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Five Books that Changed me this Year



One thing I try to do each year is to reflect back upon the books I have read and the impact that they have made on me. Lately, I have realised I am much better at reading a book if it is sitting on my bedside table and I can feel the time and effort it took to print its pages.

Book Number One: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Available here with free shipping from Book Depository.

It is difficult to describe how Big Magic helped me this year. It came in a season when I needed to re-remember what I knew about creativity and how powerful it is to help us find our voice. The beginning of 2016 was full of much grief. I needed to re-find the power of creativity and step into the great unknown of my year. Elizabeth Gilbert helped motivate me to start again and finish off those projects that remained undone.

Book Number Two: The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp

Available here with free shipping from Book Depository

I am reading this book right now, from my Kindle, but I am going to order a paperback copy. It is massaging my heart in places that are needing to be tenderly approached with care. I had one week in particular in the second half of 2016, where we cracked an ipad air screen, a iPhone screen, and a ipads screen. We hadn’t broken any screens in our house, till this one fated week. The only device that hasn’t been fixed yet is my iPad air. The one I work on. That is because it costs over $400 just to replace the screen. It is funny from the beginning of this little season in my family life, I was deeply upset because there was a part of me that just couldn’t look at something that was broken every day. Especially something that I write and produce creatively on. But lately, as I read this book on that smashed screen, I am realising that there is beauty in our brokenness and God meets us in these undone places.

Book Number Three: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niquest

Available here with free shipping from Book Depository

During November, I laid down technology and picked up paper. I turned forty at the end of October and this book was the perfect end to a big decade of my life. I had bought two houses, sold one house, gotten engaged and married, given birth to two children and traveled extensively. I am not someone who easily sits in the pocket of present over perfect. There is something within me that wants everything to work out with precision and flare. Life is far from perfect and Shauna’s writing has been a balm this year to my soul.

Book Number Four: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Available here with free shipping from Book Depository

I have only just found this little gem, this week in fact, but it is coming in as a year long favourite, with Shonda’s wit and courage. She encourages her readers to dance it out, stand in the sun and be your own person. Maybe 2017 needs to be your year of yes. This writer from some of my favourite shows like grey’s anatomy has caught my attention with this one.

Book Number Five: Savor by Shauna Niquest

Available here with free shipping from Book Depository

This book has 365 Chapters, with little nuggets for the whole year through. It has been such a privelege to walk with Shauna through her year, with this little book of devotions. Each page has a scripture and a thought that is so applicable for my season as a Mum. I have decided to write each day and do this as my 2017 devotional again next year. To help me walk into my new season with hope and light.

And of course, my year would not have been complete without this little special friend.


I feel like I gave birth to a book baby this year DEAR SINGLE SELF and the feedback that is coming from people all over the world who are ready my stories and thoughts is so encouraging.

What are your top five books for the year?

I would love to know.

Happy December friends.

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online book club: Rising Strong

Online Book Club

In the month of October Elaine Fraser, Jodie McCarthy and Myself are doing an online collaborative book club. It is just a fun little experiment that we thought you may want to be a part of.

We are all fans of Brene Brown’s work and her latest book sparked interest and we thought you might want to join us.

On Monday’s throughout October Elaine will write her thoughts from a chapter, Jodie will blog about the next chapter on Wednesday and I will complete our online book club on Fridays with my thoughts. We will end each of our blogs with a question, that we will be asking you our readers to comment and reply and start a conversation that matters.

Here is her TED talk that got us all fan crushing…

What do you need to do?

  1. Follow each of us on facebook so you can get the links to our blogs each week. Elaine Fraser Jodie McCarthy Amanda Viviers
  2. Buy the book and start reading. ( Book Depository has free shipping click here: RISING STRONG)
  3. Invite your friends who may want to join along.

That is it!

We will have our first blog live on the 2nd of October with the introduction, here on my blog.

Have a great September Reading,

Can’t wait to chat about books online with you and my dearest writer friends.




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Daring and disruptive


I feel like I’m super late to the party but I have a new creative, entrepreneurial crush and her name is Lisa Messenger. With a freshly baked banana bread and a bottomless flat white, I have spent the morning reading her words from her book full of foundations for leadership, life and creativity.

fail fast

take risks

push the boundaries

start before you’re ready

just go

This book Daring and Disruptive has been my companion over the last few days and I have been riveted. Inspired to live on purpose, inspired to step outside of the boxes that contain my ideas and possibilities for tomorrow.

As a woman who is also a leader, I am often perplexed by what is appropriate in my response to opportunities that avail. Do I seek after the opportunities? Do I rest and see what comes my way? Is too much confidence considered arrogance? Am I too much? Does my passion put people off? Do I think too much? What dream is unattainable?

To find someone who explores these topics with authenticity and grace.

Who says it like it is.

Who is not afraid to fail.

Who has faced her fears front on is a deep breath of reality.

I feel like I have been sitting with a cup of coffee with a long lost friend. A mentor from a distance and it has been the most delightful of encounters.

If you want your live your life on purpose and make a difference globally, you will not be disappointed in this read.

Dare to be disruptive and challenge the status quo.



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she’s not your competition

shes not your competitionIn the world of creativity and even more so in motherhood I am overwhelmed at the amount of people that strive endlessly to compete with one another.

Who ever told you that they were your competition?

We were never designed to compete with each other, we were designed to find our own patch and make it thrive.

Comparison, competition and bitchy behaviour (yes I said it) is so rife in the instgram, mummy- blogging online world.

Why compare?

Why not just find your unique, celebrate and encourage another and run with it.

I am not interested in bringing others down so I can feel better about myself.

Competition is not healthy.

I think competition is terribly destructive.

Two of my greatest friends, who I worked with for over a decade, published a book recently called ‘She’s not your competition.’ I posted this today, because I am preparing to speak at a single women’s event tomorrow with Penny. My message is called ‘She is kind’ and Penny’s message is called ‘She is brilliant’.

We started a women’s network around this time last year called Kinwomen. It is completely flourishing, because at its core it is all about women celebrating one another, rather than pulling each other down.

They are the two fabulous women who mentored and lead me for so many years. They have always released me and championed me, never showed any signs of being threatened by my ideas or my creativity.

Their book is for sale now on my website. For no other reason than I think its great. I’m not making money from it, I just want everyone to live a more released life competition and comparison free.

Join the kinwomen conversation today.

I think Penny and Kelley are fantastic and I am a better woman today because of the way they made a way for me to flourish.

Do you live your life comparing yourself with others?

Are you constantly wanting to pull others down and compete endlessly?

Through instagram/ pinterest/ facebook/ blogs or in real life?

Then maybe its time to stop and face the reality that it is super destructive.

She is not your competition.