Monday, September 29, 2014

Moments in Childhood - Spiderman Visit in the Shower

I was showering. Spiderman appeared silently and stood at the screen door watching.

"Hi Spiderman." I reply. Sometimes it's best to treat random with normality.

He continued to stare.

Then it was gravely stated.

"It's just me Mummy in the shirt you gave me."

"Oh, that's good to know." I give a relieved sigh. "I was feeling a bit awkward having spiderman watch me have a shower."

With a giggle and a skip Spiderman disappears and I continue to wash my hair.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Style It Project - Peter Morrisey Zebra Cami

There's nothing like a little bit of animal print to bring a bit of pizazz to one's wardrobe. I wasn't sure whether I was going to like this little cami on me when I saw it for the Style It Project, (even though I liked it on others!) but oh my, the moment I slipped it on in the Big W change rooms, I knew it was a keeper. Plus it was 30% off - score! $13 for a little top I've already worn several times. (But keep forgetting to photograph - Sorrrreeee!)

I went with hubby to one of his mate's 40th birthday in Brisbane recently and wore my zebra cami.  It was already happy I was wearing it as we glided to our venue in the city cat.

Perfect for picnic lunch on the banks of the Brisbane river and then onto a bar then Turkish for dinner later in the evening. Surprisingly for Brisbane I didn't need to take my jacket off the whole time as the sky was overcast and there was a bit of a nip in the air. My white Sussan linen jacket (current season) was a perfect accompaniment along with my (current season) Rare Rabbit wooden beads.

I have also worn the cami with a jacket to playgroups and shopping. It will be a lovely cool option on its own when the weather warms up too. It's great with a little white bolero cardi that I picked up at a sample sale at Kaffe Boutique. (Locals: I can't believe it's in Cliffo! It's like a little corner of European class. Who knows it might inspire some of the locals to ditch the uggies and leggings(with short shirts) and dress up a little!)

Today I'm dressed in it ready to take the kids to a concert. We're seeing Colin Buchanan, we saw him last year when he was in town and the kids were delighted when Daddy brought home tickets last night for them to see him today!

And you know, because it is a concert, I thought I'd look like the cool Mum (Ha!) in my pink biker jacket. Although one look at the five kids I have in tow, nobody will be fooled that I would be riding a motorbike. Yep, it's a mini-van for me the whole way there.

What was the last concert you went to? I think I see more kids concerts and theatre productions these days then I see the grown up variety. But that's still cultured, isn't it? Right? RIGHT???

Linking with Kimba Likes and Redcliffe Style.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When I Realised I Was Not OK.

The pressure. Sometimes it builds up. The endless to do list constantly scrolling through the mind like an eternal tele-prompter. The inner rebukes from you own self that constantly chastises your every move for what you haven't achieved. The re-runs that continue to loop over and over in the brain's own movie theatre of the low moments because lest I forget that I am a flawed human. Add to that the negativity swirling in the atmosphere around. It's been stormy. Storms are fine when you are snug inside, but when you are in the middle of it, you don't feel safe, life is uncomfortable and things you have no control over make you feel despondent and don't make sense.

This was me. I was just battling on, trying to do it all. Be the mythical super mum, the growing blogger, the accepting friend and good Christian girl. Being a good Mum, friend, Christian and blogger are all good things. But sometimes when life gets hard, you need to pull back and gain some perspective, because sometimes the pressure builds and you start trying so hard to do it all that you suddenly realise that you're hardly being effective at all.

I suddenly realised about two weeks ago that I was on the edge and staring down into the swirling vortex of depression. I am very grateful that I was able to recognise my locale in time to back away from the edge. It's not that way for everyone. Some get sucked into that vortex so quickly like a merciless invisible and powerful vacuum. Others gaze into the vortex and cannot look up, cannot recognise that the hypnotic swirl of despondency is sucking them in. Some of us get the opportunity to recognise what is happening. Sometimes being on the brink, (or maybe standing in the shallow muddy waters), of mild depression is an overwhelming place to be, and even though the signs are recognised, the mist and fog that are descending blur the arrows showing the way out and you lack the energy to search for the exit.

For me, there was a moment that through the perpetual discouragement I suddenly thought. "I'm not OK." Once I realised this I knew I needed to fight to find the path to the sunshine. My family needed me to be OK. Depression breeds sadness. It starts in one life and spreads to others. I knew I could make changes to ensure that I could face challenges with positivity and determination to succeed.

For me, I realised that I was at the brink of depression after I had gone to a friend's house and had been negative during conversation because I was feeling overwhelmed before I left home. I also realised after I had written my ProBlogger Debrief that once again I wasn't feeling happy and a conference that I had just loved was tinged with sadness that normally I wouldn't be bogged down by. (The last few paragraphs of the post were the giveaway.) I have also just experienced an incident that has been totally out of my control where I have lost myriads of friends and acquaintances as they have stopped turning up at our common meeting place. (That is another story and not one for here or now.) I was hurting but by recognising that the actions of others didn't need to affect my own happiness or my own responses, I started to count the blessings that I do have and re-gain some perspective.
Almost depressed and walking away from the brink.
Hard to believe I could come home from the Gold Coast and be feeling very low.

If you are struggling to remain positive at the moment, here are some of my tips that have helped me so that if anyone asked, R U OK?,  I can smile and say, "Yes".

1. Look Up
Get in touch with your soul.  My faith is very important to me. It is my guiding light, so when I realised that the light was fading, I had to recognise that this was not because the light had disappeared, it's because I was no longer looking at it, or I had to wipe the tears so it wasn't blurred anymore. A lady in our church had recently shared an encouragement, "Things are not what they seem." I had to realise that I had to completely place my trust that God was in control and that he is a God of goodness.  No matter what people are saying, His master plan is good and the future may have dark moments, but the light will always shine brighter then the darkness. As I looked up and a new calmness surrounded me giving me peace and clarity. I know and respect that people have various spiritual journeys. If you are not spiritual and don't know where to start, pray your confusion to God and believe he hears you in Heaven. Then sit still and listen, you may be surprised, but most often rational thoughts and direction will be whispered into your soul. I think this is the voice of God. Whatever the case, I'm fairly confident that answers you hear will be worthy of at least further consideration and action.

2. Step Down
You don't need to go and cancel everything out of your diary and retreat to your shell. This might not be helpful at all, in fact. However, I found that I needed to prioritise what is important and start be focussing my energies there. That is why, if you noticed, my posts on this blog have been less and a little more infrequent lately. Blogging is one of my loves in life, but it can also be a pressure. By taking a short break, I was able to remind myself to breathe and while I did I did a little cleaning in the house which made me feel better also. (I can't believe I admitted that! Cleaning doesn't normally equal happiness for me!) I also deliberately enjoyed my children and the relationships that I do have. I didn't cancel all my commitments, but I slowed down and tried to stop rushing around madly and somehow in the calmness I was able to still do most things.

3. Enjoy the Little Things
Because I had been so busy, I had been pushing the little things to one side and forgetting that the sum of the little things is actually a big deal. So I started baking with the children, sitting outside and watching them play and reading a chapter (or two…) of my novel, taking time to sip the tea and contemplative silence while they children were playing happily or walking the children down to the garden and picking some blooms. Paying full attention to my husband as he spoke and enjoying each other's company. Not only did it calm me, it calmed those around me also.
lemon drizzle loaf
Find the recipe for this Lemon Drizzle Loaf here

4. Acknowledge Your Humanity
I was trying to do it all. I'm only human. I started to get more focus when writing a daily To Do list. (Thanks Kikki K.) I wrote less on my To Do list for that day but had a list next to it for the rest of the week, so knew I wasn't going to forget those things. The beauty was, it felt better to accomplish today's tasks and when I did, I could cross off some of the upcoming tasks as well. I also had to admit to myself that doing less is not cheating.

5. You Deserve to Walk Away From the Chocolate.
OK, so truthfully, I've had varying degrees of success with this point. Normally we gals like to admit that chocolate gets us through the hard times. And it does. But then it can also cause another hard time to arise as we battle with health and weight issues. I'm trying to remind myself that healthy choices are helpful to my well being. Yes, I deserve that chocolate, but even more I deserve the apple, because after a bag of apples, my body will be happier than after the block of chocolate…or cake, or biscuits, cheese or hot chips, etc. You get my drift? But, if you really do need a hit, I've found that a bag of Tim Tam Chocolicious buried deep at the back of the pantry is wonderful. It's only a little bit, they are individually wrapped, so you can resist the temptation of eating a whole pack of Tim Tams and it just gives you that moment of indulgence to continue on life's merry way. Because life is merry, the bleak moments don't need to last forever.

Combat Depression by taking time to smell flowers

Have you ever suffered depression? Did you recognise the signs? What do you do to pull yourself out of despair if you are feeling down?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I Blog On Tuesdays.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

L'Oreal Make Up Tips

Mirror mirror on the wall is what most of us women look into every morning, and while we (once again, most of us anyway), are not so vain to query if we are the fairest of them all, we certainly want to look our best. I may not primp or preen like a peacock, (who has time for that when you're a mother?) but I certainly do have a beauty routine and I like to throw on some make up most day.

I like to wear make up, even if it's only a quick application of two or three things. I feel more confident knowing I look that bit better when I draw attention to my assets and hide my flaws. Make up should be not about covering yourself, but rather draw attention to your own natural beauty.

My youngest sister was once a make up artist for a leading cosmetics company, so I have been fortunate to receive several mini tutorials from her on make up appliance. Even still, it's easy to get in a rut and always do the same thing. During ProBlogger I was so excited to go to a presentation by the Australian branch of L'Oreal Paris. Eagerness to use cosmetics and try new techniques instantly emerged as I listened to Elsa Morgan, an industry leader artist who does make up for the ritzy magazines and for models strutting the runways of Melbourne, New York and Paris.

Rut. Out.

For many of us mothers, a make up regime is often one of those things that is neglected as we rush to care for children, run a household, not to mention commitments outside the home. I loved hearing Elsa encourage women to use the moments during your make up routine to slow down and make some time for yourself. (Even if it's a short make up application.) It is true that sometimes as mothers we rush so much that we don't pay attention and enjoy the small things in life. Enjoy the feeling of massaging moisturiser into your skin. Let it rest for a few moments before applying primer. (Would it be bad to admit, that I hadn't used primer before I went to this session? And I have to say, the L'Oreal Base Magique just glides on the skin. It really is such a nice experience, and it has the benefit of improving the smoothness of my foundation and accentuating my complexion. Win!)

I have always had good brows. I rarely pluck or wax them, and therefore I pretty well ignore them. I had been totally oblivious to the fact that brows are one of the in things to focus your attention on these days! A fuller brow makes the face look more youthful and can draw attention to the eyes. (Gone are the heavy plucking days of the 90's)

I definitely don't want my eyebrows looking like caterpillars, but I have started using the L'Oreal Superliner Brow Artist Shaper. It has a nifty little brush and two tips, a pencil tip (you should choose a colour about one or two shades darker then your brow).

Here are the how to tips on giving your brows wow!

Step 1:
Brush inner brow upward and outer brow up and outward.
Step 2:
Draw lightly from under brow working up and along the natural shape of your brows
Step 3:
Finish brow by tapering this soft line from the top of the arch toward the temples.
Step 4:
Set the shape with the wax tip. 

Afterwards there was a lip and brow bar, so I got the experts to give mine a little makeover.

Of all the lessons in make up we received, the thing that made me most excited was learning about winged eyes. I was trying to listen and watch very carefully, because it's a dramatic effect that I've often wanted to execute for special occasions. 

If you also want tips in achieving (or perfecting) this technique, this is what we learned.

Step 1:
Draw wing first by making a line from the end of the lash line out and slightly up a couple of cm toward end of brow
Step 2:
Draw back toward lash line from above this line to make a small triangle
Step 3:
Continue along the lash line, tapering as you go so the line creates a beautiful almond shape
Step 4:
Apply two coats of volume mascara, fan lashes outwards

Elsa also had some top tips to share:

  1. Use a highlighter pen to clean up and sharpen the feline flick
  2. To create a smokey winged eye, line the top and bottom lash lines with a black or brown pencil. Optional: add a kajal pencil or white kohl pencil to the waterline.
  3. Take a quad eyeshadow and blend over liner working into the socket and extending the shading out and up to visually open eye.
  4. Add highlighter to inner corners of eyes to add drama.
After I returned home, my brain was buzzing so much the next morning I woke up early and since there were no children around, I had a play around while I got ready for church. The extra effort seemed to pay off, I got compliments even with my very amateur efforts, and I'm looking forward to continuing to perfect the art!

When asked what tips Elsa had for mothers who find it difficult to find the time to apply make up, her advice was to find enjoyment and pleasure in the routine and investing in yourself. Her practical advice was to have the main things you need out on your counter ready to go. Elsa believes that one of the most time consuming aspects for many people when applying make up is searching through cosmetics bags and drawers for what they want. If it's all there ready to go you only need to pick it up and apply. You will be surprised how much time you will save.

One of the best parts of the evening was the goodie bag we came home with! So many treats, it's making experimenting so much fun!

Do you get in a make up rut? What techniques would you like to perfect or are there new routines you can begin? What are you top make up tips?

Today I'm linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Pssst. Have you entered my giveaway of a baby hamper, perfect if you have a new little one or want to put away a gift for a new baby or a baby shower? No? Enter here

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gifts for Newborns - Plus Giveaway!

A friend of mine had a baby the other day. The baby was rather early and weighed a petite 5lb1oz but is an absolutely gorgeous and healthy little man. Seeing pictures of him on Facebook made my mind wander back to my own newborns, particularly when the triplets were born since of course they were my smallest babies. (Read about the triplet's birth story)

Having a newborn in your life is such a special time of life. The long lingering moments you spend just staring at the new life lying before you. The awe as you contemplate that a tiny human was once nestled within someone's (or your own!) tummy. The snuggles as that precious bundle falls asleep on your chest. The wonder of siblings as they meet a person who will forever change their life.
Newborn Trent

It's also a tiring time for the family as late night feedings begin and the weariness of finding a rhythm with the newest addition to the family. And if there are cholic and reflux in the equation or other such newborn maladies, well life is all the more complex.

I love getting gifts for newborns. The mixture of a gift celebrating a new life beginning and comfort because life isn't easy makes giving at this time delightful.

Gifts I have given newborns include:

  • A special money box with a name engraved on it.
  • Fine china child's plate
  • Melamine Peter Rabbit gift set
  • Board books. (This is a good one for new parents who often do not have a library for the child yet.)
  • Clothing, but I'm always careful to do the math and make sure the size will be for the appropriate season.
  • Clothes in larger sizes (eg. size 1. Not only does it not matter what season it is if it's size 1, sometimes I buy the gift and then it takes me forever to give it away to the recipient, in which case, I know it's still going to fit by the time I finally do!)
Recently I was introduced to Angelic Baby Boutique a beautiful online baby boutique that has a stunning selection of gifts to give at baby showers, newborn babies and even first birthdays. The gifts include thoughtful and classy hampers and unique keepsakes.

As a special treat for Caitlin's Happy Heart readers, Angelic Baby Boutique is giving away a hamper to the value of $60 with product specially selected by Sylvia. You will have the choice of whether it will be made for a boy or girl.  

This would be just perfect if you know someone who is about to have, or has a new little bundle of joy in their lives. Or perhaps it is your own newborn child that you would love to spoil.

To enter, head over to Angelic Baby Boutique and tell me which baby gift you think is particularly special. I'd also love to hear why you think newborns are so special. It's not mandatory, but I would love it if you would also follow Caitlin's Happy Heart on Facebook.

1. Competition only open to Australian residents.
2. Competition is a game of skill and will entries will close on Friday September 12, 2014 at 8pm.
3. Prize will be mailed to either yourself or a recipient of your choice. Winners will be contacted by email. If there is no response by Monday 12am, a new winner will be selected.
4. An email address must be included with your entry.

PS. It seems that some people have difficulties leaving comments on my blog. Feel free to head to my Facebook page and leave a comment there...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The ProBlogger De-Brief

I have been to ProBlogger! What an experience it has been! My head is buzzing with ideas and a determination to stay focussed and make this blogging thing work for me - and you, dear reader! There were a few messages that kept on reappearing over the conference, and making sure I am delivering a blog that has useful content that enhances my reader's life is a message I heard loud and clear!

I thought I would write this initial post-ProBlogger blog post outlining everything that happened while I was away.

I shared here about some of the planning process that it took just to leave the kids. This was actually made all the more difficult thanks to me getting horribly sick the week prior to ProBlogger and then I made the kids sick! (Normally it's the other way around!) Luckily most of the children didn't seem to get quite as sick as I was, but the week before I left we had fevers spiking intermitedly throughout the week, general unwellness and lots of grizzling.

The morning I left my little girl was particularly out of sorts and had become very irrational. She needed a dummy and teddy, just for the 10 minute drive to drop me off! I did feel a little bit bad leaving behind unwell children, but it was also a bit of a pleasure. It had just been such an exhausting time!

The morning I left was busy, doing all the last minute pack, dropping things off at Kindy and doing a business card scramble! There were a whole heap of circumstances that had caused delays in my business card ordering process so I got the order away later than I had wanted and unfortunately they didn't arrive in time, so the morning of I quickly made up another design, sent it into my church and they printed them for me (our printer is a bit dodgy!) and I madly chopped them up to size before racing  out to meet my friend that I was travelling to the Coast with.

My travel partner and room mate was my friend Letitia, we've been friends since we were 8 years old at school! She isn't a blogger but just enjoyed having a few of days of quiet at the coast except for whenever she was out and about in the hotel being entertained by the parade of bloggers that were circulating around her. (Being surrounded by bloggers in bulk is quite an experience, as it turns out!)

Once we arrived at the Gold Coast, we checked in to the wonderful QT Hotel, I love it that you can sip free and fresh lemonade as you stand in line waiting to be checked in! It really is a wonderful hotel.

After relaxing in the room for a little bit, we went on a walk down the beach. It's just as well I got some exercise, because after that I did a lot of eating. Let me tell you, the food QT serves up is absolutely delicious!
On Thursday night I considered myself very fortunate to be invited to a networking event by L'Oreal Paris. The event was in the penthouse, which made me feel very important heading to the top floor. Any feelings of importance quickly melted when immediately on arrival I knocked over someone's champagne when in the crowded room I bumped the chair she'd left it on! Cringe! The rest of the evening was great. I'll share what I learned during that event later, because ladies, I'm sure you will be interested in some make-up tips from a leading Australian make-up artist! Already I've been trying out some new routines, it's so good to get out of the make-up rut that is easy to fall into when you are a busy mother.

After this was finished, laden with the most delightful goodie bag I have ever received, we made our way down to Bazaar for dinner with Tish and my blogging pals B Being Cool and The Crafty Mummy. Oh my, buffet with a difference. Delectable food, and not just your ordinary buffet fair either. Fresh seafood, baked whole fish, stews, grill, a wok station and amazing dessert bar to say the least!

We went off to bed with full tummies, ready for the big day ahead. And big day it was! For this debrief post, I'll quickly go through all the speakers I heard, (you may want to check out their pages in all their blogging glory!) and give a sentence (or two!) summing up the main thing I walked away with from each speaker.

Darren Rowse - ProBlogger - Mr. ProBlogger himself gave the opening address about how even though we feel ordinary, we can still do so many things in our blogs to execute extraordinary results.

Pat Flynn - Smart Passive Income - Talked about converting casual readers into a thriving community. It was all about how making the people who read your blog feel special and what to follow everything that you write and be where you hang out (ie. on social media.)

Christie Burnett - Childhood 101 - "The 5 W's for Finding Readers" I loved hearing from another parenting blogger and really hear how as a mother she gathers readers for her blog and what she does to  make her blog gain momentum.

Geraldine DeRuiter - Everywhereist - "Make Your Audience Fall in Love With You" - Man this woman, I fell in love with her when I read her blog for the first time a few days before the conference, and this was confirmed during her talk. She's funny, romantic and knows how to inspire you to write a better blog that everyone will love.

Nikki Parkinson - Styling You - "Build An Online Community That You Love" Lots of practical suggestions here and I walked away wanting to make sure the tone on my blog was clear and consistent.

Darren Rowse - Digital Photography School - "Introduction to Monetisation" It was great to hear some of the strategies that Darren employs to make money through his photography blog. I found it inspiring listening to the strategies he has used in order to make his blog successful.

Keynote: 5 in 50 - There was a collection of full time bloggers here that shared their insights into being successful on a blog. Basically I walked away from this knowing that to make your blog successful you need to be strategic, consistent, care for your readers and WORK HARD!

And that was all on the first day! More inspiration followed on day two!

Matthew Michalwicz - Life in half A Second - "From Ideas to Action" Set clear goals, get hungry to make them work and move beyond any fears to achieve these goals.

Shane Tilley - "Email Marketing Essentials and Innovation" Expect to see Caitlin's Happy Heart to start producing a newsletter soon guys! I just need to work out how to do it!

Chantelle Ellem - Fat Mum Slim - "Using Social Media to Grow Your Blog" - Ever so humble and modest Chantelle was just lovely to listen to and it was reassuring that with a bit of hard work you can make things work by implementing organically formed ideas.

Bron - Maxabella Loves - "Fitting It All In" - The moment I saw this title I knew this was the session above all else that I wanted to listen to. I was not wrong, this session was the highlight of the whole conference for me. The time factor is by far the biggest challenge I have with blogging and there were so many practical suggestions that I have come home ready to implement. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Bron!

In between all this inspirational stuff there was delicious food! The lunch, morning and afternoon tea included in the package was so very delicious - and QT once again injected a bit style and drama to every meal.
Yes, I'm a sweet tooth. This guys were sooooo delicious!

I also loved hanging out with Tish and another close friend who lives at the coast over brekky on Saturday morning.

On the Friday night there was a par-tay. The theme was "Ahoy!", it was a great excuse to dress in a nautical theme and chat with some lovely people.

All in all, I had a wonderful time at ProBlogger. I'm come away inspired and wanting to take my blog up a level. (Strap yourselves in people! I want to take you on a ride that leaves you doing fist pumps after each turn!) It also has left me soul searching the whole point of having a meaningful blog and where I fit in the blogging community. I've shared before about my Insecurities when blogging, and to certain extent, as inspired as I have been, the conference experience has accentuated my insecurities.

The conference was big and extremely crowded. I know there were plenty of people who were newbies there and who were there on their own. I was often on my own also, and it just felt so awkward. I'm halfway between being an introvert and an extrovert and I have to say, my extrovert was hiding all weekend. My extroverted personality more comes out with people I know, introducing myself and getting to know new people makes me feel nervous and awkward. Thankfully I got to meet some lovely people as well as 'meeting' some bloggers that I already knew online, but not in the flesh. Thank you for everyone I met there, sincerely, I loved meeting you and my smile when I spoke to you was genuine. However quite a few speakers talked about belonging to a 'tribe' or a group of bloggers that support each other. I don't really have a blogging tribe, and as I looked around, similar to feeling like a schoolgirl, I wasn't in 'a group'.

That's not to say it can't happen, and if anything over the conference I've come away with a renewed energy to keep persevering despite my imperfections. To be truthful, I've never felt like it before, but the week before the conference I would have given up blogging if it weren't for the fact that I had invested in my blog by going to ProBlogger. I was probably feeling depressed because I'm sick, and just can't shake this bug, but at the moment, blogging is feeling like work, and even though it's work that I love, I'm not being reimbursed for the time I spend on it and it has eaten into my family time recently. Which is not OK with me. Most of the time I'm OK with the blog being a labour of love, but lately it's been work that has been very hard to juggle in with family life and my other commitments.

In his closing address Darren Rowse quoted Jadah Sellner saying, "Take Imperfect Action". This is what I'm going to do right now. I will work out when to find the right time to blog with the triplets reaching a new stage of development. I'm going to keep putting one blogging foot in front of the other, learning as I go and hopefully in the process I can make life a little bit more useful, brighter and happier for my audience.

Do you ever feel like you aren't quite in a group? Who gives you support? Do you have different support networks for the various hats that you wear? (eg. motherhood, work, blogging if you are a blogger?) Any tips on finding new 'friends' without coming across like a try hard or a stalker?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Books for Dad

This is a post is produced in partnership with Bookworld.

It's Father's Day in Australia next weekend. So with 10 days to go, for me it's a time to be scratching my head wondering what on earth to get my father, father-in-law and my children's father! Why are men so hard to buy for?

Bookworld is making life a little bit simpler for us to buy a gift for book loving Dads with their Father's Day Lists.

My Dad is not so much the book type. I can remember Dad bragging as we grew up that he got through school reading only one book, and although that one book (apparently it was about a dog) was a memorable book for him and a good read, it never inspired him to read any other novels. So, books are out as a gift for my Dad. Unfortunately he's very hard to buy for, and even more so now that he has given up drinking, (we don't know why), but it's very inconvenient because at least if we were stuck, we could always give him a good bottle of shiraz.

My father-in-law, on the other hand loves books. I think I could click on any of Bookworld's 12 Dad categories and find a book that he would enjoy from Cooking Dad, to Crime Dad to Aussie Dad. Alex's Dad reads every night, and whenever we are on holidays with him, he spends a fair bit of his holiday reading as well. Which is cool for me, because I normally end up with a nice pile of books that he leaves behind!

I thought that since Alex is the son of such an avid book lover, and is definitely more academic than my Dad, I would be able to get him books as gifts. For the first several years I carefully chose titles that I thought he would enjoy. He would occasionally read the books or flick through the pages, but he was never really enthralled. I was going to give up on giving him books, when one Christmas I gave him Richard Branson's autobiography, "Like a Virgin". We were away at the beach, and it was first time I had ever seen Alex absolutely engrossed in a book. From then on, buying books for Alex has been easy, I just needed to get the formula right! One book a year, two at the most and the book needs to be a biography or autobiography about a business man or woman. Alex's devours them. The only other thing I see him read is the tax manual. Which, you may be interested to know, is what The Accountant considers light bed time reading. He will often be telling me about some new tax ruling as we are settling down for the night. I shouldn't complain, it puts me to sleep at least!

In the lead up to Father's Day, Bookworld is giving away a wonderful Dad's book pack to Caitlin's Happy Heart Readers.  (The titles are great, I've already written down the novels on my list to give the Dad-in-law!)

The books are: Favourites Gary Mehigan; No Safe House Linwood Barclay; Operation Mayhem Steve Heaney MC; The Heist Daniel Silva.

If you would like to give Dad these great books, head over to Bookworld and check out the Dad's List here. Then come back and tell me, what type of Dad is the Dad(s) you would be buying for and why he/they fits that category.

The winner will be announced next Wednesday the 3rd of September at 8pm on Facebook and on this post. You must leave an email address. If I cannot contact you by Friday 5 Sept. at 9am I will choose a new winner. This is a game of skill, so make sure you insert some creativity into your answer. I would also love it if you "like" Caitlin's Happy Heart on Facebook, although this is optional.

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