Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Geeking Out at Oz Comic Con

I've been feeling a bit like Austin Powers lately - that is, that I've lost my mojo. I know it happens to us all, but ultimately one learns that it was there the whole time, you'd just lost touch with it!

One way to rejuvenate your mojo and really get those creative juices flowing is to hang out with people who share your interests and be inspired by what they are creating. So it was very timely that Oz Comic Con Brisbane happened at the Convention Centre on the weekend!

The only pop culture/scifi/fantasy/geekdom con I'd ever been to before is Supanova. I found Oz Comic Con quite different - bigger, better and a more inclusive vibe. The cosplay game was seriously On Point too - I was just walking around in awe most of the time, feeling a bit left out! When you're not in costume and you're in the minority, that's a pretty odd feeling!

We checked out the interactive spaces (art, gaming, kids) and stalls for a while before grabbing a bite to eat. I was lined up between gender-bent Marty McFly & a steampunk lady explorer. 

We headed over to the big stage to war Richard Dean Anderson's talk next. He answered a lot of questions about both Stargate and Macgyver, was a funny guy. 

We could have spent oodles of money on cool things, from authorised merch to handmade crafts, but in the end we just got some stickers and patches. 

Oz Comic Con was a heck of a lot of fun! I highly recommend it to anyone with a love of all things cult and pop culture-y. 

*I was a guest of Oz Comic Con and received a free double pass to attend. Not a sponsored post. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hustle and Flow: Finding Inspiration and Keeping Motivated

One of the downsides to going to conferences is they pump me up with ideas and motivation, but without the self-drive to follow through my best intentions to Do Stuff tend to fall flat. 

I've realised somewhere along the line, I've lost my hustle. Yes, I go through brief periods of inspiration and productive work, creating content and seeking new knowledge. Then good old Lazy Sarah rolls back in and starts questioning the point, preferring to Netflix And Chill. I get thinking perhaps average isn't so bad. That mediocrity has itsmerits. 

Every successful person, every high-flying entrepreneur, every salesman of the year or employee of the month tends to have the same ethic: they're always working hard. They set goals and hustle to get to them. They're insatiably ambitious and they have a drive to achieve that frankly I'm jealous of. 

When I take a frank look at myself, I begin to wonder if I ever actually had any hustle. Life up until entering the workforce was pretty easy, I achieved academic success without much effort but after entering the Real World I quickly learned that unless you're a trust fund kid, not much gets handed to you. 

I have read some commentary lately that some people feel like sites such as Problogger "dupe" folk into believing they can get rich by blogging. I wonder if these armchair experts have ever actually read any articles or attended a blogging event, because all I've learned over the past few years is that success in the blogosphere comes only from a lot of hard work. You have to put in the time to earn the dime, if you will. 

I'm determined to find my hustle. If I never had it after all, perhaps I just need to develop it. Work on saying inspired as motivated - goodness knows there are plenty of bloggers and high achievers to look up to and learn from. 

How do you keep yourself on track with your goals? Do you ever feel like everything is just too much hard work?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Treasures from the Past: Thrifting Today

Today's we have a guest post from Sue at Fifty Plus Travel. She's also my mum! Please make her welcome.


Every now and then while thrifting you come across something so precious it makes you pause and wonder how much it meant to the original owner. Last Saturday, I brought home the most beautiful Meakin soup tureen, a beautiful bowl edged with royal red and reminiscent of my mother's perfectly appointed table.

We would sit down for dinner with knives, forks and soup or sweets spoons lined up in order, napkins in their old worn silver holders, salt and pepper cellars and tablecloth freshly starched. I thought of the time when this tureen had been cherished and placed on the table filled with soup and ladled out to each family member sitting around the table! It speaks of love and long lost table manners!

I also collect gloves, handbags and oddments like my magnificent old trunk which has a mystery to it to be solved! I love the see through spotted voile wrist styled gloves I own and the long evening gold gloves like those my older sister used to wear to balls! I have some of my mother's worn gloves and also own another precious pair, carefully preserved in their original Dents plastic covering! Most of my handbags are from the 60's like Glomesh and Oroton - some being mine, some with a locked history from the past.

But my prized possession is bound for the curator at the Cobb & Co Museum in Toowoomba. I found this at an auction centre a few years ago. Nothing I have ever bought has been so evocative of the past and so mysterious as to its origin. I found it underneath a bench with many other vintage items, just waiting for me it seemed! It has hessian laid over timber and rusted steel bands over that. it is a traveling trunk of the type you would see atop an old stage coach....just the kind of trunk you can imagine a lady would take laden with her possessions - on her way to a distant destination in the 1890's!

Maybe I can hear the echo of the young boys rushing out to unharness the horse team ready for a fresh one, as she stepped down from the coach with the help of an outstretched arm of a gentleman traveller! This trunk was used by the photographers at my daughter's wedding on the farm to display her wedding dress.....those memories will overlay the history of yester year.

Layer upon layer, that's how thrifting builds upon the previous person's usage, what a wonderful legacy we leave when things are passed on and lovingly cared for by their new owner!

Have you ever been absolutely overcome by the history of an item you have thrifted like me? 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

More Things This Weekend Has Taught Me - a Problogger Training Event debrief

One of the common tips you read a lot in the blogosphere is to use popular past content to guide your future posts. Well, as one of my all-time most read posts is titled "Things This Weekend Has Taught Me", I thought I'd do a sequel.

That post was about a stormy weekend with a blackout. This post is about an awesome weekend away at the Gold Coast for Problogger Training Event, an annual blogging conference. This year it was held at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. 

To say the weekend was great would be an understatement. This was my second time attending the event and once again I was impressed by the quality of speakers, the networking opportunities, the venue and mostly the value for money. 

What was I taught? That blogging isn't always about monetization (though I did know that already). That for a lot of people, reader engagement and community-building is more important. Sharing stories, solving problems, bringing joy or comfort or happiness are worthy goals too. 

I met so many people that I have known online for many years, and everyone was so kind and encouraging. I cannot describe to you what it's like to connect meaningfully with people of your "tribe", who GET what you're passionate about. I hope you have experienced this before because it is the greatest thing!

After two days of sessions and excellent company, I was exhausted but reinvigorated about blogging. I have lots of strategies to implement and ideas rolling around in my head. 

But the greatest thing of all was experiencing the event with my mum, who has just started a travel blog. She had a fabulous time too, and it was extra cool to see how wonderful the blogging community treats it's newbies. 

Did you go to PBEvent, or follow along on social media? What's the most important thing a conference has taught you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oz Comic-Con 2015 Giveaway

I'm noticing a trend in 2015. And that trend is that being a geek is going mainstream.

In between a plethora of Marvel movies and the huge popularity of Game of Thrones, more and more people are getting into what was previously the domain of nerds - comic books, science fiction and fantasy, animation and cult movies.

Back when I was a young geek, it was a fairly lonely old life. It wasn't until I got to university and found The Internet that I discovered there were people out there who loved Star Wars! And Tolkien! It was like finding my tribe.

Flashforward a few years and now you can find geeks everywhere. They're at your work, making coffee and talking about why Jon Snow Knows Nothing. They're in cinema foyers, munching popcorn in their Captain America t-shirt.

And, joyfully, geeks can now congregate at conventions like Oz Comic-Con. We can dress up as our favourite characters, chatter with other like-minded folk about the latest fandom news; and most exciting of all... chat to our favourite actors, authors and artists!

Oz Comic-Con is coming to Brisbane in September and I've got 2 x family passes (that's 2 x adults and 2 x children) to give away. It's on at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre 19-20 September, enter to win! Each pass is for the WHOLE WEEKEND and is worth $160. Check out the con website to see what guests are expected. If you're a Stargate fan, you'll be particularly excited. Plus there's plenty of other cool stuff to see, experience and buy.

To be in the running, just leave a comment below (along with a way for me to contact you) and tell me - if you had an an unlimited Cosplay budget, who would you dress up as? [THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED]

Me, I've already been a Jedi, but if I had oodles of money and time I've always wanted to try the Kaylee's Layer Cake Dress from Firefly!

Terms and Conditions:
This is a game of skill. Chance plays no part. Open only to Australia residents. This competition closes 11.59pm AEST Tues 1st September 2015. Winners will be announced Wed 2nd September. Prize is not transferable and is not redeemable for cash.

Monday, August 17, 2015

C is for Caloundra - A-Z Guidebook linkup

Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast has long been a favourite getaway spot for Queenslanders. Offering four or five different beaches, there's plenty of sand and waves for everyone. 

When my husband and I first started dating we took a weekend away at Bulcock Beach and it's been a top spot of ours ever since. Facing Pumicestone Passage, there's no surf so the calm water attracts young families and people who just want to float around in the sparkling sea. 

Caloundra itself has changed a lot over the decades with more and more holiday apartments going up, but it has retained a lot of its sleepy seaside town appeal. 

There's not a lot to do unless like me you're a fan of late breakfasts, going for walks, reading trashy novels, eating ice cream, having a paddle and taking afternoon naps like me!

And at only 1-2 hours drive north of Brisbane (depending on traffic), it's close enough to home that you don't have to waste a lot of your precious holiday time getting there. 

Do you have a favourite beach holiday spot?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Conference Jitters

Tomorrow I'm off to a two-day conference. Yep. Like some puffed up self-important businessman. Except it's more of an "event" I guess. It's Problogger Event, the biggest thing in an Aussie blogger's calendar. 

I'm mostly prepped. I'm down to thinking of last-minute things. This is my second time and I think I'm less nervous because of that. 

I'm not great in large gatherings. But as I get older (and wiser?) I've realised that other people are mostly blundering their way through social interactions too so that's ok. And this time I will know two whole people in real life! Doesn't matter if one of them is my mum!

I'm also more connected with other bloggers in the online space this time around. There are people who I feel I will be able to go up to and say hi because we've interacted on social media, rather than me just being familiar with them from reading their writing. 

And I'm staying overnight this year, so it's kind of like a mini-holiday on the Gold Coast! It's even at a resort. 

But most of all I'm looking forward to hanging out with my "tribe" - a mob of people that just GET blogging, love blogging, live blogging. If you're going, maybe I'll see you there!

Do you ever go to conferences or industry events? Do you get a lot out of them?


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