Category: Personal

Girl, interrupted* : Learn to say NO so you can say YES to the things that matter

Learn to say NO to the non essential so you can say YES to the things that matter | inspirational quote

*Absolutely nothing to do with the movie and book of the same name.

Does anyone else feel constantly interrupted?

My name should not be Jessica Lea Dunn… because at the moment it feels like I can never get anything… Dunn, I mean, done! My name should be Jessica Lea Doing… because I’m always trying to push through some project or another but have so much trouble finishing. And all I want to do is tick things off my list! My dilemma is as follows: I have no problem starting a project (the amount of fantastic new ideas that flood me daily is phenomenal which is both incredibly inspiring and somewhat overwhelming). I have no problem inventing new things, getting fired up for the start up. But then – another interruption. Life. An appointment. Mama duties (this is a big one, and while I love being a mama, there is simply no “off” button). Housework to do. The constant gear-switching, on/off… losing my place, finding it again… losing my muse, and then having it flood back at the most inconvenient of moments, such as when I’m playing with Alira, supposed to be cooking dinner, or trying to get ready for bed. I’ll start juggling the ball and bouncing another… but then I eventually end up dropping both.

But still – I try to squeeze as much out of every day as possible… just half an hour more, an hour more, three, four, five hours later I’m stumbling into bed in the wee hours – and I’m STILL NOT FINISHED. Does anyone else feel like this?

Admittedly, I’ve a lot on my plate this past and coming month, but the irony is that it is entirely self-inflicted. I’m learning to drive with my test on 28th Nov – eek! I’m trying to build this blog into a little virtual home for myself and find my online tribe. I’m doing more cooking as Chief Nutritional Officer in my house (those who know me, know that this doesn’t come as naturally to me as some of my other talents). I had to process my tax return before 31st Oct so I’m still recovering from the backlog of putting everything else on hold for that. And, of course I’m still trying to do everything that I was before (getting out to see friends, play time in the park with Alira, managing my modest portfolio of shares, making sure the bills are paid on time, hanging out with my Pinterest community, keeping the house, um, sort of in order – if a tornado path could be considered orderly – ha!) I could say no to some of this, but the truth is that everything is important in different ways, some of it urgent, some of it essential, some of it necessary down-time, some of it an attempt to plant seeds for the future.

I’ve come to the realization that the only secret to doing it all is – NOT, at least not all at the same time. The activities will ebb and flow, as our focus shifts from one thing to another. We humans KNOW in our bones that we can’t do it all… and yet we still keep trying. Stop. Just stop. Breathe. Learn to say NO to anything that is not essential… so you can say YES to the things that matter.

Much, much, easier said then done.

Especially when there is money to earn, bills to pay, laundry to do, mouths to feed, souls to nurture, creativity to express, and worlds to conquer.

Women (and men) who seem to do it all – please tell me all your secrets!

Jess - Find me on Pinterest

Today has been cancelled. Go back to bed.

Today has been cancelled. Go back to bed.

Sometimes – you just have days like this.

Like the time you slept in too late on a gorgeously sunny Sunday, jump on the train to the city with the intention of hopping on a ferry to the beach, only to realize that the entire rest of the city also slept in and had the exact same idea as you – and you will have to wait for 1.5 hours in line before there’s a place on a ferry for you. And you think… nope. No beach for me today. Mission aborted.

Is this your image? Let me know and I’ll credit it!

Awesome Products: This grocery backpack is my new favourite bag!

I was just saying to my hubby Antok a few weeks ago that somebody should design a backpack with multiple stacked layers, basically, separate layered compartments with zippers, so I don’t have to rummage at the bottom of my bag for random things all the time. And, it would be so handy to be able to put the heavy things in the bottom, while the lighter things and the things I need quick access to (like drink bottles) stay at the top. So, I couldn’t believe it when I saw this perfect grocery backpack on Pinterest the other day!

Grocery backpack! With compartments to divide things, so easy to carry. Brilliant! Love! #product_design

GENIUS - layered section backpack lets you pack heavy stuff at the bottom and lighter stuff at the top - saves rummaging and re-packing! Betabrand

A GROCERY backpack! With four compartments to divide things, it would be so easy to carry to the markets. Brilliant, I thought! I simply love this!

The CORNUCOPIA bag by Betabrand is sheer GENIUS in grocery backpack format. It’s is exactly like I was imagining – a layered section backpack that lets you pack heavy stuff at the bottom and lighter stuff at the top – saving rummaging and re-packing!

I’m so glad that somebody invented this amazing grocery backpack. I got so excited, that I was all like “Shut UP and TAKE MY MONEY!”  and bought one right away! That rarely happens… usually I save all the ideas of things I want to buy on my Wishlist or Product Design board for later deliberation. But once in a while – my heart and my head just scream “Yes!”

While the bag that caught my eye is the mustard one, I actually bought the more conservative charcoal colorway, as the neutral tone will suit my style better.

Grocery backpack! With compartments to divide things, so easy to carry. Brilliant! Love! #product_design

Grocery backpack! With compartments to divide things, so easy to carry. Brilliant! Love! #product_design

Grocery backpack! With compartments to divide things, so easy to carry. Brilliant! Love! #product_design

Images via

It also comes in a brand new tricolor combination, which I absolutely LOVE as well… but then went for the trusty charcoal anyway. Yeah – that’s so like me. But I have enough color in my life…

Grocery backpack! With compartments to divide things, so easy to carry. Brilliant! Love! #product_design

Images via

I just received the email this afternoon to tell me that my new backpack is on it’s way, all the way from the US to the sunny shores of Australia. Oh – and I can’t wait! It’ll be like Christmas in September.

x Jess



Baby Bump to Baby

Baby Bump to Baby via A Designer Life

Still can’t believe I went from baby bump to real-life baby.

Still can’t believe that a little over 3 months ago my life changed in a big way. In a blur of sleepless nights, staring into beautiful big brown eyes, midnight wakening, nursing in the early morning, newborn cuddles, chubby baby snuggles in the big bed, first smiles and giggles, and my selfish heart bursting with  unconditional love for a little creature that emerged from a mere little seed one year ago – here I am on the other side. A little sleepy and dazed, but definitely happy, and very wide eyed on this journey of discovery that is motherhood.

One day, I would love to print these two photos as and hang them as a diptych in my little girl’s room. In the meantime, I might put on another load of washing, and catch up on some sleep!

The inspiration for this photo compilation came from this post on Oh You Pretty Things.