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Showing posts from 2015

Joy the Movie is a Must See

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The film Joy is definitely the first film people should see after they finish watching Star Wars this December. Jennifer Lawrence plays a female inventor in the real story about Joy Mangano. This is more than an inspirational tale. It shows possibilities and lessons which any creative individual may encounter. Joy can teach entrepreneurs what they need to know. The film encourages anyone, entrepreneurial or otherwise, to be innovative go with their instincts.  
Joy Mangano was the classic 'rags to riches' transformation when she invented the Miracle Mop. She initially advertised and sold the product through infomercials on television. Some of the TVCs are still available on Youtube, like this one from 1996. 

Jennifer Lawrence is her usual beautiful sincere self in the role. J-Law is known for speaking her mind in actual life. So a strong female character is right up her alley. She brings out the humble determination which Joy would have originally displayed. 
Joy Mangano is g…

Real Rob Rocks Netflix

Rob Schneider documented his own life and shared the tales on Netflix. Reviews were mixed and divided for this quirky comedian's style of semi-autobiographical series. But Real Rob is as authentic as necessary, as Schneider definitely did this project on his own terms.
The official Rob Schneider web site says, “Schneider is the first actor to have written, produced, starred, directed and self-financed an entire season of a television show.” This is real.  
The 52 year old has had a colourful life over the years, creating comedic films after getting started on Saturday Night Live. His career has been matched by an equally eventful 
He has a grown-up daughter in from a previous marriage, 26 year old musician Elle King (born 3rd July 1989 - same date as this blogger). However, the actors/characters/stars of the series are his current wife and youngest daughter. 
Real Rob is about the everyday life of Schneider's current young family. Schneider is now married to the young producer …

HIMYM characters teach great lessons

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How I Met Your Mother hosted the perfect group of diverse friends. Each mate gives a moral to the story. We want to be all of them and none of them all at the same time. Every character could be you or me. That is why they are awesome.


Ted stays optimistic amongst all odds

Ted Mosby is optimistic over so many years. He has a goal and sticks to it. Very rarely does he doubt the possibility of finding the one. Plenty of twenty somethings end up disheartened at least for a little while. Gen Y got particularly stuck somewhere between the Global Financial Crisis and User Generated Content. We are finding our way. Ted reminds us to keep chasing our goals.

Lily is tough and nice at the same time

Alyson Hannigan stayed a superhero in this series. This show has a much lighter style to the seriousness of Willow from Buffy, where Hannigan shone. Lily keeps the group in line when they get silly. This character is more sure of her self, and breathes calmly amongst the strangest situations. She has …

Christmas Celebrations

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I love Christmas celebrations. They are really delightful. Some are with people we normally see anyway, but it feels different.

I enjoy reminding myself of the beliefs I grew up with. And everyone gets to have a warm and fuzzy festive time. Most of us put our differences aside to enjoy a unifying holiday.

The 'traditional' cultural bits of Christmas are as fun as my beloved religious side.

These days, it's the only time I eat a a roast dinner. I'm a busy modern individual with very basic cooking abilities. And when it just never gets chosen when I eat out. I just always prefer something less traditional.

But we always get back to the good old 50s style roast at Christmas time. There's always a way. Even if nobody can cook on a particular year, we still find a buffet somewhere to feast on the classic.

The decorations are equally beautiful. I don't normally put a lot of thought into interior design. Aesthetics are the last thing on my mind when I'm lucky to k…

The story of my grandfather going into hospital

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My favourite family photo ever... 
I recently read an email which went along the lines of this: "Sorry I won’t be able to join you on Sunday. Five minutes walking brings on real distress for me at present. Those who follow real media will know about my condition, See Column 8 in today’s (Saturday) and also last Wednesday’s  SMH."

My grandfather was unwell. I was gradually piecing together the puzzle which had apparently been hidden in Column 8 of The Sydney Morning Herald. It is not normal to blog about a family member going into hospital. But it's equally abnormal to read about such hospitalisation in the paper.

So, as the information was scattered across multiple editions of a publication, I feel the need to put everything into one place. Here's the story of Gary Wilson going into hospital, as told by Melanie and media.  

I was alerted to the issue after the following couple of lines in an email from Gary:

"Five minutes walking brings on real distress for me…

Modern Engagement

I am thoroughly enjoying a modern engagement. We need to customise existing morals with the needs of us as a couple. Some traditions do not seem as necessary now. And we feel more comfortable that way.

The engagement started more than a month after we moved in together. This was not a 'try before you buy' mentality. We were constantly with each other whenever possible, before even considering cohabitation. We felt committed very early on.

Commitment takes many forms. Many marriages end within months, years, or decades. Yet we feel comfortable and happily committed without signing a piece of paper. Contracts do not guarantee relationships. They symbolise them.

I will gladly sign my life away with a contract on my wedding day. That piece of paper will not ensure our relationship. The document will symbolise it. We will have a creative formal celebration of our public lifelong relationship.

As the woman, I felt untraditional enough to do the proposing. I wasn't going to wai…

Melanie’s Sing Along Playlist

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Melanie’s Sing Along Playlist

Some songs are so catchy, all you can do is sing along. This is not about karaoke. It’s background music that feels ultra catchy.

500 Miles The Proclaimers  

This song gets the top spot because of the appearance in How I Met Your Mother. Ted and Marshall famously listened to this song when driving on road trips. Marshall held a particular obsession to the song.   


HIMYM rekindled the spark of this song. The track was originally released in 1988. Then it returned to the big screen for this episode in 2007. It's fair to say a new audience was introduced, or at least reminded, with this cool sing along. 






It's worth checking out the original version. There's are plenty of chances to giggle at the 80s hair along the way. 




It's My Life  Bon Jovi  
It's My Lift is the anthem for every individualist who wants real freedom. Do what you want. When else will you get the chance?

Bon Jovi are still performing this one for live audiences. They still …

Melanie attends Toastmasters Conference in Canberra

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Melanie Suzanne Wilson attended the 2015 D70 Toastmasters Conference in Canberra, in November this year. This Semi Annual Conference gathered members from various locations in the ACT and NSW. Many of these members are valuable leaders and mentors.
Melanie appeared in her role of Area 10 Director for four clubs. She is also the Vice President of Public Relations with the Cronulla RSL Toastmasters Club, and Secretary with the Advanced CBD Toastmasters Club.
Clay Halford joined Melanie in his own official capacities, including Contest Toastmaster Host and Area 9 Director. The pair smiled for cameras at the media wall during the lunch and evening events. They thoroughly enjoyed seeing beloved friends from all clubs. 
Melanie Suzanne Wilson always enjoys dressing up for elegant occasions. Events serve her goal of living life to the fullest. Carpe diem. 





Lady Gaga Publicises Her Dog

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Lady Gaga has perfected the art of sharing parts of of life with her fans. Her latest focus is Miss Asia Kinney, her dog. Miss Kinney was recently given her own separate Facebook page earlier in 2015. This is a great campaign alongside Gaga's own page.

It personifies her dog in a relatable way. Gaga appears happy and social with something many people enjoy. It shows there is more to Lady Gaga than stages and studios. She looks balanced. This is crucial.

Miss Asia Kinney is personified for a very important reason. Paris Hilton carried small dogs around during a phase which included her television show, A Simple Life. Yet the dogs appeared in the media just as accessories, carried in handbags. They were not known in their own right. They were not understood, hidden from the public's understanding. Whereas Lady Gaga is treating her dog as a character in the narrative story of her public life.

Yet the dog does not delve into a simple casual image for Gaga. The Facebook banner fea…

What Mel Knows

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What Mel Knows is the new educational web site by Melanie Suzanne Wilson.   
This freshly created web site will feature regular blog posts about how to create quality digital communications. Melanie Suzanne Wilson has created online campaigns for various commercial and volunteer brands over the past several years. Now, she is sharing her knowledge with the world.   
Categories are already set up on the site, to show audiences what topics are on their way. Every week will see new insights into the techniques of technology.  
Readers can visit whatmelknows.com for the latest professional news from Melanie Suzanne Wilson. 





Photos of Melanie Speaking

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What Mel Wants gets a revamp

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The blog What Mel Wants has now transformed into a sleek new look. The original blog was set up for a very different purpose. A new style was needed to reflect the minimalist professional digital trends of 2015.

What Mel Wants was first created during a holiday with family at Lake Macquarie. I was bored. So I made a web site. That's what I do when I'm bored. I create things.

Personal articles flowed through on everything in everyday life. If Seinfeld was the show about nothing, then this was the blog about 'nothing.' It was fun, leisurely, and deeply personal.

Colours at the time reflected my more casual girly approach to life. Everything was emotive and suburban. A peachy pinky orange suited that purpose.

But this blog needs to live on amongst my growing professional online work. What Mel Wants is still a strong vehicle to carry my own personal anecdotes.

It complements neatly alongside two other web sites. Each has its own identity and audience. Neither is better …

Eat from a shovel at The Potting Shed

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The Potting Shed, in Alexandria, is home to truly casual outdoor garden dishes. Brands are always shaped by their identities and offered experiences.

Main dishes at the Potting Shed definitely tick the box of differentiation. 
It's a twist on the normal pub format. Burger: check. Chips: check. Barbecue sauce: check. Shovel: hang on. 




That's right. Plates, are like, so last year. It's a step further on the hipster trend. 
It all started elsewhere with jars. Why just have raw food, when you can have raw glassware... Now it's possible to really feel how the food originated. 
Whatever the purpose, it works. The shovel adds the an overall theme in a restaurant that actually runs in a shed. 
Just beware the shovel wobbles a bit... 





Breakfast in a Martini Glass

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Breakfast in a Martini Glass Everything tastes better in a martini glass. Everyday foods feel extra glam in these balanced holders. 
It's about more than the James Bond effect. Martini glasses show off the shiny sides of any treats. 
It's easy to go beyond the normal clear classic glasses. Colourful glasses look extra showy. 
Presentation is everything. Why wait until the next trip to the bar! There's no time like the present to feel that extra bit more sophisticated.  
Yoghurt and Berries in a Martini Glass
Layered yoghurt and strawberries go perfectly in martini glasses. There are very important reasons for this. 
Firstly, it's easy to see all the layered foods all at once. So all the foods can be displayed in all their yumminess. 
Secondly, it's served as chilled as any beverage. Taller glasses prevent people from warm tight grips like on normal glasses or bowls. 
It's easy to just hold the neck of the glass instead, allowing the food to stay more chilled. 

Hipster Breakfasts - Are they all they cracked up to be?

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Hipster breakfasts need to be selected carefully. It's worth checking if any hipster food is really the value being paid for. Yes, that's true for all foods. But there's an implied extraordinary value in these allegedly healthier foods.
I tried a hipster muesli during a recent holiday. Sure, it was presumably healthy. But it wasn't extraordinary. The container was tiny. It was just a scoop of yoghurt, with a sprinkle of crumbs on top. And it definitely didn't break the fast.

I ended up hungry afterwards, craving something solid like a muffin. Bigger portions are fine if they are light and nutritious. In hindsight, this muesli yoghurt could have been on the side of a big fruit salad. Or after some eggs and tomato on toast (my favourite). But it's not a meal on its own.

The moral of the story is to be careful when trying hipster foods. They might look trendy and rustic. But they are not everything. 

Review: The Grounds Alexandria

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Sydney allows residents to be tourists in their own city. The Grounds, in Alexandria, is one of those gems which locals should hold as a treasure. It's a break from the high-density shopping and cookie-cutter cloned stores. It's unique.

The Grounds is a small village of cafes, shops, and markets. It's like a normal shopping centre but with a twist. Although corridors are crowded on the weekends, there is a settled quiet buzz during the week days. Vibrant flowers fill barrels and boxes all along the foot paths. It's like an old fashioned town. 

The Potting Shed is open early in the afternoon, across from the petting zoo. Although there are food options, a simple glass of wine does wonders on a hot Summer's day. The staff are attentive. Everything is themed. The bill is clipped to a gardening shovel at the end. Things are simple and casual. Although customers pay for the theme. It's worth the relaxation and fresh air.


There are definitely pros and cons to every…

Easy Healthy Eggy Breakfast

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Breakfast should be healthy and not boring. After all, it is the most important meal of the day. 
Many people grow up with the same cereal and vegemite every morning. There is nothing wrong with that as such. Whatever floats your boat. But it doesn't have the flavour or nutrition of a delicious properly prepared breakfast. 
Food doesn't have to be complicated either. Spinach leaves are the perfect pretty inexpensive garnish for almost any plate of food. Good old ham and tomato can get people going in the morning. And they feel more filling than just a spread. Boiled eggs are so easy. They can sit there in the pot, doing their thing. Next thing you know, there are protein-rich delights without the oiliness. Enjoy. 
This is just one of many ways to properly enjoy breakfast. It's quick, simple, and totally worth it. Go on, give it a try. Break away from the normal routine. Treat yourself to something better.

Creativity and Eccentricity

There has always been a controversially creative side to me. Creativity is not just painting a picture, or singing a song. Creativity is about creating something. I love creating big strategies from scratch. The blogging industry has legitimised journalistic writing in the online world. This style is something I love dearly. I also enjoy putting together the layouts and visual designs, playing my piano, and generally creating anything which communicates a meaningful message. Most of all, I love online writing. That is why I am doing a masters degree in journalism. It's the pure creativity.

Elizabeth Gilbert described the controversy of this profession. It is normal to ask a creative individual about writer's block, fear of failure, and manic habits. "Notion that creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked." Liz believes the Western world associates creative creations too closely with their human creators. We identify ourselves with our work like it is not…

Imagine the audience... Writer's Block or Writer's Nerves?

Yes, this post has two titles. Both are equally important. Do you have those days when you can't decide on what to wear, so you wear both? Or you can't decide on what to eat, so you eat both? It's the same indecisiveness. Anyway, I should get on with sharing ideas with you dear readers.

Everyone has a fear of something. This does not imply incapability. Fear does not define you, it only possesses you. It is like a Dementor from Harry Potter. It hovers over you like a cloud before the rain. But remember, there are rainbows and sunshine after the rain. We all have fears or shyness. Some people find ways to work around it. This doesn't mean terminating these fears forever. Work with what you have.

I have been procrastinating on some very important writing recently. There were weeks to do it. There were people who could have helped with it. I also love writing - I have to love it, because I need an expressive outlet and I am a terrible singer. So then why did I put off th…

The Fun Of Leadership

Leadership has its light fun moments, amongst the seriousness of striving towards goals. Toastmasters clubs teach leadership creatively, so it doesn't feel like work at all.

Themed meetings bring a twist to regular routine. Members can dress up, design the agenda, and create speeches, and play games for the theme. The Parramatta Toastmasters Club once played a game called, "Human Christmas Trees." A loyal leader became wrapped head to toe in tinsel. The same club created a meeting to celebrate the Rocky Horror Picture Show. One could only imagine the costumes. Now that is creative leadership.

Themes demonstrate great organisational leadership skills. It's not just child's play. There must be liaison with a caterer for themed food. Delegate a member who can decorate. Teach members new meeting techniques. Publicise the special event to the wider community.

Speeches themselves allow creative fun leadership. Stage time is not always serious business. Swap the lecter…

Use your hands for body language in public speaking

Body language is about individual elements, and the whole look. 
Hands are an important part of body language. 
Incorrect hand gestures impact on the message and image of a speaker. Gestures can be distracting, confusing, exhausting, anxious, and repetitive.
This blogger previously fidgeted when nervous, or dramatically waved arms when speaking. 
Other worrying trends in other people include hands behind the back, on hips, clasped, or holding something. There's also the infamous repetitive gesture, used by one speaker in every speech.  
There are easy alternatives which will make the speech look more relaxed and convincing.   
Hands should be kept at either side of the speaker. Arms should be relaxed on the side.  
This should be mixed with hand gestures. The point or message will be illustrated by these gestures.

Be deliberate with how your use your hands in speeches. Make your gestures meaningful.

5 Lessons in Leadership

Here are 5 lessons I have learned in leadership:
1. Ask for help.
You're not an island. You're a person. Remember the difference. Leaders are limited flawed human beings. They need help. How many people does it take to change a lightbulb? As many as possible!

Get a second opinion on what you're doing. You don't have to do what your friends say, but it's guidance in an optional direction.

Mentorship is important because you can learn from the experiences of others. Definitely do your own thing. But there is no reason to reinvent the wheel, or find your way in the dark.

2. Do the little things.
Stop being a princess, on a high horse. Do the little things that will achieve your vision. Amongst all the strategising and delegating, there has to be some action.

Sure, you can entrust other people with some work. But if you don't check the little things are getting done, then needed details can slip through the cracks.

The best way to ensure action is with a hands…

Writer speaks against domestic violence after losing family

Domestic violence is not only a topic of debate. It is not only about ‘stranger danger.’ It can be unexpected. Attackers can be close to the victims, even family and friends. Rebecca Poulson is speaking out, and writing, to help victims.
“You don't really choose to become a writer, writing is something that has always been with me. When I lost my family members in violent circumstances then the book choose me - I HAD to write it.”
When she was ready, life-changing events compelled her to write. A horrific family attack left her recovering for years.
The writing process for her first book was an emotional roller coaster. Rebecca was compelled to write about her own trauma, hoping the world would learn from her own experience of domestic violence.
It was Rebecca’s 33rd birthday. Rebecca’s father, and young niece and nephew, were murdered by those children’s own father. Rebecca’s brother-in-law had taken the lives of her beloved family.
Her father, Peter Poulson, was a known and loved…