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ten resources to help me stay sane!

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Artwork by Melissa Smith Letter Press by Ann Ong Whiteman Park Print.

This week has been crazy busy, so I thought I would write a quick post with ten resources that help me stay sane in the midst of busy seasons.

1) Task lists, Weekly Schedules and Overviews are my go to!

Click here to find my favourite free downloads. Schedules

2) Water

When I am busy, I deliberately drink more water. Lately, I have been using this to help me keep an eye on my water input. Here is a great app, to help you keep on top of your water intake.

3) Inspiration Input

When I am busy, reading is often the first thing to go, as I am so tired. I have been listening to audible books lately and although I fall asleep, I am still inputting inspiration. Check out one book for free here.

4) Facetime

This morning one of my favourites facetimed me. She was walking her dog, I was cleaning up corn flakes off the floor and we connected. This is a cheap facetime app for your mac computer.

5) Urgent Over Important

It is often easy to get stuck on the urgent tasks in a busy week than to actually focus in on the important. It may feel satisfying to swipe off everything from our list, but what is being left behind that is not asking for attention. Here is a simple tool to download and print that will help you quickly use the eisenhower matrix. What is urgent, what needs to be delegated and what is important.

6) The Creatives To Do List

I love this printable and I use it with clients a lot. Write a massive list and empty your mind of all the tasks and then find ways to schedule what needs to be done. This one from Jennie Designs is a total favourite.

7) Say No Printable

I have found a printable that I save as my screen saver on my phone and can be printed out and put up somewhere visual. Using visuals to help find peace and strength in times of stretch and challenge has been such an amazing tool in the past. Say no to unnecessary crazy.  Here is also some helpful phrases in saying no. Learning and practising these phrases helps us set boundaries.

8) Spotify the House

I fill my house with music in times of high stress. Lots of Classical music and inspiration music. Here is my current favourite from spotify.

9) Coffee each morning

A quiet coffee, with music before the day begins and one in the middle of the day is my little mindful moment to help find my peace. What is your ritual that re-grounds you? Find one and make it a part of your rhythm. Yesterday someone asked if there were any jobs over the weekend I needed and I said, you know what? Can you bring me a coffee on Saturday morning? It will be the one thing I wont prioritise in my 8am start, but it will be my one moment of mindfulness.

10) Remind myself how far I have come

One of my greatest weaknesses in times of stress or pressure is I am harder on myself than I am anyone else. I easily can be defensive, because I am trying to quickly be effective in what I am working on. Every day I need to remind myself how far I have come and that I am still a work in progress. I love this print from Melissa Smith.

Happy Weekend friends,

Why don’t you take time this weekend to retreat and #dateyoselfie

When we take time to rest, we allow our lives to be ever becoming.

Amanda Marie

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ten lessons that enchanted me from Beauty and the Beast

Last night as the sun faded and the moon swayed, we walked into a rose clad cinema and picked up our flute of champagne. Dancers waltzed through popcorn and strawberries were served with chocolate on sticks. We watched the Perth premiere of disney’s latest film release of Beauty and the Beast and it was worth every bit of the hype.

As I watched the film throughout, I found myself breathing in inspiration with themes that moved my heart.

Here are ten lessons that enchanted me from the latest disney version of Beauty and the Beast

1) Ignorance is the reason of fear

The crowd and its culture struck me raw in last nights movie rendition of Beauty and the Beast.

We don’t like what we don’t understand, in fact it scares us, and this monster is mysterious at least…


When was the last time you rejected someone, or called them a beast because of the way general society was speaking about them? Ignorance my friend is the reason of fear.

2)Finding freedom in the release

The greatest act of love is letting people go. This saying as old as time rings true as much as ever…”If you love someone, you must let them go at some point.” Beauty and the Beast proved this to be right. Sometimes, because we have priorities, we need to be set free. Seasons change, friendships fade, moments transition. There are many times in the highs and lows of our lives that we need to find freedom in the release.

3)Beauty is deeper than face value

This is such a simple truth and of course when we say it logically we agree. What about in our Instagram follower focused culture? How often do we priorities someones perceived success by their online following and filtered feed, rather than the consistency of their character? Beauty is deeper than face value and success is not as simple as how many people follow.

4)Reading has the capacity to take you anywhere in the world

I want to adventure the great wide somewhere…


Every time we read something from the mind and heart of another we grow. Our world grows, our empathy grows and our impact on the world grows. Reading is the greatest armchair traveller. When we expand our minds, it also expands our futures.

5)Ever learning

When I was a teenager, I made this simple decision and it has honestly changed my life. I decided one day, I will never, ever stop learning. There is something profound when we constantly sit in the seat of the student, rather than thinking we know it all. Both Belle and her Father, lived lives that were ever learning. This on trait, bought them to places that only the seeking could have found.

6)A chipped cup can still do the job

Little chip warmed my heart. He made me feel an affinity with the innocent and childlike parts of ourselves that just want to be a part of the bigger picture. In the midst of a team and a community, I find the chipped cups with character, the most rare. You know those people. You smile when you see them coming. They bring light and life into dull corridors. If you are a little chipped, don’t worry I believe you can still do the job.

7)Happily Ever After looks very different to what we think

It is so funny to think, what I thought Happily Ever After looked like as a young adult. I had such bizarre thoughts around marriage, motherhood and living a life of my dreams. Today I am very much living my Happily Ever After, but it looks nothing like I thought it would. Sometimes we miss the gold, because we are looking for it in the final package. Every prospector must look for the gold. What are you missing, because you are unwilling to dig a little?

8)Finding your unique and celebrating your weird

I often find myself feeling small and strange in a room. I always have food on my shirt, I am the first to drop my plate and it smashes, my mind is often away in a distant land. When we celebrate and find our unique we live a life that is far more satisfying. Belle’s Dad, was a man on a mission to explore the unique in his world. In the end this was the one trait that found him whole and his daughter living the life of her dreams.Love means accepting each other’s weirdness because it makes what you have special.

9)How society excludes and promotes

Lately I have been really aware of the power of rejection and elitism in our world. Belle was a idealist and she often spoke of far off distant lands with quotes like…

I want more than this provincial life


It was so apparent in this movie that the society that surrounded Belle excluded and isolated her because of her idealism. Our society often excludes those who are pioneering a new way and rejects them. Our society often promotes people who seem to be going with the flow and have the loudest voice like Gaston. Hatred and exclusion, will not win in the end. I am so sure of it. If you want more than the provincial life my dear friend, go for it.

10) Anger and love find it difficult to co-habit

Lastly, but most profoundly anger and love find it difficult to live together. Anger, harsh words, insecurity and walls prevent those closest to us from finding the true place of our hearts. We need to find positive ways to express these feelings of betrayal, disappointment and mistrust. It is difficult to love in an environment of anger and hate. How are you going in the area of Anger? When was the last time that you found a positive way to process emotions in your world?

These lessons that enchanted me last night are just the beginning…

What is your favourite lesson from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?

Amanda Marie

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ten ways to be less serious and have more fun

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Ten Ways with Amanda


My friend Tracy makes me smile even when she is not with me. I think about her and my happy increases. Last night she navigated the traffic, left a sick little in the care of her Dad and came over to my house for dinner. I knew she was here even before her car door slammed. She was laughing, she was in her PJs for a dinner party and honestly, she is everything that I love about humanity.

Every day she wakes up and sucks the marrow out of life. You would think if you met her that she lives a very simple existence, but you know what she is once of the most focused, productive and amazing women I have ever met. Everything she does is with intention and brilliance, but it is so playful. My pyjama wearing friend is a university lecturer for Paramedics. I cannot imagine what her students think of her antics, but seriously she is hilarious. She is also the class leader for parents for her school. She is a key member of her local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at her local church and guess what? She has never, ever had a social media account and she inspires me more than most people on the internet.

I want to be more like my dear friend Tracy. She inspires me to live a happier and more playful life.

Here are ten ways I am learning from friends like Tracy to be less serious and to have more fun.

Rock Up In Your PJ’s

Like seriously. What if you turned up to a dinner party or the movies, or your friend’s house in your Pj’s. Often I think we overthink our days and we miss out on the fun that is awaiting discovery. In a couple of weeks time, we will be gathering down south with a group of women and the first night of the retreat is a Diner en Blanc Pop-Up Party. It is amazing to me, that something as simple as wearing white, has sent women into a frenzy. Why not rock up in your Pj’s? Why not wear a two dollar dress from the op shop. Some days we just need to throw caution to the wind and do things we have never done before.

Put down your phone at the park

Yesterday I was chatting with my husband at the park, how he gets to leave his work in his office, but I never feel the satisfaction of feeling like I am finished for the day. We were sitting on a park bench, watching our children play and he just looked at me and said: “Babe put down your phone at the park.” Have moments and times when you are uncontactable. And jump up on the play equipment and leave your phone at home.

Camp out in the loungeroom

Lately, we have bought a new family tradition to our gang and it is a weekend camp out in the loungeroom. Movie nights and tents inside, finding ways to mess up our routine and enjoy one each others company. When was the last time you camped out in a friends loungeroom? When was the last time you had a sleepover? Camping brings out our inner child and you can’t help but smile in the midst of the mayhem.

Listen to a funny podcast

My husband works in an extremely serious and intense work environment. He is super intentional about transitioning from his work persona to his home persona. The best way he knows how to do this is to listen to a funny podcast the whole way home. He laughs, he repurposes and he smiles. Each month over on kinwomen, we publish a podcast and we seriously laugh a lot. If you are looking for one to start with you could try here.

Record your funny stories

My kids come out with hilarious things and sometimes I forget them as quickly as they have happened. Lately, I have been trying to write a little note on my phone about their funny stories. Little reminders so I can tell friends and family. Celebrating the crazy in the midst of the madness.

Say yes to uncomfortable things

Say yes to the quiz night, say yes to the movie invitation, say yes to things that you would normally say no to and sit at home on the couch instead. Sometimes it just takes a different atmosphere and environment to shake off the blues that try to overwhelm us.

Ride your bike

Is there something you did when you were younger that you haven’t done in a while? I got a text message from my husband whilst we were away last weekend on a speaking engagement and he said “I just rode my BMX to the beach at 9.30pm at night” Wohooooo. Sometimes we just have to pick up our bike, feel the wind through our hair and shout a little as we ride through the neighbourhood. Take off our corporate wear and pull on the active wear. Stepping into the sheer pleasure of life and love.

Ignore the mess and do something you love

This week I felt the heaviness of a life sown and I said to my husband, “Want to come op shopping with me?” Knowing it’s not his favourite thing in the world, but I needed to ignore the mess, the emails and the piles of laundry. I needed to do something that I loved. What do you love? What makes you smile? Is it riding your motorbike through the bush? Is it splashing around paint? Is it baking? Ignore the mess this weekend and do something that you love.

Eat popcorn and watch a kids movie

Tonight we are eating popcorn and watching a kids movie. In our pj’s and surrendering to the immaturity of it all. Popcorn, crazy songs, little happy dances and a life lived cray.

Stop worrying about the future and engage in your today

One of the greatest hindrances I have found to being playful is how much we worry. When I think too much, my life becomes way too serious. When I focus on the present and stop worrying about the future, I have way more fun. When you find yourself lost in thoughts and consumed with worry, replace those thoughts with things that make you happy. In this little notebook above, my dear friend sent this too me and the times I find myself stressed and worried, I pull this notebook out and I list the things that make me happy in the present. It works, it reframes and it is powerful.

What makes you have more fun?

Happy Friday friends. May this weekend be full of love and laughter.



Amanda Marie

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ten ways to have more friends


Friendship is a word that is laden with so much angst. It is one part of our life that be completely BRUTIFUL. Many parts beautiful and so much brutal. Conflict, unmet expectations, loneliness, and cliques.

Lately, I have been reflecting on what friendship means as I step into my forties and changes are afoot.


Fewer expectations, More spontaneity

As a Mum and a wife, I have realised in this season that friendship for my season needs to carry less expectation and more spontaneity. Friendships that carry expectations, like…”Why haven’t you called?”, “Why wasn’t I invited?”, “Why are you not spending time with me?” are being reprioritised for friendships that are full of encouragement, life and “I know we haven’t spoken for ages, but how are you?”

Less Criticism, More Accountability

Honestly, it is easy to sit in a conversation with someone you know well and become the critic. Comparing one another is rife in conversations between women and when we sit in the space of judgment and thinking we know better, the friendship becomes toxic and decays. These days I am searching and keeping friends who want to criticise less and be honest a whole lot more. I want and need friendships that are accountable. Ones that have the courage to say, “Amanda you can do this.” and also ones that are honest enough to say this conversation is not healthy for either of us.

Less Intensity, More Fun

Back in the day, I was a clown. Funny jokes, dance parties, cookie bake-offs were my jam. Lately, in the pursuit of meaning and inspiration, I have become a little intense. Bring back the movie going, coffee planning, the hang-out loving friend of my twenties. Dance a little, smile a whole lot and bring back the playful you.

Less Waiting, More Contacting

I have realised if I play the victim and hold a list of who has contacted me when, I would have fewer friends. If I think of someone, I message them. If I have an idea or encouragement, I contact the friend. Do you hold account of how many times you made the first move in friendship? Are you always wondering whether you are being used? When we sit in the seat of the accountant in the friend contacting game, we will always loose. Contact, text, call and extend. With no expectation of return.

Less Talking, More Listening

Friendships can easily be ruined by too much conversation. Can you sit in silence with a friend? Do you fill the voids with so much information that the listener is overwhelmed? Do you have an answer for everything? What if our goal in friendship was to listen more and venting less? What if we became such amazing listeners, that people desperately wanted to be around us?

Less Whining, More Encouraging

The most enjoyable people to be around are those who sit in the seat of the cheerleader. Competition can be cancer to friendships and when we spend time competing with our friends rather than championing their best, we both loose. The thought “I’ll have what she is having” is one of the worst phrases on friendship that could have ever been invented.

Less Assuming, More Letting Go

Social Media is a scourge on our friendship cultures. We see a post, we read into the messages communicated and bam we have landed in assumption. Many times lately, I have had people speak about assumptions they have concocted from social media rather than the truth. After a quick conversation, it is funny to realign what people have assumed about my life and what is the reality. This year I am committing to assume less and let go more. Believing the best is the most amazing way to sit in the place of friendship. If a friend says she is unavailable “She’s busy”. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hang out with you, let that thought go.

Less Insecurity, More Passion

When we find our own passions and we place ourselves in a space of acceptance, we become much easier friends to be around. When we access every conversation and interaction from a place of self-acceptance, self-compassion and future focused opportunity, we become great friends. When we are secure about our voice, our purpose and our passions, when we spend time with other like-minded women, we don’t spend the whole time we are together reframing the sense of worth in the conversation. The more we come from a foundation of love and acceptance about ourselves, the more people will gather alongside.

Less Copying, More Individuality

Do you allow your friends the autonomy of being different? Do you love them fiercely, but let them have the space to explore their own wisdom for each season? This is the tension of great culture in friendships. When we expect our friends to react the same way, to think the same as us or to feel the same way, we will constantly be disappointed. How do you release friends into their new? Do you try to hold them back out of fear of the unknown? Less co-dependence, more release. We need to hold our friends lightly and allow them to explore new friends, new opportunities and new experiences. With a flavour and individuality that is completely their own. We need to release those closest to us to explore with freedom. When we demand loyalty to the point of stifling friendships out of fear of rejection, we crush the very essence of friendship, which is trust.

Less Fake Moments, More Authenticity

Authenticity is the catch cry of the last few years and may fill your heart with dread but when we commit to less fakeness and more honesty, the true colour of friendship is revealed. Can you listen to a friend who is revealing their heart, without taking on their feedback as an offense? I have often told myself this phrase “Amanda, offense is a choice” I have realised that I have a choice in the way I respond to others behaviour. Sometimes in friendship we can care way too much and hold onto the expectations that can keep us captive. If we want more true, long lasting, honest friendships we need to be honest and we need to keep short accounts in our offense banks. Each and every time we forgive and we let go, not allowing bitterness to become the paint that we colour friendships with, we all win.

These are some random musings on friendship, this February afternoon.

What would be your less or more statements around friendship?

Happy Days

Amanda Marie



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Ten ways women can champion women better

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If you interact with me only online, you may be mistaken in thinking, I am super confident, sure and assertive. The truth is that extroverts struggle in a room full of new people just as much as introverts do, we just access our insecurities from different places.

Until yesterday I thought I was somewhat anonymous at my new school. A quick run in with my little in the morning and a smile, wave then I was out of there. As I closed the school gate, hoping to run to my car as quickly as I could for a radio interview, a school Mum caught me on the fly.

She said, “I follow you on social media”.

Cringe, “Oh gosh”

My heart leaped into my throat.

Then she went on to say… “I love what you write about, thank you so much.”

My heart eased, my insecurities wained and my heart pumped furiously in my chest. Her encouragement was the elixir I needed to get me through a radio interview, that I was worried about my content and its application. She had no idea that I was frazzled, throwing lunch together, dragging a two-year-old out of the gates and going off to sit in a car and talk to thousands on radio. Her encouragement was a balm to my soul.

We as women need to get better at championing one another. We never know the encouragement that comes out of our hearts and how that impacts another. When we become head cheerleaders, we have the capacity to change important and necessary things. When she succeeds, it does not dampen our success. When she wins, we all win.

Here are ten ways that I think we can become better at community over competition.

At the school gate

As I mentioned above, I would be categorized as an extrovert and I have lots of people I call my friends but joining a new school community is breathtakingly difficult. You notice the clicks, you hope you have the right day and uniform. You wince as you park, hoping you haven’t broken any silent rules. Women, we need to champion each other at the school gate. Even if it is as simple as a smile. An encouragement. Noticing change and tension. This could be the only kind interaction someone gets all day.

At the water fountain

There is nothing worse in the workplace than walking around the corner and hearing a conversation suddenly drop to a whisper and peter out. It is like the water fountain and kitchen in the corporate office becomes the feeding ground fodder for gossip. I have been on the receiving end of conversations that have not been kind or uplifting, misreading the situation and deeply grieving my soul. What if the water fountain became a source of encouragement. “How are you?”, “That project you are working on looks difficult, you are doing a great job”. It actually isn’t that hard to find something kind to say, when it becomes a language that you speak.


The greatest scourge of our society currently is the way we speak to each other online. I don’t follow many pages because my heart and mind are deeply sensitive to what I read. It is like it invades my heart space when the words hit my screen. I often say to people I am mentoring, especially young adults. “Could or would you say that on a stage in front of 1,000 people?” If you can’t, then do not write it down in words. I know an amazing writer and publisher, that writes encouraging words on every post she see’s. It is like her mandate is to encourage and uplift. Each and every time she writes to me, it is like water to a weary, dry soul. It is powerful.

In Comparison

The more we compare, the greater the difficulty there is to encourage. When you want “what she is having”, it is nearly impossible to gain perspective to be able to speak life and truth. There is something so sneaky about comparison and jealousy. It eats away our capacity to be able to champion the grace and success in someone’s life. I find that Instagram is terrible for this culture. We feed the need for perfection and tightly filtered screens fit for a Pinterest world. We compare our daily struggles with others highlight reels and we fall over by the weight of its incessant perfection. When we stop comparing our today with someone’s tomorrow, we release ourselves into a space of acceptance. This is the breeding ground for championing another. When we are not threatened by their space in this world and we are able to encourage. And when we encourage, we grow.

Believing the Best

Have you ever wanted to give someone a piece of your mind and then later been told a different side of the story, that changed everything? I have. In fact yesterday, I got an email and I reacted strongly. I started to stamp out a quick, snide reply. Then I deleted the email, picked up the phone and rang my friend. Straight away she said, “Can you please delete that email, I have had the worst day ever.” Sometimes we just need to believe the best and champion women who are trying to make a difference. If you know anyone who is doing something that hasn’t been done before it is hard work. We need to encourage and support women who are pioneering new spaces. We need to believe the best. Encourage those who are leading us into new days. You never know who needs encouragement. Pick up the phone and have a chat. It will make all the difference.

When she gets what you have been praying for

There is nothing harder than to see a friend receive the thing that you have been praying for. We have walked seasons like this. When friends have been believing for a change in circumstance and it seems like something just lands in another’s lap. When we dig deep and encourage each other from a place of sacrifice it changes us. Our hearts soften, our lives are sown and we take the higher ground. When we encourage from this kind of deep place, its shifts the weight of the in-between in our own lives.

By Letter

Today I received an email from a lady I have never met about a book I wrote ten years ago. She was so kind and intentional in the email that she sent me. The thing she doesn’t know is that I have been sitting at my computer day after day, trying to write another book at the moment. And I am coming up empty. My brain is fuzzy, my two-year-old’s tantrums and the weather has been doing crazy things to my mind. When this email popped into my inbox, it was the motivation I needed to start again. To pull out my computer and believe again. When we champion other women’s voices, by writing the words we have been thinking it honestly makes the biggest difference. We will never know the difference that five minutes of intention have made. When we put words to paper and express gratitude, it is like we are giving a gift of inspiration to another.

Looking in her eyes

One thing I have been trying to change in my life is taking the time to look into people’s eyes. As I stand at the cafe waiting for my coffee or in the supermarket checkout. I am aiming to make it my impression, that I look into the eyes of the person who is serving me. I find myself saying this to my children often lately. Look me in the eyes. I want to tell you how proud I am of you. Look me in the eyes, I want to tell you I love you. We look down into screens so often, that we have begun to create a culture of looking down. When we look down, it speaks loudly with shame, indifference, and disrespect. When we listen with our eyes, we bestow respect and encouragement on another. When we look at each other and listen we exude encouragement.

Noticing changes

I have made it my goal to notice when someone wears something new or has a haircut. Especially people who I am only just getting to know. It is a simple way to encourage without being too personal. “Hey, You look amazing, your new haircut is awesome.” “Have you done something different you look great.” When we notice a change, we let them know that we have truly seen them. I want to see. I don’t want to just go through life in oblivion. We can train our eyes to notice the good things, not the negative ones. It is easy to see when someone is stressed and say “Hey you look tired.” It is harder to notice when positive and progressive change is made.

When we think something nice why don’t you speak it out

Lastly, but most importantly if you think something nice just speak it out. You never know who needs to hear they look lovely, or that you are grateful or that you love them. Maybe you have been thinking of them. Say it. Don’t leave words unspoken inside. Imagine if women championed women like never before. What amazing feats could be enacted across the earth. Imagine a company of empowered, encouraged workplaces. Imagine a group of school Mums who fist pumped every Mum that crossed their paths. Imagine a whirlwind across social media if we filled it wiencouraginging kindness. I think it could be a revolution.

And it begins with me.

Thanks for reading

Amanda Marie