Kidspot Ford Territory Top 50: Feel the difference


Would you believe me if I told you, that a sugar packet is the reason I am here today? The beginning of Lovely Living?

What follows is the story of how Lovely Living ….. no wait ….. the story of how I came to the answer that had been plaguing me for 11 months.

An answer that in some way every Mother seeks.

But not every mother fully understands or ever finds.

And it all started with a sugar packet.

A sugar packet changed my life ….

Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers


The perfect day.

A beautiful brisk November day in our favourite place in the entire world.

New York City.

Sun shining, the sky so blue, the clouds so white, the air so cold and crisp.

A fun day walking the streets of the concrete jungle.

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Kidspot Top 50 Blogger

Kidspot Top 50 Blogger

Lunch at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park by the lake.

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Playing and running in the park.

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We decided on an easy dinner at TGI Friday’s. I was with my 2 favourite people. My darling husband and our beautiful 11 month old boy Master C. It was Master C’s first overseas trip and we were spending 3 weeks in the USA and Canada. The trip of a lifetime with the most important people in my life.

The perfect family.

The perfect trip.

The perfect city.

The perfect day.

…. so why was I so miserable, miserable beyond comprehension?

For 11 months I had felt so much love being a Mother, love beyond words, beyond measure ….. but still I felt so incomplete.

We finished dinner and we were waiting for the bill.

I reached into the sugar holder, pulled out a packet and and held it in my hand. I turned it over and read the back.

Those words, those tiny words on a meaningless sugar packet hit me so hard in the chest I actually fell back into my chair with a thud. I was so sure everyone could hear my heart pounding. I looked around but everyone was eating dinner, chatting and oblivious to anything else in the room. My husband was happily playing with Cooper, laughing and giggling, he didn’t even look over at me. I was sitting there deafened by the sound of my own heart. Thoughts flooded my mind and I kept repeating those words.

We walked back to our hotel and put Cooper to bed, I filled the bath with the hope of being able to soak away these thoughts racing inside my head. But the bath did exactly the opposite, it amplified them.

I was soaking in the tub and all of a sudden it hit me ….. I realised why I was so miserable ….

Who was I?

I was a Mother and a wife, but I forgot about myself.

I had lost myself.

My days were filled with nappies, bottles, naptime and baby talk which was wonderful, but I needed more, something selfish, something just for me …. I needed to find myself again beyond all of that. I needed to find me again.

I burst into tears and sobbed so loudly my husband heard me and came in the bathroom where we sat for 2 hours talking.

Cold bath water, pruned skin, but a heart bursting. Bursting with relief. Relief at finally being able to verbalize what I had been feeling for so long, relief that my husband was listening. He is amazing.

That was the beginning of the rest of my life. That was the beginning of my journey to find me.

For 3 weeks we explored the US and Canada and I let my mind go crazy with the possibilities. For the first time in a long time I felt hope and a renewed energy for life.

I sat on the windowsill in our hotel in Whister and looked at this amazing view …..

Kidspot Top 50 Blogger

The snow fell and I smiled.

The snow fell some more and I cried.

But for the first time in a long time they were tears of happiness.

Our plane was circling over Brisbane and I couldn’t wait to get off.

I needed a shower.

I needed to stretch my legs.

I needed to do something. Something amazing, something selfish, something just for me.

The plane touched down.

The tires bounced and the feeling of the plane pulling up was so powerful.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and smiled.

This was it.

We collected our carry on luggage and the plane doors opened. It was time to start a new chapter. A new chapter with me in it …. all of me. My heart, my soul ….. all of me.

We went home and before I even unpacked I started writing ideas, names, dreams, goals, hopes.

That was the birth of Lovely Living.

I decided to start a website, somewhere I could share what I know with others and make a difference in peoples lives. A place where women felt safe and supported. Somewhere filled with honesty and courage.

That is what has shaped me as a blogger.





All of those things I am or I guess, they are me.

My journey has been a long one, a rough one, sometimes an all consuming one.

But the journey was necessary, the scars, the wounds, the heartache. It has framed my morals, values and is what has shaped me as a blogger.

I am honest …. sometimes too honest. I share my life, the good and the bad. I share my business, the good and the bad. I share my entire world, the good and the bad. I hope that in sharing all of me I will in some way help someone else to realise we are all the same. We all have problems, we all have piles of washing, we all have days where we can’t keep up. But we can all make a difference in life and we can reach our dreams no matter how huge they seem. I am living breathing proof of that.

A sugar packet changed my life ……

Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers

“If you knew no fear, what would you do?”



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14 Responses

  1. Sheree says:

    Truly deserving :)

  2. Katie dowd says:

    Wow what an amazing post! I love learning how Lovely Living came about. The part that got me in this post was that this journey was necessary – yes it was not only was it necessary for you but through your creation of lovely living you have taken me on a journey as well! Your site launched just as I finally acknowledged and overcame PND, it allowed me access to a community of supportive and understanding mothers, mostly it gave me an insight into myself! Many times your posts are very close to home and at times I feel like you have written them from my mind! Yes your journey was absolutely necessary! Necessary for all the mothers out there who needed to know they are not alone x

  3. What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing your life with us

  4. Tammy says:

    FINALLY got to read this Jen & I all I can say is Wow. Awesome, amazing, articulate post! You should be so proud. Thank you for the difference you make in MY life, just with the supportive community you have established & the realisation that other mums who feel just like me are right there xx My vote is in! ;-)

  5. Karen L says:

    Great post Jen. Sitting above my desk I have a card I purchased many, many years ago. I’ve always kept it close and I look at it often. It says “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”.

    Very similar to your quote above. Very inspiring and something that spurs me on when I need it. And I’m getting there. 2 beautiful children and four years of being ‘mummy’ and only ‘mummy’. 6 months ago I took the plunge and started my own business. Now I’m still ‘mummy’, but I’m also Karen from Carbine Avenue. My own mother visited recently and kept asking me why I was doing this? Why was I making my life so busy, so hectic, so hard? The answer is so clear to me now – because this is what makes me happy. And being happy makes me a better mummy. I am a better mummy because I do this for myself. Thanks for your post. :)

  6. Teresa Monsigneur says:

    I was hanging on to every word, hoping that you would tell us what that sugar packet said…

    What a journey you have been on to create Lovely Living for us.

    Congratulations! I have voted for you…. but whether you win or not, I think you know you are already a winner :)

  7. Jen says:

    From one Jen to another, thank you so much for your honesty. These feelings are still so real for me, & my eldest is 10! They are not feelings that you forget. Thank you for the positive influence that you are having in women’s lives. All the best for the comp…..my vote is in!

  8. Cass says:

    I knew you were amazing already Jen, this post just proves it! It’s such a privilege to read your blog, and share your journey, both as a business woman and a mum. You’ve done the hard-yards, we’ve shared many of them, and appreciated every single one. Good luck in the competition, you deserve it! My vote goes to you my dear xo

  9. Michelle says:

    I love your site for many reasons, but mainly your honesty! In my eyes you have most definately achieved the goals you set out here in this blog post. Congratulations to you Jen, and thank you for making us feel at home. x

  10. Gosh balls. That would have hit me too. What would I do?

  11. Neen says:

    lovely post, a great story!

  12. Cathy says:

    Great entry! Congratulation son making the Top 5! Best of luck xx

  13. Cathy says:

    obviously I should edit before I press “submit comment”…

  14. I voted for you Jen. What a truly honest and open post, I loved it <3.

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