Making Me Happy

Another week down, which means it’s 3 months and 16 days (to be precise) until I’m walking down the aisle. Oh my goodness. There’s so much to do, which probably explains why I’ve been having “wedd-mares” every damn night, where the theme is always the same: it’s the day of the wedding and I’ve forgotten to organise the whole thing. Not the best thing to wake up to, believe me (but very normal for brides-to-be, so I hear).

Last night’s wedd-mare was a beauty (an intersection of wedding madness and way-too-much-tech-time) – I dreamt that I had forgotten to decide on ‘readings’ for our ceremony and choose people to actually read them, and when I checked my Evernote app, where they were apparently saved, they had all disappeared. Now, clearly, my beloved Evernote would never let me down like that, which shows how ludicrous these dreams are, but coupled with the fact I’d found my wedding dress stuffed and crumpled in the dirty washing basket, it was quite the drama at the time. Ahem. Definitely looking forward to having my brain back in June!

Aside from bad dreams, I’m in what I lovingly refer to as my ‘Golden Week’ – a week that rolls around every month where my energy is off-the-charts, everything flows beautifully, nothing can rattle my sense of calm (like, for example, being told yesterday that I have to create the copy for our website at work by Friday – we’re talking thousands of words and a heap of research), and I go slower. I’m content. I do things mindfully, with purpose, rather than my usual whirlwind style. I eat better – craving nutritious, nourishing meals – and I feel like I can run forever when I’m exercising. Needless to say, Golden Week is my favourite space to be in!

Do you get this too? I think us women really notice a dramatic difference betwen our Overwhelmed and Overwrought (hormonal) Weeks and these Golden Weeks (I find the latter usually follows the former) so I’ve been thinking about ways we can bring that electric energy and sense of fulfillment into the weeks where life does get too crazy and we’re off-kilter and it’s all a bit “much.” Healthy eating thing is a no brainer – starting the day with a green juice or smoothie or adding more salad to your plate instead of carby foods that make us sluggish will improve our moods immeasurably – but there are a few other things that I’ve found work a treat that I wanted to share with you.

The first is letting ourselves off the hook a bit. You’re having a bad week – so what? Next week will be better. The fog will lift. The words will come to you. The muse will appear. The tension will ease. Step back – or do something else – until that happens. Don’t make any big decisions. Be aware of the shift and be thankful for it.

The second thing is indulging in self-care. In those overwhelmed weeks, exercise and looking after ourselves is usually the first thing to go – but that’s when we need it most. Instead of looking at the chipped nail polish on your toes thinking you must get a pedi soon when you have the time, paint them yourself. Peppermint oil foot soak and all. Time well spent. Instead of wondering how long it’s been since you went for a walk or ate something green, lace up your shoes and walk to the local farmers markets to stock up on energy-giving foods. Convincing yourself that eating more sugar, or downing another cup of coffee, will give you more “energy” has the reverse effect (but we all know that, right?)

Third thing, get out of your own head. Email someone you admire and tell them why they’re awesome. Ring a friend and tell them you’ve been dying to see them and you want to take them out for coffee for a chat (a chat about them, not a download of your bad mood). Ask your parents if you can cook them dinner. Surprise your lover with something you’ve made. Start each day asking “How can I serve?”

And finally, have fun. I called my Mum with a heavy heart last week because I was feeling a bit “off” and after giving me some beautifully inspiring advice, she asked me “How much fun have you been having lately? Like, real fun, silly stuff?” Heaps! I thought, I’m always having fun! And it dawned on me that most of my weekends were spent either on the computer or thinking I should be on the computer. There were lots of pockets of joy in and amongst the work, sure, but there certainly weren’t spontaneous moments of unbridled pleasure. In my head, there wasn’t time for all that. Work, work, work. Mum’s advice to seek out random pleasures – things that didn’t involve me achieving a result – really hit home, so I wanted to pass on that wisdom to you today in the hope that, if you need it, you’ll find ways to reel in more fun to your days as well.

That’s a lot of musing for a Wednesday morning and there’s still a big love list to come (wheeee!) so, gorgeous souls, here’s what’s made me happy over the past week!

Our New Canon 5D

We got ourselves a brand spankin’ new toy! So exciting. Time to learn to use this baby properly now – and to start shooting some video’s as well!

PS: Does anyone want to buy a Canon 30D? We’re selling ours, which is in great condition. Email me for the deets (I take a lot of my photos on here using it).

Green Juice

 

I’m on a green juice crusade at the moment – I’ve been drinking it like veggies are going out of fashion and my energy levels are seriously PEAKING. Ziiiing!

I was going to explain the whole process of making green juice but the ever-gorgeous, bursting-with-health Louise from Table Tonic has done the job for me with her post How to Make the Perfect Green Juice/ Smoothie, so I’ll let you be guided by her fab instructions instead.

Love the tip about adding lemon to green smoothies to cut through the grassy taste. Genius.

Bleach Festival

 

I haven’t been able to get along to check out The Village Markets since the end of last year because every time they’re on, I seem to be interstate or caught up with something, so over the weekend I trotted along to their ‘pop up’ event at the inagural Bleach Festival that’s been running on the Southern Gold Coast.

I scored the cool box below (made from pallets – going to try my hand at DIY’ing some of these!) from The Porcelain Tree and I’m so in love with it. We’ll somehow incoporate this little gem into our wedding but for now it makes a pretty cute storage box for some of my crystal decanters, don’t you think?

I also picked up this vibrant little tea towel – which I’ve turned into a wall hanging as you can see – from amazing illustrator and designer Leah Bartholemew from Beneath The Sun.

At $22 a pop, these babies would make a great housewarming gift, and I reckon they’d be perfect to frame for a newborn’s nursery.

Be sure to check out the rest of Leah’s stuff on the site too, it’s stunning (coincidentally, I just realised I’ve hung mine pretty much the same way as she has in her images).

 Martha Beck

 

I’m slowly plodding through this book, taking in a few pages here and there when I have the time, and I’m already getting the feeling that it’s going to be one that will really change the way I approach the second half of my year, post-wedding madness.

Think I might even do the exercises in the book, which I never usually do (shock horror) (c’mon, I know you don’t either, ‘fess up!).

Fresh Flowers

 

Some pretty pink natives and lilies have been brightening my home – and my days – since last Saturday when I picked them up at the Farmers Markets. Simple pleasures. Ultimate bang for your buck.

New Cookbook

 

Does anyone else love Jamie Oliver’s show 30-Minute Meals? I think he’s amazing – I love how confident and competent he is in the kitchen, and his “throw-it-all-together” “bit-of-this-bit-of-that” style is a dream to watch, in my opinion. Far better than stuffy awkwardness.

You’re probably wondering how Jamie relates to our new Donna Hay ‘Simple Dinners’ cookbook, so let me tell you. Basically, after marvelling at Jamie, Ramai said wants to do more cooking but that convoluted meals that take too long to prepare always turn him off spending more time in the kitchen. We decided that Jamie’s book would be all the motivation and inspiration we both needed to create exciting meals – in manageable time periods – so I gleefully went on the hunt… but couldn’t find it anywhere. THIS IS WHY WE NEED PHYSICAL BOOKSTORES (I’m still not over this… and yes, I know my Book Depository habit is part of the reason).

Anyway, without digressing too much further, I bought Donna’s bright and beautiful book instead and love it. Until Jamie arrives in the mail, it’s simple DH dinners all the way.

Vintage Shopping

 

I love when other people share their “secret locations,” and I’m of the opinion that holding onto things (anything in life) impedes the flow of more good things into your life, so let’s get share-y shall we?

There’s a ridiculous warehouse jam-packed to the max with trinkets/ antiques/ vintage everything in Murwillumbah in Northern NSW called The Grainery (info here) and your head will probably fall off when you walk in the door it’s that good. I’m not exaggerating about the “jam-packed” bit. Wowsers.

A few things to remember if you can get there:

1 // The owner Michael will tell you that the place is closing down. He’s been saying that for five years apparently. Don’t feel rushed into a purchase.

2 // There are no price tags on the items. You have to ask, and Michael will pluck a number out of the air and give you a reason why that’s a “bargain.” Case in point: he told me the jug/ vase above (a present for a friend) was $100 (it’s solid brass and from the 60’s) and I told him I had $40 cash on me and that was all I could give him. He said no, I put it down and continued checking out the place and he hunted me out and said “For you, I’ll do it today but you’re getting an amazing deal.” Right-o, salesman!

3 // Only cash is accepted. Be ready.

4 // And finally, don’t go in blind expecting op-shop prices. You won’t find a 4-piece set of Blue Willow china for $10, nor will you find a decanter for $10 or $20. View each piece as antiques and make your decision from there. Enjoy!

Pearl Jam Twenty

 

Hands down one of the best docos I’ve ever watched.

I was a huuuuge Pearl Jam fan as a pre-teen/ teen (and still believe Ten is one of the greatest albums of all time) and I found this insight into the band – all the members, not just Eddie Vedder – truly fascinating.

It also features great interviews with Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, footage of Kurt Cobain talking about the band (including cool shots of Eddie and Kurt hugging backstage at MTV) and a bunch of other stuff that will have you reminscing about the good old days when music was as raw as all get out. Run.

Wise Words

 

“When you focus upon anything at all, it’s like a call goes out to every corner of the Universe, summoning ideas, strength, courage, insight, resources, and whatever else is needed to complete the laser beam of your concentration.

If it’s an answer you need, it will be forthcoming. If it’s a choice you have to make, your options are calculated and recalculated under each scenario. If circumstances need to be arranged then every soul on the planet is consulted.

And if it’s help you need… we’re already there.  

When you focus upon anything at all.”

~ Notes from the Universe

+ So lovers, do tell: what’s lighting your fire this week? Have you taken a moment to appreciate that smile the stranger gave you on your morning walk, or the dinner your beloved cooked you? What about the fact your hair looks freaking awesome today or that you’re rocking red lips like nobody’s business? I want to hear it all so please share away in the comments below – let’s ignite the flames of gratitude today. Let’s go BIG!

“Words have wings, so speak good things.”

Images: Make Up Your Mind | Free People Julian Bialowas

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16 Comments to “Making Me Happy”

  1. Oh Rachel, you really are the QUEEN of blogging. Every time I visit your amazing blog, I kick myself for leaving it so long between visits. So great – and thank you for the shout out – so pleased to be a happy, healthy inspiration for your already glowing-with-health world.
    xxxLou

  2. Oh L, thanks for reading through that epic tale – I must have had too much green juice this morning! Ha! Thank you for always inspiring me with your energy + commitment to healthy livin’… Huge fan as you know. xx

    Janine: Totally restricted to my dreams, which is why I don’t mind so much. All the weird stuff comes out there so I don’t have to think about it during the day. xx

    Emma: She’s a wise owl for sure. Always knows how to get me from ‘overwhelmed’ to ‘ok, let’s do this’ in one little chat. xx

  3. Thanks honey! Me time + wedding planning time are going to be my focus for the next little while. Feels good to send my attention their way xx

  4. This time last year I was engaged & preparing to marry the man I loved but things didn’t quite work out. So I was kind of dreading the big love day. Quick switch on the thinking front & I decided to embrace & celebrate one of my favourite things: Loving. I began the day with a little meditation “I honour myself by giving & receiving love”. Just had these fews words going around in my head. On my way to work I was listening to one of my favourite radio shows … and then I got a shout out from one of my best friends in INDIA! She’s off travelling for a year but took the time to send a message to the radio show which they read out & then played one of my favourite songs from our days in Uni. I had to pull the car over, the tears welled up so much! So hands down, the best thing that’s happened to me this week! LOVE!

  5. I am grateful for this blog! It made me happy today….I love waking up asking, ‘how can I serve?’
    When I was getting married, I too had the mares- they seemed always to involve an unfinished dress or elements of the day I forgot to organize. You will get you mind back in June! The absolute best part leading up to my wedding was the anticipation: how will the day turn out, what will married life be like, etc. I miss it!
    One question for you Rach: do you have a juicer for those Green glassess of goodness? I can’t afford a Vitamix, so wondering if you knew of any great alternatives? Thank you! Xx

  6. Omigosh, I’m overwhelmed! I love it all and have gone and re-read some of your post as well !

    I am also getting those crazy weird wedding-related dreams too, although I’m totally expecting them as well. Mine have been all about having no wedding dress and no hair stylist and no makeup done for the big day. haha needless to say I get pretty frazzled in those dreams.

    Love the link to the green juice, and CONGRATS on the new 5D!!! I have the 7D and LOOOOVE it so I can’t imagine how amazing your 5 will be!

    xx!

  7. I love that technology infiltrated your dream like that! I hope that the dreams do go away after your wedding, too. Even though I’ve already gone past my 10th high school reunion, I *still* have dreams about being in year 12. Usually I have three paintings due for my Art subject and I haven’t put even a single mark on a canvas. Sometimes I have a final Biology exam and I realise that I haven’t opened my textbook all year. Odd!

    I am really intrigued by the green smoothies. Because I have autoimmune disease, I really struggle with chronic fatigue symptoms and never have enough energy. I do own a juicer, though, and maybe some super nutrition would bump me up a bit.

    Lovely post — and good luck with the website copy.

    x A

  8. Jenn: It’s been a huge year for you but I really admire the way that you’ve taken something sucky and turned it into something inspiring and positive with your blog. Bravo lady! That story about your friend is so touching… I can totally understand why you were in tears. What a beautiuful friendship, one to treasure for life. Xx

    Marianne: Good to know they’ll be short-lived! It’s amazing how one day can take up so much mental space, isn’t it?! I use a Sunbeam juicer which does the trick for the juices and I think our blender might be Sunbeam as well (stainless steel bottom/ glass jug). Xx

    Noémie: Eeek, they’re so weird! I’ve had the one about the no makeup etc as well… scary! Thanks so much, I’m busting to take it on a roadtrip somewhere to have a proper play around and get some cool shots. Your photos are amazing by the way (I’ve probably told you that). Xx

    Amber: Oh dear. Recurring dreams = blah. If I’m ever really overwhelmed or stressed about something, I have one about tidal waves – as in, looking up at the wave and realising I don’t have time to run away from it (and then I wake up). The biology one sounds a bit scary. Ha!

    The green smoothies and juices would be SO good for you lovely… and can I just tell you, if you leave out cucumber/ celery (I personally find them a bit overpowering) and stick to kale/ spinach/ silverbeet when it comes to the juices, you totally can’t taste the vege at all. Genius. For the smoothies, I just use spinach with a banana, and same thing, no vege taste. Let me know if you try them xx

  9. Lovely as always :)

    I really want to find some of those juice jars, they seem to be easier to find in america though! If you come across any let me know. I might have to try one of those specialist kitchen shops, I’d love to make a giant green smoothie batch then have some waiting for me when I get home!

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