ESSENTIALS FOR A MONTH OF SELF CARE

self care

Here in the bottom half of the world, we’re preparing for the cooler months ahead.  But I wanted to start May with an intention of more self-care, because, why not?

Autumn is in full swing which, where I live, means I can still go to the beach during the day but I sometimes use my warm blanket and sip hot cacao on the couch.  We don’t really have the array of gorgeous fall leaf colours stunningly decorating the pavement like I see in the movies.  

But in the spirit of Hygge (as I mentioned in my post last week) I thought I would put together a list of my self-care essentials for those of you wanting to snuggle up and get to know your inner goddess. 

Sort of like a seasonal makeover for your soul!

 

START WITH SELF 

The first self-care essential - a blank page.  Otherwise known as a journal.  My favourite moleskin journal is an necessity for me.  I always get the same size and colour and I date every page as I pour my thoughts onto the page.  It’s the best when the new season aligns with a new book.  

 

MOVE TO THE MIND

And speaking of books, read one.

Not one for improving your health or for personal development.  Read a novel, a story, an experience put magnificently into words.  I’m re-reading Breakfast at Tiffanys … Classic. 

 

THEN HELP THE EARTH 

But I know that self-care for me also means doing things that really make me feel like I’m making my small difference in the world.  And while I personally don’t drink coffee, my husband LOVES a take away bulletproof and I’ve been doing my head at the amount of times we have to throw away another cup!  So in order to do our bit, we’ve got one of these keep cups so we can feel good in ourselves about not contributing to landfill in such a reckless way! 

 

BACK TO SELF

Then once I feel good about forcing Hugh to carry around his own coffee cup, I can do some more stuff that makes me feel good.  I saw this tool being used by Hilary Duff on Instagram and immediately decided it looked like it feels good and I’m going to be honest … IT DOES!  Check out Nurse Jamie’s Instagram to get an idea of what this thing does! 

 

AND FOR A LITTLE FUN

True Roots is totally giving me the autumn feels. Something about the word root and the colours.  Plus, it’s written by Kristin Cavallari!  Remember the girl we all loved to hate on Laguna Beach?  She was just so beautiful, but the drama of reality TV made her more exciting.  And now she’s come out with this beauty and I must say, my 30 year old self is a big fat Kristin fan.  

And of course, get the warm blankets, hot raw cacao drinks and candle lit nights at home going strong for extra self loving nourishment! 

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ALL SLEEP IS NOT 'BEAUTY SLEEP'

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You heard right, all sleep routines weren’t created equally. 

We’ve all been there, waking up after a solid 8 hours but still feeling exhausted. Having regular early nights but still having a 3pm crash.  

But even more annoying - the puffy eyes, dull skin and constant exhaustion. 

Which is why I wanted to share today a little about what I’ve learnt about sleep so that you can lay your head on the pillow and wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised in a few simple steps!  

There are things that I know to be true when it comes to getting AMAZING sleep… and it starts the day before.

 

STEP ONE

Slow down your mind

Sleep prep doesn’t happen in the moments before jumping between the sheets.  It happens a few hours before.  

How often do you scroll social media before drifting off?  Or watch reality TV to ‘wind down’ after a big day?  

This may seem like a great way to get ready for sleep BUT it’s actually hindering your sleep quality.  

Why?

Because you’re stimulating your mind when you should be allowing it to wind down. 

I know that personally, when I scroll Instagram before bed and check out photos of people on exotic holidays or in their gorgeous homes with their perfectly dressed children - I start to get caught up in a little bit of comparion-itis (learn more about how I combat this here) and my mind can start over thinking things.  How I can serve more people through my business, how I can raise my girls with the values I hold close, how I can be thinner, smarter, prettier and richer!  All the things!  So instead of drifting off into a restful sleep, my mind is racing with thoughts of development and growth.  

On top of that, you’re allowing the blue light that is particular of TV and mobile phones to stop your brain from triggering the release of melatonin.  You may still fall asleep fast, but you won’t fall as easily into the restorative sleep pattern that you need to wake up with energy!  

I personally wear these Blue Blockers at night once the sun goes down to help me get better quality sleep.  Sometimes I have online trainings for the Gratitude Gang at night so I can’t avoid the blue light.  I’ve found since using these glasses for the last year I’ve been able to wind down much fast after a night of connecting with my girl gang! 

 

STEP TWO

Create a wind down ritual

It definitely seems easier to just get into bed when you’ve had a big day and when exhaustion gets the better of you, it’s inevitable that you’ll pass out immediately.  

But having a ritual that prepares you for QUALITY sleep can change the game, allowing you to wake up fresh and refreshed for the day ahead.  

 

My own ritual is as follows ... 

:: Turn down the lights, leaving on one in my bathroom and a very dull lamp in our room.  

:: Jump in the shower and read over my end of day questions that I have laminated on the shower wall.  Personally I have borrowed Brendon Burchards - Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?

:: Put on my face creams and do a little Face Yoga which is a new thing for me that I’m kind of really loving! 

I’ve been using MooGoo Night Time Face Cream and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my skin when I wake up.  It was recommended to me by a friend and I’m so glad I’ve been using it religiously lately!  

And then I moisturise my body and pay extra attention to massaging my feet, they held me up all day and they totally deserve extra love! 

:: Last up I read, not something educational but something that calms my mind and prepares me for beautiful dreams.  Inspiring books.  I’m currently re-reading the Tao Te Ching.

 

STEP THREE

Mini Medi

This is the part where we fall asleep.  I highly recommend having your phone in a different room when you sleep and also keeping it on night mode so you don’t hear or feel any vibrations or notifications.  But I know that some people will thrive on a guided meditation to get them started with this ritual.  I would recommend doing one weeks worth of guided meditations (I love the Omvana app) and then start to leave your phone in a different room and take yourself through the meditations.  

Usually you’ll get a few minutes in and drift off. 

 

So those are three splendidly simple steps to a better and more beautifying sleep.  I’d love to know what you have tried and what has made a difference in your sleep routine below! 

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MY AUTUMN BEAUTY MUST HAVES

Autumn has hit in Australia and I’m all about seasonal everything right now.  It’s my obsession.  

From getting way too into Hygge, to not just eating seasonally but exercising and even adjusting my self care ritual to suit the fresh season.  I’m even getting more and more excited about the spiritual meaning of Autumn.    

Like I said, obsession.  

And because I love you, I want to share what I’m loving, learning and living.  

AUTUMN MEANINGS AND ENERGIES TO EXPLORE 

We’re officially halfway through Autumn and I’ve spent the last 6 weeks diving deep into doing everything seasonally.  

I mean everything!  

The next few weeks I’m going to have a focus on seasonal eating, seasonal beauty, seasonal self-care and everything else that is exciting me lately.  

But I wanted to start by unpacking the spiritual side of this season. 

It’s always been a favourite of mine.  Here in Australia, Autumn doesn’t mean the leaves turning and dropping, leaving a blanket of orange, yellow and red on the ground.  It basically just means you use a blanket at night.  So it’s not quite as dramatic as some places in the world but still a beautiful reason to view and adjust your rituals and belief systems as needed.   

 

So, what is it that I have found this 3 month period of the year to mean for me?

Autumn is all about change.  

Shedding what no longer serves you.  

Change, transformation, transition. 

POST NATAL DEPLETION - DO YOU HAVE IT? (+ A WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT)

I had never heard of Postnatal Depletion, in fact, I didn’t know it was a real thing until I decided I had it and decided to search Google for answers.  

I had been told after having my first, Bo, that it took the body up to 4 years to replenish and heal from the work of pregnancy and giving birth.  Which is exactly why I waited that long between my two girls!  But I didn’t realise that PD could last a decade if not addressed.  

HOW TO CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE JUST FOR YOU

Having a morning routine is the key to a productive, positive and calm day BUT there are millions of online articles telling you how to have a good morning, what you should be doing, the time you should wake up and exactly the order things need to be done.  

That’s all well and good, but what if you could create a routine that fit in perfectly with what feels good to you, comes naturally to you and helps you to feel like you’re living in flow?  

You can, I’m going to tell you how.

AM I STARTING A PODCAST?

health coach

This is definitely something I have asked myself a lot lately.

 

So many of you have been asking if something along the lines of a podcast was going to be coming out through The Gratitude Project this year and I can safely answer… No!

 

Why? You may ask.

 

There are several reasons right now, several reasons why this doesn’t feel aligned currently. I know that strategically it’s the smart thing to do for my business, but right now it’s just not something that I have space for both in time and in mental capacity.

 

As many of you would know, I gave birth last year and I have spent the last 12 months working and raising a tiny human. This has definitely been a new challenge in itself, but oh so rewarding!

 

I've struggled with giving myself fully to my family, The Gratitude Project blog (hello, it's been a month since my last post!) and my new project The Gratitude Gang.  It's been a huge lesson in my limits, listening to my intuition and knowing when to pause and rest - not quit! 

 

Some things I've found to be true : 

:: I do better with routine and structure 

:: My thoughts really do create my reality

:: Having it all, all at once, is rare

 

So while there have been some things that have hurt me to say goodbye to, it's given me so much more space for having FUN in my business. 

 

Which brings me back to the podcast thing...

 

I find speaking and interviewing people really FUN!  But the back end of a podcast seems to be something that could take the fun away from me with it.  

 

So I've come up with a better solution for me to share in a new way.  

 

In The Gratitude Transformation (my epic online program for women who want to find the joy in the life they're living right now) we have an online Facebook group where the girls connect and inspire each other.  I pop in and do my thing every now and then but recently I realised that the feminine connection is something that is really lighting me up right now!

So I committed to the girls that we would be doing monthly (sometimes more) group calls based on the topics of their choosing!  Laser coaching for the soul, you might say.  

 

And during these sessions, I'm going to be inviting in some incredible women to share and give extra goodness and wisdom to the group.  

 

I'M SO FREAKING EXCITED! 

 

Some of these women you may already know, some will be completely new to this world.  But the commonality will be the stories.  The proof that we have control over consciously creating the lives we want to live and straightforward, implementable tips to help you do that. 

So that means, live interviews where you can ask these amazing people ANYTHING you want.

 

 

 

I'm so excited to be welcoming in a new wave of Gratitude Seekers to join this experience with me.  You can read all about The Gratitude Transformation right here and once you've made the decision to start living in alignment with your beliefs (you wouldn't be here if that wasn't a goal, right?) I will add you into our special group and you can experience not only the program for yourself, but come along for the ride of hearing inspirational people tell real stories from the heart. 

 

I cannot wait to announce our first LIVE interview this month!  

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COMPARISON FOR PERCEPTION

comparison

After having a day with the Gratitude Gang yesterday working on our 2018 Intentions, I realised two things. 

 

:: ACCEPTANCE was a big part of 2017 for me

:: I didn't do enough GRATITUDE

 

Yup, I have a business called the Gratitude Project and I didn't live my truth this year. 

 

It wasn't easy.  This year saw more tears, more moments of exhaustion and more sadness than ever before.  But this year also saw more good than I've ever had or experienced.  

As high as I went, I fell that low.  

 

So this morning I set myself up on my balcony to journal.  In the background, Bo was playing with her new talking toy from Santa.  Harper was banging a hairbrush and singing very loud with the beat.  Somehow they had turned the TV on (sports channel, of all things) and I had my mantras playing on the Bose.  

 

So. Much. Noise. 

 

But I was set down on the mat, ready to journal and I wasn't giving up. 

 

So instead of doing what's been easy for me this year, blaming my environment on my state, I took charge of how I wanted to feel.  I wrote.  I wrote about why I was grateful for the noise and messiness of my home.  I wrote about how lucky I am to have these two little girls in my life.  I wrote about where I'm lucky enough to be sitting, with limited beach views and a breeze.  

 

And I realised as I was writing that I was comparing.  

 

But... Isn't comparison wrong?!

 

I've always lived by this truth, don't compare.  It doesn't help.  I remember Julie Parker once saying that comparison is just procrastination.  But, here I am, using my gratitude practice to compare to others.  

 

"How lucky I am to have these children, some other people would give anything to have their own"

"This breeze, this beautiful breeze I have when some people are trapped in places where they won't feel this air on their body"

 

And it got me thinking that maybe comparing is ok, maybe we can compare at times.  With boundaries

 

:: I choose not to use comparison to feel superior to another human, but to bring acknowledgement to my current situation. 

:: I choose not to use it to bring others down, but to give myself perception of what I have in my life. 

:: And I could even choose to use it to help others when the situation permits.  

 

So next time I'm using comparison to bring myself down, I'm going to remember that there are moments when I use it to lift me up.  I get to choose how I do it.  

I just need to stay conscious. 

health coach
 

PALEO CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

PALEO CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Some days I'm all about green smoothies and kale chips.

Others I'm about chocolate. ALL. THE. CHOCOLATE.

#balance

 

So when I have a treat, I want it to be tasty, a little guilty but also healthy enough to not make me feel like death after eating it.  

I found this great recipe right here, but I amended it slightly because I found it a little sweet.  So below is what I make and love.  These are a huge hit in our house and we always share the batch with our friends who live close by, because putting this much love into something deserves to be shared around.  


PALEO CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

 

  • 3/4 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons (104 grams) raw cacao powder
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (80 grams) almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons GF baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (126 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup (213 grams) honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 °C and line a muffin pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the raw cacao powder, almond meal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil, honey, applesauce, eggs and vanilla. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir just until combined.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into the muffin liners, about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 24-28 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out mostly clean. 
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. These do not taste very good straight out of the oven. I recommend letting them sit for 2 hours and then frosting.