Lover List Christmas Gift Guide

Eight sleeps til the fat man in a red suit slides down my chimney. 

I was finalising some of my online gift orders yesterday – who am I kidding, I’ve barely started shopping – but I wanted to share some of my current online favourite finds. These Christmas gift ideas are perfect the amazing girlfriends, sisters, besties in your life.  Read more

2015 calendar Lover List Christmas Gift Guide

2015 calendar

This 2015 calendar will inspire the trail blazers amongst you. Each month is filled with a quote to inspire, guide and motivate. I already have this baby hanging up in my office ready for 2015.  Grab you digital download here


 

High PromoCover Lover List Christmas Gift Guide

High. A Party Girls Guide to Peace. 

Perfect book for any girl seeking passion, purpose and peace in her life. Tara Bliss’ writing gives you goosebumps. Her ability to ask the big questions and deliver a fist pumping answer in one breathe is nothing short of fearless. Available in paperback, Kindle and AudioGrab her latest book here


 

 Lover List Christmas Gift Guide

Rainbow keyboard cover

How rad is this! The silicone skin fits most MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and wireless iMac keyboards. Seriously – this is gonna brighten up anyone’s working day. Grab a keyboard cover here


 

Instax Mini 8 Lover List Christmas Gift Guide

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera

Shake it like a polaroid picture. I got my hands on one of these cameras at an engagement party recently – took loads of selfies, as you do. Great for any age group and perfect for parties and BBQs. The quality of the pics are superb as well! Grab a camera here

 

Now, go get your shop on! Or stick around and tell me what your latest fav find is below in the comments? 

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With Heavy Hearts We Say Goodbye

sydney harbour sunrise With Heavy Hearts We Say Goodbye

I woke up at 3.34am this morning feeling hot and uncomfortable. Bed sheets tangled, dogs snoring softly and then it hit me. 

The hostages at Martin Place.  Read more

Had the siege ended? Was it peaceful? Like most of you, I grabbed my phone and checked the news. 

The mad gunman, who held 17 people hostage for more than 16 hours had been killed. A hostage was also confirmed dead, another critical. The siege, less than 10 minutes from where I live had finally ended. 

Innocent people going about their day, grabbing a coffee before heading into their offices, were caught up in this horror. And some dickhead with a vengeance thinks he has the right to terrify these good people and place fear in our nation. It makes me so fucking mad.

I couldn’t sleep so I crept out of bed and watched the news coverage for 3 solid hours. Another person is confirmed dead. Hostages running from the cafe into the safety of our policemen and women. None of this makes sense to me. I’m so lost in all the information and my brain hurts from absorbing the horrid information about this crazy man. 

Why was he allowed to roam our beautiful country with a police record filled with disgusting crimes? 

Before I disappear into my day, I wanted to leave you with a quote I read on Facebook a few minutes ago. A touching poem by the very talented songbird Emma Birdsall:

DAWN// With heavy hearts we say goodbye,
Two innocent souls lost in the night.
A nation in mourning; the injustice, it pains,
But tears and terror will be not what reigns.
With dawn came resolve, heartache too,
Blood shed for nothing but the hatred of few.
The day feels dark though the light is here,
But we refuse to be silenced and to live in fear.
Our country so beautiful, free and diverse,
Accepting, honest and harmonious first.
One coward attempted to bring us undone,
But we stand strong together as many, as one.
We lift up our voices, united in peace,
To say we will love until the battle does cease.

~ Emma Birdsall 

Embrace your community today, especially our Muslim community, and beam as much love and light to those caught up in this mess.

sig1 With Heavy Hearts We Say Goodbye

Wrapping Up The Year That Was 2014

review 2014 Wrapping Up The Year That Was 2014

Heck yeah! 2014 delivered some good shit this year. I felt the need to sit down earlier this week and acknowledge the achievements, the failures and the a-ha moments in-between.

2014. You expanded me. You lifted me. You enriched me. I had no idea my life was so stuffy and mundane until you persuaded me to step into a new territory. A huge amount of thanks and appreciation is beamed your way as I stop and take stock of the year that was. Every button relating to resistance, fear and I-can’t-do-this was pushed and explored and my beating heart thanks you. Read more

My intentions for the year were set early. There was a strong desire to aim big, push through resistance with super woman strength and say ‘yes’ a little more often. It was to be a year of growth and expansion. To let go of bad times, embrace more good times and tick a few kick-ass goals off my to-do list. 

Leaving my full-time corporate job was a ballsy move. Starting my own home based biz was even ballsier. This was the year I pulled up my big girl knickers and decided to have crack at something brand new.

A dream to be my own boss. A dream to be of creative service to others. 

Being a business owner is fucking scary babe. I’m still learning on the job and working the hardest I’ve ever worked. I’m that crazy duck sliding over still glistening water but paddling like mad underneath. This blog has taken a big hit in recent months. Ideas ran dry or time wouldn’t allow me to write as much as I liked too. The Lover Lab is consuming with every minute and I’m throwing everything at building a solid client base.

AND I ADORE WHAT I DO. I’ve never said that before. I love being creative and helping trail blazing women with their concepts, branding and visions. The sense of accomplishment is an ultimate high of the endorphin kind. Each day is started with big grin. Can I now call my guest room, my office?  Do I really get to call this work? 

I chased my dreams and caught them. WINNING! The intentions, the vision boards, the journalling, the ‘dreamscaping’ are now REAL. (Sure, vision boards sound corny but a gorgeous soul encouraged and almost guaranteed success with it. The board is filled with pics of casual clothing, yoga, coffee shops, dog walking, home office, musicians that elevate me, new computer, travel …. and you know what, I’ve accomplished them all this year. Every single photo on my vision board is now my every day reality. Still sound corny?)

wrap 2014 1 Wrapping Up The Year That Was 2014

How did I do it?

I want to say I caught a lucky break but in truth it was sheer determination. I knew that studying would boost me and set me on a new path. That path would deliver the confidence and courage I needed to finally dream big and embrace the fear. In fact, I’ve befriended fear. Fear is a wonderful courier to knock on your door and deliver the message that I’m on the right track. 

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness

~ Eckhart Tolle

I’m blooming. I feel better than I ever have before. My creative skills are no longer hidden in a corporate world. This Chief Designslinger (aka Ms Lover) is dancing to the beat of her own drum! 

I’m grateful. The woman I’ve connected with. The bravery that I had to dig deep to find my passion. The layers that have birthed a new way of life. The hours I now get to work. The activities I can do anytime. The feeling deep down that THIS is what I’m meant to be doing. My purpose has revealed herself after 34 years and the sweet nectar that brings is a relief.

I’m celebrating. My brother got married to his love this year. Hubby’s business achievements have been widely acknowledged by his peers. My mum ticked a huge travelling dream off her list. A friend got unexpectedly promoted. Another friend gave birth to her much wanted baby girl. I have clients coming back to me with repeat business. But closer to my heart are the light-filled moments that fill me up; Hubby supporting my dream, my bestie for her warmth and go-get-em attitude, my dogs for making me laugh every.single.day, my new friendships, my old friendships, my daily conversations with my readers. Your comments, your emails, your connection make my heart beat and feet dance. I adore visiting this little space of the internet with you. 

{TIME OUT. Just gonna let that sink into my bones a bit…} 


 

Don’t get me wrong. This year has delivered some moments that made me want to throw in the towel. Hands held high. Ready to surrender. My unique skill to tell myself I’m unworthy is a loud noise in my head. I was paranoid that people wouldn’t think I was good enough. That I’m a fraud with no creative skills or vision. 

And that’s another big lesson. You have to give yourself permission to feel it. Feel unworthy. Feel like a fraud. It only sets you up to learn a bigger lesson. Detachment. Once you detach and create a new balance, the rhythm of life resumes and you discover you’ve shed a layer or evolved in some way.

wrap 2014 2 Wrapping Up The Year That Was 2014

2014. It’s been real babe.

Many a golden moment to relish and treasure. 2012 was filled with grief, disaster and oh so much sadness. 2013 was all about shedding the layers that held me too tight and exploring a deeper part of myself. 2014 was a year of big fat personal growth. It was Big, Bold and astonishingly Beautiful with a capital B. 

2015? Just you wait and see. Big things are already in the work for this blog. More business ideas. More travel. More IVF injections. More planning. More collaborations. More laughs. More fun. More pasta. Most of all, more love.

Are you feeling a little pull? Care to share with me what your big lessons in 2014?

I’d love to hear it. 

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A Funny Thing Happened Yesterday

impulse fragrance memories A Funny Thing Happened Yesterday

Every now and then, I get a smell that immediately triggers a vivid memory. Mostly childhood memories that make you smile like an idiot as you remember that exact moment.

The smell of rain on a hot summers day.

A musk perfume my aunt would wear at Christmas time.

Coconut oil reminds me of beach days with girlfriends. Read more

Vinegar reminds me of eating fish & chips with my brothers.

Lavender reminds me of my Grandmother.

Vicks vapour rub reminds of a time I had laryngitis. 

Turns out, the ability to smell is highly linked to memory. Most of us must remember when we have smelled it before and then connect it to a vision or memory that occurred at the same time before.

I was strolling through Priceline yesterday and caught a scent. A musky scent. Memories of being a teenager and changing into sports gear before P.E. class came flooding back. Grinning like an idiot, I picked up the can and inhaled my youth. I remember grabbing my musk Impulse Fragrance can and spraying it all over before tying up my shoelaces and hitting the sports field.

Come to think of it, I must have owned every Impulse Fragrance can every released! I bet you did too. 

It’s funny how most of these memories are childhood related but I guess that’s when we smell something for the first time and lock it into that exact memory. 

What smells trigger childhood memories for you? 

sig1 A Funny Thing Happened Yesterday

 

I’m Not Going To Feel Guilty

NOT GUILTY Im Not Going To Feel Guilty

Gone are the days of working 9 til 5. With so many new businesses starting up every day and many choosing to work from home, the hours we spend working has evolved. Some are night owls. Some are morning sparrows.  Read more

These days I work at night, on weekends or whenever a creative lightening bolt strikes. I know I work better in the morning – this is when my brain is juicy with ideas. Choosing to work my own hours means means I can also take time during the day to do the things I love; chit chat with my dogs (it’s a very one sided conversation), purchase wine online and rehearse for the next season of The Voice.

You have to work when the creativity strikes. 

It’s 8.56am and I’m working. Normally I’d be putting my 2nd load of washing on before heading to Harris Farm for some fresh fruit & veg. But the house is quiet and my creative juices are a flowing as I finalise a project for a new client. So the decision was made to switch on my computer and get to work…  and I’m OK with that. 

I’m not going to feel guilty about working when I shouldn’t be.

I’m not going to feel guilty about not working when I should be.

The permission has been granted to just go with the flow. Or should I re-phrase and say the creative flow. This is why I’m mentioning the word ‘work’ as I type this on a Saturday morning. 

It’s OK to be flexible. It’s OK to be fierce. It’s OK to take naps. It’s OK to go with the flow. 

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What Happened to Dick and Fannie?

dick fannie What Happened to Dick and Fannie?

I was talking to my cousin-in-law* the other night about books. The kind of books you read as a child that filled your dreams with vivid & colourful characters and took you away to a magical land. Read more

For me, that land was called The Magic Faraway Tree. 

The giant magical tree is discovered by three children named Jo, Bessie and Fannie. The tree is so tall is touches the clouds and so wide it contains small houses. But it’s the inhabitants of the tree including Moon-Face, Silky the fairy, The Saucepan Man, Dame Washalot, Mr. Watzisname and the Angry Pixie that makes this book so precious to my childhood. 

My Year 1 teacher, Mrs Abrahams, pointed out last week on Facebook** that the main characters of the book – Jo, Bessie, Fannie and their cousin Dick – have been renamed to Joe, Beth, Frannie and Rick

Why? Because of modern sexual connotations of the original names.

WTF! 

I never laughed so hard. A bit of wee might have escaped. Sure the books were published in 1943 but as a child reading the books in the 1980’s, my brothers and I would still giggle at the character names.

The names weren’t inappropriate!!!  Surely that was Enid’s way of trying to inject some humour into the books. I loved reading about the adventures of Fannie, Dick, Jo and Bessie. 

In more exciting news – Sam Mendes is making a big screen adaptation of The Magic Faraway Tree. I might have to ‘borrow’ someone’s child for two hours to go see the movie! 

DID YOU READ THE MAGICAL FARAWAY TREE AS A KID? WHO WAS YOUR FAV CHARACTER? 

* My Husband’s cousin. That makes her my cousin-in-law, right?

** Yes, I’m Facebook friends with my teacher from 1986.

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Trimming my neighbours bush

trimming neighbours bush Trimming my neighbours bush

My next door neighbour has the most beautiful jasmine bush growing in her yard. Lucky for me, it hangs over our fence. Once or twice a week, I’ve been ‘neighbourly’ and ‘trimmed’ the bush. Basically I ‘borrow’ some armfuls of jasmine cuttings and persist to fill up every spare jar and vase in my home. Read more

The scent floats from one room to the next and it continually makes me smile.

Hello Spring!

For me, jasmine is the scent of spring and it arrived a little late this season. None the less, I’m thrilled it’s arrived. It’s time for denim shorts, bare feet, icy mojitos, summer BBQ fun and rooms filled with flowers.

Flowers really are the affordable way to lift any space. I know, I know. Flowers wilt and die quicker than my iPhone battery but I love adding new varieties to my home once a week. Gardenias are my all time fav flower scent! 

So tell me, what’s your favourite flower scent? 

sig1 Trimming my neighbours bush