9 October 2014

Behind the Scenes at Bondville

For the second of my three-part series in the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Paint The Town Ford challenge, the theme is Living Local. I think it's nice to share a little something personal on my blog every now and then, and thought you might find it interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at how I live everyday life as a blogger in my charming neighbourhood of Beecroft in north-west Sydney, NSW.

Without a full day to dedicate to writing, it's really blogging-on-the-go. I find ideas everywhere around me and write posts in my head (in the shower! and the car!).

My job is split into blogging, consulting (I use my blogging experience to teach other businesses about online marketing and social media), and looking after my two daughters. Two days a week I have my youngest full-time and the other three days are short work days for me between preschool and school drop-off and pick-up.

Read on for a typical work day for me, with a nice coffee meeting thrown in (I promise I don't spend every day swanning around in cafes!).

6:15am Blink away the sleepies and get up and ready for the day - showers, bed-making. Check social media and emails. Pop a load of washing on. If I'm really lucky, I might even get in a few minutes on the computer to get started on blogging or finish up something from the night before.

7:30am Breakfast - usually porridge or soft-boiled eggs and a seasonal fruit smoothie. Yum! Skype with grandparents, Aunts, or cousins over breakfast. Put dishes put away (if I'm energetic), tidy up and pop the washing out on the line.

8:30am Make school lunches and make sure bags are packed, forms are signed, readers are read, school news is prepped, and everyone is ready to leave by 9:00am.

9:00am Time for the 3km round trip to take the little one to preschool, then drop off my big Year One student at school. I've been lucky enough to drive a Ford Ecosport Titanium for the challenge period and there is plenty of room in the boot for school bags and both kids fit comfortably in the back seat in their car seat and booster seat.

9:30am Pop into one of my two favourite Beecroft cafes for a coffee meeting with a collaborator (a fellow blogger, creative friend, photographer, or interior designer, etc). Here are some pics of the excellent coffee at much-loved and super-stylish Longshot cafe run by locals Mel and Dan. How gorgeous is the interior design! I could live here:

My other favourite cafe, Chicken & Fishhead, also has a great children's boutique tucked in the back. This week I snagged a primo spot right in front of the cafe. One feature of the Ford EcoSport Titanium that I have really appreciated is its compact size for an SUV, making parking a breeze. 

Kids are well catered for at Chicken & Fishhead with a book nook and colouring supplies. I always have a quick browse through the gifts and kids' clothes; it's a great opportunity to touch and feel new collection drops in person (Oobi's B for tweens and new Rock Your Baby/Kid were both amazing): 

10:15am Walk over to The Children's Bookshop in Beecroft to pick up a gift, before heading back to my office.

10:25am Take a client call in the car - now I can converse hands-free on the go with the Bluetooth SYNC feature in the Ford EcoSport Titanium. The voice command works better than Siri! It's great to be able to take calls when I need to and it's a feature that I will sorely miss after returning this car.

10:30am Back at my home office for a consulting client phone call/skype.

11:30am Follow up phone call with to-do list email and forward planning.

12:00pm Heat up leftovers for lunch and keep working or take a few minutes on the deck in the treetops to eat, listen to the birds, and check Instagram.

12:15pm Blogging time! Research, write and produce a blog post for Bondville. Publish post, share on social media and email any designers or retailers mentioned in the post. Then get started on planning for the next post - mood boards, montages, planning, photo shoot. Respond to emails. Or possibly another one-hour client skype consultation.

2:55pm  Back in the Ford Ecosport Titanium to pick up my youngest from preschool, then fingers crossed for a good park near school for 3:25pm pick up for my big girl. Keep an eye on the preschool pack running around the playground while squeezing in a quick chat with parents before the bell rings.

3:45pm Time to return books and borrow more from our local library (and pick up parcels from the Post Office and maybe something from Harris Farm for dinner if needed). Sometimes it's a playdate or swimming classes or haircuts, or a proper grocery shop.

4:30pm In no particular order - get dinner ready, make sure homework/reader is done, empty scraps into the compost and worm farm, water any thirsty plants, bring in washing off the line, and get a little housework done. Or if the kids are playing nicely, maybe sneak in a bit of time on the computer.

5:30pm Dinner! (...if I'm super organised; otherwise it's any time up to 6:30pm)

6:30pm Bedtime Boot Camp starts. Baths/showers, brush teeth, PJ's, put away laundry and read books.

7:30pm Kids in bed, now onto dishes and tidy up.

8:00pm Decision time - relax on the couch with Harris, or back to the computer to blog/answer emails/plan new posts/follow-up on client work/pay bills/personal admin.

9:30pm Hopefully off to bed if I'm on top of everything!

Of course there is also grocery shopping, cleaning the house, kids' activities, etc., that I try to fit in on the two non-work days. And there are all those nights (and sometimes weekends) of blogging and managing admin too. I've just realised that there wasn't much exercise planned into my day - I'll have to get back into a morning walk before breakfast.

How do any of us get it all done, I ask!!! I know you're with me on this! But if I can continue what I do, and keep sharing local design talent and encouraging us all to support Australian retailers and designers, then it's all very much worthwhile. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.

[Thank you so much Kidspot and Ford for the loan of the amazing Ford Ecosport Titanium. Read my first post about a family day trip to Dural and Brooklyn, NSW right here].

Images: Steph Bond-Hutkin | Bondville; last image of Steph Bond-Hutkin by Milk & Honey Photography.


  1. thanks so much for the sneak peek into your day. you are an inspiration. keep up the super work. xx

  2. Loved reading this, thanks for the virtual trip around the neighbourhood. I remember going to the children's bookshop in Beecroft as a child, many (30!) years ago, it was a magical place.


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