Life Stories, Uncategorized

My Great, Big, Independent Adventure!




Anybody who knows me knows that I don’t go adventuring alone and I have never travelled all by myself.  I love when I defy my own thoughts and beliefs of what I think is possible.

I had put forward a proposal for a drought relief fund-raiser at my service provider, unbeknownst to me that there was already something in the works across all of our sites – we have several departments.  When I caught wind of what was happening, I thought “I got to be a part of this, no matter what!”. Unfortunately, it was on Friday, the day I have off.

I decided to ask whether I could get support for the day. It was unlikely, but I could get transport to and from. Then, I thought some more and asked my mother if I could catch a taxi to and from if a person I know met me on either end. Mum agreed and so began the next exciting chapter in my almost 28 years of being on this beautiful planet we call Earth. Initially, I felt scared but that’s a natural feeling of being frightened of the unknown. But I calmly gathered myself and started planning my day.

Gone are the days of ringing up and ordering a taxi. These days, yes I’m going to say it, there’s an app for that and for someone like me who has a speech impediment, it is so much easier. A few taps and bang, a taxi is ordered. How easy is that?

Next morning, I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. Today was the day I, Kaitlin Ann Lawrence, would not only travel in a taxi all by myself but would be embarking on my first solo adventure! My morning carer came in and got me ready for my day of firsts, and she would see me off then come back to greet me on my return. She even organised the taxi driver for the return journey. I felt so independent in the taxi, on my way to help raise much needed funds for our farmers and rural communities, a cause that has always been close to my heart.  A support worker whom I know met me at my destination and I texted my mother to say I’d arrived safely.

I headed straight for the office to get the fundraising started.  A Halloween bucket served as our donation container and together we raised $140 for our company-wide fundraiser. I’m beyond proud of our efforts and I proudly handed the money over to our main office.

Then I had an hour or so until my return trip so I did my time sheets while I waited (Yes, I do my own time sheets as well) and submitted them. Then the same support worker who greeted me, helped me board the taxi home. I was met by my morning carer on my arrival home.

All in all, I learned so much in four hours and I realised I am not a girl anymore, I am a woman! I have already began thinking about the next  solo adventure and how I can make myself more independent!

Be sure to stay tuned to find out what I come up with next!

Local Matters, Uncategorized

Firstly, I’m going to lay it all bare, I’m a radio connoisseur and I love smooth voices and great tunes!  Lately, I’m a bit peeved with the stations because a fair chunk of the programs are based in Sydney and aimed at the Sydney audiences. In my honest opinion,  this isn’t fair for those who support local radio and its content.

The question I ask; Is Newcastle radio losing its local touch?

I used to be an avid local 2HD and KO-FM listener and I used to have a old transistor radio.  I used to listen to the Breakfast show on KO-FM and listened to 2HD during my school lunch hour.  Later on in my early twenties, I switched to ABC Newcastle after I listened to Carol Duncan at my Nanna’s house when I was roughly nineteen.

Carol was a brilliant broadcaster during her time at the ABC and had a huge, loyal fan base.  Sadly, back in 2014, our beloved Afternoons program was cut due to the ABC’s funding was reduced.  We lost a great asset that year and I can vividly remember being in the studio as the very last Afternoons went to air,  with my Nanna firmly in my mind.  She wouldn’t stand for this,  and I remember looking up to the Heavens and silently saying “We tried, and I’m sad we couldn’t save it”.  But I had to move on, to another radio station to try and reaffirm my beliefs that there still was a radio station broadcasting local content.

A fair few friends recommended 2NUR, an easy listening station run by the local University.  I started listening, mentally ticking the boxes of what I expected in a radio station.  I remember thinking, and even now I still think when I’m listening, “is this too good to be true?”.   I can keep up to date with local news, weather, traffic and current issues in our community whilst listening to great tunes – most of the songs I know!

Now I do most of my work at home to 2NUR and it makes my work-from-home day flow much easier and I wouldn’t have it any other way!


Supermarkets “Ban The Bag”

Supermarkets have joined the environmentally friendly party by banning single use plastic bags. I love the new plastic-free system, but have trouble remembering my bags, so I thought I’d survey my family, friends and readers to see what they thought about the new initiative.

One of the rare times I have remembered my reusable bags

Before the ban, sixty percent of those surveyed said they sometimes took reusable bags when they went grocery shopping. Surprisingly, the no option got thirty four percent and the yes option was much less, which was surprising.

I was curious how people were transitioning to a plastic bag free shopping experience. An overwhelming eighty seven percent of those surveyed said they were finding the transition good. Eight percent of those surveyed said they didn’t notice a change.

I often get halfway to the shopping centre and realise I have forgotten my reusable bags and wondered if other people were struggling with remembering their bags as well. Fifty four percent of those surveyed said they sometimes remembered their reusable bags while thirty three percent said they were struggling to remember their reusable bags. Twelve percent of people said they always remembered their reusable bags, if you are one of those people, I am a tad jealous because I wish I could be as organised as you.

Would you support a statewide/nationwide ban on plastic bags? I know I would! An astonishing eighty three percent of those surveyed would support it as well. Woolworths recently said they are planning to ban plastic straws as well, which I would support wholeheartedly because of their effect on our environment.

I also was curious to whether people used their reusable bags when shopping for non-grocery items. Just over forty percent of those surveyed said they sometimes used their reusable bags when shopping for non-grocery items.

Because sharing is caring, I asked people whether they would like to share any tips for a better plastic bag free shop. Here’s what some of those surveyed said:

• “Remember your plastic bags!”

• “Always put them back in your car after you’ve brought in your groceries”

• “Embrace the change! Save the Earth! Next stop banning plastic straws!!”

• “Keep bags in your handbag and/or car”

• “I just fold one and put it in my handbag just in case.”

Life Stories, Life+Style, Uncategorized

Yoga: My Life On A Mat

Me with my fabulous yoga teacher and creator of Yoga Loft Newcastle,  Cveta.

I started yoga back in 2015 because I hated the gym I was at and I needed to keep fit.  I was also going through a tough time with anxiety as there was a lot going on in my life at the time.  My friend,  Amy suggested yoga as it would help not only my physical health but my mental health as well.  Anybody who knows me well knows that I don’t stick to things, I do something for six months and then I quit, get bored or walk away.  Not this time, three years down the track and I’m doing the best yoga I’ve ever done.

Yoga is a form of gentle exercise, with a focus on stretching and breathing.  I am a proud student of Yoga Loft Newcastle and I attend the Yin class on Monday.  I don’t do any tertiary education so yoga is also a time for me to learn and grow, listening to our teachers talk about anatomy, chakras and how a pose helps our bodies.  I also do my yoga practice completely blindfolded so I don’t get distracted, but it deepens my practice because my sight is taken away so my sense of hearing and touch are heightened as I need these senses to do yoga.  I never knew how much I relied on my sight, no matter how shocking it is, until I tried to do yoga with an eye mask on.

My classmates are my Yoga family and for the first time in forever, I’ve found somewhere I feel I belong outside of my family and close friends.  I’ll explain, I’ve never felt like I belonged anywhere outside of my family home and I felt like an outcast wherever I went.  Now when I enter Yoga Loft,  it’s like a sanctuary, quiet, peaceful and comfortable,  and it’s like coming home.

My family has noticed a change in my personality and my day-to-day anxiety levels have dropped dramatically.  Both, Mum and Dad plus other family and friends, are so supportive of what I do and they notice when I haven’t done yoga! For Christmases and birthdays, I get yoga clothes and equipment that I need instead of typical presents.  I believe that is a sign that my family and friends love the way yoga makes me feel and that they want me to keep achieving great things on the mat!

Life+Style, Uncategorized

How To Make Awesome Instagram Stories

If you, like me, love Instagram, you would have seen people have upped the ante on their Instagram Stories over the past few weeks.  Sick of lagging behind with my own Instagram Story style, I searched the web for answers.   Nothing came up that I liked, so I did what Mama Cass Elliot told us:  You Got To Make Your Own Kind Of Music…

I recalled that there was an app that did collages and other cool effects called PicCollage.  So I redownloaded it and played around with it, to see if I could create my very own Instagram Story style.

Here’s a short video of how I use PicCollage to make awesome Instagram Stories.

Hot Topics, Uncategorized

Public Broadcaster Must Stay In Public Hands


At a recent Liberal meeting, a motion was passed to look into privatizing the national broadcaster, the ABC.  The ABC prides itself on providing a non-biased, independent opinion on news and current affairs and is the leading broadcaster of children’s programmes.

Here in Newcastle, we’ve already felt the brunt of ABC cuts to local programming back in 2014, including the much loved Afternoon programme hosted by Carol Duncan. It’s like “Here we go again” for us if there are more cuts coming, will we lose the remainder of our local programmes and lose the ability to do emergency broadcasting when we have a situation like a bushfire or a flood?

When we had the April 2015 storms, nearly every household radio was set to 1233 ABC Newcastle to find out the latest news on the unfolding situation.  Although we had Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the radio provided the older generation with the vital information plus a friendly voice to keep them company.

The television shows we see across the four ABC stations are quality and substantial, compared to what’s on the commercial television stations.  The thing I like most about the ABC television programming is the shows are majority Australian and focuses on delivering fact-based current affairs such as Four Corners and Australian Story. Play School is another quality show that has entertained children for over fifty years and is a staple of a toddler’s daily routine.

The question is if the government does privatize the ABC, will this change the quality of the programming that is delivered into Australian homes?  We don’t know what the pending privatization will mean but the ABC is Australia’s National Public Broadcaster, so it must remain in public hands!

Disney, Life+Style, Uncategorized

Disney – The miniseries: Part Four: The Future and 100 Years Of Magic

I often ask myself “will Disney be my life forever?” and it is mostly followed promptly by “It will always be a major part of your life but it’s your choice and yours alone.”.  I don’t remember a time when I didn’t obsess over Mickey Mouse and Disney, and this is why I still do what I do.

I have a nephew/godson named Oliver,  and he is the future.  Oliver is not even two and already he is shaping up to be another Disney fanatic.  I know this isn’t something to be celebrated but I feel so happy that somebody will be there to carry on my legacy once I’m no longer around.

Speaking of legacies, this year’s Disney On Ice celebrates Walt Disney’s legacy – one hundred years in fact.  Although Walt didn’t see one hundred himself, his life and body of work still inspire millions of people every day. 100 Years Of Magic was originally created way back in 1999, and this is the third time it’s visiting Newcastle. After numerous remodels, this version includes modern smash hits such as Frozen and the Disney Princesses to timeless classics such as Toy Story and The Lion King.

Making memorable moments is synonymous with Disney On Ice.  I know first hand how valuable these memories are and Disney On Ice has the ability to connect the young and the old plus lets the child in all of us roam free for an hour or two.

Disney On Ice – 100 Years Of Magic skates into the Newcastle Entertainment Centre from July 13-15, just in time for the middle of the Winter School Holidays!