Karla Pizzica – 41, lives with her husband Anthony Pizzica – 39 and their two daughters Sofia Pizzica – 5 1/2 and Amelia Pizzica 2 1/2, in the Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast in Sunny Queensland, Australia.

Please explain your lifestyle and philosophy.

Since my husband and I were young and working and living in the City – we often dreamed of the life we live now. We live in the country overlooking green rolling hills and only 1/2 hour away from the beautiful Sunshine Coast. We have been up here for about 8 years now and we initially moved up here to have babies which we eventually did. My philosophy (and my husband’s) is to live a happy life where were are completely aligned to what lights us up. We invest in organic food, alternative schooling for our oldest child (because we want her to have an imagination) and live a generally creative, free and easy life style. Not too many rules are imposed at home – only those of respect, kindness and compassion to each other and others. We also love to be part of our amazing like-minded community here – it’s like a family and has it’s good and bad points, but the good outweigh the bad and we are always grateful that we are able to go outside, breathe clean air, live in a lovely safe home and work from here as well.

Do you work-from-home or are you a stay at home parent? Please tell us about it.

I’m both actually. This year I have started work a couple of days a week which has been wonderful actually. I’m a web developer, graphic designer and artist which means I can work from home. For the last 5 years, I have been a full time mama and helping out in the family business which my husband Anthony built (while I attempted to create a website and do accounts with “baby brain”). Now I’m concentrating on lighting my world on fire – and it’s made a huge difference in ALL of our lives. I actually look forward to just BEING with my children instead of craving alone time.

How do you make things work?

I have a baby-sitter on one of the days I work and my Mama looks Amelia on the other day. And the times that I need to get to my emails and complete a little bit of work, Amelia can play educational games on the iPad or she potters around in our huge rumpus area which has my office and their playroom.

What inspired your lifestyle?

The desire to be happy, healthy and fulfilled in my life. I’ve never been good and staying where I wasn’t happy. My body and mind react badly to be being unhappy and not being aligned to where I want to be.

What are your child/ children’s education options?

We have 3 State Schools (Government run) in a 25km radius to our town and a Neo Humanistic School called the Ananda Marga River School (private) just down the road from us. That’s where Sofia goes at the moment. They do more play based learning in the younger grades and if and they cater to the individual child’s talents and aptitudes. It’s on a clearing in the forest on a creek where the kids go most days in Summer time to swim and play. They also teach meditation and yoga and core values. Contrary to the name, they aren’t really taught religious Hindu dogma at all.

If you work from home what is the best bit of advice you could give other parents who want to work from home?

Hmmm.. Don’t strive to get everything done all at once Set realistic goals and deadlines Don’t be guilty if you have to put your little one on an educational game on the iPad for an hour here or there (she actually ASKS me to go to work for this!). It’s not my favourite tool, but sometimes necessary. My kids are so much happier and well adjusted just because I am taking the time to honour myself. What is your favourite family activity? Most definitely going to the beach, swimming and having fish and chips.

What has been your biggest family adventure so far?

We just went on a road trip to the Snow in Australia. For those who don’t know how big Australia is I’ll give you an idea. From where we live it was a 4 day drive (5-6 hours each day) to get there and a little more to get back. I don’t know why we did it… My husband and I were musicians for 12 years and we always roadtripped to the snow for gigs. I suppose we were excited to show Sofia (our eldest) the snow and where we used to go for 7 years straight. Plus we missed the snow terribly. It was interesting to say the least and I have to say that the kids were amazing!! I’m so sick of Shrek & Madagascar now and we had to have an iPad detox when we got home. But we did have fun! When Sofia was 1, we hired a Winnebago and did a road trip around Victoria. And when she was just about to turn 2, we hired one again and did the Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne. I love all of these times were absolutely amazing!

What are you most grateful for?

That I was able to have a family. In 2009 I had an ectopic pregnancy and they removed the tube. I also had the other tube removed in a previous incident so this meant that I couldn’t have babies naturally. We did IVF and luckily I was quite fertile. We have two amazing souls from one round of IVF. I will have to tell them when they are older that they are actually twins and as souls they decided who was going to come first. They love each other so much and we are such a close, loving and open family. These two angels have opened my heart I never saw coming and the personal and spiritual growth I’ve had from their presence has been amazing. I am no longer accountable from just myself, I need to show these girls how to be strong, have self-belief and go for happiness and self-love instead of “what everybody thinks they have to do”. And also being able to make a living working from home and not having to go to work everyday. My husband often says this as well.

Three words to describe how you feel about your lifestyle? Blessed, happy, Grateful

Check out Karla’s design work and beautiful Mandala artwork at www.karlapizzica.com/