My life has been touched by some uber amazing women whose passion for life and the way they choose to live it have really inspired me. A few years ago, I started the She’s So Inspiring series to showcase these amazing stories because I knew that they would inspire others. Some of these inspiring women are bloggers, some are not, their lives are all different and they are all incredibly special. I am so honoured that they are sharing their stories and sprinkling a little bit of their awesome right here. May you be wom-inspired!
Meet Amanda Smyth.
I can’t remember how long I’ve known Amanda or how long I’ve been reading her beautiful blog but it feels like forever… in a really good way. I’ve long been a fan of Amanda’s homemade recipes which are always generously served with a side of farm life stories.
I’ve also admired her remarkable can-do attitude and positivity in the face of some heart wrenching personal challenges which she writes about openly and honestly and I know her words have comforted, supported and inspired others who have found themselves in a similar situation.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Amanda has just published her very own cookbook, titled Cooker and a Looker with all her favourite recipes in one delicious tome. I know how hard she has worked to turn this book from a really good idea into a really delicious reality. I can’t wait to get my hands on my copy (it’s my Christmas present to myself,) and if you want to get in on the action check out the presale and go into the draw to win Amanda’s 5 favourite cookbooks!
Anyway, all this talk of deliciousness is making me quite hungry. Let’s me introduce you to Amanda, she’s just so inspiring!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I discovered snorkelling at a tender age and by twelve I’d decided that I would be marine biologist when I grew up. I studied science at uni and briefly worked as a marine biologist.
Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have a career that spans several industries, finally settling on life as a farmer. My husband and I have been farming turf on the Sunshine Coast for twelve years. I started blogging recipes and stories about our life on the farm in 2012. The rest, they say is history!
Tell us 3 things you are and 3 things you’re not.
I’m loyal, genuine and generous.
I’m not patient, naturally stylish or tidy.
Complete this sentence, ____________________ changed my life. How and why?
My year 9 science teacher Miss Harrison changed my life. She recognised a beautiful science-nerd hiding inside an underperforming student chrysalis and suggested I attend a science summer school.
Finding my science-nerd tribe changed the trajectory of my life. The Jim Rohn quote “you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with” describes my teenage years perfectly. Finding people who thought studying and performing well was cool proved pivotal in my life. I cannot imagine what I’d be doing now if it weren’t for Miss Harrison.
What has been life’s greatest lesson?
Perspective. When my brother died in an aviation accident in September 2011 our lives changed irrevocably. Learning to live with his loss has been a difficult process. I’m a worrier by nature, but losing David has given me a sense of perspective about what really matters.
What is your biggest achievement?
My husband and I bought a run-down turf farm in 2005. Since then, we’ve turned it into a growing, professional concern – all the while remaining friends. It hasn’t always been easy but we’re beginning to reap what we’ve spent years sowing and it feels like a massive accomplishment.
Mini Strawberry Shortcakes
What has been your toughest obstacle and how have you overcome it?
Being diagnosed with MS in January last year was a bugger. But I think I was in a good headspace to receive the news – (see my life’s greatest lesson!). Informing myself about the condition and surrounding myself with a highly-skilled medical team was key to making my peace with the diagnosis then forming a plan to manage the disease and mitigate the chance of it impacting on the life my family have always planned for themselves.
Viktor Frankl says “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.” Everyone needs a purpose, what’s yours?
My why is family. The love that my husband and I have for each other helped us through the ‘how’ of our first years of farming then later the loss of David and my MS diagnosis. I was lucky enough to marry a man who promised me “for better and for worse” and meant it. We recently celebrated ten happy years.
What are your words to live by?
As a teenager, my summer-job boss and family friend told me “you make your own luck.” He is a self-made wildly successful business man, father and husband. His advice means more now than it did then. My most successful friends, the ones who’ve had ‘overnight success*’ are the hardest workers I know.
(For the record, every ‘overnight success’ story I’ve ever heard begins with years of invisible hard work that has laid the form work.)
If you could have any mentor, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
Marco Pierre White. I get the impression he’s more focussed on the pursuit of excellence than chasing popularity.
If you could play hookie for a day what would be on your list to do?
One of these winter days when the weather is right I’m going to give my eldest the day off school and book a spur-of-the-moment swim with the whales.
You give so much to others, what do you do to take care of yourself?
I’m in bed early every night. Everything is easier when you’re well rested. Big problems seem eminently more manageable after a good night’s sleep.
Thank you for sharing, Amanda.
Let Amanda inspire you a little bit more…
on the blog
and on twitter
Buy the book here