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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A photo a day keeps the boredom away

Tomorrow is the 1st of August and that means.... start of photo a day challenge for August (an awesome idea created by Fat Mum Slim). I'm so determined to stick to it this time like I did in February. We all know March turned out to be a big fail, which is sad because I had some good photos going on in the beginning there.

My favourite hobby is taking photos. I love photos for so many reasons. Taking photos is so calming and so creative at the same time. You can adjust your photo to show so many different perspectives just by changing the angle you take it from. Photos capture memories. They capture emotions and allow you to see into a person's soul. In case you haven't realised I'm very sentimental and want to hold onto every memory I can (this is why I had 1300ish photos on my phone within 3 months of getting it). My photos are an expression of me.
The photo a day challenge allows you to express yourself on another level by interpreting a particular prompt. Its unbelievable how many different photos you can create from the same prompt, just by thinking out of the box. I'm always blown away by the photos people take. When I first started out, my photos for Feb (above) were somewhat basic, however in March I tried a bit harder to be creative (you can see those photos here) but life got in the way and I didn't stick to it. This time I'm going to try and take it to another level now that Ive had a few months break.

If you want to play along too here is the list...

[source: Fat Mum Slim]

Just follow the prompts and get creative! You can share your photos on my facebook page or on Fat Mum Slim's facebook page. You can also share on twitter, but I'm not cool enough to use twitter (yet) so for now I'm just sharing on facebook.

Hope you will join in the fun!

Toni xx
Monday, July 30, 2012

6 months and counting

In a few days it will be six months since my first blog post. Time really does fly doesn’t it?

In some ways it still feels like yesterday when I created the blog and yet it also feels like it was years ago. I first started this blog to have a place to record my feelings and my journey so that I could look back and see how far I had come. At the time I felt like I would never escape my situation, but I could see that there would be an ending and that in the future I would look back and it would seem so insignificant. I’m glad I have done it now as that is exactly what I can do, look back and see my struggles from a different perspective and really appreciate the pain and effort I went through to get to where I am today.

So why not just write a journal you ask?

Well, there are a number of reasons. Firstly computers give you the luxury of being able to delete a sentence and retype it without having to put a massive scribble through your page or using whiteout. I’m usually thinking about many things at once and sometimes all the ideas come out simultaneously so it’s good to have the ability to go back and edit them into a more cohesive group before I publish my posts. Secondly, I love that the internet allows other people to read my thoughts. I don’t want to have them locked away in a book that I might look at once or twice a year. We all know the internet is not sacred so once you put something out there anyone can find it and in this case I love that. I love that other people can learn from my journey or at least relate to it. Thirdly, I love that the internet makes my thoughts interactive. I appreciate that people take the time to read my posts and join my facebook page and give their opinions about it.

Another reason why I started this blog was as a form of free therapy. I find I work through problems much better if I write things down and I tend to express my feelings better through words as well. I really think that my blog has helped me to heal (along with all my friends helping me in the real world). I also think a lot of people can relate to my story so I felt as though sharing it could help other people as well or at least make them feel as though they aren’t alone in their thoughts.

Looking back through my posts I can really see how much I’ve grown. I definitely see the world with a more positive outlook, which is something that I started doing before creating the blog, but this has reinforced it a lot. I feel a lot more justified in my opinions. I know my blog won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and l I have probably been a bit too honest in some posts, but that is me and this is my journey. It’s ok to be me.

Who knows what the next six months will bring? There are still so many more things I want to do and experience. I hope you will all be here to experience the journey with me.

Toni xx

Monday, July 23, 2012

A model for a day

Its been a few weeks now, but finally I am getting around to writing about this (I blame the whiplash for my procrastination). Back in May I entered a competition on a facebook page that I liked to win a free photo shoot with free makeup. Never in a million years did I think that I had a chance of winning, but the thought of having some nice photos of myself was a good enough reason to put myself out there and give it a go. It was also a competition about inner beauty so I thought maybe I had a 5% chance of winning. Incase you hadn’t realised before, although it is thinly veiled by a confident sense of humour, I don’t have the highest self esteem - SHOCK HORROR! Like all women, I don’t think I’m particularly pretty so the chance to have professional makeup and photos done and come close to looking beautiful for a day made me just a tad bit excited.

Back to the story, in the end I won! Albeit because of a lack of entries and the competition ended early, but let’s just assume (for my confident’s sake) that I still would have won. Anyway, the reason why I won is not important, I got to spend a day pretending to be a model with the wonderful Kimberley and Rebecca. It was so much fun!

I have to admit I was a bit paranoid at first. Being the centre of attention, especially in front of a camera, is not exactly my cup of tea. However, after a while I really got into it. Once I stopped thinking about my insecurities and let go of my inhibitions I forgot about the camera in a way and just got lost in the process. We got some amazing shots and for once I actually really love the photos of me. 


I cannot recommend Kimberley enough and if you are in Brisbane and are looking for a photographer for a single, couple or family shoot you should definitely check out her work here. Also, if you need makeup give Rebecca a call.

Thanks so much ladies for making me feel special for the day!

Toni xx
Thursday, July 19, 2012

Treat others how you want to be treated

I have always respected my elders and everyone in general. I’m not sure if this was something that was instilled in me from my parents, teachers or others but I obviously learnt it somewhere along the way when growing up. Working in customer service you come to realise a lot of people missed this lesson as they were growing up and are just completely rude for no reason.  It’s an interesting study into human behaviour when you have to be nice to people no matter how they treat you.

I fail to see how me asking somebody how their day is or if they would like some help makes them think they automatically have the right to be rude to me. Sometimes they snap back at me without listening, some of them just completely ignore me and don’t even respond but instead prefer to pretend I don’t exist. Others and this is my favourite, literally hold their hand up in front of me to stop me from getting close to them and tell me to go away. Seriously people, am I that intimidating to you that you need to block me? By the way I don’t ever get close enough to be in someone’s personal space in the first place.

There are however, a bunch of lovely customers who politely thank me, whether they accept my help or not. These are the ones I love. People who obviously have manners and know it’s respectful to treat others the way you would like to be treated. My favourite customers are the ones who stay and talk to me for ages, I know their life stories and sometimes they have been coming in to see me for years. I LOVE these women. They are the reason why I go to work (well apart from my need for money in order to live).

Wearing the neck brace has made people’s reactions so much more interesting. The most common reaction has been people asking me why I’m wearing a neck brace – mostly because they are just nosy and have to know everything. A few lovely people have actually gone beyond that and had a conversation about it with me and expressed genuine concern for my wellbeing and even said they hope I’m feeling better soon when they leave. These people restore my faith in human nature (trust me it gets tested every day). One lady today asked me from behind for help and when I turned around she just froze and couldn’t stop staring at my neck and then eventually apologised for asking for help. It was mildly hilarious that a piece of cotton around my neck could freak her out so much she was lost for words.

Do you think about the way you treat others before you say something to people? Do you consciously make an effort to be polite to people each day? It would be a more pleasant day for everyone if each morning we all did this.

In addition to this please don’t judge people by their appearances because it has nothing to do with who they are. My car accident was not my fault and yet it’s affecting the way everyone is interacting with me now that I have the neck brace on. Don’t judge a book by its cover; read a few pages before you form an opinion.

Toni x

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Im so bad at being sick

So update on the car crash... I only had 1 day off work initially because the Dr at emergency told me that I would be fine. He said the pain might increase in the next day or two but to take pain killers and that’s it. So off I went to work the next week. By Thursday I was in so much pain to the point of tears (I have a high pain threshold to start with so it was a lot of pain by that point) so I went to the clinic in the shopping centre and saw a GP just to get a second opinion. Very glad that I did!

I now have to wear a neck collar, take stronger pain killers, go to physio and had to take time off work. Fast forward a week and I have determined that while I am glad that I am being properly taken care of, I suck at being a patient. I am back at work tomorrow and thank god for that. Not because I am totally in love with my work, I just have to be busy. I’m so over sitting around at home not being allowed to do anything. I know my neck probably won’t appreciate me having to stand up all day, but my mind certainly will like being occupied. And besides I will have my sexy neck collar to help out my neck, wonder how many customers will ask “omg what happened to you?”. My bet is about every second person.

I also hate not being able to do what I want. Being in pain I can handle, but when my body doesn’t do what I want it to do it’s so incredibly frustrating. The physio session really made it clear how much my neck and back are stuffed up from the accident. I knew it hurt and I knew I couldn’t move my neck as much as I used to already, but I didn’t know that there were muscles all the way down my back that were affected. I also didn’t know you could put gentle pressure on these muscles and it would make me want to scream (I didn't scream though cos I'm a lady). Now that I do know this I’m a bit scared of what it’s going to feel like when she stops being gentle and actually starts trying to manipulate the muscles properly... I have 6 weeks of physio to get used to it I guess.

So this is where I’m at now. No exercising. No lifting over 5kg. No driving (not that I’ve got my car back yet anyway). No pushing/pulling and I get to wear the sexy neck collar! I also get to have weekly physio sessions and Dr appointments.

Who would have thought being stuck in traffic on a Friday night would have been so dangerous to my health?

Moral of the story people – trust your gut and get a second opinion! Oh and yes the second Dr did confirm the first Dr was a moron (which I already suspected, but nice to have it justified).

Toni xx
Wednesday, July 4, 2012

P.S. I Love You

How many times have you heard I love you today?
I was thinking about it this morning and this is something my boyfriend and I do a lot without even thinking about it. Saying I love you is just a normal part of our day. This morning in the time between getting up and starting work we probably said I love you about five times. Not in a cheesy way either, just in general conversation.
I love that this is normal for us
When I was growing up I wasn’t really told “I love you” that much by my parents and I was paranoid that I would never be capable of having a very affectionate relationship because I wasn’t brought up around one. Im so glad that I have one now and that its so natural (I thought it would be totally weird). My most favourite part of my day is when in the middle of a conversation my boyfriend will randomly say “guess what?” I love you
I am also slightly paranoid that when I have kids I wont tell them I love them enough, because thats what I know. So much so that every morning when I leave I tell my cats that mummy loves them. I know totally crazy cat lady right? I just want to get practice in before I have real kids.
I hope that I can now start a new cycle and my kids grow up in a household full of love knowing exactly how much they are loved and how much their parents love each other.

I hope someone has told you today how much they love you!

Toni x