably more accurately skimming) today’s lengthy meanderings.

The Week the World Did Not End.

There is a cycle that takes place in a brain like mine. In an upswing, things can be thrown at me from a variety of directions. During such an upswing, I’ll nonchalantly grab seemingly impossible things, in an impressive catch a la wayward cricket or baseball that lands in the terraces/bleachers. Downswing? I catch nothing. I catch sad that floats around malls and supermarkets. I catch hopeless. I catch tired. I catch self-doubt and loathing. I catch a lot of chocolate and cake in my mouth and then my butte catches some inches.

There are people who understand. There are people who do not. Neither is right, neither is wrong.

One thing I have gotten to be very good at lately, is asking for help.

So I’ve got a professional mentor who I find inspiring, interesting, feisty and fabulous. And I am working on arranging a life-coach and some counseling. I’ve also got an army of friends who know me well and Love me and are not afraid to give me a swift kick in the pants from time to time. I’ve also, it turns out, got an army of people who are fighting similar battles to mine. I have had a landslide of the same advice from people who know me well, and people who only know me online or of me through circles we share. The message is the same:

You’ll be okay.

And, I think, okay is on the way.

So one thing that happened last week is losing my phone.

Three days without it.

I wasn’t as put out by this as I thought I might be. I am terrible at returning calls and keeping in touch at the best of times, so this was more of a welcome break than a huge inconvenience. There are a few VERY important messages I have yet to return (Leigh, I will call you tonight!) but, all in all, nothing absolutely epic happened as a result of being difficult to contact for 72 hours.

The world did not end as some millenials would fear being without a smartphone would herald.

Several things fall through the cracks, every day, and in so many ways. Even the most meticulous list writers, calendar organisers, time managers and officious among the human race will forget things or neglect things from time to time.

We did spend Friday night off grid at the Treehouse near Matakana, where there is zero Internet and phone. There is a magic that comes over you at that house, after your brain has had a day or two to process the initial panic of being without social media or text capacity.

There is more and more research that touts the benefits of being offline from time to time. They call it a technology detox. Many of us take some time off of sugar, or gluten, or booze or caffeine. Why can’t time away from tech be a thing that we include in our overarching life strategy?


I know as some of you read this you are going through dark times. Hang in there and please do not be hard on yourself as a few things slide past you. Be kind to yourself. Go for more walks, turn off your phones and close your laptops a bit more. Look up at the clouds and the stars a bit more and down at your devices a bit less.

And yes.

I realize the extreme irony of this advice coming from a tech junkie like me.

Thank you for reading.