WELCOME TO 2020 – Part 3


Righto. Here is the last 10 goals for 2020…be sure to check out the last 2 posts from today for the rest of whats gone on in 2019, and what we are aiming for this year and why. I would also love to hear your goals for 2020 – comment below in the comments section or share your own blog post of your goals for this year.


11.  This year I really want to explore, understand, and challenge my beliefs. Sometimes we continue to believe something because that is what has always been true for us. Sometimes, this is a detriment to us and we can become stuck in old beliefs that no longer serve us and prevent us from truly engaging in the world around us. That’s not to say your beliefs are not valid, I’m just highlighting that sometimes we need to take a step back and look at why we believe something to ensure our reasons are just and our own.

12.  I would like to work on a legacy journal for each of my children, something that really refines what I want to leave behind of myself for them to take into the future and be able to reflect upon. A very dear friend of mine does this for those with or without terminal diagnosis and I truly believe that exploring these concepts from a place of love and not fear is a good idea. None of us know the day or the hour of our death and you only get to do it once – why not make it a positive experience for your loved ones through preparation. If you want to see what she does you can find her over at http://www.spiritualcare.com.au and I think what it is called is “Dignity Therapy”.

13.  I would like to begin to explore the area around where we live, I mean really close to where we live. To do this my thought is to go for a walk at least once a week, after all England is known for the right to basically roam free and their are incredible walks through peoples land that is signposted with the sign “public footpath”. You just need to stick to the worn path and respect that owners land, including ensuring gates are closed to prevent the livestock from wandering out.

14.  I would like to begin working on my planned e-book about the process of becoming an expat nurse, because when I came over there were so many unanswered questions and so many struggles that really were unnecessary given the right information. So much more preparation could have occurred prior to us leaving Australia had this information been available.

15.  People who know me well and of course my long term followers here know how much I love writing, but I also love sharing knowledge that can make life easier for others. That being said it is my goal this year to develop resources for nurses surrounding shift planners, check lists, and other printable documents that can help in a nurses day to day life, and will also likely include tutorials for getting through university and information on how to develop your essay.

16. This year it is time to step up into a Ward Sister role, my plan was to be in this role already by now but life on the ward has meant this has not happened as planned and agreed upon when I accepted the post. So this next few weeks will be dedicated to planning for my interview and ensuring all of my training is up to date. The process will be shared over on http://www.intrepidnurse.com and @anintrepidnurse on instagram.

17. Travel is one of the reasons we decided on coming here (of course developing our relationship with our family here is in the forefront) is our focus this year. So we have begun to plan our trips away already – we want to see more of Europe this year than we did last year. We leave for Malta within the next week so stay tuned over on the Intrepid Nurse instagram page for updates, but we also have Switzerland planned for Christmas. Apart from that we want to do a lot of little weekend trips away with Mackenzie (Lauren has her own adventures planned).

18. I want to write more to my family and friends back home, after all it is one of the most joyful things to receive a window free letter in the post. Out of everyone, my sister in law Suzie has been incredible with her hand written letters to me and I really look forward to and cherish them. When we were living on the coast we would spend time pouring out our hearts over a coffee or tea (or beer back in the day), and discussed the hard topics in life. Our conversations were always so rewarding and I miss her terribly. Now she does this through running letters she adds to until its long enough to send. Although I have also, I want to do it more – it helps us stay connected.

19. Embrace a more hygge lifestyle – hygge is basically the word used for an overall mood or ambience of coziness, comfort, and contentment. Based in Danish culture, we have already commenced this plan by laying out our loungeroom to be more open, less cluttered, and we are working on having plenty of soft cushions and blankets for the cooler months. I want to get the lighting right in our home to enourage more reading, enjoy playing records more whilst disconnecting from the digital world, and embracing each others company.

20.  Lastly but certainly not least, I want to experience the world around me more without the filter of preconceived ideas or expectations. I want to stop and smell, hear, and take in the sights of each place – these senses are all so important for building lasting memory. I want to experience things as new rather than knowing everything there is to know about something, somewhere, or someone, with no expectations either way. Then follow this up with being mindful of any attachment I place on being a certain way with life. I feel like setting expectations beforehand on how you will experience something takes away from the “newness” of that experience.


Well that is all for now, my fingers feel as though they will bleed at any moment from all the typing I have done this morning, but it has been entirely worth it. I apologise for my absence but welcome back and welcome to a brand new sparkly 2020.

WELCOME TO 2020 – Part 2


Well hello there!!!


Hasn’t that been a rapid start to 2020, almost like the last 2 months have up and vanished into thin air! Since I have just recapped in the previous post “on with the show”…

I should let you in on a little secret, although all of those close in my life know this fact already this and I’m sure occasionally roll their eyes in despair when I make reference in everyday life. My family however are converted and join in now even without my help. The secret is that Miranda Hart is one of my favourite comedians, particularly her show Miranda.  I have long been wanting to do a list of goals for the year after listening to Gretchin Rubins Happier Podcast (she does this every year), and I wanted to choose a word to focus on, which is something I have done for quite some time now. Recently the last few years have proved to be very challenging and I have been distracted by life, not writing as much as I would like. Hopefully this will be the new beginning of a beautiful year of writing and sharing. So this years word for the year is…


By “refine” I mean to improve my life by removing the impurities so to speak, to make it better that what it was. By this I intend to clarify my life by removing that which isn’t important to me and my family life – from my online interactions and viewing habits, to relationships, to thought patterns, to my physical environment. I’m not sure how on board my family are with this but they are mostly of similar mindset surrounding these concepts.

20 Goals for 2020

  1.  See Miranda Hart live. Okay so I didn’t actually make this as one of my goals for this year originally, only because I did not actually think it was possible being that her show was finished. What I didn’t know was that 2019 was the 10 year anniversary of the show airing for the first time and Miranda had a sneaky plan up her sleeve to do a 10 year anniversary show live at the Palladium in London. I saw the call for people to ballot for the tickets with only two tickets available per person, and it was only a draw – you weren’t guaranteed. All three of us adults put in the ballot and Kevin won two of the tickets – we didn’t know right away because it went to his junk mail folder – but I managed to get the evening off work and Lauren and I went. It was the most magical night of my life to be honest. We both cried and I will never forget it – we got to see the entire Miranda cast, McFly, Ronan Keating, Heather Small, the and the cast performances by a major choir and Mamma Mia. If you can, definitely go watch the show online – I am not sure where you can see it outside of the UK but I am sure you can find it in google. Side note: this actually happened in 2019 but I am sure it still counts).
  2. As a family we want to develop clear family traditions that will carry on throughout the generations that come after my husband and I. A significant area of importance in this is surrounding food and cooking and its history in our families. My mum has always been and still is an incredible cook so I want to teach my children how to make the best roast potatoes and jam drops just as my mum made them when I was a child. My husbands mother was an incredible cook also, and I want my girls to learn how to make her chocolate self saucing pudding – although I don’t actually have the recipe, I will have to do some digging. Lastly, my husbands brother Andrew was a chef before he passed away and we have some of his recipes that we want to learn this year.
  3. Independently I would like to increase my reading, something I used to love growing up and in my 20’s, it is something that has fallen by the wayside most recently amongst the busyness of everyday life. I truly believe in reading being the best way to change both your vocabulary and your thinking, but it also broadens your perspective. My goal this year is to read one new book a month, and on my list so far is: The art of doing nothing, Miranda Hart – Is it just me?, Brene Browns Rising strong, The Alchemist, and Feel the fear and do it anyway. What are your favourite reads?
  4. I really want to purge my data online – its abysmal  but my current unread emails stands at 3, 384, not something I am proud of but something I intend to resolve. This purging will require me to unsubscribe, unfollow, delete, and even block some of the sources of data that are infringing on the life I want to lead. This will have to of course encompass texts, email and social media together. Question – does anyone actually still find benefit in linkedin? Its these type of platforms I am considering deleting all together to be honest. The idea behind the need to purge my data is to “REFINE whats going in, so you can DEFINE whats coming out”. 
  5. I am making a commitment to dating my husband again, unfortunately for many this becomes less of a priority when you are living your day to day particularly when you are a shift working family – your “dates” are reduced to hellos in the hallway and it certainly doesn’t make for a connected relationship in the long term. This has always been important to us because with one child already almost out the door by the end of this year when she moves back to Australia, we have only a short number of years left with children at home. So many couples forget to focus on their spouse and marriage that when they are empty-nesters – they have nothing to talk about. We began this last week by going to see the movie Emma (also starring Miranda Hart – as delightful as a sweet muffin).
  6. We are going to join an orienteering club as a family when the weather is warmer (Okay I have decided this but not sure if my husband and children are aware – Kevin if you’re reading this thinking what the hey? I honestly was going to tell you, but hey – we get to show off our keen navigational skills, see the countryside, and meet new people!)
  7. Its time to get real with my you tube account and begin making my own videos. This is something I had intended to do when we first arrived but despite how confident I seem, it scares the jeebs out of me and I am truly not sure where to start. The videos will be mostly travel related – any hints on where to begin?
  8. I have an idea to explore all the services that the NHS has to offer the community by trying out some of them – there is a big focus on healthy lifestyles so I was thinking of doing the couch to 5k which is available as a podcast. Its good to get to know your employer and doing this will both help me but also help me understand what is on offer for my patients – I will not however be lining up for a colonoscopy – I am not that committed.
  9. This year I want to have a more positive impact on the environment, so when the warmer weather kicks in we plan on taking a bag to pick up rubbish on our walks – every little bit helps. It has shocked me just how much litter is on the roadsides and bushes here in England – quite sad really because it is such a beautiful country. Along side this we are trying to buy veges from the farmer with no packaging, waste less food by planning our meals, eat more vege meals, and use our beeswax wraps and reusable water bottles everywhere we go.
  10. Set aside individual time with each of my children, because I really want to nurture the relationship I have with each of them – they are only at home for such a short time and already with them getting older the relationship dynamics are changing rapidly. Investing in this now will bring a greater connection when they leave home and build their own lives. If you have any ideas on creative ways to do this I am all ears.


Okay so the list is long so I will leave it here and finish the last 10 in the next post. Feel free to share your goals for your year in the comments blow or over at the facebook pages Tailored Living Project or Intrepid Nurse.

WELCOME TO 2020 – Part 1


Well hello there!!!


Hasn’t that been a rapid start to 2020, almost like the last 2 months have up and vanished into thin air! Now on some days off I thought it best to take some time to recap – or as Miranda Hart says “previously in my life”…

19 GEMS FROM 2019

  1. In January we found the perfect house for us to rent in Kent, England and moved in. Although with only two bedrooms it presented as much smaller than our 3 bedroom with study home back in Australia, it came with the benefits of being in a nice area, within walking distance to Mackenzie’s new school and public transport. The inclusion of a parking space at our front door was also one of the highlights, and lets be honest, the crowded-with-parked-cars look of the street made us feel a little like we were still on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
  2. I commenced my OSCE training to make me proficient and prepared enough to sit the OSCE test, which is the test to be registered as a Registered Nurse in the UK. It was a tedious training course but completely necessary since you only get two very expensive shots at the exam.
  3. Kevin started a his first job in England only to find out on his first day that the company had lost the tender and he would likely have to find another job. In a situation where we are earning horrifically less than in Australia and our expenses are more, it was a massive blow and made us all a little nervous.
  4. After a short time off, Kevin landed his current job and was soon made permanent after working on a zero hour contract for a little while. He is still there and enjoying it, although he has been encouraged so to speak to take up his previous position – more money and sweet hours, but may involve a lot of time at a computer.
  5. We experienced our first falling of snow! Kevin, Lauren and I had previously experienced at least a little snowfall, but Mackenzie hadn’t and this was far more than I had ever seen. To be honest I was like a small child, excited and bouncing – the kids were almost as excited as me and Kevin just found the whole thing amusing.
  6. In February Lauren received a promotion at work in her retail job after only being there for a couple of months, and she was blossoming in her new career she had chosen whilst in England.
  7. We began in March having bbqs at the beach again, although they are somewhat different here in comparison to back home. Here it is a foil tray with charcoal beads inside and a thin steel wire rack on top, since they are one use only you never have to worry about cleaning but they come with a lot of smoke and I cringe at the waste.
  8. Lauren experienced heart break with her and her long time boyfriend deciding that their goals and dreams for life did not align and parting ways, I have never seen her more heartbroken before and it tore me apart to be honest. She did however take it all in her stride and see that it was for the best – I’m still a little jaded because I adore his mum – but we still adore her and her family and remain in contact.
  9. In June we experienced heart break and deep sadness for two reasons – firstly we lost Kevins dad on fathers day just as we arrived at a beautiful park to celebrate with a picnic, but also due to the emotional attack we received by a family member back in Australia that absolutely broke my husband and I. Unrelated, we decided not to go back for the funeral because of the enormous cost, and because we had said our goodbyes to him before we left knowing it would likely be the last time.
  10. I sat my OSCE test and although I thought I had failed and spent hours sobbing my little heart out, I had actually passed and was granted my nursing PIN to practise in England.
  11. In June we welcomed my beautiful friend Sandi with her mum and daughter to stay with us and explore England. Sandi had come over for my birthday the next month and arrived early enough to enjoy England, and her mum would be staying at our house with her daughter whilst we gallivanted around Paris for a week.
  12. In July I met my cherished friend Lyn in Paris for my 40th birthday with Sandi and my daughter Lauren, for a week of bliss. We enjoyed the usual sightseeing monuments and art exhibitions, along with eating loads of delicious food devoid of any guilt, and spent time with these incredible women in my life connecting on a deeper level.
  13. Lauren goes against all my motherly input and meets a boy on tinder – although he has been such a wonderful part of her life and certainly the type of partnership she needs in life. Someone to challenge her and her stubborn ways, they balance each other out and Jack has become a beautiful part of our lives.
  14. We went and explored Brighton for a couple of nights with my niece Tarryn and our daughter Mackenzie, such an incredible place to visit and so vibrant – we even had a fellow Aussie serve us afternoon tea! Then we explored Wales with our other niece Mia staying the first night in the most incredible place near the mountains, then the second night in an absolute dive complete with dirty knickers under the bed that Kevin so joyfully walked past and got caught on his foot…insert vomit here!
  15. In September we welcomed my cousins daughter Hayley (who is more like a niece to me) from Australia for a visit. It was so incredible having her here and spending time together – after growing up together their whole lives, her and Lauren are an absolutely hoot together! It was like having a little piece of home here with us.
  16. We did two trips to visit friends for different reasons but both worthwhile and memorable. The first was Mackenzie and I on our first solo flight together to Edinburgh Scotland to visit with our best friends Kath and her daughter Caiti. Although it was to fairwell one of their family members, there were many silver linings and we made such beautiful memories with the girls. The second was to one of Mackenzies friends in Ireland – she had made a friend who was in Australia temporarily and we were invited to visit when we moved to the UK. The trip was incredible and we really enjoyed getting to know them more and exploring Ireland.
  17. In November we welcomed one of my best friends daughter Raquel to stay with us a few weeks. Raquels mum and dad and I  met in hospital when the girls were born – they were born only 43 minutes apart and share the same birthday, and have been friends since birth. We managed a last minute weekend away with her and visited the Netherlands, Bruges Christmas Markets, and France – all by boat and car in only 2 days!!!
  18. In December we had the pleasure of hosting Laurens best friend Amr from Australia for a short time, honestly he is like the son I never had and we all enjoyed his company.
  19. We experience the craziness of our first new years eve in London – my goodness it is a dogs breakfast – totally insane. However it was nice to stay overnight in the city with Kevin and Mackenzie and explore a little. The NY Day Parade was the highlight of it all and went for the longest time.