Ireland day 1 & 2

So we landed in Dublin on Tuesday.

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We walked around a little bit and then we went to the temple bar. Temple bar is a famous pub in Dublin, it’s massive. Walked around Dublin a bit and then got in the car to drive down to Youghl where we had family we never knew about!

Stephanie had got in touch with us some time ago as she was putting together our family tree. We got to Youghl and checked in at the bed and breakfast in an adorable little room.

We had a drink at the bar and Stephanie came up and said yeah… That’d be ye… We looks very similar and so do Dad and Johnny, Stephanie’s Dad.

They lived 20 mins out of Youghl so we jumped in the car and followed. The roads started getting narrower and the countryside was getting greener. We got to their lovely house and were introduced to either rest of the family.

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Everyone was lovely, the house was beautiful. To go to the bathroom you have to cruch down to get in. We were told heaps of stories about our family like my great grandfather.

Stories such as this…. Tell me if you see a resemblance

Ned (My great grandfather) bought 50 left legged boots…. Took them into town and set up a shop. He managed to sell all of them.

Ned was trying to sell a house, a lady came on a misty day and said,
“Is that a pear tree? I can’t see through the mist.”
“Yes! A beautiful pear tree.”
That night Ned went out and bought some pears, tied a string to them and hung them in the not-pear tree so in the morning when she came she could see the pears.

The family kept coming in, they all knew about us, but they were all new to me. Stephanie told me that Ned used to have a picture of me on the mantle and that was Grace and you weren’t allowed touch it. That made me proud.

We went back into town and had some dinner then we went to a cute place called the nook for a nightcap.

The next morning we had an amazing breakfast and took off for the coast. First stop Blarney Castle

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We did the caste, and kissed the blarney stone. Then we went on a tour of the Mannor then we went and saw the Witches Kitchen and fairy garden. It was amazing.

Then we went along the coast and did all of this.

Tonight we are staying in a small town called watermill in a cute place with Irish music.

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The day that didn’t end.

So on the third day we went for a drive around the ring of Kerry.

We went to the Kerry cliffs and drove around the countryside.

Then we went to the cliffs of Moher. We walked up there as a family and then I ran back with my music blaring. It was so amazing to listen to bittersweet symphony overlooking the cliffs and the ocean. Probably one of my favorite moments in life so far.

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After the cliffs we made our way to Galway. We tried at least 15 hotels in Galway and they were all booked, tried some bed and breakfasts, nothing. So it’s 11pm and no hotel room.

Off to Belfast! 3 hour drive get in at 2. Start looking for hotels… Nothing.

Belfast is entirely booked out.

It gets to 5 am and we still have nothing. Us three kids crammed in the back, no where to go. We found a holiday inn with wifi, they wouldn’t let the kids crash on the couch so they slept on the floor and we googled some options.

There was no room left in Ireland so we decided to go to Scotland. The ferry left at 11 so we dropped the car off and went to the ferry terminal. I walked a 1 hour round trip to get food, only to discover the cafe upstairs.

After some careful research I discovered they had sleeper cabins and massages. Done deal, got the room and a massage had some white wine on the deck I was very happy.

We got into Glasgow which was stunning, no rooms…………… Anywhere. Whatever, off to Edinburgh then. Two rooms a little bit out of the city… But whatever we needed sleep! It was about 46 hours in or more. Edinburgh is the more beautiful place I have ever seen. Castles and churches and parks. It feels frozen in time.

We went and checked in the went to dinner and walked around.

There was a festival called the Tattoo on so we went and watched fireworks and saw a parade and everything was awesome.

Then bed. Bed was amazing. yay bed

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Young Achiever

I met Kerrie Phipps in June of last year. Over the last 6 months she has been an amazing support and such a great resource.

Kerrie has just begun the “Young Achievers” giveaway which is an amazing idea Kerrie launched 6 weeks ago that puts the spotlight on Young people doing good things!

I am so honoured to be one of the people featured and you can read my story here

Week 6 – Grace Mills

Think Big Online New York!

As most of you know I accidentally ended up in the states for longer than expected.

The team decided to seize the opportunity and create Think Big Online’s presence in New York!

We now have some office space on Maddison Avenue and are very excited for the new things to come !

What’s going on (?)

So it’s pretty interesting how life works.. One day you think you have it all down and the next your like… well what the hell happened there.

This is what has been going on.

Upon arriving in the US I was nervous that I was going to have issues with immigration. With being out of the country for over 6 months and a few other hiccups there was a possibility it would still not be valid. Everything seemed to be fine, got through all good.

I was selling my house as I decided I wanted to remain in Sydney and I could no longer rent it out. After arriving to the states with some serious Jet lag and a whole list of things that I had to do while I was here which seems impossible to do- I started checking things off the list. I was super stressed and emotional but was getting it done.

I then noticed my green card was missing I thought Oh this is going to be really annoying to get back- I didn’t realise until a few days later exactly how “annoying” it would be.

Losing my green card means I can not leave this country without getting a new one without some serious repercussions. It is considered abandoning residence and is frowned upon.

To get a new green card takes up to two months… sometimes more. So I am in lock down.

This means 2 months in NYC where I have to sort things out in Sydney as I can’t be paying rent in two places, figure out what I am going to do for work, cancel on speaking arrangements ect. ect. A LOT to think about, process and do.

When this all happened the world felt a bit like it was crashing around me. It felt like I was finally getting it all together and figuring it all out then this happens? I was doing fine.. I was on my path, feeling stable and happier than I had ever been. Then this came up and I was like seriously!?!? I was dealing with everything and then this was lumped on top of it? I was fall apart mess on the floor- I probably could have handled a little bit better if I wasn’t already emotional and under pressure. Everything that I wasn’t thinking about before because I had “stuff to do” all came to the surface. Every coping mechanism shut down and I had a fall apart day. I do have to say that I have very speedy recovery on fall apart moments.

 

I was on Skype the other night to a close friend of mine who helps me through a lot of things, is a great support to me and is an amazing friend. He helped me realise that I have another way to look at this situation.  He said “This situation is PERFECT…”  I was like what the hell are you talking about? This isn’t perfect, this is the opposite to what I wanted to happen. There was a lot of awesome things that happened within that conversation. To not see this as an opportunity would be a mistake. And he helped me see that (after about an hour and some tears)

 

I have a feeling I wouldn’t have had to make this decision again if I was just supposed to shrug and say oh well. Something changes in you when you have to fight for something. Sure you have to choose your battles… but I feel everything in my life is happening for a reason. Every challenge that I come up against always results in me coming out the other side better, stronger, with a different perspective on things and sheds light on new opportunities.

 

It is so hard to see things as a new exciting opportunity when they have repercussions that aren’t so great and when it comes at a really inconvenient time.. but this is something that is challenging, exciting and I am going to go through it with an open mind and an open heart and I am sure it will turn out great.

I want to say a very special Thank You to Samuel- A great boss, leader and friend for being so supportive and fantastic, and also to Tash and Tom  who have gone above and beyond to help me sort things out.

Thank you to everyone who is helping me right now and as siting me and supporting me on this amazing adventure called life.

 

 

Coco Safar

So while I am in NY I am tagging along to a few meetings with Dad.

 

I often don’t know who we are meeting with or why- I just rock up and it’s a surprise.

 

This time we were meeting Wil to talk about an awesome coffee brand- Coco Sofar. It has amazing culture around the brand and is amazing coffee.

We had a 4 COURSE coffee sitting. Espresso- Latte- short latte thing and then spiced tea. AMAZING

Gold coast trip

So….. Tiger airways.

I looked really cute going to the airport, had my book.. all ready to go then… nup flight cancelled none til the next day AFTER the wedding had finished. Very un helpful.

 

My best friend Tom came and reused me from the airport and delivered me to Tash where we drank wine and were merry.

 

The next day I flew to the Gold Coast.. hung out with the kid lets, go ready and then went to the wedding. The wedding was beautiful and I think everyone got a little bit teary.

 

After the wedding we went on a mission for food before going to juptiers for the reception. Dekko Hannah and I hung out by the pool then we went into the reception which was STUNNING.

 

I had such an amazing time dancing with Dekko and Hannah. We shuffled, we twisted and shouted and we wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeahed.

 

 

 

Then the kids went home and I stayed out with Uncle Wazza, Uncle Dace and Aunty Kez. I went to get drinks.. and naturally when I came back Kez was on stage.

 

At about 4 we decided it was time for bed. And by bed I mean BlackJack. So I went and did that, then hopped in a cab and went home.

 

Knowing me.. a good night out isn’t complete without a bit of cab drama.

 

He decided that he no longer knew where I was going and the address didn’t exist and was going to call the cops. I in all my wisdom got out of the cab.. in the middle of Ashmore and walked in what I assumed was the right direction.

 

No cars, no phone, NFI where I was or was going. Luckily another cab came to the reuse.

 

Next day I recovered next to the pool and had a BBQ in celebration of Aunty Kezzas birthday.

 

Hurrah

Promises

Instead of goals I want to write myself promises. I feel like I have more attachment to saying I promise myself I will achieve … instead of saying I aim to achieve this by whatever date.

By sharing these I feel like it will help me be held accountable and who knows, I might even get some help or encouragement along the way.

By the end of 2012 I promise to

– Have finished tough mudder (18k of brutal obstacles)
– Have auditioned for the voice
– Have sold my NY apartment
– Have bought a place in Sydney
– Have achieved my monetary goals at TBO
– Have launched Cause for a Party and raised 20k for supporting charities
– Have at least 10 participating nightclubs in Cause for a Party
– Have dropped 10 kilos
– Have spoken on a National TV or Radio show for Online Marketing

I think they are all realistic and 100% achievable. 5 months to go 2012!!!

Things my boss says

Me- Where are the normal glasses
Samuel- Here take this (Champagne glass) it suits you.. and can be part of your rehab strategy.

” Samuel: hey do you feel like going to bunnings for me tonight?
Sent at 3:38 PM on Monday
me: That is exactly what I feel like doing tonight..
Samuel: great!
you can get some oil for your stripper pole while you are there”
me: sigh
what do you need me to get there/
Sent at 3:41 PM on Monday
Samuel: oh come on there will be lots of hot tradies
with pink polos and fake tan

TOLD YOU SO

You know what, when I was in high school I thought I would look back once I had accomplished certain things and go NER TOLD YOU SO and I thought that would be THE BEST feeling on earth. Thank god I didn’t do things solely for that reason.

I have done a lot of what I set out to do in high school that people said I couldn’t. Move to New York, go to a musical theatre school,  be in musical theatre (close to) broadway 😛 buy a house in NYC by the time I was 21, have my own office overlooking park avenue but most recently…. record a song I wrote (in collaboration with Dad) with amazing musicians and producers. A lot of people told me I couldn’t and .. I did. Not by myself.. I had so much help along the way.

But I did it, so here, “I told you so“……….. Wow that’s a bit of a let down. My ner ner moment wasn’t all it was cracked up to be but I think doing things for the  “I told you so moment” hasn’t been my motivation for quite some time.

I am so super lucky. I am really so thankful for the life I have and have had and sometimes I get lost in my own head and forget how grateful I should be! I am on cloud 9 at the moment because something that was always a dream of mine became a reality.

Today is an amazing day for me, I received the master of the track we wrote 2 years ago and recorded 9 months ago.

One day I was singing the song with Dad at a family friends event and (the now investor of the project) goes, that song is amazing, lets get it into the recording studio ASAP and it happened! It is a completely surreal thing that it went from this little idea that started with “there’s a New York Rat on a subway track” to a real track that real things are going to happen with.

This is a dream come true. We recorded vocals at one of the best studios in NYC (Platinum) used by some of the best musicians like U2  http://www.platinumsoundny.com/, we recorded with a choir, had an amazing time, went through 32408723502375 mixes, had some amazing people play on the track, getting it all mixed in nashville before being sent to Marcussen Mastering in Hollywood.

Some may see this as name dropping but you know what, I think in this instance I’m just allowed 🙂

To be able to say I did that and have this amazing finished product that is me, is so indescribable. This feeling that I have achieved one of my dreams. This is a massive checkbox in the things I wanted to do in my life and it feels so amazing. Do you want me to say amazing again?

This isn’t the end of this checkbox though it is just the beginning I have so many more goals, aspirations and really far fetched dreams that I will not stop until I get or get dead.