Saturday, May 4, 2019

Reformer Pilates is the best thing I've done for my body in a long time

Among the many things on my list of 2019 goals (this is quickly turning into a goals blog I know), getting serious about fitness was one of the boxes to tick. I see so many people who have found their 'thing' and whether that's pole dancing, physie or yoga, they all LOVE exercising because they're passionate about what they do. I want that! I'm inherently lazy, but I do enjoy flexing my muscles, so I wanted to dedicate this year to trying everything and finding a rotation of things I loved so I would never have an excuse not to exercise. The good news, I think I've found it!


I recently did a month long trial at the new BodyMindLife studio in Kirrawee (there are four other studios around Sydney too) and the gym (for lack of a better word) is known for two things: hot yoga and reformer pilates.

I gave the hot yoga a go and it wasn't for me. My lack of sweating made it just a really long yoga class and I'm not good at quieting my mind and going slow, BUT, the reformer classes, stand back. Even after the first session I was converted.

If you're not familiar with reformer pilates, it has got the same principles as mat pilates but is practiced on a moving 'bed' with changeable springs that add weight. It's really good for anyone recovering from an injury and building long, lean muscles. You can read more about it here if you really have no idea what reformer pilates is. It looks intimidating at first but once you start trying different positions and moves, you fall deeply in love with the endless combinations, deep stretches and surprising challenge you get from a sliding platform!

So what did I live about it? Everything. The teachers are extremely knowledgable, you run your own race in class (I hate interacting with others during exercise, I'm not a team player, sue me), it's hard but not stupidly exhausting (and you can adjust every move depending on how it feels), it has variety (seriously, every class was different) and you can build up your fitness (there are beginners and slower movement focuses classes called Align, and harder more advanced classes known as Flow). I knew I liked walking and hiking as my cardio, but until I did reformer I had no idea what strength exercises I liked. This is perfect if you don't want insane muscle soreness, want a holistic approach and love a deep stretch. I feel healthier, happier and never once didn't want to go to a class. That's saying something!

The BodyMindLife studio at Kirrawee also happens to be beyond dreamy. Instead of running out of there when the class is over, I'm happy to linger and get ready for work, shower and enjoy a cup of tea. The palette is very me with its stark minimalism, greenery and chrome finishings. I'm aware it looks a lot like my home, but hey, maybe that's why I feel at home there.

Besides Reformer Pilates, I do also have a regular gym membership, because being able to go smash out some cardio or use some machines on a whim at a 24/7 gym is also extremely appealing to me and something that kept me motivated.

So here's to a 2019 (and life!) goal successfully ticked - I am now a 'fitness' person!

Monday, January 28, 2019

So... I'm Already Struggling With My 2019 Goals

I've been struggling with motivation a bit lately, which is strange because this is usually the time of year when everyone (myself included) is raring to go thanks to all that zingy new year energy. For some reason I'm just not feeling it. Sure, I've set a bunch of goals for the year, but they're not propelling me forward like the have in the past. It's still January and I'm struggling with my 2019 goals. That's sad right?

I was telling (AKA complaining to) one of my friends about my lack of energy and I showed her my list of goals and the first thing she said was that they were all reasonable, but there was an obvious problem. On the list I had things like, 'Finish renovating the house', and she asked me what that entailed - I listed about 10 things. "Woahhhh", she said, "You're going to have to list each one of tasks as an achievement or you'll never feel like you're making progress". She was right, most of my goals for the year were too big to tackle in one go. The reason I hadn't started was because I didn't really know where to start!

Since half of goal-setting in my mind is telling people so you're accountable and hideously embarrassed when you don't get it done, I've decided to every month write down my goals and show them to the world. This way my big goals aren't giant mountains with no path up, but instead a monthly plan so that in 12 months all the small steps will add up to an entire journey.

February Goals 

(I'm not being lazy, but I do think it's fair to say January is over)

  • Commit to one hour of writing every week
  • Meditate for 5 minutes every day
  • Read a book that challenges me
  • Watch a documentary
  • Get the floors done in my house
  • Donate plasma
  • Sign up to a class to learn something new
  • Test out a new exercise class or gym
  • Learn to make bread dough 
  • Do one thing I've never done before
  • Have a sunset picnic
  • Buy seeds
Image: Collective Hub (this is the 2019 diary I bought for the year, you can check it out here)

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

What I Learnt In 2018

I'm not excited about much to be honest but I do get wildly excited for this post every year. I collect thoughts all year on little pieces of paper and in the notes on my phone, just waiting for the end of the year. Yes, it's a little self indulgent. And yes, a lesson may not have truly been learned if you have to write it down in order to remember it. HOWEVER, I know for a fact that other people enjoy reading this and have applied some of these lessons to their own life, so I'm going to continue doing it even if I never write anything else on this blog.

In saying that though, this year might be a little dark. 2018 was one of the most rewarding, amazing years of my life, but also one of the harshest. I reached a huge personal milestone (buying a house), but I also lost someone very dear to me. So a mixed bag of a year. Some big lessons came out of it, here's 2018's learnings...

  • Being confident is a full time job.
  • If the past is the ball, you bringing it up all the time is the chain.
  • If you want to benefit from it, you have to be prepared to suffer for it.
  • You can be a good person and still do the wrong thing (and vice versa).
  • It's possible to still get to know someone even after they're gone.
  • It's never too late to start making a change that creates a better world (#plasticsucks). 
  • If your life feels meaningless, that's something you've decided, not a fact.
  • Buying a house is so scary, it's like willingly walking off a cliff.
  • You learn the greatest lessons in the darkest times.
  • Travel with new people whenever you can. 
  • Take time out to heal.
  • Death sometimes gives you more perspective than you can handle.
  • A new fantasy can come out of nowhere, for example a man singing 'Every Breath You Take' gyrating on a coffin in an entirely red room can become your new expectation from a partner.
  • Looking down on people for being too nice is basically looking into a mirror of all your flaws and faults and being threatened.
  • Unstable Unicorns is a game for the whole family. 
  • All anyone truly wants is to be understood. 

Want to see other things I've learned in the past? Here is what I learned in 2017, 2016 and 2015 (I've really grown as a person). 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Dyson Just Launched A Brand New Product That Promises The Perfect Blow-Dry And Curls

Looks like Dyson have done it again! They've just launched another innovative product that is reinventing the hair styling game. Meet the Dyson Airwrap styler...

The Airwrap promises to curl, wave, smooth and dry with no extreme hair-damaging heat. That's more promises than any man has ever made me so you can sign me right up. The hair is dried using jets of air and the Coanda Effect (#science), which is when a jet of air "attaches itself to a nearby surface and remains attached even when the surface curves away from the initial jet direction". Basically your hair will be whipped into shape thanks to the power pressure, air  and Dyson alone.

They've been working on perfecting the Airwrap for six years and have had hundreds of prototypes, so you'd better believe they've gotten it right. It comes with a whopping six attachments that curl your hair to different thicknesses (in both directions), create different blow-dry styles, and dry (yes, it's also a mini hairdryer on it's own).

Check out the video below to see how it works:

Perhaps the best news of all is that it's currently in stock in Australia! How much is the Dyson Airwrap you ask? It's retailing for $699 and it's likely to be a sound investment just like the original hairdryer (plus this one comes with a mini-dryer so double good investment!).

Shop on the Dyson website here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What's On My Turkish Sailing Packing List

I'M GOING TO TURKEY! Again! This time I'm heading to the islands to soak up a bit of sun and see a part of the world you don't see much of on Instagram (is that even possible anymore?). I'm going on the Contiki Turkish Sailing trip, and not just because I work at Contiki! I was actually eyeing off the trip a couple of years ago too and it finally seemed like the right time. By right time I mean I wanted an overseas trip but couldn't afford a big one (I have a mortgage now) so settled on Turkey. It's an 8 day trip, all meals included and it's roughly $100 a day. Now that's a bargain!

I'm super excited and naturally have started planning because I treat every event in my life like it's something out of Ocean's 11. Every angle must be observed! With that in mind, I've started mapping out what's going in my suitcase (although more likely a backpack because suitcases are not boat friendly). This is my Turkey packing list so far...


Hello! I'm going on a sailing trip and you'd better believe I'm going swimming! I'm feeling a retro style bikini. I like the Solid and Striped styles but am also keen to try some high-waisted or one-piece styles... watch this space!

Glam sun hat

Nothing says holiday like a very good hat. A wide brim to pull down over my eyes as I people watch or nap (probably the latter) is high on my list for mysterious boat babe.

Big sunnies

To add to my allure of mystery and sun safety, I'm going for some big sunglasses. I know mini sunnies are all the rage right now but I have a few pairs of large ones that are simply perfect for sunning myself on the top deck with.

Turkish towel

I adore Turkish towels for holidays, especially holidays in Turkey. They're so versatile, dry easily and way cooler than a fluffy beach towel. I'm currently loving the Turkish towel, AKA peshtemel, I got from Raven's Landing. Not all Turkish towels were created equal either so always buy a good one!

Zero-waste bath stuff

We all know I'm getting into the zero-waste lifestyle and I want to make an effort this trip to focus on keeping all my bath stuff plastic free. It also helps the friend I'm travelling with runs an online zero-waste and eco-friendly store! I'm going to pack shampoo and conditioner bars and naked body wash from LUSH, plus coconut oil for moisturiser and makeup removal. Wish me luck!

Bubble wrap

Last time I went to Turkey (like 5 years ago?) I was doing a fair bit of travelling after and living in Edinburgh and didn't want to commit to the beautiful homewares you can find at every turn in Turkey. Now, I own my own place and you better believe I'm bringing stuff home! The bubble wrap will help it get home in one piece... hopefully!

Tan sandals

When I think of islands I think of Greek goddesses and lovely tan sandals. Obviously I am at this level and therefore must dress the part! I like lace up styles but am open to the rope or embellished ones that are in right now.

Wrap dress

Errrrrybody should own a wrap dress. They're SO flattering! I have a lovely, green floral midi one that's going straight in the bag but I might also hunt out a shorter one in a light coloured cotton.Or white, white always looks fresh.

Anti-seasickness tablets

Alas, my friend and I both get a bit seasick. Why are we going sailing then you ask? Who knows, but we are and just in case the seas are rough I'm willing to bite the bullet and take anti-nausea tablets so I can enjoy the trip.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How I'm Trying To Become A Less Trashy Person

If you know me outside the internet you know I've got a bit of a favourite topic at the moment and it's zero waste. We're such a wasteful society and the amount of plastic and crap that goes into landfill only to sit there, clogging up our beautiful planet until it breaks down in a few hundred years, is disgusting.

The point of this post isn't to preach at you (although I do strongly suggest you go do your own research into the effect waste is having on this world) or turn my blog into a eco-friendly one, but rather to show that nobody is perfect but you can make small changes that have a big impact. I've started making changes mostly in the bathroom, which you'll see in the list, because I think it's easier to slowly adopt a lifestyle than throw everything out and start again (also that would totally defeat the purpose of zero waste). I still have a LONG way to go but here are some ways I'm becoming a less trashy person...

Shaving With A Safety Razor

A safety razor is a reusable stainless steel handle that uses double edged blades, and it's the best thing I own! Not only are they great for the environment, a total bargain (mine cost me $50 and the blades are 15 cents each!), but it's also the best shave I have ever had. Ever. It's so close and smooth. I get a lot less shaving rash because I'm not using a bacteria filled razor that I need to replace every two shaves. It's a total dream and you can read all about my obsession with it here on my friend Lottie's zero-waste online store and blog Banish (see, I'm not crazy, other people are into saving the planet too).

Saying No To Plastic Bags

This is the most simple thing ever, all you have to do it remember to do it! My New Year resolution was to not get a single plastic bag at the shops for all of 2018. It's March and I've only forgotten once, so I'd say that's pretty good! I just make sure I bring my own reusable bags to do groceries and have a canvas bag when I go shopping. There's a perverse pleasure I get when a shop assistant asks if I'd like a bag and I get to say no.

Using Washable Makeup Remover Pads

I used to use cotton rounds to remove my makeup every night and while I purchased bulk packs of 200, it's still plastic packaging I could avoid. So I did some research and found a lot people in the zero waste community mention round washable pads. Heaps of sellers on Etsy sell them so I bought a bunch and have never looked back. They remove my makeup just the same as disposable ones and I can throw them in the wash at the end of the week and do it all again without contributing to landfill! I even have some I use for removing nail polish and they come out great in the wash too. My only regret is buying white pads, the mascara doesn't quite come out and I think a dark colour would have been better in hindsight. If you can (or have a mum that can) sew you can even make your own with old t-shirts!

Lathering Up With Naked Shower Products

I'm a HUGE Lush fan and they already make great low impact products and recycle every container, but they went next level at the end of last year and started making naked products, which means they don't have a container. We're talking not just shampoo bars, but body wash and moisturiser too! The body wash has the same consistency as the bottled gels and it's in a bottle shape which I just love for the novelty factor. Lush isn't super cheap but they do last a long time, so if you can't be bothered finding recipes to make your own shampoo bars and DIY body washes, this is the place to go.

Being Really Annoying About Straws

If it's my round at the bar, you ain't getting a straw. Not only am I making the call for myself that straws suck (literally and figuratively) but I'm making the same call for you. A lot of bars in Sydney (where I'm from) have taken to banning them from their establishments which is an AMAZING step in the right direction, and for those places that haven't, I just say "no straw" the same as I would for the plastic bag. This does mean no more takeaway juices but the plastic cups are terrible for the environment anyway so it's dine (drink?) in only for me!

Using A Keep Cup

I have a new rule: no keep cup, no coffee. I have an amazing Frank Green cup for weekends or the commute, and then another keep cup at work in case the mood strikes for a coffee. This way I really have no excuse to get a take away cup since there's always one on hand. And if there's not, well tough luck but I either sit in and have the coffee or go without. Tough love may not for everyone but just treat it like the old primary school rule of 'no hat, no play'.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How To Make The Perfect Margarita

There are only a handful of things in this world I truly care about, and margaritas makes the cut. They're fresh, sassy and strong (all qualities I hope I embody also). Margaritas are a very big deal in my friendship group, so much so that my best friend Alex and I actually have an Instagram page dedicated to sampling and reviewing margaritas called muchomargaritas! (You can check it out and give it a follow here if you like). The appreciation for a good marg runs deep.

That's why today is basically Christmas for me, it's NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY! Obviously I'll be celebrating with a margarita or three, but if you can't get out on the town and still want to partake in a tipple, here is my perfect, and super easy, margarita recipe...

I've listed Cointreau as my triple sec of choice but you can swap this out for whichever takes your fancy. 

I also haven't listed a tequila as tastes vary a lot here. One friend swears by Don Julio, while another won't hear a bad thing about Patron. Pick your own favourite but if you're not a tequila buff, I'd recommend starting with a gold tequila (the amber coloured ones) as they tend to be tastier and better quality. 

I also don't add any sweetener to my margaritas because I'm sweet enough (yawn at the joke, sorry haha) but if you MUST, use agave syrup. That makes it what's generally known as a Tommy's Margarita. 

Lastly, once you've shaken this all together, don't ruin it with too much ice (3 cubes are enough) or a table salt rim. Use rock salt, it looks and tastes better.