D&M, Parenting, Work

Living my dream.

Tonight I was driving home to our new place in Elwood.

I must’ve looked like a goon, I was singing to Oliver with a massive smile on my face. I realised that I did it. I didn’t give up, although many times I wanted to, and I achieved my dream. Like, all of them. Holy heck!!!
After 6 years, I’ve finally got my own place in Melbourne. Okay it’s only for six weeks, sure it full of someone else’s furniture, and yeah okay it’s a bit of a dive but you guys, I did it!!

After five years at uni, yes I took my time, I’ve got a job I’m really proud of. A job that I think I could do really well at and a job I will learn so much from.

But above all of that I’ve got James, Ollie and even that silly little puppy Panda. I’m actually married to my soul mate, and then we popped out my little kindred spirit. I really prefer the company of no one else more than that of my family,

This is not to say my life is perfect, but it is to say that I’ve worked my arse off and I’ve already ticked every box on my list. I really do have to pinch myself sometimes.

I’ve had moments so low that I’ve almost walked away from my husband, not him per say but the life that came with him. But I stayed, and I tried, and now he’s about to get posted to Melbourne and it’s all been worth it.

There were moments so stressful I nearly dropped uni. I was driving from Sydney to Canberra to do my exams so I had someone to babysit Oliver because James was ALWAYS at sea- can you imagine? It was exhausting. Oliver would sleep and I would study, then I would clean a little or sleep or on the very odd occasion I would relax.

But here I sit in my Melbourne apartment just five months away from having my family back together, with my beautiful child asleep in our bed (yes we’re currently sharing) and just hours away from returning to my dream job.

When was the last time you thought you could just throw it all away? I hope whatever you decided to do, you feel as fulfilled as I do today!

Uncategorized, Work

Six things I learnt from my first job.

I haven’t posted in a while.

I don’t know how I feel about this blog any more. I started it just after I started my first real job- I was so enthusiastic and I thought I would have this whole work/ life balance thing sorted out in no time.

But the thing is I was in that job for 12 months and every time I felt settled, well something would come along and shake it up.

I never did- and still haven’t- discovered any sort of work life balance.

It’s more of a work/life sword fight, each competing with each other trying to win your time. Both always demanding more, and me always feeling like a failure because I couldn’t meet all their needs.

So then I did something CRAZY! Absolutely absurd- I put my family first.


It was pretty organic, James left so I just couldn’t continue to work the amount of overtime I was doing.

I felt awful, and although I was told I was supported I really wasn’t feeling the support. Although they would say it was okay it work only 39 hours a week instead of 45 I could see it in their eyes that it wasn’t.

Only one and a half hours more than I was paid- I felt like I was letting them down.

Then I started to see cracks, I started to get really paranoid. I felt really belittled all the time and no matter how much work I did- I always felt like it wasn’t enough.

I thought it was just my anxiety playing up.

And then I got yelled at for doing my job in a public space- and I started to think that surely this was not how staff should be treated.

And even though I spoke to the head of HR I was still made to feel like I was paranoid and I was the crazy one.

So I just got on with it- but I did apply for two ‘dream jobs’ in Melbourne.

Then I got one.

And then it all came crashing down. I’m not going to go in detail but my paranoia was pretty accurate.

But it was really for the best, and to their defence I really felt like my concerns were heard during my exit interview.

I also made some great life long friends there- and walked away with great experience.

So here’s what I learnt from my first job:

Don’t be a yes man! If people ask you to do roles outside of your job description, you don’t have to say yes. Colleagues will respect you if you explain to them that you don’t have the time or the skills to complete a task they requested of you.

Don’t miss out on opportunities because you don’t have time. Whilst it’s okay to say no if you are too busy, if you are given the opportunity to develop your career or try something you are interested in- make time. One of these opportunities became my favourite part of the job, and I pretty much got my new job off the experience I gained from it.

Don’t get involved in the bitching! Especially whilst in the office. If someone is constantly bitching about others, they’re probably going to bitch about you. It’s also incredibly toxic. If you need to vent about work or colleagues, do it with people outside of your organisation.

Stay focused on your goals. Sure your goals can change, and that’s only natural- but don’t chase the pay cheque. $100k might get you out of bed for the first couple of years, but a job you are passionate about will keep you engaged for much longer and probably earn you more money in the long run. If a promotion is offered outside of your area of expertise or interest ask them to tailor it to suit you. If they really want you they’ll find a compromise.

Know when it’s time to move on. Your first job is a lot like your first boyfriend. You adore it, and you think you’ll be there forever but upon reflection it was kind of an arsehole. Chances are, you’re not going to be there forever. As soon as you start to feel undervalued, start looking elsewhere. You don’t need to feel guilty about moving on, you don’t owe them anything.

The most important thing I learnt from my first job was to be yourself! Work your hardest, and don’t lose your integrity. Even if you’re under valued, you can walk out of the office on your last day with your head held high knowing that you did your absolute best.

What did you learn from your first job?


When one door closes…

Today, I closed a huge chapter of my life. I finished my first ‘real job’ as a communicator, and finished my career in Canberra.


It was a reasonably emotional day for me. My resignation wasn’t met with the grace I had expected from everybody. And the rest, I’m going to miss them like crazy but I know I’ve made some friends for life.

I walked away with out any regret. I did the best job I could possibly do with the direction I was given, I learnt a hell of a lot, and I met some incredible people.

I walked away with my head held high, feeling really proud of how my time was spent there.

Work places are a funny thing. I spent so much time in my office, it was so familiar to me.

I’m both blessed and cursed in that it my office felt like my second home. I spent a lot of time there, my colleagues felt like my family. I knew the cracks in the walls, how to start the jibby lift, how to make the lights work in the bathroom- all those little quirks that you pick up over time.

Today, I closed a big chapter in my life. A chapter that will always be looked upon with such fond memories. A chapter that developed me as a communicator and as a person. A chapter, that although I am sad to end- I also know that it’s the right time for me.

Now, on to the next chapter…


I am proud of me.

This time, six years ago I was a very different person. I wasn’t a bad person, I was just nineteen and trying to figure out who I was, and who I was going to be.

I had just deferred uni, I was working at a pizza shop and I was spending every spare cent on partying. I look back with no regrets, but I also recognise that I have come a long way. And a big part of that is thanks to James.

We met on one of these nights out partying. I don’t recall our first meeting, one could say I had been drinking. But one thing led to another and our paths crossed.

He made me want to be a better person. He fills me with this motivation that I have never had before. I re-enrolled into uni, and he supported me every step of the way- financially and morally. But, it wasn’t always easy. I studied via distance education and he was away a lot. My mind wondered, I worked full time, then I had Ollie. I had to stay focused on my end game.

When I started my degree, I was going to be a journalist. There was no if-buts about it. I was going to change the world. I wanted to report on the real issues, I wanted to break through the censorship and I wanted to tell everyone the truth.

The more I learnt about journalism, communications and marketing, the more I learnt that this kind of journalism doesn’t really exist. Of course there are forums like this one here, blogs and underground outlets. But there’s also that underlying issue that people don’t always want to know the truth. They would much rather watch entertainment, call it news, and sleep soundly at night.

So I revisited my dream. I still wanted to change the world, but I realise now that there are smaller ways in which one can achieve this. I decided I wanted to be a communicator in a small not-for-profit organisation and share a very important message to those who needed to hear it.

For the past 12 months I have dabbled in that. I got to be part of a very important organisation and I got to share their message- sometimes.

Starting next month, I will be a communicator in a small not-for-profit organisation and I will get to share their very important message.

I will get to reflect on late nights studying after Oliver was up all day, and long drives to Canberra to sit my exam because James was out at sea. I will get to know that it was all worth it, and that I have worked hard to achieve my goals- and I have done it.

I will get to look Oliver in the eye and tell him if he wants something enough, and he works hard enough he can do it.

I will get to move to Melbourne, I will get to go home and I will get to raise Oliver in a constant environment.

James won’t be there right away, and that downright sucks. But I know that this is something we have worked hard for, and this is something we have achieved. Something we can be proud of. Something we did together- and something I couldn’t have done without James.

I am proud, I am so proud, of what I have achieved in the last six years. I have really set my goals high, and I have reached everyone of them. I am married to my soul mate, I have a beautiful son, a gorgeous puppy, and next month I am starting a job that I can very well see shaping my career.

I guess if I have one piece of advice for you, it’s don’t miss out on opportunities because you are too busy. Make time, not just for your goals but for yourself.



Parenting, Work

Hey there lonnnnely blog



Our beautiful au pair left two weeks ago, James is back in one month. Whilst I am loving every second with Oliver, I am finding it very difficult to get any time to myself.download (1)My day starts when Oliver’s day starts, it ends when Oliver’s day ends. I work from around 8:30-4:30. Work is really busy, and I get very little R&R time- but I love what I do so it’s a good thing (mostly).

I often find myself catching my breath in the car when I get to work in the morning and when I leave work in the evening. Those few seconds alone in the car before I run off to pick up Oliver are mine, and I breath them in deep.

I pick Oliver up, we get home, I give him an afternoon snack, and then I start on dinner. Sometimes he helps, or he plays, or watches TV- but he checks on me ever few minutes as I check on him. We eat dinner together, normally on the couch watching a documentary about animals, he’s obsessed! Then it’s bath, teeth, book, bed. I lay with him until he falls asleep, it’s been this way since Easter, he was very distressed after his Dad left again after Easter and to be honest, I kind of love it.

I normally fall asleep next to him at 7:30, I might wake up at 9PM in time to crawl into my bed. Night’s like tonight I manage to stay awake to squeeze in some me time, but honestly I feel like it’s just for the sake of.

And repeat.

I love my days with Oliver. I feel like I am the best Mum I have ever been, I’m practising new parenting techniques and it’s wonderful. I never raise my voice at Oliver and he responds so well to it. We talk, and he understands me. I give him simple choices, and he picks the obvious option.

But my priorities are different than they were three weeks ago. I’m not worried about a clean house, or me time. I’m worried about Oliver and I want him to know I am here for him, even though some days I drop him at daycare just as they open and pick him up just before they close. I still prioritise work as best I can, but these days I leave work with emails unread, I just have to.

So, unfortunately this blog is not getting my priority. I just don’t have time, even when I do- my computer is running YouTube with the ‘onimallls’ for Ollie. I have been spending a bit more time on my social media, if you’d like to keep up with my recipes and happenings you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

I hope to be back to blogging regularly soon.

Single mums, you rock my socks. Seriously, this world owes you far more than you get.

Much Love,

Cassandra J


D&M, Parenting, Uncategorized, Work

Six years to life

Almost six years ago, I met my soul mate.
I pretty much new from the moment I met him that this was it for me, this was where I was meant to be.


It was also around this time that James signed his six year contract to the Australian Defence Force, and we began our journey as a defence couple.

Our plan was to always leave after the six years. He would support me through uni, we’d have a child or two, get married, I’d get a job and then he would leave the ADF and be a stay at home Dad.

So far, so good. But the thing is, the ADF is such a great comfort. I mean, they really have our back. Not only just James have a stable income, he also has free healthcare, dental and rental assistance. Oliver and I also get healthcare too. And you know, we like to have nice things- the kind of nice things you can only really have with two wages.

I am really proud of what we have achieved in these six years. Not only have we started our family, James has managed to support me through my degree and path the way for me to start my career. Oliver is a very stable kid, we rock this parenting gig. We might be a little quirky, and different to other parents- but we are certainly raising a very bright and happy kid. James continues to make a great impression at work and is currently the dux of his class.

Sometimes I wish I could just go back to 21 year old Cass and tell her to chill out, and that everything will be okay. 30 year old Cass will probably (hopefully) think the same of 25 year old Cass- but I guess it’s that level of stress that has helped me to achieve my goals.

What about you? Do you think a younger you would be proud of who you are today? And what about an older you?

Parenting, Work

Work/Life balance, or something.


It’s no secret, I love my job. I don’t get that Monday morning dread everyone tells me about. I don’t really get hump day or the February blues.

Nope. I get up happy. I arrive happy- okay I am happy after my morning coffee. But I genuinely love what I do.

I also adore my family. I live and breath for Oliver and James, they are everything to me.

So how do I balance the two?

The truth is I don’t. Not always at least.

Some mornings I go to work with wet hair and breakfast in my teeth. Some evenings we eat pizza or two minute noodles. Some nights, I don’t sleep.

I think that’s the key to the balance, not balancing it at all– but being okay with that.

It’s knowing that some days, you simply cannot do it all and you should be okay with that. It’s not to say you shouldn’t try, because you have to try. But some days you won’t tick everything on your to do list, and that’s okay.

Balance is doing the best you can, and being okay with what you cannot. Ying and yang or something.

So, how do you find your work/life balance?