Blogging Kindness

Giveaway to Celebrate my Bloggy 1st Birthday!



It has been a year since I launched ‘the art of joy’ .. to some it is just a blog, to me it is so much more. It is also so much more to the lovely people I hear from who my sharing has reached when it has been needed most. I believe that social media is a reflection of our inner values and the way that we see life more broadly, it is what you make of it. The potential for good is beyond anything we could have imagined during life pre social media. As an honest personal blogger, it also has the added and immense benefit of healing our own souls as we go about sharing with that intention for others.

It is not really a celebration without gifts (or cake!) so I have gathered a few of the things that give me a little joy on a daily basis as a way of saying thank you for the chance to share, connect and change the world a little here! I will be sending all of these lovely things to the lucky winner:

Blogging Collections Photography

5 JOY-ful Pinterest Peeps to Follow

Pinterest Peeps to Follow



Pinning makes me happy .. and finding peeps that pin lots of joyful things is even better shared than enjoyed alone.

Rachel Gadiel is one of my favourite bloggers. Rachel is filled with heart and passion and delicious style, as are her Boards.

Danielle Dowling is a kindred free spirit who inspires me constantly and whose messages always seem to be find me at just the right times!

Positively Present is filled with words and magic, and particularly magical words! Dani and her magic will change your life one pin at a time!

Victoria Smith and her blog sfgirlbybay was one of the first that I ever followed, and she still brightens my world with her signature colour and style!

Sneh from Cook Republic does good food! Sneh is also super lovely, which makes it even nicer to be amongst her prettiness!

Do you have any favourites?

Blogging Life Lessons Parenting

The blog comments that deserve their own post: Part One


The comments section on my blog is a place I visit often, not only to reply to every word that is shared. It is also a little haven for me to soak in all of the honesty, the shared experience and the abundance of connection. It is especially during these (current) difficult times that I find a whole lot of love and comfort there.

It may seem like a strange place to find these things, unless you are a blogger or someone who reads and appreciates them. Besides those who hide behind their screens and who choose this place to project their darkest selves, it is actually full of the exact opposite .. those who care deeply about others, those who value kindness and compassion over all else.

Mary Kate Maguire recently left a comment on this post that deserves to be shared in full:

“As I sat on the porch one day with a Mother friend of mine, toddlers milling at our feet, she noticed a smudge on my face. Without thinking, she dampened the edge of a napkin with her spittle and deftly wiped the smudge off my (startled) face .. It took a moment for her to realise that she had just done the VERY thing that she had always sworn she would NEVER do to her children, not to mention another adult!

When we enter parenthood, we perhaps expect that we shall be transformed in multitudinous magnificent ways; as we embrace this significant Rite of Passage.

What we don’t expect, is that we may potentially transform to resemble the type of parent we once judged, or were certain that we would never become.

If I had ever taken the time to write a list of all the things I would NEVER do as a parent –  then giving birth without full anaesthesia or ideally a voluntary Caesarian was top of my list.

Instead I gave birth on my living room floor without a painkiller in sight. (A choice I had previously opposed as negligent risk taking!)

Next on my list of “Never Evers” was the prospect of long term breastfeeding. As a young woman I was a little revolted by the idea of Mothers who breastfed babies who had teeth .. yet my own daughter continued having occasional breastfeeds until she was two years old.

“Bed sharing” was another concept that I considered totally bizarre before I had a child, yet as a parent I soon found this was the most comfortable way to night-feed my breast fed infant. As the parent of a child who often suffered great difficulty in falling asleep and also suffered nightmares, the comfort of my bed guaranteed a restful night of sleep for all.

So once again I found myself doing something as a parent that I once considered to be a symptom of questionable judgement!

Then there were the glorious career aspirations I held BEFORE I had a child .. I firmly planned to be back at work six months after baby arrived. In my ideal vision, I was committed to having a meaningful and upwardly mobile, full time corporate work-life AND a baby. I was very afraid of losing my place in the corporate arena.

To my complete surprise, I relished being a full time Mother until my daughter was almost four. When I resumed my work life, I discovered a completely new and rewarding career direction within the non-profit sector that I could never have envisaged prior to becoming a Mother.

In my 20 years of parenting I have learnt that our children certainly teach us to change, respond and grow in a myriad of ways that we could never have forecast.

I am proud that as a parent I have found myself willing to embrace SO many things that I would never have expected myself to do .. and I accept that along the way I have sometimes resembled the sort of parent I once judged.

When I find myself expressing love and wrapped in a warm loving hug with my daughter, or listening to her confide in me, or sharing significant experiences with her, I KNOW that I have become exactly the sort of Mother I always most aspired to become.”

{Beautiful photo of Casey Wiegand}