Our Magical Byron Bay Wedding

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It has been 2 years since the day Kurt and I said “I do” and committed ourselves to each other and our marriage for life. We have loved every moment since the ‘big day’ and have created some very special memories together. We promptly moved overseas and lived in London for a year and a half followed by enjoying our extended ‘honeymoon’ travelling through Europe for a couple of months before finally returning to Australia.

This blog has been a long time coming and I’m so excited to finally share the details of our wedding.

Our wedding was absolutely perfect for us! It didn’t go without its hiccups but nothing was too stressful or ‘dampened’ the day. 😉

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Location: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Style: Bohemian/rustic. Is Pinterest a style? â˜ș

Once we became engaged, naturally I started browsing Pinterest and Instagram for our perfect location. I remember seeing wedding images of Fig Tree Restaurant in Byron and fell in love. I could instantly picture us getting married there surrounded by our close family and friends in a natural and rustic setting.

We went through Byron Bay Weddings who are well known wedding planners and coordinators for multiple venues around Byron. They have quotes for their venues available on their site too which was very helpful with our planning. We used The Wedding Shed for some styling and additional furniture as well as organising many things and doing as much DIY as we could. We intended for the ceremony and the reception to be held at Fig Tree Restaurant. Che is the owner and head chef and he also runs Byron Bay Weddings and The Wedding Shed. I had seen some fantastic testimonies about him and they were absolutely correct. Kurt and I went down one day and met Che.  We left knowing that this wedding; the venue, the food, the service, the coordination was going to be perfect for us. Che just makes you feel so comfortable and he is so down to earth and genuine. He is a hard worker and we loved hearing the background story about the accommodation at the restaurant being his family home as a child.

Ceremony venue: It was meant to be at Fig Tree Restaurant, outside overlooking the luscious green hills rolling down towards the ocean with the big beautiful fig tree and wooden swing behind our guests. We had outdoor games BUT it was not meant to be. Our backup was to have it inside the restaurant there however Che arrived at our door first thing on the Thursday morning and asked myself and bridesmaids to go with him in his combi. He took us up to Byron View Farm with sweeping ocean to mountain views and asked if we wanted to move the ceremony there to the verandah on the beautiful wooden house with 360 views where we would all be sheltered from the weather. Of course it was an easy choice for Kurt and I. Now, this didn’t require much from us but it certainly did from Che and his team. We had drinks being served at the ceremony and canapĂ©s there after the ceremony while our photos were being taken so they had to relocate A LOT there as well as some styling we had organised too. We had a bus organised to take guests from central Byron to Fig Tree and Che and the team helped us re-organise that as well as accompanying guests who drove. Che drove the bridesmaids and myself up for the ceremony in his combi and more staff were there ready and waiting with umbrellas for the walk from the car to the house. They also ensured we had canapĂ©s while our photos were being taken too. They were amazing. I cannot recommend them enough!! There was 0 stress for us on the day but I’m sure they had their work cut out for them yet still, they made it look easy and stress-free.

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Reception Venue: Our reception was still held at Fig Tree but indoors due to the weather. Again, Che and the team were brilliant and had it all organised and set up by the time our guests arrived after the ceremony. It looked stunning! The staff also assisted with getting guests back to Fig Tree after the ceremony. We hadn’t made a big fuss about the venue change with guests in the morning as we knew Che and the staff there were assisting and we had the buses organised. Thankfully, the weather was actually fine by the time we had the ceremony which meant we could still have photos outside and guests were able to mingle outside which was especially nice at the reception because they have the beautiful pool area which was set up with a bar serving cocktails, vintage furniture and we had hired Molly, a caravan on site which we used as a Photo Booth with our own props.

Tip: Always make sure you have a back up plan if you intend to get married outside and have a backup seating plan for this too… Thankfully we did take the time for this and it just worked out even better that Che wanted the very best for us too and moved the ceremony so we could still have an amazing view.

 

More Details:

Time to plan: We were engaged 15/01/15 and we were married on the 08/10/15 so we had 9 months to plan. We decided to get married in that short time because we were heading overseas and wanted to be married before heading off. The one thing that was cutting it fine with organising was the dress.

Celebrant: Benjamin Carlyle. This guy is PHENOMENAL! We had the best ceremony, many thanks to Ben!! Our guests thought he was a close family friend because it genuinely seemed like he knew us and our story so well. The thing that makes Ben’s ceremonies unique is his ability to make everyone feel so comfortable and interacting with one another. Our guests were chatting and laughing with each other before the ceremony even started. Our parents were involved… My parents have been separated since I was a baby and I have only lived with my mum. I wanted them both involved so Dad walked me down the aisle which was really lovely and special. Before I arrived, Kurt’s parents walked down the aisle to cheers and claps, my maternal grandparents did the same and then Kurt walked mum down the aisle too. It was really meaningful and fun. Our parents were also involved in the actual ceremony. Maybe the drinks (cocktails) before the ceremony helped but the whole ceremony was so warm and full of love which was  shared with our guests.

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Bride’s Dress: My dress was from When Freddie Met Lilly. I knew that I wanted lace and had looked at a couple of other shops, not many though really. I tried on a more traditional type dress first but it didn’t feel right. I tried some lovely dresses at Grace Loves Lace but they didn’t suit me as well as the models on Instagram. My mum came with me to a couple of other places in Brisbane and the Gold Coast and I fell in love with 3 at When Freddie Met Lilly. I had to go home and sleep on it and I literally couldn’t get my one out of my mind so I went back with my mum to get ‘the one’.

Groom’s Suit: I took Kurt to When Freddie Met Lilly and we found his suit there too. He also looked elsewhere but they had exactly what we were after. The house is really lovely there too and the ladies are helpful, honest and bring you coffee or champagne/beer.

Bridesmaid’s Outfits: Nancy Khau Boutique in Cleveland. A friend who had Nancy design her wedding dress recommended her and I found the bridesmaid dresses on her Facebook page. We had a colour issue at first but Nancy was lovely and remade it for me in the colour we wanted. The bridesmaids just chose their own shoes.

 

Groomsmen’s Outfits: Also from When Freddie Met Lilly. Accessories and white shirts were from elsewhere.

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Hair and makeup: Elina Valttila  Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist https://evhairandmakeup.com

Elina also did my mum’s hair and makeup as well as the bridesmaids. I loved her work that I saw on social media and I wanted a more natural style for makeup. We had a test a couple of weeks or so before the wedding too.

I have really thin hair so I also got clip-in hair extensions from Trendz Studio in Cleveland, mainly for volume.

Cake: Rebellyous Cake Co. We tasted some of Rebel’s cakes at a wedding fair in Byron and after Kurt going back for seconds ( a few times) we booked her! It was the most delicious cake. I’m intolerant to gluten so we alternated layers of gluten free and non GF white chocolate and mud chocolate. Yummmmm!

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Florist: The French Petal. Gosh I LOVED our flowers. Estelle did an amazing job! We had flower arrangements on our ‘archway’ of the ceremony, table arrangements in the reception as well as floral crowns and boutonniĂšres.

Rings: We had my engagement ring and both of the wedding rings made at Ringleaders in Brisbane City. They are all white gold. My wedding ring has a diamond in the middle and a pink diamond on either side. I wanted my wedding ring to be unique, special to us but still somewhat simple because my engagement ring is a princess cut with sparkly diamonds. They were fantastic and we actually spent 3 hours there the first time we went having an in-depth conversation learning about diamonds, gold etc.

Photographer: Fig Tree Pictures (separate to Fig Tree Restaurant). We researched photographers for a while and loved the candid, natural style we saw of Fig Tree Pictures. Brenden and an assistant took our photos. They were amazing to work with and we love our photos. We had decided not to pay the money for a videographer so we wanted to make sure we had good quality photos. We also had Go Pros set up at the ceremony and a couple of friends taking footage throughout the day which Kurt then condensed into a movie for us. INVALUABLE!

DIY: 

Our decorations were mostly DIY and sourced from friends of family, Facebook wedding pages, Etsy, vintage shops… everywhere! Our invitations and name cards were bought through Etsy and came from the UK, our mums made the twine wine bottles and I also had some things that belonged to my late nan as decorations in Molly (the caravan we used as our photo booth).

Because we were about to go travelling, we also had a globe with stickers and a book for people to pin and write their reccommendations of travel locations.

 

One thing I wish I had done straight away was our ‘Thank you’ cards. This is something I always said I’d make sure I would do. Post wedding, I was running around buying cards, pretty stickers and stamps and nice pens to do it all myself as a means of saving money between packing our lives up to head overseas. Of course, once we were in London, our spare time was spent travelling and, consequently, they didn’t get done. Actually, most did they just weren’t sent in time, a small handful went (thanks to Mum for taking them back from London when she came to visit) and then it just became ridiculously, embarrassingly late. Sorry family and friends. We really were very thankful!

 

If you have any questions or would like to know any more details, please ask away because there really is sooo much I’ve had to leave out… I don’t want to bore you 😉

Click here to message me directly or leave a comment.

Rachael xx

Are you a social media supporter or stalker?

I’m not asking if you support social media, I’m asking if you support those you choose to ‘follow’ or ‘friend’? Be honest. Do you support them? Do you ‘like’ their posts, do you write a little comment here and there? Do you take a second of your time of day to support them and what they’re promoting because surely you are following them for a reason?!?…. Perhaps they’re a friend, they’re family, you find them interesting or inspirational, you like what they’re selling, they’re actually a cute animal or kid, they’re travelling the world, they’re living #vanlife, they post the ultimate #foodporn.

Or, perhaps you just scroll, look OR you even judge them or compare yourself to them?!?! If that was the case though surely you’d just unfollow or unfriend them? What has brought me to writing this post is that I have been reflecting on my own social media etiquette, actions and boundaries recently.

I try to abide my own boundaries. For example, I don’t like to be on social media or even have my phone on the table whilst eating a meal with my husband or with others, I turn my phone on aeroplane mode for a few hours each Sunday and I’m working on leaving my phone alone an hour or 2 before going to bed each night. I was doing this for a little while and noticed I slept so much better… No 3am wake-ups!

For me, etiquette and actions go hand in hand. I’m not one to scroll and scroll without showing a bit of love and support. I follow people for a reason and I like to acknowledge that and them with a quick little ‘like’ or comment. My scrolling goes a little like this:

Ohh that country/landscape looks beautiful…. *Like

Those pancakes look mouthwatering… *Like

Oh my goshhh, I want a tiger…. *Like and Comment, “Amazing animals” *heart emoji (Black Jaguar White Tiger often gets some love from me. 🙂 )

Wow FRIEND is talented. I love that bag… *Like

Dammnn, she looks strong/fit/like she appreciates her body… *Like & Comment, “You look incredible (muscle emoji and pink hearts)

Ohh they’re engaged…. *Like and Comment, “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you both! (flowers, ring, champagne, kiss face emojis)

And so it goes on….

How is your etiquette when asking other people questions online? If you ask someone their favourite clothing line, the ingredients to a recipe, what their workout involved, what country they’re in, do you actually say ‘Hello’ first and use your manners? Constantly, I see people asking others questions with NO politeness. Basically, I think you should talk to people on social media the same way you would if you were face to face. Just be nice people. Just. Be. nice.

I have also noticed myself, that there are a couple of people who follow me who are ALWAYS the first to watch my Instagram stories (which come up based on who YOU choose to watch) and are obviously seeing what I’m doing yet don’t do a single thing to show their support on any of the social avenues they follow me. I’ve also seen and heard people scrolling and judging people they follow… Like, really?!?! Just unfollow them! Why bother following people and becoming ‘friends’ with people if you don’t like them or what they have to share? Errggh #judgy #nosey #stalker #negativenancys

I recently went through my Instagram account and unfollowed any accounts that I no longer found interesting or that made me feel the need to compare myself to them. I was following a lot of accounts with people’s goal weights, current weights, meals counted out to the macro, and I realised they no longer served my interests. Subconsciously, I was thinking I needed to weigh XXkg to look fit, skinny or as good as ‘her’. I don’t think I’ve ever judged these people themselves, I had just judged myself against them with me always being weak, unworthy, fatter and thinking I would think I would have to eat exactly what they ate to get there. Not healthy, at all! Honestly, go through your following accounts and unfollow any that don’t make you feel great.

I love this Spirit Junkie post because I have some truly incredible friends in Australia and now the UK and we genuinely are each other’s cheerleaders wanting each other to succeed. It’s amazing having friends who believe in your ambitions, support you and are genuinely happy for your successes but are there for you if things don’t work out, which can happen often when you take risks. I have been applying this to my social media accounts too. My Instagram friends are people who inspire me, and I now follow many more people with similar mindsets and lifestyles.

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Please, choose to be a supporter and not a stalker. Or, unfollow.

Sincerely,

Supporter of beautiful destinations, family, friends, fitness, kids, animals, delicious looking food, makeup, skincare, clothing, sunsets, sunrises and all things health and wellness. xx

Rachael x

Tigerlilys Tales on Beauty: My experience with Eyelash Extensions!

little rrhI’m sure you know the story… “Oh, Granny, what big eyes you have!”

“All the better to see you with my dear!”

Come on…. can’t a gal have eyelash extensions without people jumping to conclusions?!?! Perhaps Granny was ahead of her time and had extensions??

 

Anyway, now that I have your attention. Eyelash extensions are amazing with making your eyes appear brighter, bolder and well obviously your lashes are fuller and longer… Mascara, no more! You may decide to go for volume instead of length, whichever look you prefer. It’s a beauty treatment I’ve only noticed in the last 6 months but I think I’ve been living under a rock because I’ve been reading forums and some women mention they’ve been having their lashes filled for 10 years.

I decided to give it a try, and to be honest, at first I was hesitant because I didn’t want to add an unnecessary or expensive treatment to my regime and I was concerned that they would damage my natural lashes. I wanted to give it a try though and Golden Eyelashes  in Hammersmith, London was my pick of choice.

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I could’ve plucked my brows, right?! 

If you haven’t had eyelash extensions before, here are a few tips:

  • Ensure your eyes are nice and clean from any eye makeup beforehand
  • Turn up ahead of time in case you have any questions for your technician and so you have time to chat about the look you would like
  • Be prepared to relax and enjoy laying down for potentially 2-3 hours for your first visit.

 

It doesn’t hurt when the lashes are being applied although towards the end, when it is time for you to open your eyes, you may feel some irritation or slight pain due to the fact that your lid is being pulled away after being closed for a few hours and perhaps some glue has been caught between some lashes. If you do experience any pain or discomfort, just communicate that with the technician. Mira at Golden Eyelashes has always been very knowledgeable and helpful if I’ve ever had any queries or concerns. I’ve almost fallen asleep a couple of times and many women do.

Our lashes naturally fall out and regrow therefore extensions do too. It is more noticeable though because they are thicker, longer and darker so don’t be alarmed when you see them on your pillowcase, mirror, ground… anywhere.

To ensure your lashes are well looked after and last as long as possible, it is highly advised that you do not wet them for 24 hours after having them applied, don’t use skincare or makeup products containing oil because the oil will break down the glue. Doh… I learnt this the hard way! I had bought some Charlotte Tilbury prior to having the lashes applied (which my skin is loving) so I’m now being ultra careful around the eyes. Also, mascara and eyeliners can cause them to fall out faster due to the fact that they are being tugged when you apply product and if you’re rubbing your delicate eye area to clean the makeup off. PRO: You don’t actually need mascara though! The lash technicians give you a dry mascara wand because you should brush them every day to ensure they don’t tangle which can lead to them falling out.

The only times I have been wearing eye makeup is if I have a special outing and after a few weeks when there are fewer lashes. On a daily basis, I do not apply mascara anymore and I love this! It might only be five minutes I’m saving but that’s an extra five minutes of sleep for me. I also do not miss the hectic journey to work to then look in the mirror and see that my mascara has smudged! AND NO PANDA EYES at night when I’m taking my makeup off…. I’m also going through less cleanser and cotton pads. The cost of these things as well as not buying mascara as often, help me justify the price of having extensions applied. If you keep on top of them, you only need to get them infilled every 3-4 weeks. The infills are not as expensive as the first application and you’re not there as long either… Perhaps an hour and a half, give or take.

First, I tried the individual lashes which as they say, are individually applied to each of your natural lashes. I loved them because my lashes were instantly longer, darker and my eyes appeared more open. The individual lashes are quite natural looking and basically you look like you have a couple of coats of mascara on longer lashes.

I have recently tried Golden Eyelash’s popular Russian Volume lashes which as the name suggests, create more volume. The technicians apply 2+ silk lashes to each of your lashes to create a naturally voluminous or dramatic look… The girls tailor your extensions to how YOU want them to look. These lashes are much thinner than the ones they use for the individual lashes so they won’t weigh down your natural lashes at all. I had 2 lashes per natural lash as I wanted a more natural look but if you’re after a more sexy, sassy look and you apply a decent amount of makeup on a daily basis, I suggest asking for the Dramatic Russian Volume lashes. The ladies at Golden Eyelashes are fantastic at helping you achieve the right look for your eyes and Mira informed me they can create more of a ‘cat’s eye’ look too if you have almond eyes.

I love having my lashes done now and would love to continue including this in my beauty regime. I have received many compliments and everyone has commented on how natural they look. Keep in mind, I did not get the dramatic Russian Volume lashes. I am now more aware of extensions and have noticed them on many women. I must admit, I’ve seen some shockers because they looked far too long (in my opinion) and I’ve read some horror stories online so I really do suggest doing your research and not just going into any salon. I highly recommend Golden Eyelashes. You can look on their website here for FAQs, prices and booking information and I suggest having a peek at their Instagram with plenty of before and after photos too…. Head over to check out the dramatic Russian Volume lashes if that sounds appealing.

Much love

Rachael x

 

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Annemarie Borlind; Natural Beauty from The Black Forest, Germany.

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Annemarie Borlind is an innovative clean skincare and makeup brand you need to keep your eyes on. The brand was established in 1959 and has received more than 60 industry distinctions and awards and over 40 “excellent” ratings in tests. In 2014 in Latvia, they were awarded the Cosmopolitan Beauty Award for Anti-Aging Make-Up in the category, “Best Liquid Foundation”. They received the BSB Innovation Prize in 2015 for the “Most Innovative Natural Product”. These are just two of their many awards…

Annemarie Borlind is a family business which was established in the Black Forest in 1959. One thing that really appeals to me is the integrity of this business… It is still a family business and they STILL source ingredients from the Black Forest AND the products are still produced there, which I love. INTEGRITY.

The products are NATURAL, VEGAN AND FREE FROM (animal extracts, mineral derivatives, fragrances).

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying their ZZ Sensitive System Anti Stress skincare range and this is a review based purely on my experience.

First, to gain a thorough understanding of my experience, you should know a little about my skin. I have a skin condition, psoriasis, which I am under biological treatment however due to traveling and living in the U.K. and being away from my specialist in Australia I have not been able to keep my doses up and my psoriasis has flared; meaning I get dry, red patches which look like spots over my face and body. Thankfully it is mostly under control except for a few annoying spots right in the middle of my forehead. Being Winter and with the cold, dry air lately, it has been inflamed, sore and flaky. I have always struggled with finding skincare and makeup products that ‘fit’ with my skin. I have tried drug store brands, organic brands and high end products too. I find that I have to change it up sometimes depending on the season and how my psoriasis is responding. I would say generally, I have balanced skin but if my psoriasis is flaring it is sensitive and dry. This can be difficult as I near 30 because I want to ensure I am also benefiting in terms of anti-ageing.  To be honest, I also love some brands that aren’t necessarily completely natural BUT my skin feels best with more natural products so I try to use natural skincare and makeup more often than not.

Alongside Kora and Arbonne I now know that Annemarie Borlind is another soothing natural brand on my ‘safe’ list.

I was thrilled when my Annemarie Borlind products arrived. The packaging itself is sleek and luxurious yet simple. I received the Mild Cleansing Emulsion, Strengthening Facial Gel, Regenerative Day Cream, Fortifying Night Cream and the Regenerative Eye Cream. I love that they are in glass and not in tubs open to germs. For me, the pumps on the cleanser, gel and day cream are a huge plus for this same reason – I am not having to dip my fingers into product (or a spatula repeatedly) and you can control the quantity easily.

cleanserMild Cleansing Emulsion: If I could bathe my whole body in this I would. It is incredibly soothing, gentle and it feels somewhat milky. It feels amazing. When I wear makeup, I cleanse twice to thoroughly clean my skin. I was also given a cleansing sponge which I was using initially but when I washed my face in the morning, some makeup was still coming off so I then started using the sponge for the first cleanse and then my usual cotton pads for the 2nd cleanse so that I could see when there was nothing else coming off my skin. Cost ïżĄ19.50

Strengthening Facial Gel: This gel is refreshing to apply after a shower. It is a gel consistency (obviously) but I didn’t find it gooey like other gels I previously tried. This gel prepares the skin for both the day and night creams. Cost ïżĄ23.5

Regenerative Day Cream: This glides on very smoothly and it has a nice, light consistency. It feels really lovely on and it is very soothing. The natural ingredients promote cell renewal. I found it didn’t take much for it to settle into my skin. Cost ïżĄ33.5

Fortifying Nighnight-creamt Cream: This is another product I really like! It has a slightly thicker consistency than the day cream but again, after massaging in, I can really feel my pores soaking it in. This cream has a prebiotic and probiotic complex which work to bring your flora and PH back into balance. Golden Orchid is one of the primary ingredients in this beauty… An ingredient which is in Guerlain’s Orchidee Imperiale range but sold at a fraction of the price! CostïżĄ24.5eye-cream


Regenerative Eye cream
: I love this eye cream! I find it especially feels nice when applying in the morning because it’s not too thick and it really feels soothing. It also contains Golden Orchid which also works to strengthen the skin’s natural protection mechanisms. It does also assist with reducing wrinkles… Yes please! Cost ïżĄ20.50

Overall, the ZZ Sensitive range is very soothing and I would recommend it to others who have sensitive skin. I did find that in Winter in the UK with my psoriasis being inflamed, and my skin feeling much drier that I would really benefit from a thicker day and night cream. The Annemarie Borlind team are amazing and initially we did discuss trying a different system which targets dry skin but because of my concern with my skin being sensitive and because I was trying this brand for the first time, I went with this range to be on the safe side. I know I will love using this range when it is Spring and Summer. I had absolutely no reactions or breakouts!

If you are wanting to order some products or explore their ranges, click here. If you’re unsure of the range for you, just contact their team and I’m sure they will be more than happy to help you with your concerns.

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Set your intentions for 2017

 


It’s the end of December and we’re all reflecting on the year that’s been, perhaps we’re labelling it as a ‘good’ year or a ‘bad’ year. We are thinking of the year ahead. We are wondering how we can make it different to last year, always with the aim of moving forwards. You may be content with your 2016, and you may be feeling like you’ll go with the flow of 2017. Either way, I recommend you set some intentions to help you achieve things in life that you haven’t yet so another year doesn’t pass and you still haven’t started painting again, learning that language you’ve been meaning to learn, taken dance classes, changed the direction of your career….

I’m not talking about those couple of New Year resolutions you have each year and never achieve. I’m suggesting you think about what you REALLY want to achieve, make sure it is realistic and plan the steps you need to take to achieve your goals or intentions.

Think about what makes you happy. Is there something you want to accomplish? Are there small changes you want to make on a daily basis?

Here are my intentions for 2017:

Develop a positive and HEALTHY  mindset in relation to nutrition, exercise, my body and mind. I’m going to judge my health by how I feel, not so much how I look in the mirror and I don’t want to allow a number on a scale to determine my day or my mood. I’m not going to label my days (nutrition wise) as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but accept that all food is abundant and accept the choices I make.

Be completely present in the amazing adventures and experiences we are having overseas. I feel I mostly do this and am ever so grateful however I know, again, sometimes if I’m not feeling confident with how I look then I’m silently criticising and judging myself! Hmm… There seems to be a pattern here and it’s not a healthy one!

Nourish and move my body in the way that SHE deserves and needs. Simple.

Learn more about nutrition because it is something I always love to learn about and at some point, I would like to further study and help others in relation to nutrition. To do this, I know I need to be ‘there’ myself; implementing the practices I believe are beneficial to us all.

Remember that we are overseas to have amazing experiences and not let my job determine my activities outside of work hours or prevent any travel. Selfish? Perhaps… but it is why we are here.

Continue to work on my marriage and show appreciation to my husband. He makes this easy… I count my lucky stars every day!

I’d love to know your intentions for 2017 if you are willing to share 😉

Thanks for reading x

Discipline.

img_8076Discipline. It is my new favourite word. To heck with motivation. What is that anyway? If you’re like me you will feel like you are constantly on this mouse wheel going round and round waiting for this motivation. Motivation to go to the gym. Motivation to go for a walk. Motivation to do our meal prep. Motivation to work. We set these goals for ourselves like, “I want to lose x kilos.” “I want to tone up my arms/legs/back/whatever.” But to get to those goals, some of us, not all, are constantly in this cycle of waiting for motivation. We catch ourselves saying things such as, “I’m not motivated at the moment. I’ll do it later.” Or, ” I’ll work up the motivation to do it tomorrow.” Sound familiar?!? I call bulls*#t on motivation; waiting for motivation!

If you want to achieve something. It requires discipline. Make yourself do it! Make the time. Make yourself get going. Make the most of TODAY. Please, don’t get me wrong. I am no pro and it is something I’ve just started to figure out myself and I am in the process of learning and more importantly, DOING. I feel like I’ve suddenly had something switch on in my brain. An ‘aha’ moment.

Each morning and evening, I am sure you are disciplined to brush your teeth, shower and get to work. We are not necesarily motivated to do these things but we know they just need to be done. If you have a health or fitness related goal to achieve, just do it. Do what is required to get you there. Don’t think about it. Don’t let thoughts of motivation creep in… I actually feel like I have been tricked by this word, ‘motivation‘ for a long time. Discipline is my new motivation. It is going to get me closer to my goals. It will get you closer to yours too.

Only you are responsible for your own choices, no-one else. Eat out often? Make healthy choices – salads, wraps, fish and veggies. Busy? Workout at home. Kayla’s workouts are 28 minutes plus there are so many workouts these days on Youtube. Another biggie – LIMIT ALCOHOL.. Empty calories. We hardly drink these days and when we do, I usually drink Gin and tonic… I’m still getting used to the taste. Set some rules and be disciplined to stick to them. E..g., I will workout 4 times this week, I will track what I eat and eat 80% healthy nutritious meals.

I have started following Kayla Itsines BBG program (again). I am someone who gets caught up and feels ‘lost’ if I miss a workout on the ‘right’ day or if I go on holidays for a week, I NEED to start again and then because these things constantly come up (holidays, sick…), I feel disheartened, quit, move on to something else and it is a never ending cycle. This time, my goal is to just complete the 12 weeks, when I can. I am not getting hung on on days. I have a monthly calendar printed out with my BBG workouts on it and I tick each workout once it is done, no matter what day I actually do it! It requires discipline. So far, so good. I’ve also started tracking my nutrition on paper. At the end of every day, I write down ALL meals and snacks. At the end of the week, I am counting up how many meals altogether and how many of those were poor choices. In the first week, there were A LOT of poor choices. I know this may seem obsessive and extreme… I don’t want to label food as ‘good/bad’ but I do feel for me, at this stage, it is what I need to do to really see what I’m eating. img_2788

My goal is certainly not to eat less overall or cut ‘bad’ foods out but I definitely am working on decreasing the number of ‘poor choices’. Trust me, the number was HIGH!! TOO HIGH! Before doing this though, my mind would constantly justify things by thinking, “it’s only 1-2 chocolates and every other meal today has been clean/healthy. You would be 80% clean overall”. WRONG! I was definitely not eating 80% nutritious food. Eating healthy requires discipline too. I have a major sweet tooth. I L O V E ice-cream and chocolate but I’m learning to say no. I am starting to be disciplined. I am reaching for healthier options more often because I need to stay disciplined to reach my goals. I am ensuring some meal prep is done each weekend ready for the week ahead. I am making myself go to the gym or workout at home, even when I don’t feel motivated because it is what I need to do to achieve my goals.

Go on, try it! Replace ‘motivation’ with discipline! As NIKE quotes, “Just Do It!”

#discipline #moveovermotivation

 

xx

 

Note: top photo-

Emma – jandelifeblog.wordpress.com

Paola – paolasbodybarre.com

Ashley – Ashleyyeater.com

and me xo

 

 

Body Confidence Squad Goals

SQUAD GOALS!

There is a dark side to social media. As much as I love it, this is the reality. FEMPOWER however, challenge this and are the ultimate #girlsquad.

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@whatroseyate and I being ‘FEMPOWERED’ đŸ’Ș

It is so important to remember that most of the time, people like to portray the best parts of their lives on social media… The best images (#guilty), the best angles (you know, take 50 selfies, keep and post the ‘best’ one) and the best experiences. You scroll through Instagram and see picture after picture of model-type women (and men) with ‘perfect’ physiques. This is something I can appreciate because I like to follow a number of #strong and ‘fitspo’ women who work hard for their physiques but it is also concerning for myself and other women, teenagers and girls because I know there are times when I compare myself to them. I feel concerned for my younger, impressionable sisters and nieces that they too will face it and believe they must look a certain way instead of loving themselves for who they are, what they look like and importantly, what they can achieve.

 

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Yesterday I attended an Empowering Women’s event at the beautiful Lorna Jane Active Living Room in Covent Garden, London. Melissa Weldon, founder of FEMPOWER, led the panel which included Philippa Lewis from the Be Real Campaign. Five courageous women shared their personal experiences and growth stories, all in relation to abolishing negative body image beliefs and empowering women to believe that they are in fact, ‘enough’. These ladies had unique stories and looking around the room (and reading Instagram posts), you could see that the remaining 4o women in the audience were touched and inspired in some way by the panelists.

Melissa Weldon then led a killer HIIT workout in Saint Martin’s Courtyard… The tunes were pumping, the FEMPOWER squad were joining in, dancing and cheering us all on. My legs feel like jelly today! It was SO.MUCH.FUN and an incredibly supportive atmosphere. After some alcoholic beverages the night before, it was a great way to help shake off a hangover too. 😉

Everyone left with goodie bags, FITTY boxes, a Protein Haus smoothie and some with a Bol salad. Ahhhmaaazing! The goodie bags were incredible! Take a look… I am set for a while!

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The best thing was that all proceeds went to the Be Real Campaign charity. One of the areas Be Real focuses on is educating people from a young age; their aim is for children to have a “body confident start to life”. As a teacher, a big sister, an aunty and hopefully a future mum, this made my heart sing.

Job well done to Lorna Jane UK for walking the talk with your move, nourish, believe philosophy, to FEMPOWER & Be Real for inspiring women like myself to accept that we are enough.

Links:

FEMPOWER: http://www.fempoweruk.com

Be Real: http://www.berealcampaign.co.uk

Lorna Jane UK: https://www.lornajane.co.uk

Lorna Jane Aus: https://www.lornajane.com.au

 

 

3 THINGS TO DO IN BRIGHTON

A ‘must do’ when you are in the U.K is put aside some time for a trip to Brighton. If you’re from Australia, think Byron Bay/Manly (QLD)/a ‘show’ (Ekka comes to mind)… yep, the Ekka!

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1. Stroll through Brighton Open Market.

There is plenty of bric-a-brac, antiques and collectables. Kurt was like a kid in a candy shop when he spotted a Tin-Tin book which is now sitting on his book shelf! Thankfully we ventured to Brighton with a British friend who was able to lead the way. Otherwise, I’m certain we would never have stumbled across it ourselves.

2. Visit Choccywoccydoodah

I L.O.V.E chocolate and this shop is a chocolate lover’s dream! Their bespoke cakes sitting in their windows are exquisite, intricate and just a glimpse of what is on show inside. I couldn’t help but feel I was observing a scene from ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Word of warning: it gets busy!

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3. Plan a trip to the pier

This pier is unlike any other I’ve seen before and I have seen a few! It is an experience in itself.  Dodgem cars, a bucking bull, a Merry-Go-Round, countless rides, a game arcade, hot dog stands and deck chairs to sit back, relax and admire the view of the ocean meeting the pebbly beach. It was typical, grey English weather for our visit but it sure felt amazing to be near the beach again!

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While you’re near the beach go and dip your toes into the water. Or, if you’re brave, go for a swim and enjoy a cold beverage on a Summer’s day at one of the many bars along the waterfront. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy ‘people-watching’ here.

 Also, there are so many bohemian and quaint looking cafes and buildings. Get lost, pick a cafe and enjoy a good cup of coffee.

Do it for You

A letter to myself… thumb_DSC_0553_1024

Dear Rachael

You are allowed and deserve to be completely happy.

Everything is going well for you except the fact that you are really are self-sabotaging your happiness. You put a lot of pressure on yourself based on how you look. You want to look slimmer, toned, tanned, sexier. This is OK.  You want to FEEL healthier, slimmer and more beautiful… You want to wear outfits – pretty dresses and shorts. This is OK too. You want to feel at peace with yourself and not constantly like you’re on a roller-coaster with your emotions due to hormones, too much sugar and lack of sleep. You can do this! You KNOW what to do. It can be easy. Healthy eating and exercising. Start saying no to foods that make you FEEL like crap. You don’t need the ice-cream or the chocolate. They make you feel bloated, tired, miserable, fat, they inflame your IBS, IBD & psoriasis. Just don’t!

Stay on track.

You’ve got this. You have amazing support from Kurt and you’re in the perfect industry to do this NOW!

It’s up to you though… Dot it for the gut health, stable moods, glowing, healthy skin, your emotions, your loved ones.

Do it for you.

Sophie Guideline is an amazing woman,wife and mum, You respect that, She respects herself. Respect yourself. You want to be a happy, healthy woman, wife, (future) mum…. You will be IF you act now, Change habits. Create your way of life. Create your own rules.

Food is fuel. Eat to move. Don’t move to eat. Move because you enjoy it. Have fun. Never give up. Be consistent. Be determined. Be grateful. Be happy. Be healthy. Love healthy. Love healthy food. Be the person you want to be. Be the woman you want to see. Be the better you.

Be the stronger you.

Don’t let the unhealthy, self-sabbotaging girl who is dealing with her own issues stop you from achieving your goals and dreams. Own your goals and dreams. Own this. Own her. Own yourself. Own your choices. Own your actions. Believe in yourself. Believe in your vision.

Believe in the life you’re creating.

Love, You. xo

This is a letter I wrote to myself in June 2016. This is a stream of MY thoughts in a vulnerable moment. They are no-one else’s and therefore naturally, yours would be different to mine and please, remember, everybody’s ‘body’ is different. I am not saying that everyone or people of a certain shape or size should want to be slimmer etc. That is far from my intention! It is about FEELING healthier from the inside-out. Of course there are things on the outside I’d like to change for myself but that’s based on what I know I can look like when I FEEL I am in my healthiest state, not suffering from IBS and IBD symptoms. I mention Sophie Guidolin because obviously, I respect her. I follow her on social media and she promotes feeling healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. She is such an inspirational woman, to me.

I love reading and researching all things health and wellness but I have struggled with my own journey of yo-yo dieting. I believe in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I feel I am now starting this life-long journey. I want to create a healthy lifestyle for myself and family before we have children so healthy habits are created. By all means, this does not mean I will be cutting out chocolate (haha- this would never happen) but I want more of a healthier balance; to create my own treats, and limit my treats because previously, they have outweighed the nutritious, clean energy fuelling foods. It really is a decision. To help my process, I wrote this letter for me to refer to every day as a reminder.

If you feel you’re in a similar situation, write a letter to yourself. Don’t analyse what you are saying while writing, just say it and then look deep and take action.

There are so many amazing recipe books and guides to follow when trying to get on track with living your best healthy life. Your goal may be to lose a few kilos, clear your skin, decrease symptoms of IBS and so on. Whatever it is, I feel it is essential to come up with our own goals and rules instead of just following someone else’s. Read them, read many but create your own rules and a small number so that you can stick to them.

When I wrote this letter I also wrote some rules for myself:

1). Write a weekly plan

2). Stick to it

3). Include protein, especially breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

4). Make healthy nutritious food tasty e.g., increase intake of salads with ingredients such as haloumi and home-made dressings (lemon, argan oil)

5). Include carbs but decrease them

6). Eat what you cook, don’t stray

I could write so much more in relation to IBS, IBD, psoriasis and nutrition but that can wait for some other time… 😉

Time to get my Sunday Meal Prep on… xo

 

Greece in a Week

There is nothing quite like wading in the ocean, looking back at the landscape of a foreign place and absorbing the scenery it has to offer.

thumb_IMG_1047_1024There are so many exotic and unique looking islands and areas when googling, “where to travel in Greece”. I am so grateful we went travelling with friends and together, we narrowed down three locations where we wanted to relax and explore.  After also searching, “top 10 islands to visit in Greece”, we chose Santorini (how could we not!), Naxos and Athens. We then decided to stay in Santorini for 3 nights, Naxos for 2 and Athens for 2. Great choice!

Helpful Hints

Language: Greek. Kurt had the helpful idea of screen-shotting the basics. E.g

Yassou/YAH-sue: hello

Kalimera/kah-lee MEHR-rah: Good morning

Efkharisto/eff-kah-rees-TOH: thank you

Currency: Euro

Weather in July: 20s to 30s (degrees celsius)

seajetTravel: We flew into Santorini, caught ferries to Naxos and Athens and flew back to London from Athens. At each location we mostly explored by walking or caught a bus (tour and hop on/off). Whilst in Santorini, we enjoyed a sunset cruise, which went for over 7 hours and it really was a special way to see more of what the island had to offer and of course devour the sun setting over the ocean.

Accommodation: It certainly wasn’t a 5 Star trip but nevertheless, each place we stayed served its purpose well, was prime location, clean and had very welcoming and friendly staff. In Santorini the four of us stayed in an Airbnb apartment. In Naxos we stayed at Hotel Camara in which each couple had our own room, we were a convenient 10 minute walk from the ocean, bars and cafes and the hotel manager, Stavros made us feel so welcome; as if we were great friends. There was also a pool across the road which Hotel Camara guests can use with a poolside bar serving refreshing ouzo on ice (a favourite on the trip). In Athens we stayed at Hotel Adonis which was value for money; not the most modern room or facilities but the view of the Acropolis from their rooftop bar was breathtaking and again, it was prime location- a decent walking distance to the Acropolis and around the corner we could stroll past restaurants and shops.

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Food: I really wanted to immerse myself in tasting their traditional foods. Souvlaki, gyros, mousaka, baklava were top on my list and I LOVED them all! I also went out of my comfort zone in Naxos and tried octopus which was rather tasty and on our last night I ate the most tender veal and risoni meal cooked in a clay pot – I am not sure if that was a traditional meal but mmmm it was good (sorry vegetarians).


Other:
The Greek people are so friendly, especially on the islands. To be honest, I was wondering if there may be some resentment or strain because of tourism in their local beaches and local areas. I would have understood if this was the case too BUT it was far from the reality of what we experienced. A local man was educating us on the value and importance of tourism for their economic situation… Made sense given the last few years. Welcoming, friendly and generous are the three words I can best think of to describe these beautiful people right now. They went out of their way to ensure we were enjoying their beautiful islands, their food, the experiences.

Highlights/Experiences/Must Dos:

Santorini: Watch the sun set in Oia and if you can, observe it from the village and one of my favourite experiences was the Oia Sunset Sailing cruise. There is just something about being on the water and sharing the experience with other people on a boat. There would have been near fifty people on the catamaran and for ten minutes prior and during the sun going down, everyone silenced and watched in amazement at what our universe has to offer; the energy, the movement of the sun disappearing over the water with gentle waves and ripples, spectacular colours; red, orange, pink, purple and blue, the stillness of the people as the brightness fades and the moon became more apparent, and finally, the clapping and cheering to celebrate the beauty of it all.

Naxos: Naxos was rather different to Santorini. Santorini had the narrow, jagged cliffs with amazing views of the villages and ocean whereas Naxos was quite flat. The beach near our hotel was a typical tourist type beach with big beach umbrellas and waiters/waitresses walking to and from restaurants over the sand with trays of drinks and food. I loved it. I loved being able to walk down to the beach – sunbake and swim in the ocean whenever I pleased. The evenings would roll in and then we would find ourselves at one of the restaurants along the beach road sipping on a mojito or pina colada… Bliss!

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A must-see sight in Naxos… a popular location to watch the sun set.

Athens: We only had one full day in Athens and we spent the day immersing ourselves in the history of Greece. First, we went to the Acropolis which includes the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Parthenon, followed by the Acropolis Museum and the Panathenaic Stadium. History has never been my strong point which is why I really try to make the effort to visit historical buildings and places. Being there can be really moving and naturally, so much more meaningful than simply reading about it. I found the Parthenon, in particular, very interesting as I love the stories about the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Actually, the museum is hands down the best museum I have ever visited – the layout, the design… brilliant!

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The Parthenon in Athens

Thank you for reading! Below are a few more pictures of our time in Greece. Efkharisto!!!

 

*All images have been taken by Kurt or myself…. The better ones are Kurt’s 😉

 

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Having some fun on our sunset sailing cruise

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A ‘couple selfie’ post cocktails in Naxos xo

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Stumbled upon these pretties while strolling through the streets in Naxos

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Delicious gelato in Athens, around the corner from our hotel.