“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth" - Virginia Satir, family therapist.
I love a good hug. Studies show hugs of 20+ seconds are beneficial for relationships, stress levels, heart health and immunity.
So as a family of 6 (including the pup) that's around an hour a day of dedicated hug time. For the days I'm not on my A-grade hugging game I'm hoping the kids hugging this fluffy ball of love count towards their 12 a day too!? Have you filled your quota today? - Emma
Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person? Or more of a think things through type?
We were kind of surprised how quickly we turned our lives around. Very late one night I was up working and stopped to ask myself "what the hell am I doing?". I was burnt out and tired of the juggling act.
Within a month we had packed up and moved from inner Sydney to our dream propety in the Byron hinterland.
My sister in law Emma made her seachange quite differently. Renting out their place in Melbourne and renting on the Mornington Peninsula for a year to see if they could make it work before they bought a place.
Everyone is different, but for us I needed to be thrown in the deep end with no time to make any more excuses. There's never going to be the perfect time to turn your life upside down after all . Regardless of how we got here we are both so happy we made the change. We feel much more connected to our families, this gorgeous place and ourselves.
If you've made a similar move out of the rat race, we'd love to hear your story! How did you make it happen? - Kate
Every now and again I contemplate going back to the stability of a high paid, corporate job (truth be told it's usually when the kids are fighting in the car). But then I am reminded of what a struggle the school holidays were before our move to the coast, when both parents worked full time. The play date juggle and school holiday programs adding to the mounting pile of guilt of missing out on the golden years of childhood and my already overcrowded family logistics.
These days the reality of being able to hang out with my kids on the holidays doesn't always match the insta-ideal but in amongst a few days of mayhem we have some magic moments, like camping under the stars, hanging out with these gentle giants and swimming with the dolphins.
Adventures that will hopefully stand out in my kids minds over the stressed out, corporate mama barely holding it together in my old busy, city life.
Am I alone in worrying about whether my kid's will have good childhood memories as they grow into adults? It feels like yesterday I was the one climbing trees and swimming in oceans. Oh wait that was me - Emma
This time last year we were arriving in the autumn spectacular that is Arrowtown, New Zealand. The changing colours throughout the season are just sublime. At times it looks like the mountains are ablaze.
They have a vibrant autumn festival, lots of great places to eat like our fave @thechopshopfoodmerchants and some great walking and bike paths along the river. If you're particularly keen you can bike over some swing briges, past the bungee jumpers and stop at @gibbstonvalleywinery to refuel.
Where's your favourite place to experience autumn? - Emma
Recently we admitted that our veggie garden and drive towards food self sufficiency has been an epic fail . Luckily what has grown, like these beautiful tamarinds, as well as passionfruit, cucumbers and star fruit have been a big hit with our girls.
It's pretty awesome being able to pick your own fruit snack while we work on clearing the land to make room for another dwelling . Have you had any luck growing your own?? - Kate
Love misty mornings like these where the clouds hug the treetops as far as the eye can see.
Since moving here I've made it my ritual to go for an early morning walk. Apparently daily excercise can increase your energy and mood, reduce stress, boost your immune system and productivity. And with views like this making me stop and breathe it all in, I certainly believe it.
What's your favourite way to get your dose of excercise endorphins? - Kate #seachangemovement
What's most important to you - street smart, book smart or tree smart?
Our kids definitely lean more to the tree smarts and book smarts. And we're pretty happy with it that way for now. We've taught them how to respectfully light fires, cook meals over the open fire and toast the perfect marshmallow.
They may be a bit bewildered in the city but they are in their element out here. - Emma
"Ten times a day something happens to me like this - some strengthening throb of amazement - some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness" - Mary Oliver
Hope your Easter is filled with chocolate & attentiveness. - Emma
The metamorphosis from banker to treechanger has been like watching a caterpillar burst into a butterfly with this guy.
We got so entrenched in city living, where our corporate jobs paid the bills but the 'real' living happened after hours and on the weekends. Now we live here we feel more like ourselves. There's less distractions, more time to spend with our girls and the freedom to live life on our terms.
Yes we have a never ending list of jobs to do. Have you ever been somewhere where the earth is so alive if feels like the forest could consume you if you stood still long enough? It's a little overwhelming, but with Greg and his new mower at the helm we are happy to be along for the ride. - Kate
Loving the pure joy on my little one's face in this pic. Safe to say she didn't look quite so angelic by the end of the 6km hike . A more organised mama would have brought snacks and other treats to keep them motivated. But we relied on dashing from tree to tree pretending to be spies, dancing along to The Greatest Showman and practising our skipping to get us to the finish line.
It was heaps of fun, a beautiful trail and a wonderful way to spend the afternoon with our wildlings. Particularly proud of this one with the little legs and her Spoodle pup sidekick.
How do you keep your kids energy levels up on a hike? - Emma
Our girls were super stoked when the local fire brigade came to supervise our planned burn. For a donation they lit it up and stuck around for an hour or two to monitor it. We thought it was MASSIVE but we probably came across as total city slickers. Fire? They tell me. That’s not a fire. This is a fire. And proceed to show me photos of a proper fire. We loved our bonfire though and got lots of great bush fire advice from them too.
Big love to all the fire fighters out there... you guys do an amazing job, hats off to you all! - Kate