Taking Stock – January 2019

Hello friends! 

I am going to take stock of this life of mine, Pip Lincolne style. Pip’s lovely blog Meet Me At Mike’s is the home of the Taking Stock list and it’s rad exercise, for bloggers and non-bloggers alike. 

Making: money, honey! I went back to work this week and I like it. 

Cooking: lentil and beef bolognese and some kind of roast vegetable salad for the coming week. 

Sipping: ice-block clinking glasses of lemon cordial and soda water. 

Reading: Boys Will Be Boys by the incredible Clementine Ford. I admire her mind and her determination. 

Looking: at beautiful fluffy clouds and technicolour sunsets aplenty. Hashtag and all, #lookup. 

Listening: to new podcasts. I just binged my way through NPR’s Believed. 

Wishing: it was autumn already. I am not a summer lovin’ gal. 🍃🍂🌾🍁

Enjoying: those fresh hair feels. I feel extra snazzy when I have freshly hair cut. 💇🏼

Waiting: for cardigan weather. 🍂🌾🍃

Buying: The Big Issue. 

Watching: Salvation and Last Tango In Halifax on Netflix, Top Chef on Foxtel and The Circus on Stan. Great shows! 

Hoping: to plan a proper little holiday for the coming end of year break. Any suggestions? Should I cruise?  

Needing: new everyday shoes. Is my ideal flat out there? I hope so. 

Wearing: right now? Red cotton owl print pj pants and a charcoal tee shirt, because #fashionblogger 

Following: new foodie accounts to keep @mylowsaltlife on track. I like @vegiehead and @halloumitracksuit. 

Noticing: what a difference it makes when I plan, shop and food prep. Good food takes effort, and it’s so worth it.


Sorting: the shiz out of my wardrobe, KonMari style. It was an invigorating process. 

Getting: back in the swing of food prepping on the weekends. Following through is a habit I need to practice. 

Saving: money. I’ve got a plan in place; every little bit counts. 

Coveting: air conditioning in the bedroom and kitchen of my small, weatherboard, utterly insulation free house. 

Opening: a parcel from 17 Sundays and expecting one from Add To Cart in a few days. Yippee. 

Feeling: fine, and in need of a good night’s sleep. 

Hearing: the fictional bad guys and good guys arguing over the fate of the world. 

Obsessing: over Lady Gaga’s immense talents. I think she is quite brilliant. A true artist. 

That’s about it for me! 

If you’d like to take stock, in your journal or blog, or on Facebook or Instagram, you can find a blank list on Pip’s blog. 

Now, I’ve got to get back to the bad guys and good guys, the fate of the world is still undecided! Only 81 days until the (fictional) killer asteroid destroys us all. 

Hugs and high fives, 

Annette ❤️❤️


Taking Stock: February


February is almost over already… can you believe that?! Great time for a stock take, don’t you think? 

I’ll dive right in, with thanks to Pip Lincolne for the prompts. 

Making: Marks, using watercolours and pen. 

Cooking: Burgers. Lentil and mushroom bolognese. Roast carrot salad. I’m mad for carrots. 

Drinking: Lemonade with a splash of raspberry cordial. Soda water and lemon cordial. Coffee to start the day. Water. 

Reading: This great book, and enjoying reflecting on how much we owe to women of the past. Thank you Marjorie! 


Next read: Not sure yet. I have plenty of unread books to choose from. 

Wanting: To know how much I actually need to know to feel okay. It’s a conundrum. 

Looking: Up. I highly recommend it. 

Enjoying: That I can sense autumn lurking on our collective doorstep. The leaves are already changing and falling. 

Waiting: Is difficult. You can get stuck in overthinking and worst case scenarios.

Buying: Soda water, olive oil, canned goods, tissues, lemon cordial and toilet paper by the trolley load! I am stocking up for my recovery period; no heavy lifting allowed. 

Watching: Sarah Off The Grid. Top Chef Colorado. Scandal. Project Runway All Stars. 

Next watch: Hard Sun. 

Hoping: My pacemaker op goes boringly routinely and I have a hassle free recovery. 

Marvelling: That I will have a pacemaker inside me in less than two weeks. Two weeks! 

Cringing: At the thought of the actual procedure. Ugh. 

Needing: To remain positive, to plan as much as I can and then just let it all go. Control is an illusion. 

Questioning: The blindness of some sectors of the USA. How can they not see they desperately need better gun control? 

Smelling: Rain. And stinky body odour from next door. #grossneighbours

Wearing: Denim shorts, a crop top and a stripey tee. Fashion is my life. 

Worrying: Trying not to. Mostly succeeding. 

Noticing: Clouds. Branches. Crooked paintings. Typos. 

Knowing: I’m lucky to have a boss who hasn’t thrown up his hands at all the sick leave I’ve needed to take in the past year. 

Admiring: Glennon Doyle. Revolution and coffee, that’s the way. 

Getting: Myself and my house ready for my pretty much one-armed, can’t reach for things recovery. It’s coming along. 

Coveting: Nothing but a small pile of extra cash, but I can get by without it. 

Disliking: Guns and the way some people confuse their “freedom” and owning weapons designed to maim and kill.

Feeling: Good, if a titch unsettled, I’ll be glad when March is mostly over. 

Snacking: Corn chips, carrot sticks and avocado dip. Mmmm so crunchy! 

Opening: Some lovely mail lately. It’s so heartening to receive handwritten cards and letters from people.

How about you? 

What are you pondering, admiring, making and most importantly, snacking on? 

Tell me everything! 

Here’s to a change of season, to releasing all that needs to fall away and embracing all the colour that bursts forth. 

Big hugs, 

Annette xx 


Taking Stock: November

Hello lovely people,

In the creative footsteps of blogger, author, teacher, crafter and all round nice lady Pip Lincolne, it’s time to take stock: 

Making myself comfy on the couch. 

Cooking eggplant bacon. There’s a batch in the oven right now!


Drinking coffee. This morning’s crema reminded me of constellations. 

Reading books about heart failure and the Mediterranean diet, so I can better understand and manage my health. 

Wanting to keep up my new habit of walking for my health. 

Looking up. The sky is my shield and comfort. 

Playing the new Taylor Swift album. I am loving the evolution of her musicianship.  

Deciding what I’m going to eat this week. Organisation is key to my low salt life. 

Wishing it was a long weekend. I love them. 

Enjoying pulling on my leafy leggings and sneaks and going for a walk, mostly. We’ll see if I make it out there today. 

Waiting for summer holidays. 

Liking myself, my family, my heart shield, this life. 

Wondering about how I might feel if I need to get a pacemaker. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. 

Loving the encouraging, supportive, generous, big hearted people in my life. You’re my oxygen. 

Pondering why I’m not blogging, sketching or painting much lately. 

Considering leaning more heavily into a Mediterranean style of eating. Bring on the ancient grains and pomegranates. 

Buying a new vacuum cleaner online. It’s a glamorous life!! 

Watching Bar Rescue, lots of Jamie Oliver, clouds. 

Hoping to continue feeling and being as well as I can. Combining that hope with everyday action is the key. 

Marvelling at the power of encouraging words. I know how much I need them, and need to give them. 

Cringing at the coarse vanity and stupidity of politicians, clinging to power by any means possible. Their inhumanity to those they perceive as unimportant to their cause is endlessly staggering. 

Needing to keep on keeping on, and get rid of some stuff. Less is better. 

Questioning why I felt such shame around being prescribed antidepressants. Stigma sucks. 

Smelling eggplant bacon.

Wearing my pjs. Comfort rules on the weekends, heck, comfort always always rules. 

Following my heart’s lead; inspiring people; a slow road. 

Noticing how vividly green the trees are against the sky. 

Knowing everything is cyclical. 

Thinking of ways to find balance. 

Admiring people who accept, embrace and celebrate themselves. Coming home to yourself is the ultimate pilgrimage. Are you on that road? I hope so. 

Getting philosophical. It always happens when I take stock, which is why it’s such a worthwhile practice. 

Book borrowing and buying. I want to spend more time reading. 

Coveting nothing. I don’t need more than I have. 

Disliking having to think about how much I drink every day, whether I’ve taken my tablets, and all that jazz. 

Opening myself to new ways of thinking and being. 

Feeling good. Life has challenges and great beauty. It is a privilege to be here. 

Snacking on hummus again. I finally found a great low sodium recipe! 

Hearing Taylor Swift sing, and feeling relaxed. 

That’s the state of play in my world. Reflecting on where we’re at, what we want and who we are is such a valuable way to check in with what truly matters. I highly recommend it! 

If you’d like to take stock, just copy and paste this list to your Facebook page/journal/blog or use the prompts in your creative practice. 

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

Take care of yourselves, and each other. 

Annette x 

What’s up? Taking Stock November

Hey there, what’s up? 

Lately my life feels epically boring, and a bit like I’m treading water with no land in sight – not great for a human, or a blogger! Time to take stock of things, don’t you think? List courtesy of the glorious Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s. 

Let’s go. 

Making: a list of things I’m interested in or fascinated by as part of artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon’s new class: Idea Generation. My list includes art supplies, modernism, gender fluidity, nature, galleries, books and still life.

Cooking: sparodically, it’s so frustrating not to be in the groove. I made a deliciously simple soba noodle salad last week, and a yummy pesto and couscous combo too. So far today, just baked beans on toast. 

Drinking: coffee, soda water and Bickford’s lemon cordial, and lots of water. Hydrate, people! 

Reading: The New York Times, BabyMac, Woogsworld, and a couple of fantastically timely posts by The Everywhereist. Read this post and this one too. 

Trawling: Twitter. Can’t look away from American politics. WTF? 

Wanting: some sense of direction or purpose. Should I consider studying something? 

Looking: up! In all kinds of weather. 

Deciding: not to get my op shop on today, I’ll go tomorrow. 

Enjoying: sketching, I’m almost finished a year of drawing every day. I’m kinda chuffed with my dedication and growth. You can check out my progress on Instagram, search the hashie #IGYTsketch.

Waiting: for Godot. 

Liking: lots of great Instagram photos, there are so many creative peeps out there. 

Wondering: if 2017 will be better, if I’ll find work again soon, how long I can stay in this holding pattern. Le sigh. 

Loving: that my sister has Netflix, I will be lobbing on her doorstep to watch the reboot of Gilmore Girls soon. 

Pondering: how to remember how your life changes, it seems to happen both glacially slowly and then all at once. 

Listening: to Starship’s Greatest Hits. Toe-tappingly great tunes. 

Buying: I think I’d like to buy a super short hair cut and maybe a colour, I’ll have to ask Santa about that. 

Watching: a fascinating show about Beatrix Potter. I’m inspired by ladies of the past who made their own way in the world. 

Hoping: is costly. I’m protecting my reserves. 

Marvelling: at the generosity of friends. Knowing I am blessed, even when my feelings don’t always concur. 

Cringing: at the rise of white supremacists in the US. 

Needing: a plan. 

Wearing: my gloriously cosy pink dressy gown. I think it’s got superpowers of comfort. 

Noticing: how incredible the cloud formations have been lately. 
Knowing: this too shall pass. It doesn’t feel true all the time, but I know it, I hope. 
Thinking: about how little I care about Christmas. Bah humbug. 
Admiring: the tree on my nature strip. Just yesterday I stood underneath it and admired it. 
Bookmarking: lots of articles about painting techniques. 
Disliking: feeling less than shazamy, but I dislike big fat fakers more. 
Opening: the wrapper on a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond chocolate. Thank you $2.50 special! 
Hearing: cicadas, they’re baaaaaack! So loud, so summery. 
Pretending: a little bit, I’m keeping an eye on it. 
Embracing: my feelings. 
Gasping: for breath, that was a long list, even though I skipped a few of Pip’s prompts. 
I shared this on Instagram this week, and I want you to see it too.  
Don’t shrink, okay? The ones who want you smaller are not your team. Please make sure you surround yourself with people who cheer you on, and that you cheer for too. It’s super important that we don’t spend another minute feeling “less than”, don’t you think? 
Let me know what’s up in your world in the comments. I love hearing from you. 
Annette x

Taking Stock: Spring 2016

Spring has sprung! It has been a confusing start to the season, we’ve had an explosion of blossom trees, some gorgeous sunny days, tee shirt weather, followed by rainy days and rummaging for a jumper, then more sun… nobody knows what to expect! 

The new season seems like a good moment to stop and take stock of where things are at. This is a Pip Lincolne idea, which lots of us think is quite terrific, so you’ll see Taking Stock posts pop up here and there, and I find it’s always an exercise that takes me to unexpected places. 

Here we go!

Making: a mess as I tidy up, you’ve got to go backwards before you can go forwards it seems. 

Cooking: pikelets – they are so easy and deliver every single time. Yummo. 

Drinking: coffee in the mornings, peppermint tea when I have a tummy ache, and my afternoon beverage of choice is soda water and lemon cordial. Sometimes I add a splash of vodka as the sun goes down! 

Reading: I just read Ruby Wax’s (Waxes?!) book Sane New World, which I found super interesting and engaging. The  brain is an incredible organ. 

Smelling: spring blooms 

Wanting: work. 

Looking: up. Even on days when I’m feeling sub-chipper, I do try, literally and figuratively, to look up. The sky is such a reassuring presence. Clouds, sunshine through branches, all that blue that goes on forever. Sigh, I love it. 

Playing: old Tina Arena tunes; Chains, Sorrento Moon, Heaven Help My Heart. Such great songs and what a GREAT singer she is. 

Deciding: what’s for dinner every damn night is painful at the moment. I’ve temporarily lost my kitchen mojo. 

Wishing: I had a personal chef, or at least someone to stock my fridge. 

Enjoying:sunny days ☀️☀️

Waiting: for my kitchen mojo to return. I’m hoping that flavoursome, simple, crunchy salad days aren’t far off. 

Liking: that other people seem to appreciate my artistic endeavours.

Loving: spending time with special friends. 

Pondering: where new things might take me. 

Buying: new pillows! I think it’s time, and a friend gave me a little “pick me up” voucher recently, so I can afford a simple treat. 

Watching: diverse documentaries on iTunes – Kill Switch, Tender, Herb & Dorothy, Copy & Paste. 

Hoping: for good things for you. Yep, really! 

Noticing: there’s strength in the sunshine again. 

Knowing: I have good people in my life, I am not in this alone. 

Thinking: about collaboration, encouragement, words, and creativity. 

Admiring: the makers, the dreamers, and those who get up and step into the arena. 

Disliking: #Trump2016 

Opening: new tubes of paint.

Feeling: positive again, after a shaky few weeks. 

Snacking: on strawberries, or Twisties. 

Hearing: birdsong #tweettweet 🐥🐥

How are you feeling about the change of season? I’m happy to be seeing more blue skies than grey, that’s for sure. 

But I’m also a teensy bit jealous of those of you moving into autumn, spring is a beautiful season, but autumn will always have my heart. 

What’s your favourite season? 

Have you got a fabulous (and frugal) salad recipe for me?  

Keep looking up, 

Annette x 

Taking Stock: April 2016


How are you? I hope you’re feeling chipper, ace, cosy and appreciated. If not, please accept a virtual hug and a high five from me right now. I think you are awesome! 

It’s a gorgeous autumn Saturday here in Melbourne, the perfect afternoon for a taking stock post, a Pip Lincolne tradition that lots of people have embraced. 

What I like most about taking stock is that you never know where the list is going to take you, so here goes! 

Making: Art. I love being creative. 

Cooking: I think it will be saucy meatballs and penne tonight. Yum. 

Drinking: Last night, I enjoyed a piccolo of bubbly. This afternoon, I’m on the lemon cordial and soda water train. 

Reading: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. She is one tuned-in, smart lady. 

Wanting: Confirmation on a job offer. Quietly confident. 

Looking: At the breeze ruffling my living room curtain. Curtain flutterings make me happy. 

Playing: Solitaire and WordFeud. 

Deciding: Whether to pre-emptively add some channels to my Foxtel package, before I hear about the job. 

Wishing: Only good things for you. May you know yourselves well, love courageously and find strength, and even beauty, in your scars. 

Enjoying: These strangely fine and sunny autumnal days, and the rainy days. I’ll take anything autumn’s offering.


Waiting: On that confirmation. 

Liking: My life. Myself. Creatively inspiring people. 

Wondering: How I will cope with going back to full time hours. It has been almost three years! 

Loving: AUTUMN, and my dad. Grateful for his help today. 

Pondering: Where things might lead me. What’s next? 

Considering: Buying ALL THE THINGS once I’m working again. Well, not ALL the things, but some of them. 

Buying: Yesterday, thanks to my pal Deanna’s generosity, I got to buy lots of groceries. Thanks Dee! 

Watching: Grand Designs House Of The Year 2015, and looking forward to more Scandal, KUWTK and MasterChef. 

Hoping: To stay positive, whatever comes this week. 

Marvelling: At my sister Lisa; she’s taken to motherhood so beautifully, it is a truly special thing to witness.

Cringing: At Malcolm Turnbull. His rhetoric around refugees turns my stomach. Is there a basement office at Parliament House where they teach Fearmongering 101? Misty-eyed, really? You sir, are DEPLORABLE. That’s not leadership, that is naked ambition and playing to the lowest possible common denominator out there, fear.

Needing: I don’t need anything really. I have so much, even as I wait for good news about employment. Need isn’t just about finances or things. I have amazingly special people in my life, I have creativity and the sky. I’m all good. 

Questioning: I will never understand political ambition. How (and why) would you deny your humanity, and deaden your heart to stay at the top of the heap? There’s a question. 

Smelling: The aromas of the beautiful essential oils my friend Louisa sent me this week. 

Wearing: Trackies and a fave 17Sundays stripey tee. 

Following: My instincts. 

Noticing: Birdsong. So many chirpy, tweety birds seem to be around at the moment. It’s lovely. 

Knowing: That things are seasonal, in life as in nature. That I am more than okay. 

Thinking: About how important gratitude is in my life. 

Admiring: My sisters. Clementine Ford. People who stand up for what they believe in. Dissenters. Artists. Rebels. 

Sorting: Nothing much. 

Getting: Addicted to new podcasts, the latest being The West Wing Weekly. It’s so great to revisit the greatest television show of all time via this podcast. 

Bookmarking: Lots of cookbooks, I’m looking forward to making braises, soups, stews, and warming fruit crumbles as the weather cools down. 

Coveting: A good internet connection. 

Disliking: The politics of fear. 

Opening: Country Style magazine.

Giggling: At the word package. 

Feeling: Positive. Good. Grateful. Curious. 

Snacking: Salt and vinegar chips, cheese and crackers, hummus on Turkish bread. Bring it on. 

Helping: Myself to more chips.  

Hearing: Birdsong, the afternoon sonata is in full swing. 

That’s life for me, in a list-y nutshell. 

How are you? What are you listening to, liking, cringing at, smelling and thinking? 

Tell me all about it. 

Don’t forget to look up today. We’re all under the same sky.

Autumnally yours, 

Annette x

Taking Stock – October 2015

Howdy readers!

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon, and I’m sucking down free wifi at the library. Thank you council!

Spring has really hit its stride, now that we’re in daylight savings again (yay!), so it feels like a good time for a bit of reflection and taking stock. I love this exercise of Pip’s, it always makes me stop and think about what’s happening in my life.

Here we go!

Making: a lot of noise in the echo chamber that is the foyer outside the library, I’ve suddenly got a frog in my throat.

Cooking: chicken, bacon and new potatoes, which I shred and smash, then mix with crunchy celery and creamy mayo for an easy weekend dinner, the eat again for lunch. I love cooking that stretches across a couple of days of eating.

Drinking: Soda water and lemon cordial. So refreshing. It’s been almost a year since I gave soft drink the flick, though lately I’ve have the occasional can of fizzy stuff.

Reading: The Anti Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland. What a book! Rosie’s writing is sublime, and her honesty about what her life has been to this point really moved me. I’m almost finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ll definitely be going back to the start with my highlighter in hand, there’s so much good stuff in that book. And FYI, Elizabeth Gilbert thinks I’m gorgeous! Here’s the proof.

Thank you Liz!
Thank you Liz!

Wanting: more inspiration in my painting, I often want to grab the brushes but sometimes I lack focus and don’t know what to paint. Got any tips for me?

Looking: Up. Often. All that spring sky. It’s so good for my heart.

2015-09-19 12.18.33-1

Playing: David Bowie’s Greatest Hits

Wishing: That Auckland was a titch closer. I’d love to be able to pop over to my friend Rachel’s with a bottle of wine on a Friday night.

Enjoying: that hands-on creativity has become part of who I am. I draw or paint almost every day and it brings me so much quiet happiness.

My very own girl gang.
My very own girl gang.

Liking: My Ruby & Lilli – Inspired Life Tee. It was a present from my friend Rach, and I adore it.

Loving: knowing people online who genuinely support and encourage each other. I’m grateful to have found a happy crew to hang with, and be inspired by. Step away from your keyboard if you’re cranky, those are real people you’re firing your missives at. Just stop it.

Pondering: why some people refuse to see a link between the number of guns in the US and the insane frequency of mass shootings there. I will never understand this notion that ‘freedom’ equals a carrying deadly weapon. And the paranoia and illogical arguments around the issue – so infuriating!

Considering: moving to bigger canvases in my painting adventures. All that white space, hmmm, maybe not quite yet.

Buying: avocados, bacon, soda water, Lurpak butter, chocolate. Just the necessities of life.

Watching: Blue Bloods, Nashville, Rock The Boat, House of Cards, and Gilmore Girls. I’m nothing if not eclectic in my viewing tastes.

Hoping: that this summer won’t be crazily hot. I just cannot deal with those icky overnight ‘lows’ in the mid-20s.

Marvelling: at the way some people face adversity and then fashion it into a crown. I’m looking at you Styling Curvy. You are creating something beautiful with your life.

Needing: nothing really. I could list off some wants, but couldn’t we all. Satisfaction is a practiced habit.

Questioning: what’s next, not in a major way, but I wonder what 2016 might have in store.

Smelling: flowers in bloom. I noticed as I was walking down the street after work the other day, that the air was heady with spring fragrance.

Wearing: one of my new Ruby & Lilly tees – coffee rings! So hot right now.

Following: Blogs that inspire me and make me smile. I loved being along for the ride on Baby Mac’s recent Italian adventure, and there are always nice happenings on fellow Melbourne gals Bird & Fox and Iris and Edie‘s blogs.

Noticing: clouds, sunsets and light. Every day, I see beautiful shapes, colours and tones in the sky

2015-09-25 18.34.22-1

Knowing: my youngest sister’s life is about to change forever. Baby’s coming soon!

Thinking: about ways I can support her once ‘Barry’ arrives. Already, there are so many opinions! I want to be a big sister who helps her trust herself as she becomes a mum.

Admiring: so many ladies I’ve met via the keyboard. Ladies who create, who write, who cook, who build others up, who tell it like it is and most of all, ladies who use their platform to champion others. There’s no shortage of them, I guarantee you.

Getting: to the point where I really need to vacuum my house. I hate vacuuming!

Bookmarking: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page. This lady is wise and funny and all about inspiring others. I’ll have what she’s having. The fact that she thinks I’m gorgeous has nothing to do with it, I swear!

Coveting: creative inspiration. The desire is there, but I’d like to channel it into a project of some kind.

Disliking: Internet trolls and cranks. Go and do something positive with your life. Why waste the days you’ve been given destroying another person? You were made for more than that. So much more.

Opening: too many emails I don’t care about, must be time to get my unsubscribe on.

Laughing: with my hairdresser. We have such strange, funny conversations when I’m in the chair.
Feeling: good, but slightly restless.

Snacking: did someone say salt & vinegar chips? Yum!

Helping: by being a sounding board, just recently it’s been great to do more encouraging murmuring than instructional speaking, and it works. People get there in their own time.

Hearing/sensing: that people need encouragement. The end of the year is coming, people are tired. To you I say, you can do it! And if there’s someone you can ask to help you carry the load, do that too, please.

So that’s what is going on with me.

If you’d like to get on the Taking Stock bandwagon, head over to the original source of inspiration (credit where credit’s due, it’s easy and nice to do!). Just copy and paste the list at the bottom of Pip’s post and away you go. It’s a great exercise for your journal, blog, Facebook wall, Instagram feed or even as a family activity.

Stay grateful friends. Tell me what’s going on with you? What is catching your eye and making you smile?

Big love,

Annette x