{Found + Shared} Link Love

Link love, of the online kind, is something I chase. When I find a brilliant website, blog, online store or app I feel like I’ve been let in on a new secret. Over the years I’ve stored a gazillon links in bookmarks on my phone, home PC, work PC, tablet and laptop. Partly because I enjoy trolling back through my finds but, more realistically, because I haven’t figured out the whole sync-your-settings-across-multiple-devices thingy.

Given I’m a multi-enthused creature I jump on and through many trends as they serve me. Hence these links jump from home-making to health-seeking, worklife to spiritlife and fitness to fashion – a jumbled mix that’s very much me.

So as it’s winter and you might be spending a little more time inside (and online) I’m here to share the best the online spaces I’ve come to know, love and link to.

 

– P.S. Over the next 8 weeks I’m taking part in the Bright-Eyed + Blog-Hearted eCourse.

I started tofindandshare to lift the load from other perfection-pressured women, to shake that gorilla riding on their back, to break perfection’s spell and its rules. To. Let. It. Go.

And since launching this space I’ve felt pulled towards ramping up it’s offerings, getting more purposeful in it’s message and steering it along a mapped-out, and intention-driven, course.

I’m ALL in for this one.

So I’m keeping it short + sweetend with {Found + Shared}  posts like this one while I’m busy delving into the course work. 

I’d be so grateful for your patience and can’t wait to share with you the new-and-enlightened tofindandshare

  xxx – 

Where it all started and where I like to come back to…

Inspacesbetween

The first blog I ever read. Ever. inspacesbetween.com is Rachel MacDonald’s heartfelt, service-driven and gratitude-soaked online home. Rach and I worked at the same organisation back in 2010 and I had no idea that this PR-chic-from-level-2 had such divinity within her. I’ve watched her blossom from welcome-to-my-cool-hobby to welcome-to-the-home-of-my-six-figure-business. She’s the real deal. If you’re at all into life inspiration, blogging or just like to pick-up positive vibes in online places then head on over. Warning: you’re eyes may get food-drunk – it’s a visual feast!

 

When I want some feel good food…

SarahWilson2

and

IQS

 

sarahwilson.com.au and iqs.com are really great references if you’re trying to live a life less sweet. It’s great for dessert and morning tea recipe inspiration if you’re wanting to find ways of eating goodness while still enjoying the feeling of a treat.

I don’t subscribe to the whole world domination of the eradicate-sugar movement but I do think there’s benefits in knowing how much you’re putting in your body and what it actually does to your body. I’ve also bought (and cooked the hell out of) Sarah’s latest book I Quit Sugar For Life. I haven’t but I certainly learnt a lot!

 

When I’m stumped for what to where…

Pinterest

Ok here’s my tip: search for a piece you already have (a leather jacket, red handbag, burnt orange skirt) and watch all your new ways of how to wear it pop up. Sometimes (in the incredibly privileged western life we live) I forget about the clothing, jewelry, shoes and hats I have. So this is also a great way to weigh-up whether to throw something out. Before you do see how others are wearing it. You might fall in love with it all over again.

 

When I want personalised stationery…

Etsy

I was addicted when I found Etsy. Probably at the best/worst possible time – planning my wedding. It’s how I found the lovely Jess Bates from Jack & Ella Paper Press. Jess WILL go the extra mile! This comes from a picky bride who stalked her by email for months (yes, not my proudest moment). You can check out her store here.

 

When it’s raining outside and I need to move…

Yoga

I love this site because you can search a quick class by difficulty and time. Sometime I feel like busting out a few hard warrior poses, other times I’d like a long hour of sun salutations and stretching. Here, the choice is yours. My tip: Kim Wilson’s classes are perfecto.

 

When I’m into a TV show or feel like zoning out…

Offspring

It’s rare that I find people who are not into Offspring. And if you’re as shocked as I am to hear these people exist then, like me, tenplay.com.au is probably your new best friend. If you’ve missed an episode jump online and stream it or if you feel like re-watching a few other classics (Neighbours, Glee, a-hem Being Lara Bingle) then they’re there too. Perfect for a rainy zone-out-Sunday.

 

and lucky last: when I need some new bedside friends…

Book depository

Free delivery. Timely service. A million and one books. The Book Depository is my one-stop-shop for all things written.

Happy clicking!

 

Images: lsueszabo,

Seven for yourSelf on Sunday

 – We all have them. Bad weeks. And in the name of practicing what I’ve been preaching I said ‘no’ to a few things last Friday – blogging being one of them. So Lovely, this week it’s all sent from a well-rested and heartfelt place. And if you’re feelin’ me on the bad week then this post is ESPECIALLY for you (and the up-coming meltdown you may be fighting off!). – 

I read a lot about self-love, mindfulness and taking care of yourself. There’s a lot of good, practical advice out there. But there’s also a lot of stuff that makes me cringe. You know, the build-a-shrine-for- yourself type stuff. Or the say-you-love-yourself-in-the-mirror-three-times-a-day kinda practices. While I completely believe this kind of thing works for those kind of people it’s just not me.

What is me and what I can manage on a weekly basis is a little Sunday afternoon/night ritual – in the name of self-love. It makes me feel good and sets me up for a week that’s Teflon to any signs of feeling overwhelmed.

I think there’s a reason why Sunday has always been declared as a ‘day of rest’. We’re like any other processed-orientated being. Unless we use our down time to re-fuel, re-boot or re-whatever-the-hell-you-want-to we just can’t sustain our focus, speed or efficiency that our working week has come to indulge in. I think sometimes Sundays get taken over by family-obligated events, grocery shopping, sports, bad TV, household chores that can’t wait and even I’ll-get-that-done-before-Monday work tasks.

Try to be conscious in your down time. There’s no point in rushing through a list of ‘relaxing’ things thinking at the end you’ll be delivered with an unplugged and chilled-out feeling. The zen is actually in the time it takes you to do these things. The time you wouldn’t or couldn’t allow yourself before. Admittedly you’ll get to enjoy the smooth and soft feeling some of these things leave you with but mindfulness about why you’re doing them is key.

So here they are…

1. A good-ol-fashioned Sunday casserole

Dice it all up and chuck it all in. No browning of the meat or caramelising of the onions (I personally can’t tell the difference on a 4 or 8 hour cook) and all with a can of tomatoes and some fresh herbs. Having this simmering away in the background means you’ll not only avoid the 5pm rush hour (and the onset of Sunday afternoon Mondayitis ) but you’ll also have one less meal to cook during the week. Try this super-simple recipe from The Whole Daily for Slow-Cooked Sweet Balsamic Lamb Shanks. Last Sunday I threw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and walked away – it was da-bomb.

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2. Leave-in conditioner (because it can ‘…happen overnight’ and it does ‘happen’)

The next best feeling to that just-had-my-hair-cut glow. Whether you’re a morning, night or both kinda shower person, on Sunday, spray or dollop some leave-in conditioner into your strands. It adds a whole 2 minutes extra to your shower routine but leaves you with glossy locks that’ll last all week (if you do this regularly). Your hair will feel smoother, softer and you’ll look in the mirror and curse at it less – promise! My favourite is De Lorenzo’s Instant Reconstructurant. It’s a perfect spray-n-go and a little goes a very long way.

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3.Change the bed sheets.

Nuff said. I’ll admit I don’t always get to it every single Sunday (is that gross?) but if the weather’s been kind for washing and I get a smooth run in the afternoon it’s the biggest pay-off: smooth, crisp and fresh sheets to dive into Sunday night.

4.Nail polish  – take it alllll off.

I know, you were thinking a top-up coat weren’t you? Well if you can make time – go for it! But personally by Sunday any nail polish I’ve skimped on quickly during the week is pretty cracked and peeling. It’s a sore sight and a constant reminder that ‘I need to do my nails’… so I take it off. A clean slate, an a-la-natural feeling and the added benefit of giving my nail beds some time to breathe and avoid them drying out.

5.Re-pack your hand bag.  

Actually, this is more of a sort-out-all-the-crap-you’re-carrying-around-with-you than a pack-situation. I gather so much stuff during the week: receipts, baby toys, fruit-I-mean-to-snack-on, more receipts, pens and there’s usually a half-drunk bottle of water swishing around in there too. And for anyone who’s tried to call me and always gets message bank…I missed you because I was elbow deep looking for my phone! Take it all out, put the necessary back in. It’s a sure way to get lighter and less chaotic when you’re out-n-about.

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6.Read or Write

This one is about mental renewal (I know it’s a random book collection we house at our place!). Mindfulness. Creativity. All the good stuff we often don’t let ourselves indulge in during the working hours. I don’t think you have to get too woo-woo here on the mindfulness stuff but just find something that completely absorbs you. This is what actually gives your mind a break from the guzillion thoughts you usually have running through your head. It’s one book with one story for one moment.

There’s also a bunch of proven benefits to reading too.

Read what makes you feel good – but check-in on yourself with this. Be honest. Don’t pick up a trash-mag because it’s a mind-numbing, easy, exercise that you know will just end up making you feel crap because you’re obsessing over the pictures and all the lumps and bumps you can’t see. You’re doing damage here. This is a small part of a Sunday you’ve chosen for yourself remember? So read something that honestly serves you, gets you feeling inspired, excited, hopeful or just relaxed.

Or if reading isn’t your bag then try writing it out – journal your thoughts, write an email to an interstate girlfriend or a cheeky lunch-box note for your partner. Pen-to-paper is gold.

Trust me, when you find the thing to read or write you’ll want to draw on this in he not-so-inspired moments of the week.

7. Skip X-Factor…get an early night.

Yeah I know – it’s not rocket science – but how many actual early Sunday nights do you get? Heading to bed at 8.00pm to only settle in front of the tele doesn’t count. Sleep is one of the best ways to nourish our bodies and if you’re going to kick-ass all week then you need to load-up. Sleep allows our bodies to restore and detoxify given they don’t have to worry about keeping up to our daily functions.

And if that’s not enough reason to get you into bed then think of all the cellular renewal that you’re not getting – Hun, it’s a free wrinkle cream!

So this Sunday be a little gentler, kinder and self-loving and set yourself up for a great week.

 

Images: via Pinterest,  Butter with a side of bread.com, Stephanie Hudson, Stephanie Hudson,iStockStylecaster.com, Stephanie Hudson, Gianmacro Giudici

{Found + Shared} My ‘Feel Good’ Finds

It’s rare that I let myself stop to do this. My personality doesn’t lend me to go back over old ground. My mind is usually so focused on getting the next thing done and ticked off the list that in my busy haze it seems like reminiscing is wasted time. Of course this is the crazy kicking in. In fact, sometimes, slowing down, being present and taking a look at where you are now and recognising where you’ve come from is all the therapy you might need.

I remember when I first had the idea of starting this blog… I wanted to be of service. I wanted to add value to a girl’s screen time by finding and sharing the things I loved, coveted, made and struggled with (the good and the I-can’t-believe-she-actually-admitted-that bad). I wanted to relate to that girl’s good vibes: inspiration, encouragement, connection and the kind of excitement you get when you find the last pair of Tony Bianco shoes, in your size, at half price AND with a red ‘take 50% of the marked price’ sticker on the bottom. Yep, that’s fate in my book.

I trekked through the few short years it took me for me to find the courage to start this little online piece. I trekked and I stumbled. On stuff. Stuff I thought worthy of sharing. Pretty things, useful things, great-buys, beautifully written and inspiring articles, quirky books or just a few tried and tested practices that my girlfriends noted were ‘a really good idea’. But away they went, in a file far-far away or banished as another bookmark in the ‘when I start my blog’ folder.

Today I decided it was time to share some of my collection of ‘feel good’ finds. And by this I mean sharing the feeling I found when I first read, heard, watched, touched or started to practice these little gems. To me they represent pit stops on my journey, my learnings, ergo a wee bit of wisdom (can I say that at 28?). Maybe they’ll help you to? So here’s five to start…

1. Journaling: Because it works.

I was lucky enough to be given a beautiful journal by a gorgeous, and very wise, friend. In it was a heart-felt message of all the lovely things we never say or acknowledge about ourselves. I start here every time I open it and before I pour the day’s thoughts onto the page. It sort of grounds me.

I can not begin to explain the magic that can happen in these little A5 bound trees. Something happens when you physically write down thoughts. It’s like a compass. Suddenly the path you were taking inside your head looks god-dam-awful once it’s on paper. Avoid making yourself write in it every day (unless you need to, of course). We’re human, we rebel against rules. Treat it like the treasure chest it will become and write (and unload) your most heaviest of bundles. I promise (and to coin a term from a girlfriend) the world on that day will feel less ‘wah, wah, sad’.

2. Indulge in curiosity and new age philosophy

Now not to get too woo-woo on you here, stay with me. I just can’t help but seek out a little bit of divine direction. While I don’t claim self-help books solve problems I do think it can be a case of horses-for-courses. If you read your horoscope you’re teetering on the same lines as Dan Millman’s book  The Life You Were Born To Live. A Guide To Finding Your Life PurposeIt’s based on determining your birth number (my birthday is 08/02/1986 so my birth number is 0+8+0+2+1+9+8+6=34 and 3+4=7, 34/7) which essentially highlights your life path (or at least the issues and challenges you’ll face). Gotta say this book was spot on for me. And like I’ve said about personality testing, this just gave me a little peace that I’m wired in a particular way. This time it’s my stars that are placed in exactly the way they’re meant to be. If you’re curious, lend it (yes, from one of those things called a li-ber-ary). If you want to work on it, buy it.

3. Accept the fear. Then lean into it.

My. God. This was the most amazing discovery for me. An entire blog of women putting it out there for all to see. What they would really do if they weren’t afraid.  I first came across this in the December 2013 issue of Marie Claire magazine and was moved by the article only to be floored by the raw honesty of the blog posts. It all started from a speech given by Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg,  who asked graduates of Barnard College: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? A message that has since rung hard in the ears of women around the globe.

Real women, real fear. I felt comfort, connection and a little less weird after delving into the Lean In project. Fear was at the absolute crux of why I procrastinated for years before starting tofindandshare. Fear that it wouldn’t be right, that others would judge and ultimately that I would fail. If you’re planning a new somethin-somethin or holding on to old stuff because you fear the new, screw it. SCREW. IT. And then visit the blog.

4. Focus on wellness, not abs.

And if you can get pass that, I think you’re half-way there. This is where I try to stay. Admittedly I fall off the wagon and start eating less and exercising more for the wrong reasons. The Wellness Guys help me stay get back on track beautifully. It is my favourite, favourite way to spend a morning getting in a quick half hour brisk walk while listening to (and learning from) these weekly podcasts. No. 56 ‘The myth of perfection’ and no. 98 ‘From Stress to Strength’ are a couple of beauties.

5. Plan. Just a little

I’m about to pick-up (for the second time) Shannah Kennedy’s Simplify, Structure, Succeed. The practical tool kit for modern life. One might say that if I have to pick this up again, clearly it didn’t work. Here’s the thing, like I said before, horses-for-courses and this time around the track I’m clearer and more motivated than ever to take another look. Yes, the pretty pictures do keep drawing me back and Shannah’s effortlessly simply and structured way of explaining things suits my linear personality. But the main reason I want more is because last time Shannah helped me clarify my values. I’d never been able to do this before. Shannah calls it The Values Game and mine are Happiness, Achievement and Health. This is what drives me. Turns out they can drive me a little crazy, but never the less, these are my drivers.

Now to plan where they’ll take me…

 

 

Hey hun, I hope you liked this week’s post? I’ve taken a little va-ca from deep ponders this week and would love to know if you found this useful. Thanks for taking your time-out here xxx

 

Images: Amelia Sieber, Stephanie Hudson, Stephanie Hudson, Karina Eibatova, Stephanie Hudson, Sweetwildwellness.comshannahkennedy.com