Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are another must have that I include in my better, healthier eating plan. 

The name Chia comes from the Aztec word for 'oily' and is a native to central and southern Mexico and Quatemala and is a species of flowering plant in the mint family.

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Chia info :

  • Contains approximately 20% protein, 35% good fats and 25% dietary fibre
  • 20% Omega 3 ALA, superfood for the brain and heart
  • Gluten free
  • Packed full of nutrients including vitamins A, B, D, E, potassium, iron and magnesium
  • High in antioxidants
  • Five times more calcium than milk
  • Boosts energy
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • Aids digestion
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Great for healthy skin, hair and nails

Chia seeds don't have much flavour and therefore can be added to pretty much anything you like ;

  • Mix with muesli or porridge
  • Toss them through a salad
  • Through into your bread mix
  • Add to a smoothie (when added to liquid they expand so will give you a thicker consistency)
Sarah Wilson's Cashewy Chia puddings

Sarah Wilson's Cashewy Chia puddings

If you want some great ideas of what you can do with Chia, check our Sugar Free hero Sarah Wilson here for some of her suggestions.

 

images via nutriition & style, sarah wilson

Martyn Lawrence Bullard Tile Collection

I'm a huge fan of Martyn's and if you've been reading this blog, you could already be aware of this!

Martyn kindly spoke to me here about his book "Live, Love, Decorate" but his latest venture is his gorgeous tile collaboration with Ann Sacks.

The collection consists of three lines named Mousharabia, Hermitage and Eastern Promise.

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The fine art of Mousharabia has been refined over many centuries and is inspired by carved wooden lattice work. Completely comfortable in water, Mousharabia stoneware's raised face will perfectly grace a shower, wall or fireplace.

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To Martyn their is nothing sexier than the use of refined mirror.  The look is reminiscent of the decorative art of verre eglomise and has a beautiful antiqued mirror feel with the design of leopard or zebra. These mirrored glass tiles can reflect endless possibilities in homes, restaurants, retail stores and hotels.

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Handcrafted in Morocco, Eastern Promise concrete tiles are an updated version of the softly honed tiles that are so often found in the Moroccan landscape. The arabesque from Marrakesh and Tangier, the swirling motifs from Instanbul and Mykonos, all these exotic elements tie together with the bold statements found in 1950's Brazilian and 1970's Italian design.

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Martyn's line was previewed in his recent design for the new Red O restaurant in Newport.

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My favourite pick is the Eastern Promise collection, I absolutely adore it.

You can see more about Martyn's collection here at Ann Sacks

all images via ann sacks

Quinoa

Eating better is an intention I have made for myself this year. It's about being more aware of what I'm putting into my body and what choices are out there. And most importantly how these different foods make me feel.

One food I have come to love is Quinoa. I could seriously just eat a plain bowl of Quinoa and be completely satisfied!

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Quinoa Info :

  • Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a seed that is a relative of the beetroot and spinach
  • Comes in 3 different colours - white, red and black
  • Very high in protein
  • It's gluten free
  • Perfect balance of all 9 amino acids essential for human nutrition
  • High in fibre and iron and has low-GI
  • Easy to cook - just cook it like you would your rice

White Quinoa is probably my most preferred type however there is not a lot of difference between the white and red (I haven't tasted black yet). I find the white to be softer and fluffier. The red Quinoa is still yummy though and I still cook with this one. I find the red to be just slightly firmer and have a little bit more bitter taste but nothing that is hugely noticeable. Side note, you must rinse Quinoa really well before cooking.

Quinoa can be used in so many ways, hot or cold. My favourite is to keep it really simple to be honest. I'll cook it up and toss in all sorts of veggies or my other favourite is to steam up some spinach, lay it over the top with a bit of lemon juice - both really quick and simple to make, tasty and leave me feeling full but not yuck and sickly like so many foods can do.

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But I love discovering more recipes - as I said there is so much you can do with Quinoa - so if you have any of your favourite recipes, please let me know in the comments below.


2014 Oscars

I always do a post on the Oscars because this is Hollywood and it's all about the red carpet with the ladies in their gorgeous gowns and men looking super dapper in their suits and tuxedo's.

I only feature those that I love, purely in my opinion so highly likely they'll differ from your best dressed choices. But isn't this the fun thing about fashion.

Lupita Nyong'o in custom-made Prada. I adore this shape, it is just stunning and the colour suits her beautifully.

Lupita Nyong'o in custom-made Prada.

I adore this shape, it is just stunning and the colour suits her beautifully.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive. So Hollywood, so glamourous! Beauituful shade on her pale skin. Hair, make-up and jewels complete the look perfectly.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive.

So Hollywood, so glamourous! Beauituful shade on her pale skin. Hair, make-up and jewels complete the look perfectly.

Kelly Osborne in Badgley Mischka I adore this look on Kelly, perfect silhouette with the intricate detail at the top. Kelly was unable to stay in this dress because she couldn't move in it but it was a definite stand out for me.

Kelly Osborne in Badgley Mischka

I adore this look on Kelly, perfect silhouette with the intricate detail at the top. Kelly was unable to stay in this dress because she couldn't move in it but it was a definite stand out for me.

Kate Hudson in Versace I was a little indecisive on this as I'm not a huge Versace fan BUT Kate looks gorgeous and pulls this dress of beautifully. Not too many people can wear such a plunging neckline like this but Kate does it so well.

Kate Hudson in Versace

I was a little indecisive on this as I'm not a huge Versace fan BUT Kate looks gorgeous and pulls this dress of beautifully. Not too many people can wear such a plunging neckline like this but Kate does it so well.

Maria Menounos in Johanna Johnson I always love Maria on the red carpet, she just always looks beautiful. A pretty gown but I love her hair and makeup.

Maria Menounos in Johanna Johnson

I always love Maria on the red carpet, she just always looks beautiful. A pretty gown but I love her hair and makeup.

Kerry Washington in Jason Wu Expecting mum Kerry looked so pretty in this dress. The colour and shape worked so well and so beautifully finished off with her hair and makeup, love it.

Kerry Washington in Jason Wu

Expecting mum Kerry looked so pretty in this dress. The colour and shape worked so well and so beautifully finished off with her hair and makeup, love it.

Olivia Wilde in Another mumma to be Olivia kept the look simple but really beautiful. Gorgeous makeup!

Olivia Wilde in

Another mumma to be Olivia kept the look simple but really beautiful. Gorgeous makeup!

Angelina Jolie I wasn't a fan of her dress but Angelina was the complete standout for hair and makeup - gorgeous.

Angelina Jolie

I wasn't a fan of her dress but Angelina was the complete standout for hair and makeup - gorgeous.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Calvin Klein Man number one on the red carpet, Joseph looked so well groomed and so handsome.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Calvin Klein

Man number one on the red carpet, Joseph looked so well groomed and so handsome.

Zac Efron in Calvin Klein Also looking very handsome, Zac opted for a tie as opposed to the bow tie. Only thing to pick at here is the length of his pants eek, just a little bit longer please.

Zac Efron in Calvin Klein

Also looking very handsome, Zac opted for a tie as opposed to the bow tie. Only thing to pick at here is the length of his pants eek, just a little bit longer please.

Tyson Beckford I don't know who he's wearing but that's ok, he looks so dapper! Love his shoe choice, like it to be different.

Tyson Beckford

I don't know who he's wearing but that's ok, he looks so dapper! Love his shoe choice, like it to be different.

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan in Reem Acra Hands down more adorable and glam couple on the carpet! Jenna's gown is gorgeous and so Hollywood as is her best accessory, Channing!

Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan in Reem Acra

Hands down more adorable and glam couple on the carpet! Jenna's gown is gorgeous and so Hollywood as is her best accessory, Channing!

That's my picks for this year, would love to hear who you loved ...

images via Getty

My Fitness - Walking

I don't run ok, just putting that out there. I just don't enjoy the act of it and my knees - well they just dispise it! But I do love going for walks. Walking, for me is my favourite choice of movement for so many reasons.

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Of course there have been many scientific studies done to understand why walking is so good for us :

  • Helps control and manage weight
  • Great for controlling  blood pressure
  • Decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Boosts HDL levels (good cholesterol)
  • Reduces LDL levels (bad cholesterol)
  • Helps prevent depression by improving mood
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Strengthens muscles, joints and bones
  • Improves sleep
  • Lowers stress levels
  • And so much more ...

But why do I love walking :

  • It's free! All you need is your shoes - unless you're walking the beach then you don't!
  • You can walk anywhere, so many choices to get outdoor and take in the world
  • It's really easy to do, push yourself hard or take a stroll either way you will get benefits
  • You don't need a lot of time whether you've got 15 minutes or an hour - some is better than none!
  • You can go by yourself or with friends (and dogs of course)

But what I really love is it gives me a chance to zone out. I put my earphones on and I just go. I used to do a lot of thinking when I walked but now I don't, I actually zone out, enjoy my music and the scenery and fresh air around me. Living on the Gold Coast definitely has a plethora of locations to get your walk on.

My main walking path, I love walking by the water

My main walking path, I love walking by the water

I aim to walk at least 4 times per week for 30 - 45 minutes and at a good fast pace and I'm definitely noticing my fitness levels are improving along with my overall state of mind and well being.

But I also love to hit the beach for walks, mainly Main Beach as I can easily fit this in before work or I'll head to Burleigh - beach walking is so good for the calves and glutes!

But I also love to hit the beach for walks, mainly Main Beach as I can easily fit this in before work or I'll head to Burleigh - beach walking is so good for the calves and glutes!

So tell me what about you, do you enjoying walking?

 

images via Our Little Place, Earth Doctor

Cisco-Meraki Headquarters

Who thought the company that produces wireless routers would have such a great workspace! However as I learn more about Cisco-Meraki who build their products with an emphasis on simplicity and seamless ease of use, it is only natural that the working environment possesses these same elements.

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The 110,000 square foot San Francisco HQ is spacious, bright, light, colourful with long lines.

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I love a workplace where you need to ride your bike to transport yourself from one department to another and most importantly you can bring your pooch to work - LOVE this.

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These spaces are so conducive to creativity and collaboration along with an environment that allows for minimal stress levels.

What do you think? Do you think you could handle turning up to work here each day?

 

Designed by Studio O+A

Images via The Contemporist

Living with Intention - Anna @ Lona de Anna

Anna of Lona de Anna is one of the first Aussie blogs I starting reading a few years back. I loved reading all Anna's posts and fell in love with her artwork (yes, I am a proud owner of two pieces - I adore!) Through the years we have got to know each other, tried a couple of meet ups but this is also one of my intentions for this year, this year we will meet up ;)

Anna has 2 gorgeous boys and through her blog and social media, shares with us how she juggles being a mum, wife, business owner, artist all whilst showing a love and gratitude for all she has in life. It was only fitting that I ask Anna to be a part of this series and sharing with us her intentions for 2014. Enjoy ...


Firstly, Thank you lovely Sarah for considering me as one of the people who inspires you.

I feel very honoured to contribute to this new series of posts on your beautiful blog and hope that my list of 10 goals, both personally and professionally also help or inspire others to be the best version of themselves they can be.

Love and positivity to you and all your followers, and thank you so much for taking the time to read.

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PERSONAL GOALS

 

  • Surround yourself around people and things that lift you up

Surrounding yourself around like minded people that lift you up, inspire you, encourage and support you and bring out the best in you, enhance your life in some big or small way for the better.

Also ensuring that you are constantly doing things that you truly enjoy, that feed the soul immensely. Visit places that inspire you and take you to your happy place, be it a park, a museum, the ocean, visiting a friend, watching a funny movie…. even shopping… whatever makes you smile and puts a spring in your step. Make the time to go there!

  • Fuel your body

Up until a few months ago I wasn’t so great at fuelling my body in the morning to ensure that I gave myself a good start to tackling the day. This is such an important part of keeping your energy levels up and your brain alert. Since making the effort to have a healthy substantial breakfast, I have found that I don’t feel flaky by 11am, and burnt out by 2pm.

Although I run my business from home and have the luxury of whipping something up to eat, I decided that since I was making school lunches now, that I may as well make my own lunch too. This has been terrific as I literally open the fridge, grab the salad or sandwich or whatever it is I have prepared and take the time to eat a proper lunch. Rather than grab a nasty packet of crisps or chocolate biscuit because I am time poor.

I also keep healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, muesli bars always within arms reach at my desk, so that even when I don’t have time to stop…I am still fuelling my body enough to keep on going.

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  • Gratitude

To be and show gratitude is a very important part of giving back. When a heart gives…it also gathers. Always living in the moment and appreciating the most beautiful and precious things in ones life, the people, the moments, the triumphs and achievements. Never taking for granted how precious all these things are in your life. Although I am always grateful for my good fortunes… to make a point of being mindful to be especially grateful... taking that moment to actually thank the universe, is so important.

  • Meditate

One thing I struggle with and have for a very long time is to switch off at the end of the day and enjoy a peaceful deep sleep. I have no problem being able to wind down, its shutting down that is the problem…. the brain won't stop ticking… and ticking… and ticking. Generally with ideas, things I need to do, things that I may feel anxious about.

I have a book of ideas always by my bedside so that I can write these ideas down while they are still fresh in my mind, however this doesn’t really help the mind to switch off…. in fact I think at times it fuels it.

I have decided to learn to meditation. My husband has been great at doing it every night and I am in awe of his commitment and dedication to it, and so seeing as I have a teacher in the home, I may as well learn from him. Meditation helps to clear the mind, shut off all the noise from the outside world and concentrate on your breathing from within and entering a true relaxed state of mind.

  • Learn a new skill

When we learn new things, we grow.

There have been so many things on the bucket list that I have wanted to learn, like playing the guitar, photography, writing, cooking (better than what I do), barrister course… Oh so many things.

I have only ever gotten as far as purchasing that guitar, or camera… having a play for a couple of weeks… and then… the dust slowly starts to settle. How tragic!! This year I am determined to stop doing that… and to follow through. Learn that skill to my full potential so that I can truly enjoy the reasons why I decided I wanted to take it up in the first place.

 

PROFESSIONAL GOALS

  • Ask

This is something I have had a hard time doing ever since launching my business “ Lona de Anna” back in 2009. What comes naturally to me and what gives me so much in return… is to give.

And so to then do the opposite of that and “ ask” feels a little more than weird, but I know that in order to build your business and allow it to grow… sometimes you need to ask for things.

Start small…. ask for those samples, ask for that discount, ask for that invite, ask for that social media mention or collaboration, whatever it is…. just ask… The worst that can happen is that you get a flat out NO… and you may not be any better off than where you were… but you are also no worse . It is always worth a try. You will be surprised at the incredible kindness of others and how obliging some people can be.

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  • Self promoting

Point 1 and 2 kind of go hand in hand. Self-promoting is also a very important part of making your business flourish. But again, very unfamiliar territory for me, yet something I know I need to push hard this year!!

I realise that it plays a vital role in making your business not only grow. But keep on growing.  If you think your product would suits a certain business, publication, event… Approach them! Sometimes you just have to go out on a limb and send that email, make that call. Connect with them via social media so that they can easily get a feel for your business/product.

Communication via social media can cut through a lot of the waiting process… form a connection with them so that your name sticks in their head. Say “Hello”… introduce yourself.

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  • Do it now

This by far has been the best goal I have set for myself this year.

DO IT NOW… meaning… any small things that may be on that “TO DO” list... that you can get done on the go… DO IT NOW!

I have always used my phone to check emails… but never replied to those emails until I returned back the office/studio.

Replying to those emails on the go (providing it’s a simple reply) saves SO MUCH time… I cannot tell you! That by the time you have returned to the office… the ball has well and truly started rolling on that project, job etc.

  • Write it down

Although having a phone which you could almost basically run your business from is great, however I have been stuck in a few pickles... where my battery has died, and I have desperately needed that address, or that particular date in my social calendar… etc

So I now also carry a paper diary with me as back up and write down important notes, details etc just in case… I am still able to access any necessary info that I may need urgently.

Beautiful vignette of Anna's featuring her latest piece "Swept Away"

Beautiful vignette of Anna's featuring her latest piece "Swept Away"

  • More studio time, less social media

I'm sure we can all agree that although social media is one big happening party at times, it can most certainly suck up more than a few hours of your day... Easy!

My goal this year it to try and tap into my social media in the earlier part of the day, leaving the mid morning to afternoon as time to spend in the studio. Creating, being inspired.

At the moment, this has been quite the challenge. Just not enough time in the day… and sometimes I can go days without having picked up a brush and this is a major big deal for me.

Still, I am working on this every day and hopefully I will get to the point where I will be able to afford to hire staff to do all of that social media stuff… and I can just spend time doing what I truly love…. and that is to paint… create.

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Living in ... Munich

Where do you originally hail from?

Before Munich I was living in Bondi Beach for four years. To say I miss the lifestyle and beauty of Bondi immensely would be a large understatement. The desire to travel and live overseas was stamped in my DNA from birth. I spent 6 years growing up north of Australia in Port Moresby, and then Beijing and bouncing between Canberra, Sydney and Cairns and not to mention numerous holidays throughout Europe and Canada... I love exploring, wandering and getting lost, finding cool hidden cafes and hang out joints, admiring interiors. From Munich we will see... I have my sights set on London, New York or Paris before returning home to Bondi to settle for a while.

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Why do you live in Munich?

I'm currently in the lovely German city of Munich working as a Visual Merchandising Manager for a luxury French fashion house.

What's the local Munich community like?

Bavarian hospitality is very, well ..... Bavarian. The region is very proud of their roots, as you will notice with daily sightings of men in their lederhosen and ladies in their dirndl. They're a tough bunch to crack, but once you do you have mates for life.

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Top 3 places to eat in Munich?

As a visitor I could easily recommend the beer garden within the "Englishergarten", here you can eat like a Bavarian; sausages galore, meat meat and meat and local beers.

As an imposter local though:

1. Burger and bier, in the "it" area of Munich, Glockenbachviertel. Here you will get great uber friendly service and the best burger you could imagine.

2. Del Fiore. Munich is sometimes referred to as a Northern Italian City due to its very southern location in Germany. This place has great rustic interiors with a stunning outlook to one of the oldest "platz" in town. Fresh made pasta, gelato to go and amazing breakkie. You can find me here most Sundays for brunch.

3. Numerous bakeries across the city. It's hard to pin point the best one, but I love dropping in after following the heavenly smells of freshly baked pastries. Each month there's a different fruit in season or a particular festival with a baked treat to go along, so I feel it's my duty to try all I can whilst living here ...

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Your favourite activities to do in Munich?

Love sitting im Gartnerplatz, a tiny "round-a-bout" in a lovely neighbourhood. Just being here watching the day go by over the spring and summer is a treat. Each fortnight they completely change the floral plots and greenery, pretty impressive.

The Isar river flows nearby to the old city, it's the place to hang over the warmer months. In the summer there's a great pop up bar on one of the old bridges where you can just chill out with mates and watch the sun go down.

Munich hosted the '72 summer games, I really enjoy the grounds as all the facilities are still open to the public; swimming hall, ice skating, athletics. You name it you can do it.

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Favourite place to go in Munich and why?

Apart from Gartnerplatz (listed above), a good friend of mine introduced me to the "Museum Lichtspiele". It's a cinema that plays all movies in the original versions... As a non German speaker it's a great escape!

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Home Tour - Hollywood Hills

When I think of homes in Hollywood I can't help but dream of beautiful old Spanish Colonial houses, full of history and character.

This home I came across on Apartment Therapy is just beautiful and capturing that real Spanish Colonial beauty. Homeowners Lucie and Chris purchased the 2,750 square feet former home of Hollywood Developer, Charles C Toberman aka Mr Hollywood. As an interior designer, Lucie has updated the home to suit their family needs but has stayed true to preserving the homes original character.

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Living with Intention - Anna @ Seasons of Lust

The next install of the Living with Intention series is from a gorgeous girl who I've met through all different social media platforms (and who I WILL meet in person in 2014, right Anna?) is Anna from Seasons of Lust. I have felt a real connection with Anna as we have quite a lot in common and she has this zest for life. I believe Anna is really living her life with intention and this is just a little of how she's doing this … 


Hello! I'm Anna from Seasons of Lust. I'm a Property Valuer by day & a raw food enthusiast/ sunset/ book lover by night. I've pranced into 2014 with BIG PLANS. I'm talking celebrations, birthdays, road trips, flights nationally & internationally, weddings & a little something I'm working towards come December 2014 (can't give away too much at the moment!)

My 2014 plans scare the life out of me. Can I really achieve all I've got planned for the year? I don't think about this too much because judging by my past experience....I think it's safe to say: YES, yes I can.

And as I was writing this, I got a little note from the Universe that said this:

Sometimes, Anna , when you look back at the trail you've tread, it's actually hard to believe you were as scared or confused or uncertain as you were, yet still you rocked it.

I say, remember that next time you feel scared, confused, or uncertain.

You're on fire,
The Universe

Talk about timing huh!

So, what are my intentions? I've broken them down into 'core life domains': relationships, self, career, health, fitness & financial. I've listed them all on paper (grab an A3 sheet) and then below each one, I've written down HOW I'm going to get it done & daily/weekly habits I need to have in order to reach my goals.

The beginning of my 2014 vision (a little something out of Danielle LaPorte's work)

The beginning of my 2014 vision (a little something out of Danielle LaPorte's work)

My biggest one for 2014 is to do with 'self'. Even though I regularly have dates with myself; whether it's a day at the beach, day at home or even a short trip somewhere, I feel like I need to get 100% on what it is I want. And there's no better time than a new year! After reading Danielle LaPorte's book last year, Fire Starter Sessions, I'm going to re-read the book but this time, take my sweet time on each session & do it properly (complete with highlighter and journal for notes).

One of my goals for the year is to be able to do a handstand with my legs close to a split. here's hoping!

One of my goals for the year is to be able to do a handstand with my legs close to a split. here's hoping!

But how do I stay on track? There's two things: my trusty A5 diary that goes everywhere with me + big wall calendars! I'm huge on visualisation so I need to be able to see my month ahead everyday as I rise (plus don't forget to sync the two together!) I've tried phone notes, iCal & calendar reminders but none were as efficient (for me) as the old school paper planner. Have you seen Danielle LaPorte's one? It is to die for!

I don't know about you but when I have something written down on my wall calendar, it's kinda hard to miss & even harder to try and get out of.  

Current location : Perth, Western Australia

Current location : Perth, Western Australia

So now I'd like to know, what are your intentions? & what are you doing to make them happen?


Seasons of Lust: www.winterlust.wordpress.com
Little note from the Universe: www.tut.com
Fire Starter Sessions: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/fire-starter-sessions/
Danielle LaPorte Planner: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/shop/desire-map-day-planner/


My Health & Fitness 2014

Ok complete confessional here … I have never been a fitness junky! I'm on my feet all day for work so it's not like my body isn't moving but it's not moving how I really want it too.

And I've never really had the most amazing diet - I loved sugar and everything and anything that was bad for me. Of course there are times when I'll eat well and sometimes I'm just plain lazy and eat badly … or not at all!! 

So with "Sarah version 2.0" I am nurturing myself completely and wholeheartedly.

Over the last few years I have dealt with some personal issues and it got kind of scary for me at the start of last year. Sometimes it takes certain events or situations in your life that open you to connecting your mind and your body because it is just impossible for anything good to happen if they are not working together. 

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I think the excuse had always been - urgh, I have to go to the gym?? What, I have to cook every night??  Do I need to just go cold turkey on everything fun in my life to transform?? I didn't want to see a personal trainer because they push you beyond your physical and mental limits …. this scares me and really, who could be bothered! Works so well for so many people and I have no judgement for those that embark on a huge transformation, I am actually 100% inspired by them and have an obsession hearing about and seeing their journeys.

But the first step is understanding that it's not for me. This style isn't going to get me to where I want to be - physically, emotionally and mentally. You have to find what works for you. What will make you feel good and what you want to continue to do that it will become a really natural part of your lifestyle.

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So I have sought out to find my own path that will take me to where I want to be, 100%. 

So far there have been some changes - maybe small to you but big to me - that I have embraced and that on this new site, Our Little Place. I look forward to sharing my progress, challenges and successes along with hearing all about yours.

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