My husband and I were having a chat the other day about stocking stuffers and Christmas. He was a bit stumped for ideas because he never grew up with stockings as a Christmas tradition.
In America, stockings are A THING. Sometimes they even house the best presents. My family, Mom in particular, always finds the best, most thoughtful stocking stuffers.
I've decided to help you guys out and share a few of my favourite, eco-friendly stocking stuffers, for you, or to gift our loved ones.
HOT TIP: There are lots of things on this list that would work for your mates, work colleagues, or anyone else you might be needing a gift for.
3. Ever Eco Bamboo Cutlery
A great idea for the guy or gal who is always on the go, loves camping, or wants to be more thoughtful about how they eat their take away lunches at work.
4. Grant's Bamboo Toothbrush
I love their ergonomic design and they last so long! They are under $5, made of environmentally sustainable bamboo and are 100% biodegradable. So, when you are done with it, just bury it in your backyard, or use it as a labeled stick in your veggie patch after removing the bristles (like this).
The have kid's options, adult soft and adult medium bristles as well.
5. Ever Eco's stainless steel straws
I love these stainless steel straws for everything from drinking water to devouring smoothies on the go. They are super easy to clean and are reusable, keeping single use plastic straws out of landfill and sea creature's precious bodies!
There are tons of options to check out:
Well, that's it! What are you hoping to have in your stocking?
Girl Power is on the rise more than ever.
Events are popping up all over the world connecting women, face to face, offering an excellent opportunity to develop relationships, build brands or simply connect with other power players. Some are geared towards business and networking, while others are more focused on education, mothering and parenting.
Michelle Battersby, of Bumble Australia, forecasted that a shift is upon us in the near future that will see people spending more time away from their phones. Wouldn't that be lovely to bring back the interpersonal human connection? These events are the perfect way to do just that.
Here are few #bossbabe meet ups that are worth checking out in 2019!
1. Minding Her Business has been around for 18 months and have hosted multiple, sell-out events around Australia. Minding Her Business is the brain child of Katie Stevens, a savvy business woman, model, entrepreneur AND proud dog mom who calls Brisbane home. I've blogged about MHB before, and can't recommend these events highly enough if you're looking to make friends in a new city, grow your business, or seek out some pearls of wisdom from their empowerment panel. Their motto is: Connect, Collaborate, Create. This tagline is clear and concise; just how I like it!
Minding Her Business has another branch of networking called Minding Their Business, and these events are actually inclusive of men. Their final event of 2018 was November 18th in Brisbane and a huge success. Be sure to follow them so you can keep up to date with all the wonderful things coming your way in 2019. They have already gone interstate before.... where might MHB be off to next I wonder?!
2. Business Chicks have just wrapped up their 9 to Thrive tour across Australia, and I was lucky enough to win tickets to their two day Sydney event! I'm so glad that I went when I'd just moved to Sydney because I met some pretty incredible women and walked away feeling more knowledgable and empowered. I was blown away, and I blogged allllll about my epic experience at 9 to Thrive here.
Business Chicks have all kinds of events on offer, such as brunches, dinners, and networking meet ups. Do yourself a favour and attend an event in 2019!
HOT TIP: Have you read Winging It by Emma Isaacs yet? Emma is the founder and global CEO of Business Chicks. You'll want to do yourself a favour and pick this book up ASAP.
3. Mum Society: now for a little change of pace. This Sydney based community is known for hosting absolutely wonderful events. They also bring women together with inspiring speakers and themes for each event, but with more of a focus on all aspects #mumlife. You can still connect, network and grow your brand/business, but in a more kid friendly environment. You are given an option of purchasing a childcare option when checking out online and booking your ticket... how good is that?!
I haven't had the pleasure of attending one of their events yet, and missed their final event of 2018, Bump...Baby...Blue, due to the apocalyptic weather conditions in Sydney that day that left Sydney half flooded. I'm looking forward to attending and supporting Kylie and her fellow boss babes in 2019.
1. Business Chicks are also hustling in the USA, so check them out, stat.
2. MTHR Collective : (pronounced Mother) A friend of mine recently spoke at a MTHR Collective retreat. I had a mini stalk session and it's quite possibly the most incredible retreat schedule I've ever seen.
So, yaaaaa..... bomb schedule, am I right? If I were still living in the US, I would have been at this event in a heartbeat! My friend said that she would 100% recommend going and plans on attending every year she feasibly can.
Their instagram is all kinds of wonderful too, so check them out Mamas.
Well that's it! I hope that some of these events are near you, and I'd love to know about your experience if you have attended one of the above mentioned meet ups in the comments below.
So many acronyms, so little time.
Whether you're a mumprenuer, stay at home mum or a working SAHM, here are a few tips I felt are worth sharing to help boost your productivity while working at home.
1. No Wifi
If you work on your laptop, and are completing a project that doesn't need the wifi, turn it off. I spend a lot of time on my blogger platform or writing/planning/brainstorming in my Notes. It helps to have the wifi off because I'm freed from distracting email PINGS which pop up in the right hand corner demanding my attention and messing with my groove. Removing the temptation to check the news, Facebook or other distraction will help you to keep focused on the task at hand.
If nap time is when you get caught up on finances, or pay the bills, open only the browsers you need, and upon completion, close each tab until you've finished.
2. Ditch the phone
When it's time to get to business, place your phone on the charge and leave it in another room. If that really isn't an option, you can have it close by and on do not disturb mode (if a person calls twice, back to back, it will ring the second time).
3. Nap time is sacred
If you're like me, my only time to get work done, admin, blogging, replying to emails is while my daughter naps. I know it's a personal decision, but I don't like being on my phone in front of her, and try to avoid using it in her presence as much as possible. What this means is that I only have between 1 - 2.5 hours a day to be a complete whirlwind mom boss. There are some days when I'm so efficient, smashing goals left, right and center. Conversely, there are other days when I need her nap time to catch up on housework, take a little mental health afternoon in the peace and quiet, or read a book. If that's the case, then I'll work in the evening to meet a deadline, but I try to avoid working at night because that is when my husband and I have our quality time together.
3a. Eat before your work time
I try to eat or have a snack before I put my daughter down. Why? Because I'm saving precious time. If I put her down and then start prepping and cooking my lunch, I've lost 15-25 minutes by the time it's prepared, mindfully eaten and cleaned up.
3b. Meal prep
Therefore, meal prep when and where you can. I'm all about meal prep, but NOT the kind where you eat the same food in a plastic Tupperware for the entire week. Make a big batch of quinoa, have washed salad read to go, make a huge bowl of cous cous, bake a huge tray of roasted veggies, make some delicious energy balls. Have it all ready to go, so it literally takes minutes to assemble, top it off with a bit of gut healthy kraut and, voila! You can read all about my meal prep tips here.
4. Set a timer
If you need to go on social media for work, set a timer and stick to it. Social media is like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. One minute you're DM'ing a social media influencer, and the next thing you know you're looking at a new line of bathing suits for some brand you've never even heard of!
5. Silence is GOLDEN
There is a joke about silence being golden, unless you have toddlers, and then it's suspicious! Silence is healing, silence is grounding, silence is priceless. Having the television off, and music off, are great ways to hone your attention to one task. Sometimes I'll have a handcrafted Spotify playlist on in the background, but even then, it's playing on low and not too distracting. Yoga Girl's Playlist Of The Month is an excellent public music playlist, made by Rachel Brathen. I love her lists for practicing yoga or simply relaxing at home.
So, tell me, what tips and tricks do you implement for healthy time management Mama?
Tell me in the comments below!
Laura, or LTT as she is affectionally called in the yoga community, embodies beauty and grace. As a dancer and yogi aficionado, her knowledge about the human body, (in particular the spine), is undeniable. I found LTT on social media, discovered that we had a lot in common and struck up a conversation. As a yoga teacher myself, I wanted to learn more about this red-haired beauty who was always sharing uplifting content, inspiring yoga pictures and educational videos. Her authenticity was undeniable, which is a rarity these days.
Welcome LTT! So happy to have you here today. Let's dive in, shall we?
My life philosophy in one sentence is:
“You already know the answer.”
You are a school teacher, as well as a yoga teacher. Which is more challenging and why?
They are challenging and rewarding professions in their own ways. I love the teaching aspects of both – I feel like my biggest calling in life is to teach and support learning. I would say that teaching at school is more challenging because there’s way more administration, you have multiple audiences that you engage with in slightly different ways (children, parents, colleagues, management) and you have to manage behaviour while delivering curriculum and personal growth content.
If you could give three pieces of advice to someone who is new to yoga, what would they be?
I would give advice from my teacher, Simon Borg-Olivier:
1. Tense less
2. Stretch less
3. Think less
Dancing makes me feel ________________ .
.... expressive and embodied.
How important is yoga philosophy in leading your everyday life as a human and a teacher of yoga?
There are so many elements of yoga philosophy that are present in my life every day and it’s a
framework that is effective in conveying many universal messages. Yoga really reawakened my
spiritual life, after it being sort of ‘dormant’ between the ages of 13 and 23. The key message of approaching everything and everyone from a place of love is something that I try to live out every day – the heart tattoos on my wrists are reminders of this goal. Also, I’m always thinking about the balance of effort and ease – I tend to lean toward the ‘ease’ side of life, so the reminder that it’s ok (necessary!) to have elements of life that require work, effort and consistency is helpful for me.
How do you like to prepare to teach / sequence your classes?
I always have a lesson plan and I pretty much follow the same framework/outline in every class. I might start with a particular muscle group, movement or pose as the base or inspiration for the class and then I work out from there. I’ll break the movement/pose into its component parts and see how we can approach those parts in different ways and orientations. I try to sequence movements/poses in a way that sets the body up for success and ease as we move through the practice. The over-arching goals of all my classes are pelvic stability and spinal mobility because I believe those are the things that support people most in their everyday life – I hope that my teaching helps people move and feel better in everything they do, not just in their yoga classes.
What's the most challenging aspect of being a yoga teacher?
For me, the most challenging aspect is always feeling like I need to know more and do more training. I also wish I had a better memory for my class plans so I didn’t have to take my notebook or iPad in with me!
What is your favourite yoga pose and why does it speak to you?
I love teaching and practicing restorative yoga, so my favourite is a restorative pose that I call
“Fish/Butterfly” – which essentially is Supta Baddha Konasana with a bolster under your spine and another bolster under your knees. I love this pose because it’s a fully supported opening – it’s a very vulnerable position, so I think that being able to be relaxed in that position indicates that you feel held and safe in your space. My favourite non-restorative pose is Ardha Chandrasana – again, it’s very open and expansive. I love to practice it with my bottom hand off the ground to keep it strong and active!
Social media, friend or foe?
It’s definitely a combination for me and there are so many ways I could answer this question – I’ll try to hit all my points but keep it short! I love social media for the connections and friendships it has facilitated for me and allowed me to maintain, particularly after moving away from Melbourne – it’s SO wonderful to be able to get in touch with almost anyone, share and be inspired. On the other hand, I am careful with who I follow – individuals and brands – because I’m very aware that Instagram is a huge marketing platform now and I don’t want to fall into the trap of being sold to or marketed to without realising it, especially when I’m on it so much! I’m also very conscious of whose ‘influence’ I allow into my life, and if their values and choices align with mine.
You recently taught a Mandala Workshop Master Class. How did you personally find mandala art and
what are the benefits of this practice in your opinion?
The workshops were so much fun! I loved sharing this practice. My sister and I found mandala art about 5 or 6 years ago through one Melbourne artist on Instagram, and I’ve been drawing them with her method ever since. I love the way that they grow out from the centre and you never know what it’s going to look like at the end or where your ideas will take you. The fact that every single one is different also appeals to me. I also find the actual practice of drawing very meditative and it’s one of the few activities where I can really get ‘in the zone’ or find my ‘flow state’.
What are your favourite yoga studios in the following cities:
Melbourne – Ihana Yoga, where I teach! (St Kilda), Here Yoga (Malvern), Happy Melon (Armadale), Body Flow (Windsor), Warrior One (Brighton), One Hot Yoga (South Yarra), Power Living (Fitzroy)
Gold Coast – Essence of Living (Mermaid Beach), Soul Centre (Southport), Ritual (Palm Beach), Creature Yoga (Byron Bay)
Brisbane – Queensland Ballet (West End)
Sydney – Yoga Synergy (Bondi Junction), Power Living (Bondi Beach), One Hot Yoga (Potts Point)
What is the one thing you would like to be remembered for once you leave this earth?
I would love to be remembered for being supportive and generous. And for how much I love Disney, Harry Potter and Collingwood!
I have received a ton of questions on Instagram about natural deodorant, so I thought I'd do a blog post addressing some of the most FAQ's.
I'll be answering in regard to what I use currently, which is Black Chicken Remedies Axilla barrier boost deodorant paste. If you want to read other people's reviews as well, there are a whopping 922 reviews on their axilla deodorant alone.
1. Does it actually work?
Just because it's made of natural ingredients doesn't mean you won't get results!
2. How long does it take to work?
I went through a little bit of a detox period. I'd call this a transition phase as I made the switch from chemically dense, aluminum products to an all natural alternative. It took me about 2-3 weeks to purge all the toxins from my body, so I just weathered through the detox, or reapplied the paste around midday if it seemed fitting. My husband had a similar transition, but from memory his lasted a week or so. He plays sport professionally, and uses the deodorant paste daily with great results.
3. Can I shave before using it?
I find that my skin is a bit sensitive, so if I applied the Axilla Deodorant immediately after shaving, I would feel a bit of a burn (do to the sodium bi carb). I switched to the Barrier Boost sensitive skin formula, and have had no issues since. I can apply it to my underarms as soon as I'm out of the shower after shaving.
4. If it doesn't have aluminum in it, how does it work?
It's not an antiperspirant, so keep that in mind! It's job is to neutralise odours, not to avoid sweating. Sweating is natural body reaction - you shouldn't apply anything to stop that from happening!
A few key ingredients in the Axilla Paste:
Organic coconut oil: acts as an antibacterial agent and neutralises odours
Sodium Bicarbonate: neutralises odours
Arrowroot: absorbs moisture
Kaolin Clay: absorbs moisture and increases blood circulation
Organic Camellia tea oil and Vitamin E: soothes skin irritations
A few key ingredients in the Axilla Barrier Boost Paste (sensitive skin formula):
Magnesium hydroxide: acts as an antibacterial and helps to detoxify the skin
Organic shea butter: soothes skin and is also an anti-inflammatory
Diatomaceous Earth: ph neutral, rich in silica and an antimicrobial agent
Tapioca: absorbs moisture
*Sodium Bicarb free
HOT TIP: The signature blends in both of these products have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.
5. Does it have a smell? If so, what makes it smell good?
Yes, it smells nice. It isn't odorless. Black Chicken uses essential oils to make their products smell next level nice. A few of the essentials oils they use are: pink grapefruit, mandarin, geranium bourbon, ylang ylang, cedarwood, lime, and lavender.
6. How long does it last?
I wasn’t sure if this question was meant about daily product results or monthly consumption of Axilla, so:
A. It lasts all day, no need to reapply it.
B. A tub of the paste lasts us between 2-4 months (depends if my husband and I are sharing!)
7. How do you apply it if it's a paste?
Place a small amount between your fingers and rub them together, gently warming up the paste. Rub on both armpits, and voilà! Or, you can just watch this watch this 28 second clip on YouTube.
Still have questions?
Email me or comment below!
The bad news: Two in three Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70.
The good news: 95% of skin cancers can be successfully treated IF detected early.
Sunscreen. It's an absolute necessity.
Coming from a girl who has A LOT of freckles, listen to me when I say.... you need to wear it. I was relatively sun smart as a kid playing soccer for many, many hours a week in the California heat. A smear on the shoulders and the cheeks always seemed to suffice. However, it wasn't until I was in college that I started to wear sunscreen regularly on my face as a preventative measure. On my body? Sure, but only when I was lying out by the pool.
If you live in Australia you'd know the expression "Slip, Slop, Slap" by heart. I'd obviously never heard of it before moving here, but it's a really easy way to remember sun safety. It is also a requirement for children to follow when attending school if they want to play outside!
Slip on a shirt
Slop on some sunscreen and
Slap on a hat.
Australia has the world's highest rate of skin cancer... Eek! Beach culture is quintessential to living that Aussie lifestyle, but we must look after our skin to prevent harmful melanomas, keep our skin healthy and the added bonus of a youthful complexion doesn't hurt!
I've made a list of my favourite sunscreens, (and I tell you why I love them), as well as what part of the body to use them on. Couldn't spell it out any clearer.... Let's dive in shall we?
And there you have it! If you have any questions, comment below or send me an email so I can help you out.
Snacks. Snacks. Snacks.
How many times have they utterly saved the day when you're with your kids at the grocery store... running errands.... during an agonizing road trip?
I get loads of DM's on Instagram about snack ideas for kids, so I thought I'd share a quick and easy blog post sharing what we have been loving lately.
Here are our latest on-the-go favs:
Gimme all the collagen! I'm officially closer to middle age (as of September) and I find myself lusting after my daughter's collagen rich skin more frequently.
All jokes aside, I'm just starting to really look toward, what I call, skin repairing now. I've been on the prevention path for a while, but the time has come for lots of TLC and repair. I think that's part and parcel of becoming a mum and running on less sleep and longer days.
So what two things have I been doing to warrant my latest barrage of complexion compliments?
1. Using Mukti's microneedle derma roller twice a week. The needles create micro channels in the skin which help your skin to absorb the products you already use more efficiently.
2. Using Black Chicken Remedies newest Nocturnalist Night Serum nightly. This new, uniquely formulated serum rejuvenates skin cells during our sleep cycle, so it does all the heavy lifting while you catch up on your much needed Zzz's.
During the day our skin tries to stay hydrated and protected from the elements. However, during the nighttime, our skin goes into recovery mode, much like humans actually. This serum is designed to assist in your skin's recovery, hydrate and reduce oxidation and inflammation.
Directions: Before going to bed, I apply 3-5 drops to clean skin and massage it well into my cheeks, forehead and neckline.
HOT TIP: If I'm doing a little extra for Self Care Sunday, then I Gua Sha immediately after applying the serum.
What are the active ingredients you ask?
Prickly Pear: is rich in amino acids and encourages collagen production and elasticity to brighten + tighten pores
Lemon: is loaded with Vitamin C. It's also one of the best-known anti-aging agents
Frankincense: helps promote healthy circulation and reduces the appearance of sun spots
Geranium Bourbon: helps with cellular regeneration
Neroli: boosts luminosity and helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles
Myrrh: rejuvenates aging skin
Cypress: has antimicrobial properties that help remove toxins from the skin
I love how thick and nourishing the serum is and it smells so bloody good. You can tell they spared no expense sourcing the best of the best ingredients. My favourite part is that this serum is 100% natural, completely free of chemicals, toxins, preservatives and Australian-made. It's totes a necessity in every "30- something year old's" medicine cabinet!
What does your night time routine look like? Tell me in the comments below.
We are halfway through October, which just so happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Here are some fab ways that you can get around the cause while supporting some pretty fantastic brands that I know and love.
1. Spiritual Gangster's BCA Collection
One of my all time favourite yoga apparel brands are doing a Breast Cancer Awareness Collection and it's SO cute! Their muscle tanks are my fav - so comfy and versatile for working out or hitting the streets with jeans and sneakers. The minimalist white jumper above has the precious pink heart on the front, and WARRIOR written in a bold hot pink on the back. Obsessed!
What's incredible about these pieces is that 100% of the profits from these styles support Susan G Komen Los Angeles in the fight to end breast cancer. How incredible is that?
HOT TIP: Sign up for Spiritual Gangster's VIP list and get 15% your first order
2. S'well have gone Pink For A Cure
This October S'well is donating 20% of the retail price to support the breast cancer research foundation (BCRF).
My personal favourite is the Geode Rose bottle on the left. It has a smooth matte finish and is inspired by rose quartz geode stone which is symbolic of unconditional love.
The hot pink bottle in the middle, called Bikini Pink with Silver Cap, can even be personalised. How cool is that!? These bottles are so affordable and good for our planet too, lessoning single use plastic.
3. Black Chicken Remedies Natural Deodorant, More to Love Addition
Deodorant. Something we all use, and need in our lives. If you aren't familiar with their 100% natural, chemical AND toxin free deodorant, read this to learn about how you can lead a more low tox life.
Black Chicken Remedies is trying to raise $40k for the National Breast Cancer Foundation by October 31st. So, why not stock up now and purchase the More To Love Addition which has 25% more paste?
BCR are also running a contest alongside their fundraiser where you can win $1000 worth of Black Chicken Remedies Products!
All you have to do to enter is:
1. Purchase two "More to Love Addition" deodorants
2. Post a photo of yourself on social media holding them up to your chest (like this)
3. Add the hashtag #AXILLAMORETOLOVE and tag @blackchickenremedies
THAT's it... how good hey?! Imagine winning $1000 worth of BCR natural goodness - and all for simply buying deodorant!
4. SWIISH by Sally Obermeder's Pink I Can Collection
Seven years ago, Sally, the owner of SWIISH, was diagnosed with cancer herself. This year Sally has put together SWIISH's first 'Pink I Can' Collection, and it's to die for!
10% of all proceeds will go to the BCNA, Breast Cancer Network Australia.
This is a great place to grab some adorable accessories, a few early Christmas presents or a little something to Treat Yo Self. My personal favourite is the rose quartz face roller, which is legit incredible, and under $40! Shop the entire range here.
Cedar + Stone is a 100% plant based vegan skincare company based in the Currumbin Valley, Australia.
The company was founded by Kate and Anna, two sisters that were tired of shopping at organic health shops only to find that many skincare products still had unnecessary chemicals. The sister duo decided to whip up some homemade alternatives, and Cedar + Stone was born.
Their line of skincare products are proudly cruelty free, gluten free, paraben free, sulphate and SLS free.
My Latest Haul from Cedar + Stone:
If you sign up for Cedar + Stone's newsletter, they will email you a voucher for $20 off your next purchase.
Also, you'll get free shipping on orders over $100
This little corner of the internet is for non yoga topics like motherhood, low-tox living and products I love.