Me time and the Emerald city dress

Opening my laptop every morning can be quite the adventure. There’s endless emails to respond to, lots of press releases and emails from small business owners sharing their goods and services and wanting to get some traction or exposure, there’s questions about recipes or how to start a blog, there’s people asking about tree changes or what to cook for a dinner party, the odd nasty something and always a something lovely from a reader. I never know what I am going to get!

A little while ago though I was asked if I wanted to join a “stream team” for Netflix where I get to see and share some of the cool stuff on offer with them and share them with you. #DER. Basically as my life is spent trying to get my work and kid stuff done so I can get in a soft pant, get on the couch and watch something on Netflix, so naturally it took me 2.6 seconds to respond with #DER course I will!

Lucky for me the first event for me to attend was in Melbourne which meant a cheeky 24 hours away from home for some “Me time”. It also meant a hotel stay at the QT Melbourne which is basically my spiritual home away from home (well first time in Melbs but any QT hotel is orrrrrright by me). So Monday morning, I hightailed it post school drop off up the Highway to the airport to head to Melbourne. Oh the places (and people you can meet) that blogging can take you at times. Never for one moment do I not acknowledge how lucky I am to be a part of it all.

Firstly though, I heard the very sad news about Megan from Children’s Book Daily. Her husband, just 40, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday night. It was shocking and sickening and I was (and still) unable to stop thinking about lovely Megan and her poor girls. Lots of thoughts swirled around my mind on the drive up to the airport. About life, about how bad things happen to good people all the time, about how we never know what is around the corner (reminded me of this post I wrote a few years ago) and how through it all, we must be determined to live our lives to the fullest. Be loved, love others. Do all the things that we want to do because we just never know what is around the corner.

In a few months I will be turning 40 and despite it being a kind of milestone, or something, I guess I have been thinking about where I’ve been and what’s to come. I’m sure over the next few months I will allow myself to think and ponder some things, and without making it a huge song and dance, really try and have a moment to think about me. Be proud, set some goals, be reflective, and set some new dreams for what is to come. Or not. Who ever knows what is to come.

I met Megan through blogging many years ago now and she’s become a friend. We often chat on the phone, send messages back and forth and she’s written some great posts for me on the blog. That’s the thing about blogging: the people that you meet, the friends you make, the places you go, despite at times getting overwhelmed or exhausted by it, those things: the people and the connections are for me why I will likely never be able to stop doing it. In sharing a little of ourselves, we gain SO much more. We can help people, maybe just in a recipe or question about what to cook, or maybe make some bigger life decisions like move to the country, leave that job, have that third baby. That’s magical, it’s bigger than words flashing on a laptop, it’s bigger than a cute picture of a kid on Instagram, it counts for something. It’s something.

I caught the plane with my friend from home who joined me for the trip (because if you can’t wag parenthood for 24 hours on the spur of a moment well then what’s the point of working so hard all the time?) We had the pleasure of time, to talk without being in a rush somewhere, to finish conversations, have a laugh and she listened to me ponder some big questions that were swirling around.

She also nodded and smiled as I got overly excited about the superior interiors at QT. The sure know how to cushion there.

We had a wander around, some shopping, a drink before me heading off to the event.

While we were out shopping (oh my goodness shopping without a 2 year old in tow is very different and very good) she made me try on outrageous frocks in H&M. Frocks I would never DREAM of. Sparkly pink frocks! Short frocks! Tight frocks! Frocks I had no intention of EVER buying, but I felt like a 16 year old again with my friend, in the city, having fun.

There was this one dress. A dress so sparkly and so outrageous that we both actually gasped out loud when we saw it. A dress that you would never know where to wear, because of it’s sass and sparkle, and for me, there’s certainly no occasion or event in Burrawang that calls for it. But I tried it on, and of course was talked into buying it. “For your 40th!” of course without me having a party to go there’s no real reason, but I was away from home, with a friend, and believed everything she was telling me.

I needed that dress.
I could just wear the dress at home.
Why not buy the dress. Who cares?
And it was basically so cheap ($130) it was free.
I bought the dress.
Behold, the dress. The emerald city dress.

Isn’t it something else? Did you gasp too? I KNOW!

I’m not sure where I will wear that dress, maybe just at home. When I showed Rob last night his eyes almost popped out of his head, and when I showed the girls they literally stopped in their tracks, Maggie included. THE SPARKLE. It’s enchanting. And a little drag like. BUT ENCHANTING.

I went to the event and caught up with some bloggers old and new.

I caught up with some old friends.

And met some new ones. This is Kate from Happy Ella After who was actually one of those emails in my inbox many years ago asking about setting up a blog. See? Set up the blog!

I tried to take a selfie because I thought I looked cute after 3 champagnes (oh champagne you lied) but realised after the fact that it’s basically just me, in a toilet, looking a little strange and grateful that I don’t need to be using the change table behind me because I was without my kid!

I had a good chat with Kelly from Be a Fun Mum ho has been blogging an eternity like me. We talked about the early days, these days, and about connections and sharing. Everything has changed, nothing has changed, we have changed, and yet we haven’t. I met Angela from Finlee & Me who has been one of those emails in my inbox about her fabulous online business. See? Start the business! I met some NZ bloggers – Melissa from The Best Nest  also blogging for a gazillion years (OK, 10) and a little exhausted too.

All these great women, sharing themselves, their businesses, connecting in the way that bloggers do. I always get inspired when I meet other bloggers, who get what we do, and I loved being able to meet some new people. And the champagne, couches, pop corn and new series we got to see weren’t that bad either. I have some grand plans for you guys and Netflix down the track although they couldn’t promise me on set visits of the filming of the second series of The Crown as its wrapped (let’s aim for the third right?!)

The next morning before we flew back home I knew I had to hightail it over to Gourmet Girlfriend’s place for a coffee and quick squeeze. Ruth doesn’t blog any more but we met online too many years ago and have formed a mutual love of each other, coffee, swearing, exaggerating and catching up whenever possible.

Nothing makes me happier than perching at her kitchen bench while she potters about. NOTHING.

We had a look around her studio, wrapped up some things to take back to Mrs Munro who is working on an exciting collaboration with her in the coming months and even got a ride in her new mini as we went and visited the shop where she sells some of her ceramics, Open Room in Malvern East. I always get to do some superior shopping with Ruthie and I always seem to spend a gazillion dollars when I am around her…she has excellent taste!

Look at her stuff! In a shop!

Oh there was some superior soft furnishings in that place. I may or may not have purchased a rug that may or may not be on its way to me. See? Told you she is a bad influence.

But gosh I love her.

Rugs.
Dresses.
Old friends.
New.
Sadness.
Blogging.
And human connection.

There’s so much I gain from writing on this old blog for the past 10 and a half years. There’s the immediate diary of it all, the childhood of the girls, early motherhood captured and recalled in an instant and there’s not one moment that I regret any of that. Not one. For all the oversharing, there’s been women, real women and people reading at the other end. People I have connected with, become friends with, helped with, changed. That’s something isn’t it? There’s a community of like minded, smart, funny and kind women who can rally together and help someone in a time of need. There’s women holding each other up, urging them to buy the goddamn dress, people like Jules who urged us to not die with a fire inside us, to LIVE our lives. Be the person you truly want to be.

If the people I meet online are here for a little while, or for much longer. If I only read them for a while, or become life long friends with me, whatever the time, it’s all been for a reason. It’s connection. It’s a life lesson. Maybe it’s just a recipe but it’s something, shit, it’s so something.

This week Megan has reminded me to hold onto everything good I have in my life.
And my mate Zoe reminded me to buy the sparkly dress.
And Melbourne reminded me that sometimes a little me time is just the ticket.

You can read about how you can help Megan and her girls on her Facebook page here.

Comments

  1. Noelene says:

    I love the sparkly dress and I am sad for Meagan ,love more and often

  2. Liss Ramsden says:

    how I love reading your blog everyday. Buy the sparkly dress, each the chocolate and laugh often. This life is only for a little while.

  3. Your words. The sparkles. All beautiful.

    Gosh, I still remember that blogging event in Melbourne when we finally met each other and I had my little man in my tummy. Seems like both a lifetime ago, and like yesterday.

    Happy memories indeed. Connection really is what it’s all about.

  4. ME AND FRANCIS UNDERWOOD ARE TIGHT, YO

  5. Annette says:

    God I love this. And the dress. And Ruth’s bench. And your reflective, open, grateful heart Beth.

    THANK YOU for what you put into the world. It’s so good. It gives me hope.

    You are that emerald city dress in my online world.

    True.

    Thank you. So. Much.

  6. Such a beautiful post Beth. Thank you for writing. I read your blog often but don’t comment much. As a blogger myself, I find that there are times where I go silent. You’ve just given me a bit of inspo to open that blank screen up and start writing. Thank you.

  7. That dress is worth it just for the sparkles. God, I am some sort of giant human magpie.

  8. I still can’t believe the news about Megan, I can’t stop thinking about her and her girls. You’re right, we should do the things, love our people and buy the dress (and the rug) today because as my mum is always telling me, your life can change in 20 seconds flat. I also love a stay at a QT, the Canberra cushions are my fave, I wonder if someone at QT has a job titled “Curator of Cushions.” Wouldn’t that be fun? Thanks for the sparkles, the connections and for turning up here every day. I don’t know how you sit down at the keyboard and do it every single day, but I for one, am really pleased you do.

  9. Oh my goodness the SPARKLES!! I love that you “overshare”… Thank you for sharing all of your life the good, the bad and the middle.

  10. I read this post over lunch Beth and it was literally like having a big chat with friend. Just perfect words at a time I’m wondering how Megan is doing. Approaching the birth of baby #3 (have the baby!) and thinking of what it is I want to change between now and turning 40, which is only a couple of years away (learn to surf already Sarah!). This life is a gift and each birthday is a privilege. Thank you xx

  11. Sounds like you had a lovely time in Melbourne town. That’s so great. I was at the Netflix event too and hoping to have an opportunity to meet you Beth! The night went so fast though. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to catch you at a future Netflix event.

  12. love the dress!

  13. Reannon says:

    Having zero social media I had no idea about Megan’s husband. She always came across as a super lovely woman online & it makes me so heartsick to know what she, & her kids, are now going through.

    And I love reading that you’ve caught up with some of my lady faves- Stacey & Ruth. You & them & Pip & Kate are the bloggers I’ve read from the beginning. You feel like my friends. I love following your lives, hearing your thoughts, watching what you get up to.

    This one glorious, precious life…it’s ours for the living isn’t it x

    • It sure is lovely, so nice to see you here, hope all is well with your lot x

      • Reannon says:

        Life is mental some days but all in all we are doing good. My baby girl moved into her big girl bed today & got her ears pierced last week just after she turned 3!! I don’t think she’s a toddler anymore- all the baby stuff is gone!!!!! Forever this time. For real.

  14. OMG that dress is to die for 💚

  15. Chrissi says:

    All the luck of the Irish..such a special number #greeneyes #jealousmuchly

  16. That dress: OH MY! Really loved chatting with you Beth.

    So devastated to hear about Megan. Gave to the education fund and encourage anyone who can to do so too. x

  17. Oh Beth, you are the reason I started blogging 3 years ago and just when I thought I had lost my blogging mojo this post has slapped me into line. Thanks so much, I really needed to read this. I am so behind with my blog reading (clearly over a month behind) but I feel like I am climbing back on the blogging wagon. I think I started to overthink it all, trying to go pro when all I really need to do is just share what is in my heart and what I do everyday. Sometimes I think it is all so boring, but I just need to keep on keeping on. You are truly an inspiration. Oh and I would say HELL YES to Netflix too. Go girl. xxx

    • Oh darls stop overthinking it. Just do it. Share your stories. Be you. That’s all we want! Nice to see you back on the airways this week x

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