About us

WELCOME TO CHALK – we are a daily Australian lifestyle blog for women who can chalk a few things up to experience.

Sure as women in our thirties we’ve made it through our twenties – a little wiser and few tricks up our sleeves. But we’re also the first to tell you – we haven’t figured it all out.

This blog is about us sharing our passion for wellbeing, home design, food, travel, love, beauty and careers. We’ll share a little bit of what we know and a little bit of what we are figuring out.

The Chalk team

C – Caroline

H – Helpers (read below to see how you can become a contributor)

A – Alice

L – Lucy

K – Kate


Caroline Hatswell  

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Well known for my extreme self-confidence (read: inability to accept there is anything I can’t do if I put my mind to it, with the exception of kayaking), I grew up in Brisbane and moved to Canberra when I finished uni having visited once, for one day, basically because I had no idea what else I was going to do!

I’ve been working professionally for over ten years now and am studying for my Masters degree (who isn’t these days?). Some days I find my job very satisfying, other days I just want to stay home, in bed, watching reality tv (my secret pleasure) in my pjs.

I’m about to embark on one of the biggest and hopefully most rewarding challenges of my life – motherhood. I’ve put in my order for a petite, great at feeding, great at sleeping and generally perfect baby. I’ll let you know how it goes! My previous experience with parenting is limited to my fish (RIP Jason, Darren and Daryl, and good luck to Derrick who is hanging on somehow), so this will be a steep learning curve.

I’m excited to share our lives and thoughts and to connect with you and other like-minded women, feeling our way through our thirties and beyond and trying to get the most out of life.

Helpers

If you have a story idea or would like to contribute content we’d love to hear from you. Your idea should be a story for the ‘chalk it up’ woman, be an article, how-to, profile, product review, travel guide or recipe. Contact us at chalkitup@outlook.com

Get in touch!

Alice Dore-Jones

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I’m a walking contradiction. I’m a city girl but grew up in the country. I think I’m a mature adult but I don’t want to grow up. I’m a fitness/health nut but I love to party. I’m not a slave to trends but I want that “it” piece of clothing (now please). I’m not a bimbo but I have a reputation for coming out with what can only be called “Alice-isms”. I guess I’m never what I’m meant to be and always happy to surprise.

How I got to this point? Well, heading into my twenties I had a dream of being a corporate lawyer with a corner office (and a reputation as a ball-breaker) but then I realised it wasn’t me… so after finishing a law degree I headed into the world of weekly celebrity magazines (a very natural progression as I’m sure you’ll agree).

This meant a move to Sydney, a city I adore. I met the love of my life in a grotty pub on a night out and we were married in 2012 (I walked down the aisle to fat boy slim, we honeymooned at coachella music festival). Together, we’ve danced until dawn and clapped the sun rise.  I know I’m pretty darn fortunate to have found someone who can put up with my brand of crazy and is happy to share my up’s and downs.

I’m in an age of change. I’ve learnt a lot in my 20’s and I’m trying to put those things into practise in my 30’s. I’ve got career goals, life goals and #squadgoals I want to achieve this decade and I hope to take you along for the ride.  

I’m into running. I’ve completed a marathon, jogged in Paris, London, Spain, Mexico and pretty much anywhere I can pack my runners. I try to be “healthy” 80% of the time but let me tell you that 20% normally involves cocktails, a big night out and a hang over (whoops).

Above all my best characteristic is I can laugh at myself and hopefully you can too.

Lucy Hulm

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I ended up in Canberra because I had friends going there for university and it seemed as good an idea as any. I stayed because I got a nice job, fostered friendships into forever friendships and met some of the loveliest people that walk the earth. Then I met a boy – the boy, got a house and a ring on my finger. That is kind of life – it happens around you while you’re busy making plans.

I wouldn’t describe myself as driven, but when I started out in my career I could see the steps ahead of me to progress. That’s really when it clicked for me that if I planned something, set a goal I could make it happen. I listened, I took feedback on board and I was lucky enough to work under some amazing bosses who invested in me. So I became the person who stayed back, took work home week nights and weekends and pushed myself constantly. I think a career is a little bit of luck and a whole lot of work. Then last year I had to take a step back and say to myself – you’re only 30. Stop living like you have to fit it all in tomorrow.

So lately I’ve been changing it up a little. Trying not to think what next, but what’s happening right now. Not being in such a rush and having more patience. I used to go with the flow, then I planned everything out too much, now I’m trying to strike the balance.

Here’s what I know – I’m a homebody, who loves dinner out. I hate flying, but love overseas holidays, I hate early mornings, but run some days at 6am, I don’t smoke or drink coffee and rarely drink alcohol – but put a piece of chocolate in front of me and I’m weak at the knees. I ran a marathon, but didn’t know I’d complete it till I crossed the line, I love the movies when the lights go down, I still get pimples (when does this end!), I make this killer lamb dish, I can tell a really good story, I love long hot showers, I love the house I’ve renovated with my husband (which always has a project going), I love my husband and see kids in our future (we are already parents to Sweep the cavooldle).  

You only have so much energy in life and I’ve been thinking this year about where to channel that energy – so watch this space.

Kate Taggart

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Mother, manager, student, friend, foodie, traveller, adventurist, Singstar extraordinaire.  

 I’m the mum of a gregarious and highly entertaining 4 year old (she’s 4 going on 14) who puts a smile on my face and keeps my ego in check with the kind of brutal honesty that only a small child can muster. I’m the kind of mum you might find singing loudly to the Frozen soundtrack whilst stuck in traffic or swinging along on the flying fox at the park (usually with my daughter in tow). I have a thirst for travel and a love of good food, coffee and wine (not necessarily in that order). I enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, I rarely follow a recipe and usually just make things up as I go along – this is my approach to most things in life, not just cooking. I’m fluent in both sarcasm and profanity and I’m usually the first to laugh at my own jokes (or so I’ve been told). In my spare time (ha!), I like to get outdoors and indulge my sense of adventure. Last year parasailing topped my list and this year it’s scuba diving! 

I guess you could say that’s the real me but my alter-ego (AKA “Work Kate”) is much more studious and professional. I have over seven years’ experience in the higher education sector in career and leadership development, staff and student engagement, and communications and outreach, and have previously worked as a consultant in both the private and public sector. I strive to work in roles and organisations that align with my interests and values, and have learnt the importance of this the hard way. My current role is in communications and I’m studying a Masters in Strategic Communication.