Monday, October 28, 2013

Ford Choose Your Own Adventure Challenge - The Outdoor Cinema Picnic at the Beach

Look - I have a Ford Territory twin in the neighbours driveway!

It's been crazy busy around these parts lately....

Not long after I found out that I had a spot at the Finders Keepers Market in Brissy, I received a phone call from my previous employer and was offered a permanent full time job. I wasn't planning on going back to work full time so soon after my transplant, but you can't look a gift horse in the mouth, so of course, I said YES!

It's been such a luxury to use the Territory on the daily commute. It's a 60 kilometre round trip each day, so I've been completely spoiled. I think the things I love the most are being able to stream the music from my iPhone straight through the stereo, and also the bluetooth capabilities to make and receive calls. I'm sure I'll be looking for all those stereo and phone buttons on my steering wheel when I go back to my car!

Between Work, Finders Keepers preparations, the Melbourne Marathon, and Great Strides (blog post to come), I've really been missing hanging out and having fun with my little nephews.

After I arrived home from Sunday morning's walk, I packed a picnic, picked up the boys in the Territory and headed for the beach.

The weather wasn't great but we didn't care!

It was so nice to be able to just walk along the beach in the fresh air.... it's something that I just couldn't do for years, and I missed it soooooo much.

There was lots of fossicking - the beach was filled with interesting shells, rocks, seaweed, and even jellyfish. Eeeeeek!

The boys even managed to find a starfish in the shallows...

It got a little bit chilly on the beach, so when it came time for a picnic, we changed our plans and decided to become human CARGO.

The back of the Ford Territory is mahoosive (that's a made up word which means even bigger than massive).

All I had to do was to fold the seats down, lay down our picnic blanket, and we were as snug as bugs in a rug (literally on a rug anyway)

Of course, the boys favourite part of the Territory is the DVD player. We turned the picnic into a little outdoor cinema session and watched The Croods.

The amount of festivities in the CARGO hold seemed to directly correlate with the amount of sugar that was being consumed.

The boys had a wonderful time... and Aunty Cam did too!

Thanks so much to Ford and to Kidspot for the awesome experiences with the Ford Territory Titanium as part of Voice of 2013.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis Victoria

Not long after I signed up for Run 4 Refugees, I also found out about the CFV Great Strides Walk.

I've been so lucky to make some wonderful friends via the Transplant community - a lot have to undergo double lung transplants due to Cystic Fibrosis.... There are two in particular (thankyou Louisa and Claire) who have been a wonderful support and have always been there to answer all of those tricky questions that I had, that only someone who has been through it before can answer.

.....and then of course there's my lovely online friends Selina (who I can't wait to finally meet in real life at Finders Keepers Brissy next month) and Carly-Jae who I really hope can come along too. 

I couldn't resist signing up for this one to raise some much needed funds for the CF community, but also to show my support for my friends.

I discussed it with the two physiotherapists who ran my pulmonary rehabilitation group (and put up with me for years and years and kept me fit enough to get through my transplant), and they've both signed up and are going to walk with me! My sister-in-law also signed up this week, so we're going to walk as a group of four!

I had a target of $500 which I have amazingly already reached due to some wonderful donations from friends and family. I would love to raise some more, so if you'd like to help you can find my fundraising page right here. (and this one accepts Paypal yippee)!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Rainbow Brooch

 I'm madly making stock after work in readiness for Brissy Finders Keepers Market.

The Rainbow Brooch is one of my new items that I'll be taking to market.... but it's also available in the shop right now.

Photo above courtesy of Finders Keepers - Debut Designers for Brissy!

If you'd like to see what I'm up to in preparation for the market, Instagram is the best place to find me and my makings.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ford Choose Your Own Adventure Challenge - Melbourne Marathon - Run 4 Refugees

A little over a week ago, something very special was delivered to my doorstep... a brand spanking new luxury Ford Territory Titanium (it's seriously NEW - I think there were around 56kms on the clock)

I've had such an amazingly lucky year, and getting to drive around in a top of the range Territory for six weeks courtesy of Ford and Kidspot as part of Voices of 2013, is just icing on the metaphorical cake.

Not long after my double lung transplant earlier this year, I wanted to take on a challenge and so I decided to sign up for the Run 4 Refugees as part of the Melbourne Marathon.

Today was the first day that I'd had a chance to share the Territory with my friends as passengers. We decided that it would be much easier to travel into the city together, rather than trying to meet up amongst the more than 30,000 competitors.

We travelled into the city in comfort and style (love those leather seats), listening to classic 80's music (showing our age). We parked the Territory, and then wandered down to our starting point on Batman Ave alongside Rod Laver Arena.

 By the time we'd walked down there, the weather had most definitely changed for the worse....

Thank goodness for our very stylish plastic ponchos!

Due to the rain and a bit of flooding near the Swan St Bridge, our course was modified from 5.7km back to 3km. We had to wait in the rain for a while why they modified the barriers.

At this stage, surrounded by the throng of people at the start line, I started to get a bit teary. Luckily there was so much rain that no-one noticed. I still couldn't believe that I was actually there... waiting to start. A dream come true, and something to tick off the bucket list. Totally surreal.

Even though I can't actually run yet as my lung capacity still isn't high enough, I managed a slow jog over the start line.... and the race had begun!

There was quite a large hill right at the beginning, hence most of the pack is already waaaaay ahead of me at this stage.

It was so lovely to be able to walk around the parks and gardens in the city. They were all places that I'd never actually seen before, because I just couldn't walk before. The views while we walked were amazing, even though it was a bit wet and dreary.

This was the super exciting part - heading towards the MCG, knowing that I'd nearly made it, and that I was going to walk on that hallowed turf very soon. There were people on the sidelines actually clapping and cheering us along - so cool!

After entering the MCG, we walked a lap around to the finish line (where I couldn't help myself - I had to strike a pose)!

I felt like an athlete - completely victorious.... even though I was nearly last in my category - number 3422 from 3434 finishers.

Through the power of Social Media, Caroline and Rachel travelled all the way from Sydney to run the 10km race. They've only been training for 8 weeks - such an amazing effort.

So glad I'm not the only one who likes to strike a pose Caroline!

And here I am with my friends, my team, my passengers, who came along for this crazy ride today. I couldn't be happier or more thankful.

Thankyou Cathy, Tash, and Andrea for an awesome experience today. It's something that I'll never forget.

And as I drove home in the Territory, I may have had a little cry. Tears of happiness for another achievement that would never have been possible without an amazingly generous organ donor and their family who gave me this second chance at life.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My first charity run walk - Run 4 Refugees

I can't quite believe it, but today is my 8 month transplant anniversary.... life has changed so much and the freedom of being able to breathe is still surreal.

It seems quite appropriate that next Sunday is my very first charity walk. I'll be walking 5.7 kilometres in the Run 4 Refugees as part of the Melbourne Marathon. 

All funds raised directly benefit the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre here in Melbourne.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) was established in 2001 and is Australia’s leading provider of aid and advocacy to asylum seekers living in the community. The ASRC is committed to protecting and upholding the human rights and welfare of asylum seekers. Our core aims include:
  • AID – to provide essential, life-saving aid to asylum seekers, including provision of food and critical material aid items
  • JUSTICE – to secure justice for asylum seekers through delivery of primary health, mental health and welfare services and by advocating for asylum seekers’ basic human rights 
  • EMPOWERMENT – to foster independence and self-determination through community development and access to employment and education pathways
  • COMMUNITY – to create partnerships with the community, raise awareness of asylum seeker experiences and promote social inclusion
I have a fundraising target of $500 and I'm currently sitting at $485. I would love it if someone had $15 to add!

 Wish me luck!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finders Keepers

So what are you up to tonight and tomorrow?

Finders Keepers Melbourne is back again at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton....

I didn't get a stall at this one, but I'm heading along to help Nic on the Yardage Design Stall, so make sure you come along and say hi!

In other exciting news, I DID get a stall at Finders Keepers Brissy in November. Eeeeeep!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'm baaaaaack!


Hey did you miss me?

Toes in the water at Bondi

Probably not.... especially if you follow me on instagram and were subjected to me spamming photos of Sydney!


The last time I visited in 2001, I couldn't climb the steps at the Opera House. So here's proof that now I can! It's amazing what new lungs can do.

Even though I was actually there for a week of work, I managed to organise it so that the five days of work included the weekend.

I had a blast - I caught up with Cass and Cath for dinner... and I did lots of exploring and sightseeing.

I finally arrived home tonight to find my new tote bags (very exciting)!

This design in Hexiepalooza (of course)

And there's also Spring Bouquet...

I've been lugging my Spring Bouquet tote aroud the airports. It's the perfect size for my Bipap Machine and accessories which have to go as carry-on luggage.

These are a really heavy textured canvas - love them!

Anyway, now that I'm back I've re-opened the shop and added the totes.

Something else super exciting is happening tomorrow but I'll have to get back to that soon!