Travelling Light

Good morning. 

Do you like to travel? 

Last weekend I was away from home, and it was so great. 

Quiet in the clouds


This weekend, I am at home, and that is great too. 

Though I had a sensational time last weekend, I’m definitely a homebody kind of person. I love my place, and my space.  I love being quiet. 

I’ve been reading a few posts this week about the event that plane took me too last weekend, which was a blogging conference. There are so many things to “take away” from big events like that, action plans to implement, changes to make, products to launch, contacts to follow up. 

So many things. 

Here’s what I’ve taken from it – I travelled lighter this year and found that freeing. 

Yes, physically my luggage was much lighter, and smaller, thank goodness, but I also feel like I went with less fear and anxiety and worry about fitting in and networking and being, well, shazam-y. 


This year I worried much less about clothes or fitting in, topics which understandably seemed to create a lot of anxiety for people. I rocked my usual style of being pretty casual. Jeans, or my new and oh-my-God-so-comfy 17 Sundays joggers, throw on a top of some description, and I’m good to go. 

I think that the shift in my attitude allowed me to meet people in a relaxed way. I met some fabulous people, and I hope the seeds of some new friendships were sown. 

The content of the conference was great, it always is, and the sessions I liked best were the ones delivered with passion and enthusiasm. 

Some people are drawn to conferences because of the international “headliners”. Though they’re great at what they do, I couldn’t give two figs about anyone’s global reach or follower count. Last year I’d never heard of the headliners, it was the same this year. 

Darren Rowse

This session alone was worth the price of admission. 

Darren Rowse, Mr ProBlogger, asked us about ourselves, our purpose and how we use our time. 

These things have nothing to do with blogging per se, and they’re the bedrock of it. 

What Darren pointed out was, like everything in life, the stuff we produce on our blogs, comes from who and how we are. 

When we are living well, pursuing the things that light us up, taking care of ourselves, our blogs will show that. 

When we run ourselves ragged, jam too much in, or stop caring, that shows up too. 

That’s why I’m here, typing while the sun comes up this morning. 

I want to write from who I am. I want everything here to be real, and hopefully relatable. 

I’m not selling anything, making money, or plotting becoming the biggest blogger in the world. 

I don’t want those things. 

I just want you. 

I want you to read along with me, to teach me, perhaps to learn from me, or see something from a different perspective. 

I want to make you laugh and think and reflect. 

I really want you to pick up a paint brush or pencil and express your creativity! That stuff is gold. 

Maybe this little blog will never “go” anywhere, maybe it will. That’s not the point of it. 

The point of it is what’s happening right now. 

After I hit publish on this, you’ll be reading these words and I just want to remind you this morning that you matter, that you CAN be the person you want to be and that this is a place where dreamers are welcomed. 


Like Darren, I want to know, how are you? Not in a supermarket check out convo way, but really… how are you? 

What lights you up? What frustrates you? 

If you had one wish for yourself (not your kids or your partner), and one wish for the world, what would they be? 

My answers orbit around these themes – self-acceptance, creativity, and encouragement.  

They are my lofty goals, and little by little, I’m living them out. 

How about you? 


With enthusiasm, 

Annette x 


PS I love hearing from you! Use that comment section ✌🏼️


Heading for the sunshine state

Today has been an up and at ’em day. 

I was awake before the alarm went off, I re-packed my suitcase and was out the door in my carefully chosen (for comfort) outfit by 8.30am, without stopping for coffee. 

Uh-oh, MAJOR DELAYS on my usual freeway. 

No biggie I tell myself, I’ve got plenty of time, I’ll just head over to the other freeway. 

I’d love to wear a heart monitor on days like today, because though my subconscious was giving me an awesome singalong-list, I knew I had to talk myself down from getting stressed out. 

The traffic was a bit shit, but not horrendous. 

Singalong-list did the trick – various oldies, a run at Wannabe, a ditty I made up about ‘texting guy’ in the white ute, a few stanzas of Afternoon Delight, I kept myself entertained and smiling. 

Here’s a question. 

WHERE are all those hundreds and hundreds of people going at 9.30am? 

Do that many people work school drop-off friendly hours?

Perhaps some of them were headed where I was, Melbourne Airport. 

Oh, I haven’t told you why I packed a case yet have I? 

Today was “I’m going to ProBlogger day”!!  

ProBlogger is an annual conference for, you’ll never guess… bloggers. It is a top notch event, run by a fantastic team. I’ve been to my share of big events and there’s nothing like the buzz around ProBlogger. 

Just me and 700 of my closest bloggy buddies, getting together at a fab hotel on the Gold Coast, for three nights of fun, and room service treats, and two days of blogging inspiration and information. 

My flight was great, the gods of economy class were smiling upon me – I got a window seat with nobody next to me! 

Flying is so great. It forces you to be still, in one spot. 

So peaceful. 

Being up above those beautful clouds, I could stare at them forever. ☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️☁️

Winging it northwards

The fight was peppered with bloggers, a high percentage of whom were wearing stripes, and we were tweeting like nobody’s business before we disembarked. 

We piled into a maxi cab and $125 later, we arrived at our beautiful resort. 

A quick squiz at the room, fresh lipstick and I was into the fray! 

Hellos and hugs. 

“I read your blog/follow you on Instagram!” moments. 

And “Is that Chantelle from FatMumSlim?” and “Isn’t that Sonia from Sonia Styling? Great hair!” 

And noise. So much noise!

700 ladies – okay 686 ladies and about a dozen fellas, can make a lot of noise. 

Today I got to chat to bloggers I’ve never met before, and it was so great. 

This weekend will be different for each person here. Some have specific networking goals or ideas in the works. Some are revelling in a break from the routines of motherhood, and catching up with remote pals. 

Some have thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of avid readers, some don’t have blogs at all yet. 

Some, like me, are so-not-pro bloggers, but bloggers nonetheless. 

We have all carved time out to come to the Gold Coast. We planned, saved and shuffled our day to day responsibilities. 

We will share a few glasses of bubbly, laugh together and dig deep together. 

We will hear from experts in our field. 

We will enjoy the warm weather. 

And ultimately, I know that every blogger here, no matter how ‘pro’ they are, wants to pile back into a cab on Saturday or Sunday, feeling inspired to deliver better, more creative and worthwhile content for you, the reader. 

I could get used to this.

Yep, I’m here for you guys, literally. 

Follow the ride on Instagram, Twitter and my Facebook page. We are using the hashtag #pbevent. 


Annette x 

Reflections from ProBlogger 2014 – Part 1, The Tears

Last week I attended my first blogging conference.


Wait, I did what?

My blog is only six months old, I don’t write ‘consistently’, and I do not have any kind of editorial calendar or strategy. I’ve only looked at my stats two or three times (stats leave me feeling queasy) – and yet off I trotted to the Gold Coast last week, to attend the ProBlogger Training Event 2014.

It was a fantastic event, and yet on some level, I found it quite an overwhelming event to attend. Not that people weren’t lovely, they all were. Queensland put on gorgeous weather, the QT Hotel was lovely, the food was AMAZING, it looked set to be a great weekend.


But before I went to bed on Thursday night, having spent a few hours with some RAD ladies from my Blog With Pip course, I recognised that I felt, well, a bit jangly. Unnerved. Anxious. Like tears were in my immediate future. I was so right!

Darren Rowse’s Friday morning keynote was sensational – he reminded me that bloggers are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Phew, I fit in the ordinary part of that equation, maybe extraordinary is in my future. And I definitely need to see the LEGO movie, stat!

Pat Flynn, a blogging guru I freely admit I’d never heard of before his name got attached to #pbevent, was also a great speaker to listen to – entertaining, informative, enthusiastic. I’ve had Backstreet Boys tunes running through my mind all week thanks to his illustrations about his wife’s obsession with those dance steppin’, love croonin’ lads. Pat told us that just like the Backstreet Boys have raving fans, bloggers can have raving fans too. I know this is true, because I am a raving fan of Styling You, Woogsworld, Meet Me At Mikes, BabyMac and quite a few more… so the morning’s teaching was excellent. Top notch.

Strange then, that not 10 minutes later I was crying into my fruit salad during the morning tea break. It could have been the sheer number of humans crammed around those tables trying to get themselves some juicy slices of watermelon, but I think it was more of an overwhelming moment of  ‘what the hell am I doing here?!’.

Luckily, I had just introduced myself to Kylie from Life, Love & Lattes, and she coped admirably with my little meltdown. Thank you so much Kylie. Seriously, #pbevent MVP right there!

I managed to pull myself together enough to attend the next session, which was again, fantastic. But at the end of that session, the tears returned, and I retreated upstairs to the bloggers’ lounge (thank you SO MUCH for providing that space for we intoverts, and for the correct apostrophe placement #pbevent team) where I sat crying for quite some time. I was feeling ALL OF THE THINGS and couldn’t quite work out which one was the eye of the storm. So, I did what any writer does, I put pen to paper to try and make some sense of my feelings.

I felt overwhelmed. I felt really confronted by having a few, JUST A FEW – maybe four, people recognise me and say they liked my blog or loved my Instagram feed… I don’t know if I can describe how surreal the feeling of being recognised live in person, in the real world, not from behind a computer screen, is. I felt vulnerable and like I didn’t know what to say to them, I felt unimpressive and awkward. I was so taken aback by that feeling, as I had expected to totally enjoy the face to face meet-ups and find them super uplifting and easy. (Let’s clarify that I DID enjoy meeting people, I had some fab conversations, I just had some issues acclimatising to face to face contact!)

That morning, I felt unsure of myself and out of my depth. I felt like a total wanker for having business cards in my bag. I won’t say I felt like a fraud, because I love blogging and want to get better and better at it, but I felt almost all the other things, and it was a really exhausting morning.

Later in the day, with my composure tenuously in place, I sidled over to Beth from BabyMac before a session, and we had a wee chat, where I CRIED AGAIN. Oh my gawd. Beth has been someone who probably without even realising it, has been a massive encouragement to me as I’ve started out on the blogging journey. So I was crying, again, and Beth was so kind to me (winning at being the same IRL/URL) and she assured me that it is indeed weird to be recognised for something we do in isolation, but that people are generally lovely. The fab Mrs Woog (why does it feel really overly intimate to call her Kayte??) also came and joined in our convo, and offered me a squirt of Rescue Remedy. Bless! I love those ladies. Seriously, you two, you’re AWESOME.

Thankfully, that was the end of the tears at ProBlogger, but it is only one aspect of the amazing weekend that we had together.

I want to really ponder the things I heard and reflect on the awesome people I got to meet, but if I try to do that all in one post, it will be too much.

Now that the tears have been mopped up, and I’m back at home, I’m going to read through my notes, ponder the beautiful people I got to meet and share stories and laughs with, and I’ll fill you in with Part 2, The People, really soon.

One thing before I sign off for today – I want you to know that I appreciate every single one of you that reads my blog – I truly do. I appreciate your comments (blogger oxygen), your encouragement, your ‘likes’ on my Instagram feed and Facebook page, your favourite & retweet button pressing on Twitter, your laughter, and your baking prowess. Without you, this is pointless.

And as fabulous as that QT Hotel bed was, there really is no place like home. Just me and my laptop, and all of you.


Annette xxx




ProBlogger2014 – what a weekend that was!

My first ProBlogger conference is now officially over, but I know I’m going to be spending many days sorting through all the FEELINGS and information that was #pbevent.

I met some great people, including a few ace bloggers I’ve connected with online over the past few years. I got hugs from #Pipsters I’ve known since this whole blogging adventure began. I enjoyed myself, I felt challenged, I cried – which is hardly surprising to most of you who’ve been here before I’m sure, I laughed, I felt at home and all at sea…

I know this for sure. I am 100% glad that I took such a big risk, with a four week old blog, and bought my ticket.

This advice sums up the conference for me:

Best advice of #pbevent
Best advice of #pbevent

So I plan to keep trying, to keep blogging, to be authentic in whatever I post here….. and that’s about all I can tell you for now.

Thanks for liking my many Instagram posts and tweets this weekend.

Abnormal programming should resume shortly.


Annette xx


ProBlogger – the schlepping was so worth it!

Tonight I am blogging from the Gold Coast, where I’m attending the ProBlogger Training Event, which is being hosted at the very swanky QT Hotel.

I’ve met, hugged and shared chats and champagne with a group of awesome girls that I know through Blog With Pip, fabulous bloggers from Queensland, from Western Australia, from the middle of Straya, from further afield than that… it’s been a huge day.

I came face to face with Eden of Edenland in the airport toilets and my bloggy pals and I jumped Mrs Woog at the QT Hotel lifts this afternoon. How I did not get in that group selfie I still don’t know. I got a hug though!

And as I retired for the evening, having enjoyed margaritas and catching up with blogging friends, I met this lovely lady in the lift.

It’s going to be a HUGE weekend, I hope my brain is ready for all the awesome information that’s on offer. I know my heart’s ready for all the cool bloggers I’m going to meet and be inspired by.

Look out for lots of photos and snippets on social media, and I may use the #pipsterbomb hashtag for a bit of fun, photo bombs, hug bombs, the good stuff.

Goodnight from the GC.


Annette x


What NOT to pack for ProBlogger 2014


Hard to believe that in just one week, I will be sitting in a room with 549 other bloggers, listening to the first of many sessions at ProBlogger Training Event 2014. The training isn’t para-military, it’s a conference for bloggers, pro and pro-schmo alike.

As the event draws closer there are a multitude, nay, an avalanche of posts on what to pack/what to wear, on stepping out of your comfort zone, using social media to connect with people at the event, and tips on the best ways to tease tantalise your bloggy friends who couldn’t make it with all the best bits of advice, wit and selfies from the bar via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

There are two topics that I haven’t come across in this plethora of pre-PB-postage:

one for the blokes on what they should pack/wear. Yes, there are bloke bloggers, hello Nathan at Smarter Happier who has shared a joke about this with me on Facebook, and of course, among others, Mr Darren Rowse, the original ProBlogger.

Fellas, if you read this, please say hello in the comments, and at the event.

The other post I haven’t seen is what NOT to pack.

The blokes will probably spend 4.6 seconds considering what to pack (fashionable men’s style bloggers excluded), and maybe, for some, if they have loving, ‘you can’t wear that ratty old thing’ partners, they may even get some ‘help’ with their suitcase shenanigans.

Some of the ladies, on the other hand, seem to be in a pre-conference frenzy of shopping, beauty appointments and fretting about what’s hot and what’s not for conference wear. That’s heaven to some, and hell to others. I confess I’ve spent time thinking about these very things, but I will not let them dominate my brain! I’m too excited about the fact that I’m going to my first #PBEVENT. Cannot wait! By the way, my brows and I are now conference ready.

Gorgeous gals of blogland, I beseech you – be YOURSELVES, be comfortable, be bright and bold or beautiful in beige, but please don’t miss your flight because you’re worrying about whether you should have packed that extra pashmina. I recommend that you read one to three of those ace ‘what to pack’ posts, from the style bloggers you love and trust, and then just do it. And while I’m sure I’ll admire a fab tunic or a swishy skirt, I’m MUCH more interested in your inner fabulosity than your carefully curated capsule wardrobe.

So, here comes the ‘take away’ – a bloggy term I’ve learned because Darren’s always banging on about being useful to your readers – it is this, pack light, pack well, then forgetaboutit and focus on the break from the everyday routine, meeting great people, the learning, and hopefully, the sunshine.

To wit, here are my top 5 things NOT TO PACK for #PBEVENT, or for any other conference you’ve got on the horizon:

  • Your worries about being ‘good enough’. Just don’t do it. To yourself, or anyone else!
    Don’t bog yourself down being a Fretsy McFretson. You’ve got a golden ticket, you’re going, you ARE good enough!
    By the way, the ‘good enough’ thing doesn’t really exist outside our heads. Did you know that? Good news, right?
  • A head full of stats, for the purpose of knowing where you sit in the pack. Now I know that stats are valuable, especially to the pros, but I’m really talking to my peeps here – you know who you are, my fellow newbies who are thinking about how little their readership is, how they haven’t done X, Y or Z with their blog yet, how underwhelming their writing is… just STOP that shit! Refer to ‘good enough’ above, outside of our heads, nobody else is thinking about your stats when they meet you.
  • The wrong laptop lead/charger/business cards. A couple of weeks ago, my 76 years young dad called me up because he was having a problem with his laptop. He’s a newbie to the internet and this is his first ever computer, so I’ve been helping him learn the basics of the web, from what Google is to how to save stuff into his Favourites list, and he’s all over it. Anyway, he couldn’t get his lappy to plug into the power lead because, unbeknownst to him, my SISTER had used her lappy in his office and not taken her lead away when she finished. So there we were like cavemen holding a BlackBerry, trying to work out how the hell the lead for ‘his’ laptop suddenly would NOT FIT into the lappy. It was tres Twilight Zone.
  • Negative Self-Talk I am absolutely sure that there will be bloggy information and conversation which I cannot fathom at the conference. It is bound to happen, as I’ve only been blogging for six months. I literally have no clue about how to use Google+, let alone harnessing the power of SEO, monetising (which I still say is one of the STUPIDEST words ever invented) or 90.5% of the technical talk that goes on around blogging. My strategy when this happens – I’m gonna wave my arms in the air like I just don’t care. I might do that to ask a question in a session, or just to have a ‘gosh isn’t this amazing’ hallway dance moment, but I will not be going Negative Nancy on myself because I’m a learner. Every single person in the universe didn’t know stuff before they knew it. Darren Rowse once DID NOT KNOW WHAT A BLOG EVEN WAS. Read that sentence again. Got it, okay then? Moving on…
  • Excess Baggage. I’m not talking about your luggage here, I’m talking about the stuff that we lug around with us in our heads and hearts, the everyday stuff, your schedule, the kids and the bazillion activities which you ferry them to, that problem at work, your money woes… you know the stuff. Hear me well – I am NOT saying you should get your Pollyanna on, I hate that crap. There will be moments for us to have awesome D&M chats with our blog buds, and they’ll be much needed. Just don’t bring that extra load with you, don’t claim that extra baggage at the carousel. The truth is, it will still be there when we get home. Take these days to exhale, to sneak in a walk on the beach, to go for a run, to skip a session to lay by the pool… don’t let your blog be the only thing that gets something out of the conference.

So there are my TOP 5 TIPS on what NOT to pack for a fabulous #PBEVENT.

I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to being in sunny Queensland next week. If you happen follow me on Twitter @theverbsblog you’ll see that I’ve already become besties with QT Hotel!

And if just one person (okay, okay, half a dozen) comes up to me at the Stingray Bar, or at breakfast, or between sessions, and says they read this post and liked it, or they know of my blog, I might just faint! I love it when people ask me if I’m that Verbs girl. Why YES I AM! I may not ever be a pro at this blogging business, but Imma gonna carpe diem the bone marrow out of these days in the sunshine with 549 bloggy buddies – and ultimately they are the only ‘things’ I need to have with me! This means YOU! We are what makes our blogs great, so though there will be information and tips and stuff I know I’ll be able to use, I’m looking forward to meeting the bloggers I’ve read for years, the bloggers I’ve met online and the bloggers I haven’t yet heard of!

See you all in a week!

Cue the happy music Mr Sound Guy, I vote Starship – We Built This City!


Annette – the Verbs girl xx