Things I love Thursday


Some things I have loved…very much…this week:

the warmth seeping through me from a friend simply holding my hand,

the hum of the kitchen at my favourite cafe,

the shelter of my sweet protective husband,

sleep…deep dark sleep…

the sweet taste of hot honey tea,

a breakfast of champions cooked by my son,

a genuine apology…too rare these days,

a midnight text message full of love,

the dark blanket of endless sleep…

strong, powerful words of courage,

an unexpected call to fight, and a cheer from the gallery above,

sweet, rich, homemade baked cheese cake with a son who listens,


watching someone I thought was lost follow her dream…magik,

finding a moment to be grateful for against the full scorpion moon,

long hot showers…

soft woollen blankets…









is for deep kisses

for wrapping your arms around someone who is precious

for adventures to places where the stars cover the sky

for real hot chocolate and freshly made cake to share


is for eating buckets of rich home made ice cream on a hot summer day

for sinking into a soft warm bed

for walking on squeaky white sand

and rambling conversations late into the night


is for swimming in crystal clear water

for ridiculous moments with dear friends

laughing until you cry and your stomach aches

for allowing your curiosity bring you to new lands

and dancing on the beach at dawn


is grieving for what you have lost

for sinking into endless despair thinking you may die from the pain

aching and screaming silently

but when the time comes getting back up anyway


is finding the place you belong

for singing loudly in hot showers

for burying yourself in the person you love beyond words

for strange moments that completely and utterly change everything

and being free

to come home.


Caz Espinoza, 7th May, 2014

Share It Forward Sunday

Day 110!!

Today I was inspired to read poetry in bed, laugh and giggle with Amelie, have a bubble bath with a ‘dragon’s egg’, feed my skin with coconut oil, cook fresh vegetable and red lentil soup, eat chocolate, talk with my beautiful dear friends and sons, and have a romantic dinner by candle light with my love.

Look up from your phone…

and if you are feeling a bit more inspired, then put your phone down…and change the world…

Hope your week ahead is extraordinary lovelies!

Gala Darling Challenge #7 & #8

Gala Darling Challenge

#7  Cover your entire body in cocoa butter & fall asleep.

#8  Indulge in your “guilty pleasures”, whatever they are. (Old episodes of America’s Next Top Model, ginger ale, chocolate cake, romantic comedies, etc.)

Winter has slowly moved back in to town. The air is icy.  and the rain falls in endless quiet monotony. Silence falls like a blanket of fog, muffling the city close by. Open fires are being lit for the first time in a year and the warmth of fluffy rugs, slippers, candles wrap around us. Today was the perfect day to focus on myself.

I put aside the ‘List of things to do’ and snuggled under the doona a bit longer. My cat, MiMi, cooed contently next to me and wrapped her tail over my arm. Cuba, my puppy, had already burrowed under the blankets and was snoring quietly at my feet.

The plan for today? Coco butter, a long hot bubble bath, the rest of the chocolate Easter goodies, perhaps a nap and some of my favourite romantic comedies…

Ahead of me stretched hours of looking after myself. Pure luxury…and pampering and guilty pleasures!




Close your eyes


Let your body fall against mine


Let me kiss your skin


Feel your heart and know its mine


Take my hand and cry your tears

Feel my breath

Taste my love

Like I taste yours


Feel our fingers through my hair


Take the time

Were not leaving just yet

Feel what I taste

Taste what I take

Take mine




– Caz Espinoza, 2 May, 2014

Things I love Thursday!

Today I was reminded of how extremely fortunate and lucky I am in my life. I wake up every day to a man who I love to bits, and who loves me back. I go to work with a group of inspirational people who work incredibly hard to make the world a better place for the young people we work with. I am endlessly blessed by four beautiful sons, the extraordinary women in their lives and a grandson who brings us all light and love. I live in a safe corner of the world ~ an educated, free woman who gets to influence the world around us. I have dear friends and an even dearer extended family…why am I telling you this? Because it seems to me that we are taught to live a life from a place of ‘lack’. Our focus always seems to be tuned into what we don’t have. We easily see what is wrong, bad, sad or horrendous most of the time and frankly, it’s crap for our health and our fragile spirits. Things I love Thursdays is about opening our eyes and our hearts and changing our mindset to focus on the beautiful, the blissful moments in our day, the luminous. I get seriously excited looking back over the week and remembering what I have loved. It brings me joy. It makes me happy and reminds me that this is what my life is all about. It reminds me that I am living an extraordinary and beautiful life.

Things I have loved this week: having my little grandson snuggle with me all day long; drawing endless butterflies in my brand new sketch book; getting a phone call from Jaz, one of my sons, after his acting class~the complete joy and excitement in his voice says it all! Putting on my brand new black and white Mary Janes; sitting in my new favourite cafe and having the warmth and hum of conversation wrap around me; popping on my cute new Hello Kitty onesie~so much pink, very kawaii; a hug from my beautiful girlfriend just when I needed it; having my adorable sick husband hunt down a movie for me to watch…such a sweetheart; warm fresh scones, jam and cream-there are no words! An awesome lunch in the middle of a work day with an equally awesome and inspiring friend; getting creative with my journal; writing short stories and poems again; hot milky cups of coffee in the middle of the night with my boys; my beautiful son Paris who is wise beyond words; crying, but feeling better for it; people who are unexpectedly kind and generous to me when I most need it; fluffy monster slippers; dreams of my teenage mutant ninja turtle; having over 200 likes for one of my posts!! WOW! Lush coloured pencils to paint and draw with; Planning overseas trips and weddings…getting a bit excited; and this song…

The Monster in Wellington Boots


Shhhh! Quite little one!”

I was trying. Really I was. But my wellingtons were squeaking.

I was sitting on the kitchen table and my dad was dressing me. I had my rain coat on and my wellington boots because we were going to wash the trucks that my dad drove.”

We had to be quiet because at the other end of the house my baby sister and mum were fast asleep. It was hard to sleep with a baby in the house. We were all tired. But dad said that mummy was the most tired because she had to get up all the time. I wasn’t too sure about that. Being a big sister was pretty exhausting.

“Okay, lets go.” said dad, picking me up off the table and plopping me on the floor.

Squeek! There they went again. It was because they were new. We had just bought them at the shoe shop yesterday.They were bright red and dad said that the rubber wasn’t used to having feet inside them. So they squeaked. I looked down at the toes. “Shhhh!” I said.

Dad laughed. “Let’s go Meggs.”

My name wasn’t Meggs. Dad just called me that after the comic strip Ginger Meggs. It was because I had red hair just like Ginger Meggs and dad liked both the comic strip and my hair. Ginger Meggs was always pretty naughty…and a boy…but I didn’t mind. I liked my real name, but I liked dad calling me something special too. And I guess I was a bit cheeky too. Maybe it was because I had red hair?

Anyway, dad and I were on a mission. We snuck out of the house, squeaky wellingtons and all, and headed for dad’s truck which was parked down our street. I always got excited walking past the Chew’s house with all of their boys hanging out the window watching us climb into the truck. They were the biggest Irish family in the street with the most boys, and I knew that they were all jealous that I got to ride in dad’s truck, especially because I was a girl. Sometimes I would look back at them all and wave goodbye with a big smile.

Pretty soon we were at the truck depot. Dad got all of the cleaning equipment out of the store; buckets, sponges, a big broom and the hose. Then he started soaping up the cab – that’s where the driver and the passenger sit. The back of the truck was as big as a house and dad had to use the old broom to wash all of the panels.

Dad gave me a sponge and a bucket of soapy water to wash the tyres. Truck tyres were huge and much bigger than me and pretty soon I was covered in water and soap suds. Tyres were hard to wash because they were black and it was hard to see if the dirt had come off, so I scrubbed them as hard as I could just to be sure.

Dad came over to inspect my work. I jumped around in the puddles while I waited. My wellies had stopped squeaking now that they were wet.

“Good job Meggs.”

I looked up at him beaming. Dad always thought I did a good job. He always saw how hard I tried. Then he got down on his haunches and handed me the big industrial hose.

“Here you go little one, take the hose and wash all of the suds off. I’ll just be on the other side soaping up the back.”

This was the best part of washing trucks. The hose. You had to hold the hose with two hands, especially if you were little like me. Otherwise it could escape like a big snake and spray water everywhere. That wouldn’t be good because the boss yelled at dad for making a mess and wasting water even though it was my fault. So I was extra careful to hold on tight.

I washed down the tyres, then the doors, then the big side panels of the body. All done. No more soap. The truck looked pretty clean to me. I looked down at my wellingtons covered in suds and washed them off with the hose. Then I saw some suds up near the roof of the truck. No problem. I pointed the hose up so the stream of water arced over the truck to rinse off the roof.


I nearly dropped the hose.

Who screamed? Was that Dad?

I stood still, holding the hose down on the ground. “Dad?”

Something squishy was coming around the truck. Maybe a monster had gotten dad? It sounded really big and huge and…

“Carolann what are you doing?”

Dad stood in front of me dripping wet. What had happened? Had the monster licked him?

“I’m washing the truck dad.” Maybe dad had forgotten I was helping him. Maybe the monster took his brain? Michael Chew said that’s what monsters did. They ate brains and people and naughty kids. I looked past dad and then behind me waiting for the big squishy monster to come and get me…after all I was named after a very naughty kid.

Dad came up to me and took the hose away. Oh no, now I wouldn’t have anything to protect us with. Didn’t dad know that water melted monsters? It was in the bedtime book that Michael Chew had. Water melted monsters and goblins and witches. We didn’t have to worry about goblins and witches, just a big monster.

Dad crouched down next to me. Well that was good. Now I could stand in front of him and protect him by punching the monster and kicking it really hard. I put a big scowl on my face and made a fist like Michael taught me. Come on monster. Just try to get my brain!

“Honey, you wet me with the hose.”

I looked at dad.

“See, when you point the hose up on the roof of the truck like this, the water went over the truck and drenched me.”

I watched the water fly over the truck and heard it hit the concrete on the other side.

“Oh.” I squeaked.

Oh no. I looked down at the ground and my lip started to move like I was going to cry. Oh no, the monster was me!

The dad started to laugh.

“Funny thing! Trust you to drench me with the hose!”

I looked up at dad. He was laughing.

He threw his heard back and laughed again.

I giggled. Oh dear. I had soaked my dad through with the hose. Hahahaha!

We laughed until dad wiped the tears from his eyes.

He looked down at me.

“Little monster, ” he said as he ruffled my red hair. But he said it with a big smile on his face. Like being a monster was a good thing. Maybe it was. Maybe it was ok to be a bit of a monster sometimes. As long as you didn’t eat brains. Just made people laugh.

We packed up the cleaning stuff and climbed back into dad’s truck to head home.

“Squeak!” said my wellingtons.

Dad land I laughed.

Yep. I was the monster in wellington boots.








My top18 favourite kissable dates!

my_gothic_love DAY 104 He lent in to kiss me and for a minute my heart was beating so fast, I thought I might faint. Then I kissed him back. It was perfect. The perfect end to a perfect day. The sweetest first date ever. We had met on the steps of the old Melbourne GPO. I honestly didn’t think he would be there. Later on he told me that he didn’t think I would come either. He had asked me out in a minute of madness thinking I would say no. But in my own minute of madness I said yes. I still, to this day, have no idea why, but eighteen years later I’m really happy that I did. Our first date started on the steps of the old Melbourne GPO in the city. His suggestion was that we take each other to our three favourite haunts. It turned out to be one of our best dates. We went to Minotour, his favourite comic/book/anime store and ended up in my favourite cafe drinking coffee and talking as the Winter day stormed around us. In between we visited the Virgin Mega Store, checking out underwear and CD imports from the UK, Myer (a family favourite) and a few more book stores. We talked all afternoon and we learnt a lot about each other. By the end of the date we both hung onto each other until I literally had to run for the train. The kiss happened when he pulled me back, not wanting to let me go. In that moment we knew, and we have rarely been apart since. First dates can feel incredibly stressful, as if it’s your one chance to make an impression. There can be a lot riding on what you choose to do and how well you can get to know each other in a short amount of time. You want enough time to test the waters to see if the chemistry is there, and a chance to find out if you have some things in common. You also want to have a bit of fun and a few giggles. So it needs to be something that has you both curious and laughing out loud! So here are some of my favourite ideas for first dates…and perhaps the second, third and fourth. I’ve tried them all, and there was definitely some kissing in the mix!

  1. Take it in turns to take each other to your 3 favourite places to visit in the city…or in the country. Try to end up somewhere were you can talk with each other and grab a bite to eat or a drink.
  2. Go to a night football match (or similar sport), preferably where neither of your teams are playing. Take a good rug and organise a picnic dinner of finger food and beer/champagne. Have some fun working out the rules, and which player is which. Make sure you cheer for both teams so ultimately you win!
  3. Book a personal encounter with the elephants at the zoo. Believe me you will get big brownie points! Make sure you book lunch/brunch or morning tea afterwards, so you can both check out the photos and talk about the experience together.
  4. Have a royal dinner at the Queen Victoria Night Market. (Hopefully you have a similar market in your city or town). Every summer our local city market runs a mid week art and craft market with live music, food from around the world and art and craft stalls. It has grown to be a huge cultural event that Melbourne loves…You can literally have a 3 course meal with some great wine or sangria and a live show for under $20 each! Depending on your date you could go wild and taste different foods from each stall. There’s everything from fresh paella to organic ice cream! It’s a foodies paradise!
  5. Go and see a Burlesque Show. Treat your date to a night of circus performers, comedians, the odd magician and some very tasteful burlesque. Some shows also have dinner or pre-dinner drinks. Completely decadent and so much fun!
  6. Book a half hour dance class. Put on your dancing shoes and try some rock and roll or street Latin. You might like to meet for a cocktail beforehand to get rid of the jitters, and afterwards take your date out for burgers and a shake. Make sure you dress up a little to get into the theme.
  7. A night at the symphony orchestra. Melbourne has some fantastic orchestras and often there are free concerts in the parks throughout the Summer months. Pack a picnic and a rug and hang out under the stars or book in to a live concert. Once we flew to Sydney for the day to see our friends play in the Eminence Symphony Orchestra (well known for A Night In Fantasia concerts) and then went out for Japanese food in Chinatown.
  8. Take your date to your favourite spot in the city. Perhaps it’s at the top of a building with an amazing view, a bar with a view over the river, or an exquisite garden. Share your headphones and listen to your favourite tunes while you eat snacks, or drink hot chocolate.
  9. Visit your favourite exhibition or arts centre. We love going to ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Images), or to the Melbourne Museum. They always have some awesome and inspiring exhibits, from some fantastic creators and artists. We always see an exhibition and then go out for afternoon tea or dinner to talk about the exhibit.
  10. Take a circus class. This doesn’t have to be about hanging from a flying trapeze! Many people circuses have tumbling, juggling, diablo, or basic intro to circus classes for adults. They’re lots of fun and a little bit quirky~so make sure your date is up for it!
  11. Perhaps this is a date for later on, but grab some fish and chips, drive to the beach, pop on your favourite music mix on the ipod and watch the waves. If it’s Winter you could go for a walk or stay snuggled up in the car together. If its Summer sit out on the sand and watch the sun set.
  12. Go rollerblading or get your scooters out and ride along the beach, or promenade. This is a great one for late summer nights. You can always finish with fresh ice-cream or hot chips on the beach.
  13. Cosplay at a Con! Seriously it’s just so much fun to pop on a wig and dress up. Go as your favourite super hero, or comic book character at one of the great Western Con’s like Supanova or Oz Comicon. Or you could be a little braver and transform yourself into one of the Japanese anime characters. There’s always a competition or two to watch, and plenty of people watching to be inspired by!
  14. Dress up in your best gear and take your date out to a fancy cocktail bar…at midday. Take it in turns to choose the next place to visit…make sure you eat something! Oh and have money for a cab home!
  15. Dress up in your Sunday best and head to one of the many five star hotels for a posh afternoon high tea. My two favourite’s are the Sunday high teas at the Windsor Hotel or the Langham in Melbourne. They provide a spread that ensures a completely decadent afternoon of chocolate, champagne and yummy morsels that will have you moaning in no time! Normally these events run for a few hours and come with some live music such as a pianist. The more up market hotels are great because they usually include a stunning view of the city. Just a heads up, there is always plenty of food so don’t eat lunch beforehand!
  16. Hunt down a good local book store that encourages reading. Find your favourite childhood books and share them with each other. Check out the travel section and talk about the lands and cultures you each want to visit. Head into the recipe books and discuss your culinary prowess! Buy each other a copy of one of your favourite books to read…then head off to a local cafe, preferable one with an open fire place and good coffee, to sit and read by.
  17. Organise a night in with a few good movies (you could each choose your favourite one) and each bring some food to share. You could add to the fun by wearing your favourite slippers, dress up in a onesie, or your best pyjamas and have a sleep over…sleeping of course!
  18. So hopefully you will get to celebrating an anniversary of sorts with your new love. Make sure its a special celebration for both of you. Book a really good hotel for the weekend, (in either the city or the country) and make sure you book the CLUB option. Apart from the endless food and access to the business centre, most CLUB options usually have evening drinks with canapes. It’s seriously fun meeting new people, who are usually celebrating something and there for the free food too, over a few glasses of bubbly and some yummy finger food. When you have had enough socialising on the 85th floor, you can always head back to your room for a bubble bath and a game of backgammon…

The trick is to leave the movies and dinner option for another day. Get to know the person you are dating, have some fun and don’t be afraid to be you. Who else are they going to fall in love with?

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” 
― Dr. Seuss

** Pic by Deviant Art!

Things I love Thursday


Ahhh, it’s been another beautiful week. So many things to love, so little time! Things I have loved this week: Easter at my sister and brother in law’s farm; beautiful star filled skies, copious amounts of chocolate, talking with family around a massive bon fire; moments with precious friends over a good cup of tea; fresh rose buds from a friend’s garden; laughter in the office; sleep ins and snuggling with our grandson ~ he’s way too adorable! Finally finding a pair of Mary Janes – nothing like brand new shoes! Being wrapped up in the hum of conversation at a local cafe eating fruit toast and drinking the best creamy latte; extraordinary moments with my sons, Jaz and Paris, who just always seem to know what to say and when to hug me; painting butterflies; a string of yummy dinners at some really good little restaurants; Finally watching Saber in Fate Zero; planning and plotting our next film shoot for It’s Japan, Man! Jars of sweet smelly candles; the first cold foggy morning blanketing the city across the bay; feeling deep love.

“It’s a powerful thing to know yourself and your own uniqueness.” – Global Events

We Sat


We sat together. Side by side.

We had been sitting like this for nearly an hour now.

We cried. Softly. Almost silently. Into the emptiness that yawned out in front of us.

We looked at the garden beyond. Our eyes focussed on the wooden backyard fence in the distance.

Our minds numb. We knew that the world continued beyond the boundary.

We knew that time wouldn’t stop for us.

It ran ahead, busy with the rest of the world, abandoning us, immune to our cries.

We sat. Together.

We sat alone in our hearts. Alone in our worlds wondering what had happened. How did we get here?

What did we miss?

We sat and searched our memories.

How did this poison leach into our breath?

How did it seep into our dreams?

“I promise it will be different.” he said

I believed him. I wanted to believe him. So I did.

I smiled. “Okay.”

It was better that sitting here crying. It was better than feeling hopeless.

My heart was tired. Mascara blackened my face. But I stopped shaking.

“Okay.” I said again.

My son took my hand and smiled.

And we sat.


For a little longer.

We Sat, Original Poem, Carol Espinoza, 21 April 2014