Soul Seasons Planner – A fresh new way to set goals, make plans and stay organised


life planner

My eyes light up every time I see a new planner and if you could just take a quick glance around my office, you would see that my addiction to pretty paper planning is very real. When this stunning Soul Seasons planner arrived on my desk for a review, it was love at first sight.

This planner is quite different from the traditional paper planners currently available. It has been designed to be goal setting work book combined with space to make lists and action plans. As the name suggests this planner is seasonal with this first edition being for Spring 2018, and then the next one will be Summer and so forth, so you get to enjoy that beautiful brand new planner feeling 4 times a year!

Carlie Maree is a writer, teacher and mentor who created this planner as there was nothing quite like this available, that provided enough space for focusing on what is really important to you, keeping on track with your progress and ensuring you did not forget important dates.

SO WHAT IS INSIDE?

As this planner has been designed to be a goal setting work book, combined with a space for recording action steps and time management there is a great introduction to help you make the most of this section.

There is a double page spread for each of the 9 important life goals included so you have lots of room to make notes.

australian seasonal planner

As you move into the planner section you have a full month-at-a-glance page, plus an additional page to make project notes.

australian paper planner

 

At the start of each week (starts on a Monday) you have a two page ‘A shiny new week’ spread, which again gives you plenty of room to really hone into what is most important for the next seven days.

Australian paper planner

AND finally, each day of the week has a full two page spread that includes a to-do list, a half hourly timed list from 6am to 10pm and the opposite page is blank for you write out all your thoughts and feelings.

Soul Seasons Life Goal Workbook

With so much lovely space to play with you could decorate it with stickers, sketch down ideas, add some memory keeping or art journaling, jot down positive affirmations or simply have a great brain dump and get everything down on paper and out of your head.

FACTS AND FIGURES

The first thing you notice about this planner is the awesome cover. It is solid plastic rather than a laminated version that is a common inclusion in many paper planners, so it will withstand the rigors of carrying it with you in your bag.

It measures 24.4cm down and 17cm across (not including the metal coil) so it is a little bigger than an Erin Condren and almost identical to a Happy Planner.

The paper quality is superb at 120 GSM and so this planner is quite thick at 2.2cm. All 260 pages include full colour printing, not just a pretty cover.

planner pen testplanner pen test

The paper passed the pen test beautifully with the exception of the sharpie, but that was to be expected as this style of pen will bleed through just about every paper type.

This beautiful planner is a quality product and if you would love a single place to keep track of your goals and important dates it could be the perfect choice for you. Unfortunately as this new release planner was so popular the Spring edition has sold out, but you can pre-order the Summer addition at a special discounted rate here. …. and it will look like this (mock up image).

Please leave a comment if you have any questions and I will be happy to help.

Do you spend time writing down your goals and creating an action plan to make them a reality?

Have you found planner peace?

The Brisbane Planner Markets

Little did I know that when I discovered decorative planning by shear accident 4 years ago, that I would fall down a rabbit hole of stickers, pens, washi tape and sticky notes, and that there would be enough people in Brisbane that love the same things to justify setting up something as awesome as the Brisbane Planner Market!

Brisbane planner addicts

Just look at that line-up, they are not waiting for coffee!

In the past I would faithfully buy a new diary in December, with full intention of using it religiously to stay organised and I would get to about the 4th of January and it would all but be forgotten for another year. Not long after discovering this strange new crafty world, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway of a Happy Planner from an awesome lady in the USA who knew how hard it was for people outside her country to access all the goodies that are readily available to them. This whole pretty planning thing appealed to me so much as I have always loved playing with crafty things and once I fell down this rabbit hole, I had the perfect excuse to sit down each week and decorate my planner, but best of all I actually use it for its intended purpose every single week.

In those few short years things have changed dramatically. There are lots of incredibly creative people that make all the planner supplies and online stores that import goodies that we crave. Thanks to the tireless organising efforts of Bianca from Washi Tape Australia we have just had the 4th Brisbane Planner Market and Sydney and Melbourne have hosted their own as well.

WW Designs Brisbane Planner Market

I have been a stallholder with my shop WW Designs for all 4 markets, and whilst my business has allowed me to make pretty things for planners which I just love doing, especially if sparkly things are involved, the market is a fun way to spend time with people who love doing what I do and understand the insatiable desire to buy ALL the stationary things.

The Brisbane Planner Market is a great day out for planners obviously, but it is so much more than sticker shops on steroids. You will find beautiful note books, pretty pens, stamping and scrapbooking supplies and you can even take classes to learn a new skill.

This quick video gives you a really good overview of how awesome the day was and the volume of people that made the effort to come along. If you have been sitting on the fence about whether it is worth visiting, it really is a fun day where you get to meet all the great stall holders, buy special release products and not pay any shipping fees….oh and Australia Post can’t lose your goodies! Don’t miss out on this great day because you need to go alone, its a perfect opportunity to meet a new planner friend and if you don’t like crowds, just go later in the morning after the initial wave has passed.

The next Brisbane Planner market is currently penciled in for May 2019. Follow the Brisbane Planner Markets Facebook page for updates so you can get the date in your planner as soon as it is announced, and don’t forget to say hello when you pass my stall!

Did you go the Brisbane Planner Market?

 

Favourite Finds Autumn 2018

The last 3 months have gone by in a flash and have brought so many changes, together with a lot of stress and exhaustion but thankfully there is peace on the horizon and a few great discoveries were made!

A NEW HOME

Its official, I hate moving house! A decision to downsize from a very large four bedroom home with a shed to a smaller home without a shed brought a heap of challenges as not only did we have to pack, we had to do a huge declutter as there was no way everything was going to have a spot in our new place.

It is times like this that being a single mumma is tough as the workload was huge, but we got it done and thanks to a troupe of Miss WW friends who came to our assistance we got it done.

A beautiful lake is now part of my walk and I got to the meet the ‘locals’ on my very first visit.

Not only is moving house hard work, it does not help when you have a ‘little’ accident at work and crush your meniscus. Valuable lesson learned, do not jump down off a pallet with your hands full and land on a concreate slab with all your weight behind it. Your knee will be eternally grateful.

Seven weeks later, it is 95% healed and will eventually be perfect we hope, but at least every step no longer causes immense pain.

WHO NEEDS CARAMILK WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THIS

The release of Caramilk by Cadbury caused downright hysteria. Even though I love chocolate and caramel things, I waited patiently for stocks to arrive in the supermarket and bought I single block so I could try it. Have to say I was quite disappointed with the taste and could not understand why people were buying it in bulk and hoarding it.

Better than caramilk

One of my work colleagues suggested I try this alternative and oh boy, it is so much better and can still be purchased today unlike Caramilk which is gone. Do yourself a favour and buy this if caramel flavoured chocolate is your thing, you will not be disappointed.

CRUELTY FREE SKINCARE

Packing up my bathroom to move was an interesting experience. I was amazed at the amount of products that had amassed in the cupboards. I started reading labels as that is something I really had time for….not. But there were so many items that were literally just chemical cocktails and I had decided that I only want to use products that are not tested on animals, as I don’t see why my looks should come at the price of animal cruelty.

When the lovely ladies from KOSMEA approached me a while back to see if I would be interested in trialling a selection of their natural skin care range, I did my homework before I said yes and this range more than ticks the boxes of offering ethical products.

The first thing I noticed when I started using the products was that the clarifying facial wash did not foam up, which is proof that it is not laden with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a known skin irritant and is actually used in pesticide. It also did not leave my skin feeling taught and dry, just beautifully clean. All the other products are also a delight to use and incredibly good value for money.

Another favourite product is the jazzy cleansing cloth that is a great alternative to disposable facial wipes. A gentle massage with this cloth will remove all make up and exfoliate in one hit which is so much better for the environment and avoiding the harsh chemicals used in many of the disposable options. They have an extensive range and you can discover it all here.

REUNION

Many years ago we used to live in South Australia. I went to a local area school as we lived almost two hours south of Adelaide. I made some really good friends there, but we all split apart and headed to schools in the city in the hope of getting a decent education in year 11. I moved to Brisbane as the rest of my family had relocated here and thankfully one of those girls is still a great friends after all these years. Three of us had a reunion that involved much talking, eating and drinking as you do.

If you like to sip on a G&T, you have to try this! Not only is it visually fun to make as the colour changes from a violet to a pretty pink when you add tonic water, it is also one of the nicest Gin’s I have tried in a long time. My friend got given a bottle as a gift and hung on to it until we had our get together and I am very grateful she did. Whilst happily sipping away we managed to track down number 4 and phoned her for a catch up. Number 5’s whereabouts still alludes us but one day we just might find her.

DISCOVERING A NEW ‘LOCAL’

It is amazing how long you can live in an area and still find awesome places to eat that you didn’t even know existed!

My bestie invited me out for lunch and she took me to the Samford Lifestyle Centre. How this awesome place flew under my radar for so long astounds me. Obviously they have a restaurant that only has a smallish menu, but everything is made fresh with local ingredients where possible.

Smoked salmon and ricotta patties

These ricotta patties with smoked salmon and homemade beetroot relish were simply amazing. They also make really good coffee and have a cake cabinet full of unique treats rather than the same old slices and tarts that come from commercial kitchens.

Not only can you enjoy dining in rural surroundings, there are shops, yay!  A fabulous gift shop, a nursery, an organic/natural store with skin care, cleaning products, a yarn store, a day spa and more. This is definitely not a place to visit for a quick bite to eat, you really need to allow a few hours to fully enjoy it.

What great new things have you discovered that I should check out this winter, as I really need something to brighten up my most unfavourite season of the year???

Sharing for the Lovin’ Life Linky at 50 Shades Of Age

 

 

 

Favourite Finds This Summer

Summer has sure thrown some hot days at us over the past few weeks and the last couple of rainy days have brought great relief. I love summer but as I can’t spend every day at the beach unfortunately, so I am always looking for ways to make coping with the heat a little easier. Here are some of my favourite finds that have helped me survive the heat wave.

DRY FINISH SUNSCREEN

At the beginning of summer Miss WW spent a couple of weekends away at the beach and scored herself some pretty bad sunburn. I keep reminding her to apply ALL the sunscreen ALL the time to protect her beautiful skin, it easy to get caught up in all the fun and forgetting to reapply regularly has not been happening. I tried to get her to use good old zinke stick especially on her nose, but most sunscreens tend to make her break out and she hates that.

dry finish sunscreen helps avoid breakout

After checking out all the sunscreens on the shelf these two have proved to be real winners in our house. Dry touch sunscreen is the bomb! That heavy and sticky feeling that is often experienced with normal sunscreen is no more. Both of these only take a couple of minutes to ‘set’ and you don’t even feel as though you have sunscreen on. Miss WW is happy to reapply regularly and neither of them caused her to breakout. That’s a major win in my books as life in Queensland without sunscreen is just not on.

COOL COTTON FOR HOT DAYS

Wearing long sleeves in summer for sun protection is a great idea, but ahhhh no, its too hot for that! I was invited to a picnic in the park on the banks of the Brisbane river and rain was forecast for that evening and I thought it might get a bit cool once the clouds rolled in.

Cool cotton for hot summer days

This super light, 100% cotton long sleeved top from the Portobello range by Vivid International (gifted) turned out to be a perfect choice and was so cool to wear in the hot afternoon. The best thing about this top is it comes all rolled up and when you wash it you roll it up again and its crinkled look does not require ironing.

Just love the colours in this one!

KEEPING DRINKS SUPER COOL

Hot weather requires cold drinks and tiny little ice blocks that melt in a flash don’t help the cause.

Giant ice blocks are the answer and this awesome ice cube tray was one of my fav finds from Kmart and cost a whole $1.50 each. Buy a few and store them in a large plastic container so you always have plenty on hand.

keep cool with giant ice cubes

Freezing coffee in these and adding one to a glass of milk makes a very yummy iced coffee too!

RELAX WITH A GOOD READ

Just before Christmas my mum went to a charity market and bought three books for $1.00. She liked the look of the covers and thought they would be a good romance novel read. Had she read the back and saw the words such as warlocks and vampires she would have put them back in a flash. I am so grateful she didn’t.

The Infernal devices a great summer read

So not have I only devoured the three part The Infernal Devices book series, I am on the 6th and final installment of The Mortal Instruments. Miss WW has been a big fan of these for a few years and I showed zero interest in reading them. They are thrilling reads will lots of plot twists and I won’t mention that they are listed as ‘Young Adult’ reading….because I am way past that stage of life and just love reading them. This is one of new habits that I have been working on to go with my word of the year ‘Joy’.

The only other thing I need to find is a mascara that will not give me panda eyes when the heat is on. I have tried so many and not one of them has done what it promised! Any suggestions?

Have you found any great things this summer to help you keep cool?….and moving to the Southern States is not an option as I hate winter, even our pretty mild Brisbane version.

Sharing for #LLL at Write In The Middle.com

Hello 2018!

Hello 2018, I am very glad to see you.

Last year was full of challenges and exhaustion from over work and under relaxing, so this year things must change and I have to make myself a priority.

For the last few years I have chosen a #wordoftheyear and it all seemed like a good idea at the time, but I honestly did not live by my choice of word or achieve all the goals I had set.

So this year I will be doing things a little differently. There will be no goal setting, or making promises that might not be kept, instead there is a word and a question to ask myself every time a decision needs to made.

planner page makerMy word for 2018 is JOY!

I made myself this little page maker for my planner so that every single day I see a reminder that I get to choose to do things that bring me joy or things that wear me down.

Pushing myself to the brink has got to stop. Feeling guilty about taking downtime has got to stop. Stressing about the future has got to stop. Not expressing my true feelings has got to stop.

Less pain more fun is the plan!

I have big list of all the things that I love, and whilst I will not be throwing all responsibility to the wall, I am starting small by taking 15 minutes a day to just do whatever I like and will build on this as I adjust to being a little selfish. Small steps are better than no steps at all.

It is time to start filling the cup before it runs completely dry.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2018 and make sure you fill your cup, often!

Do you pick a #wordoftheyear and if so what is it?

Sharing for #LLL at writeinthemiddle.com

10 Things To Do Now To Make Christmas Easier!

10 things to do now to make christmas easier

As soon as the Christmas magazines hit the stores, I know it is time to get myself organised. In years past, I would have already done all my shopping and would coast into the festive season with ease, BUT life has been chaotic and I am behind this year, but starting now I am getting on it.

I love Christmas, cause I love sparkly things and I get to play with them for a whole month and nobody thinks I am nuts. With a little bit of planning and action, get these jobs done in November and you will have more to time to enjoy the season rather than running around trying to get everything done.

christmas planning 2017

One – Make ALL the lists!

    If you don’t already have some to-do lists done, sit down today with a notebook and start making them. The easiest way to not forget any of the important things you need to remember, keep this list handy so you can keep adding to it as you remember things.
    Include lists for gifts, food, shopping, decorations, events, travel arrangements and cleaning. Carry a red pen with your notebook to tick of things when they have been completed, as that is such a satisfying things to do.

Two – Stocktake the PANTRY

    Don’t do what I did one year and try to start a Christmas bake-a-thon without caster sugar! Take a good look at each shelf on the pantry and make a list of everything that is running low, or you know you will need extra of and buy them now when you next grocery shop. Or put in an online order and have it all delivered. If you have a little spare space in a cupboard don’t even unpack it, just put it away until you actually need to start using it.

Three – Wrapping supplies!

    I always stock up on gift wrap and cards at the Boxing Day sales. If your stash is looking a bit bare, buy all that now. Why not add it to your online order and have it delivered at the same time. Make sure you include paper, gift bags, cards, tags, sticky tape and ribbon if you like to use it. Setting up a gift wrap station in a spare room makes things easy for quick access, but if you don’t have room, keep all the supplies in washing basket or cardboard box so that it is quick to grab and you don’t have to waste precious time collecting what you need when its time to wrap.

Four – Eat from the freezer!

    For the next two weeks make an effort to use up all the things you have stashed away in the freezer. Having space in your freezer is a must at Christmas time, so eat up things that are lurking in there so you can make space. When frozen nibbles, berries and other goodies go on sale you will be able to grab them knowing you have room for them. Its a great way to build a stash and save some dollars.

Five – Stock up on gift cards on sale!

    Keep your eye on your junk mail in the lead up to Christmas. Supermarkets will often offer discounts on gift cards in the lead up to the big day. Instead of spending hours looking for the perfect gift for those hard to buy for, a gift card can save your sanity and if you feel that gift cards a little impersonal you can always add a little gift as an extra.

Six – Pick a Theme!

    Whether it is a colour or symbol theme, picking one now can help you create a cohesive look for Christmas that will have others thinking you are totally awesome. Traditional, pastel or metallic are these easiest colours schemes to work with and using a tree, bell or star as your centering object if you want to pick one can make your shopping trips quicker. When you choose a new decoration or ten, candles, serviettes or any other festive items, if you stick to one style you can grab what you need without having to decide which ones you prefer. The end result is a home and table that all fits together beautifully.

Seven – What needs a wash?

    Christmas tablecloths can get a little musty from being hidden away in the linen cupboard for a whole year. Pull yours out now and check if they are clean and ready to use. If not, wash and iron them now, so they are ready to go. If you are having guests coming to stay with you, make sure sheets and towels are ready for the onslaught.

Eight – Find it fast!

    Every year I go through a pile of recipe books and magazines trying to decide what to make. When it came time to make a final list and grocery list sometimes I could not remember which book or magazine it was in. Now I make a list with the recipe, book or magazine it is in and the page number so that I can find it in a flash. Recipes from past magazines are now stored in a lever arch file in plastic sleeves and the ones I want to use are placed on the top so I have instant access.

Nine – Count the cutlery, and the plates, and the glasses!

    Miss WW is chief executive dish washer in this house and at her last birthday party afternoon tea, I discovered I had a whole TWO teaspoons to my name. Yep, 4 cutlery sets including my good one no longer included teaspoons. No idea where they have gone, but probably they ran away with all the single socks. Needless to say, more have now been purchased and if you are entertaining at your home, make sure you have enough of all the basic supplies required to eat a meal comfortably. If not add them to the shopping list asap!

Ten – Pencil in some ME time!

    Save your sanity and pencil in some time just for you. Book in to have your hair done, nails painted, a massage or anything that will give your some time to yourself. Hairdressers and beauticians will be busy as everyone wants to look their best so if you have a favourite book them now so that you don’t miss out. Your happiness will flow on to all those around you so make yourself a priority this year.

*****

Make this the year to coast through Christmas with ease and grace and leave the stressing last minutes rushing around to everyone else. Start today and spend 15 minutes getting those list done and the rest will flow.

How sorted are you for Christmas?

What is your favourite tip for getting it all done?

How To Decorate Your Planner With Scrapbooking Supplies

Planner decoration with scrapbooking supplies

 

Decorating your planner has become so much more than sticking down a few stickers and writing in your to-do’s!

As I have always loved to play with pretty things, decorative planning was an accidental find a couple of years ago that has got me in hook, line and sinker.

Thanks to social media, there is always something new to buy but not everyone’s budget allows for this. Planner kits such as The Planner Society send you a new parcel of goodies each month so that you can make your planner look super pretty. Whilst I absolutely adore their kits, its not cheap having them delivered to Australia and you get sent so much that I just don’t have the time each month to actually use it all. With some pretty fast typing I have collected quite a large collection of their products thanks to Facebook destash pages and I don’t have to suffer from FOMO!

Another very cost effective way to create pretty things for your planner is to invest a small amount in some scrapbooking supplies. Even though I was a stall holder at the recent Brisbane Planners Market, this time around I made sure I got some shopping in so that I could enjoy the same thrill as all the customers. At the last two markets I had all intentions of buying things but it didn’t happen or things were sold out before I had a chance to grab them.

Blush crush

 

One of the first things I bought was this 6 X 6 inch paper pad with the matching ephemera pack from Washi Gang as the blush crush is very real in this house. Unfortunately foiling does not photograph well but all of these products that include foiling are done in a beautiful rose gold.

rose gold planner accessories

 

As the 6 x 6 paper pad is just a bit too small to create a complete personal size planner dashboard, I simply used the one that came in my Kmart planner and cut a rectangle to cover most of it and added some ephemera pieces and a doily.

decorated planner pockets

I cut out a piece of cardstock to use as a backing sheet and then added some ephemera and clips etc to fill the pockets. A thin strip of laminated card stock is perfect to add some washi for future use.

 

diy planner page marker

 

And of course I had to make a page marker because that addiction is real and are using it to hold some of the beautiful rose gold foiled stickers I recently purchased.

The Americans can duck down to Target and buy these awesome clear pockets complete with adhesive that you simply stick on to your back sheet. BUT of course we can’t buy them here. I did grab a pack of pockets from Officeworks, but only two are a good size and the others are too big so will require surgery to make them useable.

Whilst perusing the aisles of a local cheap shop I found these things….

an easy way to make page markers for australians

The ‘pockets’ are actually crystal clear business card tags. One pack are cut for vertical use and the other horizontal.

All I did was trim off the top portion to leave a nice clean pocket and used these heavy duty double sided tape pieces to adhere it to the back piece of cardstock that I ran through the laminator for strength. $6.50 spent and I can make lots of pockets for very little cost. The vertical ones are ideal for personal size and the horizontal will be ideal for A5 plus.

Hope this gives you a little inspiration to give your planner a face lift without spending a fortune.

Have you used scrapbooking supplies in your planner?

Are you team rose gold?

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you want some help in making any of the above.

Let’s be friends – Instagram & Facebook @wwdesignsshop 🙂

 

 

Chocolate Grazing Plate, A Great Alternative To Cake!

A few weeks ago my ‘baby’ turned 18! How the hell did that happen, it did not seem that long ago that she had her first day of school….

Both of my girls have always had a birthday party every year….yep, I am one of those mums that loves organising parties, coming up with themes and baking up a storm.

As we were planning her 18th party, she informs me she does not want a cake….WHAT!

Who has a major life event party without a cake? Miss WW does. Ok, time to come up with plan B.

At birthdays we eat cake

We did have a caramel and pecan mud cake at her family and friends lunch, but I hatched a different plan for her party.

Admittedly I did notice at last years party that the awesome cake I made did go virtually untouched so I did not argue about not having one this time.

Miss WW loves chocolate and adores brownies, so I combined the two and popped it all on a large white platter and that was a huge hit and was literally inhaled by everyone.

 

we love chocolate

 

I did not have time to experiment with brownie recipes so I played it safe and went with my one pot brownie that is just lush and you can get the details here.

Then I added the following goodies:-

A packet of Cadbury Milk Chocolate Finger biscuits

A packet of mini Kit Kats with the wrappers removed

A packet of mini Twix bars with the wrappers removed

A block of Nestle Cookies and Cream chocolate cut into pieces.

But you can use whatever chocolates are your favourites. Nestle was on special that week so they won out.

Sparklers also won out as I did not want to try and stick 18 candles into all the brownie pieces.

The brownie can be made the day before and with virtually not preparation required so it is an easy dessert for any party.

Have you gotten into the grazing plate style of food service that is so popular right now?

 

Smashing Salmon Bites

Huon Salmon Bites

I have never met a piece of smoked salmon that I did not like, and these smashing salmon bites take that love to a whole new level!

Whether you want to impress your guests or simply make a healthy lunch you can’t beat the delicate flavour of this fresh salmon that does not have quite the same intensity in flavour as traditional smoked salmon.

This style of salmon is also available with additional flavours such as sweet chilli and are well worth trying.

My brother had a Huon Salmon hamper delivered to mum and dads house for Christmas and then again at Easter and we created these yummy bites and they disappeared so fast. Thankfully you can buy the salmon in the supermarket and this is now one of my favourite lunches.

They are super quick to make and you only need 4 ingredients!

1 packet of Huon Smoked Salmon

6 slices of a good pumpernickel or heavy grain bread, thinly sliced

Good quality mayonnaise (only Thomy brand is allowed in this house)

Fresh dill sprigs.

To make these lush morsels, simply spread some mayonnaise on to the break slices, break up the salmon with a fork and spread over the slices. Top with small sprigs of fresh dill and serve.

These bites can easily be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge. Fortunately using a nice heavy bread, ensure that they  do not go soggy if left in the fridge for a while.

The salmon addiction is real, do you love it too?

FYI – This is not a sponsored post, these products are just too good not to share, and if you need smoked salmon fix, their Kaffir Lime Leaf and Gin flavoured one, is to die for!

Sharing for #IBOT with Kylie Purtell

Easy Ways To Add Colour To Your Winter Wardrobe!

As soon as the weather turns cold, out come the jackets, jumpers and all the boring black, brown and greys!

That is one of the reasons I love summer, apart from detesting layer upon layer of clothes, I adore colour and the traditional winter hues I find depressing and bleak.

I go out of my way to find pretty ways to add colour to my wardrobe as it definitely makes me feel happier and more confident, and with serotonin production (happy hormone) decreasing during the winter months due to lack of exposure to sunlight, it is so important to find ways to brighten our days.

Here are some beautiful ways to add some colour to your day!

A SILK SKARF

Wearing a silk scarf around your neck is just the most beautiful feeling. Instead of the traditional wooly variety that can be a little prickly, try the luxurious texture of silk and you will be won over.

I found this Australian company Seahorse Silks by accident a few weeks ago, and they have some stunning designs, many of which have an Australian theme like Noosa, Margaret River and Avalon just to name a few. The colours are incredible and they are nice and long, so can be wrapped around your neck a couple of times if its really cold.

WRAP IT

These clever little numbers are perfect for our winter in Brisbane, but would work brilliantly as an extra layer under a jacket in the colder zones!

When I received this red wrap from Vivid International (gifted) I knew it would become a firm favourite. It is so soft and is perfect for keeping the chill off my neck which is where I feel the cold first as I always wear my hair up. This burst of red is just what I need on a cool morning. You can find your local Australian stockist here.

BLING IT UP

Adding some pretty jewels in warm colours is an easy way to brighten up your outfit. A few years ago mum and I walked into a gift shop in Noosaville and fell in love with Mariana Jewellery instantly. The displays are so vibrant it is almost impossible to pick a piece.

This beautiful bling is worthy of your investment, as my first pair of earrings that I got still look perfect after a few years of wear. I know you can pop into Lovisa and pick up sparkly things for a few dollars, but for me I only get to wear them a couple of times and the metallic finish wears off and the gems fall out. Find your closest stockist or buy online here.

BYE-BYE BLACK BAG

No one will argue that using a black handbag is practical as it goes with everything and you don’t have to change bags all the time. There are three BIG drawers full of handbags in my bedroom as the addiction is very real so I have plenty to pick from.

I get emails from Strand Bags regularly and as I am a Guess fan, I often open them to see if they have any good deals. This tote is a beautiful warm colour and would not clash with a winter wardrobe and could be a great alternative to black.

Stay warm this winter and invite some pretty colours into your wardrobe, it will make you feel much more cheerful.

Do you have a favourite colour as your go to in winter?

Sharing for #LLL at Write Of The Middle.com

The High Tea Party

the high tea party brisbane pink hope

It is not everyday you get to dress up and spend an afternoon with a best friend enjoying a delightful high tea, but that is just what I got up to last Sunday!

The High Tea Party starts it’s Australian circuit in Brisbane and offers you a perfect opportunity to get some girlfriends together for a little lot of merrymaking as you not only get to enjoy a beautiful dining experience, there is also free flowing champagne and shopping! It does not get much better than that.

While my friend of 39 years and Miranda Kerr were doing the tea thing….I was making the most of the bottomless champagne!

We arrived 2 hours before our official starting time and we are so glad we did. There was room after room of shoes, handbags, clothes, aromatherapy, tea, travel,
Tupperware, art, make up and more to explore. And that Royal Daulton display was just divine, I wanted to take it all home with me.

Once inside there was gifts on the table, unlimited tea and coffee, traditional High Tea favourites such as finger sandwiches, mini quiches, scones and delectable bite size morsels of yumminess…..yes, those chocolate mousse cups tasted just as good as they looked.

There were talks from sponsors and prize giveaways, your name goes into a draw to win $1000 of Royal Daulton, but most importantly there was a fashion parade, with a difference.

One of my blogging buddies Vicky from Life On The Hill was one of the models in the fashion parade featuring gorgeous gowns from Living Silk.

All of the models that took part in the parade are courageous women who have been fighting the cancer battle and they all got up on the stage so proudly and I don’t think there were many dry eyes in the house during this important part of the event to raise awareness for #pinkhope. They all looked so beautiful after being treated backstage to hair and makeup pampering.

the high tea party fashion parade featuring living silk

How fabulous does she look?

A big thank you to Vicky for letting me share in this very special day. xxxx

Find out when the next event is happening in your city and book a date with your besties. We really had so much fun and I am sure you will too! We have already decided that next year we are going to get a little group together as there were a few who wished they had been going too.

Have you ever been to The High Tea Party event?

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5 Ways To Use A Notebook To Change Your Life!

journalling to change your life

If you are anything like me, you just might have a pretty notebook or two ten that you have not written a single word in yet.

If you don’t have a stash of prettiness, now might be the perfect time to invest in one or two, but really any notebook will do. One of the most powerful ways to invoke change is to write things down and make a plan. With the new year only two months old, why not try some of these ideas to help make 2017 really awesome.

A word after a word after a word is power” – Margaret Atwood

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AWESOME AFFIRMATIONS

The stories we run on repeat in our brains, reflect how our outer world appears. If we continually put ourselves down we cannot thrive. When we continually tell ourselves I can’t do this or I don’t have that we create negative feelings towards that subject and the energy you project out is what you keep getting in return. Positive affirmations repeated over and over again, gently retrain the brain to think about things in a positive way.

For affirmations to be effective, they must be written in a way that declares you already have that thing, or feel that way. Using words like when I or if I etc. will keep fuelling the negative belief because you are affirming that you don’t have it.

Think about all the things you would love to have, be or do and how you would feel when they are reality and frame your affirmations as a statement that its already happened.

Starting affirmations with ‘I am’ is very powerful as you are declaring it is so, with no room for maybe’s.

Write down every positive affirmation you can come up with, or a quick scroll through Facebook or Instagram for inspiration or google positive quotes/affirmations and start filling your book. When you need a lift or are having a tough day with a flurry of negative thoughts, read through your affirmations and feel your focus change and energy lift.

WEIGHT LOSS DIARY

The path to losing weight it one of those journey’s that can be long and arduous. Everywhere you turn their is another chocolate bar or vanilla slice waiting to be consumed. I have never been thin a day in my life and there have been a few times I have felt positively huge, so I totally get how hard it can be. So much emphasis is placed on what you CAN’T have when you want to shift some weight, but you can use a journal to focus on the things you can have and do to make it a more positive experience.

Obviously tracking your weight loss is a good place to start, but sometimes focusing on reduced measurements can be more rewarding. Use gold stars or cute stickers when you see the numbers go down for added incentive.

Make lots of lists such as exercise you actually enjoy, healthy meals that are easy to make, snacks that are good for you, clothes you would like to buy when you reach your next target and rewards such as a beauty treatment.

Adding photo’s of your success is a great motivator. You could also add pictures from magazines of how you would like to look and the clothes you would like in your wardrobe works a treat too.

Tracking everything you eat for a week or more can be confronting, but an honest list can be very powerful in helping you not eat that family size block of chocolate out of sheer terror of writing that shizz down!

BURN BOOK

This might not be the perfect choice for your prettiest notebook as some of things you use it for will be going up in smoke…literally!

Writing down your problems can be therapeutic in itself. Dumping your anger down on a page can help to release built up stress and rage.

When you have finished writing down everything that needs to go, tear the pages out and take them outside. You will also need some matches and a bowl or bucket. Set the pages alight and ask for all to released to the universe to deal with. Let it burn while you take a big deep breath or two and then place it in the bowl until it is only ashes.

If you are struggling for answers to a problem, take the time to write out what is concerning you, and then place the pen in your non-dominant hand and start writing whatever comes up. Don’t judge or analyse but let the words flow. By letting your other hand do the writing you are turning off the logical process of the brain and allowing the creative area to flow and this could be a way for you to tap into solutions that your logical thinking may not have thought of.

COMMONPLACE BOOK

This form of note keeping has been around for centuries and was developed as way of keeping handy information in one place long before the invention of computes, smart phones and tablets.

Rather than relying on memory, a common place book is an ideal way to keep track of things so that all the information remains in one place. Use it record scraps of information that you know you will want to remember them in the future.

Fill it full of quotes, ideas, cooking hints, reading suggestions, poems, movies to watch, quotes from articles or books, websites you want to check out, measurements and any other bits of information you don’t want to forget.

You can add photo’s, magazine clippings, paint chips or any other visual reminder.

This handy tool has eliminated all those little scraps of paper that I would continually jot things down on and then could never find them when I actually needed them. I leave mine on my desk but have a mini notepad in my handbag incase I need to jot something down whilst I am out and then I just add it in when I get home.

My middle aged brain is enjoying this one stop information shop!

GRATITUDE JOURNAL

We all have good days and bad days, but one of the worst things you can do for your emotional and physical well being is to go to bed angry.

Gratitude is a very powerful emotion that can open the doors to wonderful things. Giving thanks even when things are tough can really help to calm fear and frustration.

No matter how tough your day has been, going to sleep with your last thoughts being one of thanks and love will help you get a better nights sleep and will fill you with the energy of positive attraction.

Before you turn off the light, find one thing that you are grateful for that day. Even if it is just that this day is over and you have a bed to sleep in will be a good start. Write it down in a notebook that you keep beside your bed.

If you have had an awesome day, then write down more things. Flip through the book at the end of each month and bask in the feeling of all the great things that did happen. It is a surefire way to feeling good and inviting more of that into your life.

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Do you love pen and paper, or have you gone the techno way to keep things sorted?

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