Birthday Wishlist

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So I have some serious news … I’m turning 18 in just over a week! In one weeks time, I will legally be an adult citizen of Australia. Cocktails and tattoos here I come! Seriously though, I am considering getting a tattoo on my back saying ‘healthy mind, body, spirit’. What do you think? Too cliché? And I was thinking maybe the ‘mind body spirit’ part in all different “fonts”? Ahh anyway, I still have a while to figure it all out.

Until then, here are my top five birthday wishlist must-haves for 2014 –

1. Versace – Pour Femme Eau De Parfum

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I’ll admit, this is going to be a refill as I have already used every last drop of my bottle. But, this just feels like … me. You know when you find a perfume that’s just completely perfect for you in every way? Well, for me, this is that scent. It just smells magnificent and works so well with my skin. Trust me, it’s pure bliss!

2. ‘Vegan Yum Yum’ by Lauren Ulm

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Okay, so a bit of a crazy title, but I’ve heard great things about this book and it looks like it’s got some fantastic recipe ideas. And you can never have too many vegan recipe ideas! Eating clean can be pretty tough in a nation obsessed with meat pies, paddlepop ice-creams and huge slabs of steak as the center-piece at every family barbecue…

3. Nike – LunarEclipse 4: Women’s

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So I don’t really know anything about trainers, but these look pretty comfortable to me. My feet are crying out for some good new shoes for the gym, and the fact that they look great can’t hurt right?

4. Dermalogica – Skin Resurfacing Cleanser

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I am a massive fan of Dermalogica, and this beautiful cleanser has been on my list of must-haves for a while. My skin is starting to complain a little over all the Easter chocolate, and I think it’s time for me to give it some love, don’t you?

5. Cue – Jacquard Zip Front Dress

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I am absolutely in love with Cue. With almost all of their clothing made in Australia, and working closely with TCFUA to maintain ethical standards, I always feel good about purchasing their goods. And all of the fabrics and cuts are so beautiful, even if they don’t always suit my fuller figure. But I can always find something beautiful to drool over. This leopard lace dress with a flattering fitted bodice, full skirt and tulle lining is rather pricey at $349, but a girl can dream can’t she?

So there you have a few of my birthday picks for 2014 (trust me, that’s not all, I have a list the size of a dictionary…). I actually can’t believe this year has gone so fast. It seems only a few months ago I was organizing my fifties-film inspired birthday picnic with pink macaroons and faux cocktails. Now I’m booking restaurants and sourcing out some actual cocktails for a great night with the girls. Oh my, how time flies!

Have a lovely week, beautiful!

A xx

De-Stress and Be Mindful

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So I finally bought a yoga mat and exercise ball! They’ve been on my ‘to buy’ list for so long now and I finally snatched them up for a huge bargain the other day. Yoga and pilates here I come! I have a couple of pilates DVD’s that I’m looking at buying to get me started but if anyone has any suggestions I would be really grateful. There’s actually pilates AND yoga classes held at my gym and, after two years of going there, I still haven’t managed to attend a single class. Ah hem, well anyway, now I can do it from the comfort of my own home! All I need now is some motivation, some great DVDs and some spare time in the midst of my mid-semester uni exams. Bring it on, I say!

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Recently I’ve been practicing some ‘mindfulness meditation’ every morning for about five minutes. I have this great app on my iPhone called ‘The Smiling Mind’ app and it’s soooo relaxing! There are a whole heap of different routines and each one just helps you to pay attention to your body and really understand your place in the world … if that makes any sense! I’ve heard of mindfulness before and there are so many good reports of how it helps people in different areas of their life. In this busy, modern world we live in, sometimes we just don’t even think about the simplest things and all the details get lost in the gigantic puzzle that is everyday life. There’s also a book I want to read on mindfulness called “Mindful Learning” by Dr Craig Hassed and Dr Richard Chambers, which is basically about mindfulness in relation to education. I could do with this one at the moment to be honest, exams are stressing me out!

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Would love to hear of any books you recommend on mindfulness and, as I said before, any pilates/yoga DVDs you would recommend.

Love as always,

A x

The Time of New Beginnings

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I’ve never been much of a one for doing New Years ‘resolutions’. I have so far steered clear of this tradition, preferring to set myself goals now, rather than waiting until the 1st January to start my diet and exercise plan. But I thought it high time to give it a try. Who knows, perhaps it will work for me? I have to say that so far, so bad. The holiday season is still upon us, and holiday treats are at large in our household. Christmas chocolates, creamy cheeses, biscuits and all sorts of other naughty things are filling the cupboard shelves. Each time I reach into the fridge to grab a mango or a nectarine, some festive foe will gaze hopefully at me. It takes an obscene amount of willpower to turn down such a pretty face. And mine is slowly fading.

It probably wasn’t such a great idea to give myself such free reign in December, allowing myself to pretty much do whatever I wanted. Because in the New Year I would begin my brutal regime. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you some of my once-hopeful resolutions. Please tell me I’m not the only one. I would love to hear some of yours!

1. Of course, I had to put in the cliched ‘eat clean’ resolution. I vowed to eat only fresh, healthy and colourful foods (especially focusing on fruit and vegetables in season).

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2. Exercise daily. Hah, what a joke! Daily exercise is almost laughable in this heat. Do you know how hot it is here today? 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degree Fahrenheit) at the moment. And very high humidity to top it off. Urghhh! I’m not a fan of the heat, but I don’t think anyone would be game to go out and exercise in that! 

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3. Get at least 9 hours sleep every night. Now, this one has been a little easier since I’ve been so exhausted recently. I think it might be the heat. But I definitely don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. I probably average around 7 hours currently. And I’m constantly tired. Bring on the early nights, I say!

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4. Read more, watch less. I have to say, I’m not a great reader. Well, okay maybe I am compared to some people but I really don’t take the time to read a lot. It usually takes me months to finish a book, simply because I don’t really read it. The number of books I have picked up and not finished reading is shameful. I have this huge list of books I have to read, so hopefully I can un-stick my eyes from the screen and glue them back onto the pages of a book!

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5. Be more positive. I have actually already started this one, and so far it has worked wonders. The number of things I complain about is really disgraceful. Now, whenever I feel myself starting to complain about something, I think about all the people in the world who have nothing. When I moan about my job, I think about those who don’t have one (or who earn a measly $1 a day for hard labour). When I complain about my family I think about all those people who have no family. And so on, you get the gist. And although it doesn’t always work, for the times it does it makes a huge difference.

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These are the main ones, and the ones I will be focusing the most on. Hopefully I can slowly build my inner strength and make these resolutions a natural part of my life. Perhaps that seems a little too optimistic, but I’m trying to stick to the last point here. See, I’m doing it!

A x

Imperfection is beauty

Today I made a big step. I wore a bikini in front of my school friends. Okay so most of you probably wouldn’t consider that any kind of an achievement, but for me it was a symbol of acceptance. I have never liked my body. There was always something I didn’t like – my nose was too big, my hips were too narrow, my stomach was too large, my eyes were too small, and so on. You get the picture. I used to think this abnormal behaviour. Now I realise that it is behaviour common to every single other person in the western world today. In fact, it’s considered abnormal to be 100% satisfied with your body. Even vain. Perhaps it is vain to love the body you were given, but it is not vanity to accept the imperfections.

Relationships often thrive on imperfections. The freckle on his cheek marks him as an individual. The birthmark on her right hip is unique to her. Everybody has a little imperfection of their own. But that’s what makes them them. If everybody had the ‘perfect’ body, no one would have something unique to them. And no one would be truly beautiful if everyone was. As someone once said “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. In that case, everyone is beautiful. Because everyone is beautiful to at least one other person on the planet. And generally, beauty flows from the imperfections of life. Perfection is repetitive. Perfection is boring. Perfection does not even exist in this world. But the imperfections add spice to life. They’re what makes something truly beautiful.

And so today I decided to release my fears and display my imperfections to the world. And what I discovered was truly amazing. All of my friends had imperfections too. Here I had been thinking they all had the perfect bodies hiding under their clothes, but looking at them I could imagine all of the features they disliked about their bodies. But I didn’t care. Not one bit. It made me feel safe. Noticing the beautiful imperfections in others is an exercise I would suggest for anyone suffering with low self-esteem. And I don’t mean negative judgement. I just mean general observance of the details. Sometimes we focus so much on the big picture in others and on the details in ourselves that it does us some good to swap the two around. And again, not in a negative way. Just in a more realistic one.

A x