Saturday, December 31, 2011

My year in review....

I sit here, red wine glass in hand, kids asleep, 87 year old step uncle dozing on the lounge whilst listening to Carmen and no hubby 'cause i just sent him off to his best mates NYE party in the eastern suburbs; we were all suppose to go but the dreadful lurgy bug has had the better of us all week. Darn.

It's hard to believe that we have been home now for a over a year since our 18 month barging adventure down the canels of France. Karl is starting school in a month, Ciara is growing long legs and I, despite trying (not very hard!) are terribly busy still have not launched my biz.

It does not matter tho as I feel in total control, know where I am going and most of the time love what I am doing (the part where I don't surrounds emotions over 'stuck with the kids' so let's skip that bit...I'll grow out of it).  I have created an amazing circle of friends and support thru biz (love you ladies - you know who you are) & via pre-school (esp Ciara's Montessori)

In the last 12 months there have been quite few highlights....

  1. - set goals (meet Julia Bickerstaff, re-connect with Suzi Dafnis and that guy - who ah yes Peter Switzer) - obviously I achieved the first 2, let's forget the last one...boys don't live online like us.
  2. - written a biz plan and started executing with a iron fist. (ie don't deviate from time constraints of working tuesday and wednesday)
  3. - got the house & sitters in order
  4. - had fun with the kids, watched them grow, been there for them - not felt guilty
  5. - started the Table of Fabulousness and thru it met the MOST amazing women. oh how i LOVE's been my highlight.
  6. - built a vege garden (well hubby did) and got a hen (organic dippy eggs for kids) and as of Xmas native fish (so they don't eat the frogs eggs / tadpoles)
  7. - grown a little team with my interns and realised that it is people and a team who together create a biz that i LOVE best, so may have to re-look at biz plan. hmmm, task 1 for 2012  review iron fist theory.
  8. - launched a beautiful cookbook for Rowie Dillion Indulge - Gluten Free gets a make-over
  9. - not put on weight (just a bit of flab) - not half as fit as i was cycling everyday in France.
  10. - assisted many talented women to help realise their biz dreams - you know who you are! x
  11. - exercised my mind via getting back some biz skills and learning how to operate in the world online.
  12. - created a Collaborative PR data base and in doing so set up a pretty awesome online CRM/CMS system in the cloud with Drop Box, Google Apps, Project blogs etc.
  13. - organised a pre-school fundraising team to raise $8000+
  14. - been to swim lesson twice a week (ALL YEAR) so Karl can now over arm and Ciara can survive if she fell in water.
  15. - ooh and met Martha (how could I forget!)

I have been working on my luk beautifood kitchen | Cooking for Beauty blog as by all accounts my lippy won't be ready for a few more months so i thought it best to share a few of my secrets on what I believe makes for a beautiful woman...and guess what it is FOOD.  My plan was to start the NY with a Fresh Start....a new years resolution for you but I am not sure, we'll see how I go getting the first recipes up as i am still figuring out how to customise the columns x page in Wordpress. At least i have worked out how to plugin a forum, page printer and event manager....not to mention the Mailchimp subscribe form via HTML! When I do get the first luk newsletter out you will see my goals for 2012 there! At least i don't stress over these things ...easy does her.

So, I guess I sign off with a very big thank you for your support, (there have been 8500 page view this year), your comments, your inspiration and your patience.

I live by my mantra ..'live what you love' and that is what i am doing right now, hope you are too.

Bonne Annee for 2012. Take care. See you on the flip side.

Cindy x

kids & I at Timbertown...our first road trip!
Some of the Fabulous ladies...

cooking for the Table of Fabulousness has been such a pleasure

I have the BEST hubby in the world...just look at that smile
 (PS. 3rd in this years Syd to Hobart)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meeting Martha! Some simple take outs

Last monday I moved heaven and earth (& $) to listen to Martha talk about building her business and brand, this was to be followed by a brunch and pic. Well I got the pic (low on my list) but missed the brunch as we Oz landers could not muster 100 people. Like hello.....

Martha is an amazing global brand elevating all things domestic to iconic levels. She forged the "LIFESTYLE' industry.....decades before the Nigellas, home renno TV  shows and 'LIVING' magazines. Her products alone turn over $1b not to mention her 4 websites, 15 blogs, many Apps and media empire - her M.S Living magazine still has 2.3 million subscribers after 20 years, her first book Martha Entertaining has sold > 1 million copies!


- understands the woman - she elevated the homemaker out of drudgery. She showed 'her'  she could have a better life, everything she wanted. She could  have a career, entertain, garden, decorate, be handy ....everyone's home could be beautiful.

- knows what the woman 'NEEDS & WANTS'. She is always asking this question. They are the 2 most important words in her life & biz.

- & now they have been joined by WHERE.  Where does her customer want them to be? online, instore etc

- zigs when others zag. 2013 will see the opening of her first Martha walk in store within a store created by the wizard behind Apple's 300 world wide stores. Department stores need to create a consumer experience - her brand will do this.

- is a technology evangelist:  she sees & understands its power; the saving of time to do 'better' things.

- can "TEACH & INSPIRE" that's why her online products (websites, blogs, magazines, Apps (eg making cookies) work. Her material is glossy, beautiful, indexed, the recipes work, her hints help.

- understands the importance of MASS.

@ 70 (yes!) Martha's vision is to create a strong brand like Channel or Estee Lauder so the brand outlives her.

visit: martha's web site - portal to all her sites & stuff . Her life story is interesting to.....just google it!

Written from notes taken at "Unwrapping Genius" put on by The Growth Faculty, Sydney 12th Dec 2011